Sunday, 17 January 2021

Class 45 (revised!!!) - DCC sound and running!

A couple of years ago, I posted on here about the destruction of a Bachmann Class 45 at an exhibition.  A lady pushing a wheelchair smashed into the layout and sent the locomotive crashing into a concrete floor. It taught me that I need a guard on the side of the fiddleyard to stop this happening again.  I did half heartedly attempt to fix the Class 45, but it was a big job and I felt I could do a better finish on the weathering, as the original Class 45 was an early attempt.  I managed to get a new Class 45 from ebay and over the last year or so I have been detailing this.

Finished class 45 on Charlton.

Class 45 on a short engineers train at Charlton.

I took the DCC sound chip (Howes) out of the class 45 and added in a double IPhone speaker from Road and Rails.  I also used the original bogies from the older class 45, but otherwise it is the new model.  As always, I detailed the body using an airbrush and Railmatch enamel paints.  I initially used an overall body wash of paint, applied with a paintbrush, wiping most of it away, before airbrushing in some shades of faded BR blue.  After this, the weathering was applied, using sleeper grime, weathered black, frame dirt, roof dirt, brake dust and a splash of white.  

Spotted between the foliage.

The short engineers train, with a GWR Mink and Python, with a SR CCT, all in olive green!

The locomotive from ebay was not very well run in and it took a little bit of cajoling to get it running properly.  However, it is all moving fine now and earlier today I used it with the recently finished engineers wagons in a short formation.  

A short video of the Class 45 heading out of Charlton and onto Barnstaple Junction.

In other news, I have decided I am going to sell the Charlton layout.  It is definitely time for a new project -  so if anyone is interested please drop me a message here. 

Sunday, 10 January 2021

GWR Python wagon in the engineers train

A happy new year one and all!  With all the seasonal festivities over, I have managed to find some time to crack on with some modelling.  This week I put the final coats of varnish on a GWR Python wagon, in service with the engineers dept.  It really is a bit of a work of fiction, like the recently finished GWR Mink wagon.  However, a little peruse of various internet websites shows some use of GWR trucks in the engineers fleet well into the 1970s/1980s and that is close enough for me.

Finished GWR Python wagon in BR engineering olive.

The model was painted with Railmatch enamels via an airbrush, and finished with Modelmaster decals.  It carries 3 link couplings, as per all my stock.  Whilst I love the Parkside range of kits, I found this model to be a bit of a stinker to build.  Whilst many of the Parkside kits literally fall together, I found this one trick to get square.  The wheels are a bit tight, it runs ok but not brilliantly.  However, it does add some further variety into the engineers train I am currently building, with a Mk1 in dept olive ready for its final coats of varnish over the coming days.  Today I am also putting my class 45 back together and adding the DCC sound chip and speaker.  So hopefully by the end of today I will have the class 45 operational again.  I also managed to get the baseboard built for the first layout on the new station, so all in all some progress his week!  

Sunday, 27 December 2020

Dapol class 122 woes and an xmas running session

I hope everyone had a fantastic xmas and is continuing to enjoy some festive cheer.  The new raft of covid measures meant our xmas was even less social than we planned it to be.  Luckily, I have a fantastic partner, so we still had an amazing time.  On the regulatory 3 hrs on xmas day, my parents popped over for lunch.  My dad has started to build an 0 gauge layout and wanted to have a go with a DCC controller, so I set up Charlton ready to have a beer and run some trains.  I got some trains ready to go and put my Dapol class 122 on the track, turned on the sound chip and pressed the throttle.  The motor turned away but the unit would only crawl.  This was very strange, as I have only run the class 122 at a few exhibitions, so I was surprised it had given up the ghost.  Some googling found out that the Dapol class 121/122 have a raft of well known motor problems.  I managed to take the unit apart, damaged a few detailing pieces and eventually I sorted out the issues.

The Dapol class 122 chassis with one drive shaft removed (left).

The small drive head (top - black), had come loose from the drive shaft.  I super glued the head to both ends of the drive shaft before reassembly.

Both of the motor drive shafts have a head that had come loose, meaning the drive shaft turned but it would not turn the gears.  A lot of people on RMweb removed one of the drive shafts, so the motor only drives one set of wheels.  I followed this fix, removing one drive shaft completely, whilst super gluing the drive head onto both ends of the other drive shaft, before refitting it.  It is a very fiddly job to do, as the drive shafts are beneath the PCB board.  After this experience and seeing that many other modellers have suffered the same issue, I am not buying a Dapol locomotive again.  This is a personal blog and it is only my opinion, but I am really furious that a train that has seen very little running suddenly gives up, due to poor production quality.  The (upcoming) story of the Hornby class 50 is a similar tale.  These trains are not cheap, especially when sound fitting the locomotives and it is infuriating after all that detailing, for the train to be not able to run due to design faults.

