Sunday, 11 August 2019

Green engines and a coach

This week has been paint and transfers based. I finished off the L&B obs and it has entered service. It shows up the other two now so I'll have to replace the moulded handrails on the ends and give them a coat of black.

Here is the rake in the platform at Underhill

While I was testing the new PECO rake I also took the green and cream rake for a trip out too. Having fettled up the bogies on the Five 79 Inisfail coach it also runs much better and makes a good addition to the two Dundas bashes.

Lucy B. has had some more work done and I have to say it looks rather splendid. I bought a turned brass dome off evilbay and it was just the right size to replace the printed one. I've also replaced the printed spectacle glass frames with a set of etched brass ones by RT models. They were just the right size, I've also glazed them with Glue and Glaze. The trickiest bit was the adding of the lining to the side tanks. It is Modelmasters n scale orange/black/orange. They are the waterslide variety and have to be cut to size and slid into place. I don't use any water as I've found that Decalfix works better.

Having buggered the motor, I'm now waiting for a spare one to arrive from Germany. The plates are also imminent.

While I was at it I also added the rest of the lining I had to the NP Bagnall. I'd have liked to do something on the tanks too but I've run out of corners.

Having got the PECO obs finished I looked at my Snapper Bar re-liveried coach and decided to de-Festiniog it and make it more use on the IoSR. I removed the FR crests from the doors and the Snapper Bar wording from above the doors. I've then repainted with near enough matching paints. It looks ok from a working distance. It has also had the hand rails on the end replaced with brass and the ends painted black. The roof has gained torpedo vents and I replaced the moulded on lamp tops with spare Dundas VoR top hat lamps.

Monday, 5 August 2019

Don't it make my blue Hunslet browny red?

I'm acutely aware that there has been a lot of froth on the internet this week about the announcement that KATO and PECO have teamed up to bring us a ready to run England and even more surprisingly a double Fairlie. I knew about this for some while with my work hat on and indeed know some other things that would create even more froth, however mum's the word. But all this got me thinking about my Brian Madge 'Britomart', it has been looking pretty tatty for a while and the cab had broken loose too. I'd never been happy with the paintwork as the real one has intricate lining which I am not able to even contemplate reproducing.

So... I decided that a repaint and a rebuild were in order. The chassis is a good, smooth runner now it is run in so I didn't mess with that, except to replace the couplers with RT models lost brass PQR ones. They are a big improvement and really look the part.

The loco came apart very easily into three major sections, i.e. the chassis, the boiler assembly and the cab. Once in pieces the cleaning up started, I removed the name and works plates and the handrails came off along with the chimney and the safety valve casting.

The plan was to conceal the identity of the original and to rename it 'Daisy', I'd been planning on doing this for a while so had the Narrow Planet plates to hand. The major difference that I could come up with for an Alice class was to add a dome to the boiler. I don't think any were originally built with them but 'Velinheli' now sports one; although I believe that the boiler is originally from 'Maid Marian'. I'm not about to get into the lineage of quarry Hunslets though. I had a dome made by N brass in my loco fittings box which looks about right and with a little fettling up it worked fine. Initially I made a mistake and drilled a hole centrally for the dome. This left the tank filler out of whack so a second attempt moved it forward a little. It also left a hole in the tank top needing to be filled.

The other additions to the boiler were a new cast chimney and turned brass smokebox door darts. The door furniture was a big improvement but the chimney was just too small. It looked OK without the cab on but was evidently wrong once all was re assembled. I think it is an RT models Waril one. Nice but wrong.

With new handrails fitted, this time not with the loop round the chimney as another difference I painted her. I tried a variety of colours but none looked right, I wanted that faded Dinorwic sort of look so I ended up blending a scarlet and a brown to make my own colour. It still isn't quite right but it's closer than anything I could find in a paint and look very not blue. I will add some weathering once all is settled and dried hard and I get the nerve to spoil a pretty reasonable paint job. I'd like to add lining but as mentioned before I don't have the nerve.

