Sunday, 26 January 2020

Some wagons rolling on

So over the last couple of weeks I have been working away on a few modelling projects.  These are all ticking on, but nothing seems to be finished.  I made a royal mess of some transfers on a LNER CCT and and ling wagon, so I am currently trying to sort that out.  In the meantime I have finished just one other wagon, an ECC wagon.  It is the Bachmann offering and it is about all there is out there.  The underframe moulding is pretty coarse and chunky, but for expediency I have finished off about four of these now for the layout.  I think that even a poor wagon can be made more presentable with a little bit of weathering and work.  So with this one I picked out some underframe details, just to add a bit of life to the wagon.  All painting was done via the airbrush using Railmatch enamels.  I need some flat tarpaulins for these wagons as per the Meeth works, but it looks like I am going to have to go done the route of making them myself.  So some experimentation coming up....

Another ECC wagon for the layout - now to tackle tarpaulins.....

Another build that has progressing recently is the Herring wagon.  This is the Cambrian kit and I found it a bit confusing to get the underframe sorted out on this.  I spent quite a long time procrastinating about it, but last night managed to get it finally sorted.  It needs a little tidying up here and there, but can be washed ready for painting next weekend.  I currently have another herring wagon, a walrus and an SR 40t hopper to build, alongside a 13T open wagon in 0 gauge.  These kits have been hanging around a while so I am keen to get these finished and then start a new micro layout.  Further updates to follow!

Finished Herring wagon ready for painting (bar a little tidying up).

Saturday, 11 January 2020

BR Mk1 CK coach with lights

This week I managed to finish off the BR MK1 CK coach lighting and detailing.  This is third coach finished for the Charlton layout.  The lighting is the Express Models lighting kit, designed to work off DCC.  It is a relatively simple fix to get this into the coach, requiring the cutting down of the internal partitions.  

Finished coach with the lights on.

The effect in the dark is realistic and adds a great dimension to running the layout.

The coach was taken apart and the glazing removed.  The roof, coach sides, chassis/ends and bogies were all detailed individually.  A three link coupling was added to one end of the coach.  Then the body and sides were given an overall weathering wash applied with a paintbrush, with the majority of the wash brushed off.  The sides, roof and chassis were then weathered using an airbrush, with various shades of roof dirt, weathered black, sleeper grime, frame dirt, rust and white added.  The interior moulding was cut down and the seats were painted red, with a handful of passengers added.

Coach taken apart for detailing.

Three link coupling added at one end.

The painted interior.

When this was all complete, the glazing was glued back onto the coach sides and the roof/coach sides joined together.  A small piece of plastic rod was glued to the join between the roof and coach sides and any holes filled with glue and glaze.  This was then painted black in an effort to stop light bleed.  The coach was reassembled with the lighting unit in place.  This was a bit of a tight squeeze.  The pick ups were added to one bogie and the connecting wires to the pick ups soldered on, once the bogies had been reattached.  I drill a small hole in the bogie to feed the wires from the coach to the pick ups.

Pick ups glued onto the bogie.  Note the hole drilled in the bogie to pass the pick up wires through.

The wires from the lighting unit trailing out of the coach.

Overall I am pretty happy with this coach.  There is a tiny bit of light bleed which is really annoying - I either missed it with the paint or the tight squeeze has forced the joint a little.  Either way, I cannot face taking the whole coach apart and it is only on one side, so I am going to live with it for now.  It is not too noticeable but maybe in a few weeks I will take it back apart.

The interior and the passengers visible.

So this is now three coaches with internal lighting and detailing for Charlton.  The three coach train is too long for the run around loop at Charlton, so it will necessitate some interesting manoeuvres, with a locomotive stabled in the siding.  I am doing a show at East Grinsted in March - so I look forward to running this coach then.  I might even get the BSK done in the meantime as well.  I am currently looking at developing the locomotive fleet further and have a Heljan Hymek and Bachmann Class 43 to get on with detailing, so there are plenty of projects to keep me busy.

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Class 47 BR blue with DCC sound

I hope everyone has had a great Christmas and is looking forward to a fun filled new year.  With a couple of free days during the festivities I have had some time to get on with some modelling - the airbrush is up and running and I am looking to finish off some projects that have been hanging around in the paint boxes.  In the meantime I thought I would produce a better update on the recently finished class 47.

The finished class 47 shunting at Charlton station.

The class 47 running light out of Charlton.

Another view of the completed loco - ready to head back to Barnstaple.

The model is the first Bachmann offering with a 21 pin DCC socket.  I purchased this locomotive on special offer from Hattons, about 10 years ago for the princely sum of £50.  It has sat around in its box since then.  I have always meant to make on a start on this locomotive, but never got around to it!  Anyhow the model was finally taken apart this year.  The glazing and cab were removed from the body and the bogie frames from the chassis.  All the details were added to the bufferbeam and then everything was masked off ready for spraying.  With all my detailing projects I start with an all over body wash on the body shell - a mix of sleeper grime and weathered black.  This is mainly brushed off, before spraying some different mixes of weathered BR blue over the body, intermixed with some light weathering using sleeper grime, frame dirt and weathered black. The grills had weathered black sprayed into them and the roof treated to a healthy dose of roof dirt.

The body wash applied, with parts of the wash removed.  This was taken part way through the process.

The body shell with streaks of faded blue, sleeper grime and weathered black applied.

 The body shells with roof dirt and weathered black sprayed into the grills.

