Rhyl & District Model Railway Club

Mike Williams "O" gauge collection

Mike has been an "O" gauge modeller for some years and his main interest is in the G.W.R.  He has been a prolific kit builder over the years and many fine models have emerged from his Erecting Shop.  A selection of his more recent models are shown below.  Mike can also offer a kit building service - contact the webmaster for details.  all comments, positive or otherwise, by Mike.

This is view of part of Mike's O gauge layout which is still in the early stages of construction.

I've always been interested in kit building and kit bashing and a move up to "O" gauge provided a whole new dimension in which to develop my hobby.  My first attempt in "O" was a Parkside Dundas 16T mineral wagon kit and a length of second hand Peco track.  Try it - you'll be hooked!

Great Western Railway Duke class 4-4-0 No. 3256 "Guinevere".  This was built from a MEGA kit for my own layout.  The loco is finished in late 1920's guise but with a narrow cab.

Class 45 No. 45132.  Built from a PR Models (ex Nigel Stanley) kit for my eldest daughter who loves these locos after seeing them on Bangor - Scarborough and similar workings in the 1980's.  The kit was purchased after seeing one at a MIGO exhibition in Saltney.

LBSCR K class 2-6-0.  This came to me at the bring and buy stall at an O Gauge Guild show at Kettering.  In a wooden box there was a completed loco chassis and a selection of "bits".  Then followed 12 months of fun completing this fine looking loco.  I hope my efforts have done justice to the beautifully built chassis.  Finished in SR green and fitted with a 24 volt motor.

GWR 0-4-4T No. 34 - Great Western but different!  A scratchbuilt attempt to model one of the pair (34 &35) that worked the Helston and St. Ives branches at the end of the 19th Century.   The locos ended up at Longmoor R.E. depot before returning to Swindon for scrapping after the end of WW1.  An eyecatcher with its train of four wheel coaches.

G.W.R. saddletank No. 1609.  Bargain of the century!  Found at a Chester swopmeet, painted lined and ready to go.  This machine gave me the inspiration to complete No. 1638 (below).  Its still a bit of a mystery to me as to the makers of this kit though.

G.W.R. pannier tank No. 1638.  This was my first "O" gauge kit and is a MEGA budget one.  It provided a very steep learning curve for a novice but the end result is a fine model of an outside crank pannier.

1609 and 1638 seen together.  This is a comparison of the rebuild of the original design into
pannier tanks.  The locos were in service from 1870 to 1930.

L.M.S 3F No. 3801.  My first white metal loco, a JPL kit.  Another steep learning curve
but ultimately worthwhile.  The end result is a heavy powerful machine.

L.N.E.R Q4 0-8-0 No. 6176.  I bought some parts for a Leinster ROD 2-8-0 in December 2006 and decided to build the loco as a Q4 - the forerunner to the famous O4 2-8-0.  It is fitted with a Powermaster motor and it pulls just what an 0-8-0 should pull!  The loco and tender are fitted with balance beam compensation, which works a treat and this was a very rewarding loco to build.

Somerset & Dorset 7F 2-8-0 No. 13804.  This is the small boilered version of this famous design.  It is a JM kit and was a delight to build, there is lovely balance beam springing and a very effective MSC motor and gearbox.

BR Class 4MT 2-6-2T No. 82034.  I remember seeing one of these locos as a child - it was love at first sight and I decided that one day I would build one.  At a Gauge O Guild show in Telford I spotted a chassis fret on the Model Express stall and the project began.  First a running chassis was made, then the body and about 3 years later 82034 rolled out of the paintshop.  The loco has a 6E Chester West shedplate, its home shed in 1958.

Foster Yeoman Class 59 No. 59003 "Yeoman Highlander".  This project started off with another body fret at another Telford show.  A modern image club member then provided me with the necessary inspiration to bring the project to a fitting conclusion.  The completed loco has a motor in each bogie and hauls scale length trains with ease.  The photos were taken at Mike Dunnings excellent Talacre layout.

Great Eastern Railway Claud Hamilton 4-4-0 running as BR D16/3 No. 62597.

This model of a GWR 0-4-2 tank was constructed from a Scorpio kit.  The loco was straightforward to build and is shown painted in 1930's style with a GWR roundel.  4804 is fitted for push-pull working and is ATC fitted.

This is a GWR Bulldog Class 4-4-0 No. 3399 Ottowa.  It was shedded at Chester and withdrawn in 1947.  It was built from a Javelin kit - this came with excellent instructions and was a joy to build.