Meet Daisy

I've also been adding some detail to the 3D print on a Fleischmann chassis loco I built a while ago. I'm waiting for name plates from Narrow Planet but it will be called 'Lucy B'. I wasn't quite happy with the look of the loco and couldn't quite pin it down so I've added a handrail on the front of the smokebox and a turned brass whistle. Both have just added a little detail and I've cheered up about it. Plates will be the finishing touch.

Meet Lucy B. next to the lighter green Lucy

It's a bit tricky adding crew to locos with the Fleischmann 7000 chassis as the motor takes up all of the cab below window level. The way I've got round this is by gluing pieces of styrene to the tops of the motor magnets and then a sheet of black card on top of that. The moving bit of the motor protrudes just higher than the magnets as I've found out before. Crew are the cruelly chopped at the waste and stuck on top of the card. Needs windows glazing too.

Saturday, 27 July 2019

Fiddling with a fiddle yard

I've been quite a busy boy this week, having not felt like doing much modelling recently I seem to have my modelling mojo back. Strange how it comes and goes. Anyway, Arnold Lane Wharf is booked to appear at the Borth y Gest show in a couple of week so I decided that I should sort out a few issues that I've been meaning to deal with for ages. So, before doing anything useful I installed the water crane which I've had laying around since the demolition of the aborted big garage layout. I'm pleased with how it looks and now it just needs a small coaling stage to go with it.

Lucy got a coat of matt varnish which has made it look much better
Those lovely people in Devon, i.e. PECO have finally released the un-liveried versions of the L&B obs. carriage so I can finally complete my rake. Underhill Town was designed to be able to accommodate a rake of three of these in the platform run round loop. Obviously I can never leave anything well alone so 'Stonerization' has begun. So far it is mostly roof modifications. This coach comes with the later roof revision which includes top hat lamp vents; I think these are a real improvement over the original versions but I wanted to add torpedo vents, rain strips and brass handrails instead of the moulded on ones, so I did. I've also replace the moulded on hand rails on the coach ends which is something I didn't do on the other two but I like the look of it so a retrofit looks on the cards.

Down at the wharf for a test with Bjorn - another tidying up project. It finally has a driver and having somehow lost the name plate from one side I moved the surviving one to the cab back.

The biggest change has been the addition of a third siding for the fiddle yard. I've done this by screwing a length of 2 x 1 to the rear of the baseboard and installing a second pair of points.

Track plan A
Track plan B

In the end I opted for plan B as the extra points would have made the new siding stupidly short. As it is the new sidings are a bit short but I suspect that it will be ok.

The finished thing including isolating switch added locally as there isn't room to include it on the control panel.
I had a visit from one of the new SR liveried Bachmann WD wagons and although it is a fictional livery I think it looks very plausible.

Here it is with a PECO L&B van to the left and a PECO bogie open and a kit built open.
And then there is this...

Saturday, 20 July 2019

A different island

I've been on holiday in South West Scotland this week which was very relaxing. I would highly recommend The Mull of Galloway if peace and quiet is what you like. I thought there would be no trains but that's not life threatening, however on our first trip out we took a small fishing boat to a small island called Ailsa Craig. It has a long and varied history but is now completely uninhabited. There is a lighthouse which is now fully automated but which used to have three lighthousemen in residence. There are three derelict houses to poke about in but most interesting to me was the fact that they had a 3ft gauge tramway from the landing place to the lighthouse compound. 

The first section of the line was an incline with a curved section, there was a small internal combustion engine worked winch for this. The whole workings are still in tact.

After the incline winding drum which is between the rails the line was hand worked by the looks of it. There is a siding off to one side through a gate which leads to a derelict building.

The siding

One of two wagons, the other being by the coast is almost destroyed. 

The wagon at the end of the track in the lighthouse compound. The track ended here but I suspect that it continued in a lighter gauge rail at some point as I detected the remains of sleepers amongst the dereliction. 

The incline winding house.

The incline. There is a newer concrete pier and the remains of an older wooden one. The track has obviously been changed to suit.

There was also another seperate 3ft gauge system which served the granite quarry. The stone was used for curling stones. This is completely removed now.

The quarry trackbed and the outside remains of a curling stone.

The old pier

The whole site

Ailsa Craig 

This is the phone video of the trip featuring the railway.