Sunday 20 September 2020

Dreams come true

I've done a fair bit of modelling this month, the first job finished was the power car for the DMU set, not only does it run well on the KATO 11 109 but I'm also pretty pleased with the look of it too.

The next project was to build the non motor driving car and I'd bought a Dundas VoR van kit to build one from but then I came across something similar I built for use on the St Ruth layout. It was part of a train that ran up to the lighthouse. 

Being made from the same kit it was pretty much what I intended to do from scratch, it neede a bit of tarting up and some detail adding to make it look like it was designed to be the second part of the set.

Long story short, I took it apart and added a variety of styrene strip and changed the roof vent for a whitemetal torpedo like the one used on the motor car.

Here it is all finished and on a test run up the Underhill branch. All I need to do now is build the rest of the layout so it has somewhere to run...

In other news I found a ROCO six wheel diesel for a reasonable price and set about anglicizing it. This was inspired by seeing Dave Malton's visiting loco last month, also the very first ready to run loco I had was one of these many, many years ago. This time I was determined to make a better job of it.

The main offending parts were the cab, the radiator and all the stuff on the back of the cab, so it all had to go.

I spent a happy day filing and gluing new bits in place. The radiator is from an Airfix lorry kit, the exhaust pipe and new cab steps are 'n brass' castings as are the handrail knobs. Theses are the smallest I've ever used but they look the part and are very nicely made. The horn is a brass part from A1 Models The cab front and rear and the buffer beams are whitemetal parts from the big box of bits. My favourite RT Models brass PQR couplings completed the job.

Once it had a squirt of primer I realised that I had basically just remade the cab and it still looked very continental. A look in my book of Hudswell Clarke diesels showed me that locos of the type that I was aiming at had curved cab windows and so a further rummage in the bits box came across these cab sides which once cut and filed to shape do the perfect job, to my mind.

Green seemed the obvious colour, I've ordered works and name plates from Narrow Planet and it will be called 'Granville' to go nicely with the big red Drewery named 'Arkwright'. It has been a funny sort of year, after all.

Here it is in action on the works train, it needs running in as its rough as you'd expect from these and I think I'll probably change the motor out for one of Svens conversions. I did one before and it made a world of difference.

On the scenery front, I've been looking at the sandy field which has never looked as I wanted it to really so I think I'm going to cover the sand in grass to make it more of an ordinary looking field. I've got some nice tents somewhere so maybe a camping field would be nice. I really need to bite the bullet and get some proper sky too, then I can sort out the beach once and for all.

While I was painting the 'Granville' I removed some of the overdone weathering on 'Eva', you couldn't see the livery at all and as that was why I bought it in the first place that seemed a bit thick. Only thing is, now it notices that the nameplate is wonky.


Wednesday 2 September 2020

I have a dream...

 I just got back from a family holiday on The Mull of Galloway in Scotland which was, as ever, very relaxing. The Mull itself is like an island but is actually attached to the mainland, the scenery has been very inspiring for a future extension of the IoSR. I didn't have any modelling with me but I did ponder the next phase of construction of the layout; at the moment my music equipment is in the way but a chap can dream. After an evening of planning in my head and on paper I actually dreamt about the layout and solved a couple of problems.

This is a panoramic view of the area that the extension would/might occupy. The fiddle yard is just visible on the extreme right.

The plan is to replace the fiddle yard with a corner board where the line curves round and there is a station with passing loop, rather in the style of Tan y Bwlch and then the line would run under the window on a section of roadside tramway line before turning again into Port Lucy Station which would be where the keyboards and racks are on the left in the photo. Port Lucy is where the Main IoSR line meets the Underhill branch, being the modelled part. The mainline runs into the same station out of a tunnel, this is where the trains would disappear but I've never worked out how to have them turn round for the return into the station. I've had all sorts of fancy ideas about balloon loops on silly gradients but to no real solution. Anyway, what I'm driving at is that I dreamt all this in action and the mainline trains were PECO L&B coaches with driving trailers on both ends...

So, on my return to Wales I ordered a couple of Dundas VoR vans and a KATO 11 109 chassis to make the first of the driving trailers.

Raw ingredients

Work after the first night's efforts.

The chassis parts and the floor were put away for later use and the sides and one end stuck together as nature intended. After that I cut the other end to provide a low front and a back to the cab area. The duckets have been placed nearer the double doors creating a shorter van section and then infront of the gaurd's door is the driving compartment. Styrene strip was used to plank over where the ducket should be. I used the bonet and radiator from the trusty RAF ambulance Airfix kit to give the beast a snout.

After lowering the body slightly more and adding some detail parts here it is on test.

It will need some weight adding as it struggled to pull two carrs and the half truckle which I used to represent the other, un-powered driving trailer, as yet un-built.

Quite pleased with the look of it so far, need to build the other end now then paint them.

It's always nice to have a guest operator and visiting trains and just before we went to Scotland there was just such a visit from a rather Ffestiniog Flavoured modeller. These are his Dundas bogie coaches with a PECO bug box in green.

This is his ROCO diesel in FfR livery, loco named Barnard Castle

Here it is again with my rake of ROCO skips in tow.

These rather nice Victorian Bug Boxes came to stay also, which was nice, as they are absolute works of art. Just need a suitable loco now...