West Midlands Narrow Gauge Group – June 2022 meeting.

15 turned out to give us a full house at our June meeting.

Joseph Jacks brought along a Bowman 32mm gauge live steam loco of 1920s vintage. This was a non-runner that was looking for replacement piston rings (the originals were apparently asbestos rope!). He also had a Snailbeach Skylark loco for 009 (most of a Chivers white metal kit on a 3D printed footplate, buffers and cab roof) running on an N-Drive outside frame chassis. This hauled some home 3D printed Snailbeach hoppers that had received a wash of colour.

John Davis had been busy building, with his Clogher Valley loco completed and a County Donegal ‘Phoenix’ tractor he had finished earlier that day. He also brought along his latest eBay purchases, scratch built late 1950s/ early 1960s vintage models of Tralee & Dingle locos No. 3 2-6-0T and 2-6-2T No. 5.

Pete Hardy had finished the Narrow Planet 40hp Orenstein & Koppel loco seen last month, now finished in a smart blue livery. It went through its paces on Pete’s test track hauling a train of Pete’s scratch built stock. This including a rather nice tank wagon made from a short length of 15mm copper pipe that had been squashed into an oval cross section.

Also on Pete’s test track…

Ben Powell had purchased one of the new Fourdees 3D printed kits for a freelance 0-4-0 Peckett. Ben had started painting the parts prior to building and fitting a Minitrains F&C chassis he had managed to obtain.

Matthew Tozer brought along a selection of his stock. This including the latest additions in the form of a mini Bagnall 0-4-0ST running on a Tsugawa Koppel-A chassis hauling a rake of barrel wagons, all 3D prints purchased from eBay.

Paul Atkin brought along a very nicely finished “Wasp” railcar. Built from a Worsley Works ‘scratch aid’ kit Paul had fully detailed it outside and fitted an interior to hide the Kato chassis it was running on. The detail work being based on a set of photos taken of the prototype at Welshpool by David Churchill.

Tim Williams brought along the new section of Chwarel Tegid with quarry Hunslet ‘Alice’ (Brian Madge kit) with a model of the Dinorwic ‘yellow coach’ that’s now at Bala. Tim had also printed another of the yellow coaches (the smaller one now at Launceston). Unfortunately the print had warped so the axle boxes had splayed out and weren’t retaining the axles. What had worked were some Penrhyn ‘Midland carriage & wagons works’ slate wagons. These were running on Tim’s ‘Circle Line’ with some 3D printed Rubbish wagons (as featured in the new 009 Handbook) behind Tim’s ‘Winifred’ (another Brian Madge kit).

Dick Johnson brought along ‘Tren Bach’ that has seen some scenic work with more figures in place. Running on the night was Bachmann Double Fairlie “Merddin Emrys” and a train of Peco FR bug boxes, including one of the Platinum Jubilee special editions.

Moorfield Hall Meeting May 2022

14 turned out for our May meeting.  These included 2 new members Ian Willetts and Andrew Brush.

Will King brought along a pair of 16mm scale Simplex.  Apart from some copper wire Will had entirely made them on his own 3D printer.

Dick Johnson brought along ‘Tren Bach’ that saw a variety of stock running:

  • Ben Powell’s latest kit builds – a pair of the new steel peat bogie wagons from Chivers Finelines.
  • David Churchill’s latest purchase (a built N-Drive ‘Nellie’ ex-John Bruce) hauling a rake of Ben’s Innisfail coaches.
  • Ben Powell’s Sena Estates 0-6-0ST Peckett.
  • A Bachman Rheneus and some Peco FR Bug boxes from Dick’s own collection.

Peter Hardy brought along his test track, that like Dick’s layout saw a lot of traffic:

  • Paul Atkin’s Atlas tram loco (with kato chassis) and matching bogie coach.
  • A new Narrow Planet 40HP Orenstein & Koppel loco on a Bachmann Percy chassis from Pete Hardy.
  • A pair of Eggerbahn Railcars belonging to John Walker (recently overhauled by Julien Webb).
  • A Narrow Planet Barclay conversion of the Minitrains Bohler from Ian Willetts hauling a rake of Chivers bogie opens by Ben Powell
  • BenPowell’s Thomas Green 0-6-2ST, built from the RT Models kit.
  • A WD Simplex (Meridian body on Tomitech chassis), A1 models diesel and Kerr Stuart 90hp locomotive (Alen Holt print) all by Ian Willetts.
  • A Joueff Decauville 0-4-0 fitted with a new cab (ex Minitrains Bohler), also by Ian Willetts.

