This page shows some of the models that have been through the Rhos Helyg Locomotive Works recently.

Latest additions appear at the top of the page.

Please see the Gallery page for more finished models.

You may click on the pictures to see enlarged views.

Roundhouse Engineering Penrhyn Quarry Railway 0-4-0ST "LILLA"

The Roundhouse Engineering model gives a good representation of Lilla as it appeared in 2016, but there is always more that can be done to make a model look as close to The Real Thing as it is possible to do. The owner of this model Lilla had “had a go” with Lilla in 2011 so my instructions were to turn the model in to the loco as it appeared then.

There is always something rather special for me when taking an expensive brand-new model, never even seen by its owner, dismantling it and then attacking it with paint stripper, drills and grinding and cutting tools. Such was the case with this Lilla, and this is what I did:
 - The tool box on the running plate in front of the cab first appeared on the full-size loco around 2012, so after my target date. The box is very much a preservation-era item and not a permanent fixture, so it had to go. This involved replacing the reverser reach rod, which is part of the tool box on the model.
 - Another preservation-era item that needed attention was the vacuum brake pipes. Prior to 2000 the only brake available on the full-size loco was the handbrake. Vacuum brake equipment was installed for the first time in 2000 without dismantling the loco to do so. This meant that some of the pipe runs were not as neat or invisible as we would have liked. A later overhaul allowed the pipes to be relocated and hidden, as represented on the model as supplied. Back-dating to 2011 required removing the vacuum brake “swan neck” from the left side (as viewed from the front of the loco) footplate to the right side of the smokebox door. A representation of the vacuum ejector exhaust pipe was also added to the left of the smokebox, running along the footplate.
 - Lilla was built in 1891 and still carries its original saddle tanks. But rust never sleeps, and large patches were added to tank sides while the loco was at Penrhyn Quarry. There is a picture of Lilla at the quarry which shows the patches to have originally been riveted on and the name plates spanning the top joint, but these were replaced later by welded patches with the name plates below the top joint. These distinctive patches were added to the model, along with a single rivet above and to the left of the right side name plate. This rivet represents the sawn-off stump of a bracket that used to support a reach rod for the sanding gear, removed many years ago.
 - Various extra bits not supplied with the model were made and fitted, including boiler injector water valve control handles (either side of the tank in front of cab) and the steam chest drain cocks reach rod (right side footplate).
 - Various extra bits of dummy pipework were also added, including displacement lubricator outlet and drain pipes (on front of saddle tank) and the blower pipe (running from cab to smokebox on right side of loco).

On completion of the metalwork the body received new coats of etch primer and black, and was then lined in the familiar blue and red scheme used at Penrhyn and carried by Lilla in 2011.

Roundhouse Engineering Penrhyn Quarry Railway 0-4-0ST "CHARLES"

This Charles is finished in the pre-1936 (according to J I C Boyd) Penrhyn livery of brown and red. It was only later that the more familiar blue and red livery was used. The first job was to remove the name and works plates, which had been attached by a previous owner using epoxy resin. Needless to say, they did not come off without damaging the underlying black paint, so most of the main body had to be stripped back to bare metal then followed by coats of primer and black. Grrr.... a waste of time and money for the owner and myself: glue has no place on a live steam loco. Finishing touches included the brass ring under the chimney cap and a pair of new name plates by MDC.

Cheddar Models Hercules 0-6-0 No. 12 "MAIA"

MAIA had been in store for a number of years before coming here for inspection and repair before being used again. A number of problems soon came to light, and all caused by use of exceptionally hard water at some point. Chalky deposits were everywhere, including the tender water tank. This had resulted in the tender hand pump, the whistle valve and the boiler filler Goodall valve all ceasing to function as they should. The bottom fitting on the boiler water gauge glass was also blocked, and so gave a false reading of the boiler water level. A thorough descale and clean improved matters, and the various fittings were individually cleaned and checked. While here it also had its regulator and reverser servos replaced (one was dead when it arrived), had a Summerlands chuffer pipe fitted and had a Yatton Models TRXS radio control system installed.

