May 2020 – Virtual Meeting

9 managed to attend the May virtual meeting (or virtual May meeting?) via the wonders of the Internet.


David Churchill showed us a pair of C50 Hungarian 4 wheel diesel locomotives built using some special order HO scale 3D printed bodies by James Hilton (based on his OO scale prints) running on Tomix TR-02 chassis that have been cut down to fit.


David had also progressed with the new Minitrains tram loco with the Tramfabriek conversion so the etched brass plates had been fitted along with some lining and it was awaiting a final coat of varnish.

Blair Hobson showed us around his new HOe Layout “Ostrovia” (, where scenic work is progressing well, along with a selection of stock that included a pair of Posch Modell HOe C50s to compare with David’s and a blue MAV coach from the same source.

Mac Strong showed us progress on his 2 009 layout modules. These were seen at the February Moorfield meeting, but now one – a scene with the line crossing a small river – is largely finished and the other – a small station halt – is progressing well. Mac also discussed issues he has had with the Kato Portram chassis of his latest kit built loco, a Narrow Planet Alan Keef K12.


Tim Williams had been busy with his 3D printer, having made a new winding house for the slate quarry diorama (due for display at the Bala Lake Railway’s museum) along with a selection of ‘bar’ section rail. He also discussed a possible alternative power source for the HOf layout ‘Insulation Lumber’ seen last month in the form of a Wilsco D20 stationary steam plant linked to a dynamo.


Steve Metcalfe announced that the Grainge & Hodder baseboards for his planned industrial layout based on the Bowater’s (Sittingbourne & Kemsley) system and showed us the first buildings, including an incinerator plant, made from American HO kits left over from his earlier modelling career.


Ben Powell showed us progress on his new layout, an Ironstone system’s narrow and standard gauge interchange, that will include a Corgi face shovel that he had repainted from its LMS livery and weathered, along with a selection of narrow & standard gauge Pecketts.

Bens diggerBens-LayoutBens-layout

Julien Webb had been digging about in his lost projects box and had come up with some South African Railway’s 2′ gauge stock as a change from the brace of Gamecocks he had been working on. The wagons – a B class from a Worsley Works kits and a pair of DZ wagons from the Boston Largs kit – had been sprayed in a red oxide livery and the V-16 class guard’s van (Worsley) had been fitted out with full interior details (thanks to a set of plans from Will King) and was slowly progressing through the paint shops. Julien had also been keeping his kit stash restocked with the purchase of a pair of the new Narrow Planet Baguley McEwan Pratt ‘677’ 10HP Class 0-4-0PM kits and the requisite Tsugawa TGW TU-DB158 chassis from Japan and 12v motors from Tramfabriek.


April 2020 – Virtual Meeting

West Midlands Narrow Gauge Group virtual report, 13th April

Thanks to the IT knowhow of Tim Williams 9 of us were able to take part in an on-line meeting, a week after a trial run on our scheduled meeting night (April 6th) ironed out a few bugs.

Tim showed us progress on his latest project, a HOf logging line on a 1m by 45 cm piece of foam insulation board, including some log carrying bolster he had 3D printed at home (including the 6.5mm gauge wheel sets) and some pointwork bases at considerably less cost than the Busch versions. Tim had also been using his 3D printer to make some bespoke tracksettas for Lee Allen for 6″ and 9″ curves to help Lee with track laying on his planned new 6′ by 2′ layout “Mawddach Sheds”.

Blair Hobson was able to join us briefly until his phone’s battery ran down and showed us progress on his new HOe layout “The Kingdom of Ostrovia” and his latest acquisition of a 3D printed Resita locomotive body on an 0-8-0 chassis built by Ben Powell using a Farish 08 with RT Models parts to add a 4th axle and working valve gear.

Julien Webb eventually managed to get a working connection and was able to talk about his current workbench projects rather than just listen to everyone else! These include some figures for his Nechelles Government Railway directors saloon (that’s only been waiting since 2005 for passengers after being built from an Eisteddfod coach for a Chairman’s Challenge), a brace of SRB ‘Gamecock’ chassis that have been progressing very slowly as demonstration stand fodder, a pair of RT Models ‘Chattenden’ diesels (one from the late Pete Smith’s collection) that need finishing and the chassis for the next build. As a change for ‘old’ stuff he also showed a chassis that Ben Powell kindly built from a Farish 08, Robex printed cranks and RT models valve gear for a Dundas SLGR 85 / W&LLR 14 white metal loco kit.

David Churchill had also been busy, having wired up a small pizza test track that allowed us to see his latest model running. This was one of the new Minitrains tram locos which David had enhanced with the even newer detailing kit from Tramfabrik that includes brass nameplates, coupling rods and other enhancements.

The plan is to try to continue with some form of monthly online meeting during the current crisis, and these will probably be taking place on the ‘usual’ meeting nights.

Nechelles Government Railway

Julien Webb Writes:

Whilst the regular monthly meetings of the West Midlands Narrow Gauge Group are on hold, as are all the events (both full-size and model railway), due to the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak we thought we might try blogging about what group members are up to with all the free time we find ourselves with.

So, for our first post welcome to my workbench – and yes, it is tidier than usual! 

