Friday 29 November 2013

Tram finished

I had a bit of a hangover today so I didn't get as far as baseboard woodwork, it was cold outside and the fire in the lounge was nice a warm.

I did get the painting and finishing on the steam tram finished.

Not sure how the elf of safe tea would feel about the way the staff hang off this while its in motion but they cab sod off.

The wheels need darkening and it needs some subtle weathering but otherwise I'm pretty pleased with this strange looking vehicle. I just need to build a layout for it now. Gulp.

Wednesday 27 November 2013

Finishing stuff

I've been doing some bits which I haven't had time for for ages. Namely, I've structurally finished my Britomart and very smart it looks too. The final push was to file the cab and the boiler casting so that it fitted slightly over the rear springs so that the rear of the cab lined up with the back of the footplate. This was only necessary because I'd made the cab slightly too long, only by half a mil but enough to make it not fit. Looks fine now. I also emeried the bad paint flat and re-coated it more carefully.

Among the detail bits I've added the most significant is a 4mm to the foot RobCo the locos current owner. I found a whitemetal figure that I'd painted ages ago and so re-did most of it, the pose looks quite good. Having been on the footplate of the real thing, a stooped figure seemed appropriate.

The real loco has a couple of patches on the tank which I've added with little bits of styrene, one from memory and one from a photo... I should have looked at more photos as the one from memory is wrong. Bugger.

Need some works plates for the cab sides and then there's the lining. The other missing details are the lubricators which hang on the front of the tank, I may have to make these somehow but a brass casting would be nice. I've opted out of the lining as it is quite intricate and I know I'll just make a mess of it. Less is definitely more in this instance.

Another project well under way now is the steam tram for Port Lucy. I'm pretty happy with how wierd this looks. Odd but not beyond the realms of possibility. Garry Whiting very kindly sent me a bell which I've duly added to the roof along with a lamp from the PD Hunslet, the other one is on the back.

I've started painting and so it should be finished pretty soon. I'm determined not to rush it and spoil it... famous last words.

A new product which has come into my life recently is Deluxe models 'Glue Buster'. It undoes Cyano glues. I was sceptical but it works. So far I've unglued the safety valves on Britomart and put them in the right place and now I've started to dismantle my Tomix Percy bash.

I need to get the chassis working properly and find a way of attaching the chassis which doesn't involve glue and a gas axe to remove it.

Tomorrow I'm off to the woodyard to get some 2 x 1 to start making the baseboard for Port Lucy etc. I also have to complete the joining section down from the unfinished section. Quite excited about a new bit of layout to make.

Thursday 21 November 2013

Packed and ready

Well, everything is in its box and I've packed all the bits and some other bits and bobs so all I have to do tomorrow morning is to rearrange the van contents a bit and fit Arnold Lane in. Then we're of to sunny Birmingham. Hotel beds and breakfast and over priced NEC lunches here we come. Saturday night promises a curry so all is not lost.

Wednesday 20 November 2013


Some not very exciting work on the layout yesterday, I tidied up the lighting wiring and installed a switch for the day lights. This has the dual effect of making it easier to change to night view and also makes the mains wiring completely safe and sound so that the PAT test is bullet proof.

I just have to make the travelling protector for the controls now, this should be relatively easy as even my shoddy woodwork should be up to that and no one need ever see it either!

Sunday 17 November 2013

Tidying up and stuff

I've been going through my locos and getting them match fit for next weekend. Cleaning wheels and so on but several have also been looking a bit tatty so I've got out the paint box. I also noticed that several older locos have chimneys which hardly have a hole in them so I've drilled and reamed them out a bit.

Puffer is one of the fleet to get the wash and brush up, it doesn't look much different in a picture but it looks much smarter in real life.

The steam tram has made some progress and is pretty much ready for spoiling with paint. I'm not sure what the main colour will be, I'm heading towards green. I may pop down to Porthmadog models and see what they have that I haven't already got.

I've added metal handrails but in my usual style have managed to bugger one side up slightly. As it will only ever be seen from one side I'm not too bothered. The back looks fine but I'm still not too happy with the front. Not sure what to do though.