Not running on either layout, as the wheels were too far apart(!) was Julien Webb’s Londonderry & Lough Swilly (ex Clogher Valley) van.  Built some time ago from a Unit Models kit Julien had just replaced the chassis with a new 12 mm gauge Branchlines chassis.

Steve Mann brought along a circuit of Kato track and ran a selection of new stock.  A Dundas FR open that was almost finished.  Some Innisfail bogie coaches in a fetching red & brown livery. A selection of Dundas 4 wheel coaches in green. And his Vale of Rheidol brake van conversion (painted to match the bogie coaches). Also making an appearance was Steve’s 3D printed Talyllyn diesel ‘Alf’, hitching a ride in one of Ben’s Chivers bogie wagons.

West Midlands Narrow Gauge Group – April 2022 meeting

12 attended our April meeting.

John Walker brought along his test track.  He ran a selection of his stock, including a Langley Double Fairlie . He had built it when the first batch of kits released, and like John it’s lasted well.

John Davies brought along a rather nice 12 mm gauge 0-8-0ST. This had been built from a Berlinerbahn chassis and Hornby ‘Desmond body (in fetching Caledonian Rly livery). He also brought a part built 12 mm gauge Clogher Valley tram loco. As something a little different he also had an 009 Kerr Stuart 0-6-0.  This had been built from a Roxey Mouldings Metropolitan Water board loco on a Minitrix 0-6-0 chassis.

Tim Williams had been busy with his 3D printer.  It had been making a new winding house for the incline on Chwarel Tegid.  Tim had also adapted some of his failed 3D printed wagons into damaged and abandoned runaway wagons to add to the layout’s scenery.

Dick John’s layout (previously owned by Hugh Freeman) has now been christened “Tren Bach”. Running on the night was Dick’s Bachmann double fairlie “Merddin Emrys” joined by Steve Mann’s FR England tank “Princess”, new from Kato.

Steve Mann had also been busy with some model making.  His 3d printed Talyllyn ‘Alf’ Hunslet mines locomotive (a Shapeways print) now sported

a coat of dark green. He had also painted his Five79 Skylark on minitrains F&C 0-4-0 chassis in the same livery. Also fresh from the paint shops was Steve’s 4 wheel railcar.  Made from a Dundas Eisteddfod coach on a Kato 11-104 chassis it now has a pale green livery and is due to be named “Benbow”.  Whilst sorting through some boxes Steve had come across a Five79 Freelance Peckett 0-4-0 he had mounted on a Minitrains Krauss chassis that needed finishing off.

Joseph Jacks brought along his putative Snailbeach layout with its new engine shed. He also brought along some home printed Snailbeach hoppers that he hopes to add a system whereby they can be prototypically emptied through the bottom door. He also had the start of a Kerr Stuart Skylark in the form of an outside frame N-drive chassis and plastic card footplate. Also shown was a Kato 11-109 also fitted with plastic card footplate, buffer beams and dummy side frames. Joseph hadn’t quite finalised plans for the upper works yet, so watch this space!

Peter Hardy brought along his test track to test his latest purchase, a Bachmann Percy. This is destined for a Narrow Planet 40 HP Orenstein & Koppel 0-4-0T. Also being tried out was David Churchill’s Kato England chassis.

West Midlands Narrow Gauge Group – March 2022 meeting.

Our March meting saw a full house, with 15 attending Moorfield Hall.

Will King brought along his latest loco. Going back to 009 he had been working on a Langley WD Hunslet 4-6-0. He had re-motored the Mintirix chassis with a Tramfaberike motor,  and lowered the body onto the chassis for a more prototypical look. Despite the loco being in grey primer the results looked good.

John Walker brought along his test track and ran a selection of stock. His Roco 6 wheel diesel (recently fettled by David Churchill) was first up.  Then his two Bachmann double Fairlies. His Livingstone Thompson has been joined by an open cab Merddyn Emrys. Both locos were just back from Julien Webb who had fitted the etched nameplates and ModelU crew figures.

