Saturday 8 December 2012

Been there, done that

Well, I did it and so did Underhill. I wasn't sure yesterday evening as I had to use a hammer and a crowbar to separate the two boards and the scenery took on a bit of a different shape. However, I got up early and got to the hall for 8 am to give myself plenty of time to make repairs and all was up and running by 9ish giving time to pop to Spooner's for bacon butty and coffee; result.

I met some old friends and made some new ones which was nice and the layout seemed to go down well with the public especially a couple of children and an elderly lady. I'm sure that says something about my modelling, I'll take it as a compliment but I'm not sure.

I will need to re think the join of the two boards before NGN in March, not sure how yet and to be honest a bit of a break from modelling would be nice.... a day or so anyway.

One of the people I met was Neil Rushby of Rushby's Resins who's little carriage and Darjeeling tea van can be seen above, he very kindly gave me a present of a couple of 'seconds' of the casting for the coach so I think they will be my next project.

Tuesday 4 December 2012


I had a quick play with the layout this evening and took some better pictures which I have put on my photobucket site. But here are a couple of my faves.

Both of these feature Syd with some skips at the cheese factory. Very Isle of Stoner.

The bakers wife looks on as the organ grinder entertains a child and her gran.

Lady Stoner pauses in the halt on the way to Underhill with the branch coaches.

The control panel now has an explanation and a hook for the uncoupler.

Monday 3 December 2012

Tea time and scenery

Bit more progress since lunch, left hand side has joined in and nearly all the structures are glued down. I've also added some detail plant life and so on. Wish I had more time but it is my own fault that I left it all till the last moment... story of my life.

I even had a minute or two to do some testing. Just as well I did as the platform was too close to the track and running boards of coaches and some buffer beams clouted it.

The big brown wall still needs some more work on the paint and the front edge needs some black emulsion and a bit of something to seal the open end of the bridge but it is close enough to ready.

I'll leave it all to set for a couple of days and then try to separate the 2 boards and see what damage that does and whether it joins back up again. Fingers crossed. Loco cleaning time and packing some rolling stock  for the exhibition then.

Lunch time and greenery

Looking more like I imagined and somehow more green. Can't believe it's the same layout that was gloss yellow a couple of days ago.

Still loads of detail to add but the broad sweep is OK.

Now I'm going to sort out the left hand side which is still un-started.

There might just be a nearly finished layout at the exhibition on Saturday...

Blimey it's all shiny!

What I didn't realise was that artists like their acrylics to have a gloss finish! Aargh! I wasn't ready for that. Anyway... So I went to B and Q and bought a selection of tester pots and re did the whole thing in a more matt version. Phew.

I couldn't make myself take a picture of PVC world but here is the more dull version. Time to start sticking some greenery down and to get the track cleaned up and running. Day off today so apart from the domestic chores I've got some time.

Footbridge is painted too.

Friday 30 November 2012

It's all yellow

After the snow had fallen all over three bridges it was time to get the paints out and start the transformation. First coat was yellow ochre. I've bought some artists acrylics in tubes which is making it quick to get the basic coats on.

And it was all yellow...

Adding brown

And then some others

Still plenty to do but it is coming together, I've got a week... gulp.

Tuesday 27 November 2012

White out

I've been at it with the filler this morning and as a result the track is ballasted and the hills are rounded. I've also added backscene, its a bit of a mess but hopefully greenery will cover all the joins. The tricky bit is where the boards meet as it is not a simple join. I may also find that I've glued the two boards together when I come to separate them. Fingers crossed.

The nursery is now attached to the baseboard and the track is ballasted. The footbridge is missing while it gets painted.

The halt is in place and the hills the correct shape. I'll have to wait a few days while the plaster sets hard now and then it will be time to dig the track out and make it all run again.

You can see the weird sky contours above the cheese factory, some strange plant growth will be needed to cover that lot. Hopefully peoples eyes will be elsewhere.

Tonight I need to paint the footbridge and there is a tank which is still unfinished and unpainted. Luckily those celebrities are still eating unspeakable things in the jungle as it distracts Lady Stoner to some extent.

Monday 26 November 2012

Plastered again

Had a cracking weekend at Warley baby sitting Lyd and running the shop for work but I found a bit of time to wander around and look at the layouts. Some were inspirational and humbling as a modeller but I won't let that put me off.