Friday 15 November 2013

Steam Tram

Port Lucy is the largest town on the Isle of Stoner and as such it has the poshest transport infrastructure and this includes a tram line. This runs from outside the station to the other side of town. Actually what has happened is that while I was ordering a chassis from Plaza in japan I noticed that they sell some rather neat tram track designed for modern Japanese trams which they also sell. On impulse I ordered an oval to see what it is like and I rather like it and so decided that I could just about squeeze a length onto the high level road at the back of the new Port Lucy board. The plan is to use a shuttle module so that the tram comes and goes without me attending to it, this will also be good at exhibitions to keep something running while the usual buggering about goes on.

That's the stuff

Anyway, the upshot of that is that I need a tram to run on the tram track and this is what I started work on yesterday. After much thought, some thought, ok, hardly any thought I set about building a steam tram on a Bandai Shorty chassis using a combination of styrene and parts from other kits.

The boiler etc which sits exposed at the front of the tram is from a Knightwing steam lorry kit, the sides are from a Parkside Dundas Bro Madoc coach and the roof is a Chris Ward 3D clerestory which I've had for while and not known what to do with. Early days yet but its coming along nicely. It will be rather out of loading gauge for the main IoSR but that doesn't matter as the lines will have no physical connection.

Tuesday 12 November 2013


The latest bit completed on Arnold Lane Wharf is the addition of a skirt to hide the legs and clutter which always builds up underneath a layout. I've used Velcro to attach the material; with a stick on variety on the baseboards new frame and an iron variety on the material. I've also tidied up the black paint on the frame etc.

I adds to the presentation of the layout, now I just need to add an explanation panel to the proscenium arch and it is ready for Warley, or at least the visible part is ready. The blue LEDs need to be permanently attached and the switch added to the 'day lights'. One other crucial addition is some form of protection for the switches and point operating rods which protrude from the rear. I don't want to snap anything off whilst in transit. I shall try to bodge something which does the job but doesn't stop it being operated. If all else fails it can be a screw on/off arrangement but something more convenient to set up/break down would be better.

Thursday 7 November 2013

Blue view

What did I ever do before Wilkinson's came into my life? What a marvellous shop. A quick trip yesterday lunchtime not only provided a tasty and cheap sandwich but also a string of 40 blue LEDs for £7. With these duly strung up in the lighting rig, night fell on Arnold Lane Wharf.

Delighted by this I whipped out the soldering iron and Dremmel and fitted an LED in the hut. It is one of the ones supplied with the set of swan necked lamps from DCC supplies so comes with a little circuit board with a selection of surface mounted resistors on so you can vary the brightness to suit the job in hand, very neat idea.

I might add one more LED in the big shed at the left hand side of the layout and an orange one within the little workshop on the right.

Monday 4 November 2013

Woodwork and wiring

You know the normal way to build a layout is to construct the baseboard and then make the rest of the layout? Well I've tried it the other way now, having built Arnold Lane Wharf and now having fitted a 2 x 1 frame underneath; much trickier this way round. Why have I done it this way round? Because of 2 things: firstly I've fitted some lovely but hugely expensive, DCC Concepts street lamps which protrude under the baseboard so they would get snapped off as soon as the layout moved and secondly: the layout will move when I take it to Warley as part of the F&WHR shops stand.

As part of the illuminations I've also protected the running line with a colour light ground signal. It doesn't really notice much but I know its there.

Another reason for adding the frame is that I will be able to attach some black material to hide the legs, mine and the layouts.

I still have to add some building internal illumination and modify the main lighting rig to include a switch and some night light. I haven't decided how to do this yet, I might go xmas light shopping in Wilcos this lunchtime. They usually have strings of blue LEDs for not much money and they should do the job.


Tuesday 22 October 2013

Goods shed

A couple of pics of the goods shed, which has been Stonerized. I'll make a sign for it and make some effort at an interior and then the first building will be ready.

This is a very rough section through the layout and the bit of world not modelled. I'm excited about the layout again which is perfect timing for the winter.

