Thursday, 12 October 2017

A good rear end! A 20t brake van

Over the last couple of weeks I have been weathering a Hornby Brake Van.  Having finished this project off today I thought I would post a few images of the process of creating this wagon.  Now whilst I do not consider my modelling to be anywhere near perfect, I though it would be interesting to take photographs of the project over different stages of the process and see how they contribute to the final model.  A spanner was thrown into the works when I thought I had finished the wagon I gave it a blast of humbrol matt varnish and it immediately produced a very white finish over the paint work.  This required further coats of varnish and various weathering shades to tone it down, and hence the finish was slightly heavier than I was intending.  All of the painting was undertaken with an air brush and using railmatch enamel shades.  One slight regret is I did not fit a working tail lamp, but taking the wagon apart to fit the the 3 link couplings was such a headache with the hand rails that I cannot be bothered to open it up again.  I have a Bachmann version to do, and I intend to fit a tail lamp on this next one.  All in all I am pretty happy with this wagon and looking forward to it earning its keep on Charlton when this becomes operational.  

First up I added some splatters of white paint, to represent chipped paintwork.

I dipped a cotton bud in some white spirit and toned down the effect of the white paint, removing some of it.

A diluted wash of weathered black and frame dirt was hand brushed over the wagon.

Various shades of sleeper grime, frame dirt and weathered black were spayed over the brake van.

Some light rust was added to some of the metal components of the wagon, including the duckets.

The wagon was then treated to some further shades of frame dirt and sleeper grime to blend all the various components together.

Finished with several sealing coats of railmatch matt varnish.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

A new micro-layout begins

This week a lovely parcel arrived from Tim Horn baseboards ( containing two sets of baseboards.  The first set of baseboards is for a small micro I intend to build between now and xmas.  Both boards are 3ft by 1ft and will be used to build a small station, which was originally a through station, but is now the terminus of a truncated branch in North Devon.  I intend to use up lots of odds and sods on this build, stuff that has been hanging around in modelling boxes for ages, but has never been used.  
The basic track plan for the new micro-layout.

The layout will have a small loop, and siding for a provender store.  I am currently missing one point to be able to get the track work down fixed down, but have pretty much everything else I need, bar a few connectors for the power bus.  One issue with the small size of the baseboards is that the station will have to be built over the baseboard join, something I was keen to avoid. I will just cross that bridge when I get to it.

Provender store and goods wagon.

The provender store is resin model from Bachmann, something I had forgotten I owned.  I figure this will be used to unload fertiliser from 12t vans, something that used to happen at Barnstaple.  Other traffic will be china clay and also milk (ala Meeth/Torrington).  Pictured in front of this is a goods wagon I finished off this week, with some detailing and a coupling change, to 3 link couplings.  A quick and satisfying bit of modelling.  The heljan western is also making some progress, and maybe, just maybe I will finish that model off this week....

Thursday, 5 October 2017

It is now a bit more noisy on the western front....Heljan Class 52 upddate

Several months ago I posted an update on the detailing of my class 52 Heljan Western.  The body shell and chassis had been largely painted and weathered, and I was waiting for a replacement set of Ultrascale wheel sets to arrive.  The project stalled at this point and has been sat in a box since.  However, with the delivery of the Ultrascale wheels, the project has seen some progress this week.

All the component parts ready to be put back together.

Fitting in the new wheels was a piece of cake and this has improved the running characteristics of the locomotive no end. The cabs and cab glazing have been re-attached to the body and handrails to the front of the cab.  When reassembling the locomotive I found out that I had misplaced the body side glazing pieces.  This was really annoying and try as I might I could not re-locate them.  However, this could be an advantage, as I now plan to make some replacement glazing and model the body side windows open.

Sound decoder and speaker in place.

The advantage of some open windows is because I have fitted a Howes ESU sound decoder to the locomotive.  Having some of windows open will allow the sound to escape the body shell.  I used a relatively small speaker which I glued to a piece of plasticard which has been glued to the body shell.  I have yet to check it all fits back together ok, but the plasticard has only been lightly glued into place, so there is some wiggle room here.  The smaller speaker reproduces the sound pretty well, but it is not too loud, which I think is a nice balance.  The Howes sound recordings are excellent and fitting the sound decoder was a simple job.  The only slightly tricky bit is fitting a new speaker, as the speaker the decoder is supplied with requires cutting off and being replaced with a new one.

Sounding good!

So now into the final jobs on the locomotive.  Colour the wheels, add the windscreen wipers, replace the glazing, put it all back together then blend the two halves back together with a final bit of weathering.  Hopefully one to be finished this week......

Sunday, 1 October 2017

13t wagon for the engineers department

Some good progress has been made this week on the modelling front, with a few wagons being finished off in the paint shop.  These wagons have been built for some time (I think in 2014) and have been lying around in a box unpainted - it is funny how quickly time flies by!  So this week I made a concerted effort to finish at least some of them.  So first up is one of a pair of 13t open wagons with corrugated ends, built from the Parkside kit.  Normal metal buffers and 3 link couplings have been added, with transfers from modelmaster.  This one has been finished in engineers olive and has been seconded to the engineers department.

