Sunday, 15 August 2021

0 Gauge layout progress

I have recently been modelling away on a new 0 gauge layout, although progress has been a little slower than I would have liked.  The main job has been to construct a platform.  Once this bit is finished, I can glue it into place and line the track up.  I purchased some laser cut kits to construct the platform, with the top of the platform being made from 2mm plasticard.  This is now being painted ready to install. Having moved up to 0 gauge, the size of everything seems huge compared to modelling in 00 gauge - everything seems to have a bit more presence.

Finished platform ready for painting.

Platform is now slowly taking shape during the painting. Being 0 gauge, it is taking a lot of paint to cover it!

I am also building a Petite Properties building, which will be a pub.  All layouts seem to have a pub nowadays - and I am pretty happy with how this one is shaping up.  The exterior is scribed polyfilla, painted with some cheap enamel paints.  There is a bit of detailing to go, with a partially modelled interior, but it is getting there.  I am pretty happy with the finish so far.  I am scratch building a bit of interior furniture and will add some pub benches/flower pots, etc outside.  

Interior tables and bar during painting.

Overall the layout is 12ft long, although the end board to a fiddle yard is curved.  The track is running on a raised level, allowing me to model an estuary/sea front, just like Barnstaple. One of the next big jobs is to order some DAS clay and build the stonework at the front of the layout.  

The raised level on the layout.

I am finding modelling in 0 gauge so much more fulfilling than 00 gauge.  I am also finding that my capacity to scratch build bits and pieces is much easier in 0 gauge - to me it feels a lot more realistic to model in (although I have not made that much progress!).  I think that for now I am now definitely an 0 gauge modeller and have sold off quite a lot of my 00 gauge stuff.  I think this is definitely the way forward for me.

Monday, 19 July 2021

00 gauge 12T box vans

I have recently been ticking over a few projects in the modelling boxes, although my enthusiasm for finishing off the 00 gauge projects is quite low at the moment.  I have mainly been working on 0 gauge models and am really enjoying working in the larger scale.  I am currently wondering whether I will return to 00 gauge at all - I am not sure.  I need to get the 0 gauge layout working then see how this feels for space, etc, before committing.  However, right now I certainly feel that 0 gauge is the scale for me.

Weathered vanfit.

Anyhow, I did manage to finish off a couple of 00 gauge 12T box vans at the weekend.  The vanfit I weathered years ago, but I thought the finish could be improved, whilst the shocvan was a new model. Both are now finished and rehoused in their respective boxes, although the Charlton layout has now gone, so I have nowhere to run them.  It still feels good to finish these models off and I hope to clear all of the 00 gauge models from the paint boxes before refilling them with 0 gauge wagons!

Weathered shocvan.

Sunday, 6 June 2021

End of the line and a new 0 gauge project

There have not been too many posts over the last few months.  However, a few projects have been slowly progressing and there has been a lot of mulling over what to do next.  I have had a set of baseboards on order for several months to complete a 00 gauge layout with two stations (well one station and a small platform halt). After finishing Charlton I feel I have developed the skills to tackle a larger project.  However, at the same time, my enthusiasm for this bigger project has been waning.  Charlton is soon to be rehomed, to free up some space for the new layout.  For the next layout I have finished building the smaller platform and the platform shelter has been in the paint boxes for several months.  However, there is no real momentum or excitement at the moment for the project (the fabled modellers mojo!).

The Charlton layout.

It certainly feels a bit strange to be passing Charlton onwards - it is where I test any rolling stock, but the time has come to tackle something new.  I really hope the new owner gets as much fun and use out of it, as I have. I have taken it to four exhibitions and when I started it, I never imagined that I would be capable of building and operating a layout at an exhibition.  It was a great learning curve and the layout has always performed near faultlessly. 

The new platform for Kimwick Halt in 00 gauge, pretty much complete, except for a bit of tidying up here and there.

Anyhow, I have decided to have a brief interlude from 00 gauge and although I will keep ticking over with 00 gauge modelling, finishing some projects in the model box, I have decided the next project will be an 0 gauge layout.  I hope to finish this layout within a year and I feel inspired to be able to build some bigger rolling stock for it.  It feels great to have a plan for the new layout and I hope to make some progress on it pretty quickly.

Saturday, 1 May 2021

Class 25 and a herring wagon

Modelling progress has been very slow over the last two months, although I am not entirely sure why.  I am still waiting on the new baseboards and I am contemplating future projects.  I am more and more inclined to head to an 0 gauge layout, although I think I am going to stick with the 00 gauge layout for the next project and maybe start building a small 0 gauge layout at the same time, as a test run.  Anyhow, I have been very slowly ticking over a few projects in the paint boxes.  The first is a class 25; this is a very long term project that has continually been on the back burner.  I originally weathered this locomotive about a decade ago and was initially delighted with the finish.  However, as my weathering skills have (hopefully) developed, I decided to paint strip this locomotive and start again.  It has been in the paintboxes for probably 5 years now - making very little headway.  The application of the new BR Blue/yellow livery was not my best and added to this, I have already got two fully sound chipped working class 25s for the layout.  So I have decided to model this class 25 in a very dilapidated state - partly to cover the less than perfect livery and partly to provide something a bit different on the layout.  The model is currently being varnished ready for transfers.

