Tuesday 31 January 2012

Tal coed the beginning

With the largest single scenic part well underway it was time to upset the neighbours with a bit of banging and sawing. To say that the design was complicated would be a lie, but it's very tight in places so unusually the board and track have to be worked on simultaneously. However what I needed was to build a basic tray out of 6mm MDF to create a firm base and then butcher it to generate the lower levels. Nothing remarkable here: a piece of 2'x4' MDF sliced down to 18" donated by Mr. Hill (where does he find all this stuff?) and off-cuts from the Rhiw build. With a bit of luck I'll be able to do all the woodwork from the scraps that were under the spare bed.

It will be noted that there are no Champagne bottles pictured this time... times are hard.

Tal coed the beginning

Sunday 29 January 2012

Wright's Cottage 3

Friday saw a bit of painting being done. It was that do I, or don't I moment: is it better to paint at least a basic colour before the glazing goes in, or the other way around? I decided on the former, so a basic wash of Rowney grey acrylic, letting the cream of the plastic bleed through and a few stones picked out in that crappy Spitfire green (see the Spitfire posts) and German grey. Windows were touched in with Humbrol cream letting the grey undercoat bleed a little, and doors a mix of the green and dark earth.
Prior to that it will be noted that I added the back wall and floor from plain 6othou. That gives me two clear sheets of stone and one of planking to play with and probably do the station shelter at a later date.
Yesterday I picked up two of the suggested Wills kits (cattle creep and occupation bridge) at the Eastleigh show. In the posts below I mentioned admiring John Bruce's work with Wills stuff. Who sold me the kits...? John Bruce.

Saturday 28 January 2012

Wright's Cottage 2

Basic walls cut and opened up, the windows and door were added - from the front I may add - laying the wall over the frames one by one and dropping a dab of solvent into the corners. Easier to line up that way.
My main deviation from the plans was to lose the twin front doors and use the end wall. The kit comes with 'front' and 'back' doors (don't go there...). So a hole 27 x 12 was hacked in and a slimmed down 'back' was set in an open position. Above this a 10x11 hole was removed at attic level and a section of one of the large windows, which were otherwise spare, was bolted behind it.
The three main walls fixed at right angles and reinforced with the little semi-translucent strips which I took to be corner braces even though they look like something you put in your mouth when you get your teeth X-rayed. Note the chimney at one end and the Tip-ex used as a filler as I had nothing else to hand.

Friday 27 January 2012

Wright's Cottage 1

Wills craftsman kitAs I pointed out earlier, this is not a kit as we know it. What you get in the box are several sheets of paper including some templates and very general instructions, and a bundle of the Wills building sheets and accessory packs: windows, chimneys etc. In other words while you're on your own and some experience is needed, There is an amount of choice in which way to go which you wouldn't get with a standard kit. Hence the term 'Craftsman'. I decided to deviate slightly and use the general elevation plans but alter the layout somewhat, as well as replace a few part with plain plastic. The above is obviously the two end walls and the full height (?) external chimney of which there are two recommended, but I'm only making one.
Wills craftsman kitThere are two photos with the kit... both are different, but where they are alike is that it's symmetry all round; they are are the Play School house for those old enough to remember. Well that's 1. boring and 2. not very lifelike so I shuttled things around a bit.
The top windows are covered by roofing and guttering so are just a pair of saw cuts and a score and snap. The doorway ditto. The lower windows are marked out (all this at the rear BTW) drilled with a 2mm drill all round inside the line, cut out with a knife and filed back to the line(See Mr. Parker's article in the Hornby mag for photos of this). This took quite a while including filing a slot for all the mortar courses around the frames to lose the flat non-stone appearance.
Wills craftsman kitThe roof sections were a comparative doodle. One cut to get the size, then cut and snaps for the chimney gaps, and the edges (which you can't see here) sanded to a feather edge except the top which is 45deg-ish. The bottom edge was cut into on the slate joins and a couple of broken ones cut out to relive.

