Saturday, 20 August 2022

More O Gauge progress and a finished BR 12t Plywood Van

I have made some more headway on various O gauge projects over the last few weeks, although modelling time is at a premium (why do I always end up saying this!).  The layout continues to edge forwards, with the quay wall all scribed and the dry brushing started.  I have made some platforms for the hand operated point levers and with the track painted, I am going to start ballasting this week, once the point levers are installed.  

The scribed quay wall, which is now being painted.

The trackwork has all been tested over the last couple of weeks, trundling a class 08 up and down the layout and it all seems to work pretty well.  I am  going to get the Heljan class 03 sound chipped this weekend for a test run. The 0-6-0 wheel arrangements are relatively inflexible and some of the curves on the layout are pretty tight. So I just need to check that everything works OK before committing to the ballasting. I am certainly looking forwards to having a sound chipped locomotive to play with - having got rid of my OO gauge layout, where all the diesels were sound chipped, running trains without sounds now feels a little one dimensional.

Painted trackwork and quay wall, ready for ballasting to start.

I have also managed to finish off adding a bit of life to a rtr Dapol 12T plywood box van. This van had some details picked out on the underframe alongside some body weathering, via the airbrush and railmatch enamels. It is quite a good model and I am pleased with the finish on it. So now I have four whole wagons ready to use on the layout! I also have a slaters 12t van nearly finished, it just needs a solebar to be replaced and the painting finished, whilst a vanwide has sat on the modelling desk for about 3 months waiting to be finished. In my opinion, this is the most pleasing aspect about modelling in O gauge; each piece of rolling stock takes quite a long time to build and detail, and they are reasonably expensive. Therefore, I do not have masses of stock, but I am slowly taking my time to build everything. This is proving to be a lot of fun and I am now settled on this way of modelling, certainly for the near future.  I am keeping all the OO gauge stuff I have detailed, but I selling off a lot of the OO gauge stock I acquired but never got around to using; which has provided some funds for my O gauge adventures.  In some ways it feels like a relief to get rid of clutter and old models that I never got around to using.

Finished O gauge van.

Saturday, 23 July 2022

O gauge wagons: A vanwide, 13t open wagon, pipe wagon and pill box brake van

Recently the building of both the OO and O gauge layouts has been slow. The weather has been glorious, we have had people to stay and there has not been enough time or space to set up the layouts to work on them.  So the small bits of time I have had for modelling I have been focusing on building some wagons for the O gauge layout.  In reality the O gauge layout is miles away from being usable; I only have two wagons finished, no locomotives finished and only non detailed rtr coaches.  So there is very little useable stock for the layout, coupled with the detailing on the layout being in a very basic state.  However, the joy of O gauge is certainly building the rolling stock, in my case very slowly.  It is a very satisfying way to model.

So first off I managed to finish the Slaters 13t open wagon.  This is my first finished Slaters kit and I think I have now cracked the basic Slaters design.  I am hopeful I can finish off some the other Slaters kits I have much more quickly now.  The wagon is painted using the air brush with Railmatch enamels and uses Railtec transfers.

Finally finished 13t open wagon!

Next up is Parkside pipe wagon.  This wagon I had built years ago and completely forgotten about.  I found it in a box when we clearing out our storage unit.  So this is now in the paintshop, again being painted with the air brush and Railmatch enamels.  It is pretty much ready for transfers now and a bit more weathering.

Pipe wagon ready for transfers.

I have also picked up a Pill Box brake van I started building in 2014; this build had stalled and I had lost the instructions.  However, I now have a fresh set of instructions and am looking to complete this wagon over the next week and get it into the paintshop.

Pill box brake van.

The main wagon I am currently building is the Slaters Vanwide kit; this kit is a little fiddly, although it is shaping up nicely.  I am planning a modelling day tomorrow and I aim to complete this build tomorrow. This one has only be under way four months or so - so a speedy build!!!

Slaters Vanwide, hopefully not too far from being finished.

So some slow but continual progress.  I have been thinking about the sort of trains I want to run on the layout and it will involve a lot of kit building.  A small parcels train, a milk train and a fertiliser train using 12t vans, will require something about 12 wagons to be built.  I also plan to build some engineering wagons - so it is going to be quite a lengthy process.  However, I am enjoying the planning of the trains I am going to run and the building of kits - it is great to not be overwhelmed by having too much rolling stock.  The next wagons in the line to start are a Slaters milk tanker, a CCT and another SPV.  So plenty to do and plenty of enjoyment being had!   