So far I’ve been trying to catch up on some things that need finishing and one of these is the Nechelles Government Railway (my “freelance colonial 2′ 6″ gauge railway” that I’ve yet to build…) that was converted from a Dundas Eisteddfod coach kit for one of the 009 Society’s Chairman’s Challenge AGM competitions a number of years ago. Whilst well detailed inside it lacked any VIPs so I’ve spent the past few days painting and fitting some…

These have come from the Monty’s Models range from Dart Castings (no connection other than a satisfied customer), and I’m also working on a Steward figure (converted from a ‘Station Staff’ figure by carving off his hat) to go into the galley kitchen.

March 2020 Meeting

The 009 Society

West Midlands Area Group

Report of Area Group Meeting at 7.30pm on Monday 9th March 2020

by Angela Baker, Model Reporter

After the record excesses of last month’s 25th anniversary bash, we settled back to an almost dignified attendance of 21 persons for our March area group meeting. But there was still plenty of narrow gauge business to conduct, so that’s what we did.

Peter Hardy’s test track offered the usual dependably dignified service. Will King gave another run-out for his Saltford Models vertical boiler large Penrhyn Port class 0-4-0 loco, now sporting black livery and a highly dignified Victorian driver. Will also ran his WHR Vulcan 0-4-0T by Spooner & Co, a Brian Madge custom chassis with a Robex 3D body currently in red-oxide primer. Again awaiting the road with dignified patience was Peter Hardy’s white metal ‘Linda’, now with ‘tender behind’ – a Dundas kit with one of Peter’s ‘own-brand’ scratch-built chassis (hopefully Peter’s locos do at least get a test run when they’re at home!) Similarly side-lined was David Churchill’s Groudle Glen consist of 2-4-0T (white metal body with Minitrix chassis by Brian Clarke) with a brace of brass coaches, all permanently coupled for pick-up purposes – a 1990s acquisition from the 009 Sales Stand given some judicious DC fettling. In the RTR division, Steve Metcalfe’s more recent Fourdees Bowater Bagnall 0-6-2ST ‘Triumph’ was running with dignified smoothness after a spot of motion fettling by our Resident Locomotive Clinic Superintendent Ben Powell. Almost missed, but not quite, was Will’s tiny brass LNWR baggage cart from London Road Models, a nifty accessory which didn’t get a run as it happened to be at least 10mm gauge and wasn’t motorised (nor likely to be).

Not yet ready to go anywhere near a test track was Steve Mann’s Golden Arrow kit of the Welshpool & Llanfair Earl/Countess loco, a deadly serious combination of white metal body castings and daunting etched brass chassis components, plus Tenshodo motor. This was nothing like ‘still-in-the-metal’ – it was still in the box. Much debate ensued as to alternative assembly strategies such as sub-contracting. Steve had made more progress with two very nice Dundas wagon kits – a GVT goods van and Corris guards van No. 6 in Talyllyn livery sourced from ‘Rails Along the Fathew’ by Ian Drummond.

In our occasional library zone, David Churchill showed his newly acquired ‘Sentinel Locomotives and Sentinel-Cammel Railcars’ by John M Hutchings and Richard Johnson offered two volumes for the browsing thereof – ‘The Stonebridge Railway’ written and autographed by Roger Waring and ‘The Snailbeach District Railways’ by Andy Cuckson. Definitive works all, well-thumbed on the nite.

Our metre-gauge department was comprehensively covered by John Davies, who presented a fleet of his scratch-built locomotives on a length of 12mm gauge track, including ‘Secundus’, (now in black livery), a Marne Corpet-Louvet 0-6-0T in ‘pomme-verte’ livery (that’s apple-green to you and me), a Cote d’Or Corpet-Louvet 0-6-0T in sexy light-grey-n-black livery (as per Chemin de Fer de L’Ouest) and still-in-the-brass ‘Cambrai’, a Corpet-Louvet 0-6-0T used on the Northamptonshire Ironstone Railway, all of which have adapted Berliner Bahn chassis. Supplementing that lot was a Gem Beyer-Peacock 2-4-0T IOM loco, which will become No 6 ‘Fenella’ and a sizeable selection of assorted kit-built IOM passenger and freight rolling stock (3ft gauge, which is MUCH closer to 12mm track at 4mm scale than metre gauge, by all accounts).

Conducting kitchen duties as effectively as their loco-kit productions were Peter Hardy and David Churchill – thank you gentlemen.

We meet at Moorfield Hall, Hartshill Road, Shard End, Birmingham, B34 6QX from 7.30 to 9.30pm. There is a nominal charge of £3.00 to cover the costs of hall hire and refreshments. Our next meetings will be held on 6th April (first Monday, to avoid Easter Monday), 11th May (back to second Monday) and then 8th June 2020. If you have any queries, please contact Julien Webb at

Update from Julien Webb, group coordinator:
Since publishing this report the Covid-19 virus has rather more of an effect than anticipated, and we have therefore taken the decision to postpone the meetings scheduled for April 6th, May 11th and June 8th to try to reduce the spread of the virus amongst our members, their families and the wider public.
Hopefully we will be able to resume our monthly meetings from Monday July 13th, but if this is not the case we will inform our members via e-mail (if we have you address), update the calendar pages and post a message on our website, and we hope to be able to keep this website up to date with all the things we have been up to instead of going to our meetings, model railway shows and full-size railway events. As always, I can be contacted at the usual e-mail address (above) if you would like further information of the groups activities including updates as to future planned meetings.