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 England 0-4-0ST PALMERSTON

It did not take long for a new Roundhouse England to arrive here for some attention. The owner already has a maroon England from a different manufacturer so he decided that he would like a green one. To the best of my knowledge the full-size Palmerston has never carried the Festiniog's green livery so we had some latitude as to which scheme we went with. The original plan had been to apply the scheme carried by PRINCE in the 1960s, with the black tank top, tank front and cab front but we decided it was a bit austere and to go with the scheme applied to WELSH PONY just before its recent return to traffic. This meant the loco has two lining panels on the tanks sides, instead of one, green tank top and front and green cab.

This is not so much a "might have been", more of a "might be one day". Who knows?

(Photo of WP from Ffestiniog Railway Society web site)

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

A Roundhouse Lilla with blower pipe, injector water handles, lubricator drain pipe and Penrhyn-style lining with satin finish. (Photo by James Trebinski)

Finescale Engineering Quarry Hunslet 0-4-0ST LILIAN

This Finescale Engineering Quarry Hunslet had suffered some impact damage to its rear end, causing the cab back sheet to part company with the footplate and the paintwork to be scratched. This cab back was repaired and the cab, footplate and saddle tank were then stripped back to bare metal and repainted in satin black with Penrhyn-style lining. Doing this allowed me to make a couple of changes to the loco as supplied in that I added lining to the cab front panels and also positioned the name plates in the slightly odd positions in which they were and are carried by the full-size loco (GWYNEDD, for example, has them higher up the tank side and further towards the front).

Accucraft Mortimer 0-4-0T No. 41 THISBE

THISBE started life as standard Accucraft Mortimer 0-4-0 saddle tank. It soon lost its rear coal bunker but the owner is a Tralee & Dingle Railway fan, so he wanted something a bit different. The inspiration was T&D No. 4 built by Hunslet in 1890 as a tram loco for use on the Castlegregory branch. A duplicate set of controls were provided at the smokebox end to give the driver a great view in both directions. I say inspiration as this is definitely not a model of The Real Thing, but hopefully it captures the essence of it.

First job was to fit 2-channel radio control. Second job was to make the loco work! A previous owner had fiddled with the valve setting, which made it run superbly forwards, but not at all backwards.

The rest was all bodywork, but how to create the second cab? Making a copy out of brass sheet was considered but it would have been a lot of work. I then put out an appeal for a spare Accucraft body. One of my other customers got in touch to say that he was about to send me his new Talgarth for conversion to coal-firing and a replacement 7/8ths body, so I could use the body off that. Great! However, on arrival I found the Talgarth body was made of Accucraft's weapons-grade steel, making it impossible to solder, rather than the brass used for the Mortimer. A bit of chopping around and the two parts were mechanically linked together. Lots of bodywork filling and flatting followed to hide the join.

All of this was followed by a strip and repaint in to the owner's colour scheme. (Second photo by Hunslet Engine Company)

Roundhouse Engineering Lady Anne 0-6-0T LADY ALDA

People have some strange ideas that never cease to puzzle me. Lady Alda is a manual control gas-fired Roundhouse Lady Anne built from a kit. It arrived here in a shade of blue that gave it more than a passing resemblance Thomas The Tank Engine, so the current owner asked me to repaint it and repair the running gear, which was showing its age. It was time that had affected the latter rather than mechanical wear, and so all six cylinder O-rings (valve spindle, piston rod and piston x 2) had gone hard and brittle and were replaced with new items. ` Repainting and the simple red lining were easy enough but I found some strange things when stripping it. It was missing the cab back, fair enough, but it also had a battery box installed under the cab roof. On a manual loco? Why? There was no sign of any of the other parts needed for radio control, so I doubt if it was a "might do one day" thing. Roundhouse supply as part of the kit a very nice hinge bracket for the cab roof, but there was no sign of that either, just two bits of rough brass angle instead. Again, why? Normal practice is to put the lubricator in a cab doorway allowing for easy access, but no, on this one it is in the middle of the cab floor with a bloomin' great hole cut in the back of the bunker to allow very fiddly access to the drain. It is as if the builder took one look at the parts and instructions provided and thought "I can do better than that" and then couldn't. Anyway, all sorted out now and running very nicely...

Roundhouse Engineering Festiniog Railway 0-4-0STT LINDA

This loco arrived with me in scruffy condition with the intention of doing a repaint and lining in Festiniog Railway condition but it soon became clear that all was not well.

The brown boiler and missing smokebox door were a puzzle when it first arrived but dismantling soon revealed the extent of the abuse it had suffered in the hands of a previous owner, all caused by having no water in the boiler when lit and being left for a l-o-n-g time in that condition. It must have got extremely hot! And then somebody added some cold water! All the signs are that this loco had been either lit up or left lit without any water in the boiler for a long, long time. Doing this usually results first in blue smoke as the paint gently scorches. It would only be sometime later that the paint would start to discolour, name plates fall off and things start to melt - the smokebox door in this case.

