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Member postings for Peter Seymour-Howell

Here is a list of all the postings Peter Seymour-Howell has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Don Young's 'Doncaster'
18/04/2021 10:49:59

Oh, I best add that the photo above although it has the same lubricating system and crosshead, it's from a different class. This is a picture of a V2, the drop arm is different to the A1 and this also has the later grease nipple for the union link rather than the oil reservoir found on the A1..


18/04/2021 10:46:27

Morning Nigel, thank you for your kind comment on my build and mag articles. The castle nut will be held the traditional way with a pin, I just haven't got around to it yet, one of those many 'to do' jobs on a very long list, I have done the middle cylinder though, just because it's more difficult to get too as more bits get added.

As for the lubricating, I don't have a detailed drawing of this part and so have done something close to the prototype but also easy to maintain. The picture you see above was an early version of me seeing what's what. I have since added a screwed on end cap which the oil pipe slides into but not fixed. It's an easy job to just pull the pipe out a little to unscrew the cap and thus have access to the nut. I have also halved the OD of the oil pipe to be closer to scale.

Hopefully, this picture explains things better than my words.

Kind regards


25/02/2021 19:18:42

Evening all

A few of the more interesting parts made which will be covered in the mag in due course...

Gresley's 2:1 conjugated lever

Gresley 2:1 conjugated lever

Piston valve bobbins (adjustable)

piston valve bobbins

L/H crosshead and drop link ( i have since found a closer to scale copper pipe which will replace the one seen here, the smaller pipe also allows me to make the two missing brass elbows close to scale too)

The crosshead is to the LNER 1934 pattern with the latter fitted copper gudgeon pin feed pipe which afaik was fitted after 1936, not sure of the exact date but it is seen in 1938 photos of 4472.

BTW, making the crossheads (from solid), drop links and their mounting plates took 5 weeks of hard labour..




23/02/2021 22:30:13
Posted by Greensands on 23/02/2021 22:16:08:

Hi Pete - Your method for providing a burnished finish somehow reminds me of the technique used by Bristols during WW2 for achieving perfectly fitting sleeve valves in their range of aero engines a la Roy Feddon! In their case I think the answer was to use a blunt edge tool for the final pass. I always thought that Don's method of burnishing was very much hit and miss.

As a matter of interest where did you source your fluorosint used to make up the piston rings?

For what it is worth I do have a complete set of LLAS minus Issue One. Do let me know if you require any supporting information from the LLAS articles.

Yes, that is basically what I used, the front edge was sharp for the entering pass and for the return the power was reversed and the blunt rear face of the cutter did its work. I amazed myself by how well this worked, Doncaster's cylinders are blind bores too as with full size, just to add a little complication to the setup.

Thanks for the offer of info from other LLAS issues, so far I have been able to find what I need, Don has a bad habit of saying, 'do this bit as I did on 'so and so' loco'. To be honest, I rarely read Don's notes now, I usually go my own way although did follow him religiously during the first few years of the build. I have built up a number of very full files on the subject matter with countless photos and works drawings thrown in.

I get my fluorosint from m-machine metals, as I do most of my materials, very well priced and have a good stock of material and sizes. They will also cut to size if required, IIRC the fluorosint cost me £10 per inch, so not cheap but at least you can buy what you need.



23/02/2021 21:23:48
Posted by Greensands on 23/02/2021 20:52:54:

Hi Pete - A really lovely engine and I think the early builds without the German type smoke deflectors were certainly the more attractive. I notice that you are using gunmetal cylinders which was a favourite of Don. Did you follow his method of burnishing using a moly compund to achieve the required finish?

Second question, have you fitted rings to the piston valves and if so how many and what choice of material. I shall follow your build with great interest.

Keep up the great work

Good questions Greensands and yes I agree fully about the smoke deflectors although I wouldn't take away anything from those who love FS no matter from which era. For me, a Gresley A1 is/was the most beautiful steam locomotive ever built, more so than the A3 or A4, the form just has everything that I think makes a fine-looking locomotive.

