Tuesday 30 December 2014

Post Xmas Loco

Christmas is done with and so I can get back to doing some modelling. I've bottled out of the lining on Eigiau for now so a different project was needed. One of the locos I was going to finish before I started Eigiau seemed a good idea so the Minitrix project came out.

Eigiau with PQR coaches on an outing to Underhill

I'd started work on the body before Christmas but had run out of steam as the cab had ended up not square so I knew I had to rip it apart before continuing.

Cab Mk1
Having got stuck in to sorting it out I realised that the problem was the cab front sheet for which I had used a redundant etch from a Brian Madge Hunslet as it was nicely done and about the right size... only it was only about the right size and therefore not the right size. I prised it off the loco and tried filing the edges down to correct the discrepancy but this made the windows too near the edges and it looked wrong. It had to go.
Cab Mk 2

Anyhow, a new front plate was made from styrene sheet with spectacle plates from RT models as are the rear ones. The rest of the bibs and bobs come a variety of places. The couplings are also from Mr T, the whistle and smokebox door darts are from Markits.

It's a funny looking thing but it is quite successful in looking like a reproduction of my very first proper 009 loco which was made in a very similar way, 35 years plus ago. This one is better put together with the benefit of hindsight and a bit of practice.

A little bit of filling and filing and she will be ready for some paint. My original was SR olive green so I may continue with this scheme. I have name plates standing by so it will be called Lady, the original was called Princess Astra after an obscure Dr Who character that I took a fancy to.

Princess Astra - Lalla Ward

Tuesday 16 December 2014

Back in black

I added some more details to Eigiau and was happy with the result, so next comes the spoiling by painting phase...

All over black, how hard can it be? Actually it turned out to be a bit tricky. I used a can of matt black spray paint which was not the best quality and turned out to be a bit on the thick side so some of the smaller detail has been obliterated, like the tiny brass wheels on the clack valves. Its not too bad though and having picked out the smokebox in a different black acrylic and the buffer beams in red it looked pretty good.

I've also added the nameplates which are the usual Narrow Planet standard. Just after the glue and the paint set I got a message noting that the plates were aluminium and painted pale blue like the lining. Doh.

The lining seems not to have been standard Penrhyn red, blue and grey but just the blue. This is good news for me as it makes attempting it less scary. However it is a tiny loco and the lining will be very tricky to execute. It will be quite heavily weathered which will cover up a multitude of sins... hopefully.

It just need the PQR couplers from RT models to arrive and be fitted and then it is nearly done.

Monday 15 December 2014

Locos, locos everywhere

Its been a busy week and I've had a dose of man flu too... don't worry I will survive.

Having been determined to finish the three locos I have on the go before starting work on Eigiau I did exactly not that. Well, what do you expect? I have finished off the Jung diesel which I'm very pleased with. It still runs very badly but I have some resistors on order so I'll give those a try and see if they make any difference and if not I have a Portram bogie waiting in the wings. Its too nice a loco not to have it running.

Eigiau, Jung and baby Ruston

I've painted the Jung in a fetching shade of green and I like the way it looks, I've weathered it with paint so far but it will get some attention from weathering powders too, I don't want it to look derelict just busy and slightly unloved.

The green machine

I found a horn which I've added and the windows are glazed with glue n glaze. The other loco I've finished off is Poppy which now has its name plates which arrived from Narrow Planet with Eigiau.

Looks lovely but runs like a turd

Fortunately, the Minitrains chassis runs very nicely so Eigiau will enter the capital fleet as soon as it is finished. The kit as it arrives is delightful with the body as a very neat 3D casting and a sheet of etched parts. Also included is a different Minitrains chimney which is great for the standard O&K loco but Eigiau had gained a more British looking chimney by the time it arrived at Penrhyn. My model will be in Penrhyn Quarry condition so I decided that I needed to change the chimney, fortunately I found a better looking whitemetal one in the box of bits. The question was how to fit it? I looked at sawing the Minitrains part off and trying to insert the stubb into the casting but decided that this wouldn't work. What I ended up doing was to glue the chimney onto the 3D body and insert a bolt from underneath the chassis and open out the hole in the body to allow the fitting of a brass nut. I opened out the hole with a series of broaches and then files and then glued it in the hole. For once one of my bright ideas seems to have worked.

Apart from this I've added pipes and gizmos as best I can from scraps of wire and styrene. On the real loco the smoke box door has a wheel and a lever so I used a Markits part with a brass wheel from a set of etched ones. The Markits version is deigned for standard gauge locos so needs trimming for the smaller size loco.

Three little maids

Some black paint and some name plates and a crew and it'll be finished. Lining? Maybe I'll have a go or maybe I'll chicken out and go for weathering...

Sunday 7 December 2014

Jung at heart

Another busy week sees very little going on down on the Isle of Stoner but I did get a couple of hours to start work on my new Rushby Resin Jung diesel. I got a chassis last weekend at Rainhill and promptly ordered a kit. this arrived with the usual promptness from sunny Corris.

The first stage is to remove the extra bit of resin casting which you can see sitting next to the body in the picture above. Then I opened up the doors and windows. Unfortunately I slipped with the knife and went clean through the roof but a quick drop of superglue and all was well.

It is a very simple kit, which suits my simple nature but results in a very nice looking little loco. The chassis will need a resistor inserting to get the speed down but that is the only modification that it needs so I shouldn't be able to bugger it up.


 I have added some weight at both ends of the loco as it is very light without this. To disguise the lump of whitemetal in the rear bit I've enclosed it behind some styrene. I'll add a little seat and a brake wheel which along with a driver should be adequate disguise for the mechanism. A cab floor wouldn't go amiss either.

Tuesday 2 December 2014

Rainhill... yes that one

I spent a happy day playing trains at the Rainhill MRC exhibition on Saturday. I partly had my Festy hat on and took along some goodies to sell but mostly I was being Lord Stoner and playing with Arnold Lane Wharf.

The layout behaved itself pretty well apart from the point rodding falling off one of the points meaning I had to operate it with the big finger from the sky all day. I've been putting off sorting it out for ages but now I really have to. I'll try to stick a point motor somewhere useful rather than try to restore the always flaky bit of rail poked through a hole in the backscene that has just failed.

I met lots of nice people, some of whom I already knew and some of whom I'd never met but feel like I know from the NGRM forum so 'Hello' to those new friends especially Simon who operated the layout while I had lunch. Also lots of nice people who I'd never met in any way before, a really friendly show and the absolute antidote to the previous weekend at Warley. Unfortunately they've changed the date of Warley next year so it coincides with Rainhill meaning I'll have to miss it next year. Shame.

And yes, it is The Rainhill where Stephenson's Rocket did its stuff. Cool railway vibe.

Today the un-liveried PECO coaches arrived in the shop and so I bagged a set of red ones which Father Christmas will bring me I expect. They are nicely painted with all the details picked out but could do with some more lettering which I will add later. The roofs are very white which is correct for the L&B and SR versions but I think I'll modify these ones, I bought some torpedo vents at Warley so I'm thinking of removing the molded detail and adding a new covering and vents etc.