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About greg3

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  1. Sometimes it takes just a red hat and a white beard to soften even the most seemingly dark heart... (and who can resist a "Harry Potter-Die Hard" crossover!!) "Ho, ho.... ho" Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr As always thanks to CopMike for organising this bit of festive fun!!
  2. Seeing this I couldn't help checking out my account... Seems I'm "CreatorSweetPuddle" 😳 (Sounds like I've had an unfortunate but tasty accident!! 😄)
  3. Hi Here's the latest addition to my World War 1 British War Department Light Railway... the Crewe Tractor. These were introduced in late 1916 as a solution to the problem of getting supplies the last few hundred metres to the front. Unlike the rest of the WDLR network, these sections of track were lightweight tramways often hurriedly laid on poorly prepared ground and couldn't be used by the regular petrol tractors. Instead, supplies had to be loaded onto hand carts and muscle power got them to their final destination. This was slow, inefficient and took men away from the fighting lines. The story goes that an officer, home on leave, mentioned these difficulties to a friend who happened to be the daughter of C J Bowden-Cooke, the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the London and North Western Railway (LNWR), who set about solving this problem. After trials on the narrow gauge Crewe Works Railway, his solution was to convert a road vehicle to operate on rail. He chose the Ford Model T and designed a frame with rail wheels that would convert it into a rail tractor. Before being mounted on the frame, the road wheels were removed and the rear ones replaced with sprockets which would drove the rail wheels via chains. The conversion took around an hour and in the road configuration, the disassembled frame could be carried on the rear cargo bed. Despite pulling 5 tons at 15 mph in testing, in reality the tractor didn't perform as well as expected in the field as it often struggled with traction but it was better than nothing. Many also found use as inspection vehicles with around 132 eventually being built. Now on with the MOC... The road version - all the parts needed to convert it to rail use can be carried allowing it to drive up to the railway. Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Unloaded and ready for conversion... Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Rail version Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr The curved cover protects the sprocket/chain drive that transfer power from the rear axle to the rail wheels. (don't worry, I've straightened up the wonky plates!!) Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr The steering wheel was kept (although most versions once converted to rail stayed that way) You can also see the brake lever which was added to use alongside the vehicle's original brakes. Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr As the reverse gear wasn't up to much, the tractor was fitted with a built in jack/turntable and could be lifted, turned 180º and lowered in around 3 minutes. Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr A few more pics... Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Finally I couldn't resist building 2 to make a before/after... Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr As you can see, I took @Roadmonkeytj's advice about using reference photos as a backdrop - I think it works quite well (although my printer needs more ink... and I thought LEGO was expensive!! ) Anyway, thanks for looking... comments are always welcome.
  4. greg3

    Raffle: Making a Monster!

