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.

DJB Engineering Robert coal-fired 0-4-0T

Another Robert, built here from a kit, and again featuring the the dummy coal bunker sections between the cab front and the back of the water tanks, filling the gap nicely and changing the look significantly.

Scratchbuilt Quarry Hunslet "UNA"

I was asked by a customer in Australia to paint and line the bodywork he had made for a Quarry Hunslet. He was building a model of the National Slate Museum's loco UNA and so the parts were painted in dark maroon with cream lining and black detailing. The loco is now complete and looks stunning. I am so pleased to have played a small part in its creation. (Photos 2 and 3 by John Bell)

Steve Acton 0-4-2ST "EDWARD THOMAS"

A representation of the Talyllyn Railway's Edward Thomas built by Steve Acton using Roundhouse Engineering chassis components. It came here for repainting of its boiler, smokebox and cylinder covers, some attention to the existing lining, a valve timing check and servicing of the safety valve.

Finescale Engineering Peckett 0-4-0ST "LEAMINGTON SPA"

Sometimes it is an absolute pleasure to do work on a loco, and those produced by Finescale Engineering definitely fall in to that category. LEAMINGTON SPA is a Finescale Peckett 0-4-0ST and it came here for remedying of its poor performance issues. Worn piston rings, a stuck slide valve head and a faulty safety valve all contributed, and normal sewing machine-type performance was restored after correcting these issues. Just lovely...

Roundhouse Engineering Millie 0-4-0T "LUCY"

The first picture shows this 20-year old Roundhouse Millie in as-received condition. I think the word "forlorn" accurately describes it. My work consisted of straightening out the smokebox and cab and then replacing its axles, bearings, eccentrics and rods, all of which were well worn. All of the old paint was then removed and it received etch primer, bronze green, black and the simplest of orange lining: just one panel each side but enough to "lift" its appearance and showing, once again, that sometimes less is more.

DJB Engineering Robert coal-fired 0-4-0T

Another variation on how to do the tanks on a DJB Robert... This one had been built from a kit and was acquired second-hand by the current owner. The first picture shows the loco in as received condition, complete with spacer blocks added between the front of the cab and the rear of the side tanks. Both the owner and I were rather taken by these but they were poorly made and had to go. They were replaced by the dummy coal bunkers shown in the later photos, firmly attached to the cab front and complete with matching rivet details.

Another change made to the tanks was removal of the fairing that encircled the smokebox front, leaving the tanks' inner edges vertical.

The original builder had made the cab back removable but this weakened the cab structure and necessitated a complicated roof hinge to allow the removal of the rear panel. Neither the owner or I could see the point of all this so it was rebuilt in standard configuration.

All of the paint was removed and the loco then received coats of etch primer, bronze green and black with orange lining.

Accucraft ⅞ths-scale Bagnall 0-4-0ST "SIR TOM"

The full-size SIR TOM or, as the nameplate says, SIRTOM lives and operates at the Threlkeld Quarry & Mining Museum and is used on short passenger trains to and from the quarry. It is well worth a visit! Accucraft's 7/8ths-scale model of the typical Bagnall 0-4-0ST provided the basis for this model of SIR TOM, and the owner and I strove to get as close as we could to replicating the full-size loco. Lots of changes were made, some by the owner (*) before the loco came to me, and they included:
 - Fitting of a replacement chimney
 - Fabrication and fitting of front dumb buffers (*)
 - Modification of smokebox saddle front plate (*)
 - Addition of rivet detail and opening panels on cab sides
 - Addition of rivets to front of saddle tank
 - Addition of injector water pipes to rear of saddle tank
 - Fabrication of replacement cab front panel (*) with air compressor exhaust pipe
 - Fitting of a replacement reverser lever
 - Swapping of blower pipe from right side to left side
 - Fabrication and fitting of dummy whistle to cab roof
 - Addition of edge trim to rear footplate doors
 - Modification of cab roof to incorporate gutters

Repainting of the body and boiler in satin Light Brunswick Green then followed, including the cab roof supports. Matt black was used for the wheels, firebox backhead, safety valve turret and numerous other parts. Name and works plates made to scale and faithfully copying the full-size loco's plates were provided by MDC.

The third picture shows the model and full-size locos together at Threlkeld. (Photo by James Gilchrist)

This is a big, heavy and beautifully made loco. I can't help but think that it would work well too in 16mm/foot scale and be a very popular. I'd certainly buy one!

Roundhouse Engineering Darjeeling B-Class 0-4-0ST No. 11 "KANGCHENJUNGA"

Another Roundhouse Darjeeling B-Class that came here for the usual red and white paintwork details, a black boiler (just like the full-size blue locos have), an all-over satin finish and working headlights...

Regner Vincent 0-4-0

This Regner Vincent was rebuilt and painted by Dampfatelier in Switzerland before coming here for lining in a Penrhyn-style scheme..

Regner Lumber Jack 0-4-0

Regner produce some beautifully-made and robust freelance model steam locos that are just perfect for further modification. Such has been the case with this Regner Lumber Jack that came here for conversion in to something a little less rustic than the factory model. It lost the wooden front buffer beam and its "cab roof on sticks" and gained a new cab upper section, footplating around the boiler and replacement front and rear buffer beams. A strip and repaint from black to maroon lined in yellow with black edging followed.

Wrightscale Wren 0-4-0ST

Probably the smallest commercially-available live steamer in 16mm/foot scale is Wrightscale's model of the Kerr, Stuart and Company's "Wren" 0-4-0ST, of which several full-size examples survive in preservation. Having been after one for many years, this model was an "impulse buy" purchase by the owner from an internet auction site. The auction listing was entirely accurate, and showed an assembled chassis and a box of loose components, all of which soon arrived here for assembly and painting. The paperwork included a boiler test certificate from 2000 and we can only guess what has happened to the model in the intervening years.

The chassis had been assembled but was extremely stiff during rotation of the wheels as a number of assembly errors had been made, the valve timing had not been set and the piston rings had succumbed to old age. Also, the original lost-wax coupling rods had been mis-drilled for their crankpins and replaced with some nasty home-made items, so the originals were repaired and re-fitted. With all these faults corrected the chassis was soon running nicely on compressed air. Running on steam proved to be a challenge though as almost as soon as the regulator was opened for the first time the soft solder on the live steam tee fitting between the valve chests melted and blew out! The joints were quickly re-made with silver solder but only after a lot of dismantling to remove the errant pipe and subsequent reassembly. No pressure gauge had been provided so a 1/2-inch gauge, syphon pipe and banjo bolt were fitted.

Final assembly of the platework included some modifications to allow easier future maintenance, in particular the front buffer beam (allowing access to the cylinders and pistons) and the whole cab structure (allowing access to the lubricator and gas burner) are removable rather than being a single soldered-together entity. The gas burner has also received some modifications to make the flame more stable and easier to light. Painting in gloss Victorian Maroon lined in cream with black edging, satin black for the boiler, cab roof, etc., and red for the rods and inside the frames completed the job. Nice!

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.

This page was last updated on 31st May 2018