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 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. ` epainting 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.

Roundhouse Engineering Billy 0-4-0T

The owner of this Roundhouse Billy asked me to paint the major parts of the kit he was building and kindly sent me a picture once he had finished assembly of the loco. (Photo by Colin Last)

Regner Willi 0-4-0 HOOTON

The owner of this Regner Willi had had problems with keeping the gas burner alight. It worked fine when first lit but soon started to splutter and would eventually go out. He also reported seeing water leaking from around the burner housing once the loco got warm. After examination here it turned out these two events were not unconnected. The boiler used on Willi is a remarkably complicated fabrication, bearing in mind the simplicity of the loco it powers. It has seven bushes, four vertical tubes and a burner flue that is blocked at one end. The latter is soldered to the inside of the boiler barrel at its blocked end. Removal of the boiler from the loco allowed me to do a pressure test and that soon revealed that all was not well with that flue joint, allowing water in to the flue which extinguished the burner. A call to John at Shawe Steam Services confirmed what I thought already: The boiler was not repairable. Options for a new boiler were explored and fortunately Regner dealers Garden Railways Limited in Bishops Stortford had one available for immediate purchase at a very reasonable price. Immediate purchase followed, and it arrived here the next day. It was then a case of swapping the wooden boiler cladding and all the fittings from the old boiler to the new to return the loco to full working order.

Roundhouse Engineering Katie 0-6-0ST No. 35 ENYO

This Roundhouse Katie was converted from an 0-4-0 to an 0-6-0, giving it a very chunky and workmanlike appearance. It was also fitted with upgraded radio control, lamp brackets, Accucraft couplings, doors on the lower half of the cab back and a canvas back sheet on the upper half. All of this was followed by a strip and repaint in the customer's stealth livery of satin black with blue and red lining.

Roundhouse Engineering William 0-6-0WT No. 22 ERIS

This Roundhouse William lost its tender, the dummy doors on the cab sides and the intermediate boiler bands. Losing the tender meant that there was no water supply for the loco so a dummy well tank has been fitted between the frames with its filler in front of the smokebox. It was also fitted with upgraded radio control, lamp brackets, Accucraft couplings, doors on the lower half of the cab back and a canvas back sheet on the upper half. All of this was followed by a strip and repaint in the customer's stealth livery of satin black with blue and red lining.

This page was last updated on 21st October 2021