90763, a WD 2-10-0, started off as a boiler and wheel-less tender which I bought in Kettering 3 years ago.  I have subsequently rebuilt the tender, smokebox and loco frames.  The wheels are by Slaters and the coupling rods and valve gear by Premier.  Powered by an MSC motor, No. 90763 pulls over 40 wagons with ease.

This model of a USA 0-6-0 tank was bought as a kit from Ebay.  It turned out to be an old Oakville kit matched to Jim Harris bar frames.  The frames were o.k. but the white metal castings were unusable.  I had to build, from scratch, the slide bars, crosshead, lubricator and buffer beams.  I also had to replace the bunker back and a host of other modifications.  A very difficult kit.

This project started with the purchase of a set of CCW frames.  Also used in its construction were some early Slater's wheels, a Sagami motor, various Warren Shepherd bits and some nickel silver sheet.  I'm rather pleased with the end result.

This is a Blacksmith Models GWR 57' toplight brake 3rd.  It has been painted in Edwardian crimson lake livery by Dennis Morley (surely a genius?).  The model has a detachable roof and full interior detail.  A very satisfying model to construct.

A P.R. Model Railway kit, I like their kits, easy to build and as simple or as complicated as you wish.  This one is fitted with scratch built cab interiors and is now running in Mainline blue livery.

An MSL kit and by no means an easy one!  There's a lot of work it out yourself in this one.  A lot of research was needed for cab details, electrics, etc.  But a handsome loco when finished.

G.C.R. 9P class 4-6-0 "Lloyd George".  A David Andrews kit built for 3 rail coarse scale.  A joy to build and painted by Jeff Howard.

Another lovely David Andrews kit in as-built Royal Scot guise. Painted by Dennis Morley.  This kit was a joy to work with, Mr. Andrews certainly makes very good kits.

This kit of an ex Midland Railway 4-4-0 in LMS livery started off as an etch at a Chester swop meet.  Some spare wheels, whitemetal castings and a scratch built tender and hey presto! a handy little loco for that 3 coach local.

This one is my first Finney kit, it went together OK with no problems.  Resin body, Maxon motor and ABC gearbox.  Painted by Dennis Morley

BR built Castle class 7014 'Caerhays Castle'.  This is a Malcolm Mitchell kit, now marketed by 'Just like the Real Thing'.  While it fitted together OK, this kit suffered from the lack of decent instructions - despite the 47 sheets of A4 paper!  A lot of time was spent looking for information from other sources.  A very complicated exercise which deserves proper instructions.

An LNER V3 2-6-2 tank. I enjoyed building this Gresley tank loco, it was a nice simple basic kit.  It is fitted with an MSC motor gear box.  I made a few simple modifications to the smoke box saddle and have now got a good strong decent model.

Another of David Andrews kits.  A joy to build.  I made this one for my third daughter.  I hope the others don't want one!  Below is the painted and lined completed model.

This Gladiator kit uses a resin moulding for the loco body. although i'm not a fan of resin it was definitely a time saver on this one!  A nice kit - already for the paint shop now.

That's better!

L.M.S. dock tank 2F 0-6-0T.  A nice kit from Mercian.  A little head scratching required though on how to build the motion so that it is demountable from the frames.  Other than that a delight to build.

GWR 'Stella' class 2-4-0.  A Martin Finney kit which went together absolutely beautifully.  The loco has inside working valve gear which is a first for me.  However after a little thought everything fitted perfectly.

LYR 'Dreadnought' 4-6-0.  This Warren Shephard kit turned out to be quite a challenge especially making the cylinders and valve gear removable.  The end result is a rather impressive loco.

Would I fit new frames and motor to this old white metal kit?  Simple enough you'd think but think again.  This one was the proverbial pigs ear!  It's still not a silk purse but at least now the pig might have a bit of a pedigree!

This Warren Shephard kit of the Great Western big prairie comes with some lovely martello castings, which really make it look the part. 

Following painting this Jubilee is to become No. 45585 'Hyderabad'.  Another David Andrews kit fitted with a Maxon motor and ABC gear box.

A Great Central Railway 'D10' class 4-4-0 from a David Andrews kit.  Powered by an M.S.C. John Hart motor and gearbox and fitted with Walsall Wheels.  The loco picks up current on the 'American' system, i.e. loco one rail and tender the other.

Some say that Finney kits are over complicated.  Maybe but only in respect of covering all variations made to the prototype.  All kits should be this easy to build - well done Mr. Finney!

