Sunday, 20 October 2019

Bits and bobs

It's been a while since I posted an update and that is mostly because I haven't done very much modelling recently, life gets in the way sometimes. Anyway, here are a few bits and pieces that I have done.
Olwen has been lined out, my most ambitious scheme yet and I'm pretty happy with how it has come out. Just waiting for plates now.

This is it with twin, Nettie who got a bit of a service and a few updates, mainly to the roof.

It was time to finish off and build a few new wagons, and another TR coach

The wagons are finished but the coach is still awaiting glazing and a final assemble

I finally got round to weathering all of the ROCO U and V skips, so now I have a fair train of them

Wagons need loads so I got out my box of Busch vegetable kits and spent an evening sticking small plants together and quite often to myself. Very fiddly but the end results are very convincing, if a bit large especially as they are supposed to be HO.

This wagon got a load of PECO milk churns

I've been gradually finishing off Rock Beach, most of the buildings are now fixed and lit internally as I wanted.

The daytime view reveals that I've been making gardens and adding some more plant detail. I don't have pictures of some of the new greenery but the differences are quite subtle in some areas and don't stand out but add to the overall look

Off to EXPONG next week but only with the work marketing stand, then at the end of November it's the mixed blessing that is Warley. Again, only with work but it gives a chance to top up on supplies.

Saturday, 14 September 2019

I want to ride my bicycle

Having hurt my back again this week I've had some enforced staying at home time and so have cracked on with some modelling by way of occupational therapy. Firstly I added lining to Nancy, my Varikit bash, it also got some tidying up of the paintwork here and there.

Having just sold off some freight stock I added one of the new Bachmann ambulance vans in SR insulated guise to the fleet; a splosh of weathering has taken off the plastic look.

In the process of building the new version Skylark, the old one, Nettie, has been tarted up and has had the chassis attended to. She had developed a bit of a limp which someone suggested was a quartering issue. After close examination this was found to be the case and with some fiddling about and swearing applied it now runs as sweetly as the brand new one.

While looking for something else on evilbay I stumbled upon some laser cut whistle signs so these have sprung up at appropriate locations.

A few years ago I had a visit from Werner Knopf of WEKbahn fame and he gave me a gift of a tiny little, cast brass and etched copper kit for a pedal powered inspection car. At the time I looked at the kit and decided that I couldn't build it; however some years have passed and I've been practicing and everytime I've seen the kit languishing it has given me a little pang of guilt.

It was very fiddly to build but here it is. Only problem is that is 12mm gauge, I looked at it with a view to narrowing it and decided that I couldn't do it without destroying the whole thing.

I've also converted another DM35 into a brake van as I've been running a bit short on vans...

Here is the quadcycle in painted form. The only bit I didn't get entirely right was the pedals but close enough. It will sit beside the line somewhere and be admired.

Olwen has had a couple more details added, namely smokebox door handles, some coal in the bunker and some nice turned brass window surrounds. These were intended for Skarloey but are a perfect fit here.

Saturday, 7 September 2019

A tale of three locos

I haven't posted anything in the last couple weeks as I've mainly been occupied with other things, however I've had a spurt of modelling mojo this week which has resulted in Lucy B finally gaining her name and works plates. They really add the splash of colour which contrasts with the green and the shiny dome.
The one thing I wasn't happy with were the couplings so I ordered a set of my favourite RT models PQR brass ones and exchanged them. Result? Happy John.

As usual I am more than usually broke so I decided that I should make a steam loco from kit parts and  chassis that I had to hand and the sell it. I had a good rummage in my big box of bits and found most of a Varikit. A while ago I went through a phase of buying a whitemetal kit each month and just emptying all the parts into said box. This means that there are all sorts of things in there; actually I found quite a lot of several kits but that will be another story or two.

I also had a Minitrix chassis to hand that looked as though it would fit, not the classic docktank but a more modern German job with proper valve gear. I have another loco on a similar chassis which runs very nicely so I thought this one should be ok. I think I bought it off evilbay on a whim as it was cheap.
Anyway, long story short, it all went together quite well and after changing the motor and fiddling about with the chassis I got it to run pretty well. The resulting loco is now for sale on evilbay along with some kit built wagons which my recent spurt of kit building have made redundant,

I also finished painting half a dozen ROCO skips which I've had for years so that I now have a fair train of them: I like how they stream along behind the Baldwin.

Building the Varikit got me in the mood to build another loco, but to keep this time. I had another rummage in the filing cabinet of shame and came up with a Chivers RC39 and a Minitrains F&C chassis which I had intended to join together. I already have an identical loco, Nettie which is an IoSR stalwart so a sister loco seems like a good plan. 

The years intervening the construction of the two locos have not been kind to the quality of the castings and I spent a lot of time filing and bodging to get the parts to sit together properly. The chassis needed a small amount of modifying as did the footplate, once they fitted nicely together and all the parts were cleaned up I glued the basic loco together.

I will make a styrene roof as the loco is slightly tail heavy, as with Nettie I'm not going to bother to even fake the pony truck as it doesn't notice. I will add some more weight in the side tanks and maybe add a styrene boiler tube full of liquid gravity. I'm looking forward to adding details and painting this one. I think the same dark green lined livery as Lucy B. will suit it well.

Monday, 26 August 2019

Paint your wagon

I haven't done much modelling this week, what with one thing and another. However what I did do was paint my three new wagons.

Painted and sitting with the two steel ones

And then weathered

One in service at Underhill 

Monday, 19 August 2019

Mostly showing off

Well, the motor from Germany duly arrived but was the wrong one, only by a very small margin but wrong nonetheless. I put out a call on the NRGRM forum and a solution was found. Stand and Bill of the 009 Society were coming to exhibit at the Borth y Gest show and Bill has a plentiful supply. A deal was struck and Lucy B. ran nicely all weekend. So a big thanks to the chaps.

My three green and lined locos

This week at work we had stock of some of the new Bachmann 009 models so I took the opportunity to bring one of each home to take some pictures. So far we have the two sets of slate wagons which are very nice but very pricey in my opinion and two ambulance wagons and two D class opens in a variety of very well applied liveries.

I think I prefer the weathered, grey ones but with a bit of weathering the red ones will look nice too.

Stan and Bill, saviours of Lucy B. with their display next to Arnold Lane

On the Saturday of the show we had an honoured guest in the person of Mr Hiroshi Kato president of Japanese model making giants of the same name. He spent a long while at the show and paid great attention to all of our models; he also had with him working early prototypes of the forthcoming Englands and Fairlies. The body work was only a very rough 3d print outline and the chassis were a couple of experimental versions but they ran superbly and really whetted everyones appetites. It was very good of him to let us play with them.

Here they are on the 009 test tracks which they proceeded to stroll round with great ease

Here is one of them down at the wharf

Later on in the weekend we also had a visit from the Alpha of RTR 009, it didn't run quite as well

Paul Holmes had his Borth y Gest layout at the show and Mr Kato showed great interest in Paul's scratchbuilt locos. Fair enough, they are astonishing.

The show was a great success with over twice as many people as usual attending over the two days. The 009 boys and I were in a side room along with Tomos and the F&WHR sales stand and I had a very enjoyable time playing trains and nattering, so a big thanks to everyone involved. I'm sure we'll be back next year about the same time. The refurbished hall made for a much more pleasant experience too and I wasn't frightened to go to the toilet!

You'd think I would have had enough of 009 after spending two days solid at it but being the odd bloke I am I came home and built the three kits I bought at the show. Two 009 society three planked wagons and a Chivers wooden open too. All went together very nicely and just need painting now...