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. 

Monday 28 August 2023

That was quick

Well my little diversion is virtually finished. Amazing how fast I can build a small project while prevaricating. I painted the rocks and earth with the usual acrylic paints and coloured the mdf paving/platform with acrylic paint pens. I also used these for the rail colour. The rail would rust heavily in a position where the sea might break over the track. 

Next was ballast and greenery. 

I fitted the LED lights while the paint and glue set and then slid the baseboard into the box. I haven’t fixed it in as there are a few extras to add such as a running in board and some people. 

A close up of the building and the static Fourdees loco restored from cat vandalism. 

Saturday 26 August 2023

A slight diversion - not just any diversion

 I’m very good at not doing what I should be doing and doing something else. Even when it’s just a hobby. So rather than getting on with Port Lucy, more on this later, I decided to make a little diorama that I’ve had in mind for a while.

Some good friends visited a month or so ago and by way of thanks they sent us some wine from M&S; it was very nice and came in a lovely wooden box. I immediately thought that it was too good for kindling and I’ve been toying with the idea of a model of the legendary but never built Portmerion branch of the Festiniog. I don’t have room or the inclination to build a whole layout so this box is ideal.

I got a lovely little resin model of the Minffordd down platform shelter off evilbay, it was a bargain but I had no need of it. 

The diorama represents a halt along the headland called Dolphin and the building is ideal. 

So far I’ve glued the sky paper into the box and cut the divider that was in the box to fit as a baseboard. Platform, track and fence are glued in place. I have some battery powered LED lights to fit and some plaster ballast and minimal scenery to do then it will be done. 

Thursday 17 August 2023

Progress and a possible problem

 I've done a bit more woodwork and it has left me scratching my head somewhat. The area of the new bit is pretty big; obviously I knew that when I 'designed' it but it's all very well scribbling in a note book but when the full size of the thing emerges it is quite another.

The plywood sheets aren't attached but I wanted to get an idea if my track plan would vaguely fit in the space available. I think it pretty much will for the station and the wharf but carriage sheds and loco works might be a step too far.

The main issue is that I can't reach the back of the layout and this is causing problems already. Hmmm. Some thought needed before I go too much further. In the words of Macbeth (I think) 'Vaulting ambition o'er leaps itself.'

The train on the left of the picture is the Diesel set which will be in use on the 'mainline'; ie disappear into a tunnel representing the rest of the island.

Thursday 10 August 2023

The boy is back

 It’s been ages since I’ve done any modelling but today I have made a leap forward. I tidied the workshop. 

This meant that I had room to start on the woodwork which will form the basis of Port Lucy the terminus of the Underhill branch and the Isle of Stoner Railway mainline. 

I’ve had a plan in my head and on paper but as ever reality is slightly different. However I re drew the basic idea tonight and I think it should fit. 

It will be interesting to see how it turns out. My Facebook memory today was completing the trackwork on Underhill, seven years ago. Underhill has two half dead point motors so that will need sorting to but one thing at a time. 

Thursday 30 March 2023

Some nice pictures of Stoner

 I haven't been doing much modelling recently as it has been too cold to go into the garage and Bont is virtually finished. I've also lost my modelling mojo a bit too although I can feel the urge the urge to get going again bubbling up. Port Lucy needs building to give the IoSR another end and I've got stacks of kits to build too.

In the meantime I thought it would be nice to publish some of the excellent pictures of the layout that Chris Nevard took last year. They were published in Model Rail magazine which was very flattering.

In no particular order here are some. Theses are he posh edited ones.

What follows are some that didn't get used or edited so you can see how tatty the sky is really.

I wasn't expecting to photographed myself, the pics were taken in January so it was a bit chilly, hence the hat.