Friday 28 March 2014


I really should tidy up. There are about a dozen post items which just need sorting and writing up. Not least the local stuff and a bunch of photos from the Ratty taken last year. The above at Ravenglass is lovely: no room for a signal post? No problem. I assume the shed is newer and blocked the view of the starter - or maybe the other way around. A nice idea for a different model signal.

 The L&B wagon continues... not very fast, but trying to position strapping which is only .75mm wide and getting it to stick is quite fun. There are also more issues. The one below was another instruction glitch. 'Sweat sides on., Yes OK, done that. 'Repeat with ends.' Err no. You can't do that without folding the sides up as it won't sit flat which is five moves on. Moral: Ignore instructions. Note poorly shaped bufferbeam.

There have also been strapping issues. There is a nice p/copy of the fret showing numbered positions of the bits, but I could only locate two vertical straps and not four. So it's now all a bodge with me making up straps and a top hung early version from what I could find. All that extra solder is much reduced now. The problem is there is a minimum that you need on the tip of the iron to make it work, which is a bit too much for the job.

Wednesday 26 March 2014

Oh why don't we play cards for her?..

...He sneeringly replied. 'And just to make it interesting, we'll have a shilling on the side.'
For those of a certain age.

Dray, horse and carter fixed in the yard at Edge. I toyed with the idea of adding reins, but decided they would be a bit too much. It might get a tarpaulin folded on the deck though.

Tuesday 25 March 2014

L&B wagon chassis

A bit of soldering was required. I could have dragged out the unfinished loco chassis kit that featured here, but for the purposes of the exercise, a wagon kit is a lot less threatening. Enter the long defunct Langley Lynton and Barnstaple 4 ton open wagon.

Etched kits have changed and I reckon this is from about 1980. Problems are that I followed the instructions - when will I learn? - and that the metal is a tad thicker than would probably be used now. What I should have done was ignore the paperwork and fold the chassis first, then add the three-part axle boxes and the so easily broken tie-bars. Adding the bits in the flat, then putting the whole lot in a vice to bend it up? Not a good idea. There are wheels included though. Nice good old fashioned heavy N gauge wheels... well you can't beat a big flange on a Tuesday afternoon.

Sunday 23 March 2014


The Slaters horse is a lovely moulding... no I'm lying. However with a bit of filing and filling it does start to work. I need to take a bit of the shine off of it though. What is it, horses sweat, ladies dribble? Something like that anyway.

Saturday 22 March 2014

Dray 3

 Rear springs and axle on.
 The axles were shortened and pinpointed slightly before adding the wheels.

Although there is not much on the net on these vehicles or in the GWR road vehicles book which is very coy when it comes to the horse drawn stuff, there is a wealth of info in Nigel's LMS equivalent which gets almost anal about paint-date plates. Apart from lots of photos there is the nugget that during WW1 most of the railway vehicles were painted light grey and by the late 20's were in dark grey... splendid, that made my life a whole lot easier. I had visions of having to paint it like a pikey caravan. Instead I could rely on my oft used palette of Humbrol 67,27, 72 and 29 and a little metallic on the wheel rims. Now the 'orse...
PS may I draw you attention to Paul B's extra info below.

Tuesday 18 March 2014

Dray 2

Note the pip in the above which looks as though it should locate something, but doesn't.

 Leaf springs added to the swivelly bit. The axle part added with the longer sections between the springs. Period photos are not that numerous. The two here from the NRM and aren't quite the same as the kit although the instructions do state that it's a Midland Railway example.
 The swivelly bit is attached lining the rings up and setting here at a jaunty angle to fit the position in the yard on Edge. The join behind the box sections will probably need to be scored to move the horse attaching bits up to the correct position.

Monday 17 March 2014

Slaters Dray 1

 Along with the lamps bought at G**gemaster was a Slaters dray. This is to drop into the yard at Edge and is new to me. There were imediately a couple of issues: Issue 1. I know nothing about horse drawn vehicles. Issue 2 the 'instructions are of the 'put the bits together' variety and relies on an 'exploded diagram' which is a photocopy of a photocopy and took me a minute or two just to work out which way up it was. Not a good start. So bearing that in mind I thought I'd do a Spitfire series to help anyone else out there who can't read the diagram.
The bits in the kit are well moulded and fairly flash free. The floor was cleaned up and the smaller and less complicated of the pivot rings fixed to the slots on the underside of the floor as above.
 There are no drawings or photos of the finished item in the kit so a quick reach across the bookshelf turned up this in Branchlines to Upwell by MP and shows what I think is a similar dray.
The larger pivot ring was stuck to the underside of the horse-attaching bit. There's a little moulded pip on the other side which I thought was a locator, but wasn't.

