Monday 27 October 2014

Huge water crane, tiny loco

In the last post I mentioned using the water valve handle from a Springside water crane kit as the brake handle on my latest and smallest loco, Poppy. Now I've made up the water crane and used an etched brass wheel which I attached to the side of the column.

This is the column in place, I like it but I'm not sure that it isn't a bit massive for NG. It dwarfs the Talyllyn size tower over the track but this is supposed to be the modern replacement.
I'll live with it and see how I feel. It will do for now and makes logistical sense of the station.

Meanwhile the other bit of the crane, i.e. the brake standard in Poppy has been pretty much finished off. It still needs the nameplates which are on order from Narrow Planet and a whistle which I'll order in a minute. Not sure about crew I might look at the Preiser Victorian engine crew as this is supposed to be a preserved loco from the IoSRs early years.

Posing, down at the wharf


Thursday 23 October 2014

How small is that

I've not done much on the layout this week but I've done some detailing on the new Skaledale waiting room. I've made some hanging baskets and hung them on a couple of the remaining etched brackets. The baskets are the ends of Rawlplugs which I whittled rounder and glued some fine chain onto. I'm quite pleased with them even though they may be a bit over scale.

Most of  my modelling time has been taken up making a new little loco on the little Koppel chassis I got from Japan last week.

 Its not quite finished but not far off. Its vaguely Hunslety, like a even smaller version of the little 18inch gauge jobs. Its made of bits from the box of bits. the buffer beams are from Parkside Dundas FR van 10 kits, not sure where the rest is from.

The brake standard is from a Springside water crane kit (watch this space) and the reversing lever is a signal box lever, Wills I think. I've ordered name plates from NP today, it will be named Poppy in memory of our recently departed hound.

It trundles along nicely and will just about heave itself up the big hill. It will probably work OK with my skip chassis coaches but I haven't tried them out yet. I think green is the colour of choice but I'm not sure which shade yet.

Saturday 18 October 2014

Up the hill

I decided to move up the hill to St Ruth and do some work on the station throat. My original intention had been to mount the point motors under the baseboard to keep the clutter down. However when I tried to fit them I realised that I have made it too hard to do by building the lower level, so... I've mounted them above board and built a hillock to hide them, I think it works ok.

There is also a new building on the platform. I bought it for the test track but realised that it is just the right thing for a waiting room at the new end. I forgot to take a picture of it in place, its just to the left of where the picture runs out.

Its one of these

The retaining wall opposite the outer starter, which you can see as some grey bits of stuff has been 
sorted out tonight. It is Preiser walling which fits together only vaguely so I glued and filled it and have given it a brown base coat and then washed it with black and pale grey, looks ok for now.

Not a piece of meat but the wall in question

It doesn't look like I did much yesterday but wiring the point motors in wasn't the whole story. When I had been going to mount the motors sub board I chopped the points including the end of the tie rod so I had to take out both points and the surrounding tracks to replace the modified unit. It all went OK but these things take time and somehow the rails leading to the points needed about 1mm removing from them too.

Really what I need to do next is grasp the nettle and get all the dangly wires shoved into a box with switches on... gulp.

Wednesday 15 October 2014

Walls, lamp posts and a spare layout

The last couple of weeks have been pretty traumatic and busy by about equal measures meaning railway modelling was the last thing on my mind, however things are starting to settle down and I had a day off yesterday so managed to find some time to do a few jobs.

The first thing I did was to tidy up the woodwork and trackwork on my 'test track'. It is a piece of furniture board with some spare bits of track nailed to it. I decided to add some sidings and have a roundy-roundy layout to play with.

It has quite tight curves so will be ideal for my steam tram and some of the smaller locos and stock I have. The TU-Koppel A which I ordered from Plaza Japan arrived today so something very small running on that will be suitable too.

On the main layout I spent a happy hour or two gluing down the Skaledale walls, they now need filling and painting.

Some cows are also lurking in the field
Hole have been drilled for the DCC concepts lamp posts and in the evening I gave them a basic paint.

The only structure left to build for Blackhill is a water crane for the 'up' platform as the water tower is on the down line... doh.

Thursday 2 October 2014

Long journeys and some plaster

I haven't had much chance to get at the layout in the last week or so but I have managed to grab a few half hours here and there. In actual fact half an hour is about all I can do before my back starts to hurt as leaning right into the layout to add plaster is quite awkward.

This was the next phase once it was set, I've also been buying up Skaledale walling from evilbay when I've seen it a reasonable price and you can see it resting in place in the picture above. Also the road has started to be installed. So far all I've done is glue gun some balsa wood cut to roughly the right shape as a start to the road. Not sure how to finish it off as this is supposed to be a very minor lane even by Stoner standards.

The reason I've not been doing much modelling is that I've been off round Britain with the work video camera. Nice as a gricer but as someone who likes to be at home with his family and toy trains less good. I'm not moaning though, I had a nice time and met some nice people.

Firstly at Talyllyn No1s 150th Birthday Party

Then it was off to Devon and a tour round the PECO facilities.

Next was Lyd at the L&B gala

I had a great time at the Talyllyn and it was a privilege to get to ride in the Victorian train behind both original locos. Everything looked brilliant and it was a fun day out.

Dave Malton took me on a tour round the PECO behind the scenes which was fascinating. The tool making and manufacturing side of the business are absolutely fascinating, I strongly suggested to them that they should do an article in the Railway Modeller about the process and the plant. I also had a couple of trips around the Beer Highlights Railway which is a surprisingly complicated railway. It is fully signalled and interlocked, very clever. Then I had beer in Beer as it was my 50th birthday.

The real purpose of the trip was to video F&WHR loco Lyd performing at the L&B gala. A very pretty little railway and I hope that they can get an extension moving soon. 

Since I got back I've done some more plaster work including starting to 'ballast' the track. This is my usual approach of smearing plaster everywhere and then smoothing it out and wiping away the surplus.

I've also done the last plastering in the station so I've planted the buildings.

It will soon be time to start adding colour and greenery, can't wait.