Class 37 c. 1975 on an evening passenger service.

Anyhow, having sorted out the problems on the class 122 (it was spread over 2 days, which included a lot of blaspheming!) I spent some time running some trains this evening.  It was great fun and I caught some evening videos of trains running with the lights on.  Other project continue to make good progress, with the class 45 just needing putting back together (a job for tomorrow) with the sound chip added and the python wagon only needs one more coat of varnish.  All in all plenty of progress and all of the new baseboards for a roundy roundy layout are ordered!  Bring on the spring!!

Class 122 on an evening passenger turn.

A class 37 bringing in the last train of the day....

.....before setting back off to Barnstaple junction.

Thursday, 24 December 2020

A merry xmas one and all

I am signing off the blog until xmas.  I hope everyone has a great Christmas and has some time off over the festive break.  I have made a lot of progress on a number of projects this week and hope to finish some of these off over the next few weeks, so hopefully some updates soon.  All the baseboards have been ordered for the new layout - so I am excited to start a new layout in the new year.  Until then...Happy Christmas one and all!

Sunday, 29 November 2020

Engineering Van - GWR Mink in Olive Green

This weekend I have finally managed to get some time to do some modelling!  All of Sunday has so far been spent at the modelling desk, building some wagon kits and doing some painting.  After a few hours a lot of projects feel like they are finally moving forwards - great stuff!  The class 45 is in the process of receiving its final varnish coats and I also finished the rebuilding of a salmon wagon I stripped the paint from in 2016!  Today, I also dropped the wheel sets into the GWR Mink wagon, which has been re-purposed into the engineers fleet.  I have no idea what this wagon would do in real life but it is going to form part of a train, with a motley collection of older wagon stock (a python, PMV, CCT, BY and Mk1 coach) all finished in olive green to add a bit of variety to the trains running on my layouts.

Finished GWR Mink wagon in 1970s olive green.

As per normal this wagon was finished using Railmatch enamel paints applied from an air brush.  The transfers are Modelmaster and it is fitted with metal buffers and three link couplings.  I mixed the olive green to have a faded colour, adding a little drop of white into the green paint, trying to replicate a wagon recently rebuilt, but having lived outdoors for a year or two.  I am very happy with this wagon and have the GWR python wagon ready for transfers, close on its heels.  A Mk1 coach (Bachmann) in olive green is also in the paintshop, so I am hopeful I can finish this rake of rolling pre-xmas.  Otherwise, I hope everyone is well and finding time to model.  

Saturday, 14 November 2020

Another milk wagon

Progress has remained painfully slow on the modelling desk, with virtually no time for modelling again this week. This is a shame, but the world is in a strange place at the moment and there is little spare time in my daily life.  Anyhow, I did manage to finish another milk tanker for the layout a couple of weeks ago.  This is another Dapol model; these are not the best, but they all there is on the market.  I take these wagons apart and weather the different components separately before reassembly.  This model was finished with a livery that pre-dates the era I model.  So I painted and weathered over this, after sanding it down.  The idea was for a faded older livery to be poking through the grime.  Anyhow another wagon finished for the rake, only a couple more to do.

Finished milk tanker, with the older livery clearly peeking through.

Although actual modelling has been slow this week and the past couple, I have been thinking a lot about the next layout.  I do not have room to store to Charlton, so I am going to see if I can sell it.  This is quite a painful thing to do, but it is definitely time to move onto the next project and free up some space.  I now have a clear plan what I will do for the next layout, so it is just a question of ordering the baseboards this week.  I already have some of these, so it is a question of joining the dots - hopefully more to follow on this....

Sunday, 8 November 2020

Some comings and goings and Charlton station

The last few weeks have been just as time consuming as the rest of this year, meaning modelling continues to take a back seat.  A few models are nearing completion, namely the class 45 and a couple more vans for the engineers department.  This is great, but I am still yet to make a start on the new baseboard for the next micro layout, alongside fairly infrequent starting up of the air brush.  However, a couple of weekends ago I did manage to get the layout set up for an hour or two on Sunday afternoon and run a couple of trains.  So here is a class 25 on an engineers strain, with the recently finished sturgeon wagon, alongside some other kit built stock (dance hall brake van, salmon wagon, CCT, BY and 20t brake van).  Then the same class 25 on parcels train with more kit built stock (CCTs and SPVs).  Just running these trains does give me a great amount of pleasure knowing the time and effort I put into building these different models.  Fingers crossed for some more progress later this month, although time is very limited between now and mid December....

Class 25 on an engineers train.

Same locomotive on the same day on a parcels turn.