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Great Western Ramblings

Entries in this blog

Duckets! or V9 to V8

My V9 passenger brake van has been languishing on my work bench waiting for me to paint it for far too long.  I applied a coat of acid etch primer at least a year ago, but since then made little progress.  The main stumbling block in motivation to finish it was the fact that for my modelling period the V9 didn’t exist!  I thought when I bought the kit that a coach that was originally built for broad gauge and then converted to standard gauge in the 1890s would be perfectly acceptable for circa 1

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wenlock in Duckets!

Manchester Christmas Model Railway Show

Just a quick blog entry to say that I'm taking Sherton Abbas to the Manchester show.  It'll be the layout's first visit to anywhere further North than Telford in the Midlands, so if you're in the area, do come along and say hello🙂   Looking forward to what should be a good weekend, as long as the M5 and M6 are compliant!   BW   Dave

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wenlock in Manchester Show

D14 breaks cover!

Well it’s only taken 3 years, but the procrastination is over and I’ve finally finished my D14 brake 3rd!  There are no real excuses as to why it’s taken so long, I could say other projects have taken precedence, or “life has got in the way”, but the reality is I just struggle with motivation when it comes to coaches!  I find it it easy to get enthusiastic about building a new locomotive and freight wagons are reasonably quick to build, but coaches just seem to take me forever.     I’m pl

Retirement!

No not Sherton Abbas, but me! After more than 30 years of teaching Dental students the delights of "Fixed and Removeable Prosthodontics", I’m now a gentleman of leisure😀  Now you would think that would result in a flurry of modelling activity, but I’m afraid Mrs Wenlock has other ideas.  There appears to be a list of projects and jobs that have in her words “Just been waiting for you to have time to do them”, that she has been creating for the past couple of years!  I’ve managed to finish constr

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wenlock in Retirement

1/16th scale Sopwith Camel

Apologies for the lack of blog entries over the last few months, life sometimes gets in the way of modelling! I’ve managed to rupture my Achilles’ tendon, so I’m hopping about in a Vacoped boot with my ankle locked in an equinus position.  Getting up the steps into the workshop is a bit of a hassle, so as way of compensating for not being able to play trains I’ve been building something not railway related🙂   I’ve long been fascinated by WW1 aircraft and used to build and fly radio con

Uckfield exhibition retrospective

Well it’s been 3 days since the Uckfield show and my knees have finally recovered from standing for two days and grubbing around under baseboards during set up😀  The layout behaved it’s self and despite the fact that I can either talk to the public or operate the layout, but can’t do both at the same time everything went to plan!   I collected the hire van at 10.00am on the Friday  morning and with the help of my pal and master fiddleyard operator Roger the van was loaded with the layout

Return to exhibiting!

Well its been a long time coming, but life is beginning to return to some kind of normality after the Covid 19 crisis!  I've had my three jabs, caught the retched virus and recovered, so hopefully I'm full to the brim with antibodies  I've really missed going to shows both as a spectator and as an exhibitor, so knowing that exhibitions are once again possible is very pleasing!   I've definitely suffered a lack of modelling motivation over the last year, exhibition deadlines are great way of reki

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wenlock in Exhibitions

GWR Dia. U9 1st & 2nd Class Composite 6 wheel Carriage, that turns out to be a U14!

Well it's been a long time coming, but I've finally completed building another coach!  I finished the V9 back in November, so this one's construction has hardly been at a lightning pace  The build follows more or less exactly the same methods as the V9, but with the added faff of having to detail the interior of the compartments.  I used seat mouldings from Slater's Plastikard and plan to add some scratch built picture frames and mirrors along with a few Edwardian passengers, once the painting h

GWR ex Broad Gauge Passenger Brake Van Dia V9

During the Cardiff model railway show back in October 2019, I treated myself to a couple of six wheel coaches from Dragon Models.  http://www.taffvale.wales/page1.php  Although I thoroughly enjoy building locomotives and wagons, I always find building coaches a bit of a slog and consequently haven't got many to use on Sherton Abbas  My entire passenger stock comprises of three Slater's 4 wheel coaches, a solitary Slater's all 3rd bogie clerestory and an etched brass V2 passenger brake van.  I'm

G.W.R. 2 Plank Wagon part 2

Back in mid August I posted an entry in the blog about the construction of the GWR 2 plank wagon.   Well since those balmy days Autumn has hit with a vengeance in South Wales, we're back in full lockdown and it hasn't stopped raining!  Still the upside of this is that there's not much else to do other than a bit of modelling   The model was more or less completed and ready for painting , but I struggled to find a prototype photograph of a 2 planker in my admittedly fairly sma

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wenlock in GWR 2 plank wagon

Faffing with Fiddleyards part 3

The polystyrene sheet was coated in textured sealing paint, which I'd pigmented with some brown acrylic paint.  Once dry this formed a hard, flexible surface that I could use as a base for scenic treatment.  Point rodding stools from MSE https://www.wizardmodels.ltd/shop/signals/ls05/ were fitted to lengths of wooden sleepers and then glued in position alongside the trackwork.  Ballasting was done using Woodland Scenics ballast using exactly the same method that I used on the main layout. 