    Nothing too exciting from me... a simple figure based on a Scooby Doo monster I remember from my childhood!! (I wanted to enter something but don't have most of my minifig parts to hand!) Anyway I present to you... one of the Skeleton Men!! image by g.nat, on Flickr Thanks for organising this and good luck in the raffle to all who enter.
  5. Photo 4 - After the embarrassment of last year's "Justice League Annual Pool Party", this time Cyborg remembers to bring his trunks. Photo 5 - Released this week is the official soundtrack to "Kiteman the Musical" Featuring such hits as... "Soaring over Gotham." "I Want to Rule the World (but everyone ignores me)" "Tangled in the Tree of Your Love." "The Batman Blues" And of course many more... including a bonus track - a moving cover version of the classic "Let's go fly a Kite" Photo 8a - "1, 2..." Photo 8b - "... 98, 99, 100. Ready or not, here I come!"
  6. Hi Here's the latest addition to my World War 1 War Department Light Railway collection... The Simplex 40hp armoured petrol tractor (A.K.A the "Tin Turtle".) Following the success of their 20hp petrol engined rail tractor the Motor Rail Company/Simplex began producing a larger 40hp version in 1917. Its increased power allowed it to be fitted with armour plating to protect the vulnerable engine and driver, meaning it could operate much closer to the front lines. There were 3 versions produced and this MOC represents the "Open" version (the least armoured). It had curved armour plates at each end as well as an armoured engine cover. A lightweight roof provided protection from the elements. image by g.nat, on Flickr The internal layout was similar to the 20hp version, except the driver now sat in the centre above the engine. To his left is the radiator and to his right is the brake wheel and a 20 gallon petrol tank. image by g.nat, on Flickr Controls (gear lever, clutch pedal and brake wheel) image by g.nat, on Flickr View showing the armoured engine cover and back of the driver's seat! Some photos show the exhaust pipe coming out of the engine housing and up to a roof mounted silencer but in others (and in videos of restored versions actually running) it doesn't so I've left it out!! image by g.nat, on Flickr End view - the gap at the bottom of the armour was to aid ventilation. Like the smaller 20hp version, it can run equally well in either direction. image by g.nat, on Flickr Years ago I built one of the more heavily armoured versions but it had a number of inaccuracies (mainly in the interior layout) but with better references this time I'm pretty pleased with the results - even if the driver does need his legs amputating to fit in!! I'm currently working on the other 2 more heavily armoured versions (the "Protected" and "Armoured") so watch this space!! Thanks for looking... comments are always welcome!!
  7. greg3

    Track maintenance help...

    Advice? They're going to need a bigger hammer!! Nice little scene - love the little hand car and the piece of old track is a great bit of history! Thanks for sharing!!
  8. greg3

    [MOC] Miniature Steam Machines

    I love these!! Even though they're small you've crammed in a lot of detail - I especially like all the pipe work, valves etc. Think the showman's engine is my favourite!! Excellent work!!
  9. Thanks for the comments... the ground is very much a WIP (I just wanted something to put the track on) as I haven't decided on where I want my section of railway to be set... I'd quite like to recreate photos of trains crossing captured sections of No Man's Land but that'll require a lot of landscaping (shell holes, dugouts etc)!! Alternatively, many lines ran through ruined villages or just normal countryside/farmland so there's plenty of options but for now I'm concentrating on the trains themselves. I forgot to mention that the figures are from Brickmania.
  10. Hi, Following on from my recent railway MOCs, Simplex 20hp locomotive and P Class Ration Wagon, here's the latest addition to my WW1 WDLR (War Department Light Railway) collection... a small engineering train carrying some track. Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr It's based on this photo from 1916 I found online... a6b52cda3624337af82080b0ea3adf71 by g.nat, on Flickr As in the photo, the track is being hauled by a Simplex 20hp petrol tractor.. Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr The load sits on what I think are pivoting wheelsets - the only reference I can find to them is this sketch (again found online) milb10 by g.nat, on Flickr Here you can see my LEGO version with the pivoting, load-carrying girder that allowed it to negotiate bends. (I'll probably add some chains/ropes to secure the load better!) Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr The actual track used for the WDLR was transported and fitted in prefabricated sections (60cm gauge) so this narrow track from 4DBrix is pretty close to reality (although the sleepers are a bit wide) so I'll probably be ordering a bit more of it!!. Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Final view... fortunately for my engineering troops, armoured locos are on the way!! (watch this space!) Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Anyway, thanks for looking - comments are always welcome!!
  11. Thanks for the comments... hopefully there will be more to come including armoured locos and plenty of rolling stock (the reference book I have has info on at least 20 different types of official wagon for various roles!!) I eventually hope to recreate various scenes showing how the railway functioned; from the loading of the wagons (they were generally loaded directly from standard gauge rail wagons) to the delivery at the front (for the last few hundred metres, supplies were often moved by hand carts).
  12. Hi Following on from my P Class Ration Wagon here's the next build for my planned WW1 British War Department Light Railway scene... In 1914, Mr Abbott of the Motor Rail Company (also known as Simplex) had approached the British War Office with a proposal for a small, narrow gauge petrol tractor which he believed could be very useful in moving troops and equipment near to front lines. He had based his ideas on the narrow railways being developed by the Germans and French but was turned down by Lord Kitchener himself who believed that the war wouldn't last long. However, by the end of 1915, things had changed. Trench warfare was requiring huge amounts of supplies so the British had begun to establish their own narrow gauge (60cm) rail network (the War Department Light Railway or WDLR). At first they used steam locos, but close to the front lines their smoke made them easy targets for enemy artillery and aircraft so the War Department began looking at internal combustion engines. Their chosen design was Mr Abbott's Simplex 20hp petrol tractor. image by g.nat, on Flickr Its design was simple but efficient. The petrol engine and gearbox were mounted transversely on a steel frame allowing the wheels to be driven by a simple chain drive. On one side of the engine was the radiator and exhaust and on the other was the driver's seat and controls. These locomotives (or tractors as they were known) proved a great success: not only did they produce far less smoke but their low centre of gravity and light weight (just over 2 tons) made them more stable than the previous steam engines on uneven or poorly laid track. It was also easier to train men to operate them and they required far less maintenance. I'm still trying to get my head around building trains but I've tried to include as much detail and accuracy as possible in my version. My recreation of the "bent frame" design and basic layout of the real life version. image by g.nat, on Flickr The radiator and exhaust image by g.nat, on Flickr Driver's seat and controls. The sideways position gave a good view in both directions and all the controls are in easy reach. Here we see a gear lever (the original had 2 levers - one selected direction, the other could be set to low, neutral or high), clutch pedal and brake wheel. image by g.nat, on Flickr The sandboxes (the cheese slopes - one for each wheel) which could be used to aid traction on slippery rails. You can also see a hand operated signal horn mounted on the brake column. image by g.nat, on Flickr Finally a couple more overall views... image by g.nat, on Flickr image by g.nat, on Flickr Most of the info I used in this build came from online searches and an excellent book of contemporary photos of British Light Railways in WW1 called the "WDLR Album". Once I get some more narrow track, I intend to put together a scene or two showing the Simplex "in the field". Of course, one drawback of the original's design was the lack of protection from the weather and enemy fire. This would lead to a larger, armoured 40hp version being produced - my MOC of that is coming soon!!
  13. greg3