I also found time to do a bit of shopping and got the embossed plasticard to cover the wall behind the nursery. I bought mainly little bits and pieces from Wizard models including the little parts to add the fake point rodding from the ground frames.

Today I got busy with the plaster bandage and filler and I've done the basic scenery. It needs some more filler to smooth out some of the bandage texture and round off some of the flatter bits of polystyrene. Hopefully I'll get time to do this tomorrow and maybe add the filler to make the ballast and ground texture.

The other thing I did today was to move the end of the cheese factory head-shunt so that it is all outside and has a less silly curve in it. I had to extend the wiring and chop the nursery about a bit but it will make it more practical.

Saturday 17 November 2012

Rocks and rolling

Spent most of today stacking firewood for the forthcoming season but once this was done I set fire to some of them in the room where Underhill is set up and set about adding some scenery. The stuff from Gaugemaster came yesterday so I could crack on. The Noch stone walling was too thick to use under the street but along with the stone effect lump it has helped sort out the right hand end of the board.

I'll have to evolve a plan B for the left side, probably involving plaster.

At the other end of the line I painted the new point levers and added some more detailed plant life which is some of the laser cut stuff from Gaugemaster but I note that on the packet it says it was made by Noch. The bracken is good and as it comes in clumps reday made it is easier than the Busch stuff I've also used which comes as individual leaves that you have to glue together.

Not sure if the new bits show up in  these pics, these are taken on my phone but I also brought home the big Sony video camera which takes much better stills so I'll take some nice shots tomorrow. I can't get them out of the camera at home so I'll have to wait till Monday to have a look at them.

Thursday 15 November 2012

Continuing progress

I didn't get as much time today as I hoped but I did get some more jobs done on the layout. I fitted a rim to the drop down bit round the back so that things can't roll off and although its only very low it feels better, It's a bit of a bodge but as it is round the back it will do. I've also fitted an LED light so I can see what I'm doing a bit better, it helps but needs more, again it will do for now.

I've spent quite a while testing various bits of rolling stock to make sure things fit and run OK, just as well I did as one of the point levers I've just fitted to the Underhill end fouled the footsteps on the little Lilliput diesel.

I'll finish painting the station building and platform for the cheese factory halt which is called 'Three Bridges' due to the three bridges next to it. I'm glad I decided to add this halt as it makes the time a train takes to get from the fiddle yard to the terminus slightly longer.

The street area and the walling around the cheese factory are now firmly attached. The footbridge needs painting and attaching to the road bridge beneath which is painted but still not fixed as the ballast needs to go down first. Fiddly to get it all in the correct order.

Hopefully the bits I ordered from Gaugemaster should arrive tomorrow so I can get the scenery started. I've ordered some Noch moulded retaining wall and one of their resin rocks, both of these will get chopped up to make the entrance and exit of the running line. I also ordered some 'sky' backscene which is really the first thing I need to do before I stick any buildings or walls down, once I get started I don't think the scenery will take very long before it all takes shape.

Tuesday 13 November 2012


I decided that the cheese factory needed a halt for the staff so I popped out at lunchtime yesterday and went into Edinburgh Woollen Mill where they have a good range of Skaledale buildings. I was intent on getting a small shed but in a flash of strangeness I left with a small village green shelter. With the addition of some Evergreen planking and scale 4x4 timbers it has been transformed into a pleasantly quirky little station building. I made a platform out of the leftover bit from the Ratio footbridge and some other bits including a fence. The two will sit by the tunnel mouth by the fiddle yard and the ground frame can sit over the track and all be looked after by the station attendant. No pics yet but the next two days should yield some time for progressing the layout and getting some photos too.

Saturday 10 November 2012

And another thing...

I popped out to Wilco at lunchtime and got another single spot fitting to add to the lighting rig which I duly added last evening, it gives much improved coverage; which is nice.

Nothing for it now, I'll have to do some ballasting. Although I may add another section switch at the nursery siding end, a bit fiddly now but it would make shunting more flexible and if I don't do it now it will get much harder to do.

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Let there be lights and a flap

Well, another busy day on the Isle of Stoner and the lighting rig is modified and fitted. It isn't quite as I'd hoped but it will do for now. I may change one of the fittings to a double from a single as there is a dark bit over the cheese factory.