Monday 21 October 2013

Port Lucy - Phase 1

I've been doodling plans and having day dreams about getting round to building the second terminus of the IoSR for a couple of years and by way of avoiding finishing anything else I've actually cut the first sod for Port Lucy.

Despite all the planning and ideas I knew that the only way I'd make any headway was to cut out the baseboard to size and lay out some points and buildings. As ever I had been over enthusiastic about what could be done in the space available but I think that by making the station bend round I've ended up with a better looking layout and still fitted everything in that I wanted to.

Last evening I have been continuing work on the Goods warehouse which I got for Xmas last year. It had been intended for the other end of the line in St Ruth but it never fitted in, however it is just the job for Port Lucy.

Rough track plan with some buildings plonked on

Monday 14 October 2013

Lucy in green with handrails

After all the excitement of the weekend I had a day off today so apart from sleeping and washing I found a couple of hours to do some modelling. I decided to finish off the detailing of Lucy my big Hunslet. This was mostly fitting handrails, first I did the curved one around the smokebox door. This has three handrail knobs which for once I managed to get symmetrical. The cab door ones were fantastically fiddly and involved a good deal of swearing and bodging but I got them ok in the end.

Little and large

A bit of rod to operate the sanders and a paint touch up and it was done. I still can't decide on varnish, I tried some satin on Burnmouth and it looks ok but maybe a bit too shiny.

Wednesday 9 October 2013

Plates of delight

I am delighted to say that the name and works plates arrived from Narrow Planet today and they are as splendid as ever. This evening Lucy and Burnmouth are no longer anonymous.

They both now need a coat of matt or satin varnish, I'm never sure which is best. My daughter said that Lucy being all shiny was nice and that I shouldn't do anything and I know what she means but varnish I will.

Lucy has also now got glazed spectacles at the front and a representation of the sliding rear ca windows as fitted to WLR no14. Thanks to Andrew Charman for the picture confirming that detail. All that remains after the varnish is a set of cab hand rails and one on front of the smokebox.
Burnmouth is pretty much complete, I may add a reversing lever rod to fill out the footplate a little, maybe not.

A little shunting down on the wharf

A while ago a noticed a new little chassis on the Plaza Japan eBay site and took a punt on one as it was only about 25 quid delivered from Japan. It is a funny little thing quite long and low; I had no idea what to do with it at first but I was bored over the weekend (X Factory on the tv!) so I doodled an inspection car onto it using bits and bobs from the big box of bits. I added a resistor to the chassis as its only a 3 or 4 volt motor too.

It has a Hudson Hunslet radiator and some A1 models brass grills, a PD FR van 10 end and a whitemetal cast platform seat. Odd looking thing.

Saturday 5 October 2013

More paint

Again not much to say except that the painting is pretty much finished, I've noticed a couple of little touch ups which need doing. I've put some coal in the bunker 'glue and glaze' in the spectacles and head and tail lamps have appeared, plates are on order and a crew is standing by to climb aboard. A waft over with some varnish will finish the whole thing off. Runs beautifully and fits in nicely with its stable mates.

Thursday 3 October 2013

Some paint

Not much to say, other than I decided to use brushes to paint Burnmouth because it was the path of least resistance. I've done a first coat of the three main colours so here a couple of pics just as a record.

The cab roof hasn't been touched yet but the whole thing is starting to come together.

Tuesday 1 October 2013

Not going to the convention

Well, I hope everyone had a nice time at the 009 society convention, unfortunately due to a previous family commitment and work pressure I couldn't go, not that I'm bitter. I am actually.

Anyway while everyone else was having fun I did grab a few minutes to do some modelling and continued working on Burnmouth. It has now had coal rails, a coat of primer and a nice GWR whistle fitted. I used some Maskol on the handrails and the brass safety valve cover. The purple gunky stuff had been lurking, untried in my workshop for ages, like the airbrush. It strikes me that it is Copydex with some colouring in it. Anyway the results are fine, it needs another waft over with primer and then I can spoil it properly with paint. I think I'm going to go for IoSR loco livery, Hull Red but I may need to try out the lurking airbrush. I'll try it on something else first though.


In the background of the second picture you can see the other thing I've done which is to give Nursie a proper chimney and a bit of a spruce up. I've been meaning to change the chimney for ages and I came across just the right one while looking for something else.