Sunday 16 March 2014

East Grinstead model railway exhibition

East Grinstead model railway exhibition
 A short trip up the road to East Grinstead yesterday. Not as good as show as the last visit I thought, but there were one or two highlights including Croydon club's Hemlock which was working well and just gets better every time I see it. Is this just that three mil scale just looks so much more like modelling done by a real person amongst a sea of Bachmann RTR? Above is a kit-built pannier on I assume a 3SMR chassis and the building based on Hemyock with not only individual tiles, but individually laid bricks.
Nigel emailed earlier to confirm that the point control video on the you tube account had indeed reached over 9k hits.... suddenly. Which leads me to mention that there is now a short (and dark) film of Svanda available to view. That's dark as in badly lit, rather than dark as in staring Orson Wells.

Saturday 15 March 2014

Building Ratio swan necked lamps

 As mentioned a couple of days ago I realised I needed some 4mm lamps so reluctantly opened the creaking front door of G**gemaster and bought a pack of Ratio swan-necked lamps. I needed two, you get nine, so I have spares. They come with some interesting parts: there are ladder hooks (shown at the bottom of the above photo) which I thought would make a cracking start-point for lifting eyes on 4mm diesels, but I decided to put straight bars on instead using the two lengths of flat wire included in the kit - OK it's the staples holding the pack together, but waste not, want not. Said staples were straightened out, 0.5mm holes drilled in the posts and about 8-10mm lengths of staple pushed through.
 The rest is more or less as the instructions and is a bit of a fiddle. You need a solvent with a quick bite as the skinny swan neck won't stay straight. I was reminded of a article way back using the green bit from remembrance poppies and a length of 30 amp wire to do the same thing in 7mm.

 One lamp needed a running in board.  So I have to make the bloody things now. Some signal box lettering - Cooper Craft probably, and a scrap of 20 thou plastic. Oh what fun - it's like trying to get houseflies to walk in a line -  the bloody things ping all over the room.

There isn't a right angle on it... however... suitably different from the norm.

Friday 14 March 2014

Ratio lineside hut kit

Ratio lineside hut
A hut wasn't part of the original design brief, but seeing as PECO stuffed one in an envelope and gave it to me, I thought I'd better use it. There are questions though. The use of a stone base is a bit unusual, but I'm guessing this is to match in with the other buildings in the range and as pictured in last months RM Ratio ad. The chimney is a bit industrial, ditto reasons I assume. How to make it different? I glanced over young Craig's instructions and ignored them (sorry mate) bocked the window with some Slaters planking, left the door ajar, added some microstrip,and worked a scrap of Wills corrugated down to a paper thin edge and glued it on. I kept the chimney as I couldn't think of anything better and washed the whole lot with Humbrol acrylics. Cost? Time and about 50p. A competition winner? No, I know the judge...

Wednesday 12 March 2014


Station buildings are now on firmly and bedded in with some weedy growth. Now to detail the platform. This is the game of chess which involved putting odd items on and moving them about until I'm satisfied or decide to take them off. It occurred to me that the platform needed a lamp or two so being that I had an early show-run and I was passing G**gemaster I popped in a bought a packet of Ratio swan-necked plastic things along with a Slaters horse and dray. That's two visits to G**gemaster in as many weeks... I'm getting soft in my old age, but with only The Hobby Box and Morris's left in the area I'm running out of options.

Tuesday 11 March 2014

Narrow Planet Nameplates

Narrow Planet Nameplates

The nameplates arrived for the Rocoloco yesterday. Seriously tiny - not much more than five mil long. Stunning. For more details of how to get something similar, slide over to Steve Fulljames's link to your right and follow through to his Narrow Planet icon.

And now totally off subject: In case you missed it I moved house back in August and mostly due to internal work upstairs and the rotten weather we only got out in the garden to do a little GBH to all the overgrown stuff on Sunday, though most of this was sitting in the sun with a glass of wine. We'd worked out that there was a hell of a jungle at the end of the plot and if we could clear it then we would gain about six feet more garden, so we set to work. Half buried was one of those dustbins with the chimney, still full of semi burnt garden rubbish. Mrs F upended it. then called me over. 'Wow! Check this out.'

