November 2023 meeting at Four Oaks Methodist Church Hall

18 attended our November meting.

Andy Foster had purchased ‘Hartland’ (also known as ‘Jim’s treacle Mine’) from Jim Hart’s estate and brought it along to the meeting for some advice. Apart from reattaching some of the frog polarity switching wires and giving the track a really thorough clean it looked like very little needed doing.  With the help from a number of group members (pic001) we managed to get some faltering running from Andy’s Bachmann WD Baldwin on the layout by the end of the evening.

Matthew Tozer brought along a small selection of 3d printed stock to paint during the evening. There were a 4 wheel Indian style steel van and 4 wheel open wagon from T&S models. Also being painted were a pair of freelance 4 wheel tramway coaches from DoubleM Pro that Matthew had found on Etsy. (Pic002)

Colin Capel brought along the genesis of a new layout in the form of a Liliput 0-6-2 and standard gauge wagons on HOe transporter wagons (pic003).

John Davies had been busy making some buildings in wood (Pic004) with went very well with Colin’s short train (Pic005).

David Wilcox brought along his layout ‘Dolserau’. David has added a new station building based on that at Chirk on the Glyn Valley Tramway (pic006).

Paul Atkin was continuing work on the Kato Mini-Diorama board (pic007). By the end of the evening sported a platform and a small station building (pic008). Paul has given it the name of ‘Snap-it Halt’.

Joseph Jacks brought along his Snailbeach working diorama (pic009). It has has acquired some mine buildings (pic010). Continuing the card theme Joseph had also built a second Skylark from card and running on a Kato tram chassis (pic011).

Ben Powell had been busy with some coal wagons for his new gasworks layout (pic012). Built from Chivers plastic hopper wagons, Ben has painted and weathered them using spray cans. Ben also had his model of Monarch. It did a grand job of hauling the new wagons on Dick Johnson’s ‘Tren Bach’ (Pic013). Ben also brought a set of Bachmann Dinorwic Slate Wagons without sides he had recieved for review (pic014).

Steve Mann had been working on some tank wagons, using Dundas WD wagon chassis and Knightwing oil tanks. These made their debut at the meeting on Peter Hardy’s test track running behind Adrian Hall’s Minitrains 0-4-0ST Baldwin (Pic015). Adrain also ran his Minitrains Porter (pic016) and Plymouth diesel with some Roco mine tubs and a 3d printed brake van (Pic017).

Peter Hardy had started another loco project (pic018). This was a Mosskito (Ex Meridian Models) 0-4-2T O&K Plantation Loco.  Peter has fitted with a Fleischmann 0-4-0 chassis. The chassis had been shortened to fit the white metal body. Also, the motor has been eplaced with one of the core-less motor upgrade kits from Tramfabriek.

Alec Matthews had been busy with his 3D printer! There was a Kerr Stuart Skylark on a Farish 08 chassis modified with RT models parts (Pic019). Second, a heavyweight diesel shunter based on Yorkshire Engine Company. Alec had 2 versions.  One fits the Kato tram chassis (Pic020). The other uses a Narrow Garage chassis from Japan with added 3d printed outside cranks (Pic021). Alec had also printed some Campbelltown & Macrihanish stock (Pic022) that includes a break van, open wagons and a mine hutch carrier (pic023). Also, he had some Vale of Rheidol coaches that included a rather nice semi-open coach (pic024).

West Mids Group meeting, October 13th 2023 at Four Oaks Methodist Church Hall

19 members made it through the rains to our October meeting.

Ben Powell had been reworking his Hunslet 0-6-2T ‘Theakston’ and has substantially rebuilt it. (Pic001)

Ian Willetts brought along his 3d printed Bagnall wing tank on its Minitrains chassis. Initially this had a problem where the flywheel rubbing on the inside of the cab. Ian had solved the issue by removing the top section of the cab back and adding some flat metal supports for the cab roof. (Pic002)

Neil Davies brought along a 3d printed 60ph Kerr Stuart diesel running on a Farish 04 chassis. This pulled a train of Welshpool & Llanfair stock. This consisted of five Ninelines sheep wagons and three cattle vans (a pair of 3d prints and a Nine Lines kit). (Pic004)

