Tuesday, 30 December 2014
Monday, 29 December 2014
Bonnet front went on in the early hours - a piece of 60 thou 50 x 44 with a hole cut in it, then added to the back of that a piece of car body fill mesh that I must have had in the box for the best part of thirty years awaiting this sort of thing.
I did ponder on a freelancy name such as Hudslet or Rudson etc, but even though Hudson never built anything remotely close to this design it felt better. Lettering is of course from Coopercraft's station nameboard set for 4mm.
Now I might take a bit of a break from it and back to something more serious and pressing in 7mm.
Saturday, 27 December 2014
Over the last couple of days I've played about wrapping something around it.
This is a big learning curve.
1. On say an 009 kit/build, you just need to worry about where the motor will fit. Here there is the issue of motor, power and control all on board.
2. It's heavy. Not lead-heavy, just so much bigger even with a tiny prototype
This is only a small Hudson 20hp style shape, and yet it is 5" long. I wanted to keep the cab clear so ended up mounting the battery box on the underside of the bonnet top. More thought process - you need to be able to change the batteries so there has to be an easy entry. This gives a high bonnet, but as can be seen against the Coopercraft rubbish wagon, which is a pretty small vehicle itself, not that tall at 50mm which is a bit over a scale 3'. I've sketched the cab out at around 95mm high. Next technical problem is getting the switch wired and put somewhere. Though where that somewhere is, is another question altogether.
Thursday, 25 December 2014
Now to tidy the bench and get the top bleached in time for the new year.
Salutations of the season to all the regulars.
Friday, 19 December 2014
What I am doing is a spot of painting. To be precise the two remaining buildings for Morton Stanley, built over the year by Mr. Hill and passed to me a week or so ago. It's slow going with multiple washes, but I'm getting there. The above base on a building on Gold St. Saffron Walden.
Wednesday, 10 December 2014
Other bits of the mag though, leave me scratching my head. Is the hobby changing, or is it me?
Tuesday, 9 December 2014
Regulars will have sussed out that the blog is slow this time of year due to the extra workload. Nevertheless, I have done some modelling. Again, regulars may remember the Knightwing OO conversion that was destined for Rhiw on a Tenshodo spud. For a couple of reasons (clearance and haulage) it was abandoned and all the bits put in a marge tub for a later date. This week I got them out and rebuilt the part built body onto a new plastic footplate that was in turn wrapped around a Kato 104 chassis for 009 use. This is hardly an original conversion, but a handsome beast anyway.
It's a bit bit for Tal-coed, but might just fit a future project.
Saturday, 29 November 2014
Thursday, 27 November 2014
Wednesday, 19 November 2014
Another small tidy up job. This pair of Bagwags were destined for the Edge showing at Expo-ng but were without couplings, so they've been hanging around on the bench. I tend to batch build Greenwich couplings so these received the first two.
Tuesday, 18 November 2014
Sunday, 16 November 2014
A little repair work on the K's Terrier. I quite like these older kits, there is a softness about them. No, they don't have the crispness and detail of the modern kits and RTR, but instead they have a more personal feel and character to them. This little chap has been in the wars having been left in a drawer for a while, and has injuries, notably the safeties which hang over the dome. I looked at the part in the un-touched kit I have , and soldered a pair of copies up from some 1mm rod and a scrap of waste fret from a Langley kit.
Saturday, 15 November 2014
For me 2014 is drawing to a close, primarily due to the intense work schedule that wipes out December, I disappear at the end of November and re-emerge caterpillar-like in the first week of the new year. 2015 will be different; things are changing. I/we have done some eight shows this year; that ain't going to happen again; it can't. There are three layouts currently on the books: Svanda, Tal-coed and the embryonic Morton Stanley. Two of those are really only one day beasts, but more than that I'm tiring of the pure public show mentality; much better are the open-day type where there are a few like minded individuals to chat to and exchange ideas with rather than those events where I feel like I am train-operator-monkey shuffling my stuff up and down for people who quite frankly a lot of the time are just keeping out of the rain and couldn't give a toss.
There are essentially two more layouts on the 'five year plan': the GWR terminus and the O gauge which could go one of two ways. These will probably stay, but being that they are pretty much set as exhibition games, there is a feeling of relaxed in-urgency about them. They'll get done when the sap rises. So where does that leave me? Well I did have an idea to pack it in for a while and go back to being a rent boy, but I'm told I'm too old now so I may build a home layout instead. But what? and why?