On the layout front with Pottington Quay still in storage the new baseboards have been ordered and are due to arrive this Wednesday.  So exciting times ahead this week for starting a new layout.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Back again and a LMS CCT in BR blue

The long silence has ended and I am back in the world of blogging and modelling.  We have moved again but this time we should stay put for a bit longer.  The modelling room has been part way set up and the air brush is working again.  I unpacked some boxes and found a set of half finished projects. The first off the mark was this LMS CCT finished in BR Blue, another wagon to add to the ever growing parcels stock.  This just needed a blast of varnish to seal the transfers in.  All in all I am pretty happy with this one.
Finished LMS CCT reading for running in the parcels train.

As for the layout, Pottington Quay was making significant progress towards completion, when it was placed back into storage, and unfortunately it is still there.  Whilst that was a great project and I learnt a lot from doing it, there were several issues with the layout.  The principle issue was the size of the scenic board, which was 5ft by 2.5ft.  This was quite heavy to move around and really a two person move.  I was also not happy with wiring for the points and this all needed replacing/tidying up.  So after some thought I decided to leave it in storage for the time being.  Also as the storage depot is 250 miles from where we now live it is a one trip job to collect it.  

Consequently, I have ordered some much better baseboards from Tim Horn for a smaller micro project.  The idea with this is to complete a small layout before xmas (we shall see), but have this as a layout that can link up to Pottington Quay further down the line.  The other key aspect of this layout is to be small and portable, allowing me to take it so some exhibitions.  So from now till xmas I hope to be able to finish this layout and get some trains running.....well that is the idea anyhow!

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Adventures in superstrip

A long time since my last post and not much has happened in the way of modelling.  This seems to be a common way to start a lot of my posts.  Modelling is firmly on the back burner, following a house move (again).  Pottington Quay has headed back into storage and for the time being there is little opportunity to play trains or do much modelling, with the air brush also put away.  A lot of work and travel in the next few months means there is little chance of any modelling.  I am hoping to be able to pick up modelling again later in summer/autumn.

Paint brush finish on the Walrus, the overall thickness of paint is too thick.  

Before we moved I placed some of my first attempts at painting into a bath of superstrip.  A salmon wagon, lamprey wagon and walrus wagon were some of my first attempts at painting, using brushes, rather than an air brush.  The paint finish on all of these wagons was far too thick and I decided that it was high time to give these wagon builds a better paint job.  The walrus wagon was a real pig to do, with a lot of detail hidden away in the build.  Getting all of the pain out meant a lot of the plastic detail snapped and this wagon ended up in the bin.  So two of the next builds will be walrus wagons, to replace this lost one and provide a further example for a three wagon rake along with the Bachmann sealion wagons.  The lamprey wagon and salmon wagon were much easier to clean up and are ready for a blast of primer when I get the air brush up and running.

My first attempt at a locomotive repaint - on my old Pottington Quay micro layout

Another model to be added to the superstrip was my first attempt at repainting a full locomotive; a Bachmann class 25.  This first attempt I was happy with at the time, although the weathering job was very heavy handed.  However, as I have got more experienced in painting I have been meaning to replace this model.  So this is currently being tidied up on the odd evening I have some free time for modelling.  Some of the paint was not removed by the superstrip, so some careful tidying up is being undertaken with files and sand papers.  I am not sure why the odd blob of paint has hung on to the body so well, whilst the rest has been removed.  Anyhow, this will be one the of first jobs in the paint shop when everything is up and running again.....

The same locomotive now in the process of paint stripping.

Monday, 6 March 2017

13t open wagon and layout electrofrog points

Not a lot has happened in the last few weeks - the layout has been static and I have been busy.  Unfortunately, we are having to move house again (don't ask!!) - which is not a bad thing overall but it means the layout has to head back into storage for a period of time.  This is frustrating, as much of the boring work has been completed, with the track painted and wired up. Since painting the track the layout has been live again, but there are a few gremlins in the wiring to sort out.  Two of the elctrofrogs need to have their bridging contacts resoldered, which whilst not the end of the world is a pain, as the track is now pinned down.  One of the Seep point motors has given up (faulting passing switch), but this just involves an underboard switch.  Lastly, one section of rail needs some new dropper wires soldered.  These are of course all minor points and easily resolved, I just need a free evening with the soldering iron, but it does also mean 3 of the four points are no longer operational.

I have also finished another wagon, this time a 13t goods open wagon, the steel bodied Parkside kit. This has been finished in a generic bauxite colour with some light weathering and I am pretty happy with how this one turned out.   So a few pictures of this on the layout, in a engineers train with a warus, whale and shark wagon, behind a class 25.