While I was 'testing' the layout I was changing some stock in the fiddle yard and I realised that I was in danger of knocking things onto the floor so I've added a hinged flap that covers the hole when in transit. I need to add a wall all round the edge to keep things on it but it is going to be a help with putting stock somewhere in the heat of an operating session. Pictures are a bit fuzzy as I only have my phone at the moment, better ones to follow. Back to work tomorrow so I can borrow a better camera.

Overall I've achieved what I set out to this week so that is a miracle in itself.

Next I need to make a small building to cover the point motor at the front of the new board and finish the buildings on Alma Street. I must try not to build any more rolling stock before December...

The Fairlie arrives at Underhill

Lighting up the lampost

I continued testing and tweaking the wiring on the layout yesterday including adding the street lighting and building lights for the street above the fiddle yard. Looks good to my mind.

Today's project, apart from making doctors appointments, ordering some firewood and other such routine dullness, is to sort out the lighting rig. I've an idea what I'm going to do so now I'm going to go and do it!

Monday 5 November 2012

All wired up... nearly

I did a long day behind the soldering iron today and as a result Underhill has seen trains moving over the entire layout and the cheese factory has smoked a batch of the island's finest green stuff. It all work first shot apart from the fact that the loco went in different directions on the two boards, not a problem until it came to the join. I reversed a couple of wires and Bob was my proverbial. The room with the layout in looks like a bomb hit it so that needs some work but on the whole a succesful day. More testing tomorrow.

Work in progress

A street light in action

Saturday 3 November 2012

It's got legs

I finally finished the second set of legs for Underhill yesterday. The whole layout is now assembled and makes a pretty sturdy structure despite my shoddy carpentry skills. I can now finish the track work where the baseboard join is and then get the wiring finished and tested. It also means I should be able to play trains now... ahem, I mean operate  the layout.

The final woodworking to be done is the construction of a lighting rig. This will be a compilation of the two previous portable lighting set ups. It will be supported from the middle of the layout and have four spot lights with GU10 50w lamps as this is what I have available.

I have a bit of a job to make all this spaghetti into something useful, but it is all labelled so shouldn't be too bad. I still have to add some more wire for building lights and the smoke machine in the cheese factory... they do a smoked variety too, you see.

Friday 26 October 2012

Woodwork and wiring

I haven't had much time for modelling in the last few weeks but I have grabbed a couple of hours here and there and so Underhill now has on set of legs for the terminus board and I know what to do to make the second set for the cheese factory end. I had a few false starts and spent quite a while swearing at myself and my dire woodworking skills but in the end I've made something which is quite stable.

This has ended up with baseboard height being slightly higher than I have used previously at about 1m. Hopefully this means that I won't end up with chronic back ache as I have with layouts lower down. Hopefully its not too high.
The cheese factory end has not been ignored and the wiring is done at the track end so now I need to make a control panel and wire that in. The tricky part is working out how to make the electrical connection between the boards, I know what to connect only I forgot to leave space for another connector on the first board. Doh!
Because of the way of I've made the baseboards, all the wiring has to run on the surface, this looks a mess until covered with plaster etc. It worked fine on the first board so I'm sure all will be well.

The name plates arrived from narrow Planet and they are fab as ever.

Fairlie with the new bogie coach made on holiday



Friday 12 October 2012

Track laying fun

I got some time to do some modelling this week and so I grabbed the chance to lay the track on the second board of Underhill. Nothing complicated but I wanted it to be neat so that it runs well.

The bottom right hand line is the 'main line' with the sidings being at the front. The town end of things is coming along... at least in my head but I'm still quite vague about this end.

The underbridge, under the footbridge was originally designed to only need a face on one side so I have added the other side and started to paint it to match. It isn't as good as the face facing the 2 sidings but as it is in a cutting I think it won't notice. The footbridge now has a couple of the lovely IoSR etches which Bernard sent me so it has added railwayness to it.

Next project is wiring. I need to keep it simple and I want it to be self contained so that I can use it on its own or in conjunction with the other board. I've been scratching my head about this a bit but I think I've cracked it, we'll see.

Wednesday 10 October 2012

Lining trauma

Blimey, that is a fiddly process! I've just added the Modelmaster waterslide transfer lining to Staithes. It looks loads better than the hand drawn previous effort but I have simplified the scheme quite a bit as it is so tricky to do. Just waiting for my name and works plates from Narrow Planet to finish her off. Some varnish will hold onto all the paint and transfers.



And here she is with the new tea van and open coach.