To answer your questions, I have used an industry trick for burnishing the cylinder bores which involved the final cut in reverse using a bit that was shaped to burnish the bore on it's return stroke. It worked very well, in fact I couldn't ask for better, this will all be covered in detail.

For the piston valves, I am using bobbins following Jim Erwin's adjustable design with a few changes. These have a floating bobbin on a central bolt. The material for the seal is fluorosint, each being machined to match don's original solid bronze dimensions. Fluorosint has a similar expansion rate to bronze and higher temp range than other Glass reinforced PTFE materials.

Thanks for the kind words


23/02/2021 20:50:15
Posted by Jon Lawes on 23/02/2021 20:28:49:

The article in the Magazine is very enjoyable; well worth a read!

Beautiful engineering.

Thank you Jon, hope you find it of interest...

Kind regards


23/02/2021 20:49:07

Hi Phil

All models are just a 'sum of their parts', Rob Roy being no different, admittedly the larger the longer they take to build.

I bought the drawings in 1998, spent some time researching the subject, in fact, I still spend a few hours each week researching material for the part currently being made. I guess the true start date is 2010 and most days since I have worked on the model. There was a 2-year gap where I completed a part built Heilan Lassie and also some time taken when building my highly modified car engine. I use laser cut parts where I can, most are so cut but the traditional saw and file has been used when required. I'm not a CAD man so I get most of this done by those more experienced for which I owe them a great dept.

The boiler is very much a one-off, it was built for me by Paul Tompkins of Southern Boiler Works ltd, IMHO he is the best boilermaker today. It's not fully to the DY design, in fact, in many ways, it follows the stronger designed Australian boiler code. This has allowed the working pressure to be increased from 90 to 100 PSI. It is very much a 'scale' boiler in as far as it's profile, including a proper barrel taper with no step as normally seen and backhead layout are concerned. The main backhead difference being the water gauge mounting points which are a little further apart than 'true scale' to give a larger glass area. The manifold turret and steam valves will be true scale and still able to use the correct steam/water bore size for the required injectors. As is the Firehole door and general layout. The boiler is a mixture of tig and silver solder, the tubes are bigger than DY's too, giving a better tube to grate ratio, a live blower tube is used as per full-size practice.

Hope that helps to answer your questions, Phil.

Kind regards


23/02/2021 15:38:53

Hi everyone

This thread is really in response to another topic where it was pointed out about the lack of threads on locomotive builds and so I thought that I would do my bit for the forum in helping to add more content. However, I'm not going to start a build log here. Some may have seen or even be following my articles currently running in ME and thus don't want to take away from the editors hard work.

I did think though that what I could do is to start this thread for people who wish to know more about my quest to build a highly detailed model of 4472 or have a specific question about the build. feel free to ask ask here and get a quick and honest response directly from thehorse's mouth' so to speak. This is perhaps something a little different, whether it's of interest to other members here? well, only time will tell..

This image was taken two years ago at an event to commemorate the late Bob Todd, held at my home club track, NLSME. The model has moved on a very long way since 2018 but this was the last time that she was assembled (only for that day) and so perhaps the best picture to post to see her true form. She is being built to show her as she would have been seen in 1938 although there is a little modellers license which has already been detailed in the magazine. Everything is being built either to scale or as close as humanly possible and most parts are planned to be working. Well except for carriage heating, the gauge will work though..

48464716221_cb458e0da0_o (2).jpg

Anyway, as I say, I'll try to answer any questions that may arise during the series here asap.



Thread: Kingscale 5" models
22/02/2021 14:49:48
Posted by Buffer on 21/02/2021 19:38:49:

I asked Mike Pavie at a show if it came with drawings so I could take it apart and maintain it in the future. He said "No, its my hard work why would I give you a drawing"

I'm afraid that with an attitude like that I wouldn't buy the model. All steam locomotives no matter what their origin will need parts replacing at some point in the future. This could be a simple replacement of motion bushes or complete new parts, some (most) of which needing a drawing. You can't guess dimensions on most motion parts.

