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Drawing instruments

Posted: Sat Jul 11, 2020 8:54 am
by Jim Summers
And now for something completely different . . . .

During the lockdown I have been doing quite a lot of lining models using bow pens and compasses. In my collection thereof I had forgotten that I have two examples of instruments which are alleged to have been liberated from St Rollox. Some pictures are attached, and I leave you to speculate on what these pens might have drawn over the years.

Drawing instruments reduced .jpg
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Bow pen sample .jpg
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Bow compass example .jpg
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Re: Drawing instruments

Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:27 am
by tony brenchley
These are lovely instruments Jim. What did you use yourself for lining?
Tony B

Re: Drawing instruments

Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:45 pm
by dumb buffer

Rereading your note about the CR drawing instruments, I remembered that I have a set sort of similar. These, as far as I know, came from the (Civil) Engineer's office in Perth (the same place as my clock). I would imagine they date back to CR days.
I have one or two bow pens and compasses, but I've never managed to achieve consistent results. I wonder whether any expert could run a forum for us (me) on how to use these things effectively, as they seem to be by far the best way of achieving really fine lines, if you know how to use them properly.

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Allan F

Re: Drawing instruments

Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:24 pm
by jasp
There was a series of postings on RM Web by Mike Trice which are quite informative.
The first was on 26th May 2010, titled “Using a ruling pen”
Jim P

Re: Drawing instruments

Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:56 pm
by lindsay_g
There's also a very good section in Geoff Haynes' book Painting and Lining Model Locomotives and Coaches (catchy short title!) on preparation and use of bow pens. A lot of success lies in preparation of the pen - honing the jaws to equal length and shape, sharpening, then taking the edge just off - I've bought 4 or 5 lovely old pens on eBay and I can see they'll need such treatment before serious use. They were all a steal - as long as even just 1 or 2 of them produce fine lines I'll be happy.


Re: Drawing instruments

Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:40 am
by Jim Summers
Tony asked what I use myself for lining.
I have two Swiss Kern bow pens, which are no longer available. The first must be about 40+ years old, and was expensive in those days. The second came from a batch which the Scalefour Stores came by a few years ago and sold off very reasonably. Both are an absolute delight to use and positively relaxing compared with some I have tried.

As to the ex-Caley ones I showed earlier, both work, but recently I have used the bow pen for the gold inset lining on the panelling of five John Boyle coaches. It seemed only right to use a Caley pen on Caley vehicles. It worked well, but as each coach had two sides and X no. panels, I am almost happy to be turning to installing the door handles and grab rails.

As for advice, Ian Rathbone's book on Painting and Lining is very comprehensive, entertaining in the text, and very well illustrated. It doesn't leave much more to be said, so I recommend it as a good read in its own right to see fine craftsmanship and methods. However, I will try to attach a pdf of a poor copy of Chris Meachen's very practical basic guide.

I also attach pictures of some of the work of the Kern pens. The crane picture wasn't sharp to begin with!

CR No1 Crane reduced.jpg
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Sligo & Leitrim 1 reduced .jpg
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DSC08785 reduced .jpg
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