Thursday 22 December 2022

Loadsa locos

 I had been so busy with buildings that the large pile of locomotives waiting to be finished had stalled however with the long evenings of winter and now the Xmas holidays upon us I’ve got my finger out and the results can be seen here. 

First to be finished (again) was Nadine mk2. The first version got spoiled by a cat based incident, Dan very kindly sent me another print and I’ve finished it off in the same livery etc of the first one. I think I’ve done a better job this time too. 

Next in the paint shop was ‘Veronica’, the younger sibling of ‘Nadine’ also from Fourdees and on. KATO England chassis. This one also got bounced by the cat but the only damage was the handrails which I replaced with brass ones. I’ve also changed both locos to have my standard RT models couplers. ‘Veronica’ needs a couple of touch ups here and there and the crew from Modelu which needs painting. 

Talking of Modelu figures here is mini me driving my new Bachmann ‘Alice’. 

I had a visit from these three this week and ‘Alice’ is definitely staying. I’ve done a few little additions but haven’t had the heart to weather it into quarry condition. All four of these tiny locomotives are absolutely gorgeous and I wouldn’t be surprised if ‘Nesta’ comes home too. 

‘Dorothea’ with my kit built one.  

Last but not least is Corris No4, I decided I could do a better job on the paint finish and that I wanted to change the couplings. I’ve also ordered some number plates from LRS. 

At the Warley MRC show I was nattering to those lovely Hastie chaps on the Dundas stand when the Minitrains Schneider loco caught my attention. We had them at work and I even got as far as bringing one home but decided I couldn’t justify it at the time; having subsequently regretted this decision I relieved Dundas Models of one. It goes very well with my other maroon ics and here it is with glazing, a crew and some weathering. A nice loco and in my opinion one of the best Minitrains have made. It adds a little more Gallic charm to my channel island too. 

It will be named ‘Speedy’ after a sadly deceased French cat. 

Meanwhile PECO have released their Mk3 quarryman’s coach and the two vans in a rather fetching grey livery. It would make a good undercoat for freelance liveries but it occurred to me that there are pictures of the quarrymen’s train in a very tatty state and that this would be a good place to start attempting this from. 

So far I’ve only done the coach so you can see the grey van here, next to the painted coach alongside two factory finish vehicles. 

I painted individual planks starting with a brown that is close to the ‘proper’ colour and then painted most of the rest of the planks in three shades of grey and beige. The finishing touch was to dry brush the ‘proper’ brown on top to simulate tired and peeling paint. The genuine articles spent their lives either by the sea in Portmadoc or in a siding in Blaenau so no wonder they didn’t fare well. Anyway I think it looks the part and when I get round to it the vans will get the same treatment. 

More to come next year, hopefully Port Lucy will be in action by this time in 2023. Have a happy Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or whatever. See you next year. 

Saturday 10 December 2022

Painted and glazed

It doesn't look like I've done much but I've finished The Old Vicarage with a coat of Vallejo Ground Texture - Grey sand. It is virtually the same colour as the filler but has a fine sand in it so it now seems to have a painted pebbledash finish which is quite subtle and just the job.

Also now complete is the signal box, I wish I'd not glued the interior details into place before painting them but I did and so enjoyed a happy evening fiddling about making the inside a pleasant environment for the signalman.

Glazed and roof stuck on it now awaits it's place on the new layout.

The loco shed is also now complete, the machines are fitted and all looks well. I haven't painted the filler as it looks good as a rendered finish.

In addition to building new structures I am also renovating some previously used ones. This Skaledale product was the station building at StRuth. Not sure what it will be this time as I still find it attractive. It has had a clean up and the roof and sign board have been repainted.


Wednesday 30 November 2022

Neither Port Lucy nor Rome were built in a day

Since the last post most of my modelling time has been spent progressing the buildings for Port Lucy.

The loco shed is finished with just painting to do, the machine tools for inside are also waiting for the paint brush to visit before they are fixed inside. The water tower is also complete and primed.

The house is also just in need of painting.

One bedroom is furnished and illuminated.

The signal box awaits the attention of the paintbrush too, then glazing and the roof fixing on.

This flight of stairs will join the station level to the street ascending at the rear.

Last weekend was the Warley MRC show at the NEC in Birmingham where we had a publicity and sales stand from work. This means two nights and two days away from home. This has plusses and minuses, plusses are meeting up with loads of folk that I hardly ever see and having long chats. 

I got myself scanned by Modelu as did Dave Malton, hopefully I'll be driving a Bachmann 'Alice' before long.

On the PECO stand an early (and wrong) green England was spotted, A darker shade will be used for the finished item; confirmed by Hiroshi Kato himself.

One of my longer chats, with the lovely chaps at Dundas Models resulted in me buying a Minitrains Schneider diesel home. I thought I'd missed the boat with these, it fits right in with the other two maroon diesels.


The final bonus of a weekend in Birmingham is the availability of excellent and plentiful curry.


Wednesday 16 November 2022

Building some buildings

 Well, I said I'd carry on updating this so here comes the next splurge. The next section goes here covering the area of the fiddle yard and the toolbox on the left. I've started gathering timber to start the baseboard but I'm still a bit in two minds how to approach this as the track plan will be reasonably complex. 

The basic shape of the new bit will be town at the back then railway and harbour at the front, to that end I've started assembling the buildings, I want to achieve that jumbled and unplanned look which real places have. It's tricky to plan the unplanned. These are the complete buildings, some have been in store since StRuth was dismantled and some are new.

I've also started construction of some new structures like this signal box and water tower.

The signal box is a laser cut kit designed to be a ground level structure but I've given it a brick plinth to stand on and have added a fully featured interior and will install interior lighting.

Here it is with a roof. The tiles are from Scale Model scenery and are laser cut. A first for me and I'm very impressed with the ease of making realistic slate roofs.

The other new build is an engine shed, I already had the left hand corrugated iron part from previous layouts but the right hand part is new. It is a laser cut mdf kit from Fair Price Models as used previously. I've now got a small stash of their kits to add to the town too. The roof is laser cut tiles again.

 Inside the new shed I've finally found a place for these rather nice 3d printed machine tools, again interior lighting will hopefully make them more visible.

On another subject and on the other layout I've had a visit from the new Bachmann Hunslets, Blanche and Britomart. Both are lovely models and I'm looking forward to adding a Linda and a cabless quarry loco as and when they appear. Rewind a few years and these would have seemed like science fiction and yet here they are.