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VSOE: Phoenix and Cygnus

VSOE: Phoenix and Cygnus

Picking up from this blog post a decade ago (recently refreshed), I have for a long time been working on a model of the VSOE circa 1998.   I have previously converted old Hornby pullmans into the 1928 built stock for Ione, Lucille and Zena, and have Minerva from Hornby's 1927 stock.  (all of which still need a fair bit of work on the chassis, along with finishing.)   I am hoping to get at least a set of 6 coaches completed this year, so time to crack on with the remaining two builds so it can al

The Fatadder

The Fatadder

GWR stables (2): Internet archaeology

GWR stables (2): Internet archaeology

I have a thing for GWR stable blocks.  The subject isn't systematically covered in the literature, so in a previous post I tried to obtain a tentative overview of the major types and styles. Since then I’ve been searching Britain from Above, Google street view and old online  maps looking for past and present traces of stable blocks. It's all a bit esoteric, but for what it's worth here is a selection of my favourite 'finds'.     Westbury   It's 1929 and a pl

Mikkel

Mikkel

Sandy Shores - Distressing Wood

Sandy Shores - Distressing Wood

There are a number of wooden structures on Sandy Shores, some of which we'll look at in this entry. Almost all of these are made entirely out of lollipop sticks; as shown in the last entry (the platform shelter).  The first we'll be looking at is the water tower. Originally it looked like this:   Above: I was originally happy with how it looked, but people were right to point out that it looked a little on the large size; especially for such a small line in a limited space! As it
 

The Grand 2020 Plan

Having given it some thought as to how I would like to progress the layout over 2020 I have come up with a list of 10 things I intend to get done on the layout this year. Also a list of projects id like to start and hopefully finish this year.   So Leith Central Plans 1, Order, install and track work down for the second scenic board and assess the best route forward for the fiddleyard board and maybe even get this ordered as well, 2, Build the main station building and roof s

Leith Centrl

Leith Centrl

Infinite Hold on Space Reds

Infinite Hold on Space Reds

Apologies for skipping last week.    The 26th was my birthday.   I hopped around some hobby/game shops in Chicagoland, then played X-Wing at the local.    Friday got out-of-hand, but that's neither here nor there here, is it?   As of Christmas Eve, I putting the Infinity on hold.    I plan on using some patterned Plastruct sheet to dress-up the bases.   I find myself without a compass or circle-cutter of any nature, though.   Except, may, a brace-&-bit, but that would be excessive.

AlfaZagato

AlfaZagato

Folding Workbench - Part 3: Machining

Folding Workbench - Part 3: Machining

As mentioned in the very first part, using plywood for the desk means that we will be using alternative methods to form solid joints. As alluded to earlier, this means the use of rebates; a series of trenches, grooves, and tongues to join everything together. This will of course require another machine to make our lives easier; a router. As with the Skilsaw, it's another case of doing a little bit of prep work beforehand to make sure everything is set up correctly; but once it is, machining
 

Rule Britannia

So what is the plan with two models at different scales? To start with it’s a bit like our early years of marriage, having graduated and found a job, we found ourselves in the position of having time to travel but no money to do it.  Well now thirty years later with retirement on the horizon it is the reverse, more money but less free time.  So now is the time to buy the stock (rolling and otherwise) while I can afford it and tinker at modelling, while anticipating retirement. As menti

MullionPeter

MullionPeter

 

Fictional liveries: the EWS Riddles 2-10-0

Once, during my many story making times, I imagined what it would be like if we started to use steam power again. A best designs would be both the Riddles WD 2-10-0 and the 9F. For this part of the story it involved freight movements of the 2025s where the WD 2-10-0 design was built to super-modern standards and runs on recycled coffee instead of coal (I don’t actually know if this would work, but it’s a nice idea) Since not being built for the WD, the re-designed WDs had to find a new
Another N7 goes to EM gauge

Another N7 goes to EM gauge

OK so I'm one of the (Oxford Rail) N7 fans.   I pretty much have to be, as I am working on this layout project.   Fortunately I already was a fan as I currently live in Homerton (on the east side of Hackney in London) not far from the  the Great Eastern Railway line on its viaduct running up through Cambridge Heath, London Fields and Hackney Downs. This was one of the chief routes on which the N7 was used and a little bit of reading got me interested in the whole history of t

readingtype

readingtype

A brake wagon, or two.....

A brake wagon, or two.....

Happy new year to everyone.   So not one for celebrations and fed up with the dead time twixt Christmas and New year I decided to make something. I looked about and ferreted in various boxes, what did I have at my disposal? One last sheet of 10 thou styrene. An idea formed, a brake wagon. Something that has been sitting in the back of my head for a while. So I dug out the wagon book, scanned and sized the the drawing and re-read the section about them in the book and the CR forum.

Dave John

Dave John

Into the New Year, some more photos

Into the New Year, some more photos

A class 87 heads a Euston to Wolverhampton Express through Watford, as a 304 EMU sets off for Euston on a service from Birmingham via Northampton.     Out at Linslade the Southbound Manchester Pullman overtakes a Western Visitor on some loaded Hoppers.     The southbound Flasks pass Linslade on the Up Slow Line.     Giving the HST a spin, passing south through Watford on the Up Fast Line.     The Up Bletchley Mai

anroar53

anroar53

Folding Workbench - Part 2: Cutting Out Components

Folding Workbench - Part 2: Cutting Out Components

With the design for the modelmaking desk sorted, it was time to start work on its construction. Being almost useless at cutting wood straight, this means some sort of power tool is the order of the day; especially with these 12mm and 18mm thick lengths of plywood to cut through. The answer is a Skilsaw; a battery-powered one to be specific. Essentially a hand-held circular saw, it makes light work of most woods, including engineered wood like MDF and plywood; which is notoriously tough. Fir
 

