Wednesday 30 April 2014

River deep...

Well, not that deep. Back to work yesterday but a day off today ahead of the coming busy weekend. I decided to start the river scenery on the removable section as I can't install the bridge and therefore the track until it is complete, at least under the bridge.

The first thing I did was to add the back scene as I usually end up doing this last and then not being happy with it or the process. It is a piece of Gaugemaster sky paper which was left over from Arnold Lane Wharf.

Next job was to paint the abutments with their base colour and then a muddy/sandy colour for the river bank. It is supposed to be tidal here and so the boat will be left high and dry even when there is water in place.

Bridge in place and murky green/black water course

Once the paint had set (not hard) I added a layer of sandy paint and some small stones, a few tufts of longer grass were also added. Once this had all firmed up I did a thin wash of the original base colour to tie it all in.

Last of all I've added some basic greenery to join the land to the sky. It needs some tidal marks and some water now but I reckon I'll be able to do those with the bridge installed so if the old back keeps getting better and I survive the weekend it might be time for some track... and a signal.

Tuesday 29 April 2014

Snow business like snow business

Despite the continuing pain in the... well let's call it the lower back, I have finished off the delightful Chris Ward snow plough. Here it is coupled up to the other one which I bashed onto a ROCO tender.

As the Isle of Stoner has only very occasionally seen snow these really are luxuries which could well be done without; Lord Stoner is prone to bizarre late night ideas usually after rather too much port and cheese. They have obviously never seen active service as both have very impractical headlamps at the top of their blades, they would get knocked straight off!

I found this picture on the camera memory card and thought I'd put it on here in lieu of anything more recent.

Syd is about to depart with a short goods train and someone has obviously been up on the crane gantry with a tin of primer as the dolly is ready for a top coat by the looks of it.

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Back pain

I've done something unspeakable to my back and we also have relatives staying so I'm a bit buggered for actual modelling at the moment. Instead of doing something actual I decided to design the control panel for Port Lucy which meant settling on a track plan and settling where I want isolating sections and signals. I'm not a signalling expert by any means but I know that I'm also lazy so a few ground signals which work of the point motors and a couple of semaphore starting signals seem ideal to me.

This is the plan roughly. GS is the goods shed and SB is the station building which is on a higher level and connects to the platform via a footbridge. The branch-line to Underhill disappears under the hill and will just be a dead end where the branch train can toddle off to and park up unseen. XS marks where the starter signals are for the mainline and the branch. The branch signal may gain an indicator too.

PM cont X GS means point motor controlled ground signal which will be n gauge colour light indicators run off a switch on the point motor. 

I think that from experience of operating other layouts the isolating sections are in about the right places. Once the track is laid and wired I will obviously need to have some operating sessions (play trains) to make sure it all works.

I hope I've given myself enough space to have some fun and to keep some spare stock about the place. 

The original plan was to include the railway's works as part of the grand plan but it was just too optimistic so will have to be 'off stage' until I work out a way to fit it in. The upshot of this that I won't have any spare carriage sidings or loco shed space. There is room for one loco in St Ruths shed but I have a stupid number of locos (marvelous) and I still have many unmade kits and plans for desirable ones I haven't even thought of yet. 

Anyway, panel designed; I just need to lay the track and wire it up. DCC seems tempting sometimes.

The next thing I have to do is the river scenery which goes under the bridge on the removable section so I can install the bridge and then add the track so I can start working out in either direction from there. Quite exciting... if only I had some time and a back which flexed without making me yelp... Anyway, I've been to the quacks today and they gave me some lovely pink smarties which combined with a couple of glasses of red have made the pain recede. Ibroprofen I love you.

Monday 21 April 2014

009 locos are like buses...

I've not had much modelling time in the last couple of weeks but I have finished off a couple of projects and inevitably started another one.

The first finished loco is ROCO bash Anni Frid. I wanted a companion for the forthcoming Brigadelok so this is it. Their names are the 'A's from Abba.

This beasty is the Neil Rushby resin kit for a battery electric loco which I have also finished in dirty black. It will live on my little slate quarry suit case layout when I get a chance to finish it.

The started project is a new Chris Ward, 3D printed snow plough. The IoSR already has one but a self propelled one will make a neat back to back set. Not sure how much snow they get down there but what the hell. I've added a few bits and pieces and given it a waft of grey primer. Now it needs some weight inside and some paint. I Maskolled the lamp glasses and the brass whistle.

Saturday 5 April 2014

Bridge over troubled mdf

I've done the first bit of scenic work on the new section; I was going to do the track over the bridge but realized that I would need to make the bridge abutments before I glued the bridge in place... this meant that it would also be easier to form the river bank too. It will also be easier to paint the abutments and therefore the scenery. Any old how, I have laid the first four sleepers, the pcb ones glued down to the edges of the removable section and its respective non movable boards.

Bridge resting in place

Another big step this week was the purchase of a 1m LED strip light. Its made by Philips and I got it in Wilcos, they have a new range of LED lighting, all rather expensive but just the job to light the underneath of St Ruth.


The LEDs in place, looking up under St Ruth

Today I've painted the new battery loco after giving it a waft over with primer previously. I decided on dirty black livery and I'm pleased with how it has come out. I've also put the nameplates and makersplates on Ena which arrived in the post from Narrow Planet this week. I've also now added the set to Ani-Frid the ROCO 0-6-0.

There are some excellent pictures on Mick Thorntons photo site, the first one is here. Its very flattering to be featured and Mick makes the layout look great. Lots of other cracking stuff on his site too.

Wednesday 2 April 2014

Track next then...

I've had another busy day in the garage and pretty much all the woodwork is finished on the new baseboards. There is still a long way to go but I can now see what the finished railway will look like, in my mind's eye, at least.

I've actually done a bit more than in the picture but you get the idea. I've rummaged out some pcb sleeper strip and found the Araldite amongst the chaos so when I get a minute the next thing to do is to glue some sleepers on the edges of the removable section so I can start laying track. having given it some considerable thought I'm going to start with bridge and work outwards from there. I'm going to use some of the new PECO set track on the bit underneath St Ruth as it will be easier than buggering about trying to lay flexible with such little headroom.

Once I finished doing woodwork in the room with the layout in I decided the next thing to do was to have a good clear up and to fetch Henry the vacuum cleaner and have jolly good clean. Once I'd done that I even dusted and cleaned up the music studio which has been covered in dust and tools during the 'big push'.

Not only clean but still working

I wish I had some more time available to get on with track laying and the electrics, this is the really daunting bit. St Ruth is more or less wired up but has no control panel so all the wiring terminates in at the end of a 50 way multicore. I'm hoping that the record I made when wiring it all up in the first place makes sense still... I haven't dared look yet. I have to build three control panels now, one for each terminus and one for the middle station; I may start in the middle as it only has three points and a couple of signals.

The other thing I'm doing at the moment is making up a new loco from Neil Rushby. It is a little battery electric job, a very tidy resin molding on the inevitable KATO 104 chassis. It only needed the sacrificial bits of the molding removing with a razor saw, knife and file. The couplings are separate parts but otherwise it is just one bit of resin; I've added hand rails to the cab but otherwise it just needs painting now. I'm going for black rather than the yellow one Neil has done.

When the loco arrived at double quick time, I was delighted to find that Neil had included a couple of 'Herb Vans'. These are slightly dodgy moldings of his splendid Darjeeling tea van, you can't order these as the mold is rather tired so these were a much appreciated gift. The islanders will be much appreciative of the enhanced supply of the local 'herb' that these vans will allow. They will need a bit of work to get them ready but will be fine.