Sunday 30 September 2018

Worthing model railway exhibition

Canute Road model railway layout
 Seeing as though it's only a little way away and Mrs F. was out with her mother (cue Jaws theme) I wandered over to the Worthing show. The only thing that had caught my eye on the listing was Graham Muspratt's Canute Road which is tiny but lovely. I'd not been to this event for a few years and in ground space terms it's grown a bit, with two extra rooms, but is still hamstrung by the long dark corridor as the centre piece, which gives the effect of the show never achieving a critical mass of people as they're all strung out in a line.

The other layout that I really liked was at the other end of the size range - Dubmill Sidings. This captures that hard to get right atmosphere of open space. Difficult in the smaller scales; harder still on O. Not one narrow gauge layout though.
Dubmill Sidings O gauge

Thursday 27 September 2018

More fence work for Orne

Not stunningly impressed with this. The fishing wire wasn't keen to be stuck into the holes. I think there's supposed to be 4-5 wires, but this was testing my patience as it was, and this from the man who has built buildings from single blocks of card in the past.
Anyway... stuck in with UHU and a three layer paint job (grey/green/brown) to try to make it visually disappear and not look like a set of gravestones. General bedding-in to do. This may get replaced.

Wednesday 26 September 2018

Ratio fencing for Orne

This stuff has been in the drawer for a goodly amount of time so probably smart to use it up. I needed a foot or so of non-specific fencing to run along the back of the layout. I think this is Ratio and that you are supposed to stick the fishing line that comes with it to the front of the posts with some solvent. These had been pre-drilled by our Mr. Hill some time back and it was just a case of threading the line through and sticking it to the posts set at 1" intervals. I can think of more entertaining jobs to do.

Tuesday 25 September 2018

1970s offices

A while back I posted a photo of a quite delightful fuel tank near Stoke Mandeville. Swinging the camera to the left brings up these 1970s offices. Still in use, but looking a little worse for wear. The concrete pad to the right is the drip area for the fuel tank - or could it have been a weighbridge at some point? Most people will now buy a ready to plonk item for this sort of thing, but a few selected and altered bits of Ratio and Wills should sort most of it out in this low-relief scenario topped with some wet and dry for the felt roofing.

Friday 21 September 2018

The boy on the bridge

This has become a bit of a signature cameo. The boy on the bridge (if there is one) has appeared on all layouts since Wood End in 1999, and Orne is no different. This is the last one in stock though. A standard Airfix/Dapol figure with a mix of acrylics. The bridge is a Wills Occupation top with a new plasticard deck, over a scratch base made from Wills brick sheet. As the setting is the South Downs the chalk bridle path with its overgrown hedges was easy to channel into model form. The path continuing into the backscene.

Thursday 20 September 2018

Shunting at Orne.

Being that Orne is pretty simple I thought I'd try running through a basic sequence of moves to see if there was enough to do. One loop, one siding, three storage roads and a mix of a two goods consists, one passenger train and a couple of railcars. Starting with just the flat car on the layout I worked through sixteen moves which took me back to where everything was in its original position. Hardly heart-stopping excitement, but then I never operate much at exhibitions anyway and its not that sort of layout - it wasn't meant to be. I scribbled the moves down as I went, all fairly obvious, and even a young strapping nuclear physicist should be able to operate it without any instruction.

Above is the final move with the flat ready to be swapped over and nosed into the siding. The flat is an FR coach chassis with a new top, the loco a Knightwing on a Kato 103 and the brake is scraps. Just another hour's work should see it ready for ExpoNG next month.

Tuesday 18 September 2018

009 platform detail

I tend to go for an open feel on layouts. For some reason that's not working here, so time for some clutter and extra bits. Like most I've got drawers full of little bits and pieces that have been bought, borrowed and nicked, and a lot of which have come from old layouts. Above is a case in point: the figure is original Airfix donated by Nigel Hill and repainted, and marks the maximum uncoupling point for the run round. The new fencing is actually off Rhiw (see pages above). Some of this ended up on the Art of Compromise and this is the rump. The sign is from a double A4 sheet of Builder Plus enamel signs that I got for 10p in a rummage box at a show and contains enough of this sort of thing for a lifetime. The fence just needs bedding in with some green stuff.

Monday 17 September 2018

Orne 009 details

A bit of work on Orne. The usual 'boy on the bridge' a platform passenger and some wood chopping.

Thursday 13 September 2018

Art of Compromise Railway Modeller

AoC on the cover. Go buy.

Baseboard painting

Out into the wilds of the garage to paint the baseboard of the new OO (old Morton Stanley) baseboard. A nice smart black this time and quite pleased that I hit the forward planning enough to do this before the track and scenery went in. Working title now is Dury's Gap; just because I don't think that COD has nabbed it yet, and with a little twist of punk heritage to change it. Apostrophe or no apostrophe?

Wednesday 12 September 2018

009 Water tower

009 scale water tower built from scrap items
Complete 009 water tower
Th water tower complete and fitted on the layout. I though I'd overdone the weathering, but here I'm thinking it could do with a few more rusty tones. Brazier and ladder yet to do.