Wednesday 25 January 2012

Wills Craftsman kit

I've been given a house. Not a real one you understand, but one made of slightly soft plastic. And not even that, but a Wills Craftsman Kit of a cottage, passed to me via Mrs F. from one of her colleagues. What the hell am I going to do with that?
It's not even a kit really, but like the old Brian Clarke 16mm kits it's some plastic sheets, a few fittings and a plan. That is you have to make most of the main parts yourself. But this didn't help me know what to do with it. Then after the B&B Members Day all the pieces dropped into place.
1. I need a replacement for Garn ... and quickly.
2. I have a cottage kit.
When I mentioned this to Nigel he shook his head sagely 'What about your signature card slabs?' My reply was that it's not set in stone... and anyway why not use Wills kits throughout? I've NEVER built a Wills kit, so what better time to have a go. The new plan would need a foot bridge, a small road bridge, an underbridge or cattle creep and a small waiting shelter a la Corris/ Talyllyn. The above kits at £4 apiece would seem like a good start point for adaptation. Both Richard Glover and John Bruce have made lovely stuff from Wills material, so why not forgo the card bocks and try something different?
Now, back to the cottaging...
Images from www.gaugemaster.com

Tuesday 24 January 2012

Garn, Beds and Bucks members day

Garn, Beds and Bucks members dayThe Beds & Bucks 009 Members day was a great success; lots of chat and banter with friendly like minded souls - not unlike a certain other summer gathering. I even began peace negotiations with South Yorkshire. The catering was great, and I'm not the only one who thought that judging by the queues, and the rucksack count was low. Does this indicate something about narrow gauge modellers in that that they understand that there will be tea and toilet facilities at an exhibition and they don't need to carry the equipment from home.
Venue 9
Catering 9
Rucksacks 1

The B&BMD was Garn's penultimate showing; its last being Luton in April where it will transfer to its new owner and reach a new audience in the West Midlands. Of course since that handshake was done 48 hours ago I've had two invites for it...typical.
Garn is shown above in this cracking shot taken and aged on Tom Dauben's phone. He has others from the day that he will NOT put on his blog...

Friday 20 January 2012

Garn replacement?

Extension or not?
After the predictable question from CP re my circular comment yesterday I started thinking. The trouble is I can't get to a conclusion. Emotionally I'd like to get rid of Garn. However the bit I'd really like to shift I should keep and recycle for the next project; that being the station building as it represented the the most work. So I'm torn. The choices are: Sell the whole lot and build something new possibly a through station a la Dolgoch (older readers will remember the 1980 plans for this in RM). Extend at either end with another fiddle yard and possibly a fairly open board with just one point inspired by the TR's 'quarry siding'. Tal-y-llyn railwayBut if I do that does it qualify it as a new layout?

Thursday 19 January 2012

Beds and Bucks 009 Members Day

Garn 009Even before the blue diesels are back in the cupboard it's time to get the 009 out for the B&B Members day on Sunday at Barton le Clay just to the right of the M1. I thought Garn was a bit of a dead duck this time last year, but it's all that's going out so far with umpteen shows in the first half of the year,which means I've put off selling it until after May.

There are loose plans to replace it with something more circular... I'll add it to the list.

Monday 16 January 2012

Svanda stake wagons

I'd been given three 'foreign' wagons to deal with as a start; the van and two with pointy bits along with the requested photos.HO scale  stake wagons The van was OK, but I used a paler grey than normal hoping for a lighter feel, but the body didn't come out quite the way I wanted. However the pointy wagons did. The photos I was given indicated that they are multi-purpose vehicles that can have the sides on or off and are used from anything from scrap to new timber. And, are universally filthy and covered in rust. The photo I worked from had this lovely graffiti (or is it crude route marking?) so I just copied as closely as I could using my usual palette of Humbrol and G***s W**rkshop acrylics.

It will be noted that I have no idea what these are, only that the van is Roco and the pointys are less detailed Lima.

