Sunday, 4 December 2016

Bachmann Blue CCT

Over the last month or so there has been sporadic evenings of painting on various wagons.  The Bachmann blue CCT has been treated to a pair of 3 link couplings and had some weathering applied via a wash of frame dirt/weathered black mix over the body and then various applications of weathering colours via the air brush.  This is the finished result, another wagon into parcels service for Pottington Quay.

The landscape of Pottington Quay has also seen some serious progress.  I spent ages wondering how to blend the quay walls into the layout.  So after a lot of not doing anything very much, I bit the bullet and glued the walls down and started adding DAS clay for the cobbled key front.  There is still a lot of work to do on this, but as ever, just biting the bullet has meant that some progress has been made. There is a lot of scribing to do for the cobbles and I have decided I would like the quay front a different colour, but I will cross this bridge when everything is dry and ready for painting.  Further updates to follow.....

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Pottington Quay Micro layout - a bit of station progress

A work trip out of the country for a couple of weeks has put a stop to any momentum with the development of the layout.  I find I need a consecutive run of modelling sessions to get back into modelling and this is especially true of layout building - there is always so much more to do than say building a wagon kit or detailing a locomotive.

The platform from the Ilfracombe side

View from the inter-tidal mudflats - with the quay wall loosely positioned for perspective

The platform from the Barnstaple side

Anyhow, before I left for warmer climes I had spent some time building the station for Pottington Quay and it is sufficiently constructed to be able to see how it looks on the micro layout.  I must say the overall effect of the station is much bigger that I expected for the layout.  The platform is built from the basic Peco components with an extension built from some plasticard and Dart casting components.  The next jobs are to get the platform painted and scratch build a couple of structures for the platform, as well as getting the quay wall installed.  There is also some serious scribing to be done on an area of DAS clay on the quay side.  With a run of time approaching in the next month over xmas I am hopeful that I can get these main components finished which will really transform the layout. 

Monday, 31 October 2016

Class 25 Br blue

The last couple of weeks have seen very limited modelling time, with only a handful of evenings of painting and modelling.  One project that has been sitting in the boxes of models that I am painting has been a class 25 body shell from Bachmann.  Over the previous weeks whenever I have had some spare paint in the air brush I have done a little on this model, in a very non directional, non focused way!

Finished class 25 of Pottington Quay

So after several months the project reached completion, almost without noticing.  I am about to repaint one of my earlier Class 25 efforts, so I took the chassis off this locomotive and attached it to this finished body shell.

The locomotive from the other end

The class 25 had various shades of faded yellow and faded rail blue applied in hap-hazard way over the body shell, before an overall wash of dilute weathered black/frame dirt mix.  Most of this was wiped off, trying to leave to the bits that had settled in all the nooks and crannies.  Then various shades of weathering colours were sprayed over the model, trying not to overdo it, but blend all the various components together.  This is the end result - certainly better than my first efforts at air brush painting!

Close up of the body side, showing some of the tonal variation, with lighter and darker areas of rail blue visible.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Potting Quay - the quay front

This update shows the the progress so far on the Pottington Quay micro-layout.  The quay front has advanced and is starting to look (a little) like a quay front.  The photographs show the developing scene, although there is a lot of modelling to do, to blend the various parts together.  The two sections of the old stone quay wall have been built, although only one has been painted.  The section on the right hand side of the iron wall section is only part way through being painted.  The pile driven quay front is the Noch kit that has been part built, but the top has yet to be painted and is only resting on the wall in this photograph. One of the next jobs is to get this top section painted and then glued down.  The area behind the quay wall needs to have a lot of DAS clay placed onto the baseboard, to continue the cobbled area of the quay front, although this has yet to be started.  In front of the quay wall are the mudflats that have so far had some plaster bandage added.  These now need to be painted and some  inter-tidal mud and water added.

The goods shed has been pretty much finished but has yet to be glued in place, as a web cam is going to be installed into the body shell with a floor.  This structure also needs a lot of ivy and moss to be added to complete the derelict late 1970s/early 1980s look. On the top of the quay front is an old warehouse, which can be seen placed on top of the quay in red brick.  The model is a Bachmann barn and this is going to have some bits added to it and be re-painted as a warehouse.

Lurking in the background is the first section of the platform to have been constructed and this structure has made some significant progress over this weekend and is now nearing completion on the build.  Placing all these components on the layout has started to give an idea of how the overall scene will look.  There is a lot of modelling to go, but once the buildings have been glued down the rails can be painted and ballasted, and then this will start to look much more like a layout.  As ever, there is not enough time in the week to get as much done as I hope to, but it is an enjoyable project and although progress has been slow, it is inching forwards.  Hopefully the next update will not be too far away, although the next few weeks require away working in Greece for a couple of weeks (its a tough life!), so this might stop the momentum for a while.

The quay wall with a (white) mudflat in front

The completed goods shed before addition of greenery to finish that abandoned look.

 Pile driven quay front and station in the background.

Up close of the completed section of quay wall.

Section of the quay wall showing some larger gaps where the dressed stones are starting to weather.

