Thursday, 26 February 2015

Bridge over... not sure what yet

Time seems to be flying past with very little of anything except work and sleep at the moment but I did order a small laser cut footbridge from evilbay which duly showed up.

I spent a happy couple of hours putting it together last night.

It went together very nicely. I'm not sure where it will end up yet but I have a couple of ideas. It would sit nicely over a cutting, has an air of Southwold about it if I remember correctly.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Rocky 2

I've been scratching my head about how to sort out my sky problem for a while. To recap - for some reason when I did the woodwork for 'the big hill' I cut the back scene board to an imagined scenery profile. At first I liked it as it gave me a sense of what the landscape might look like. Wind forward to now and the landscaping is nearly done... what do I stick the sky on? Bugger.

Finally I came to the conclusion that I would have to stick mdf to the back of the original profiled sheet. Looking at it, I realised that there was a fair amount of bare mdf above the plaster which I couldn't see how to disguise... out with the jigsaw. After some fairly scary air sawing I hacked as much of the offending board away. I caused a fair amount of trauma to the existing landscape and couldn't get the saw in the right place to trim the far end.

Out with the plaster and plastic rock and I bodged and fudged a taller rock face and hid the bit of 2 x 2  timber which formed the back corner.

The new high cliff and Collie Bridge

Blackhill station in the foreground and the new profile

The next step is to get some more mdf , glue the sky paper already in stock for the job to it and then contrive to attach it to the back of the layout. Not sure how to do that bit yet but I'm sure something will occur.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Varnishing trick

Work has been very busy so it has been a while since I got anything done but having had a couple of days off I finished off a couple of things and started some others.

My SR PECO coaches are now both finished and I'm very pleased with them. They have detailed, painted and weathered roofs, smoking/no smoking signs and a few bits and bobs picked out with different colour paint.

I've also detailed and weathered my new Minitrains caboose. I decided that it would work best as  a mess carr/brake van for the works train so I've added plenty of weathering which I rather like.

I also spent a few happy hours fiddling with some locos which wouldn't run as well as I'd like with some success. Lord Stoner had become rather lumpy since his re-boilering but having given it a once over all now seems well and it crawled round the test track delightfully slowly. I made a return to the little green Jung and did some experimenting with weights and found I could get it to run slightly better but its still not what you'd call great, shame as I really like the look of it. The other success I had was to get my Brian Madge Britomart to run quite nicely. Due to my ham fistedness with the chassis construction I was never happy with the running of this but having had a fiddle and left it running round the test track for a bit it has eased up no end and now runs much better. I'll give it some more running in when I get a chance and I think it will get even better. Very pleased about this one as it is a special little loco.

Port Lucy has stalled a bit in recent months but I am gradually getting the building together which will make up the visible section of the town and I bought a new Skaledale shop from the Edinburgh Wool Mill the other day which is a rather characterful clapboarded building. I've changed the shop interior and sign and added some potted plants and a fence to the balcony and it's fit for the Island.

At the other end of the line is the station building at St Ruth which now has the lovely Narrow Planet L&B chimney pots fitted. These are 3D prints and I can't recommend them enough, available from NP and from the F&WHR shop.

Also available from our shop now are the newer versions of the Liliput 0-4-0 diesel. The new green one has a flashing hazard light on the roof. Under the chassis is a tiny switch which I assumed turned it off but it seems to only turn it off in reverse... Bit odd.
Nice little locos but far too modern for the IoSR - just as well as I can't afford one.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Down the lane

Yesterday evening I started work on the brake third L&B coach. Here it is with the completed composite on 'the big hill' with Doris.

Work progressed faster on this one as I knew what I was going to do and how to do it, it being the second attempt. In the picture above it has had a coat of primer and there is an unpainted acetylene generator attached. having spent some time looking more closely at some of my L&B books I've noticed that the brake end was usually not at the back of the train so as with the Red set I've moved the tail lamp to the other end too. Hopefully I'll find time to paint it tonight.

 Having a day off today I decided that scenery was next on the list of things to do so I opened a packet of DAS clay and set about improving the level crossing at the bottom of the lane where it crosses the line above Blackhill station. I used a similar technique on the crossing at the far end of StRuth station whereby I smooth out the clay and then poke the end of a square section of styrene into the soft clay in rows to simulate roughly laid setts.

The crossing is at the bottom of the lane for which I've used a pre-made grassy lane which I've now stuck down. I can't remember which of the continental manufactures it is made by, Noch, Faller  etc. I've used some more DAS to fill in the gaps and to make the muddy patch by the gate of the cow field. I poked the hooves of a cow into this to make it look like the kind of mess you often see by field gates. Some paint and a gate will complete the scene, maybe a manger.

The other thing I've done is fill all the gaps in the stone walling which I glued down ages ago. Dry stone walling like I'm trying to represent sort of grows out of the land so its important to make sure it doesn't look 'plonked' on top of the ground.

A busy day and a fruitful one, nearly time for paint and green stuff. The only problem to solve really is back scene. For some reason I cut the mdf back scene to some sort of imagined landscape... stupid idea as it turns out. Now I need to attach more mdf so that I can add the sky. Talk about making work for myself.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Look at me now, Ma

I took the bull by the horns and spent the evening getting cross with little no smoking signs. They aren't quite the correct ones but they are close enough for me. Who knows the IoSR might have change them when they bought the coaches.

My only regret is that the varnish I used to keep them attached has set slightly less than clear so the windows look misted up. I've only done the windows with the stickers in so it notices, I think I'll do the other windows too and then at least they will all look the same.

Brake coach next...

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Fiddler on the roof

I didn't feel much like watching 'The Junk' or whatever its called so I decided to have a go at detailing the roof of one of my PECO SR coaches. I started with the grab handles at the ends which is a simple case of slicing off the plastic moulding and replacing with a staple shaped length of brass wire.
Having done that I decided that the acetylene lamps needed their supply pipes and a generator on the carriage end. I drilled holes in the lamp tops and made up another length of brass wire to fit between the outer lamps and cut short lengths from the centre four to join the main run. A dab of superglue on the junctions and it looked much better. The generator box on the carriage end is a varikit tool box and the supply to the roof is yet more brass wire suitably bent to shape.
I have wondered about replacing the moulded hand rails on the ends but that would spoil the paintwork so on balance I think I'll leave them for now. It just needs some paint on the roof now and that is all done. I have some transfers for no smoking and smoking signs on the windows but I keep thinking how tiny they are and bottling out of attempting them.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Crewe Tractor.. ish

I've not done much modeling due to weather and so on, got snowed in so spent much of my day off digging snow and ice off the drive. Now my back hurts and my right hand feels like someone tried to pull the thumb off. They didn't it is a shovel based injury. I'm sure I'll live for now.

What I have done is add a few details and crew to my Minitrix bash' Lady. It now looks finished, the crew had to be radically butchered to fit into the tiny cab openings but they were needed to hide the motor which is rather obvious otherwise.

With Eigiau for comparison

The other thing I've done is make a sort of Crewe tractor using a plastic kit for a Model T Ford in military condition and a Portram chassis for power. I made up the car body pretty much as nature intended leaving out the steering wheel. The Portram bogie is glued to the rear and I've used half a Parkside WD bogie as a front pony truck swiveling on its usual pivot.

It is painted grey (as you can see). It runs nicely but with some added weight it is much better so I've glued a spare dome in the back as ballast.