Saturday 16 December 2023

Post Warley come down

Before I took 'Bont' or strictly speaking 'Pen y Bont' to the Warley MRC show at the NEC in Birmingham I had one last part to make. I'd been putting it off because I had made a measuring error when constructing the baseboard which was impossible to rectify by the time I noticed. Fundamentally I hadn't left a big enough hole to allow the incline cage to fit; it took me ages to come to the conclusion that if I just made the cage as it should be and then suspended it part way up the incline it probably wouldn't be noticed.

Here you can see the unpainted cage demonstrating the problem.

And here it is painted and suspended, No one mentioned it not fitting at the show so I guess I got away with it.

Port Lucy hasn't had much attention recently what with Warley and it being blooming cold out in the garage. However I have cut some platforms out of plywood and given myself a sense of what the station end of things will look like.

I fell in love with a new loco from Fourdees and had to have it ready for Warley. It is a 'Windle' class Hunslet style loco which I think is particularly handsome. It is an excellent 3D print which fits on a Bachmann Quarry Hunslet chassis with the addition of a pony truck.

The kit comes with a dummy chassis so that the donor loco can still pose in a siding, here they are together.

The backhead is a separate part so it is a simple matter to paint it before fitting into the cab. Very nice it is too.

Here is the bulk of the stock I took to the show.

I was part of the 009 Society village helping to celebrate the 50th year of the society. I was very proud to be invited and was in illustrious company.

Fiddle yard view

I was also part of the F&WHR team and here we all are eating curry.

'Dennis' the railbus - Sunday afternoon service probably

Unusually for a show I went home with more working locos that I went with including getting 'Ned' to behave himself.

All went well on Saturday and then first thing on Sunday morning my controller went pop and would only output a full 12v output. Fortunately the Gaugemaster stand wasn't far away so a replacement was purchased and installed fairly quickly. Ironically I had had a Facebook conversation about not taking a spare controller because they never go wrong... 

The whole of the 009 gang with me acting the arse as usual.

Hmm, I don't think this one is going to bring me happiness.

After Warley was all done and dusted James Hilton and I finally managed to get together on The Isle of Stoner; as ever he brought some of his lovely models with him including a Bachmann 'Linda' with a KATO tender representing how it looked when it first ran on the FR having transferred from the Penrhyn. It came for a trip on the island with a couple of beautifully finished Dundas FR style coaches.

The train looked very good and was quite at home

He also brought a nicely finished 'Prince'

I've also acquired a set of three Dinorwic slate wagons from Bachmann. They are very lovely little things and they go very well 'Alice'. Here they are as they come out of the box...

...and here they are weathered. They do them in a grey finish too which is not that unrealistic for wagons left to bleach and rot in the Welsh weather but they don't have the numbers printed on like the red lead ones.

It has been an expensive couple of months for 009 stock as the much awaited PECO FR Bowsiders have arrived. I had to add one to my FR train and very lovely it is too.

Oh, and one more thing. I have another Fourdees/Bachmann loco ready to go onto the lap tray, this one is the Little Issac which is again an 0-4-2 much as you might expect. Based on the Bagnall Issac and Gelert. It looks like a lovely print and I can't wait to get it finished. More next time probably.


Sunday 19 November 2023

Getting ready for Warley and that...

I've been getting Bont ready for Warley and fingers crossed all is well. One of the things I've done is sort out my tool box into a smaller one for travelling. Wonder what I've forgotten?

Port Lucy has had a bit of a pause while I worry about Bont but this is the revised station building layout and the position of the loco release crossover. This arrangement also provides for platform 2A which will be the home of a tramway set.

What I've actually been doing with my laptray time is painting and finishing off the lovely Fourdess 'kit' Windle class Hunslet. Calling it a kit is underselling it really as basically the only bits you need to add are the chassis from a Bachmann quarry Hunslet, Nesta in my case, and the backhead and cab roof come as separate items to make painting easier.

Here is the more or less finished thing. I've used the works plates provided with Nesta for now although I've ordered name and works plates from Light Railway Stores. Ultimately it will be called Underhill.

This is Underhill with Nesta's working chassis and Nesta with the 3d printed chassis that comes with the kit so that original loco becomes a static model. I've also added a pair of RT models PQR couplers to finish it off. It will look very nice parked in a siding.

Come and see both of them at Warley.


Wednesday 1 November 2023

Possibly the final plan B

Having sorted out the woodworking side of things it was time to put as much finished stuff in place to see what would fit and what wouldn't. The heart of my overly ambitious plan still fits for the most part but I've moved the carriage sidings to alongside the platforms, this way I'll be able to reach them easily and I think I should be able to stable four rakes rather than three in the first plan. The loco shed is now much less than I'd hoped but is actually much more appropriate for a railway of this size.

Pretty much the whole thing

Loco shed

The house on a hill will provide a bit of a scenic break between the old layout and the new bit

Port Lucy Station buildings, I wanted it to look as though the buildings had evolved

Hopefully the final plan


Saturday 28 October 2023

Onwards and ever so slightly upwards

Life keeps on getting in the way of the growth of Port Lucy but tonight I took a big step forward; and a couple backwards.

As I mentioned before the base board I had built was too big and so I needed to chop nine inches off the rear, ideally some more would have gone but if I cut anymore off Port Lucy would be even smaller than it now will be.

I took the plunge and partly un assembled the pre existing structure, no mean feat in the confined space and with all the boxes of crap stored underneath. Anyway to be brief I managed to cut it down and fit it back in by using my super powers of contortionism. I previously had no idea these existed and now my back hurts quite a bit: If I ever build another layout it will be much smaller or I will have won the lottery and will get someone else to do all the tedious bits like woodwork, track laying and electrics. 

There we go nine inches shorter

So I looked at it and came to the terrible realisation that my legendary measuring skills had resulted in my building the new board a couple of centimetres lower than the bit it will connect to. First I thought about just ignoring it but that wouldn't help the track jump down a significant distance. There was only one thing for it and that was to screw a piece of wood onto the bottom of each leg. Contortion time again.

Now the correct height and with a connecting bit of wood.

Hopefully that is all the back breaking wood work done and I can now get on and sort out a final track plan and start being able to play trains again.

While avoiding woodwork I have done a bit of work on the next section of Station Road.

The old vicarage and the Town Hall and tower.

These are the next two buildings which will be on a hill

Imagine the platforms and track in the space.

A long way to go but it is starting to seem like it might one day get somewhere like done. I do hope so as I have a large pile of kits to build and more that I'd like too.

Sunday 15 October 2023

Port Lucy wasn’t built in a day

 I’ve been away on holiday and busy at work and now I have a filthy cold which won’t go away but I’ve really got the urge to get on with Port Lucy. What I really need to do is to get out in the garage and sort out the baseboard but that’s not been possible. While I was away I did lots of thinking and scribbling of track plans. This needs to get simpler and less ambitious as usual. 

The latest plan

Anyway, today I decided that I would start making the street which runs up the left hand side as I’m pretty sure which buildings will be where and am going to put them together in modules so that I can work on the lap tray and then fit them together onto the layout complete with details. 

Module one is the buildings at the front of the layout which form the street area which the station buildings face. 

So this is Station Square, the cobblestone road is by Noch and it’s sort of embossed, printed card. A bit shiny but a spot of weathering and maybe a waft of Dulcote once it’s installed and it will be fine. 

The next module will feature The old rectory and the town hall and its clock tower and garden.