A somewhat careworn appearance is being aimed for in the class 25 repaint.

I have also got a few other wagon building projects slowly progressing.  This is a the Cambrian Herring wagon, which I am going to build a small number of, for the layout.  These are tiny wagons and a bit of a headache to build, trying to work out where all the little bits fit - but it is starting to shape up now.  I used maskol to cover an initial rust coat on the wagon, before applying most of the livery (black!) and a bit of light weathering.  It is coming together now and I should be able to remove the maskol in the next week or so, just ready for transfers and final weathering.  

Herring wagon during painting.

So some progress here and there, although all my modelling is currently lacking a bit of motivation and momentum at the moment. Fingers crossed I will get a bit more time in the coming weeks.

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Kimwick to something junction and an 0 gauge wagon!

The new layout has been started, albeit it in very slow fashion.  I have some of the baseboards, with the rest on order and I am now slowly making a start on the buildings.  The layout is designed as a continuous run around (I found working a terminus to fiddle yard at exhibitions quite exhausting), which will allow me the options of running some longer trains, plus I can let the trains run a little more easily whilst I sit back and watch!  The track plan is designed to have a station junction (similar but smaller to Barnstaple jn), before a single line section, with a further platform stop.  The station junction is yet to be named and will sit on a 5ft scenic board.  The platform stop is going to be called Kimwick (I know very anglo-saxon in Tarka country) and this is the board I am going to start first - it is a smaller 3ft section heading onto a curve, with a single point for a goods shed.  So this week I have made a start on the platform and it is all going to be modelled on glorious SR concrete.  The platform shelter has been sat in the paint boxes for a few months, but I have slowly been painting this recently.  The actual platform is made from Dart Castings supports and plasticard - it will be a very simple structure.  So the progress so far, I hope to finish this over the weekend, now I have made a start.

The platform  being built for Kimwick, over the bridge from something junction.

The layout will be slowly built over the next couple of years - I have a lot less time for modelling at present, so the primary aim will be to get the track working and laid out, before detailing each board in turn, as I build structures, etc.  

Other modelling has been progressing slowly, but surely, and a few more projects are starting to shape up.  One of these is an 0 gauge brass wagon, my dad recently built.  I offered to paint it for him, so progress so far.  It needs some varnishing and blending together, but over this is looking good I think.  I made a concerted effort to get a more realistic wood effect and I am reasonably pleased with the outcome.

0 gauge wagon, with a better effort at wood effects.

There are lots of other projects ticking over at present, with a fruit D wagon, class 25, salmon wagon, herring wagon, lamprey and some box vans all in the paintshop. I have also finished the detailing on another warship and finished the construction of the 0 gauge 13t open wagon - so these are ready for washing.  More updates to follow soon I hope.  Otherwise I hope everyone is well and has an enjoyable easter.

Sunday, 14 March 2021

Olive green BG for the Engineers train

There have been fits and starts of modelling over the last month or so, with projects ticking over but nothing really been completed.  However, a somewhat unexpected free weekend, meant that I was able to put the olive green BG for the engineering train back together with an internal lighting unit.  The layout was not set up - so I have not managed to test the lights (fingers crossed they are wired up OK).

Finished BG coach, now working in the engineering fleet.

This is the Bachmann model, that I took apart and weathered separately, before reassembling today. I used railmatch paints throughout, applied from the airbrush, after an all over wash of weathered black and sleeper grime.  This is the final piece of rolling stock for an engineering rake, consisting of an SR PMV, CCT, BY and the GWR Iron Mink and Python wagons.  This all adds a little variety to the rolling stock and trains I can run on the future layout.

Another view of the completed BG.

There a lot more projects to finish off. I have the sound decoder for a class 108 DMU that requires detailing, alongside a new Bachmann class 121 and a class 42 warship that needs detailing.  So plenty to do in the next few weeks.  Hopefully more to follow soon.

Sunday, 14 February 2021

Class 50 and Class 25 on engineering works at Charlton station

This weekend I ran a few trains on Charlton.  It is probably the last time I am going to set up the layout before selling it.  I fixed up a rake of engineering spoil wagons and also some hopper wagons.  The engineers spoil wagons are all kit built and it gave me a lot of satisfaction seeing the rake running together.  They have been completed over the years, with varying levels of competency; however, it feels very great to see a train composed of my own kit built stock.  It is now time to sell Charlton and make room for the next layout.  I have a baseboard ready to start (subject to some work with a saw to open out one end) - and I am excited to build a much more ambitious layout.  Anyhow enjoy for now - more updates soon!

Engineering Sunday at Charlton.

Initially a Class 25 brings in hopper wagons with fresh ballast.

Before leaving and collecting a rake of spoil wagons for spent ballast.

The spoil train is too long for the loop at Charlton, so a class 50 picks up the train to head down the line for track relaying.