Sunday, 17 March 2019

Wriggly tin

Not a particularly spectacular week of modelling but I am pleased with how the Mine building painting has come out. Once it is planted on the layout I'll add some weathering powders too which will add a little texture to the rust.

Here it is plonked on the layout, it will need some more plaster work to make the area of land available slightly larger but on the whole a success.

Another variation of the buildings being tried at Rock Beach

Ever keen to build a new building I bought a kit

Then built it

It ended up with an extension because the back wall was missing from the kit of parts. Not sure I like the proportions of the building and the roof needs replacing. I've tried a couple of colour variations but the moulding is just horrid. All the rest of the parts are lovely. Watch this space.

Monday, 11 March 2019

He's on the beach

This week I've been doing some work on the hamlet of Rock Beach which has grown up around the lighthouse protecting Wrecker's Bay. Originally I was just going to have the lighthouse and keepers cottage and store building but I can't help myself when it comes to buildings so now there is a small collection of buildings. Plan A was just a little street but now it has widened out to accommodate the working water feature which used to be in the square at Underhill. In straightening out the railway I lost the space to have a square so the pub is now on a narrow street.
Rock Beach

I've decided that the building should be on a removable sub baseboard for ease of building and possible later removal. This is made slightly tricky by the fountain sticking through the board and I want to add street lights and some internal lamination. Not sure how to do this without making it very complicated. A selection of small plugs and sockets I suspect.
This is a Skaledale 'Blinkbonny House' that I got from evilbay and have added some details and given a slight repaint, it fits nicely with the seaside feel.
The occupier of the new house is a keen gardener and has a greenhouse heated from an old loco boiler. It is the boiler section of the red Garratt in actual fact.

The finished building with it's greenhouse
The road to Rock Beach
The other building I've been working on this week is the mine processing plant for Town Quarry, the plan is to locate this on the same level as the new adit and for it to have a loading arrangement into the siding in the quarry. The theory being that there is a crushing and grading plant inside.
It's mainly made from parts from a Knightwing mine buildings kit

Looking forward to painting and weathering this


Sunday, 3 March 2019

Making an exhibition of myself again

This week I spent three days at the National Slate Museum in Llanberis exhibiting, Arnold Lane Wharf, The Cheese Factory and Castell Coed in addition to representing the F&WHR with a marketing stand.

My three layouts

As well as the usual suspects in action down at the wharf a few less often seen locos made an appearance, also having a run out was the IoSR's steam railcar set - Nursie. This is one of the oldest items of rolling stock still in action and it dates back to the very first Isle of Stoner layout. It has had a few modifications over the years but is basically the same. It still works well and runs like a dream on its Bachmann 0-6-0 brick.
I came to the conclusion that Castell Coed is a hopeless case, trackwise. I love Minitrains locos and rolling stock and I won't hear a work said against Andreas and the marvels he has brought us... however the track system is not for me. Maybe I laid it badly or something but it is virtually useless on this little layout. This is a shame as the rest of it has come out quite nicely as a little train set. Oh well, lesson learned. The baseboard will live on as will the buildings etc. but the layout will not appear in public again.


If you haven't been to the National Slate Museum, I can wholly recommend it. Entrance is free and it is housed in the Gilfach Ddu workshops of the Dinorwic Quarries which surround the museum site and deserve weeks of exploration in themselves.

The workshops surround a quadrangle which today, display a wealth of quarrying and NG items
There are several resident locos, this being Una

Having spent so much time playing trains during the days I didn't feel like spending much time in the garage working on the scenery on the main layout. However, I did install the base for the road over the bridge at the end of the layout and had a fiddle about with some track panels for the Town Quarry.

6.5mm gauge tramway possible layout
I had intended to build a couple of kits during quiet spells of the show but there weren't really any so I didn't get started. I did however, put together this new brake van from a Dundas VoR brake van and a PECO wagon chassis. On one side I added the booking office window from the TR van kit as I love the little ducket casting.

Primed ready for painting
I made the van on Saturday and painted it on Sunday morning. The weather was so vile on Sunday afternoon that instead of taking the dog for a walk I sat in front of the fire and the TV and did a few jobs I've been meaning to do for ages. Firstly, I added transfers to a whole host of recentish rolling stock. A job I hate doing and have been putting of for ages, even though they make all the difference. They need some varnish now to make sure they stay where they've been put.

As I mentioned above, I tried out a few older locos during the show and had forgotten what good runners my two chunky Hunslets are. Both are based on the Langley WD 4-6-0, the older one is Doris an 0-6-0 and the other is Lord Stoner and has an 0-8-0 chassis; I think they are both Fleischmann, hence the great running. I decided that fundamentally they were ok the way they were but both have received RT PQR couplings and have had a bit of paint refresh and a few other details. I'm looking forward to running them on the main layout.

Doris and His Lordship



Sunday, 24 February 2019

A busy week

I have had a mad busy week including a trip to London to help set up the display of Velinheli and Chaloner on King's Cross Station concourse. If you wanted to see it, too late as it will be all be taken away over night tonight. Thankfully, I'm not involved in that.
Making a life-size model railway in London
Back in the 4mm scale world, I made a couple of finishing touches to Castell Coed so it's ready to take to Llanberis this week. Oddly the show days are Wednesday to Friday...
The main jobs I did were to take the controls from the front left of the baseboard and put them on the side out of the way of small fingers. This left an area of pristine baseboard which I covered up with some scenic bits and bobs and a new section of wall. I think it looks much better for it and wish I'd done it ages ago. 

The new bit of scenery, bottom left

The whole layout
I've really got the bit between my teeth with getting on with the scenery on Underhill and I'm having a whale of a time. I really enjoy bringing my ideas to life with such basic materials.

Both sides of Parrott Cutting are now complete and awaiting paint and so on.
The next big area to receive attention with the putty knife and the plaster was Quarry Hill, the Town Quarry now has an adit which will have a 6.5mm gauge track in the fullness of time which will join up with the quarries upper level tramway which is already in place.

The adit

Quarry Hill

The new adit and the cutting below

Lots of colour to add
Today, I've added the filler layer over the plaster bandage for the area of transition between the beach and the rocky countryside. This is a slightly tricky bit as strictly speaking some of the countryside below the quarry is now below sea level but I'm hoping that this won't be too apparent once the scenery is complete.

In this picture you can see bare plaster bandage and then an area with roughly applied filler, beyond that there is an area where I've smoothed the filler out with a wet paint brush.

Here is the completed transition area. To the left of the dry stone wall will be sand dunes and beach and to the right, green countryside etc.

A wide view of the beach area with the first polystyrene formers in place to the left. The beach falls away from the back of the board to the sea as it did previously, I need to get that bit done next.
Oh, I sorted out Herman's inability to go round corners and it now can get from the fiddle yard to Underhill Town.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Rock and grass roll

Having got the bit between my teeth for a bit of scenery building I've cracked on quite a bit. I'm away from home till next week now so won't get a chance to get any further so I thought a quick post of progress was a good idea.

The plaster bandage work was set hard above Parrott Cutting so I've covered that over with filler to form the soil. The nightclub is also walled in and in place now.

In my next session I glue gunned in place some expanded polystyrene foam to form the rest of the quarry hill and then set about it with plaster bandage.

More plaster bandage action
The final thing I did was to apply a smoother coat of filler at the cutting which will form the basis of the scenery. A coat of brown paint etc next and then greenery.