Faffing with Fiddleyards part 2

Back in April I mentioned that I was considering building an extension board for the layout that could be used at exhibitions.        The new board would hopefully have the following benefits.   1.  It would eliminate the need to move the fiddle yard during shunting maneuvers. 2.  If I give this base board full scenic treatment then the view under the bridge would be greatly improved! 3.  My fingers couldn't be seen when moving the fiddle yard to set up roads

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wenlock in Sherton Abbas extension

G.W.R. 2 Plank Wagon part 1

Pleased to report that I'm back on track Railway Modelling, after my gentle excursion into 1/35th scale Military modelling  I've been building a WEP etched brass wagon kit of a G.W.R. 2 plank wagon, to add to my wagon fleet.    WEP 2 plank wagon kit   The kit parts fit together well, with very little fettling needed to get a good result, although I had to use some Milliput Putty to fill a few gaps particularly around the top plank join.  The kit also incorporates a rocki

And now for something completely different!

To relieve the boredom during lock down I've spent sometime watching YouTube clips on modelling disciplines other than Railways!  Probably heresy on a Railway Modelling forum, but good fun and interesting all the same  The Military Modellers have some very interesting weathering techniques that I fancied having a go at and thought would make a nice change from pristine Edwardian G.W.R. locomotives and coaches!    As a teenager I dabbled in 1/35th scale WW2 military stuff and I remember

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wenlock in Tamiya SAS jeep

Faffing with Fiddleyards!

Although I'm happy with the layout when playing with it at home, I've been conscious for a while that certain things could be improved upon when exhibiting the layout at model railway shows.  The road over bridge acts as the break between the scenic part of layout and the "off stage" fiddle yard as show in the picture below.   Fiddle yard and rear of road over bridge     The problem at exhibitions is that the fiddle yard can clearly be seen under the road bridge spo

Wooden plank load

In my previous blog entry I mention that I was looking for information about wooden plank loads circa 1905.  Well I'm pleased to say that RMweb members came up trumps and provided me with loads of really useful information, thanks chaps!  I've been very taken by the wagon loads manufactured by Richard Ellis (tricky) of Monk's Gate Models https://www.monksgate.co.uk/shop?category=Wagon+Loads, so decided to treat myself to some planks for my wagon  The planks arrived in the following day's post an

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wenlock in Wooden plank load

GWR 4 plank wagon with DC1X brakes

I've wanted to model a Great Western Railway wagon bearing the cast number plates for some time now, but have always been put off by the lack of commercially available plates.  While I was exhibiting Sherton Abbas at the Telford O gauge Guild show I met Graham Beare (Western Star) and Chris Brown (Chrisbr) who had been doing research into which wagons carried the cast plates.  Chris also mentioned that he was in the process of drawing artwork with a view to getting some 7mm scale plates etched i

Midland Meandering!

In my quest to add variety to the stock appearing at Sherton Abbas, I've treated myself to a couple of Midland wagon kits from Slater's Plastikard.  https://www.slatersplastikard.com/linePage.php?code=7030  and  https://www.slatersplastikard.com/linePage.php?code=7029   I built the kits in exactly the way that the instructions suggest, so rather than give a blow by blow account of the construction, here's  a picture of the completed wagon   Midland 8 Ton 3 plank drop side wag

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wenlock in Midland Meandering!

S&DJR wagons!

I've thought for a while that in order to add a bit of variety during operating sessions, Sherton Abbas could do with a few wagons from companies other than the GWR.  The layout is set in Dorset, so likely candidates would be from the S&DJR, MSWJR, and Midland companies.  During the weekend exhibiting the layout at the Telford O gauge show, I bought a couple of kits from Furness wagon works ttps://pregroupingrailways.com/wagons/  in order to build a couple of S&D  examples.   F

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wenlock in S&DJR wagons

A morning train spotting at Sherton Abbas

I usually take pictures of the layout using my iPad, but thought I'd have a go using a compact camera for a change.  I've had a Panasonic Lumix  https://www.panasonic.com/uk/support/discontinued-products/cameras-camcorders/dmc-tz60eb.html for a few years now, that I use on motorcycle trips and for general photography.  Although generally happy with the results that I get from it, the smallest f stop that it will go down too is F8 and I thought this would cause problems with depth of field on mod

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wenlock

More Horse Drawn!

Although I've got a few horse drawn vehicles on the layout, I haven't got anything suitable for transporting goods from the station into the town.   While I was at Guildex, I found a white metal kit from Duncan Models http://www.duncanmodels.co.uk/  that looked like it had the potential to make a simple flat bed wagon.    Duncan Models flat cart       They also make a nice range of horses, I chose to use their Shire horse.   The horse is cast in a running position,

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wenlock

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