Fairlight Works

Official blog of the High Weald Light Railway (1977) Co. Ltd.

Hot and Cold

layout model-railways narrow-gauge O14 simplex

Just like JeffB, of the wonderful scratchbuilt HOn2 mechanisms, I am a “hot and cold” modeller. Either I’m fully in to it, or my various projects are on hold in the shed. At the moment things are definitely “hot”, with a renewed enthusiasm for Fairlight in 009 and my 0-14 ExpoNG challenge layout needing to be ready in (eek!) 54 days.

Wrightlines channel frame Simplex

I think a huge help towards “hotness” is having reliable motive power available – something to run, and that runs well, is a great motivator to creating something for it to run on. Pictured above, my new motivator for the 0-14 project!

When I bought a Wrightlines channel frame Simplex earlier in the year, my friend David at KBscale volunteered to build it for me. The kit was second hand and came with a Spud motor bogie, we decided this wouldn’t give the best results in 14mm gauge so I also got hold of one of the chassis etches from the original version of the kit. I’m not sure if the design was changed slightly for the switch to the Spud but it needed some fettling to get the completed chassis in to the body – this was finally completed on Friday night. The motor is mounted vertically inside the engine housing (it just fits!) and drives the wheels through two sets of worms so the gearing is ridiculously low – more than 200:1 I think. There is still a bit of detailing to do, including modifying and re-fitting the engine detail we had to pull out to get the chassis in.

The completed Simplex growls along at a very low speed, one of the wheelsets is slightly out of true which gives it a bit of a roll in motion – pretty handy really as it simulates the often wobbly trackwork of a lightly laid industrial line. So with two turnouts to build before I can start scenic work on this loco’s layout, I’d better get on with it!