Pete Hardy was finally able to get some time on his own test track, being able to run a Paul Windle built Kerr Stuart 0-6-2 T ‘Hobgoblin’ passed to him by Peter Cullen. (Pic005)

Alec Matthews had been busy with his 3d printer producing some Darjeeling & Himalaya open wagons (two shown in Pic006). His new double balcony brake van is based on the Glyn Valley Tramway design. Alec has lengthened it incorporate the second balcony (Pic007).  It looked rather nice with the Tralee & Dingle loco Alec had purchased at the Statfold Barn show (Pic008). Alec has also been working up some designs for bogie stock based on the Southwold Railway Cleminson 6 wheel stock. These included a drop door wagon (Pic009), low-sided wagon (Pic010) and flat wagon (Pic011), run on printed bogies (pic012) and have full underframe details (pic013). Alec had also purchased an ARU models 0-6-0 chassis (Pic0140). This that ran well fresh out of the box, and improved with the addition of some weight, though the Tralee & Dingle loco providing the mass was a little out of the loading gauge (Pic015).

Joseph Jacks brought along his Snailbeach 0-4-2T Skylark that was running very well, but unfortunately missed my lens. His a Talyllyn ‘Douglass’ made form one of Alec Matthews’ 3D prints on an N-Drive productions chassis (Pic016) didn’t!  Neither did his 3d printed Talyllyn brake and the (in)famous nuclear flask on a War Department E class wagon (pic017). Joseph had also been experimenting with card and using watercolour paints to add the details to make buildings, with a water tank as his first prototype (Pic018).

Paul Atkin spent the meeting building one of the Kato curved mini-diorama boards (Pic019).  He managed to finish the basic build by the end of the meeting (pic020, shown with Joseph Jacks’ guards van). Paul’s next challenge is to decide what to add in the way of scenery.

David Wilcox brought along his 009 layout ‘Dolserau’ with a selection of stock.  This included his diesel loco ‘Hercules’ and scratch built bogie wagon (Pic021), and an articulated railcar ‘Y Ddraig Goch’ made from one of the Airfix / Dapol OO gauge railbus kit (Pic022)

Dave Rowley took the controls of ‘Dolserau’ (Pic023) to run his 3d printed tram loco and some stock (pic024). These included some Welshpool cattle vans (3d prints from Nigel Brookes) and some very nicely painted Gloucester cattle (pic026).

West Mids Group meeting, September 8th 2023 at Four Oaks Methodist Church Hall


Our September meeting saw sixteen members attending.

Peter Hardy brought along his test track.   This saw a selection of 3d printed models from Alec Matthews. First was a Darjeeling A class 0-4-0ST running on a Minitrains F&C chassis. This pulled a train of DHR stock, also printed by Alec (pic001). Second, a Bagnall style 0-6-2 (Pic002). Third, a model of Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0 ‘Fiji’ (Pic003).  Both the 6-copuled locos used on an outside frame Farish 08 chassis.  Alec also brought a  3D printed Talyllyn (ex Penrhyn) open coach, TR coach No.3 and static 3′ gauge Manning Wardle 0-6-0T, but these escaped the lens!

Also making use of Pete Hardy’s track was Ben Powell’s Bagnall 0-4-4-0 ‘Monarch’. It also took a turn with Alec’s Darjeeling stock (pic004).

John Davies had progressed his Emmett layout “Pipet Crewcorem” considerably since it’s last visit in June (Pic005).

Another layout that was on display as a work in progress was a new HO/HOn3 module by Adrian Hall (pic006).

Matthew Tozer was building some Meridian Models kits at the meeting. he also had some finished models. These formed a small work train made from 3d printed bodies by Nemiminiatures (pic007).

Four Oaks Meeting, August 2023

Our August meeting saw twelve members attending.