Roundhouse Engineering Billy 0-4-0T No. 16 "ROVER"

A change from the usual black, blues, greens and reds, this yellow Billy received red and white lining edged in black, an all-over satin finish and name and number plates from MDC. While it was in bits the smokebox dart was changed from the wheel type to the two-handle type.

Roundhouse Engineering Millies 0-4-0TT "HEBE", "HERA" and "HERO"

Three little maids... I'm not sure what the collective noun for Millies might be, but here are HEBE, HERA and HERO. These arrived here as factory-fresh models and each then received the following changes:
 - Rhos Helyg Loco Works tender.
 - Re-siting of gas tank from cab to tender.
 - New cab inspired by the Isle of Man Steam Railway locos.
 - Re-siting of lubricator to improve access.
 - Chimney extension.
 - Smokebox handrail.
 - Door opening in cab back.
 - Fall plate (footplate) between cab back and tender front.
 - Fitting of Accucraft chopper couplings.
 - Installation of single-channel radio control.

A number of Roundhouse components were also fitted, including slide bars, crossheads, safety valve bonnet, front sand boxes, water top up system, boiler water gauge glass, pressure gauge, dummy whistle, water tank filler caps and screw jacks.

All of this was followed by a repaint in to the owner's standard stealth black lined in blue and red. Name and number plates were provided by MDC.

Roundhouse Engineering Lady Anne 0-6-0 No. 7 "WILLIAM ARMSTRONG"

WILLIAM ARMSTRONG is an interesting variation of the Roundhouse Lady Anne. It was built by the owner using kits supplied by Roundhouse but with modified bodywork and the addition of a tender. The bodywork parts were sent to me for painting in a specific colour: Muscat Green. This is the colour used on the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway's loco NORTHERN ROCK. My paint supplier and all other usual sources could not get even close to what was required, so a bit of research was needed. Fortunately a good friend works for the R&ER and he came to the rescue with a colour sample taken from the tin of paint applied to the full-size loco. I passed this on to my paint supplier, who scanned it and mixed the paint to match. Maroon lining and the usual cream/black cab interior completed my part of the job, and the parts were then returned to the owner for assembly. (Photo by Paul Humphries)

The Train Department ⅞ths-scale coal waggons

These coal waggons were built from TD52040 Waist Side Coal Wagon Kits supplied by The Train Department (USA). The owner decided he did not like the steel chassis and small wheels provided so these were replaced by the larger wheels shown. There are 206 individual components in each one of these wagons, of which 114 are the tiny black nails holding the strapping in place. Painting and weathering will be done by their owner.

The Train Department ⅞ths-scale Welsh slate waggons

These slate waggons were built from TD5105 Welsh Steel Slate Wagon Kits supplied by The Train Department (USA). They are made of laser-cut steel with whitemetal castings and are held together by bolts and rivets. A couple of modifications made during assembly have increased the rigidity of the bodywork and improved their appearance. After assembly they were painted and received various degrees of rusting and weathering.

David Bailey Designs ⅞ths-scale Penrhyn Quarry Fullersite waggons

Four Penrhyn Quarry Fullersite waggons of two different designs made up from David Bailey Designs kits and then suitably aged and weathered.

Chris Green 0-4-0 "VICTORIA"

An unusual machine, VICTORIA is meths-fired and is powered by a 2-cylinder oscillating engine driving a gear on the front jackshaft. It was purchased by the current owner at the 1988 16mm Association AGM. The works plates read GREEN / 1987 / ENGINEERS and the plate on the front reads NERRISGECH SLATE QUARRY, so not giving any huge clues as to who built it. However, an appeal for information on Facebook soon found the builder: Chris Green. Chris kindly wrote, "I built it in 1987. The oscillating engine was as built for me by Dave Baker, who is better known for Gauge 1 locos. It's very roughly based on a Sentinel quarry loco. I sold it to Tennents Model Shop in Halesowen, who then sold it on at the AGM. I used the funds to purchase my first lathe. As for Nerrisgech Slate quarry, you will have difficulty finding it in any books, but take a little look at the letters in my name. Glad to see it is still running after 30 years.". It came to me for a full strip and repaint, an overhaul of the steam engine to improve its running and prevent leaks, and replacement of the burner wicks.

This page was last updated on 27th January 2018