Thursday, 18 August 2016

Done... nearly

Gradually printing off latest volume of print wonder. For some reason the publisher needs a hard copy as well as the digital format.
This has been a bit a bit of a slog as it didn't fall into place quite as easily as the NG book. Logically the sections were the same, but the RTR market washes a lot of the actual work away and I kept finding that things that I was going to make are available in resin or something. Anyway all done and I just have to collate all the physical bits together.

Monday, 15 August 2016


Reading reviews is dangerous, but this one on Amazon made me smile. If I had one aim during all the work involved, it was to make this happen.

"As an 'armchair modeller' of many years standing I have to say that this book is truly inspiring and sees me finally building something! So many 'dark arts' are explained in simple yet entertaining terms and even an experienced modeller should learn something new in these pages.

Even if your interests don't include the narrower railway gauges this book will be an invaluable addition to your layout building 'toolkit' and is thoroughly recommended!"

Friday, 12 August 2016

Svanda and Morton Stanley go west

Possibly a first. Two layouts - two photographers - for two magazines - both at the same time. Our thanks to the two gentlemen who worked non stop all morning to get it all done at a beautiful location.

Saturday, 30 July 2016


Dateline 2016 Crawley:
A trip down to PECO in a couple of weeks for Svanda to be snapped for CM. Quite a lot of bald patches have appeared over the last year due to exhibition handling. Time for the glue pot and some tip-off flock.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Lufwaffe revenge

A bit more on the curve: The curve at the other end wanders around all over the place, here on the left was going to be simple... or so I thought, using Peco 2'6" rad setrack curves. Most of the line at this end is laid on 4" wide building blocks; slight engineering overkill, but easy to remove being let into a hole, levelled up and the track screwed to them with 25mm No4s. Any changes or new house owner will just need a small crosshead screwdriver and to lift the block out before backfilling.
All went well until I got to about 2 o'clock on the photo then the spade hit a brick. 'Building rubble' I thought. No chance, it was laid, and kept going down. As this was sheep grazed downland pre-1935 I though gate post or possibly drinking trough base. Then there was a bit of black electrical wire in it and it dawned on me that I'd hit the air raid shelter. Next door but one pulled his out last year, but that was corrugated iron and at the top of the garden. The lavs were inside when built so it's not one of those. Anyway the job suddenly tripled in time length as I set to work with a 2lb hammer and a bolster to break all the brickwork up remains of which can just be seen at 12 and 9 o'clock on the curve.
I'd decided to put a Tri-ang style tunnel over to visually break the curve so a few bricks and a paving slab went over the top with clearance to W & L loading gauge which is more than enough on this radius.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

AoC and outside

 Bouncing around between different projects seems to be the order of the day and this is turning into more of a weekly report. Above and below are a couple of snaps taken in available light of the AoC. Top is an absolutely straight build of a Ratio GWR brake that was done years ago complete with squeaky plastic wheels. To its left is a Coopercraft V5 van with the firms replacement vent ends.
Below, a more overall shot of the coal dock with a mix of stuff parked up. L-R: a Cambrian Open A, a Slaters PO, both straight builds and an Arfix PO body mounted on a Parkside underframe. I like the way I've managed to get these to all have a slight prototypical dip so there visual horizontal line is imperfect. I must paint the coupling supports.
 Moving outside, the line is now just about complete. As you can see it's simply a loop - a trainset complete with short tunnel on the left. This is the only flatish part of the garden. North of the third stepping stone the ground lurches upward meaning that the lower bit of the loop is raised slightly and the upper is cut in. I was chuffed that I'd only gained an inch in height by the time the loop was complete with just a Poundland level to work with. More on this later.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

4 to 16

 I'm plugging away on several fronts; all unrelated. The on-going as far as here is concerned is the Art of Compromise which now has a few lamps dotted about. Nothing remarkable, just the Ratio GWR swan neck variety. It's a nice little kit which can be built in a number of shapes. The standard above, with a straight post and single lamp. Below with a bracket, no swan, and just attached to the station shelter.
 Now that it's June,a push to get the garden railway finished. Only about 15' to go now and guess what? I'm six fishplates short. The train however needs a brake and a bit of work has been done on this. The jumping between scales is fun: from the fiddly lamps to the huge bits of 80thou sheet.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Maunsell shunter in 4mm

A short final push this week to get the Golden Arrow Maunsell shunter done. This is really only the basic kit without too many refinements. Footstep handrails and electric lamps are  two areas which could be improved. The handrails would be simple enough, but the tiny lamps shown on the photos have eluded me.
This kit needs a lot of initial work to clean up, after that is a breeze. The only addition being the 08 chassis from Phil, brass wire and some laddering from 3SMR. A nice alternative to the 08.

Friday, 27 May 2016

All our yesterdays

 The art of compromise is nearly done. Not that it's been an intense process, I just fiddle once in a while. There's really only the signal box to do. Above; the left hand end with  full capacity sidings. Not that it's been asked, but do I want to take it out of the house? I thought no initially, then it seemed like a good idea, now I'm not so sure. Definitely on table height trestles I think as befits its 1978 period.

A wander around Rye a few weeks back and a wander into the junk shops on the Stand. This caught my eye and will have a resonance with many. The Bond Aston Martin - but look at the price! With box, and ejector seat included inside, unlike in the Hoover bag where most ended their days.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

That one again

I got taken to task by a member of the Croydon club over the weekend about not posting enough on here. Guilty.
The thing is the Wood End angle - the name and layout that graces this blog. Long gone now from here, but still hanging on in Yorkshire I'm told. The conversations have kept tossing it into the limelight this week; some started by me some by others. Wherever they've come from, it has got me thinking and a couple of things have been discussed. The basic design was good, but the execution less so.
The above photo shows why: the two main boards were supported, the corner section was cantilevered from them. This worked for a while, then the display board was added which added weight, then as can be seen we super glued a two year old to this by his fingertips and the whole thing sagged, so we gave up on it. It's still my favourite. Is it worth doing again?