Peter Hardy brought along his test track and his Southwold Sharp Stewart 2-4-0T.  This had acquired a new keeper plate that had improved the running. It pulled a pair of coaches that Peter had built from some Colin Ashby kits. Each coach used 1 1/2 kits to make a long wheelbase 4 wheel coach. (Pic001)

Charlie Forbes made a visit from the East Mids Group and brought along a selection of stock. First was a 3 car railcar set made from Hornby Pacer bodies (Pic002). Another 3 car set had been built from Dapol/Airfix railcar kits.  These were based on designs by Bernard Taylor published on NGRM-Online(Pic003). Finnaly we saw a pair of Clogher Valley coach kits from Fourdees .(Pic004)

Joseph Jacks had been busy with his Snailbeach layout (Pic005) with further developments to the scenery. Joseph had also been working on some rolling stock. Star was with a ‘danger train’ consisting of a Stenning Talyllyn gunpowder van, RNAD flat wagon with bomb load, converted War Department E class well wagon with nuclear flask. This was finished off with an RNAD break van and Kerr Stuart Skylark. (Pic006)

Alec Matthews brought along a selection of his 3D printed models. First was a Talyllyn Douglas on a Bachmann Percy chassis (Pic007) with a Talyllyn guards van (Pic008).  Alec’s re-worked Bachmann WD Baldwin (Pic009) always looks good. Alec had also done another ‘South American’ Double Fairlie.  This one is a second Bachmann Double Fairlie, with a replacement steel cab and other 3D printed details (Pic010).

Bob Taylor brought along his latest purchase of a Bachmann Ffestiniog Railway Linda with tender in a very fetching blue livery (Pic011).

David Churchill brought along a Narrow Garage 9mm gauge chassis(Pic012). This is destined for one of his Darjeeling Railway diesel locos 3D printed in India . David also had a Couillet 0-4-0 (Pic013).  This uses one of Alec’s 3d prints as a starting point and was running on a Bachmann Percy chassis.

West Mids Group meeting, July 14th 2023 at Four Oaks Methodist Church Hall

Our July meeting saw a bumper turnout of 16 (Pic000).

Dick Johnson brought along ‘Tren Bach’ after replacing the points on the layout twice. The first time to replace the originals that had failed. The second time when the replacements succumbed to thermal expansion. Quarry Hunslet ‘Alice’ was hauling a rake of Roco 4 wheel stock and a Kiso Forest break van from Minitrains. Despite the Roco stock being sold as N scale they didn’t look out of place with the 009 & HOe stock (Pic001). Dick also ran a Bachmann Rheneas with some added 3D printed details (Pic002). A Britomart pulling a train (Pic003) that included a pair of the new Peco FR bug boxes (Pic004) could also be seen.

Tim Williams made a welcome visit to a meeting (Pic005). He brought along a model of Port Dinorwic built by Kathy Millatt (Pic006) that Tim is looking after on behalf of the Bala Lake Railway. Tim has been reworking parts of the layout to make exhibiting it easier. This includes(adding a continuous run and some automation like  a shuttle unit to the OO ‘main line’.  To do that the 0-6-0 Jinty needed it’s DCC chip to be reprogrammed. Mac Strong had kindly brought along his DCC controller to renumber the Jinty (pic007) which was then tested with the shuttle unit (Pic008).

As Mac had the DCC set up the opportunity was taken to test run Tim’s DCC-fitted 009 Ruston.  This is  a Shape-way print on Tomitech chassis (Pic009).  Also running on DCC was Mac’s Lilliput German loco (Pic010) that usually sees service on Mac’s layout ‘Hunker Down’.

Ben Powell brought along his ‘industrial’ Bagnall Meyer.  Now named ‘Titan’ it joined with a scratch built RNAD bogie flat wagon (Pic011). These headed a rake of Bachmann RNAD stock and 009 Society kits on Peter Hardy’s test track (Pic012). Julien Webb brought along his latest item of stock. Made from the 009 Society scratch aid kit for the US Box Car (pic013), it has been built with the doors open and some unofficial passengers inside.

Peter Hardy has also been working with the 009 Society scratch aid kits.  Using the Australian open coach body parts shortened made a bogie coach. He had also made a second bogie coach with balcony made from Colin Ashby parts (Pic014). These joined a scratch built van and open built onto Peco N-scale chassis (Pic015). Also running but missing the photographer’s lens was Ian Willetts’ Minitrains Bagnall and Ben Powell’s Drewry diesel.  Something else that missed being snapped was David Churchill’s 3d printed kit for a DHR coach that had come all the way from India.