Then, somebody has realised what was happening. Rather than turn off the gas and let it cool down they have decided to squirt some cold water in to the very hot boiler. The water turned instantly in to steam (known as flash steam) at an immense pressure. The safety valve cannot cope with this sudden increase and so the boiler is pressurised way beyond its design parameters until the safety valve deals with it. It is this instant pressurisation that has caused the normally circular burner flue tube to collapse.

The third picture shows the standard Roundhouse gas burner, which has deformed under the effects of heat and gravity either side of its mounting plate.

The fourth picture shows the view through the flue tube, showing it to be partially blocked.

The fifth shows the boiler after sectioning, showing the thickness of the deformed tube.

There was no way I could countenance further use of the boiler in that condition so a new one was kindly supplied by Shawe Steam Services.

As well as the collapsed boiler flue and bent burner, every single O-ring in the chassis had been "cooked" in to a brittle state and needed replacement, and the insulated wheels with their plastic bosses no longer ran true. New wheels and connecting rods provided by Roundhouse were needed.

A chassis rebuild later saw it running again very nicely, which was followed by attention to the scruffy paintwork and new name and works plates provided by MDC.

Archangel Corpet-Louvet 0-6-0T No. 75

This Corpet-Louvet 0-6-0T for 45mm gauge track was built by Stewart Browne of Archangel fame.

The model came here with only the frames, wheels and a few other details painted.

After dismantling, a good clean, bodywork preparation, and lots and lots of masking etch primer and two coats of satin green were applied followed by red lining and black edging, all based on the full-size loco.

It was then a case of reassembly and dealing with a myriad of the smallest of details, including the superb railway, number and works plates kindly provided by MDC.

DJB Engineering Lynton & Barnstaple Railway 2-6-2T EXE

As well as supplying their Lynton & Barnstaple 2-6-2T locos in ready-to-run form DJB Engineering also supplied them in kit form, and this loco is one of those. Cosmetically it was in rough condition when it arrived here but the paint hid a multitude of sins.

First job was to strip all of the paint, every last bit of it. Fortunately, no expense had been spared with the etch primer, in that there was no expense on etch primer and none had been used. Most of the paint had become detached from the brass and visibly moved when pressed with a thumb.

Bodywork construction was poor with many failing joints and fastenings and with some odd features which only left me thinking "Why did you do it like that?". A myriad of repairs later turned it in to a solid body that was square and not falling apart.

Painting then followed, in the rarely seen scheme used by the L&B between 1903 and 1913 and incorporating lots and lots and lots of lining.

Association of 16mm Modellers Victory 0-4-2T VICTORY

The initial email from the owner of this 16mm Assocation Victory asked me simply to repaint it from grey to satin black, and sort out the valve timing. He had bought the loco second-hand and was not responsible for its construction or choice of colour. Satin black is the colour I spray the most so it was not an issue to fit it in the other work going on at RHLW. However, I did ask the owner to strip the grey paint, which he did. When it arrived here the body was in bare brass but every piece of the etched brass detailing (rivet strips, beading, etc.) had detached and was loose in a box of bits. Enquiries with the owner revealed they had detached during the paint stripping process. I began to smell SuperGlue.

First job was to dismantle the body completely. What little solder there was - a few spot welds - was some odd stuff that my soldering iron would not melt. The rest was welded together with SuperGlue and several joints had failed. A few minutes with my big gas torch soon had the body returned to its component parts. It was then cleaned of all solder and SG residue and rebuilt from scratch using solder as the only adhesive, including for the detail parts, followed by a repaint and some simple lining.

The chassis needed more work than expected too, with various parts loose or not fixed correctly. The poor performance reported by the owner on this radio controlled loco was corrected by replacing the manual regulator for one designed for radio control.

Roundhouse Engineering Festiniog Railway 0-4-0ST LINDA

Hunslet 0-4-0ST LINDA arrived from the Penrhyn Quarry Railway (PQR) at the Festiniog Railway (FR) in July 1962. At first it ran in pure PQR form, but it was inevitable that the FR would make some alterations to improve its usability on their railway. Oddly, one of the first alterations was to the cab back with the upper half being removed completely, presumably to ensure that the loco crew always got a good soaking when running in reverse. The well-worn PQR livery of black with blue and red lining remained for a while.

The model loco shown here, called LINDA, started life as a Roundhouse Engineering CHARLES but it was modified to look like its younger sibling. First thing to go was the upper half of the cab back. Next thing to happen was the changing of the cab front spectacles from square to circular. You can be assured, dear reader, that the first of those two events enabled the second to happen. Next job was to replace the rectangular sand pots and their operating levers with cylindrical equivalents, kindly supplied by Roundhouse.

All of this was followed by a repaint in to PQR livery and some weathering to represent the loco as it appeared all those years ago.

This page was last updated on 15th January 2022