Ben Powell brought along part of his Industrial Layout. Even without movement it looks impressive. Ben also brought along his recent kit builds. The locos were a ‘Fiji’ Baguley Drewry and Thomas Green 0-6-2 ST “Masham” from RT Models. The wagons a trio of the new plastic bogie wagon kits from Chivers Finelines.

Geoff Harper brought along his Mintirains Ns2f. This was running much better after some fettling following last month’s meeting. It was joined by a Dundas Vale of Rheidol guards van Geoff had modified with a veranda end.

Steve Mann had been busy at his workbench.  A 3d printed Talyllyn ‘Alf’ Hunslet mines locomotive fitted with a Farish chassis  joined a pair of railcars built from Dundas Eisteddfod coaches. Moving up a scale Steve  had built a selection of 09 stock built from kits bought at NG North 2 days earlier. Also running was his Bachmann Double Fairlie Earl of Merioneth (another NG North purchase).

Peter Hardy brought along his test track and gave his K1 0-4-0+0-4-0 Garratt a run. It was joined by Julien Webb’s 2-8-0+0-8-2 Sierra Leone Garratt. This is a Paul Windle build that Julien had recently refurbished, replacing the split axle muff in the locos Bachmann chassis with spares printed by Shapeways. Being dwarfed by the articulated superpower was Joseph Jacks’ Kerr Stuart ‘Wren’ 0-4-0ST.

At the other end of the scale (pun intended) was Paul Atkin’s his 16 mm scale tram loco. this operated via bluetooth remote control linked to an app on his smartphone.

In the reading room (ok – on a table!) was Dick Johnson’s copy of the second edition of “A Guide to Simplex Narrow Gauge Locomotives” by D.R. Hall and J.A.S Rowlands.

February 2022 meeting – Back at Moorfield Hall

February saw 12 of us make it to Moorfield Hall.

Dick Johnson brought along his layout. This showed some more work on the scenery. Dick ran a trio of Bachmann Baldwins. He also ran his Bachmann “Merddin Emrys” in ‘as built’ condition with a rake of the new Peco FR bug box coaches.

Hugh Freeman made a welcome return to the group, bringing his new OOn3 layout “Barrow Road”. This is based on the track plan at Wantage with track by Tillig.  Rolling stock was built from various Worsley Works kits, and many of the tram locos were powered by Rietze Automodelle chassis.  There was also a guest appearance an Italian Os.Kar. HOm Railcar. Barrow Road is actually half the layout, with the other half a HOm model. When the 2 are linked one forms the fiddle yard for the other.

Matthew Tozer brought along some of his Fox Valley Light Railway 009 stock. He also took the opportunity for an impromptu painting & weathering demonstration.

Peter Hardy had been busy building. First was a Dundas SLGR 2-6-2T on a modified Liliput 0-6-2 chassis. He also had built a new chassis for his Dundas Ffestiniog 2-4-0ST ‘Linda’. Both got a run on Peter’s test track, along with the latest from Steve Mann – a second Roco diesel on a Farish 03 chassis and a scratch built bogie flat wagon – and a recently purchased MinitrainS NS2f diesel from Geoff Harper.

Tim Williams’ 3D printer had been busy making a new pair of platform trucks for the Bryn Tegid incline, some Dinorwic slate wagons with redesigned axle boxes and printed wheel sets and a ‘what if’ bogie slate wagon with 3D printed body, bogies and wheel sets.

January 2022 meeting – back online.

Six made it to our January meeting. This was held online due to uncertainty over potential changes to COVID guidelines in England with the change of the year.

Mac Strong gave us an update on his current layout build. This is a museum/ preserved line for his collection of DCC diesel locos. With the aid of a plan drawn up with RailModeller Express he showed what tracks he had laid, what was left to done. We also discussed a few options with respect to sidings, their use and possible operating sequences.

Julien Webb showed his 3D printed Avonside 0-4-0T now with name and works plates from Narrow Planet. He also showed a long term project (one of many!) in the form of an N-Drive Productions Lily. This has been modified to raise the cab footplate level with the running plate and to fit a pony truck.

Andy Foster had managed to obtain some Ninelines Welshpool & Llanfair rolling stock kits and a Dundas L&B Van and there was some discussions as to how best to tackle them.

Charlie Forbes joined us from the East Midlands and showed us some bogie vans. Each van was made from a pair of Dapol Gunpowder vans. He also showed two stone buildings – a station building and a water tower with tank. These were built from Pop Up Designs kits and clad in Scale Model Scenery stone with their slate strips on the station roof. This lead on to discussions about making 4mm scale windows and how they could be 3D printed.

