Thursday, 24 March 2011

Musing over the Frank S conversion...

I've been thinking a lot about my proposed bash of a Feldbahn tender tank into a representation of one of the post-war tank engine conversions (the majority of which were 0-8-0t - the KDL11). I've studied Bachmann models, LGB models and even considered much more drastic action - scratchbuilding. It hinges from will an 0-6-0t be acceptable?

Then I reflected that I didn't actually need to model a KDL11 per se - the OBB did inherit a number of 0-6-0TT after the war, classified 798.xx class. Not many but a few - now in Austria none of these were converted to tank engines - however, some in Germany were, so it wouldn't be too much of a stretch of the imagination. The KDL11 were OBB class 698.xx, and the tank engine conversions 698.1xx. This gave me an idea - perhaps I could number my model as a fictional 798.1xx?

Anyway I've sourced a possible donor engine - although it's a little more than I wanted to pay. Some soul searching in the next few weeks to decide whether I should leave this project until later in the year when I can justify the loco for my birthday... It hasn't stopped me tinkering on Photoshop and coming up with the schematics shown here - which show the W&L No.10 (converted from a KDL11) and the proposed EJ&KLR No.5 - which is smaller (a good thing for the space I have available) but actually it does seem to have just the right sort of character for me already. That's me 60% certain I'll be blowing some more cash in the next few weeks...

Just to share with you the inspiration for this all - the Middleton Press book is both cheap and quite inspirational (for me anyway) and shows so many train formations I want to model. This however is now top of the pile... 699.01 (later to become W&LLR No.10) on the StLB at Weiz 1958. My conversion can represent a similar engine, the coach can be based on a Zillertalbahn carriage (keeping my eyes peeled for that next), the van converted from a vented goods van and the flats/stake/open wagons all represented from items in the LGB catalog. It's just so filled with atmosphere it's crying out to be modelled!

D. Trevor Rowe from 'Austrian Narrow Gauge', Middleton Press 2003

Points here so we're all set...

Excuse the pun!!

The remaining items of track, two points arrived from Dragon G-Scale today completing the track order for the outdoor layout.

It's going to be another week before we can get the track all laid out to get a real feel for the size and landscaping options of this layout. Despite steadily pruning back the conifers in the proposed area Mum still needs a lot of help as there is a tree to fell and wall to knock down on the patio. Exciting period though, I can't wait to get started.

As an aside it's worth looking at how much more realistic the R3 point is compared to an R1. If it wasn't for the help and advice of the guys on G Scale Central I'd never have made the choice to ditch R1s from the majority of the outdoor layout. Thanks lads!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Francesca S?

Thanks to Alyn on G Scale Central I've a selection of photos of a Frank S 0-6-0t perfect to base my model on!

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Steyrtalbahn formation...

Delivered the track order to Chester so I've setup the indoor line and am sat here enjoying the U-class and two of my new coaches plus break van do circuits in the lounge...

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Bumper parcel from Dragon G Scale...

Which contained these three beauties along with 99% of my track order for the outdoor line!

More later...

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

A longer term project... KDL11 tank

What do you think? Does it capture the character of the prototypes?

For those not familiar a large number of 0-6-0 and 0-8-0 tender tanks were build during WW2 for the German armed forces on their Feldbahn systems (760mm). After the war many of these were converted for domestic use and proved to be useful and reliable performers - especially across Austria.

Many were converted from tender engines by extending the side tanks and adding a cab rear bunker into tank engines, the most numerous of which seem to be the ex KDL11 conversions which were an 0-8-0t design.

The W&L have one preserved at Llanfair, currently not in operation awaiting restoration, No.10 'Sir Drefaldwyn' so if you're not familiar with the Austrian examples there is still one in the UK to visit.

So how to model one of these useful, characterful and chunky tank engines using proprietry models in G-scale? I've considered drastic surgery on a U-class 0-6-2, adding tanks to a Rugen 0-8-0wt however I reckon that this proposal captures most of the character - and in fact several of the 0-6-0 tender tanks were modified in this way anyway! This is based on the LGB 0-6-0 tender tank commonly described as the 'Frank S'. I've photoshopped on a bunker and extended the side tanks - so potentially it's quite a straight forward job and should prove to be a convincing, robust and most of all different model, perfectly suited to the EJ&KLR.

So now it's just a case of waiting for a Frank S to come up for sale somewhere at a reasonable price!

Thanks to Bruce Nowell of the Hillhead and Dales Light Railway for permission to use the original photograph which is off his excellent 798.xx class 0-6-0 tender tank used on the Austrian OBB after the war.

Sunday, 13 March 2011


Well this evening has been hard, it seems Sundays always are since Dad passed away, I often find myself out of sorts, drifting, day dreaming, being non productive.

Despite the big track and coach order due this week I've been scouring the Internet for a reasonably priced LGB Rugen or Frank S, as I want to make a representation of the Franco Belge KDL 11 tanks converted after WW2. Inspired by both their use in Austria as well as Sir Drefaldwyn on the W&L. Alas no luck, luckily, as I'm lacking train funds until later in the year!

So I dug out my sketchbook and copied a photo in the Middleton Press Austrian Narrow Gauge book to depict my U tank and new coaches.


It helped. Day dreaming and surfing for LGB locos though doesn't feel productive though. Time heals.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Expansion of the passenger fleet...

With the forthcoming season shaping up to be a good one with the new line commissioned in the garden this spring the operating department have invested in some additional passenger carrying vehicles to ensure the line can meet forecasted visitor numbers.

The line's Chief Engineer has a thing about Austrian narrow gauge and has managed to source a set of three former OBB bogie coaches still in overall green from storage in South Wales.

In reality - thanks to a plea to Jeremy at Dragon G-scale I've aquired three coaches that are more suitable for my OBB U-class 0-6-2T to haul around the expanded garden layout. Initially I plan to use two with a third held in reserve, or potentially to sell on.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Shed interior coming to life...

I've spent a few hours this evening tinkering on the shed interior, making up light switches, plug sockets (plasticard and marker pen), a work bench and fitting some of the tools from the Bachmann Shay accessory pack (some to a rack on the wall and the excellent bench mounted vice).

What do you think?

I think it needs a stove in the back corner and then I can start on the exterior detailing.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Shed roof finished...

This stage of the engine shed build is excellent as each job is completed the shed looks more and more finished!

I've fitted some roofing felt to the roof. I used in back to front sticking the stoney side facing down. It was attached using outdoor guttering sealant, a flexible rubber that's black and never completely dries so should hold the felt down in all weathers. The centre was scored from the stone side and folded both ways once, then placed onto the sealant and worked down from the centre of the roof. Once firmly fixed I used a knife to trim the felt to size. The edging will just need touching in with black paint this evening now.

So what next on this build? Interior detailing I think, and then it'll be a stove, smoke chimneys and gutters/drainpipes to finish it off!

Friday, 4 March 2011

Track ordered...

My wallet is a lot thinner as of this morning, and a large order with Dragon G Scale!

The Chief Engineer has instructed the shed master to ensure the line's diesel shunter is ready for the delivery in a couple of weeks so it's been brought in to the shed for a quick service.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Version 11 and that's it (for now...)

Well what a journey - 2 months of research, advice, internet trawling, prototype inspiration and track planning let us from basic set-track type trainset designs, through graded loops and now back to something straight forward, yet attractive, achievable and with scope for future expansion. Ladies and gents I present Version 11...

I'll be placing the (considerable) track order with Jeremy at Dragon G-scale in the next 48 hours!