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.

ELR Engineering Quarry Hunslet 0-4-0ST HUGH NAPIER

Another ELR Engineering Quarry Hunslet has been on my bench for attention. Others that have been here have run very well, despite their many shortcomings in other areas, but this one was reported by the owner to be off-beat. After checking that the slip-eccentrics were not the cause of the problem my diagnosis was that a valve head was in need of repositioning on its spindle. Unfortunately with these particular models there is no easy way to achieve this without completely dismantling the locomotive. Removing the bodywork, boiler and footplating allowed access to the valve chests and after half a turn of one valve buckle perfect running was restored. The time then came to reassemble it...

You can read in the Gallery section about the issues that I have found with other locos of the same type, and this one exhibited much the same, along with a saddle tank which was coming apart at the seams. With the owner's consent it then went through the normal programme of bodywork modifications and adjustments followed by stripping of all paint, repainting and lining in the earlier Penrhyn Quarries scheme.

ELR Engineering/Roundhouse Engineering Jack 0-4-0ST ST CHRISTOPHER

ELR Engineering converted this standard Roundhouse "Jack" 0-4-0ST to coal-firing. It came here for a check-over, service and repaint. As is usual with these things, the job list grew a little and ended up looking something like this:
 - Restoration of axle water pump to working order.
 - Modification of the saddle tank filler cap to give a positive fixing, rather than depending on gravity.
 - Fitting of Swift16 buffer beam overlays.
 - Modification of the cab roof to prevent scratching of paint on cab front.
 - Unblocking of boiler water gauge glass bottom pipe.
 - Descale of the boiler.
 - Recalibration of safety valve for 60psi operation.
 - Various modifications to ease future disassembly and maintenance.
 - Fixing of a water leak from the saddle tank.
 - Stripping of paint from body, roof, smokebox, etc.
 - Application of etch primer, satin black, Victorian Maroon and red/black lining.

All of this was followed by a thorough testing session to make sure all was well.

Cheddar Models Samson 0-4-0T No. 31 APHRODITE

This Cheddar Models Samson, like the same owner's Hercules, has been lowered by about 12mm by reducing the height of the cab and chimney. The body, boiler and smokebox were repainted and lined.

Accucraft WD Hunslet 4-6-0T No. 33 ANDROMEDA

This loco was fitted with two-channel radio control and received blue and red lining along with a significant reduction in the amount of bare metal usually exhibited by this model.

Roundhouse Engineering Pooter 0-4-0T No. 5 MOUDROS BAY

This Mark 3 Pooter came to me for some body repair work and a repaint in to satin black with blue lining. Very kindly the owner had removed the old paint, saving me time and him money! Its meths tank had returned to its component parts so that was rebuilt while it was here, together with the fitting of "current" cylinder covers to its old-style rectangular valve chest cylinders.

Roundhouse Engineering Dylan 0-4-0ST No. 1 DYLAN

An interesting and unusual job was the regauging of a 30+ years old meths-fired Roundhouse Dylan 0-4-0ST from 45mm to 32mm, the One True Gauge. These locos were not built to be adjustable for track gauge and some considerable dismantling was needed to remove the wheelsets from the frames. Unlike the current Roundhouse products, the cranks and axles on these older locos are held together with grub screws and roll pins. The first picture shows the two wheelsets with the front one awaiting regauging and the back one completed, along with the slip-eccentric valve gear and modified rocker arms. It is always a pleasure to work on these old Roundhouse locos, there is just something about them.

Peacock Island Workshop Toucan Garratt 0-4-4-0

This Garratt runs on 45mm gauge track and uses two Accucraft Dora chassis as power units. It came to me initially for repainting and lining but, as usual, it turned in to a bigger project.

Unusually, only the front power unit actually worked. The rear unit was a stripped Dora chassis that consisted of not much more than frame, wheels, axles and rods. The current owner sourced another complete Dora chassis and that was then modified using parts from the unpowered unit and fitted to the loco, together with the necessary live and exhaust steam pipework. It was also found that the front unit was extremely sluggish when running and some modifications were made to the existing exhaust pipework to eliminate the back pressure that was causing the slow running.

The cab roof was modified to ensure a better fit, and a couple of additional boiler bands were fitted to break up an otherwise long and plain boiler.

Finally, the paint was removed from the cab, bunker, tank, frame, boiler and smokebox and then repainted in blue with red lining and black edging.

The Morgan Locomotive Company Garratt 0-4-4-0 No. 16

Garratts have a reputation for being big and long locos, but not this one as it is barely 15 inches long. It is powered by a 2-cylinder oscillator steam motor mounted under the boiler, with power provided to each end by drive shafts and universal joints. It is beautifully made and a credit to its builder. It came here for a repaint in to green with yellow and black lining.

Regner Konrad 0-4-0

A much-modified Regner Konrad: A previous owner removed the flywheel and replaced it with a second cylinder. My task was to build a new cab for it, followed by a full strip and repaint in to maroon lined in yellow and black. The current owner had thought that the rather nice tender was no longer needed but I persuaded him to keep it with the loco. However, it has been coupled in such a way that the loco can be used with or without it.

I P Engineering Simplex diesel

My first ever 16mm/foot scale loco was a Brian Clarke / Saltford Models Simplex battery diesel. For the few pounds they cost Saltford sent a motor, wheels, axles, a switch, a selection of whitemetal castings and comprehensive instructions. The bodywork was made from styrene sheet (not provided in the kit) and it was a couple of evening's work to cut out all the bits, glue them together and end up with a working loco. Other locos featured in the Saltford range and I am sure I am not alone in following that introductory route to modelling in our scale.

My Saltford Simplex lasted me well but various impacts (one caused by a cat flicking it off a shelf on to the floor) had caused much damage to the bodywork and so it was retired for a major repair a few years ago. Subsequent investigation revealed that it was slowly returning to its component parts and so I decided to rebuild it completely, but this time in brass rather than styrene. As a wet North Walian Sunday afternoon job I made a start but other projects came along and it got forgotten.

And then I P Engineering announced their Leighton Buzzard sand quarry Simplex diesel kit and I thought it looked so much nicer than anything I could be bothered to make, so I bought and built the one shown here. The kit is almost entirely made of whitemetal and features a wealth of detail, such as rivets and the emergency door handle. I chose to solder the parts together for extra strength, and I also incorporated some of the whitemetal castings from my original Saltford loco, such as the starting handle and the diesel engine details.

Being a loco built for myself, of course I was always going to make some changes to the kit as supplied. The engine bonnet had rounded edges front and back (as used on a cabless Simplex) and so it was squared-off at its back end, as most of the Leighton Buzzard locos seem to have that arrangement. I also added the protective mesh on the front right. I turned the radiator around so that the cores are on the left of the loco and the fan is in the middle, again as that seems to be common at Leighton Buzzard. The window on the left cab side is unusual but I decided to leave it in place. I also replaced the switches either side (one for off/on, one for forward/reverse) with a single centre-off slide switch.

There were two quarry operators at Leighton Buzzard: Garside's and Arnold's. Although the liveries were similar (green with white details) I chose the Garside livery for my model and in keeping with their policy of naming locos after famous horses I applied an appropriate name.

This page was last updated on 8th December 2019