Tuesday 25 November 2014

Warley and all that

I've been very busy over the last couple of weeks so I haven't actually done very much modelling as it has just been the annual Birmingham curry and trains bash which is Warley. I was not with a layout unless you count the F&WHR as a toy train.

This was our stand before the onslaught on Sunday morning

Before  Warley I had started work on a couple of locos... I know, more locos? The most important one being one of the new Chris ward 3D printed Baldwins. A lovely bit of CAD and printing to match. Chris had sent me this print as it has a slight fault with the print on the rear of the cab but it will be easily remedied with a styrene filet. It is supposed to fit on an old style Farish chassis but looking at the drawings and pictures in Roy Link's superb WDLR Album I reckoned that the closest chassis (and conveniently I had one in my drawer) was an 04. With a bit of judicious filing inside the body it fitted beautifully. The wheelbase isn't quite correct and obviously it needs a pony truck and valve gear but its as close as I can get.

One of things I bought at Warley was a valve gear set from Mr T. I don't have a great history with valve gear but I'll give it a shot as the result could be really nice. While at the RT models stand I also bought a couple of Dinorwig slate wagon kits which look very nice.

The other loco in the works at the moment is still in a state of flux. The chassis is a very good old style Minitrix dock tank 0-6-0 which I bought off evilbay in a moment of madness. It could go one of two ways at the moment: The idea I had initially was to replicate the very first 009 loco I ever made (which ran) which was a dock tank with bigger cab and fittings which actually looked quite nice, long gone now but I did like it. The other possibility is to build a Varikit which I have to hand. Only time will tell.

009 is experiencing a surge in ready to run models like never before and on the Heljan stand were the first concrete evidence of their much vaunted L&B locos which look promising. Delivery looks like being this time next year... so time to save up.

PECO have been the first into the fray of RTR 009 and their coaches and wagons and vans have done very well, this has lead to them adding to the range. First to arrive in the shops will be flat wagons and bolsters. The lovely people at PECO have lent me set of each to put in the shop window but on their way to Porthmadog they've had a stop over on the Isle of Stoner.

Very nice they are to, having shunted them about Underhill to get them into a good place for photographing, I can confirm that they run as nicely as the rest of the stock. I can foresee the flat wagons becoming the underframe of many scratch built vehicles. My grey matter is already churning.

Most of my spending at the exhibition was on bits and bobs like chimneys for houses and so on but I was also tempted by a coach and a van by Technomodel. I believe they are of Dutch prototypes but i just thought that they would look nice with the Minitrains loco. I would have bought another coach but they only had the one.

Thursday 13 November 2014

Underhill - in the bin?

I haven't done much modelling this week but I did get Underhill out of the cupboard and set it up. I need to decide what to do with it and I wanted to have a play and see how I felt about it in the cold light of day.

Beckfoot with a mixed train at Underhill and Peggy with a goods behind

Nettie taking coal at the tower
The reasons for considering this are several. Firstly I don't really have space to store the layout when not in use and this is most of the time as I don't have time to get to many exhibitions with it. Secondly, I'm pretty happy with how it looks but as a layout to operate it gets a bit boring as al you can do is run the train out of the fiddle yard to the end, change engines and chuff off back again. There are sidings which it is possible to do some shunting in but the headshunt is slightly too short which is frustrating, they are also difficult to get at to uncouple etc. Overall it all works pretty well except for the baseboard join which is virtually in a tunnel and is a bugger to line up, its ok once its fettled but less than ideal. An idea I won't be repeating.
The cheese factory
If I was to exhibit it again I would want to add a third board between the two existing ones to give a bit more of a run and to allow me to re engineer the crappy baseboard join, however once I've gone to all that bother it might just be easier to start from scratch and make something better altogether.
If I did dismantle it there wouldn't be any track that I could salvage and I've spent a lot on greenery etc most of which would only be fit for the bin. I've put a lot of work into the layout in general too. Buildings and so on could be re used... I'm at a bit of a loss really. I suppose I could sell it on but I wouldn't get much for it. and I'm not sure I want someone else to have it; which sounds a bit weird.
Nettie with mixed train including brand new PECO non L&B grey open wagon

Wednesday 5 November 2014

More rolling stock

I haven't had time or the inclination to do anything to the layout but I have tackled a couple of kits from 'the drawer of un-built things.' Firstly I've built a couple of PD Glyn Valley/VoR 4 wheelers to complete my rake of these and just in case I loose the will to finish them after Warley... ahem.

I've also built my Chris Veitch FR van 3 kit.

I decided to use cyano rather than solder it as I was doing it on the lap tray in front of the tele. It went together very well and will make a nice brake van to go with my small selection of FR vintage goods stock.

Apart from nameplates, Poppy is now finished. It runs OKish but I suspect that with running in it may get better. I did wonder if it was a balance issue but as far as I can tell the centre of gravity is between the wheels. Its more of a novelty than a serious train puller so I'm happy. Goes well with my train of silly skip chassis coaches.

Sitting next to Poppy in the photo above is my new Baldwin 3D print from Chris Ward. Amazingly good print and a very detailed bit of CAD work. I'm looking forward to getting the IoSRs Baldy into action. Makes an interesting comparison with Poppy.