Lynton & Barnstaple Rolling Stock in 4mm/1ft Scale
by Bob Barnard

I began constructing L&B rolling stock in 1967, as a teenager, and so some of my models are now older than the originals ever were! Although the commercially available kits and parts have changed immeasurably during the intervening period, I tend to stick to my tried and tested construction methods.

I have finally built all five L&B locos, starting with “Taw” some 40 years ago and finishing with the completion of “Yeo” in 2007. This latter is the only kit-built loco – all the others having been scratchbuilt, using TT or N gauge wheels, proprietary gears and motors (am I the only modeller to have Triang X500 and K’s motors still in regular use?). My preferred arrangement involves the motor placed horizontally in the cab, driving an intermediate shaft through spur reduction gears. A worm gear on this shaft drives a pinion on the driving axle of the loco.

As “Lyn”, the Baldwin 2-4-2T, has a rather short coupled wheelbase, the chassis of this engine is fully compensated to give a smoother ride.

Carriages are mainly scratchbuilt from polystyrene sheet, the windows being cut out using a steel jig, punches and needle files. Microstrip panelling is added (a really fun job!), and the sides and ends are then assembled round a wooden floor. Interior details are added (in rudimentary form) and painted, before the glazing is added. I like to leave some of the droplight windows open on my models. Somehow, I managed to paint “smoking” and “no smoking” signs on the windows, and I have recently added destination boards and put tail lamps on certain coaches. I find the overall effect of these coaches is more pleasing than etched brass kits, although I do have one such coach. Coach bogie frames are cut from brass sheet, and folded round 6mm disc wheelsets. All bogie vehicles have “three-point” suspension, with one bogie providing lateral stability, and the other able to rock from side to side a little to accommodate my uneven track.

Freight stock is partly scratchbuilt, but more recently I have used some of the excellent kits available for L&B rolling stock. My preference is to use whitemetal kits for 4-wheeled stock (for the weight – although I fit plastic roofs rather than whitemetal ones), and etched brass kits for bogie stock, although I do have several plastic kit-built wagons (heavily weighted)

The ex-War Department cranes are built from an etched brass kit, which saved a huge amount of effort, in research and in construction.

Couplers are the correct “Jones-Calthrop” chopper type, with hooks only fitted at the Lynton end of stock. I originally used K’s couplers, but now I use Meridian Models ones, with more substantial brass hooks fitted. There are occasional casualties to couplers in use, and so couplers on locos are scratch built from nickel silver for extra strength.

The various books about the L&B contain drawings and photographs of all the L&B rolling stock, although modellers should beware of differences in lettering of some stock.

I now possess about half the L&B’s total rolling stock fleet. There is little point in building too much more, as I have no space to store any of it.

Bob Barnard




      bring 'Lyn' back to life