Saturday 25 May 2024

Round the houses and some new engines too

Since my last post on here I've actually done quite a bit of modelling so I'll start in no particular order with a loco kit I swapped for a 'Dolgochification' kit. I had intended to make an open cab - not Dolcogh using the kit and the alarming yellow Bachmann loco but like many things I hadn't got around to starting it. A nice chap on Facebook asked if anyone wanted to swap a Fourdees Dolgoch body for the NP kit and thus my project began. The kit was for a more modern version that I wanted so I had to remove some plumbing; in the process I managed to make a hole in the running board and loose the splasher. I wondered how to disguise this and then realised that I could use the Bachmann body to replace the part, this has worked out just fine. The other modification needed was to replace the stub ends of safety valve which have a gap in them to allow for the cab roof. A couple of lengths of styrene strip have done the job. That is all that needs to be done really, I may saw the buffers off as this isin't supposed to be a TR loco.

I keep an eye on the 009 Society second hand sales on the society website and while idly surfing I found this little gem. It is a Paul Windle Hunslet 0-4-2, very nice bit of work as you would expect. I've been told that it might well come from the collection of Garry Whiting and this would explain the brand newness. I've given it a couple of runs and it certainly looks at home on the island.

Finally the Minitrix Mallet arrived from Spain. Not only did it take ages to arrive but I had to cough up 35 quid in import duties. However, it is a delightful little thing and runs very sweetly. It is almost a shame to destroy it to 009 it but that is what its fate is. I'll take my time over this.

It has been an expensive few weeks and I didn't think I wanted a Kato/Peco Welsh Pony but it does look very good and was a lovely little mover straight out of the box.

Meanwhile, back in the garage I've made some progress on Port Lucy. The woodwork is now joined on and I think I've laid out the track plan to include all the sidings and facilities I'd planned. The boards aren't attached to the frame as I want to be able to access the underside for the fitting of point motors etc. Before anything else I must take it all apart and fit backscenes while it is still possible.

Over the weekend of the Model Railway Workshop the Vicar's garden railway got virtually finished, here are still things to do and I didn't get the 6.5mm working totally satisfactorily. Generally though I think I've achieved what I set out to.

There is a pond, a resin casting

There is a vicar who cost an alarming amount of money but looks the part.

One of the surprises are the level crossings which I made using embossed brick paper. This is a technique that will be replicated at Port Lucy.

For an unknown reason I bought a 3D printed Dalek which is rather neat so I thought that it would make a nice attraction in the garden. Before it got attached to the layout it took a tour of the other layouts in the show; one of which was Arnold Lane Wharf which is now in the hands of a young modeller. It was nice to see it in action again. The show was very enjoyable and we had many more people through the doors than last year.


Saturday 4 May 2024

In the garden

Since my last post I've rebuilt 'Monster' which is my version of a skip chassis with a Lister power unit as seen on the world famous. I had the first version in action on my cheese factory layout but the loco got caught on something and the Portram chassis overheated and melted into a blob of plastic, expensive and annoying. Any old how with the impending Minffordd show including the cheese factory I decided, like Dr Frankenstein, to rebuild 'Monster'. I'd kept all the bits so it was just a case of finding a suitable ROCO skip chassis and stealing a Portram from a suitable donor loco. It actually went back together better than MK1 so it lives!

This is 'The Vicar's Tea Party', my new layout that I will be working on during the Minffordd show. I want to get it nearly finished by then so complete woodwork and trackwork and major scenic elements in place.

It has a 009 circuit and a section of 00 gauge track at the back, both are controlled by the same controller using a DPST switch to swap between them. There is also a circuit of Busch HOf track which was very expensive and which is actually quite awfully made; I'm just using the battery switch box that came with a started set to run this.

The Busch controller and the selector switch and the isolation section which is the 009 siding.

I sprayed the 00 gauge with brake dust Railmatch paint and added a substantial buffer stop at both ends to prevent any runaways being costly. I have used an a crylic paint pen to colour the rail and chairs. I will make some sort of attempt at proper ballasting on this. I've never done any 00 gauge ballasting so am a little wary. I treated myself to a Dapol 0-4-0 and a brake van as a suitable small train.

Here is the whole thing with all the woodwork complete and the backscene in place.

There are two stations on the 009 circuit, this one will be near the house. Both have a piece of plywood cut to size as the base and this one has a embossed plastic covering. (Noch?)

This is the other station which forms the transfer point to the SG line.

I've buried the HOf track in stonepaste which seems to be same and paint in PVA, it was quite simple to brush into place, I've kept the rail surfaces clear so hopefully all will be well. It is still wet at the moment so I haven't had a chance to try it.

The most recent addition is a grass mat representing the lawn. You can see the relationship between the Vicarage and the little station. There will be a double level crossing leading to the front of the house.

Here is the other station in place. It will have a taller section at the back to allow boarding of the van. Where the two sidings run parallel I will have an open barn type structure with watering facilities etc. At the far end of the standard gauge line there will be some sort of rickety engine shed.

Overall, I'm pretty pleased with this project and hope it will be entertaining at least to look at if not especially to operate.