A Meteor kit.  When a friend asked me if i'd build a BR 82xxx tank I thought O.K. as I'd scratchbuilt one myself and had all the relevant info.  After I'd opened the box, looked at the instructions, which didn't take long! and studied the contents, my first thought was: send it back and get your money back.  But that's not entirely fair to the kit.  If you've not built it then you are not in a position to pass comment.  So off we go.  After dealing with frame spacers of different lengths and a pony truck which is too long, we end up with a running chassis.  Now for the body and this is where the fun really begins.  Some parts too big and others too small, the firebox is simply unbuildable, the boiler too short and the bunker too wide and low.  I end up having to make a scratchbuilt loco because of the vast collection of parts which won't fit together!  This is the kit from hell!  It had to go back into its box several times while I calmed down.  Eventually, after endless frustration, it is ready for the paint shop, which was carried out expertly by Mike Cole.  My conclusion is: send it back and get your money back!  This kit is in a league of its own, the worst i've ever built.  It should not be on the market.

This DJH kit, after painting, is going to be 60042 'Singapore'.  Shown here in it's final guise with double chimney and German deflectors.  This is a good kit that went together with no trouble at all, well done DJH.  The only parts replaced were the white metal brake hangers by brass etches.  Walsall wheels and an ABC/Moxon complete the model.

This Stanier 2-6-4 tank was built from an ACME kit.  I read a write-up about this kit before I began so knew what to expect.  The frame material is too thin, so strengthening the frames is essential.  I used the coupling rods from the etch but the rest of the valve gear is awful!  This kit is best described as 'an aid to scratchbuilding'.  Does anyone test build these kits before they are marketed?  It may be a cheap kit to buy but after buying replacement valve gear and replacing other unusable parts, it's cheaper to buy a more expensive kit.  Something that will be fun to build rather than trying to put this load of bits together.

Metropolitan - Vickers Bo - Bo electric loco by Ken's Profiles.  This kit has been adapted to run on 3 rail coarse scale. To allow for the sharp curves the body sits 3 mm higher than normal. A single link coupling is fitted to one end, the other end being fully detailed. The instructions are brilliant and all the info can be seen in the supplied photos.  I made two changes. I fitted the handrails to the body ends and sides before assembling the body and I replaced the white metal outer bogie sides and end with nickel silver ones using the original parts as patterns.  There is nothing wrong with the white metal sides but I feel that the nickel silver may stand up better to the continuous handling this particular model will get. The white metal axleboxes and pick up beams are glued to the new sides.  This is a very nice kit, well designed and a joy to build. The instructions are so good that you can build this kit without referring to other sources of information. You can't say that about many kits!

This Mercian Models kit of a Cardean 4-6-0 will eventually be in LMS red.  The kit is O.K., fitting the boiler to the footplate is the difficult part!  Just take your time and check body height to rail head continuously.  electrical pick-up is split axle/split frame on the tender only.  There's not a lot of room on this loco.

A G5 0-4-4 tank.  I've built a few Connoisseur wagon kits and found them fine.  This is the first time i've tried my hand at a loco kit of theirs.  Good instructions, well designed and a joy to work with.  This one is a push pull fitted loco and fitted with a Mashima motor and Premier gears.  Wiper pick-ups on the drivers but with split axle/split frames on the bogie giving all wheel pick-up.

This is the first kit from this manufacturer that I have tackled.  Having been given good reports from other builders, I was looking forward to it.  I was not disappointed.  Excellent instructions, well designed, everything just fits together - it's as simple as that.  An absolute joy to build.  My only alteration was to replace the loco brake shoes with plastic ones, to avoid any shorting problems.  Well done modern Outline Kits!

6241, City of Edinburgh.  Another one from David Andrew's range.  His kits really are a joy to build.  The loco was painted by Denis Morley and it is now off to a layout in Scotland.

This is a fine kit of a BR 'Clan' pacific by DJH.  They have done a good job and it all fits together beautifully.  The loco is fitted with Slaters wheels and a Moxon/ABC gearbox.  This is fitted to the rear driving wheels, leaving daylight between the frames and boiler.

This quite old Shedmaster kit went together okay. Some very flimsy tender bogie etches needed strengthening, and some castings from the very helpful Laurie Griffin completed the loco.

I found this D.J.B. kit quite a difficult build with a lot of "adjust as it goes". The end result though is a good strong build and a good looking. A nice model of one of Mr Maunsell's best.

This kit is from S&M Models. The body and frames go together very well. The bogie has split axles to provide all wheel pick up. Some of the smaller white metal castings were unusable, although I would have replaced them with lost wax anyway. A lovely suburban tank for those long gone Aberdeen local trains.

