Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Ballasting and static grass laying

Brave new world. Ages ago an acquaintance who was giving up passed me a box of scenic materials half of which was static grass and a puffer bottle. Dury's Gap seemed like a good small area on which to try it. There were three or four colours and lengths so I tried small mixes to see what happened. I'm still not sure. On the plus side it's very fast to put down, on the minus it is tricky to work it onto more vertical surfaces and it doesn't smooth out my rough paper mache ground work as well as the ground foam. Another layer of other stuff will follow.
The ballast is another slight change; Dury's Gap's back story is a late 19th century built freight only line on the Sussex/Kent coast, so probably left with the SER's shingle ballast. Therefore a mix of real Camber sand, some playpen sand and the usual magnesium ballast is being used, stuck down with the usual PVA dropper method. Lot's of new things  - we'll see if it all works in time for the Wealden exhibition in March. I don't have long.

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Sussex Downs 009 Group members day

The 009 Society members days are a sub group of exhibitions. Run by the local area groups with the support of the weight of the Society, they are a cornucopia of narrow gauge layouts in the smaller scales. This was no exception with some eleven main layouts with assorted other small pieces. The SDG's two-yearly event is one not to be missed with the accent on high quality NG and cake. 'The best members day ever' was one post show comment. If you didn't make it, then you missed a treat.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Scratch water tower for Dury's Gap

There are two parallel projects running at the moment: the new Welsh NG book and Dury's Gap which I'm trying to get ready for the Steyning bash (more on which later). The later needs four buildings, which are always the time thieves; two are done, though one of these may get a new door at some point. The last is the view-block item to cover the hole-in-the sky. I kept coming back to the idea of a water tower, but being a rather minor freight only line it wouldn't be substantial, so really precluded any solid brick edifice which means you can look through it therefore blocking nothing. A halfway house was found on the Selsey line a small tank on timber legs with what appears to be a small store at the foot - not quite big enough to warrant being called a hut, more a tools and buckets shed. I could also cheat with the tank and leave most of the business bits of the water feed apparatus off as it's only a couple of inches from the backscene; no point putting in what you can't see.

The construction is Wills vari-girder bits for the tank, some 60 x 125 thou strip for the frame and legs and various bits of 60 thou sheet for the store - heavily distressed to look like redundant sleepers that have been attacked with wet rot.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Lancing Exhibition

The Sussex Downs 009 Group

Present their 7th Open and Members’ Day, at
SATURDAY 16TH FEBRUARY 2019 FROM 10.30 A.M. TO 4.30 P.M.
At least Eleven Layouts have been invited including:


Admission Adults £5.00 Accompanied children under 14 Free
Light refreshments will be available

Directions by Road:  The hall is located south of the A27, just west of Shoreham Airport.  From the first roundabout west of the Airport, head south on Grinstead Lane (A2025) which crosses the railway line on a bridge.  After a slight left hand bend, the road becomes South Street and the Hall is located on the right hand side just before a double bend.
On and off road parking available. Hall is approximately five minutes walk from Lancing Station. Disabled access .

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Scratch built timber shed

One shed painted and one more in the building. Wills clapboard and windows plus some strip and scrap. No, there isn't a door. It'll tuck slightly around the corner, so 25% is hidden, and there's no point doing the back.

Saturday, 9 February 2019

Saturday Ramble

'Life is what happens to you while you are making other plans'. So said John Lennon - apparently. It's one of my favourite quotes as it tends to sum up human existence; we are so busy working out what's happing tomorrow that today passes us by. Does this apply to railway modelling? Undoubtedly.

There is an old adage that most keen modellers will have one layout on the exhibition circuit, one in the building and at least one being planned in the head. I fall very much into this trap and while it's good not to walk blindly into the future, sometimes that initial layout gets forgotten and falls into disrepair either in reality or mentally. Which is why I have a reputation for not keeping a layout for long and flogging them off or breaking them up in quite quick order. Is this healthy? Yes it is because it doesn't allow the modelling brain to get bored, but no it isn't because we (I) possibly don't develop a base idea. I don't want to hark on about the good Rev., but most of you will be ahead of me here.

The pace of new RTR releases now is such that the natural pace if building is interrupted. For instance I've had a couple of conversations in the last few days with hardcore narrow gauge modellers who have been tempted by some of the small shiny RTR standard gauge locomotives and are (or may be) building a layout to suit. The interruption is complete and the future planning to justify this purchase takes over the root modelling direction. Once again is this healthy? Because it breaks the staleness of something or do we fall headlong into a scattergun approach to our model making, where we are tempted by a purchase for just long enough to mean that there is a full cupboard and not enough actual main theme - serial modelling adultery. I know that I'm guilty of this.

The side order to this is the 'I must use this up' game which raised it's head here recently (and formed a small poke in the ribs to Phil Parker from me this week. He's unlikely to use the Clayhanger Yard stock again). We have a desire to use the accumulated modelling equipment regardless of there being a desire or a hard plan. Instead of having the idea and the plan first, the direction is driven totally by the 'I don't want to waste this' mentality. The truth is that much of this accumulation was acquired through gift or because it was a bargain and logically should be thrown or sold off to someone who needs it. Is it really a good enough reason to build a layout?

Friday, 8 February 2019

Etched brass 009 coach

This took a bit longer than I anticipated. However no burnt fingers and amazingly it runs OK... or will with a little weight under the floor. I can't understand why more people don't tackle these Worsley kit as they go together beautifully. Not as easy as a 3D print I suppose.

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Worsely Works coach

2a quarryman's coach from a Worsely Works scratch-aid kit. Fiddly, but fits together beautifully. The only detailing to do is door guards and axle boxes.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Brake van -single balcony

The second of the pair from a Dundas quarryman's coach as per the prototype. Not quite as straightforward as it first looked, but with one eye shut through a piece of net curtain it just about passes.

Monday, 4 February 2019

The tidy up closes

Surprisingly not much got binned. After taking everything out and going through all the boxes, accompanied by suspicious eye-raising from Mrs F., it got put into types and re-packed. The idea was to sort out what was in there, decide whether it was of further use and re align in sections so that it was easy to find and remove.
It came down to four possible layouts (six if you count the ongoing). Starting at the bottom left: the Teachers box and above are unbuilt kits, the Rhiw BR diesel stock, the ex AOTC GWR stock and buildings done for the GW book. Upper level: transformers and other control stuff and lesser used tools, 7mm NG and 009 bits and bobs and finally top right the old Einsford Mill USA stock which was highly cheap mid 1990s but would be extortionate to replace. Dury's Gap bits in front.
This all means that in theory  excepting track,wood and detailing stuff I could probably get a decade of modelling out of this without parting with any cash. Bad for the retailer - good for me. There are essentially three easy-build layouts in there that could either use the Morton Stanley or Svanda fiddle yards and that's excluding the 7mm NG.