Friday 29 June 2012

BR brake van

There has been a lot of discussion about brake vans during the life of Rhiw, none of which has really resolved the issue. This being, would a brake be required at any time on vac/air stock in the 80's and if so why? The closest that it's come to a definitive answer was Steve Flint handing me a photocopy of the last page of a Santona book that he co-wrote which details situations in which there might be a need for a brake. one of these post 'Driver only Operation' was 'local propelling' which may cover some of the moves on Rhiw. So at the Luton show earlier in the year I picked up a Bachmann late example... OK I guessed. Then I could find no pictorial reference for this livery i.e. Railfreight flame and grey. Paul Barlett came to the rescue again,

Almost the same except that the balcony ends are grey, not as Bachmann have painted them in red.
So a repaint for these, heavy wethering on the u/f and not much topside, plus three Spingside lamps courtesy of Nigel's bits stash. The one jarring fault is that all these vans had roller boxes (even the Airfix gives these). Despite a detailed topside Bachmann goes for oil boxes.

Wednesday 27 June 2012

Airfix figures

Airfix figures
A couple of figures for Tal Coed. Nothing startling here in fact the usual ones I tend to use, both from the Dapol/Airfix range. The way I do this is probably not to most people's taste - a coat of 33 black then flesh areas from a mix of leather/brick/cream/white depending how I feel. Then often as not I'll leave them on the bench and add to them with whatever is on the brush as I think appropriate. Finally a wash of German grey.

This may look a little grubby to most people and is certainly grubbier than most on other layouts. However bear in mind that pre 50s the dyes were more muted, people hung onto clothes longer and in many cases we and our clothes did not get washed as well, and nearly as often. A trawl though the pictures of the pre war periods show a population that is a lot duller visually than post 60s and a lot more weather-beaten.

Tuesday 26 June 2012

NSB small station buildings

NSB small station buildings
 First job up and done. Nigel's NSB station building. Hardly a grand edifice, but fitting for the situation. Built mainly from Evergreen and scrap with I think door and windows from redundant kit parts. My task to paint it.
NSB small station buildings
Cream is a bitch of a colour to get to cover (as is red, which is why all railway companies use them exclusively) The prototype painting ranges from GWR cream to lumpy custard so I aimed for something in between mixing Humbrol 63 and 253 (sand and cream). Of course being that it needed four coats to get anywhere near covered, my mix varied a bit. The details are picked out in oxide (70). The asbestos/zinc roof in 27 and GW Charondon Granite.

A couple of notes on the prototype photos: 1) the buildings sit on a concrete plinth (this has yet to be painted) 2) the platforms are very low to British eyes - not more than a foot - so note the mounting step on the first photo. There are, just out of shot three, what can only be described as 'kitchen steps' between the double track which should line up with the coach doors. 3) the lower shot shows a rather embarrassed looking boulder. If you modelled this it would just look wrong. 4) the platforms are unbelievably short especially when considering the length of the coaching stock used.
NSB small station buildingsNSB small station buildings

Monday 25 June 2012

Slaters 7mm figures

Slaters 7mm figures
I get bouts of painting. Some things need doing as they go, and then that's it. Or I do batches of things. At the  moment it's the later.

I bought the Slaters figures to fill out a pair of 7mm NG coaches. Rough is not the word. I know the moulds are old, but they have a bit of a nerve charging eight quid for something that is a) under scale and b) has so much flash on it that it takes a hour to clean up. Having said that they are cheap compared to single w/m figures and they are 'background'. I just need some indication that this isn't the train from the Marie Celeste.

As can be seen here the first three have been cleaned up and painted black to seal and create a shadow base. Although I've done the whole figure, anything below the knees is a waste, a bit like a Republican punishment victim.

I also have on the bench a BR brake van, two more NSB vans, the Svanda station shelter and at long last the figures for Tal-Coed. Painting season begins.

Sunday 24 June 2012

Work on Svanda

 A bit of a modelling fest yesterday. A list was made of things to be done and a start made. First up in the morning was this fairly modern NSB van for  Svanda with what looks like turn and slide doors. A layer of gereral filth on the underframe was added, some corrosion on the walkway grills and finally some rain steaking. Possibly too wet now I look at it today. Then some basic work on human figures of which more later. Then to Crawley where a little more scenic work was undertaken on Svanda.

Below is a sneak preview of Nigel's mill building for the Norwegian epic constructed in Evergreen plastic with just the remaining roof section to do.
Apropos nothing, except one of the other five year plan possibles, a couple of the old (almost 20 years!) stock items from Einsford Mill were placed on Svanda to see how they felt in the space bearing in mind that it's the same scale. First up being the original SW1500 bought in Victors in the mid 90's and drastically re-worked with loads of brass. (See the top end of the sidebar for a liitle more on Einsford)

Saturday 23 June 2012

Hudson Coach 4

009 society Hudson Coach
More or less finished - just a couple of touch-up bits and couplings which will be fitted when I make a batch up.

Conclusions are that it's a lovely well designed kit; it doesn't fall together, but everything fits where it should. The guard rails are not for the faint hearted and I would slightly change the assembly order as mentioned below to make life a bit easier. Plus I would recommend painting the floor and the lower sides before construction. For £8 it's a bargain considering the quality of the parts which are only let down by the rather old Parkside Hudson bogies which have been around for a while and don't have the sharpness that the rest of the parts do.

Friday 22 June 2012

Hudson 3

009 society Hudson Coach
Just the roof and paint to do. I followed the instructions, but getting the seats in past the delicate etches was a nightmare. The actual fit accuracy of the parts is good and I think I would have been better of getting one side and both ends on, tacking the seats in place and then fitting the other side - a lot less hastle.

