Friday, 12 July 2019

Another fine mess

I had a bag of bits about my person that were left over from the Peco offices to station building conversion. These were the walls that would nave been used at the rear if it had been view-all-round and and the windows and doors for same. I'd earmarked it for a mess hut to drop in between the exit bridges.
The four walls fell together and the roof is simply some 40 thou with strips of 20 thou much in the style of the same company's station building toilet block.
Another highly boring utility building.

Friday, 5 July 2019


There is a train of thought that suggests that modelling (especially when working to a deadline) should be done with a certain amount of planning and forethought. This of course is bollocks and the only way to do it is to start with a basic idea, a load of bits and see what turns up. Therefore everything in to picture save the Peco track and the sheet of card is a new thing to me. In other words, to some extent,  I'm flying by the seat of my pants. Jacking a station building up in the air requires a certain amount of knowledge to get it right. I'm just playing around and some card and a set of Hornby piers that came of a second hand stall. Making a walkway out of not quite enough Ratio footbridge is another case in point. What I have so far is a set of aircraft steps and somehow this has got to be bashed into something logical. It'll work in the end.

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Metcalfe kit

I'd pondered previously about the interior of the Airfix/Dapol box - it seemed a little extravagant to buy the Ratio pack at double the price of the main kit for something that can barely be seen. Box interiors are funny beasts: without looks bare and wrong and with is hardly noticeable. Phil Parker suggested that I took a look at the Metcalfe card kit. At six quid it's a cheaper option.
What you get is two card frets with bits that very gently push out. The table and chairs are delightful; I've tried scratch building a table before and believe me, this is a better bet. The stove is a fold-up with a wrapped paper pipe. I discounted this as too much faff and used a carboard cotton bud tube instead. The levers are a fiddle and are a bit chunky and there is no proper instrument bridge. That's not a problem though. What we are aiming for here is visual suggestion. These are all unpainted as yet and with a gentle selection of colour there's more than enough to fool the eye into thinking that there is more going on than there actually is. Definitely worth a look.

Saturday, 29 June 2019

Hopwood board two

Gradually moving along. with board one complete save a few packing case type details and onto the join with board two.
The bridge has been pre-built so unusually I had the foresight to ballast underneath first.  The arches unit went in. The was a slight bow (2mm) upward, but it could have been a lot worse considering the seven end-on butt joints - a little standing and holding both ends down while the glue went off was in order. The bridge slots over the end and once this had been waggled around to fit and stuck down, the facia was cut and was glued on. All seems OK at this juncture so board one can come down and board three can go up. There's not quite enough room to walk around if all three are up at once.
I feel a whole lot of ballasting coming on.

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

The Airfix parcels depot.

Pre final detailing a pre sweeping up the excess static grass - but you get the idea. L-R: Wills sheet, Parkside van, Dapol ES and canopy, Peco platform, code 100 track, buffer stop, static grass and ballast. Nothing you can't pick up from a model shop. The figures are a mystery and came out of the tin (a real tobacco tin! Proper stuff.) one might be a Model Scene the other is whitemetal.
It's a bit of a contrived scene - I'm never convinced by the siding in front of the FY, but then that was the requirement.

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Death by Airfix

Hopwood's parcels depot needed to be steam age - apparently. So has become an homage to Michael Andress in many ways. The main structure is an Airfix engine shed sliced down its middle and re-built end to end. The doors have been sliced and added to suggest open sliders. The lamps have been used though are barely visible now. The canopy (which is magically cantilevered at the ends) uses the Airfix platform canopy kit valancing variously chopped about - the girder pieces are behind with a piece of plasticard on top.  The whole lot sits in, and on, the remains of Peco setrack platform sections. In other words there is nothing here that couldn't have been built from the same bits in 1975 and most of it as far back as 1959. Regulars will know that this sort of ancient bodgery appeals and I can't see that it will stop here. Incidentally the cost of all this is probably around £18 and I still have bits left over.

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Sunday signal box

 Ropley on the Mid Hants.

Friday, 21 June 2019

Some asbestos dust

The last of the Hopwood main buildings and possibly the simplest; a faceless industrial to stop the eye at the end of the parcels line. A shimmy into Kernow Guildford last weekend picked up some Wills asbestos sheet and this seemed like a good place to use it. A little research flagged up the often lack of guttering on these buildings and the L shaped roof edging; presumably to stop damage. These were made up from folded 5mm wide strips of 10 thou. Faceless and featureless.

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Hopwood gets a facia

Moving this project on despite some misgivings with brickwork. I thought it best to concentrate on one end, so finished the FY which is a zig-zag of MDF followed up by a facia board of same. This was glued, weighted and a few small screws added at certain possible 'rip' points like corners. Note that as was suggested today that I didn't have time to collect together my rare books to use as weights to prove what a worthy railway study buff I am, and just grabbed a couple of toolboxes.
The boards are slightly smaller than I would normally go for at 900mm long. This doesn't mean that by the time all the MDF backscene material is added that they are any easier to lift  - I can happily stand on this one with all the box section engineering.

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Global Rail

Up to deepest Oxfordshire for what is now a regular trip to the German Railway Society's Global Rail. Not without its drama - the organisers were informed at 3 o'clock on Friday that the venue was double booked and therefore they'd lost a third of the floor space. A few items were cancelled and the rooms re-jigged. If I didn't have some prior knowledge of this I wouldn't have noticed. The only thing missing for me (and I'm probably not the target audience) is a kits and bits trader and the required Wills sheet and point were purchased at Kernow Models on the return trip.
My downside of the day was getting a cup of hot tea thrown over me by a wind-blown curtain. Still, an excellent showing of all things non-British. If you fancy something a little different, Alan Monk and the team put on a great show with a twist. Make an effort to take a look next year.
Show: 8
Catering; a grumpy 6 even though bacon rolls were available
Rucksacks: 4