Thursday 11 April 2024

Vans and trams

I've been continuing to try to finish off some things  that have been hanging around and this started with a couple of brake vans. I do have a bit of a thing for brake vans so a couple more joining the stock list isn't a surprise.

The first to be completed is a rather tidy 3D print of the TR van, I have a green version which runs with the IoSR rake of TR type coaches but I wanted a more prototypical looking one to go with Dolgoch and a probable No1 when Bachmann drop them. Not sure what colour I'll go for but it won't be the new and to my mind ghastly blue. This one is I think an MS models version and it looks great, I enjoyed painting it and am happy with the look of it; it will need weathering down a bit to look more at home with my 1950s Dolgoch.

I'm not sure where the second van came from but its a nice two balcony sort of GVT looking job. I went for a green finish and added a brake standard. Having just put an order into Tramfabriek for a KATO 109 I added three little battery powered carriage internal lights which switch on with a magnet. I thought one of these in a van might be a good idea so I fitted one and it looks nice. Then it occurred to me that a lit up tail light might be nice and I had a little 3D printed one with a tiny red LED. I attached the wires to the LED on the circuit board of the van light so that it comes on with the magnetic switch. It looks good but the whole lamp glows, a few more coats of paint and it should settle down.

On May 18th/19th I'm taking part in a little model show in the Gweithdy at Minffordd Station and my table will feature a variety of my little layout/dioramas and to demonstrate that 4mm scale narrow gauge doesn't need a huge space for a worthwhile set up. I decided that actually building a layout at the show might be fun so I've bought an MDF board to build something on. 

This is a loop of Busch HOf track which might be what I go with, I'd like to fit a circuit of 009 on it too. Watch this space and indeed come and see what happens in May.

This is a fairly old model which I actually really like, the idea being that it is a tram with an upright boiler at the front. What made me think about it was that the bell on the roof was an example of the generosity of the late, great Garry Whiting. I posted that I was making this tram and before I'd finished it a lovely little brass casting for the bell on the roof arrived, unbid but very welcome.

The original chassis has never been satisfactory so I decided that I could probably just shove a KATO 109 into it instead; so I did.

Here it is. It took a bit of trimming to fit it in but it actually fitted really well. It will now run nicely.

I'd like to see this in action at the show in May.

Monday 25 March 2024

Engines and more engines

So... The first two of my four new Fourdees locos are here; two shades of green; a Hunslet and a Bagnall. I'm really happy with both of them and they will be very nice additions to the IoSR fleet.

Next on the list was the loco I've made a few modifications to. The most obvious is the turned brass chimney which I added for two reasons; firstly that I really like it and second that I dropped the print and snapped the chimney off. It would have glued back on but would always have been a weak spot. The other mod are the coal rails on the bunker which I made in my usual way from Langley L&B etched slatted seats. All the four new locos also have vacuum pipes added.

I went for an all black livery, I had thought that I would add red and grey lining but actually I really like the plain livery. One more addition was the open windows on the cab front. These are jewellery links that I bought years ago and never found a use for. They are a perfect fit and I glazed them with Glue n Glaze.

I went to Narrow Gauge North as part of the F&WHR marketing team but of course also in attendance was the 009 Society 2nd hand sales stand so before the show opened I went for a quick browse. Lo and behold I saw a pair of familiar looking vehicles in a box with my hand writing on it. The weird thing is I had been wondering where I had put them a couple of weeks before... so I bought them back.

This is a bit of an odd one. KATO provided the F&WHR with a demonstration layout and rolling stock including this Prince. However the great unwashed public want to push the train along. In consequence poor old Prince has had a chassis melt down. Dan from Fourdees very kindly sent me one of his printed replacement chassis which I duly painted up and stuck in the body. It is now gracing the rather cute layout in Caernarfon Station shop.

My Bachmann double Fairlie has now finished transmogrifiying from Merddin Emrys to Dylan Thomas. Lord Stoner has always been a fan of these handsome locomotives and so had a duplicate of ME made for his railway. Never a great success on the IoSR the remains languished at the back of a shed until the preservationists took over and restored the loco, in the process renaming it after the trendy Welsh poet and piss head. Actually I've just added new plates and some coal and carefully removed the FR crests from the cab sides. It is a beautiful runner and no doubt will see service on high days and holidays.

Those terribly nice folk at Bachmann have recently released ALR coaches which are ugly great things and which I had no interest in... then I noticed that they were doing them in IoSR maroon and cream so here they are. One has been heavily weathered and has had passengers added. Not sure what to do with the other one.

Three little maids

I don't usually remember to take pictures of work in progress but here is the fourth loco with just the black bits painted roughly.

Here it is finished all bar plates and crew. I have Modelu crews waiting to be painted for all of these locos. Hopefully my eyes will get better and I'll be able to do them justice with the paint brushes.

Here are all four together

Lastly a couple of pictures of my Bachmann/Fourdees Nesta sitting on the mortal remains of the real thing which awaits its fate at Boston Lodge.