One other project occupied a part of yesterday evening which was working out why one of the point motors had given up working in one direction. I finally tracked it down to a wire having been pulled off the motor itself, unfortunately this meant having to disassemble the building with it in which took not a little brute force. However, wire re soldered and point motor working again the building went back together without too much distress, I may make a new roof for it though as I don't really like the Wills moulded one.

Thursday 26 September 2013

Burnmouth and birthday

Today is my birthday and so I took the day off work and spent it mostly in the garage working to get some unfinished project furthered. I've been gathering them together... far too many to, so I promise not to start anything else till I at least get Britomart, Burnmouth and Lucy finished. Then there is Beddgelert which is at the painting and chassis sorting stage. Then there is my Tomix Percy bash which needs to be completely dismantled the chassis made to work and then rebuilt, it was last years birthday present so that shows how long I've not been getting on with that. There are a couple of IC locos in part built states and thats all before I open the unbuilt kit drawer(s).

There is also more half built coaches than most ng lines ever possessed... Then there is the small matter of a half built layout... And all this is before I even think about building all the things I'd like to make which I haven't even thought about not to mention the 16mm kits and the 009 quarry in a bag layout. I'm definitely going to finish something, really.

Looks better in real life and runs very nicely

Anyway, today I mostly concentrated on getting Burnmouth going. This is the Andrew Barclay alike which I built on holiday and the chassis for which I broke the best part of 2 Minitrix dock tanks to no avail. I realised the other day that I had a Farish 04 chassis in the drawer which is about the same size. The motor is in a different place but the wheel base is very similar. I have previously used one of these under my latest varikit bash, Nancy and so I knew it would be possible to add the piston rods from the Minitrix chassis which I had already used with the cylinders on the new loco. I removed the jackshaft drive by cutting the con rods and unscrewing the 'go roundy' bits. Dead technical, me. The body needed  a small amount of modification to allow the Farish motor to fit, mostly just some filing away of the inside of the cab. I also inserted a bit of biro/boiler barrel to move the tank forward a couple of millimetres to make room for the gearbox. It also raised the couplings so they needed lowering, anyhow it all works and I like the look of it still. The other new bit is a dummy front pony truck which is virtually invisible. It really is a cheat as its just a plastic wagon wheel with the flanges cut off stuck to the frame so it doesn't pivot but it makes me feel better.

Sunday 22 September 2013

A new coach and some lining

Since the holiday I haven't had much time for modelling but I have taken Arnold Lane Wharf to the exhibition at the WHR Superpower event. sadly I was too busy running about videoing and working to operate the layout so it sat with a selection of rolling stock available from the shop on it. There were some other cracking layouts in attendance and it was nice to meet some familiar names and see a couple of famous layouts in the flesh.

Grace Alice had a run on Bron Hebog and I was delighted that she behaved impeccably and hauled a heavy mixed train with no problem. I only had my phone to hand and the pics I got weren't great but here is one to prove she did run.

I also gave Britomart a run, double headed with their version which was still in works grey, sadly I didn't get a picture of that. She waddled more than their one which ran typically perfectly.

Last night I got a while to sit and try to put some lining on Lucy which is progressing towards being a very nice, big loco. I bought some Pressfix gold lining ages ago and never had the nerve to use it but yesterday I plucked up the courage and had a go. Not perfect but not bad from a working distance. I've only done one side so far as it was making my head hurt so I'll try to have another crack this evening. I'll also see if I can do something on the cab backsheet which is a very plain thing. Once the works and name plates come from Narrow Planet I will put a coat of satin varnish on her which will tone the shiny car paint down a bit. Apart from the plates, I've only really got some handrails to add; cab entrance ones and an arc over the smokebox door.


You may also have noticed a coach behind Lucy, it is one of the first batch production models from PECO. I've added passengers and a little weathering, mostly to the roof which is rather shiny white. I know what happens to white coach roofs as I look out of the window of the office over the corridor and see then every day. Looking forward to the brake version now. Well done to PECO, I'd better start saving up for the Heljan Manning Wardle now.