Sunday 27 January 2019

Southampton model railway exhibition

One of the 'must go' events is the Southampton club show which must be the biggest in the south now. Exceptionally well put together and a very high standard of exhibits. Unusually for these days it was hard to pick out a best, and the only thing missing was a N. American layout. Also unusually, being fairly well stocked with materials at the moment I didn't buy anything. The only thing that might have given it a higher score would have been Gordon Gravett teaching ballroom dancing. The return of the scoring system gives:
Show 10/10
Catering 9/10
Rucksacks 3/10
Others in a similar game take note, this is how it's done.

Friday 25 January 2019

Festiniog Brake (the second)

Converting a 009 Festiniog Railway quarrymans coach to a brake van.
Halfway through the FR brake No2 conversion from a Dundas Models quarryman's coach kit. Logically, as this follows the prototype conversion, it should be fairly straight forward, but of course it doesn't quite work out like that. I'm not sure that (at least with the body) that it wouldn't be better to start from scratch as there are a  load of compromises and you have to alter every single part in some way. Is starting with a kit necessarily a timesaver? Not necessarily so.

Thursday 24 January 2019


The first layer of hand towels going down. Card formers underneath with a little masking tape to help things along. Then it's wallpapering time with a flat Chinese brush and some runny PVA.

Wednesday 23 January 2019

Thirteen wheels on my wagon...

Isettas were produced under licence in the UK at the old Brighton railway works from 1957-62 and were shipped out by rail, here on what looks like conflats. Oxford Die Cast produce a 4mm model for about £4.50, so £13.50 per load. Which looking at the price of some pre-made wagon loads doesn't seem so bad. The whole rake may be slightly prohibitive though.

Tuesday 22 January 2019

Festiniog brake

The FR brake is done. There are a couple of quirks that could be improved, the end windows being one. It is only a little over an inch long though.

Monday 21 January 2019

Track painting

Caught up a bit with the catching up now so back on with Dury's Gap. I have a cunning plan. Try to do a bit every day and stick a CD on. Work from the beginning of the CD to the end, then stop. That way I don't get carried away, but it does get 45-1 done each time. The track is a mix of yellow pack 75 and the new bullhead. Guess what? Now it's all painted I can't tell the difference without looking really closely. With the sleepers spaced out a little on the 75 the rail difference is negligible.

Aslolat model railway exhibition

Aslolat model railway exhibition
I have a short memory. If you cast your minds back a year I said this about the Astolat show. As I walked in the door it flooded back. Moral: read the old blog posts. Small-ish sports hall with very low lighting which didn't show the lower lit layouts off to their best, dire catering and possibly an over booking of trade.
That said it looked like no one else read the blog either as (at least initially) it was packed. As per last year it seemed like Bob Vaughn saved the day with Condicote which along with the one mentioned last year is small and beautifully formed. That, along with short chats with the great and good that had turned out to buy bits and bobs. Will I remember all this next year? Probably not.

Friday 18 January 2019

Dundas Models 009 Festiniog brake van

Festiniog brake van
Having re-read and checked all the work I'd done on the next book last year I'm climbing back into a routine of getting the next bit done. First up are a couple of brake vans. The first is a straight kit build of the 1908 FR vans from Dundas Models. There's quite a bit of flash on the parts, more than you usually get from this maker. Maybe the moulds are getting past their life - I still regard this as a new kit, but it probably came out in the early 1990s. Parts cleaned, it falls together very well. As usual I'm building it in reverse of the instruction sheet and making a couple of changes, i.e. I started by getting the chassis done and running before I worked on the body. As it's obviously very light, a triangular slice of lead sheet was laid in a puddle of UHU to drop the gravity centre.

The original vans were all off the rails by the 1960s, but a replica of No1 is currently running as No7. See here

Wednesday 16 January 2019

Loading a JYA open wagon

Loading a JYA open wagon
Back when the sun was shining I noodled past the Newhaven North Quay to see what was going on. The aggregate sides were lifted probably 15+ years ago, but were reinstated a while back with a trailing point and a long loop. The outward traffic is stone on roughly weekly runs in a long line of JYA bogie opens. So long that from my viewpoint I couldn't see the probable Class 66 at the head.

The loader is caught in mid shovel-filling mode - not a pose that would be normally seen as acceptable on a model, but here it plainly is. I note that while the 'professional' model weathering companies do wonders with squirty airbrushes on this sort of vehicle, they are a million miles from the  hammered texture that the side panels show.

Tuesday 15 January 2019


It's been a while. Life has generally got in the way, and while there has been a modicum of modelling going on, other stuff has been happening, lot of which I didn't see coming. I have therefore been playing catch-up since New Year and I'm still not there yet. Case in point is the failed P Class that was mentioned a few posts down. The offending loco was returned to Hattons (I note they don't refund the postage) and new one had been sent back. It had sat in the unopened box since then and only today was it unpacked and given a run in of about 15minutes each way on a circle of Hornby track bought for mere pence for this sort of thing.

Other than that, there is one book to tidy and another to finish, plus the relentless production of 009 News. Onward - just more slowly than before.