Welcome to the Web Pages of the

Canterbury Society of Model Engineers

 The Canterbury Society of Model and Experimental Engineers Inc (CSMEE) is for all people in the Canterbury region who are interested in the design, construction and operation of models and machines.  We are based at Halswell Domain.  Come and see for yourself, we would love to see you. Why not become a member or supporter of CSMEE? Click here to check out our Facebook Page.  Take advantage of our new Family Membership.
CSMEE now has a forum for members to exchange information.  See Members Page for details.


The Club Contact for making a booking for a group to visit our facilities is Cameron Bishop Ph 022 0799 811 or John Howie Ph 328-7459.  See details under "About CSMEE / Meetings and Activities" for more details.

    What's Coming Up? 

Boat Night:             Tuesday 14 October 2014.  Clubrooms, Halswell Domain.  7.30pm
                              Boat Night
General Meeting:    Tuesday  4 November 2014.  Clubrooms, Halswell Domain.  7.30pm
                              Guest Speaker:  Alex Hunter will talk to us about the Ffestinog and Welsh Highland Railways

Boat Night:  
           Tuesday 11 November 2014.  Clubrooms, Halswell Domain.  7.30pm
                              Boat Night


Regular Events

 Running Days:

Club members (who are all volunteers) endeavor to run model trains at our site in the Halswell Domain on Sunday afternoons from 1pm to 4pm throughout the year - subject to weather.

Follow the signs at the main entrance to the domain - off Halswell Road

Special Boat Sailing days are held the 2nd Sunday of each month.  Traction engines and other models will be operated from time to time.

Whilst every effort will be made to ensure that trains and other services run as advertised, CSMEE reserves the right to cancel any service without notice and no liability for any loss will be accepted by CSMEE.


       Meetings will be held at 7.30pm at our Clubrooms at Halswell Domain

First Tuesday of the month      - General Meeting often with a guest speaker

Second Tuesday of the month -  Boat meeting

Third Tuesday of the month     - Chat night



April 2014

John Hamilton has recently completed his distinctive model locomotive.  Based on the Phantom John has created a beautiful model with real flair.


 FEATURE MODEL - John Hamilton's Phantom Locomotive

John’s new loco is of the Phantom designed by Dave Giles from Auckland.  John selected the design for its proven performance and the size of the completed model.


The original design is based on a Canadian loco, but as John liked the Colorado narrow gauge type of loco he gave his model this flavour.  The loco was built to be used so there are no fine details.  The running boards are 10mm plate and the cab made from 2 x 1.6mm plates laminated to give some detail.


The building took approx 10 years. John’s original plan was to have it ready for Canmod in 2006 but with life and work getting in the way it was finally ready for Canmod 14.


Construction of this loco is not difficult and allows the builder to incorporate their own ideas.  John says it took ages to select the colours.  He finally settled on a dark blue boiler and red (the red being similar to the Honda Jazz) with stainless steel bands and some fasteners.


Choosing the colour was only part of the challenge and John was unsure as to the type of paint to use.  Naturally advice varied. On reading a book on restoring a Disney loco John noted that they used Du-pont Imron, and decided if that’s good enough for them then it must be OK for him.


John did have some assistance on the two biggest items. The first being the boiler.  This is 7” dia copper so a lot of heat is required. Fortunately Allan Stokes offered to help, and there were regular work nights until it was finally completed. The second was the tender tank,  John was keen to make it in s/s with 3 compartments. Front section for coal, water tank in the rear and between them an area for the brake air compressor and hand pump. The problem with the design was TIG welding it all together as John had no welder and even less experience. An experienced welder heard what John was going to attempt and for the payment of 2 doz tinnes offered to weld it up. Before he could change his mind all the parts were prepared and the job set up.  John was impressed at the fantastic job he made of welding it all up.


To John the loco and road names have to suit the style of the loco. A number of builders name them after their wife, but his wife's name, Kathy, I didn’t suited a western loco. Then one night inspiration happened while having dinner out and listening to a group were singing the Kenny Rogers song “The Gambler”, that was it.  The road name (Black Hawk Central) is made up from the Colorado Central RR that passed through Black Hawk, then a smelter town. Black Hawk is now a casino town about 30 miles west of Denver.


John was surprised (but happy) that on its first 3 times out the new loco ran faultlessly.  After that it did show a couple of minor problems. The radius of the front pony truck was a little small with the result the right hand cylinder stud was machining the outer edge of the wheel going round some of the curves. The second problem is with the steam pump but that will get sorted.


Also on the first run John had forgotten to set the air regulator pressure to the tender and riding trolley brakes.  As a result 60psi was applied on the 75 mm diameter cylinder instead of 10 psi.  That does tend to lock things up. Fortunately only the family was aboard and the air pressure was adjusted before giving the public a ride.