Adrian Hall brought along the pair of Shays seen at the May meeting. These have now been ‘tuned’ to vastly improve their running. Adrian’s next job was to detail them ready for use with the rest of Adrian’s HOn3 stock (Pic016).

David Wilcox brought along some SM-32 stock, (Pic017) and some bags of ballast left over from his garden railway that he was selling off to raise money for the group.

Matthew Tozer had brought along his model making tools and during the meeting built one of the Dundas Models Irish NG wagon kits (Pic018).

West Mids Group meeting, June 10th 2023 at Four Oaks Methodist Church Hall

Alec Matthews brought along his OOn3 layout Barrow Road (pic001).  This has had a few more additions since the last meeting. These included a 3D printed Ravenglass & Eskdale 3′ gauge Manning Wardle as a scrapped loco, complete with open smokebox with interior details (pic002). Alec had also acquired a rather nice brass bodied 2-4-0T built for 9mm gauge on a Branchlines Hawk chassis (Pic003). There was a little debate of what this had been based on

, with the conclusion being a mix of Welshpool & Isle of Man Beyer Peacock locos, possibly with a replacement boiler by Bagnall or Hunslet.

Trevor Street brought along some of his latest modelling.  First was a 3d printed 20hp plate frame Simplex running on a Kato Portram chassis (Pic004) . The other a Sentinel Doble locomotive (another 3D print) on a Kato tram chassis (pic005).

These ran on Peter Hardy’s test track with Peter’s Sharp Stewart, double Fairlie and K1 Garratt. Unfortunately I missed photographing Peter’s locos.

Joseph Jacks brought along his Snailbeach diorama (pic006). Latest developments are some mocked up buildings for the pit head and forge (pic007).  The Bachmann Snailbeach Baldwin now runs round the layout having had its front pony truck removed (Pic008). The truck hasn’t gone to waste as Joseph has used this under the rear of his Kerr Stuart ‘Skylark’ (Pic009). He also had the chassis for his Hudson GoGo tractor which was awaiting work on the cad for a 3D printed body.

Moving up several scales David Wilcox brought along his latest SM-32 project. This is a model of the Sentinel loco ‘Nutty’ built in plasikard (pic010).

John Davies brought along his latest layout (pic011). Pipet Crewcorem is a 12mm gauge 5.5 mm scale Rowland Emmett inspired layout (Pic012). 0-4-0 loco ‘Nellie’ uses a Berlinerbahn 0-8-0 chassis with the outer axles removed.  This is topped off with a scratch built brass body with plenty of lead to balance the very short wheelbase! Rolling stock and buildings have been constructed from card with some plastic barrels used on some of the wagons (pic013).

Adrian Hall brought along a selection of HOn3 maintenance of way vehicles (pic014). He was also reworking a number of wooden water car kits to make other works vehicles and crew cars during the meeting (pic015). Adrian has also brought along a selection of HOn30 stock that had a run on Peter Hardy’s test track(pic016).

Steve Mann brought along his test track. On it ran a Wasp railcar he had reworked from a poorly built 2nd hand purchase (pic017). The Wagonmaster – Narrow planet 3D body on Liliput 4 wheel diesel chassis – had progressed (pic018). Steve had also finished the Bachmann ‘Rusty’ conversion with Peco TWPS grids radiator that he has painted in an LNER green (pic109 &020).

Bob Taylor brought along his new test track. With help from Peter Hardy he proceeded to wire up the capacitor discharge unit and point motors (pic021). These were up and working by the end of the meeting, just needing the point motor pins cutting back.

Dave Marriott was also working on a project (pic022). This was a card mock-up of a loco shelter- essentially a ‘roof on sticks’ for a small industrial loco. Dave had brought along his Heljan Lyn Baldwin 2-4-2 to get the size right and the loco looked very much at home in its new accommodation, albeit temporary (pic023).


West Mids Group meeting, May 5th 2023 at Four Oaks Methodist Church Hall

12 attended the May meeting.

Adrian Hall brought along his HOn3 clip together track. He used it test a pair of ready to run Model Die Castling / Model Power 2-Truck HOn3 shays he had acquired. These had some issues, but Adrian had one running (less engine & line shafting) by the end of the evening (pic001).

