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.

Sunday 1 September 2013

Back from me hols

I sneaked a box with some tools and a couple of bibs and bobs in it into the luggage for the family holiday in sunny Scotland. Apart from having a nice time walking on the beautiful Scottish coast and eating and drinking rather too much I managed to complete a Chris Ward double Fairlie which I had previously sprayed the main body. Most of what I did was finishing off jobs, some black and red paint, some metallic panic pen work and a few details in the cab.

Liquid gravity packed everywhere and the Bandai chassis

Finished loco

Somehow I'd lost the cab roof which came with the loco so I made a replacement from styrene sheet. For now it has David Lloyd George name plates as I wanted it to look finished for the show next weekend.

I also did a slightly more traditional loco build from a Chivers kit. I almost built it as intended but I didn't have the right chassis so I've used a good old Minitrix dock tank which worked just fine before I attacked it... as is traditional it now doesn't. Since I got home I've taken it apart completely and wasted a whole afternoon and it still doesn't work. The motor works out of the chassis and the chassis runs without the motor in it; combine the two and it just sits there shorting out the controller and sparking a bit. Bugger.

Anyway, being in Scotland it seemed appropriate that I build an Andrew Barclay loco. It is supposed to be an 0-4-2 so I moved the driven wheels to the middle set and used some Langley Fairlie cylinders. Its all a bit shorter than ideal which is why I've put a big cover over the motion in the style of L&B locos.

I've added various bits from other kits and a safety valve cover from an N gauge pannier tank. I really like the look of it so far and all it needs now is some filler and it will be ready for painting. The chassis is another thing, I will beat it. It will be named Burnmouth after the location of the holiday cottage.

I didn't see any railways while away (except the East Coast main line which was just on the top of the cliffs we were at the bottom off.) but on the journey back we stopped off at Haverthwaite on the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway which OK but a bit standard gauge for me, however in the yard was a short bit of ng track with 2 closed wagons on it.


Anyway, back home and back to work in the morning. I've a few finishing touches to add to the layout before next week, one of which is to add to the varnish on the canal as the last layer I put on got some dust in it as it set so came out a little lumpier than I would have hoped. I've also added a third boat which i hope isn't overkill.

Both Fairlies and the alarming wet varnish... bloody better set clear.