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In the beginning...

Entries in this blog

 

The PCAs - shortened and nearly finished...and the colour match isn't bad either?

Only the chassis are left to do.     This has been one project that has been both a joy to do and frustrating and the same time. There were certainly times when I thought about reducing the amount of work I did to complete the models in order to get them finished but perseverance and determination kept getting in the way. There were a number of re-visits to the drawing board and a number of times when just I felt like giving it all up. A number of the things done on these wagons are new to

RobboPetes

RobboPetes

 

Easitrack or Finetrax? A decision has to be made...

I have come to a crossroads regarding where I take this layout and one important thing that needs to be considered is cost.   One thing that bugs me about standard N gauge is the PECO track. For me, it is crude and the sleeper spacing is wrong - for others it might be OK. There are now 2 finescale versions on the market - the 2mm Scale Easitrack and the new N gauge Finetrax system. As I want to go down the 2mm scale route I need to consider the cost of re-wheeling my stock.   For the Easitra

RobboPetes

RobboPetes

 

Work in progress - the PCAs

What has been really taking up my time over the last few months are these:     They are the basic Farish Poole-based PCAs being detailed with the TPM detailing kit. I went to attach the walkways this morning only to find out I had to make a slight adjustment to get one of them to fit into the new holes. As I adjusted one, it pinged open. This is not the first time this has happened but it now means I'm going to have to solder them together, or they might spring open once painted. Then I'd h

RobboPetes

RobboPetes

 

The latest exit from the workshop

Although I've been working on 2 of these for the last few months, here is 1 that has a coupling on one end.     Thanks to Paul Bartlett's excellent website, the model has been back-dated to the early/mid 80s style. I contacted Bachmann asking if they were going to release this particular model without nameboards, to which they replied - we only get the models as we receive them! Obviously I'm barking up the wrong tree here.Thinking about it, maybe they should release them with the boards lo

RobboPetes

RobboPetes

 

Salt weathering? I've got to say I am well impressed!

I recently read an article in the Hornby magazine, June 3013 edition, on salt weathering and thought it would be a good idea to have go. I asked the missus about non-perfumed hairsprays and she said she had one that she didn't like, saying I could use it. Well, what could I say?   I followed the advice in the article on a wagon that will never see the light of day. I only did one side to see how it would turn out. This is the result:       The hardest part was getting the salt to sit w

RobboPetes

RobboPetes

 

The art of weathering - and some lessons learnt.

A few weeks ago I thought I would do some weathering on my rolling stock. I wanted to create the filthy conditions that you get with the ferry vans. I thought I would use the side of an old Tiger POA, as this closely ressembles the sides of the Cargowaggons and VGAs, i.e. panels with ribbing.   I used Railmatch Sleeper Grime thinned with enamel thinners using a no 3 brush in downward strokes. The end result is the paint does not dry in the recesses for some reason. Next time I will dry-brush t

RobboPetes

RobboPetes

 

The wagons are starting to roll...starting with the BDAs

These have always been one of my favourite wagons and many years ago I bought a couple of the John Grey kits. I made the wagons up minus the bolsters: these were fabricated from the relevant thicknesses of plasticard.   The bolster pins were going to be made from Bambi mini-staples. I checked these against scale drawings and found they were spot-on. All I needed to do was to drill 0.3 mm holes through the width of the 40 thou plasticard I used for the middle bit of the 'H' of the bolster. Havi

RobboPetes

RobboPetes

 

2mm/N gauge corrugated iron is alive and well and in a Supermarket near you...well - almost?!

When I wanted to create some corrugated iron using 2 Nescafe jar lids last year, I was well disappointed to find the lid edges were smooth instead of having a milled edge like that found on the edge of a coin. On finding this out I turned my attention to something else, model-wise.   Whilst at work about a month ago my manager asked me if I would like a cup of coffee, to which I answered in the affirmative. He told me he had started drinking the Everyday Value range from Tesco. When I went to

RobboPetes

RobboPetes

 

Automatic couplings - weighing up the cost of conversion?

Another thing to consider when evaluating options is the cost. The more stock one owns the greater the importance of such consideration. The price of the Dapol units have been checked against the Hattons website whilst the cost of the DG couplings is via the 2mm Scale Association website.   I currently have 72 frieght vehicles, with at least another 8 to make up and at least another 10 to purchase. Add to this a loco fleet that currently stands at 4 units, with up to another 9 to purchase.  

RobboPetes

RobboPetes

 

Now...do I go with DGs or do I go with the Dapol system?

Dilemma! Which way do I go?   I used DGs on Clive Road Sidings at a 2mm Scale Area Group meeting back in the late 80s and was impressed how well they worked. Standard N gauge couplings at that time were unreliable and inconsistent across the manufacturers. A friend advised me to look at the Kadee system, but I considered this too American in appearance. With nothing else available in N gauge at the time as far as I was aware it seemed the logical way to go.   I have made some DGs up and star

RobboPetes

RobboPetes

 

'You're a nutter!', someone once said to me...I don't see how?

Yes, that is what a fellow member of my local club said to me some years ago when I told him what I had done to the model.     The model is the mating of a Poole-based Grafar body on to a Minitrix chassis. A good friend, Rolf Farrell, said he was looking at doing this to have a model of a class 47 where the undercarraige ACTUALLY sat underneath the model rather than level with the sides, as per the old Farish offering. The Minitrix bodyshell was deemed unworthy as the Farish one was better

RobboPetes

RobboPetes

 

Passengers - to have or not to have? Layout name: Marsh Lane Sidings

Looking at the photo from above in the last blog made me realize I might have a lot of scenery to do at the front of the layout. This got me thinking (does any one remember Alan Dare's layout in the April and June 1981 editions of the Railway Modeller?). His layout was a freight only branch with a disused passenger station.   On the layout I could add another track at the front (number 1 on the attached diagram), along with a platform. An extra fiddle yard could be added at point A, thus creat

RobboPetes

RobboPetes

 

Progress so far - finally!

I've being wondering for a while what size the transit shed should be. I had originally settled on a length of 600mm (2ft), but was unsure what the height should be. Lucy had sent me some pictures of Wolverhampton Steel Terminal, but I had not sat down to work out the final dimensions. I posted a query on the Horseley Fields layout site on this site to ask how they built their shed - which is also based on the Wolverhampton Steel Terminal. Ben Ando very kindly provided details of the dimensions

RobboPetes

RobboPetes

 

Dilemma!

The biggest problem I have at the moment is what type of building is the transit shed going to be?   I could make it a typical railway company goods warehouse but that would make it dominate the layout, something I do not want to. If it was to be a goods warehouse that would tie the layout down geographically - again something I don't want to do.   I could model a typical British Railway railway building - a fabricated unit consisting of a roof on top of a steel frame, such as the one at Pen

RobboPetes

RobboPetes

 

In the beginning...

I have been wanting to build a small layout for some time but was not sure what to do. I model B.R. in the early 80s until the end of Speedlink in '91. Trying to design a small layout running both passenger and freight during this time would be hard to achieve. Steam modelers do not have this problem. The move away from 10-foot wheelbase to longer vehicles exacerbated the problem I had.   My interest is in freight trains, as I find these far more interesting than passenger trains. As an exampl

RobboPetes

RobboPetes

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