Friday 31 May 2019

Fitting cardboard platforms

Clees Hay had taken a backseat as other things took preference, however yesterday much carboard was cut and facings were made up from Wills random stone and painted up. Once the parts were in hand it went together quite quickly.

Thursday 30 May 2019

Dapol Engine shed to parcels depot

Would I recommend this piece of kit? Probably not. The brickwork is very lightly moulded - sub Slaters and halfway along the plinth it disappears altogether.
New lintels have been added from 10 thou and the shed doors chopped into lengths to make new 'open' doors. An internal platform has been added level with the foot of the doorways. The rest is light weathering. I can't do much more as the final required footprint is unknown, but a platform and a canopy will be added later.

Wednesday 29 May 2019

Altering the Dapol enginge shed kit

Altering the Dapol engine shed
'Needs a small parcels depot'. 
My first thought was to low-relief the new Wills modern factory unit. 'No, too modern.' Back to square one.
A trip to Crawley found me holding a folder with old RM's and it fell open at a Michael Andress piece from 1973 on turning the Airfix ES into factory buildings. This seemed like a way out of the conundrum. 
It's a fairly obvious chop: slice the back gable-end wall into three, use the two outer pieces as new ends and glue the sides together. It's a pretty rough kit due to its great age and I'm not 100% that I wouldn't have been better starting from scratch, but I'm trying to use as many of the kit parts as possible. It's sort of fun and sort of not.

Monday 27 May 2019

Railex 19

 To Railex  yesterday. I'm not a regular visitor; there being one notable attempted trip where the M25 just stopped and the day was abandoned before it began. Yesterday a pre grockle start was made and arrival was swift and at opening.
Quality as would be expected was high, but.... it left me wanting for some reason. Too finescaley perhaps. In fact the best way to describe it would be like Scaleforum, but with punters. Highlights were Nick Salzman's 3mm mixed gauge cameo entry which was just gorgeous, and the 10 minutes spent leaning on the barrier watching Leighton Buzzard, which is only improved with Nick Freezer operating - it adds a certain amount of authenticity for some reason. Usual scoring as follows:
Exhibition 7
Food 9 (burger ,chips and beans for £4.50)
Rucksacks 3.5
I also learnt an interesting fact: the qualification for calling yourself a finescaler. You must own
a) a tweed jacket
b) a complete set of MRJs from number 0 including the compendiums
c) a Scalefour Society tape measure.
Failure to complete all three renders your claim invalid.

Saturday 25 May 2019

Airfix signal box

For the time being an end to the Airfix week (and onto the seriously epic Wills arches week). The signal box was actually quite fun to do with swapped panels new window bars and balcony. While this doesn't exactly disguise its origins, it does make it less like all the other Airfix signal boxes out there.
I'm now at the point where I need to move on - I enjoy this sort of thing more than most, but it will be nice to get onto some track laying if only to break the several tea spoons of plastic dust that I consume every day of late.

Monday 20 May 2019

Peco and Dapol kits

Peco office to station building conversion
 Peco office kit to station building
The requirement was for a fairly lengthy building to run along the end wall of the layout and one which was generically post-modernisation plan. The Peco office building kit seemed a likely start point and again is over looked by most modellers. Modular in design it is easy enough to move the panels around to suit. Here I've picked four to act as a front wall and put the double door wall and plain wall at the ends. The back is black plasticard and the spare units are put to one side for later. This used all the roof panels and most of the facia sections so is probably as far as you can stretch one kit.
Dapol signal box
Altering the Dapol signal box kit
Next on the blocks is this Dapol signal box. Panels moved, balcony removed, steps altered and new window bars added. A gentle enough set of tweeks, that change it considerably, but still manage to scream Airfix at you.

Wednesday 15 May 2019

Building a Peco Manyways kit

Converting the Peco office building kit
I'd not built any of the Peco kits before until I converted the station building kit a year or so back. After the Wills sheet it came as a nice surprise being quite light and delicate by comparison. Now the requirement is for a mid-late 20th century station building, something flat roofed and mod'. Enter the Peco office buildings kit.

A new front wall
Essentially it's a modular design and in this respect it works very well, although you have to think on your feet slightly as beyond the basic instructions for the box-art buildings there are only suggestions as to how to proceed. I needed something long and thin so laid out a selected set of walling and added bits and painted as I went along. Glazing as I went was in hindsight a bad move; yes it's easier to do it while the walls are flat, but no matter how careful I was the solvent fumes fogged bits of it in odd corners. Now a fully constructed box with a false back.

Thursday 9 May 2019

Scenic break bridge

Every GWR branch termini needs a bridge and Clees Hay is no different. This farm occupation bridge was knocked up in fairly short order and was based on one or two pictures online. The stone abutments are the obvious Wills course stone sheet and the parapet is the left overs from the AotC. The brickwork resting on the lower lip of the (just visible) RSJ. Capping is all 40 thou plastic.
Panting took longer to do than the build as I couldn't get the effect that I wanted until the German Grey came into play and toned everything down a little. There is a danger that stonework can look a little like painting by numbers.

Luckily it's too narrow for a bus, but the small boy may make an appearance again. Possibly standing on a box to see over the parapet.

Wednesday 8 May 2019

Baseboard painting

There's just enough black paint left to do the Clees Hay carcass. That's the garage door frame and three layouts out of one tin - hurrah. Also some experimenting with some spray cans ala Mr Nevard. Mixed results, but I'll persevere.
Note the late 20th century cave paintings are still in place.

Tuesday 7 May 2019


With the track down and painted, the profile boards went on. Simple rough straight lines of 6mm MDF glued and clamped. Followed by screws into the wood blocks behind. This gives a very robust 12mm front to trim to shape with a padsaw giving the usual slightly dropped front edge.

Friday 3 May 2019

GWR station building

More or less done. Maybe some detailing to add once it's on the layout. The base is a Wills small station building extended by about a third with some Wills clapboard sheet. The windows have been swapped with some from the box and horizontal bars removed and vertical bars added The bargeboards are from the kit, but drilled and attacked with an oval needle file. There is a small lean-to at the back from leftovers of a Wills chapel kit as is the small porch in this view. The timetable boards are very old w/m ones from Dart Castings complete with the prints from the header card.

Wednesday 1 May 2019

Kernow Models

News of model shops closing is all the rage these days. I used to have three within half and hour, now none. Although this is a little out of normal travelling range it's good to have a new shop opening for a change, so a trip was taken to Guildford to see the new Kernow shop. Peco staff were in residence for the opening day, some en-route to the Lille exhibition, others on day release and the shop staff were untested, but in abundance. Bachmann bods were floating around though not particularly forthcoming, but these two from BRM wouldn't stop talking.
The 11 day wonder that is Chris Nevard's layout was gracing the shop window, though how long it will last in direct sunlight is anyone's guess
All in all well worth the trip and great to see  Kernow expanding and taking a punt on Guildford as a new venue.