Sat in the chimney


Thursday 22 February 2024

Gardening and gardens and a carriage

Since the last outpouring when I was all about the new locos I've made a slight detour and they've got no further really. They need priming and the weather has been foul so a trip to the cold damp garage for a visit from a rattle can; they have been for a bath in the ultrasonic cleaner along with a sneaky addition. That terribly nice chap at Fourdees has added a small range of his lovely prints to suit the iconic KATO 109. The one which caught my eye is called a Whiting named after the late lamented Garry so I had to have one.

Last time I had added the tall warehouse to the station forecourt module, here it is in place. Brrr.

Also seen in the last episode was the reroofed Airfix cottage, here it is nearly finished. What a bugger to paint, the beams aren't very raised but I'm nearly happy with it. The shop sign will be printed out to cover over my wonky painted one. The shop has a detailed interior and a light which should look nice.

Here is the less changed side.

Meanwhile, here is the first part of a terrace of lineside houses which I've completed. These are Fair Price Models laser cut kits which I've finished with a rough render look by spreading filler over them and then brushing it flat with Mekpak.

Plan A for the next building was this rather handsome PECO wooden kit.

This was how I originally planned it to be but circumstances forced my hand.

Progress here with the addition of a Scenecraft low relief shop which I modified with a porch and a repaint. The PECO house is starting to change colour.

This is the first finished part complete with gardens.

I'm pretty happy with the look of these bits but the PECO building was proving very hard to paint so it has gone into the reserve box. I'm sure it will be back as it's a very nice building, it also is a dead ringer for our old house in East Grinstead.

Next door ended up reusing a Hornby building that had been on the original Isle of Stoner L shaped layout.

A garden of two halves.

This is a laser cut low relief warehouse which I found on eBay and which was very good value for eight quid. It will sit at the back somewhere and look the part.

This is the next module which will include these three buildings and a row of low relief buildings behind and starting to rise up a hill, the Airfix shop will probably end up here too.

I haven't only been building buildings, this is the brand new kit from Chivers for the WHR/FR Ashbury coach. It was a nice kit to build and will make a nice addition to my VoR bashes and will be painted dark green and cream.

Now here's a thing. I've wanted a Mallet for a while and have been keeping an eye out for the lovely Minitrix one but I can't justify £300+ for a second hand chassis. I realised that maybe there is a different solution so I've had a rummage in the bits of kits box and found some bits of a Langley WD 2-6-0 tank. Early days but it might just work...


Thursday 25 January 2024

Doing some modelling

I've got my modelling mojo back and I'm enjoying doing a variety of bits and bobs. Sadly the weather has just been too vile to contemplate spending long in the garage so progress on Port Lucy has been mainly things I can do from the sofa. This includes ordering a pair of curved n gauge points which will help get a smooth entrance to the platform roads: hopefully

In other news, the new Bachmann Ashover coaches have hit the shops and I wasn't that interested but then I noticed that they do one ready painted in IoSR livery. It needs a bit of weathering and some people but it runs really nicely and fits in pretty well, ugly thing though. 

This is my ‘Burnmouth’ which is a bash of a Chivers Chevalier kit that I did years ago, it runs on a Bachmann 04 chassis with valve gear from a Minitrix dock tank. It also has a fake front pony truck making it nominally an 2-6-0. 

…consequently I was delighted when Fourdees dropped their Kintyre kit which is basically a slightly shorter version of my Burnmouth so it was a no brainer to order one. I knew these Contractor series of kits was expanding so I preemptively purchased a couple of quarry Hunslets for these kits as I would happily have most of them. My loco has coal rails so to make the new one look like a stable mate I’ve added some to the kit. I’ve used the same brass etch on both locomotives. It is actually seat slats from the Langley L&B coach etch; this is an excellent resource which has all the coach furniture and the seat slats which are very handy for this sort of thing. I’ve given the kit a mild tidy up and added liquid gravity and it now awaits some less vile weather to get a spray of primer on and then paint. 

I have three of the Fourdees kits and this one is the Little Issac which is based on Issac and Gelert which are both locos I really like in the real world. It is the least ready of the three but isn’t far behind. 

The first one I got was this ‘Windle’ which is now finished apart from some tiny weathering and a waft of Dulcote. Named Underhill I think it is a cracking design and just the little Hunslet that I have wanted for years. Thanks Dan. 

Three little maids…

Meanwhile I’ve been adding some depth to the building modules of Port Lucy. First addition is the brick built warehouse which is great and adds some depth as required.  

I’ve also added a Scenecraft narrow warehouse entrance which ties it all together nicely. 

I also decided that I needed another small building with a timbered structure so the obvious kit is the old Airfix thatched cottage which my dad made one of in the 1960s. I didn’t want the thatch so I replaced it with slates. 

I also knew that I had a laser cut kit for a shop front in the cupboard. It was just the right size so I chopped a hole in the wall and popped it in. Perfect. I’ve also ordered some 3D printed Tudor chimney pots to top it off. 

A while ago I bought this 3D print of the famous Talyllyn brake van but just put it in the pile of unmade stuff. I have a soft spot for brake vans so another one seemed like a good idea. I have an early, open verandah version in my green liveried TR set but this one will be done in late 1950s tatty red and brown to go with my Dolgoch. I’ll probably do a couple of coaches to suit too. A very nice print which went together simply and with the addition of some top hat bearings also runs nicely too. Another victim of the waiting for weather to get primed queue.