The chassis and bogies were also sprayed with various shades of weathered black, frame dirt, sleeper grime, brake dust and matt white.  When all this had been completed the body was reassembled and reglazed.

Chassis masked off and with the first coat of weathering applied.

The bogie frames with brake dust, weathered black, and frame dirt added.

The chassis with the fuel tanks having sprayed with sleeper grime, frame dirt and weathered black.

The sound decoder is a Loksound v 4.0, fitted with Howes sound.  I must say, this is an absolute belter.  As soon as it was fitted I was delighted with the sound.  There is plenty of room inside the body shell for a speaker, so I could fit my speaker of choice; a Road and Rails double Iphone speaker.  The sound quality on these speakers is fantastic and it sounds like the real deal.

The decoder with the double Iphone speaker soldered up.

All fitted and ready for reassembly.

The locomotive was then reassembled and tested.  Despite sitting in a box for 10 years it runs like a dream.  I am very happy with how this one turned out.  I ran it for the first time at the Brighton exhibition a few weeks and it ran faultlessly.  Whilst not strictly common for the Tarka line in the 1970s, a little bit of modellers licence can be applied, they were common in Exeter St Davids from the 1970s onwards, so why not have one trundling up to Torrington or Ilfracombe!

Class 47 running into Charlton.

Class 47 heading back to Barnstaple with a short train.

Sunday, 22 December 2019

Another Milk Tanker - and Merry Christmas

Another few weeks seem to have flown past.  The airbrush has been firmly packed away and the partially built models have been gathering dust on the work bench.  I have had to work away for several weeks, which really disrupts the rhythm of modelling and life in general.  However, with Christmas now here, I have managed to gain some days for uninterrupted modelling over the festive period.  This is virtually unheard of and is something I am really looking forward too.

Finished milk tanker.  As per previous posts it is not the best model there is, but it is about all there is!

Anyhow, prior to travelling away I did get another milk tanker finished off.  This is the third milk tank I have finished; overall I am going for a train of 5 milk tankers.  I am planning to build a small 00 gauge layout next year, a small 3ft box to act as a test track, although it will have a small goods shed with it, with milk loading facilities.  I am gathering some buildings for this and hope to start building in earnest early next year.  Let's see how this progresses next year.

Another shot of the wagon after some shunting.

I have lots of small projects almost finished, so I hope to be able to finish some these off over the break.  In the mean time I wish everyone a very merry Christmas.

Friday, 29 November 2019

Another goods van and Hailsham Model Railway Show

After the last show at Brighton MRC I have another show booked for this weekend at Hailsham. It is a one day show, but I am looking forward to another day playing trains - even with a very early start.  Between shows I managed to finished off another wagon for use with the provender store.  This is another weathered rtr model from Bachmann.

Factory finish on the wagon.  It is very shiny making the wagon look toy like.

As per normal I added three link couplings before giving it a good wash. It was then treated to some weathering, including an initial all over body wash of black/sleeper grime.  I then picked out a few details on the underframe using the air brush, before some frame dirt, sleeper grime and roof dirt were sprayed over.  The Bachmann underframe is a little chunky but with a little bit of weathering the wagon looks ok.  

Finished 12t wagon.

Being shunted at Charlton with the recently finished class 47.

A few other projects are heading for completion soon, so further updates to follow.. 

Sunday, 17 November 2019

Charlton at the Brighton MRC Exhibition

I have just completed two days of exhibiting on my own at the Brighton MRC exhibition.  This is a great little show.  The members of Brighton MRC are very friendly and it was a pleasure to be invited along.  The show is very family orientated and it was fantastic to see lots of young aspiring modellers watching the trains go by.   Charlton performed near faultlessly, although I have a small list of repairs to make, namely one dodgy wire and replacing a station lamp.  Other than this all good.  The new class 47 performed fantastically well, as did the new class 33 - both had a good run out today.  A very pleasurably, if not slightly knackering, two days!

The layout almost set up on Friday evening - the weekend has literally flown by!

And the new class 47 on the layout - I am really pleased with how this one turned out!

Monday, 11 November 2019

Class 47 with Howes DCC sound, plus Brighton Model Railway exhibition this weekend

Over the last week I grabbed the odd hour here and there to put the class 47 back together, a job that did not take too long.  This is a quick update and I will write a more detailed post on this project soon, with some detailed snaps taking during the painting of the locomotive.  However, with the layout in storage, getting a quick photograph with a good background is difficult.  Thus I took a quick snap of it tonight on my work bench alongside a quick test run of the sound chip.  The verdict - overall I am pretty happy with this one - it looks and sounds great.  You are never quite sure how the locomotive will look until it is sat on a layout with the scenery providing the context - but looking at the quick snaps of it tonight I think this one is looking the part, with the caveat that the lighting in the model room is pretty awful.  I think I purchased this locomotive during 2010 ofr £50 - so it is fantastic to see it finally sorted out and ready to use.

Class 47 finished!

The reassembly of the locomotive was the normal heart in the mouth moment, trying not to damage the paintwork - however it all went back together reasonably smoothly.  The sound chip is Howes and this is definitely another belter from them.  Finishing the locomotive last week meant that it is now available to run on the layout this weekend, when I am exhibiting Charlton at the Brighton Model Railway Exhibition (  I will attempt to take some proper photographs of it then.  It is great to have a new locomotive to use and this will be on the rosta alongside the recently finished class 33.  The class 25 and class 22 will be making up the rest of the motive power - so if you are about please come along and say hello.  

A quick test run of the DCC  chip: verdict - I think this sounds great!