At the bottom was about half a bin liner full of drawings... special drawings...  This threw up a lot of questions. How long had they been there? At least eight months and they'd suffered a bit with the wet.. Who put them there? The little old lady who we bought the house from, or her husband who has been dead nearly two years? Or someone who helped clean the house out? Who ever it was wanted them burnt. Then there is the question of who produced them. The quality is good, but the subject matter is graphic and misogynistic in the extreme (the one below is one of the tamer selections). One would assume the late husband was the artist. Then you have to consider that he was a retired postman and she a retired art teacher. Him, her, both? Along with the finished sketches there are magazine pages mainly from the 1980s showing catwalk models. The limbs have been re-drawn in different poses in biro as if practising - these are not quick pervy drawings this is studiously practised stuff with a pretty good grasp of anatomical drawing techniques. But linking it with the octogenarian lady that we met is a bit weird.

Monday 10 March 2014

A driver for a Roco diesel

Roco diesel
One thing I almost never get around to is adding drivers. Here though, I managed. Although he looks smiling and comfortable he is in fact hacked off below the lungs. The folded arms give away the origins of an Airfix Luftwaffe bomb loader, though with the neat parting and the beard he looks more like Gerry Adams or Peter Sutcliffe....

Now that they have returned from their day out to Arundel, the platform buildings have been plonked into place on Edge. Sticking and bedding-in to do.

Sunday 9 March 2014

Arundel model railway exhibition

Arundel exhibition

Arundel exhibition
Knowing Mike was taking photos of the models, here are a few of the staff. For proper photos slide over to Michael's Railways via the link to your right.
Arundel exhibition

Friday 7 March 2014

Are friends electric?

Isn't this nice? I tripped over the site while I was looking for something else, as you do. This photo throws up questions until you realise that there is an incline carrying wagons (or a wagon) with dirty great lumps of marble on them riding transversely just out of shot. It's one of those modellable situations that would just look stupid as the stone is so big.
The loco is diesel now, originally overhead electric and is quite large. I estimate the front of the bonnet at 5'6"ish judging against the height of the operative. Take a look.

BN18 9HG

Thursday 6 March 2014

One lift - part two

The RocoLoco posed on the quickly developing Edge.

There's been a small deluge of reaction to yesterdays post, though as with all these things some of it starts to wander away from the original questions. CP sent an interesting idea via email with the to be expected sketch which I will put up here if I convert it to jpeg. basically it folds the FY around the front of the layout on a vertical hinge, thus forming a small box.

The original question was not the track plan per se, but the idea of a small one lift item that could be dropped onto a table (possibly with some fold-up legs as well, with a drop down or swung-out FY. Think aircraft carrier plane... remember when we had carriers AND planes to go on them?) The whole lot would be carried in in one trip and be put up faster than a Russian flag in a Crimean town hall. The scale/gauge is/are not important at this stage, just the transport design. it has to be one piece and a box with stock electrics etc.

In case you didn't know there is a small show at ARUNDEL on Saturday. If you get in early you may even get a Mrs F. cooked bacon sandwich, or if we get lucky on the drive over, some interesting road-kill.

Tuesday 4 March 2014

One baseboard layout designs

Over the last few months - basically since the launch of Tal-coed - I've been discussing the ideal of the one lift exhibition layout. I'm not the only one; even CP spoke for quite a while at not Eurotrack about reducing weight and the pros and cons of cased layouts with a lot of the same arguments. It seems the older we get the appeal of having a layout which is carry-able by one person in one trip grows. This is not just a weight/size thing. Small layouts are more personal; you can get a little closer with them. But how small can you go without sacrificing operational quality over a 7 hour exhibiting day and how big or small is small?
I touched upon this here:

Tal-coed is just about my maximum comfortable lift and is an oval at 4' x19" with 9mm track, but is the above (J Andrew's 4mm OOWeston Road) the desirable minimum? 38" long and operated with Terriers. Could the small fiddle yard be very lightweight and folded up tight to the side? And would 4mm ply and small square section timber as bracing drop the weight enough without sacrificing strength?

And of course there is Mr Nevard's BQ.

Did I mention the Arundel show on Saturday?

Sunday 2 March 2014

Edge platform and Svanda

Edge platform
Tamped and smoothed platform along with a small amount of fencing on Edge. This first foot of platform will be covered with the corrugated iron buildings that are pre-built and waiting in the wings. These will be viewable at the Arundel Show 8th March 10-5.

 Svanda HO Norwegian layout
Svanda at not Eurotrack last weekend. The Wiking Golf tries hard to look imposing under the shadow of the huge bulk of the Euro pallet van.

Saturday 1 March 2014

009 platform for Edge

009 platform
I'm slowly getting there with the scenics on Edge. Here the platform in it's raw state - that is, painted brown and a load of ash and flock tipped over it. The dry mess has since been tamped down and smoothed. Of as Mrs F. put it 'That's better, it looked crap yesterday'.

Arundel show 8th March 10-5