A fresh start after 30+ years

At last, after over 30 years’ absence from model railways I have begun to model the Helston Branch line.  In my late teens I chose to model the Helston Branch Line because I grew up in Mullion and attended Helston Comprehensive School.  Every day for many years I would pass the former site of the station to and from school, in a “routemaster” bus just like the one in some of the archived photos of the station.  It is probable that it was the very same bus.  In addition, when I endured the agony

MullionPeter

MullionPeter

Sandy Shores - Wooden Platform Shelter

Sandy Shores - Wooden Platform Shelter

A tiny freelance platform shelter for Sandy Shores Even on the blissful fictional spit of Sandy Shores, where it's seemingly sunny year-round, the passengers of the SSLR still need a roof over their heads. As would be expected from such a fledgling line run by volunteers, there simply isn't the money to build anything grand; so all buildings are built on a shoestring budget. When it was proposed that the tiny halt at the end of the spit would need a small waiting shelter, a local carpenter
Leith Central Bachmann 45t Crane Review

Leith Central Bachmann 45t Crane Review

Bachmann 38-803 Crane RS1097 BR Breakdown Red   RRP: £249.95 Paid: £224,95 Length: 33cm Box: Card/Blister Plastic Scale: 00   So I finally braved getting one of these and first reaction is WOW!!!   Getting it out of the box and just placing it on the bench was impressive. At over 30cm long and around 15cm with the jib up it does have a great sense of size to it. Moving in closer you realise the level of detail we have come to expect is

Leith Centrl

Leith Centrl

00 track finalisation - Where to isolate?

00 track finalisation - Where to isolate?

Surfing the wave of a functioning layout to look at the 'nice to haves' ...   Currently trains can be parked in the sidings or the lower space between points 9 and 10, but there are a couple of glitches that prevent more flexibility:   Between points 8 - 6. It would be nice to have a train waiting at the platform while another could shunt out of the sidings onto track 2, however this is currently impossible as the LH Point 8 and RH point 6 means that the track between them is

metijg

metijg

 

Western Pullman - recap and progress

Over the last few years I've dipped in and out of a very long-term project to create an 8-car Western Pullman set. As the model is now close to completion, and there is interest in the 6-car WR sets due to Bachmann's new version of their original Midland Pullman, I thought it wouldn't hurt to do a bit of a recap of the story so far.   Back in 2007 there wasn't any hint of an RTR Blue Pullman on the horizon from any of the manufacturers, with most commentators of the view that it would

Barry Ten

Barry Ten

The Long Drag to Garsdale – Out In The Country 4

The Long Drag to Garsdale – Out In The Country 4

Grazing in the grass is a gas, baby,can you dig it: from The Friends of Distinction was going to be my other title as I’ve been laying down quite a bit of Woodland Scenics fine turf as my base before I get into more detail using static grass to build up my diorama. On my first module it was by pure luck it went so well, but some time had past since I’d completed it and I had to relearn the technique used then ‘cause I’d forgotten it!   Therefore for my own edification I thought be

Southern Fabricator

Southern Fabricator

 

Having a woody good time!

Here’s my quick, easy and dirty way to get plastic to look more like wood.   Here were attacking the interior of three wagons, two Hornby and one Bachman.   Most of the ideas were nicked off various YouTube tutorials and demonstrations of various products.  One important thing is that this will give a grain to the finish, so identify which way this is running (usually along the length of a plank) and your brushstrokes should be in that direction.   First, here’s what we start with.  Th

Firecracker

Firecracker

Folding Workbench - Part 1: The Design

Folding Workbench - Part 1: The Design

6th JAN 2020 - NOW UPDATED WITH CUTTING LIST AND DRAWINGS   If you’re anything like me, you’ll have spent a long time over the years causing mischief and annoyance by commandeering any available workspace, so that you can carry on modelmaking (or making a mess, according to those less-versed in the intricacies of… OK, yeah, it’s usually a mess!). Anyway, the point is, now that I've started doing the odd commissions for a magazine, it was about time I had a dedicated work surface which

SouthernRegionSteam

SouthernRegionSteam

New 3d printer - Ender 5 Pro

New 3d printer - Ender 5 Pro

My clever wife bought me a new 3D printer for Christmas (how did she guess what I wanted?)   I was a bit concerned because the box was shipped direct from China by FedEx via what appears to be a puddle at Cologne Airport. Creality customer service were very helpful and we decided it was worth trying to build it and just replace any bits if we found they had been damaged. In the end everything went together very easily ( about 30-45 minutes assembly to first print) and I managed t

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit

 

Goodbye, Mr Chips..

I’m not a great watcher of tv at Xmas or any other time, but I do enjoy it occasionally. This year’s unsung gem was Martin Clunes’ rather touching performance as the eponymous Mr Chips.    I first read the book long ago, when it was banned at the Perse School. The author had been a pupil at The Leys School, across town, and much of the setting (a rather outdated, High Church, minor public school in decaying, historic buildings amid an East Anglian setting) was a poke at the Perse Schoo

rockershovel

rockershovel

 

A Run Along The Line (Version 2) and History (Version 2)

Due to changes in the way I've interpreted landscape and geology, I've modified the line's route, so below is the new Run Along The Line: "From the large market town of Sayersbridge situated on the north-east bank of the River Stur, the main line to Exeter crosses the river by a low embankment to reach the south-west side where the line to Penmouth diverges to the south. It passes through the wooded area of Cold Holt before emerging onto low rolling arable farming land. Further south it

Ian J.

Ian J.

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