That discussion was very useful as Tim Williams was also online with us. Tim went on to show us the latest things from his 3D printers. The first was a bogie slate wagon that was entirely 3D printed (body, bogies and wheel sets). This was running on Bryn Tegid with other 3D printed stock. Haulage came from Tim’s models of Winifred (Brian Madge kit) and a recently overhauled Blanche (Dundas body on Ibertren chassis). Blanche is destined for a recovered 4 mm scale model of Port Penrhyn. The other model off the printer was a 16mm scale Fairbanks Morse speeder with printed chassis frame, wheels and gears. Tim also showed progress with the 2nd hand Maid Marion (another Brian Madge kit) where the running has been greatly improved by Tim’s fettling.

David Churchill was able to join us to show his latest build. This was a Darjeeling Himalaya 4 wheel van with corrugated roof from a 3D printed kit obtained from India. David was also working on some artwork for 1970s style DHR decals, and had been trying out his recently purchased Silhouette Portrait cutter by drawing up a coach side to cut out.

West Midlands Narrow Gauge Group – December 2021 meeting

Thirteen made it to Moorfield Hall for our December meeting under the new Plan B anti Covid measures.

Peter Hardy had brought along his test track and his latest projects. These were a railbus and PW lorry based on Cooper Craft kits. Also running was a variety of stock from Matthew Tozer. First,  Bachmann WHR 590 Baldwin in black. This hauled  A selection of 3D printed bogie and 4 wheel wagons built from Dundas kits. These were lettered for his Fox Valley Light Railway. There was also a 3D printed rail lorry and tram loco.  And a freelance 0-4-0ST running on a pre-White Box Bachmann 0-4-0. There were also some hopper wagons and open coach based on those that ran on the Guinness system in Dublin.

Peter’s test track  also played host to David Churchill’s 3D printed NDM6 diesel from the Merseyside & South West Lancashire Narrow Gauge Group running on a Kato 11-109 chassis. David also ran a tiny 4 wheel ARU models chassis imported from Japan, possibly destined for a 3D printed Soviet railcar body obtained by Blair Hobson.

Dick Johnson brought along the layout acquired from Hugh Freeman. This now has improved scenics in the form of a wooded area and waterfall with accompanying stream. This allowed the trio of Bachmann double Fairlies – Andy Foster’s “Earl of Merioneth” in green, John Walker’s “Livingstone Thompson” in Maroon and Dick’s own “Merddin Emrys” in ‘as built’ condition – to run. These were joined by Peter Hardy’s scratch-built double Fairlie “Hengist & Horsa”.

John Davis had been busy building 12 mm gauge stock. He showed us a tram from the Giant’s Causeway Tramway to 4 mm scale and a Corpet 2-6-0T ‘Ainse’ from the Baie du Somme in HO. These were joined by a vintage Eggerbahn 0-4-0T in need of a little TLC. Going up again in track gauge, and also scale(!) Will King brought along his latest project.  This was a Baguley McEwan Pratt ‘677’ 10HP Class 0-4-0PM chassis in 16mm scale using aluminium channel section and 3D printed wheels & jackshaft cranks.



West Midlands Narrow Gauge Group – November 2021 meeting.

Fourteen made it to our November meeting at Moorfield Hall. We welcomed new members Matthew Tozer and Robert Griffiths, who had joined the Society at the recent GBMRS at Gaydon Motor Museum.

Peter Hardy brought along his oval test track that we haven’t seen for a while. On it ran Steve Mann’s Roco HOe diesel body on a Farish 04 chassis. Steve had started work on at the Gaydon show and the loco was nearing completion. Andy Foster’s latest Campbelltown & Macrihanish 0-6-2T from Fourdees streched its wheels. Star of the evening was one of the brand spanking new Bachmann Double Fairlies – Earl of Merioneth in 1960s green livery – that Ben Powell had managed to acquire. Based on the number of circuits it did the loco has no issues with 9″ radius curves on Peter’s test track!

Elsewhere in the hall Tim Williams had his ‘Circle Line’. On it was running a Brian Madge cabbed quarry Hunslet that Tim had recently acquired, but the running showed that it needed some fettling. Also running – wherever it liked! – was a battery powered 3D printed chassis for a SM32 Fairbanks-Morse speeder. This featured 3D printed frames, bevel gears and wheels.