Matthew Tozer was working on painting a 3d printed loco body from Budget Model Railways in a fetching red livery (pic 002 & 003).

Alec Matthews brought along Barrow Road with some of the re-working he’s undertaken since purchasing it from Hugh Freeman (Pic004).

Dick Johnson’s ‘Tren Bach’ made a welcome return. There was a Bachmann Baldwin theme with four on the layout one point. The Ashover’s”Peggy” in maroon livery was snapped hauling a special train. This was Bob Taylor’s Coronation special coach along with a supply of Purple Moose beer for the party back at the palace! (Pic005).

Steve Mann brought along his test track and ran in his Liliput 0-4-0 diesel in preparation for it’s new body. This is one of the Hunslet “Wagonmaster” Bord na Mona loco kits from Narrow Planet (Pic006). Also running were Steve’s Bachmann ‘Rusty’ with raised cab. In addition a pair of hopper wagons – one built from a Triang TT body, the other a Liliput HOe body. (Pic007) Both had been fitted with 009 bogies.

Pete Hardy had made it back from setting up at the Severn Valley show with his test track. Pete had also brought along two locos. “Elsie” is an 0-4-0 on a Fleischmann chassis re-motored with one of the Tramfabreik kits. The other was Sharp Stewart 2-4-0 “Helen” whose Farish chassis has been further modified with the fitting of a Tramnfabriek motor (Pic008).

Ian Willetts brought along his new layout “Pen Coed”. Ian had planned to bring this to an earlier meeting but a few issues with the wiring put paid to that. Much testing was undertaken at the meeting. Running were a selection of Ian’s locos that included a Kerr Stuart diesel on a Farish 04 chassis and a 3D printed Bagnall wing tack on a Minitrains Kraus chassis. (Pic009).

West Mids Narrow Gauge Group meeting, 12th April 2023

19 attended the April meeting, held on a Wednesday to avoid clashing Easter and the Sutton Coldfield Show.

John Davies had been busy in the workshop and had created a Roland Emett inspired loco from brass sheet and running on a 12mm gauge Berlinerbahn chassis. (pic001 & 002).

Hugh Freeman brought “Barrow Road”, his OOn3 layout and a selection of stock (pic003). This ran a variety of Hugh’s stock (pic004), including a REE railcar (pic005). The layout also played host to some visiting stock. This included some Isle of Man based coaches (pic006) and some Irish style open wagons (pic007) that were by 3d printed by Alec Matthews. Also a BEMO RhB ‘Krokodile’ bought by Julien Webb at the recent York model railway show (pic008 & 009) made an appearance.

Colin Capel brought along his new HOe layout, set in the Czech Republic. “Žedlitův Hradec” (Iron Castle) is built onto an old ironing board and is loosely based on ‘Jindřichův Hradec’ with a short section of mixed gauge track. (pic010)

Matthew Tozer was assembling a small selection of 3D printed stock. First was a Budget Model Railways loco to fit the kato chassis that was getting some filing and fettling (pic011). He was also working on a nice set of ‘works train’ vehicles (pic012).

Also working on some stock was Dave Marriott, who was assembling some Greenwich couplings and fitting them to some Bachmann WD stock (pic013).

Dick Johnson brought along his layout ‘Tren Bach’. This saw a variety of stock running during the night – much of which I missed! I did manage to capture Neil Davies’ 0-6-0ST Peckett (a Paul Windle) on a train of Bachmann RNAD vans from Andy Foster. (pic014).

Peter Hardy and his test track also made an appearance and like many of the layouts it was some visiting stock. This included a 3d printed Talyllyn-style gunpowder van (pic015) and GWR-esque ‘Cordon’ gas carrier (pic016. Both were 3D prints by 247 developments bought by Steve Mann. Steve also brought his Bachmann ‘Rusty’ fresh from the dettol paint stripping bath (pic017). Paul Atkin ran the railcar trailer he’d been working on at the February meeting, hauled by his Thornycroft ‘double-cab’ loco (pic018). Also running was the other exotic loco that Julien Webb had purchased at the York show. This was an n-scale Minitrix Bavarian 0-4-4-0T mallet (pic019). These joined Peter Hardy’s own Brittomart from Bachmann (than managed to escape my camera!).

