Sunday, 11 March 2018

GWR tunny wagon at Charlton

This weekend saw the finishing off of a GWR tunny wagon, ready for service in the ever growing engineering department.  This is a Chivers fineline wagon, which I built several years ago, but has languished around requiring painting.  It was painted in my normal way, using an airbrush and railmatch enamels.  The transfers are from the excellent CCT range and it has been fitted with 3 link couplings.  It is great to see another wagon finished.

Finshed GWR tunny wagon on the Charlton layout.

At the station.

Being shunted by a large logo class 47.

Other than this there has been little progress on the layout, with the coming week looking very busy too.  However, with Easter fast approaching I hope to get a bit of time to finish the detailing on the layout.

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Charlotn Micro Layout - another update

This week has seen some sporadic progress on the Charlton micro layout.  I am taking a creeping barrage approach to the detailing, taking it a little bit at a time.  The ballasting is all but finished - there are one or two bald spots that need touching up, but other than this it is done.  Some light sand has been added to the front of the line, to blend the line into the surrounding scenery.  The front of the layout has seen some plaster added, with a change of gradient right at the front of the layout dropping onto the floodplain.
The gradient to the lower floodplain is just about visible at the front of the layout.

I am starting the detailing at the far end of the layout.  With the buffer stops added at this end, two terraced houses will be at the end of the layout, next to the station car park.  The terraced houses are a Bachmann low relief building, which is to be set onto a piece of plasticard with the gardens detailed.  Last night I knocked up the gardens from odds and sods and have started painting this today. The houses will have an interior light added in due course.  Once this is painted and the lawns have been laid, an alley way will be built next to the houses as well as the car park for the station.
The terraced houses and gardens ready for painting.

The garden on the right has paving slabs and a path that will run down through the lawn.  The mini has been left in the middle of the station car park.

The buffer stop (Ilfracombe) end of the layout.  Showing the position of the terraced houses and a visit from a large logo class 47.

Looking towards the station.

As well as undertaking some sporadic detailing, I have of course been running some trains - the fun part!  I got out some BR large logo locomotives, being a class 47 and 50.  I have also been playing around with running some DMUs and of course an obligatory parcels train with some of the recently finished wagons behind the Western with sound blaring out!
Parcels train arriving into the station.

Class 47 rescuing a failed class 50 at the station.  This is definitely the power of DCC, with the lights adding a further dimension to the model.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Charlton micro layout - further progress

This week I finally managed to solder up the powerbus for the fiddle yard and give the layout a test run.  I have previously sound chipped a number of locomotives and I wanted to see how the layout would sound with 3 sound chipped locomotives running together.  The answer was very noisy - probably prototypically so, but a little bit too much for me! There were some definite outcomes from the running session.  The first of which the fiddle yard is too small, which necessitates excessive handling of locomotives and stock. This is fine when I am playing around at home, but definitely won't work if I am exhibiting the layout.  So the fiddle yard is going to a get a 1ft extension.  The second outcome is that two locomotives and two DMUs will be sufficient to happily operate the layout.  The stock will very between early 1970s and early 1980s, but say a warship and a class 22 plus a 108 and 121 DMU will keep the movements pretty varied.  However, to achieve this the fiddle yard is way to small!

Plenty of noise on the layout!

On the layout detailing side the station platform has been glued down.  Two buffer stops have been added at the Ilfracombe side of the station (it is a truncated branch) and the manual point levers have been added.  With these in place the ballasting has started - one of the most tedious jobs of railway modelling without doubt!  However all progress and it is starting to come together (starting!).

One of the manual point levers installed and ballasting started.

The Ilfracombe end of the layout with buffer stops installed.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Station Progress part 2 - Charlton platform

Another week flies by and a bit more progress has been made on the layout over the weekend.  The fiddle yard has been tacked down and the dropper feeds soldered to the underside of the track, although I have yet to attach it all to the powerbus.  There are two medium sized electrofrog points in the fiddle yard that are operated by hand.  In the end I settled on a 3 lane fiddle yard.  It is big enough to hold a two coach train (minus locomotive which sites over the points!) or 2 car dmu, a 121 unit/spare locomotive and a short freight working.  I am hoping this will be enough to keep the layout ticking over at an exhibition, where I ultimately hope this will head.