Perhaps Kingscale keep an extensive spares list??


20/02/2021 18:17:36

Please keep posting Bill, I don't see anything that you've said as offensive, crikey, someone would have to be pretty thin skinned to be offended by anything that you've said in this thread. IMHO such subject matters should be aired, that's how forums grow and develop.



20/02/2021 12:27:04

Hi Bill

Hope you enjoy it sir...



20/02/2021 11:50:52


Actually, you may find my blog easier to navigate, it has much more detail including my research and probably of more interest.


20/02/2021 11:46:46

Hi Bill

I didn't think you were referring to me, sorry for the misunderstanding. My build is 'Doncaster' rarely off the first page.

Ps: I have the same avatar there as here...

Kind regards


20/02/2021 10:50:48

Hi Bill

Quote: More threads and photos on a what are you making theme I would welcome.

As you are also on the MECH forum then I'm sure you are aware of my own build which has been detailed (many hundreds of photos) there since 2010 and still has some years to go.

I am relatively new to the ME forum and thus haven't given details of my build here. I already post to 3 forums and FB and have my own fully detailed blog which takes up a lot of my time doing the write-ups.

However the ME hasn't been forgotten and my build is now (since 1st Jan) serialised in the ME mag, the articles won't have the full content for obvious reasons but so far the editorial team are doing a great job.



19/02/2021 19:06:17

Hi Bill

quote: 'Do articles on loco builds appear in the present M E just out of interest ?'

I would say that the current ME has a good mix of subjects to keep the reader engaged including a number of locomotive builds.

I think that as Jason said, this forum covers both magazines and thus the content is more varied, I grant you that it does seem to lack in the loco build side of the hobby. The MECH forum is the complete opposite and has always been more on the locomotive side than other areas of the ME hobby. although they do appear.



Thread: Good First Live Steam Model?
11/02/2021 09:32:46

Hi James

I answered your question on the MECH forum.. good luck with your future build.


Thread: What Did You Do Today 2021
04/02/2021 17:29:57

Not today, 4 weeks in fact of making 4472's crossheads, mostly from a solid lump of black steel, the slipper is a removable item for servicing. Next up will be the gudgeon pins, oil reservoirs and associated pipework to the pins and lastly (I hope) the drop links, 1934 pattern. Crossheads won't be mated to the piston rods until the connecting rods have been made.


Thread: Bassett-Lowke A1 restoration as a static - help / advice needed
03/02/2021 20:17:06
Posted by IanT on 03/02/2021 20:01:26:

Did he finish it Ian, I should ask him fact, I just a few minutes ago sent him an email asking him about his new design 'Lynton and Barnstaple' it will be a great loco.


Not that I know of Peter - which was a pity from my point of view (not only because I'm building an A3 version of one) but also because I was the NL Editor at that time.

Interest in 2.5" Narrow Gauge seems to be growing, possibly since 'Toby' - Steve Eaton's N/G loco design. They do make nice compact locos.



That's a shame, I must give him a nudge..

I have been researching the A1 for over 20 years, picked up a fair bit on the A3 too. If you need details on any parts give me a shout and I'll see what I have.


03/02/2021 19:43:36
Posted by IanT on 03/02/2021 19:27:58:
Posted by Peter Seymour-Howell on 03/02/2021 18:46:19:

Ah.. thanks Ian, I wasn't sure which 2 1/2 FS John had... thanks for clearing that up.



Inside information Peter

John published a serialised account of rebuilding his Dad's A1 'Flying Scotsman' in the G3S Newsletter a few years back....



Did he finish it Ian, I should ask him fact, I just a few minutes ago sent him an email asking him about his new design 'Lynton and Barnstaple' it will be a great loco.


03/02/2021 18:46:19

Ah.. thanks Ian, I wasn't sure which 2 1/2 FS John had... thanks for clearing that up.



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