Friday, 24 June 2022

OO Gauge Fruit D in BR Blue

Modelling time has increased a little bit in the last couple of weeks and a few projects in the modelling boxes are moving towards completion.  I always find it a relief when I finally start adding on the transfers to a model and I know it can be used on the layout.  Recently, I finished off a Fruit D wagon in BR blue - to add into the ever growing parcels stock.  The wagon is sat on the Pottington Quay layout, which I am hopeful I will get some time to play with over this summer.

Finished Fruit D on Pottington Quay.

Fruit D in the sidings on the layout.

The Fruit D is the standard Parkside kit, finished with 3 link couplings.  It is painted via the airbrush, using Railmatch enamels and ModelMaster decals.  I am pretty happy with how it turned out in the end, although it must have been in the paint boxes for about 2 years!!  

My OO gauge modelling has taken a back seat recently as I dabble in O gauge; however, I do have a lot of OO gauge stock, so I am hopeful to get the Pottington Quay layout rolling quickly - in order to allow me to just play trains some evenings.  I am aiming to turn this layout into a continuous loop - it will probably end up being 7ft by 4f - or something like that, if I manage to make any progress with it.  I think there are a lot of advantages to a continuous loop layout- especially if exhibiting - it would really take the pressure off on the operation side to stop turning stock around in the fiddle yards. So a vague plan, although lets see how the summer progresses!

Monday, 6 June 2022

Detailing an O Gauge class 25 and a modelling itinerary

Recent modelling work has been a bit restricted to a little painting, a little wagon building and a little layout detailing.  However, I am close to having a wonderful summer of beaches and modelling to hand, with a little academic writing thrown in for good measure; all glorious things to occupy my time! After what can only be described as a horrific couple of years in academia due to COVID, I finally have the luxury of some time to really get my teeth stuck into some modelling.  I have written a list of modelling projects I want to complete over summer.  These are principally to weather and sound chip a class 25 and class 03 diesel locomotive (O gauge), finish building 4 O gauge wagons and get the O gauge and OO gauge layouts to a completely operation state, with backscenes installed and ballasting finished.  I will be able to take off at least two weeks dedicated modelling time, so I am feeling optimistic I can achieve some of this and start updating my blog regularly again.

So with these grand plans mentioned, I have made a start on the Heljan Class 25.  When this model came out I paid £500 for it; quite honestly the price tag has made me feel a tad nervous about attacking it (or at least dismantling it), but I needed to just get on with it.  I took a dep break and made a start.  Taking this locomotive apart was quite difficult, there are so many moving parts.  I managed to snap one piece of window frame, which came away with the glazing.  I quickly glued this back in (it is barely noticeable) and resolved to not removing any of the side windows during weathering (they will have to be masked with maskol). I also managed to snap one of the central cab windows, totally destroy the supplied printed headcodes and lose one of the lights.  It felt like a bit of a disaster to start with, but now I am quite relieved.  I hope I have the modelling skills to make a good job of this and the locomotive is no longer a shelf queen, but now it is a model that I can grub up and experiment with in O gauge.

The body shell finally disconnected.

The class 25 bogies removed.

The class 25 body shell ready for washing and weathering.

Other projects tick away in the background.  I have ordered all the point motors for the OO gauge layout and will set a day aside to get this layout running again.  I also am extending the O gauge layout by another 3ft, alongside finishing some buildings and building some O gauge wagon kits.  I have also ordered a new O gauge class 03 after seeing some pictures of them on the Hemyock branch. So hopefully more updates to quickly follow.

Sunday, 1 May 2022

Rescuing an old project - Pottington Quay

It has been a long time since I posted on my blog - time has a habitat of running away with itself.  I have been modelling, although mainly in O gauge, but this has been in fits in starts.  This is primarily dues to us having finally moved home to North Devon, delayed for just over 2 years by covid, best laid plans and all that. It has been a hectic time for us both, with endless packing, unpacking, driving and the like, but finally it is all done and dusted, we are home, the long term storage unit has been emptied and life is good and happy again. This brings me to the subject of this blog post, my old layout that has been in storage. About 5 years ago I was posting on my blog about building Pottington Quay, the next step in my 00 gauge modelling. Since that point I have built, what I would call my first proper working layout (Charlton - now sold on) and had moved onto my next project - the O gauge layout. In all aspects of modelling, but especially layout construction, my skills have really developed and improved, to the point where I am now quite confident about to build a durable, working model railway.

