Saturday, 28 March 2015

Thornycroft No.1 Van

The No.1 van was the first vehicle to be made by Thornycroft in 1896 and still exists today in The British Commercial Vehicle Museum collection. It was steam driven and heralded the start of commercial vehicle design and manufacture by J.I. Thornycroft.

The model has been on the agenda for some time because I was not sure what material to make it from. There were a number of concerns from an N gauge modelling aspect for something so small, like the thin window frames for the large open windows, body planking and cart wheels.

In the end the bodywork was made quite quickly by using actual photographs of the prototype. These were opened in a photo editing Application and scaled to an assumed cabin entrance height of 6 feet. The panels were then inkjet printed onto photo paper, cut out carefully to preserve the thin window frames and glued to make up the rectangular body. The cross braced bars in the side windows are thin wire glued in place.

Inside is the oil fired steam boiler made from FIMO clay.

The cart wheels were initially a problem. I could have bought some from P&D Marsh but as I did not know the dimensions of their units and only needed 4 not 20 I could not justify the purchase. The solution was FIMO clay again and after several failed attempts acceptable wheels were achieved.

In the photo below is No.1 van and a J class lorry in 1916 war department livery, which by the 1930s (our model period) was a museum piece itself. They are on display outside the Museum Garage at the Thornycroft factory. The odd angle is because the roadway slopes away from the garage doors.


Sunday, 22 March 2015

Wagon Train

This posting concludes what turned out to be a 3 month project to recreate the goods train pictured in our reference book*. Our train includes five 1-plank wagons with tarpaulin covered loads and is hauled by a G6 0-6-0T locomotive. The view of the train in the book is truncated so we can't see its full length but our model train length shown here is ideal for the size of our layout.

The G6 is a brass etch kit from N Brass Locos (with added detailing) on a GF 57xx chassis and its build was described here: G6.

The final addition to the loco was the lettering and numbers from fox transfers, which were extremely fiddly to apply, being so small.

Number 278 is shown in the book photo. It was sheded at Basingstoke and operated goods traffic between the Thornycroft factory and the marshaling yard at Basingstoke. The 02 class loco was also used for this purpose.

The 1-pank wagons have scratch built bodies and loads on Peco chassis. Their build was described here: 1-plank.

* The Basingstoke and Alton Light Railway by Dean et al.


Sunday, 15 March 2015

A view from behind

Most people won't see this view. Looking behind the station From the operator side.

Sharing information

One of the great things about going to a show is meeting people who know a bit aabout the line and can share some further information. A very kind man introduced himself and had some pictures we had not seen before.  He kindly left us a card with a picture depicting the station in the same year of our layout.


One of the popular questions we get asked is, is it dcc controlled? The answer is no, it's lunch box controlled:

Saturday, 14 March 2015

That's it for today

All done for the day and neatly packed away.

What a great day with an unexpected surprise.  Hopefully see you tomorrow.  Show opens at 10am. 

Lazy afternoon

As the day gets quieter we set the layout to southern period.

best in show

Completely unexpected, we won best in show.

Let the show begin

The Basingstoke model railway show is about to start. And we are ready to go.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

One for the Bus Anoraks

From what I understand Thornycroft was not a prolific bus manufacturer, unlike their lorries and vans. Nevertheless there are a couple of photos I have seen of bus chassis under test on the road.

These photos are quite rare and unusual among the plethora of lorry photos in that they depict the chassis loaded with 1 ton concrete test loads, representing a typical payload for the vehicle during road tests.

Seeking variety in the models I am making for our Thornycroft Sidings layout I choose to model the XC chassis as there is a detailed article about it in The Commercial Motor Archive.

The XC chassis was designed in 1931 to  meet the special requirements of Thornycroft's customer - The Eastern National Omnibus Co., Ltd. They wanted a very low frame that allowed for a easy step up onto the rear passenger entrance platform. In fact the height from ground to platform was only 11.75 inches.

Thornycroft supplied five chassis for use on bus routes in Essex. The bodywork, accommodating 51 passengers on two decks, was made by another company - Strachan  (Acton) Ltd.

The vehicles were not in service for long, being withdrawn one by one between 1941 and 1949.

Photo right is the model. A photo of the prototype on which it  is based is in the article linked above.

The chassis is being driven from the test load storage area between the Running Shed and Repair/Experimental workshops towards the main entrance where it will journey to the long, straight Buckskin Lane a mile or so away for brake testing.

Without colour photos I have assumed the chassis and engine cover were grey primer. A temporary body wrapped the chassis to contain the test loads. I assumed this was wooden. At the rear you can see the chassis jutting out. This is the rear platform supporting frame.

The model was designed in CAD and 3D printed as a kit of parts, except the mudguards are paper and the driver is made from wire and FIMO clay.


Sunday, 8 March 2015


Back in the Autumn of 2013 an article I wrote about our Cliddesden layout for the 'Your Model Railway Village' part work series was published in issue 8.

A guy on YouTube has reviewed every issue of the partwork and he has just (March 8th 2015)  got around to reviewing issue 8.

If you would like to hear what he had to say about my article then play his video from time mark 3.10 minutes. By the way, it is pronounced Clid-des-den.

It seems to be all happening this week as the layout is being exhibited on Saturday and Sunday.

Aldworth Science College, 
Basingstoke, RG22 6HA 
Saturday 14th March 10-5 and 
Sunday 15th March 10-4 

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Cliddesden at BNHMRS Show March 2015

See Cliddesden in person at Basingstoke North Hampshire Model Railway Show:
Aldworth Science College, 
Basingstoke, RG22 6HA 
Saturday 14th March 10-5 and 
Sunday 15th March 10-4 

Stand 6L in the Gymnasium. Hope to see you there!

In the mean time to refresh your minds of the layout. Here is a video of the local goods train and passenger train arriving and departing from Cliddesden station.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...