There are lots of possibles: 009 is the most logical, it's home base and I have a lot of it in stock, but then to some extent it's another 009 layout for me, and I've had my fill over the last couple of years. What is rising to the top is something either industrial or light in 4mm. One of my favourite things is 4mm wagon-building and I do very little of it these days despite there being an unlimited supply of cheap available supplies. Another factor is the liking for the Kent and East Sussex Railway. The prototype is around the corner and I have bits enough to start, like the above which I built ages ago from a part-built K's kit and a Branchlines chassis. There is another kit in stock and an LSWR 0330 saddle tank - all suitable stuff. It would be possible to wrap 2/3 stations around the room that I'm sitting in. As Paul Marshal-Potter put it in a recent post of his ' ...a railway that goes somewhere.' So in order to feel my way, in the Terrier arrived on the desk - a little worse for wear: chipped paint, no crew and the ironwork around the dome to rebuild. The transfers are rub-downs from Mabex, now long gone. Are there newer replacements?
Friday, 14 November 2014
If you want a plan to trial a new scale or gauge which contains all the elements of a station without fuss or ceremony, then this is the one for you. We used it and Glen Doran as the basis for Unnycoombe (link above) for just those very reasons with great success. It's just enough to get your eye in without wasting too much time, effort and cash if it fails to please.
I assume that the Alan Cook credited as photographer is the same Alan Cook that built Snooville which featured earlier in this series.
Thursday, 13 November 2014
Again low cost. Not only did the MDF come out of the council tip, but the point on the left was a gift and the trackage was from a bundle of eight lengths of 'concrete' PECO bought at the Bognor show for four quid.
Wednesday, 12 November 2014
But I digress.
The EM went down on some 7mm sleepering. Then later on I was trialling some 14mm gauge NG, so that went down in the middle. Almost by mistake I ended up with 16mm gauge between two rails and on the outside edges 21mm gauge. Only the EM is truly accurate, but OO stuff will trundle along quite happily, as will 14mm NG and 3mm 14.2. As it's just straight track and no crossings the wheel widths cope. I even knocked up an 0-4-0 21mm gauge spud from a Wrighlines block, half a set of Terrier rods and some Sharman wheels to test the outer rails.
After 20 odd years of being thrown about it was looking a little sad, so I set to work re-sticking sleepers, and re-soldering loose bits of track on both sides, for somewhere along the way I'd added some 32mm on the reverse. For someone who jumps around gauges, it's a very useful bit of kit.
Tuesday, 11 November 2014
Monday, 10 November 2014
Thursday, 6 November 2014
While the buildings for the LH end are being constructed in Crawley, I though I'd get the RH end all covered, or as much as I can, hence the early ballasting. The gap in the middle foreground is for a water tower (another head-scratching situation) the black patch is the light killer for the station building. the grassy knoll looks OK in reality, but shite here and just like carpet, which is not surprising as that's effectively what it is.
Wednesday, 5 November 2014
What is jarringly apparent is how big the widows are and that there needs to be something inside even with the reflection killing black paint on the floor. Aspidistra in the window?
Tuesday, 4 November 2014
Sunday, 2 November 2014
The windows have been carved about, the nameplates have just about been removed and after an stupid amount of drilling and filing the Kato is a push fit into the floor. It sits a little high and to change this... well you'd be better off starting from scratch.
Why did I do all this? No idea.
Saturday, 1 November 2014
The work on Morton Stanley starts in earnest. Above the relatively small area of raised landscaping is built up using the usual CF long used paper-mache over card former base. Shaped pieces of card are stuck on and back filled with whatever I find in the bin, then the whole lot is covered with finest industrial bog paper stuck with watered-down PVA and a little help from a sad looking Billy Idol.
The canal frontage has caused a bit of head scratching. A little research on canal quays throws up something three of four feet high off the waterline. But try as I might I can't help seeing this as eight feet of wall in 4mm. Probably compounded by me in using Wills sheet (because I had some) inspired by Dave Holman's comprehensive use of it on his 7mm Irish layout pictured below two weeks ago at Uckfield. A bit of toffee apple stick to cover the rough corner join and some acrylic paint and I'm in business. What I need now is a 7mm scale duck.
Sunday, 26 October 2014
The photos enclosed are shamelessly lifted from Mr Campbell's picassa page which includes the whole show and can be accessed via the link to your right.