Tuesday 11 September 2018

009 Water tower for Orne

scratch built 009 scale water tower

A scratch-built water tower for 009
Orne's scratch-built water tower is now complete.  I wanted something spindly and which looked locally-made, which ruled out any of the commercial kits. The tank is sections of Wills vari-girder, Ratio wood planking sheet makes the timber top, a spare door off a Southern brake van kit gives the access hatch and cotton buds are used for the main legs. There are various bits of plastic strip, some sprue from a Ratio signal box, necklace chain, and some donated wire. Most of this (everything except the vari-girder) came out of the scrap box; thus it didn't cost me more than a pound to make. It only needs some suitable rusty paintwork to finish.

Monday 10 September 2018

Point control switches

Fitting DPDT point control switches to Peco points

Fitting new point control switches
Part of the electrical work is to fit new bigger DPDT switches. The old layout trackwork on Morton Stanley used the slightly smaller version of the standard switch. This meant that the holes in the MDF sheet that holds them needed to be enlarged. After much filing to make the holes bigger (it would have been easier to start from scratch) all four are now in place. There are also 7mm diameter holes drilled immediately below the switches in the back of the board to thread the wiring through to link it to the points. This means that hopefully at least one end of the wiring is easy to get at during an exhibition. The wires themselves run to the stock rails and the frog so that the electrical polarity is changed by the switch while the sliding action physically changes the point.

This is all quite crude compared to some people's layouts where every effort is made to hide switching gear away from view. I take the view that is easier to fix if there is a problem if it is as visible as possible, besides the strip of batten which supports the whole lot acts a a) a stiffener for the layout and b) is somewhere to put an uncoupler and a track rubber during an exhibition.

I might paint the outside of the case now before anything else happens.

Sunday 9 September 2018

Woking show 2018

 Up to Woking yesterday fundamentally to assist a mate with a bit of operating; though that in itself is another story. Obviously I can't comment on the Sunday's proceedings , but counter to my slagging of the catering department last year, I can say that when I was in the cafĂ© area, all appeared to be going swimmingly and no 'we've go no food left' notice as before.
An excellent spread of layouts - Arun Quay (obvs) an American Fn3 gauge which just had so much presence and one I was particularly drawn to was very old personal home layout in EM. I take it was built decades ago by someone who is long deceased, but it just oozed atmosphere even though it was tatty and showing it's age. However - it ran and lots of it.
The 009 Society much in evidence with Martin Collins and Paul Davies manning the desk alongside Welshpool. And opposite us downstairs; Adrian Ponting's Aldbourne with his Society competition entry railcar.

Friday 7 September 2018

009 water tower - basic work

009 scale water tower built from scratch

The basic water tower shape
This is basically four new bits of Wills kit and a load of scrap. The new being sections of Wills vari-girder. A bit of plastic strip just inside the edge gave the tank something to sit on and the legs... ?

Well I note we've gone over to cardboard for cotton buds now, but not before I'd squirrelled away some tubes from the same item made of nasty planet destroying plastic.  I fished four of these out and set to cutting them down to 45mm  - 5mm to go inside and then stuck them on. Errr… no, I didn't. I tried to stick them on, but none of the usual solvents worked. No wonder they're not popular with turtles. I resorted to UHU and even that's not great; that, plus the obvious issues of trying to get them perpendicular and the same height.

Thursday 6 September 2018

4mm water tower

After a few weeks of no proper modelling I thought I'd better get the cutting mat out and actually do something. With the showing of Orne at Expo NG just over the horizon getting the water tower done seemed like a good (if not urgent) thing to do. 
May I present the tank bit just put together from Wills vari-girder panels. 

Tuesday 4 September 2018

DPDT switch

Point switches for the layout with no name. My usual simple set up with a slide switch to change the polarity lashed to a wire-in-tube set up to move the tie bar. 
First a 0.8mm drill through the handle as low as possible. There's a hole in the middle and the plastic is usually quite soft, so it struggles a little at first then pings out the other side when you least expect mostly into the fleshy part of your index finger.

Monday 3 September 2018

The new OO layout.

Everything old is new again.

This is quite a slow burn project. I picked up the track for this in May, but save a bit of plotting, it hasn't moved very far forward  - too much writing and GWR. Yesterday I had a hour to waste so started working on the shelf that holds the point switches which is also useful for resting uncoupling hooks, pencils and the like during a show. I'm reusing the old bits of MDF to hold the switches and just re-mounting and adjusting to suit.
I need a name for it soon.

Saturday 1 September 2018

Burgess Hill model railway exhibition

Burgess Hill model railway exhibition
A hop skip and a jump up the road found me at the Burgess Hill exhibition. The usual good spread of layouts and not too many box shifters. A lot of chat with old friends about everything from trade stands to Police pensions. Above is Giles Barnabe's Shellsea which gets better every time I see it. Also I was particularly taken with Wantage in O gauge and Matt Kean's 009. The only down side of the show is the weird lighting in the main hall which I find really uncomfortable.