    P Class Ration Wagon WDLR [MOC]

    Hi Thanks for the comments... The "hook" is two bits of cut flex tube and a Brickarms "u-clip" Link Hope that helps.
  14. Years ago, I made a MOC of a narrow gauge engine from WW1 Tin Turtle and then promptly took it apart and forgot all about it!! Now I'm back in a WW1 mood and have decided to rebuild the model and create a small scene around it. This has involved a bit of research into the War Department Light Railway (WDLR) which was set up to deliver munitions and other supplies/evacuate casualties. I'm still awaiting parts for the engine(s!) but here's my first bit of rolling stock... the War Department P Class Ration Wagon. Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr As it's name suggests, it was intended to carry food and other supplies to the trenches. The sides were hinged to aid loading/unloading. Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr All loaded up!! Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr After dropping off supplies the wagon could then be used to evacuate casualties. The tall frame at each end was designed to allow the wagon to carry 2 stretchers. Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr I've not much experience of building train related stuff and despite being a small build, it turned out to be a bit trickier than I'd expected to make the size/proportions look right - it's not perfect but I think it looks ok!! I ended up using a Brickarms clip for the coupling as the technic piece I wanted to use just looked too big!! I also had a play around in creating a little trench scene around it (unfortunately that's all the narrow gauge rail I have at the min!!) Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Thanks for looking.... comments are always welcome (hopefully it won't be long before I can add some more wagons/engines/track to it!!)
  15. greg3

    Narrow Guage Track Help

    Thanks for all the replies and advice (building railways seems a bit more complicated than I had expected!! ) Fortunately I'm aiming for something pretty simple (a scene depicting a small stretch of a WW1 trench railway) Anyway, I'll order some of the track and see how it goes!!