This was a bit of a full stop in the calendar - last of the five weekend run, the showing of the non-exhibition layout at the premier NG show, but more than that, a full stop in the treadmill of getting this particular layout finished. In many ways it's been a commission, that has been commissioned by me; a single entity with no real reason except to be built. Therefore I'm glad that it has gone to a good home home and to a person I've known for many years.
The full stop now having been mounted and stuffed, it's time, with a Spitfire repeatedly flying over and Mrs F. downstairs painting the ceilings (I know how to treat a girl, I always find pointing out the bits she's missed is a popular move) to move back into gear with Morton Stanley. A return in fact to modelling for me; for fun.
Thursday, 23 October 2014
I want to concentrate on other projects now, maybe slow down the making of things and do some modelling again, exhibiting is all very well, but it becomes the drive and this is very much the tail wagging the dog. This will be five weekends in a row - not exactly stressful in a workaday manner, but you do start to wonder why. Friends are more important than the public, possibly that is the way to go.
Tuesday, 21 October 2014
Operating Tim's Portskerra was a joy; with full interlocking, every move has a reason and you can't move unless things have been set properly... it's a real model railway as it should be done. And with 99% stock reliability you look to your own route set screw-ups before you'd even think of prodding a loco. A more modest builder you'd never find, and cleverer ones are rare.
It would be hard to pick a best in show from the others, but Dave Holman's new 7mm scale 5'3" Irish grabbed my attention. Pragmatically built with full use of certain 4mm bits, it's a wonderful piece of work even before any trains appear.
Monday, 20 October 2014
Friday, 17 October 2014
Rachel's not a grimy industrial, she's more of your 'pride of the driver' type girl so any weathering will be very light.
Thursday, 16 October 2014
Now October is mid-way through, time to look back to warm summer days and a visit to the very hands-on Sittingborne and Kemsley. Well worth a trip.
Wednesday, 15 October 2014
The bit of 6mm MDF was fished out of the skip at the council tip and by the sketches on it looks like it's an off-cut from a wardrobe project. This mean that the FY will be the odd length of 29 5/8". Which with a bit of point juggling is just long enough. M. Stanley only has a possible run-round length of 16" of train plus loco, so no real problems. This was chopped down to a foot wide and uprights (or sides) added from the off-cut and a bit of gash at 3" high (deep).
Tuesday, 14 October 2014
So this is one thin coat of red and green and I think looks quite smart already. The Ben root is obvious, and I imagine there will be a lot who will think it's the Smallbrook kit. When it is plastic sheet and fittings from the 4mm Gibson range.
Monday, 13 October 2014
A dark and gloomy day to match my mood, so a bit of painting to cheer. Nigel's Ben conversion Rachel was sitting on the desk after a bit of mechanical repair work which hopefully has cured the problem. So starting with the awkward bit first, a base coat of sandy cream on the cab interior, although with the bad light reflection it looks as if I've done the outside as well.
This popped up on the forum from John Wooden, and if you can get past the little darlings singing at the top it's absolutely fab.
And moving on.
The first challenge is to post something every day this week, the first, and this still sort of being Sunday, is the finished 7mm wagon pictured earlier. As with most of Morton Stanley's stock the base is a simple Triang wagon chassis that can be picked up for a couple of quid on s/h stalls. The rest is mainly 40 and 60 thou plasticard with a few bits of strip and micro-rod to detail. The inspiration is the small round end wagon design of the Southwold Railway, though a few alterations have been made. I've tried to set the doors 'unsquare', bowed and loose as most dropside vehicles rarely have close-fitting and tightly latched doors. The detailed build description is in the short 7mm section of the book which should be out sometime in 2015.
Friday, 10 October 2014
Thursday, 9 October 2014
The immediate upshot is the quick resumption of work on Morton Stanley after a brief conversation over the weekend which means it has to be ready by March. Followed by one of the choice-layouts which came quickly down to the Art of Compromise which can be built for next to nothing as everything is in stock, an important issue in these cash-strapped time. this would give Mr. Hill and I four exhibit-able pieces. Now all we need is (only) one days shows to take them to.
Tuesday, 7 October 2014
Now the questions are arising of what next. Morton Stanley is still at the building stage and is an untested format so the jury is still out on whether it will work to the standard, which is tricky when you've been messing with European spec diesels which just purr along.
It maybe time for a radical change of tack.