West Mids Group meeting, 10th March 2023

Not a huge turn out for our March, as a few days of snow and sub-zero (centigrade) temperatures put people off from attending. Despite this 9 of us braved the cold weather.

Ben Powell had been steadily working on his latest pair of Bagnall Meyers. The first has an open cab back and was awaiting a coat of primer before export for overseas service. The other is for Ben’s industrial layout and was awaiting it’s valve gear.

Peter Hardy brought along his Southwold 2-4-0T, now largely finished and named ‘Helen’. This ran on Peter’s test track hauling Peter’s lates wagon in the form of a mobile crane made from an N-brass crane mounted on a scratch built bogie flat wagon.

David Wilcox brought along his latest layout that he had started building on the Monday using a spare shelf. “Dolserau” is a station of the freelance Gregennen Railway in Merionethshire, and David ran a selection of stock on the evening.

Four Oaks meeting, Feb 2023

21 attended our first Saturday meeting of 2023.

Julien Webb brought his test plank / layout ‘Xavier’s Creek”, but no stock. Thankfully some review samples sent to Ben Powell from Bachmann – RNAD brake van and flat – helped. Ben also brought a pair of Peco freelance vans fitted with new NEM compatible chopper couplings from Tramfabreik (also review samples).

Ben had also brought along his Proxonn mini milling machine. Several in the group had expressed an interest in how Ben was using it to assist with his scratch building. This was demonstrated in Ben’s finished Bagnall Meyer ‘Monarch’ and another pair of similar locos as works in progress.

Ian Willetts brought along a small layout. Whilst new to Ian it had originally been built by the late Pete Smith. Ian was seeking some advice about the venerable H&M point motors that Pete had fitted but not fully wired up.

Steve Mann brought along a new layout / test track (built with the help of Geoff Harper). Various things were spotted on it during the meeting. Steve’s Kato ‘Princess’ hauling a pair of bogie liquid chlorine bogie tanker wagons. These were converted from Triang TT items by fitting Peco 009 bogies. Also running was Steve’s new FR Linda with tender (Bachmann), a Chivers freelance Bagnall and Fourdees Models ‘Baroness’.

There was also some model making going on at the meeting. Geoff Harper working on a white metal Sierra Leone 2-6-2T kit. Paul Atkin working on a railbus built from two Maudslay bus bodies joined at the cab ends.

Adrian Hall brought along his 2 ‘Bear Creek’ HOn3 modules that incorporated the loco servicing facilities.

Alec Matthews brought along his embryonic layout. This has a track plan loosely based on Towyn but with a Colonel Stevens light railway feel. Alec ran a selection of his own 3D printed stock along with his converted Bachmann Baldwin. Ben’s Monarch made a guest appearance.

Blair Hobson’s brought along his latest HOe layout “Mittenberg” for a shake down run before it goes to NG North next month. It ran very well at the meeting (when Blair remembered to switch the cab control correctly!) and members spent some time looking for all the hidden figures on the layout.

Will King managed to make it home from North Wales and brought along a selection of SM-32 Simplexes. These ranged from a WD 40hp protected model to WD Bow-frames 20hp to a 12hp version that was in essence a powered skip chassis! He’d also brought along a white metal bodies 009 L&B 2-6-2 and Backwoods Barclay 0-4-0.

New member Dave Marriott set up a Kato test track and ran his Bachmann Baldwin in Snailbeach condition. Miles Bevan borrowed it and ran a pair of Fourdees “Avontuur” Manning Wardle 2-6-4T locos that looked very handsome hauling the Bachmann steel bogie coaches.

Pete Hardy brought along his test track. Whilst I missed most of what ran on it I did manage to catch Peter’s latest loco project in the form of a mostly built Golden Arrow kit for the Southwold 2-4-0T Sharp Stewart on a much modified Farish 2-6-2 chassis.

John Brookes brought along his ‘layout in a box’, a small 009 project also called “Foremill”. This ran a selection of John’s stock, including some rather nice conversions of Triang TT wagon bodies.