The old layout Pottington Quay, now out of storage and sat in the new modelling room.

So taking out this older layout, my initial intention was to throw it away, after breaking it up.  However, after some reflection and some suggestions by 'the other half', I decided that maybe I might have a go at resurrecting it.  A lot of the hard work has been done, putting down the track, building and painting thet the platform (which is quite good), scribing of clay for the quay walls and cobbling, etc etc.  In fact, whilst the quality of the modelling can be improved in all areas, I think it will be a fun challenge to sit down and start upgrading this layout.  My other half said she might help to do some of the scenery, which would be a wonderful thing to do together.
Platform above the quay wall.

Part of the older quay wall, reminiscent of the quay side at Bideford.

The first job will be checking the electrics are all sound.  The soldering on this is not great, so I do need to double check it.  After this, the point motors need replacing and microswitches for the electro frogs need adding. I can remember when using the layout the old switches on the SEEP motors were not working correctly.  In a a pique of enthusiasm (and pay day), I ordered the micro switches and point motors, CDU power supply, etc.  I also need to add a lighting pelmet across the front of the layout. After sorting out the electrics, I am going to add a little more bracing to the baseboards, before giving the layout a jolly good clean, maybe tidying/trimming some of the track, before adding in buildings, repainting the quay wall, etc. I think I have most of the buildings for the layout, although I might construct a few.  I am sure the addition of a backscene will also be transformative.  So I am hopefully this will be a relatively quick project to get going with over summer. The size of the board means it is relatively easy to move into the lounge, so I can work on this whilst my other half watches TV! I am going to work on both this and my O gauge layout together, so I should have somewhere to run my OO gauge stock reasonably soon.

Saturday, 29 January 2022

Kimmington Quay - buildings and quay wall

This week has seen some good progress on the new layout.  Having got the track painted and working, it feels like a milestone has been reached, allowing my very limited modelling time to be used to construct the buildings and the scenery.  I had put most of the foundation of the quay wall into place using foam packing several weeks ago, glued down with PVA glue.  Last Sunday I covered this with several layers of plaster bandage.  This is now going to be covered with DAS clay, which I will scribe to form the wall.

The quay wall in place, now ready for some DAS clay.

I also managed to get the platform for the dairy built several months ago, but it is only in the last few weeks that I have got around to putting any paint onto this.  This is now being painted and I am hopeful I can get it finished in the next week or so.  I find painting concrete takes a long time, adding in various layers of colour. 

The dairy platform during painting.

On top of the dairy platform there are going to be several buildings, which are in various stages of construction. I am using lasercut mdf shells, onto which I paint PVA glue and apply polyfilla before sanding flat and scribing.  This is copied from Chris Nevard's wizardry, and it has certainly helped me to be able to construct realistic and individual buildings for the first time, like the pub building I have still yet to finish!

Dairy warehouse.

Dairy office during painting.

Main dairy building.

The pub which is still yet to be finished!

So all in all, some cracking progress this week and I am hoping to get the quay wall started today.

Saturday, 22 January 2022

Kimmington Quay further progress

So I have made some good progress on the new layout.  All of the DCC side of the layout is operational, with the points all working fine with DCC concepts point motors and levers.  I have now finally finished painting the track and alongside this I have managed to glue the platform into place.  Alongside this I have now managed to make a start on painting the dairy platform.  This is now the rate limiting step; as soon as this is painted then I can make a start on ballasting.  It really feels like I am making some progress now and can finally make a real start on detailing the layout and starting to add in the scenic details.

Platform at Kimmington Quay being glued down.

Track painted!

The view of the platform from the inter tidal muds!

In other modelling, I have managed to crack on with the painting with the 13t open wagon and also the 12t pipe wagon, both in O gauge.  I also managed to sound chip a Dapol class 122 DMU today and chip a Dapol class 08 to use as a run around to check the layout.  

Video showing the extent of the O gauge layout.

So all in all, very satisfying progress.  It really is a new world working in O gauge.  Whilst I am very confident whilst working in OO gauge, the step into O gauge has meant that I am learning again as I go.  However, it is a lot of fun and I currently have a little momentum with pushing on with the layout. Being able to run trains around transforms the perceptions of progress on the layout.  Hopefully, more progress to follow!