Joseph Jacks bought along a rather nice work in progress diorama. This was based on the transhipment area on the Snailbeach & District Railway. It also featured some wagon chassis that Joseph had 3D printed.

Dick Johnson brought along the layout acquired from Hugh Freeman at the September meeting. This has sprouted a few more trees as part of its re-woking by Dick . On the evening it was running a variety of stock including, Dick’s powered snow plough and Andy Fosters C&M loco.

Paul Atkin has also brought along his layout, “Brende Lane’s End”. This ran a variety of stock during the evening, including a rather nice Peckett inspired pug bash on a Fleischmann 0-4-0 chassis.

West Midlands Narrow Gauge Group – October 2021 meeting.

Twelve made it to Moorfield Hall for our October meeting.

Peter Hardy brought along his latest layout, a ‘lock down’ project called ‘Norton Heath’. This is based on the track plan drawn up by Angela Baker for ‘West Midford’ – the replacement for Bowleggett Manor that we never got around to building.

The tracks on Norton Heath saw quite a variety of stock durning the evening. Steve Mann ran a Bachmann Baldwin in WHR maroon livery, with a  second from Andy Foster in Snailbeach livery. This was hauling a nice pair of freelance bogie hopper wagons. There was also, a crowd of Kerr Stuarts and a plethora of Pecketts from Ben Powell, were joined by a Peckett Gamecock chassis built by Geoff Harper from the SRB kit. Even Peter’s own K1 Garratt got a look in, and there may well have been other things that ran that escaped my attention.

Elsewhere in the hall Tim Williams had his snow scene out on display.  This seems to have advanced since we last saw it, with snow covered bushes and debris from the snow ploughing added to the land around the railway line. Tim also had a new layout/test track called ‘The Circle Line’.  This saw a rake of Tim’s 3d printed slate wagons of various types. Motive power when i looked was by some of Will King’s locos. These were vertical and horizontal boiler deWintons, Bagnall inverted saddle tank and McEwan Pratt / Baguley 10 hp petrol loco. Also away from Norton Heath David Churchill had brought along two NDM6 diesel bodies for 009, one printed in India the other obtained through Narrow Gauge Railway Modelling Online.

There was also a selection of books and magazines to peruse.

September 2021 Meeting – back in the ‘real’ world!

Fourteen made it to our return to Moorfield Hall in September for our first ‘real’ meeting since March 2020.

Tim Williams brought along his HOf layout, now christened “Malcolm & Forsythe’s Erratic Timber Supply Company and Forest Adventure Park”. During the course of the evening Tim demonstrated the Radio Control, and a charging system using dedicated track sections he hopes to incorporate into the layout. Tim also had some 3D printed models of the new Bala Lake Railway coaches.

Julien Webb brought along Xavier’s Creek and his 3D printed Avonside tank loco (David Malton via Shapeways), now with added electric lights and turbo generator.

Hugh Freeman brought along some 12 mm gauge stock to show. For 4 mm scale some Branchlines Clogher Valley stock and an old Tramalan Beyer Peacock tram loco, and a selection of French HOm wagons from REE Modeles. Hugh had also brought along a selection of surplus items that sold on for donations to group funds. This included a small French themed HOe layout snapped up by Dick Johnson.  This may well be seen at future group meetings after a move to Wales. This layout also saw a few things running on it during the meeting, including:

Some of Ben Powell’s locos, including his 0-4-0ST ‘Oakhill’ and 0-6-0 Sena Estates Peckett and a Kerr Stuart ‘Skylark’ – a Five79 kit on a Farish 08 with RT models conversion parts. These hauled trains of Ben’s industrial stock (009 Society 4 wheel wagons and Ben’s scratch built bogie flat wagons).

Steve Mann’s latest loco, a Farish 04 which he had fitted with a new 4mm scale cab, also had a run hauling Ben’s wagons.

John Davies had made a few purchases during lockdown. These included some rare American HO brass models, 5.5 mm scale stock and in OOn3 some vintage items from the Dai Bach Valley Railway. He had also built a 7 mm scale town hall, based on the Kibri HO kit, for a friend, constructed of salvaged materials (plywood , rocket sticks, cereal packets) and finished off with some polyfilla render and a finial turned on John’s new lathe.