Sunday 27 January 2019

Weed Killer and bread rolls

I've had a couple of PECO flat wagons hanging around since they were released and I couldn't think what to do with them... Then in the week I bought the Airfix RAF crash lorry kit as I decided to get round to building a railcar out of a Meridian ALR kit; just in time to miss the end of the competition on the NGRM forum. Never mind, I was going to do that anyway.  When I opened the box I saw the water bowser from the fire engine and thought about making another slate wagon/tank conversion as seen on the F&WHR but that would be boring so a weed killer wagon was born.

Having built the tank, I thought what else would you need to spray weed killer on the track and a pump sprang to mind. There is a small generator on the fire engine too so I've used that and a selection of other bits and bobs.

I cut and bent some brass rod to shape to make four pipes to spray the track and there it is.

The other flat needed a use and it made sense to run them as a pair. A tool van and crew bothy seemed like something useful and as I had some bits and pieces cut from a Dundas FR coach kit on my work tray the rest was obvious.

After the usual primer
Here they are after painting, they need some weathering and the lamp putting back on the roof, but otherwise finished
Also finished off this week was the bakery for Castell Coed, I'm happy with how it turned out and it sits perfectly at the end of Alma Street.

With the bakery finished I've turned my attention to getting Castell Coed fighting fit for the Llanberis exhibition at the end of February. The main job that needed completing was the modification of the spare lighting post left over from Underhill's move indoors. All it needed was the 2 x 1 upright thinning down to fit the widget which supports it.
As a result of much improved lighting I had a bit of a play and took some photos of the recent short bogie coach in action with various locos.

Today's project has been the Stonerisation of the first of my three PECO GVT maroon unliveried coaches. Inspiration shamelessly stolen but I guess blood and custard with black ends has seen use somewhere else.

Tuesday 22 January 2019

A trip into the past

I was looking for something else when I found this old video of the very first Isle of Stoner layout. Very small and silly but really enjoyable to play with.

I still have most of the rolling stock. The layout was sold on so hopefully it still exists in some form or another. I seem to remember sending it to Eire.

Saturday 19 January 2019

Coaches , a diesel and a bakery

Turns out I was right about the primer and so building on that I've been busy with adding some colour. The little van has had a simple brown colour applied, I have another of these which lives at The Cheese Factory and is in the same livery.

The Meridian TR coach has been finished in a similar style to its companion, although I didn't check on the brown and so they have a slightly different look, but I quite like that and it helps to add to the slightly careworn look of the train. On testing the rake I found that by putting the couplings on in the intended manor they ended up a bit on the low side so off they all came and back on a millimetre higher.

The little diesel painted but not weathered or crewed
Castell Coed needed a new building to replace the bakery that I kidnapped to add to Underhill. I enjoy making buildings so I popped down to Porthmadog Models and purchased an Airfix/Modelmaster double fronted shop kit. There wasn't room for double fronted so I chopped a third off and have enjoyed fiddling with it to make it look less 1970s and more 1870s Welsh. Quite pleased so far, painting next.


Finished just in need of paint. The roof ladder is to disguise the join in the roof where I shortened it.

I've made some progress with the short bogie coach too but it's damn fiddly to paint, needs some more touching up and only looking at from a distance.

Tuesday 15 January 2019

Constant change is here to stay

Sometimes you need to make changes in your life, step away from things which don't bring anything to the party. Make time for the positive, let yourself have a little peace. To that end I've started on a long road to get fitter and be less of a wastrel; as part of this I've left Facebook for the time being at least. I've become sick of the constant negativity and whining. Hopefully this means I'll have more time to devote to all the great things in my life including keeping this blog up to date more regularly.
Anyway, with that out the way here are some toy trains; I feel better already.
At work we had a delivery from Heljan of the balance of our first order of Manning Wardles. I brought one of each home to photograph and while I was at it give them a test run. All three did a run up and down the Underhill Branch and behaved much better than the previous version. There still seemed to be a slight issue with the pony trucks but not nearly as bad as on the original version.

This is my original one (rear) and a new Yeo. You can see that the finish is better on the new one with various subtle improvements, not least the red head and tail lamps.

The three new ones having a pose.
While still on the subject of work (vaguely). I took the opportunity for a short trip down memory lane with a visit to this little layout that has been in the booking hall shop display cabinet for a dozen or so years. However it wasn't new then having been built by me in 1989 or 1990. It originally was in one of those aluminium camera cases. It hasn't done badly for being nearly thirty years old, it did have a bit of a spruce up when it went in the booking hall but fundamentally it's as I built it.