Saturday 14 January 2012

NSB vans

A commission... well nearly. Nigel's Svanda layout needs stock to run on it and there is no shortage believe me. A selection has been picked and is down to me to dirty slightly. These are uncharted waters so I've been provided with a number of prototype photos to go with the three vehicles that I've been given. This a fairly standard (I think) NSB van from Roco that has had the couplings single-ended and some of the slop taken out of it.
Boy does it run smoothly. I now know which way my desk slopes.

Thursday 12 January 2012


The official re-naming.Today. Beer. Rhiw. Clicky. Jolyon - directed by Steve. Plaice

Wednesday 11 January 2012

Hayling island railway 1

The line to Hayling shut in 1963 and has been in most part turned into a very well done and well used green lane starting in central Havant and ending at the south of the island with a break at the road bridge. The first bit of real stuff you get to is this bridge under the old A27 Emsworth Rd. Sorry for the camera shake, but the barbs were only just kicking in.Hayling island railway Fifteen minutes walk later and the path crosses Langstone Rd - the site of the much photographed level crossing. I'm not sure if the square building was part of the house behind or a crossing keeper's cottage. The line followed what is now the road.

Hayling island railway Just past this is the site of Langstone Station which sat on the right of shot. Rather a grand title for a short wooden platform and small shelter - now predictably all gone.

A few hundred yards before Langstone Harbour the council path swings left toward the road to allow walkers to cross the road bridge leaving only the interested and knowing to scramble to the spit which carried the line to it's own bridge. Originally wooden, and then encased in concrete, which is what remains.

With the light fading we turned and the final shot is back up toward Havant. The line split here. There was a coal wharf on the left and another on a seperate line on the right by the masts. Along with, I believe, the ramp to the short-lived paddle steamer car float to the Isle of Wight.

The walk continues down the island, but with dropping light and tea with Cruella de Ville calling, we left it there.

Thursday 5 January 2012

Wills Relay Boxes

When Llynfordd was fist started I had the idea to scratch-build a couple of relay boxes - then Wills popped up with two packs of ready to run examples. Now I'm all for scratch-building for the sake of individuality and to save a couple of quid, but I couldn't get near this level of detail and it would have taken me hours.
Wills Relay BoxesThe two above cost the price of a pint and it took longer for the chap at the Hobby Box to find them in the back room than it did for me to put them together.
An article that appeared when they came out suggested mounting on a 40 thou base to represent a concrete apron. The photo below at Crawley shows the boxes on the ground and surrounded by a mess of concrete trunking. The guard rails are an interesting addition though.Wills Relay Boxes

Wednesday 4 January 2012

What I Got For Christmas

Now that all the intense silliness has stopped for another year and I don't have to get squirted with water, make unmusical noises, chat to out of work Eastenders actors and try to catch sweets in front of several hundred people I can concentrate on tidying up and making a list of the next bit of modelling to do which will be the GF levers on Rhiw and the next point for the 7mm ng which is started. I won't bore you with this again as I think there was enough of it a month or so ago. The title concerns the above which was a very sensible present from Mrs. F. and purchased from the now apparently defunct Squires Tools in Bognor. So today's projects are: find some plastic for the levers, grind a point blade, examine the ruling pen and listen to the reissued Exile on Main St. to try to regain some semblance of normality.

Tuesday 3 January 2012

Hot Girl Movie

Perhaps someone can explain this.
Mrs F picked up a DVD of Thelma and Louise for three quid in Sainsburys. This is good as I've only seen the first ten minutes and the bit at the end, so this will complete my knowledge. The sticker on the packaging caused a bit of head scratching. It appears that I don't need a DVD player, but need to go to the kitchen to watch it.

Sunday 1 January 2012

Gloomy Seaford

Seaford LBSCR station buildings It was always traditional for me to wander down to the coast on New Years Day and photograph whatever was running down to Seaford, but I hadn't done it for a number of years. Today Mrs. F demanded a beach walk so the practice was a least partially resurrected.
Only a glimpse of a 313 unit that was too for away to photograph. So a drink in the Wellie and a wander back past the station. For students of the LBSCR this is just about as original as any of that company's buildings are these days.