The very short 3 lane fiddle yard

Finally I have finished painting the back scene, which seemed to take ages.  In the end a blast of matt white white from an aerosol did the job, to create an opaque finish. I have also made a lot of progress with painting the station.  The main painting has been finished, although there is some detail to pick out here and there, such as the stairs leading to the station.  Various shades of grey, green, black, concrete and rust were sprayed over the station, producing a very pleasing dappled colour to the concrete.  I did wonder if it was too dark, but the photographs seem to show it slightly lighter than it appeared when painting it.  Some of the platform will have some static grass applied to it, to depict a forlorn 1970s-1980s feel.

Overall view of the station

With the back scene finished I just need to finish scribing the cobbles (a tedious job!!) and then I can glue the main buildings down.  The station in particular is key, as once this and provender store are glued in place I can make a start on the ballasting.  The current plan is to finish the station this week and glue it down, to allow ballasting to start in earnest next week.  The layout is on the verge of the exciting stuff happening, when it transforms from a empty baseboard into a layout - it feels like it has been a long time coming! However, the electrics seem pretty solid to me, so I am hoping it will have a long and trouble free life (famous last words!!!!!!)

View from the provender side

The steps leading to the station require a bit of painting by hand

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Lamprey wagon - repaint

Recently I finished another wagon for the layout - this time it was a repaint of a very old lamprey wagon, that I built about 12 years ago.  At that time I did not have an air brush and I was not happy with the result through painting by hand.  So I placed the lamprey wagon, a class 25 body shell and a walrus wagon into a bath of superstrip to remove the paint.  The class 25 and lamprey wagon faired pretty well.  They have cleaned up ok and the class 25 is about to get a coat of primer.  However, the walrus wagon pretty much disintegrated into the superstrip - the plastic became very fragile, and when I was cleaning it up I broke so many parts of it that I ended up binning it.  
 The finished lamprey wagon sat on a very empty layout!

Once the lamprey was out of the superstrip I cleaned it up a little with some fine sand paper, before priming (Precision Paints) and then airbrushing various shades of rust and olive green onto the body, with various weathering on the underframe.  Transfers are the excellent Cambridge Custom Transfers pack and it is fitted with a 3 link coupling as standard.  When I built this wagon originally I cheated slightly with the bending of the hand rails at each end, creating a simpler shape, and with hindsight I now wish I had thought to replace them before painting.  However, I forgot, so I am going to live with this for the time being.  So another wagon finished and ready to run on the lay out...speaking of which a further update on this soon....

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Ratio LMS 13t open wagon

This week I managed to finish off the painting on a LMS13t open wagon, now in use on BR.  The wagon has been finished with a light weathering, in a faded olive green livery.  As per normal it is painted with an airbrush and transfers are from the Modelmaster range.  I started building this wagon in 2016 and the box has been long lost.  There may have been set a of transfers which came with the wagon, but these are also long lost, so I mixed and matched from various Modelmaster packs.  So another wagon ready for the layout, although it has taken nearly two years!!  The floor in the wagon is not so good, due to the two halves of the kit joining the floor in the centre of the wagon.  This is how the kit is designed and if I had thought about it when I was building it, I would have added a false floor, but alas too late now.  However, it is not so visible at a distance and I will place some spent ballast in here when it is running on the layout to disguise this. 

Finished wagon, with an attempt at a faded olive green livery.

This photo shows the subtle underframe weathering up well.

The join in the floor is just about visible in this shot.

The layout (Charlton) progress is quite slow at the moment, whilst I paint the station building.  This is coming along nicely and hopefully I will post an update of this later this week, when it is ready to place on the layout.  Once it is stuck down, along with the other buildings, I will make a start on ballasting.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

A Dogfish caught at Charlton Station

A small project that was finally finished off this week was the repainting of a Heljan dogfish wagon.  The model has the original couplings cut off and was then subjected to a bath of Superstrip to remove the original dutch finish. Three link couplings were duly added before painting in a fairly non descript grey, with rust seeping through, and a fair whack of frame dirt.  As per normal all painting was carried out with my airbrush and transfers are from the Modelmaster range.

Finished Dogfish

I started this project about 1 year ago and it is good to see it finally finished.  It is amazing how time flies!  My airbrush sat dormant over the festive period but I am now making a concerted effort to finish off some projects that have been languishing in the painting boxes.  I have also nearly finished the platforms for the Charlon micro-layout and I need to free up the space to paint these. Anyhow, another wagon added to my ever growing stock of kit built engineering wagons!

Western relegated to engineers workings!

The short consist, with recently finished open wagons

Closer view of the Dogfish

A short video of the Dogfish in the short engineers train, heading back to Exeter, with a Western in charge!