The track is my first circle of Egger/Jouef track. It was purchased on the same day I found a membership form for the 009 society next to The Dovey Valley Railway at the Croydon MRC show some years previously.
Coming more up to date, I've been quite busy on the lap tray recently. This little red diesel runs on an Arnold Kof chassis and the bonnet and cab come from that funny little plastic Garratt.
It had a Bachmann Baldwin headlamp at first but that was far too big.

I'm pretty pleased with the look of it but I now need to get the chassis to run properly.
Later in the year I'm taking the little Welsh roundy roundy, Castell Coed, to a couple of shows so I thought I'd build a short bogie coach to go with the short brake composite that works well on it. It isn't anything very clever, just a cut down Dundas FR style coach. I trimmed the bogies and moved the mounting holes for them slightly allowing them to swivel as fully as possible and so now it is quite at home on the Minitrains set track on Castell Coed.

Next thing to do is paint the loco, the two coaches and the Arsenal van. I'm going to try a green and cream panelled scheme on the bogie coach which will push my painting abilities to and probably past their limits... watch this space

Primer I can do quite well...

Friday 4 January 2019

Happy new year, where did 2018 go?

OK, I know I said I'd post more often... I meant to but I've been very busy in the, so called, real world. Anyway, back here in the world of modelling I've done a few bits and bobs.
First thing to mention is a nice little 3D print of a Simplex, not sure how accurate it is but it looks the part. Designed to sit on a Portram chassis, I've painted and weathered it, filled the engine cover with liquid lead but I'm buggered if I can find the spare Portram chassis I know I have somewhere... sure it will turn up.
I've also finished a couple of steam locos, the first being a 'Pugbash'. Shock horror! I've seen a few nice Pugbashes recently and decided to have a go as I had all the bits lurking including a brand new Fleischmann 7000 chassis, an A1 models etched brass cab and all the relevant bits of an Airfix Pug kit.
Bashing has begun.
First job was to make up the tank with the front and two side bits, I then removed the hand rails, the chimney etc and then sanded and filled the remains. I also shortened it by a third which left it without a water filler.
Bashing almost complete

I soldered the cab so that it would be structurally sound and drilled holes to fit handrails. The footplate was cut from Plasticard as was the cab roof. Chimney and tank filler were whitemetal castings, the couplers the lovely brass castings from RT models.

A waft of primer
The finished article - Nefertiti
A good Peckett green finished the job
It came out a bit big for my rolling stock but looks the part with the slightly large PECO skips
The other loco is a Narrow Planet Bagnall seen here in primer
Talking of Narrow Planet, I mentioned to Steve at Warley that I was after a Meridian Talyllyn brake van kit which he didn't have for sale because they were waiting for the buffer castings. Fortunately I knew that I didn't need these as I was going to build it IoSR style without them. A week later I had the kit in my clammy little hands. I last built a TR van from a Mike's Models kit about 40 years ago, being one of the very first 009 kits I ever made. I made a right mess of it and painted it gloss black all over.
This time I've made a bit of a better fist of it. I didn't want an exact TR van so I've left the booking office and ducket off and made the veranda open all round. As mentioned no buffers either.

The roof is Prof. Insley bog roll covered.
The finished article which I really like
With a matching coach and the finished NP Bagnall - Joe

On the layout itself I haven't done an awful lot except some basic scenic work between the quarry and the beach. I've also added a couple of inches to the front edge of the quarry board to help with future developments in that area.

One other small change has been to add about a foot more baseboard between the main beach board and the fiddle yard. This has moved the fiddle yard as far into the corner as possible and will allow a better transition from the halt area to the non scenic bit.

I've also finished sectioning the sidings, adding more isolating sections

Father Christmas was kind to me and I now have three PECO maroon GVT 4 wheelers which will get 'Stonerised' before long. He also brought me another TR coach kit to complete the little rake.
I will be exhibiting Arnold Lane Wharf and Castell Coed a few times this year, the first time being at the end of February at the National Slate Museum exhibition in Llanberis. Guaranteed to be the coldest weekend of the year. I'll also be at the 009 Society AGM with the F&WHR stand and also at the Bala Lake Railway show in May.