The bogies should have gone on last, but I like to get a running unit up first. This could have proved problematic as far as fitting the footboards, which are a folded Z shaped etch. However they slid behind without issue and were fixed with the Wilco superglue.

Thursday 21 June 2012

Hudson coach 2

After a bit of fiddling and losing one bit under the desk for a while I managed to get all the etched guard-rails attached. Then the fun of getting the whole lot square. The instructions recomend the 'one side, one end ' approach which doesn't always work for me. In this case there is a little bit of a 'wind' in the sides due to the thin mouldings, so a couple of dodgy moments trying to hold it firm without dislodging the etched parts.
009 society Hudson Coach
After a bit of juggling the whole lot went together OK and just visible is the lead sheet UHU'd into each end. This has a bit of a history: I moved into a flat in Worthing on 16th October 1987. That was in the afternoon - in the evening the roof blew off, which was understandably a pain in the arse at the time, but did supply me with a large quantity of lead flashing which I've been using up ever since.
Below is the 'replica' coach on the FR
009 society Hudson Coach

Monday 18 June 2012

009 Society Hudson Coach

009 society Hudson Coach
A while back I started this kit by assembling the bogies. Now the whole thing in earnest.
The kit is produced by the society and available only to members - so you need to join. And lets face it if you're working in 009 it's a bit of a no-brainer anyway.

The kit is produced by Parkside Dundas with etches by Niel Sayer and represents the 1923 FR version. This is detailed and drawn in the Boyd WHR book which is none to complimentary about the coaches, stating that they were apt to derail.
As can be seen from the above a little work  (accompanied by a little Philly Joe Jones) got a running unit. The floor drilled 1.5mm and the bolts supplied screwed in. After a little levelling tweaking the nuts were attached and secured with nail varnish (purple in case you need to know - not my usual colour)
009 society Hudson Coach
One plastic side was cleaned up and the safety bars added with some Wilco gel superglue. These are very delicate and a bit of a fiddle the outer pair in particular which seemed a trifle long.

Thursday 14 June 2012

WW1 Narrow Gauge

I can't remember if I've put this up before, but anyway it's worth another look.

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Rhiw in Railway Modeller

Rhiw in Railway Modeller
Photo: J Sargent/Peco studio
The original shots for Rhiw dropped through the door a while ago. This one didn't make it into RM, but I rather like it. Makes the platform look vast instead of a bit over an inch and a half wide.

It's out on Thursday - rush out and buy...

Monday 11 June 2012

Rhiw in RM

Rhiw in RM

RM dropped onto the mat today with a few scenes familiar to readers of this page. The Rhiw article is six pages worth and edited somewhat from the original as is usual with these things. I'm expecting a howl of complaint in the letters page on certain comments of mine and the glaring inaccuracies in the photos. But the layout has been so dissected and photographed here that you lot will not need to read it. However there is a lot of other good stuff within, including an overview of 3mm scale both in the body and in SF's editorial (prompted by my comment page a couple of months back????).

Friday 8 June 2012

Mid Hants in the rain

After a week where most days ended up in what looked like a National Front rally it has thank goodness quietened down a bit. I pondered for a while how Scotland's departure may change things: the Union Flag would have to go and be replaced by something  more 'right on' with a bit less blue in it, we could get rid of the 'Great' bit (hardly applicable anymore is it?) and replace it with something more geographical and less pompous. Southern Britain would be my choice although Ulster doesn't quite fit that does it?

Yesterday saw a trip to the Mid Hants in the pouring rain with Mrs F's granddaughter - a four year old who had never been on a train, let alone a steam powered one where she could be hung out of the window, be invited onto the footplate and go home with a filthy coat. Not a line I'd rush to visit again - mainline steam yes, but little access to sheds and not the most inspiring ride. In fact if I hadn't had the company of a little bundle of calories with a strange interest in the mechanics of screw couplings and hoses I'd have been disappointed.

Wednesday 6 June 2012

Joiner's Thornycroft

The Thornycroft now more or less done. It looks a bit clean, but then owner/driver vehicles often are - I remember washing the drays down with a bass broom every couple of days (must have been great for the paintwork) when I was a slip of a lad.

At some point and on an unbuilt layout I envisage this in a scene having been part unloaded with a leisurely conversation going on next to it between the carpenter/joiner and the goods agent.
The name is an obvious choice.


Tuesday 5 June 2012


Decapitated on the Railway

ON Saturday evening the body of a
respectably-dressed man, apparently
about thirty-two years of age, was found
on the Great Eastern Railway, near Diss
Station. The head of the deceased had
been separated from the trunk ap-
parently by a passing train. Close by
was a basket containing carpenter's tools...

At least it wasn't his head in the basket.

Amazing what you find when you're looking for something else.

Monday 4 June 2012

Hayling Billy

Nigel sent me this this today, and no I don't think I'd seen this one. Full trip survey, and look out for the camera on the line shot. As this is really the classic branch terminus operation it's worth looking to see what actually happened rather than some pre-determined modellers idea of operation. This is not a nicely arrange sequence of moves to please us or an audience, but a system for getting the most done in the least amount of time. Note the fireman's fag and the bucket of water.
This really underlines my bugbear of... lets say middleclass office worker modellers who've never done a manual job creating a scene that is unrealistic, because it is badly observed and designed with a mindset which has no experience of the task.
Oh and you might be advised to watch with the sound off.