Overall shots of the layout so far.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Class 45 with DCC sound on parcels service and layout progress


The progress on Pottington Quay has been pretty slow in the last few weeks.  As ever work has been busy and this has meant that time for modelling has been limited.  However, this weekend the baseboards saw a bit of plaster bandage laid down and the station platform was started.  I quickly realised I do not have enough SR cast concrete legs to finish the platform extension, so I am going to have to order some this week.  The platform is a tight squeeze with the car park behind it.  So tomorrow evening is going to be spent getting the position of this right.

Right now the biggest delay to progress on the layout, other than time, is a lack of buildings to place on the layout, in order to ballast around these.  There is a slight feeling of a lot of bare baseboard at the moment.  However, the goods shed is just about finished and a small section of redundant platform has also been built for this.  The quay wall section is almost complete now as well.  So later this week when everything has dried, been painted and glued in position I will show the progress of the layout so far.

Until then, my sound fitted class 45 is shown hauling the parcels service into the station area.  The bright blue CCT is the new bachmann model and clearly stands out - this needs toning down but has had a clean and now is in the paintshop.  I have another two CCTs, one BY van and two more 12t parcels van already built and waiting for painting.  Scaling up the size of the trains relative to the layout I have no idea how these parcels wagons are going to fit onto the layout!  The other video is a class 47 bringing in a shot engineers train.  At the front is Cambrian salmon wagon I built years ago, and I am going to experiment on this with some mig weathering powders, as the finish leaves a lot to be desired.


Sunday, 11 September 2016

All quiet on the western front - detailing the Heljan Western

Lots of modelling has been going on the last week.  I have made progress on a lot of projects, although the approach has been slightly scattershot, working on many different things.  One project that has been made some significant progress is the Heljan Western project.  The model is a second hand locomotive and for some reason it feels a lot less risky to take a tin of paints to second hand loco.  I was stumped for a long time on what on earth to do with the brake gear supplied with the model.  To be frank it is rubbish and requires some substantial work to get it looking ok and also usable on a workable model.

What a headache! - the brake gear attached to the Heljan chassis.

The first thing to do was reduce the length of the stretchers on the end of the brake rigging to fit into the bogie, so the brake shoes line up with the wheels (well almost line up anyhow!).  I drilled some new holes in the brake shoes and cut off the connecting plastic pipework supplied with the brake shoes.  Some brass rod was used to connect the brake gear together, using a straight length of 1.9cm between two right angle turns to fit into holes I had drilled into the brake shoes.  The brake gear was then aradited into place.

The pipe work has also been added to the front of the locomotive and a three link coupling was added, which has also been araldited to the buffer beam.  The standard method of using a spring to attach the coupling hook could not be used, due to it fouling the metal bar for the sprung buffers.  A lesson for next time will be to remove the original sprung buffers and replace with sprung buffers with an internal spring.  The wheels also had a good clean and it has had a test run around Potttington Quay, traversing all the point work without issue.

The body weathered and ready for reattachment to the chassis before final weathering.

The body work for the locomotive is shaping up, although some more weathering will be done when the body is reattached to the chassis, to try to blend it all together.  The next step is to paint the chassis details, such as pipework and brake gear and then attach the Howes ESU sound decoder, before reassembly and final weathering.  A long way to go, but I think this one is starting to come together.

Many different shade of white, faded blue and grime have been added to the bodyshell so far.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Pottington Quay - the quay wall

Today is the end of a lovely two weeks of holiday, which have literally flown by.  I had grand plans for the amount of modelling I would get done, and although I have made some progress it is not quite as much as I had hoped for.  However, the first parts of the quay wall for Pottington are starting to come together.  The quay wall is made from two components, an original stone quay wall and a more recent iron piled structure.  At the moment, both are not complete but sufficient progress has been made to take a couple of photographs with trains running, to get a feel for how the scene would look.

View from the mudflats as a short freight arrives on the 'goods line'.

It is definitely heading in the right direction and the estuary level view with the train above is looking about right, showing the trains above eye level.  There is an awful lot of painting to do on these structures to get them ready.  The two older sections of stone quay wall are built from DAS clay on a polystyrene backing. One of these has now been completed, although it warped slightly when it was drying.  This does not matter too much, as the baseboard level will be raised slightly with inter-tidal mudflats modelled on top.  I am going to cut a piece of foam board to model the mudflats on and put this against the quay wall.

A class 47 shunts spoil wagons while a class 37 picks up some goods van that have just been unloaded.

The pile driven iron quay front is very similar to the one now at Bideford and is the Faller kit.  This needs to be repainted before it is installed.  As shown in the photographs it is only placed on the baseboard and will be glued in place when it has been painted and the mudflats are finished.

Same shot slight higher showing the iron piled section of the quay wall.

Another feature of the layout is a disused goods shed that will have a web cam installed in it linked directly to a lap-top.  This will provide another way to view the layout and also from a different angle.  The goods shed is a slightly modified Wills kit and more progress has been made on this too.  However, it does need a bit of distressing with the airbrush just to blend it together and this is a project to finish this week.

Watch out for those planks from the roof - they look like they are about to fall off!!!  This good shed will have the web cam located in it, looking out of the window.  It was closed in the 1960s, but was not demolished.