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 Argyll 0-6-2T

For nearly 40 years I have been involved with and supported railway preservation projects, and so it was a pleasure to be able to assist in this particular, if rather unfortunate, task. The Roundhouse Engineering Argyll shown in the pictures is owned by the Donegal Railway Heritage Centre in Donegal, Republic of Ireland. It forms a significant part of their public displays that help to keep the history of the County Donegal Railways system alive in what is now an area of the country devoid of railways. It suffered an accident that resulted in an impact to the rear of the cab and also to the front of the frames, the latter pushing the right-hand cylinder out of alignment. The DRHC contacted me and asked if I could repair it, which I could. Straightening of the frames was the first task, and the chassis was soon running again as it should. Battering the bodywork back in to shape took a little longer, but started with stripping the paint and then some careful work to restore the shape. In this kind of impact as well as bending the brass will often stretch, as it did in this case. A full repaint in County Donegal red lined in cream followed. I was anxious not to place too much of a financial burden on the Heritage Centre for the repairs needed as it would divert funds away from their other work. However, another regular Rhos Helyg Loco Works customer is a Life Member of DRHC and so, between us, we covered the cost of the repair and I was delighted to be able to return the loco to the owners at no cost.

Locomotion Hunslet 0-4-0ST "CACKLER"

This loco first came here a few years ago for attention to the poor running characteristics unfortunately common in these locos. The usual battle with the cylinder end covers and their steel 10BA screws snapping when unscrewed followed. Fitting a new set of the correct type of piston O-rings soon had the loco running again as it should, and that was about all I did. Four years later, and the same loco was back on my bench having changed owners in the meantime. The new owner wanted it to be fitted with single-channel (regulator only) radio control, more detailing (lubricators, pipework, cab vents, etc.) and a repaint in to the maroon lined in red that the full-size loco carried while at Dinorwic Quarry in North Wales.

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...

This page was last updated on 29th June 2018