This was a one off project for a friend.  The wagon is a HO German Ferry Wagon by Liliput built to British loading gauge.   The wagon is carrying a load of two hay balers. These were built in large numbers by the firm of Jones Balers in Mold, Flintshire.  Many of these vehicles were sent out by rail from Mold station, mostly to British destinations but a healthy proportion were exported to the continent by train ferry.  Apart from the German wagon shown, Mold also saw wagons from France, Belgium and Italy.  So a little bit of forgotten history made up from scrap bits of brass I had hanging around!

This 'Wagon & Carriage' kit was a joy to build with no problems at all.  I've used split axles and split frames on the bogie and the front section of the frames.  This means that eight out of the ten wheels have electrical pick up.  It's now off to work the Kings Lynn to South Lynn (M&GN) push pull train.

When I was 12, I spent a day at Kings Cross to see the Deltics and Brush Type 4's (class 47's).  Steam no longer worked south of Peterborough so imagine my surprise and joy when 60061 'Pretty Polly' appeared out of Gasworks Tunnel!  It was the only A3 I ever saw in normal traffic and it really made my day.  I said then that if I ever built an A3 it would this one, so here it is 50 years later.

A David Andrews kit, so no problems building it.  Split axle pick-up on tender only and powered by a Buhler/ABC motor.

Warren Shepherd G W R mogul kit.  This kit makes up into a good solid model.  The castings are all brass and quite superb.  The kit is not for a beginner and you will need a good reference source, recommendations are in the instructions.  This model is fitted with Slaters wheels, an A B C mini gearbox with a Moxon motor driving the rear driving wheels.  The mini gearbox fits under the cab floor.  Watch out for the tight clearances between crosshead and slidebars.  I used Markits crank pins for this. I must admit to moving the pony forward by 1mm to save cutting into the cylinders and also cutting off the front frames and soldering them to the body.  This gives extra clearance above the pony wheels.  Weight will be added after the painter has done his work.

North British Railway Atlantic by ACE Products.  I was asked to build 2 of these locos, one as North British circa 1918 and the other as LNER circa 1932.  I elected to build them together.  The tenders were built first, using split axles, uninsulated wheels and a perspex block isolating the frames.  There was no information on the tender parts regarding tool boxes, water gauge, hand brake, etc.  this had to be sourced from elsewhere.

The loco frames were made up and the driving wheels added to check for square, so far so good!  I then added the trailing wheels.  Even with the elongated slot the wheels were 5 mm above the rail head.  was this deliberate?  A cunning NBR plan to transfer weight to the coupled wheels?  No - just another problem to sort out.  That is how the build went on, problem after problem.  Some easy to solve, others more difficult.  The instructions are poor, with wrong information and page 3 doesn't even apply to the NBR Atlantic!  I had to replace some of the etches, firebox and smoke box.  On the tender axle box castings the spring wasn't in line with the box and had to be cut apart and fitted separately.  Parts of the build - the distinctive lubricator and the trailing axle brake gear are not even mentioned in the paperwork.  These had to be scratch built.

This kit is very difficult to build, particularly in respect of the amount that has to be scratch built.  It is not a good advert for the ACE brand.

This WR class 22 diesel hydraulic kit by Steve Beattie for a first for me from this maker.  Usually his kits are resin but this one was etched brass and white metal castings.  The underframe tank was resin but I fabricated one from nickel silver sheet.  There was a lot of fettling needed to fit the white metal fronts, despite this it was an enjoyable kit to build.

When completed this will be 70046 'Anzac', as you can see it needs a smokebox door and painting.  This was the first Seven Models kit i've built.  There were good instructions with plenty of drawings and pictures including the etches - well done.  The only issue concerned the join between smokebox and boiler. I also replaced the injector white metal fittings with brass ones from Ragstone Models.  The buffers were sourced by me from Warren Shephard.  This model runs a treat!

Fox hunting in the Edwardian style

This project came about after looking through J. H. Russell's Great Western Coaches.  In there were drawings and pictures of Hounds Vans (?!).  I was thus inspired to construct a Fox Hunting Train consisting of a 6 wheel coach, a brake van (for the sherry), various horse boxes and the hounds van at the rear.   The hounds van is a brake van, oil lit and fitted with extra air vents for the 'doggy odours'



The hounds van in all its glory.  This is a modified Scorpio V2 Brake Van.

 Early Great Western rolling stock

Another Scorpio coach this time a T20 brake third.  These kits come as sides, ends and sole bars.  They are great for the scratchbuilder allowing choice in respect of running gear, suspension and interior finishing.

A scratchbuilt Siphon C built using plasticard.  The vents were a little bit intricate!


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