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Later the same century...

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This one's gone wrong somehow - try the link


http://www.rmweb.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=2497&start=25" page on Old RMweb


Comment posted by russellwar on Mon Jan 07, 2008 2:34 pm <br />

<cite>jim s-w wrote:</cite>

<br />No, you fit the glazing after the paint. You do need to cut your own but there is a small overlap between the etch and the hole. I have asked a lazer cutting company about the costs of getting windows cut - if its viable i'll let you know<br />







/>If you do, I will quite happily rip out my windows. Let me know too.<br />


<br />The thought of ctting all those windows scared me until now <br />


posted on Wed Jan 30, 2008 5:58 pm


They've done it again.


First Bachmann announce a 150 shortly after I buy a Bratchill kit. I still think I will probably get there before they do though - we've not seen a preproduction model yet


Then Hornby announce a 153 , knocking the project to convert an elderly 155 into 2 x 153s on the head. That's not a problem - I could probably use a Provincial liveried 155 suitably detailed, the beetles can be diverted.


Now Bachmann announce a Cravens. Building the DC Kit in my cupboard (acquired second hand) was going to be next cab off the rank after the 150, given that the 153s have been taken out of the pipeline. This because it can only be plain BR blue - which is the sort of livery even I can do.


Questions, questions. Do I simply plough ahead , on the basis that it will be at least 2 years before I get my hands on one of Bachmann's? Do I really want 2 Cravens ?


Do I try to build my kit as one on the parcels unit conversions of the late 80s ? These would arguably be slightly closer in period to a newly converted 153 , and I think some of the conversions amounted to a stripe down the side and removal of some seats . But this leaves me without the passenger DMU for at least 2 years . Should I convert a Bachmann unit to parcels condition in due course??


Questions, questions....




Comment posted by PaulCheffus on Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:53 am


<cite>Ravenser wrote:</cite><br />They've done it again.<br />

<br />Now Bachmann announce a Cravens. Building the DC Kit in my cupboard (acquired second hand) was going to be next cab off the rank after the 150, given that the 153s have been taken out of the pipeline. This because it can only be plain BR blue - which is the sort of livery even I can do.<br /></font></blockquote><br />Hi <br />




Yep its annoying. I had a DC Kits 105 in the cupboard for about eight years then last year decided to make a start, but I will finish it.


Dapol did something similar to me. I spent two years scratchbuilding a pair of Telescopic Steel Hood wagons. Finished the first one and started applying the transfers to the second when they announced they were doing one in N. I have again decided to keep mine and finish the second as they haven't cost me much and to replace them would be about ??????‚??30.<br />





Comment posted by <b>Platform 6</b> on Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:54 am


<cite>Ravenser wrote:</cite><br />They've done it again.<br />

<br />First Bachmann announce a 150 shortly after I buy a Bratchill kit. I still think I will probably get there before they do though - we've not seen a preproduction model yet ....<br />Questions, questions....</font></blockquote><br />


I know exactly how you feel. I've a DC Kits 108 unstarted but now have some Bachmann 108s. I really think the DC Kits window bars will not 'cut the mustard' compared to the Bachmanns'. http://www.rmweb.co....es/icon_sad.gif


And then there's the 8T cattle trucks just announced! <img src="http://www.rmweb.co....on_rolleyes.gif">


I've slowly been building up a collection to detail/weather from Dapol - and then along comes Bachmann again. <img src="http://www.rmweb.co...._frustrated.gif"> <br />

You just can't win! <img src="http://www.rmweb.co....es/icon_lol.gif"> <br />



posted on Sat Apr 26, 2008 9:14 pm </font><br />

I've finally managed to do some modelling (does layout building count?) Well, stock modelling anyway.


I had all sorts of good intentions about kits to be built . With it being so fine I even thought of digging out the resin WD road van kit and having a go at it in the garden - as resin dust in the home isn't good for your health. Only a passing thought though and as its set to rain tomorrow the moment passed.


After attempting to weather a Harburn chemical toilet and not liking the results entirely - I wiped most of it off and touched up the roof - I had the acrylics out. So I decided to experiment with weathering a wagon in acrylics - normally I stick strictly to enamels. Out came a few recent RTR engineers wagons which were embarrasingly untouched ... and I spent most of the afternoon weathering two wagons.


A factory weathered Hornby Seacow was the first victim. I didn';t much care for the effect on the underframe and the interior seemed to have had a faint coat of some spare LMS crimson. The inside of the hoppers and the ballast shoots got a coat of Humbrol matt leather , which proved very satisfactory and makes a big difference. I got enthusiastic and gave a Bachmann Limpet a thin wash of the same over the factory painted interior (much better than Hornby but a shade dark)


I'm not too keen on Railmatch Brake Dust - frigteningly yellow and light when wet and darker but still pretty yellow dry. Rescue for the bogies came with a coat of Tamiya Flat Earth XF52 - the fag end of a jar left over from painting the sleepers on Blacklade. I didn't mix it properly and the thin part proved a very effective wash on the underframe of the Limpet , though things like the air tanks need a proper coat


The chequerplate end platforms on the Seacow got a wash of matt leather, followed by a wash of flat earth. That was it for the Seacow - Hornby had effectively taken care of the sides for me. There will be better Seacows out there - a good few owned by folk on RMWeb - but I'm rather pleased with the result and its certainly a considerable improvement. The Limpet has had a few bodyside streaks but the body needs a proper working over with enamel washed and dry brush to tone it down and give it that faintly rusting washed out look<br />


One thing is nagging at me - I presume I can apply Railmatch matt (enamel) varnish over acrylics? I know one way goes and one way doesn't between enamel and acrylic - I take it it is enamel over acyrilc? I normally apply a sealing top coat of matt vanish and it does tend to lighten and tone down , which the Limpet needs


Overall impressions are that it's worked so far and seems effective over large areas. Thin washes can be problematic , and covering power seems poorer than with enamels . On the other hand , speed of drying means you can almost keep working. With enamel washes the Seacow would surely have taken a couple of evenings


And a photo of one of the kits that didn't get built :


<img src="http://img119.images...1024x768ko0.jpg" alt="Image" />


an etched kit for a Warflat , courtesy of DOGA. I'm rather looking forward to having a crack at this because it looks fairly simple and the nearest thing to a quick win possible with an etched kit. However it will have to wait till the vacuum based vice I've ordered from Squires arrives



posted on Sat May 10, 2008 2:18 pm


Having just lost a long posting , this will be short but I did manage some modelling over the bank holiday. The Warflat didn't get done , for lack of a vice (Squires didn't have what I ordered) and photos are in short supply because the other thing that didn't get done was sorting out the ground cover and fitting the storage tank to the fuelling point on the layout- at which point it should make a nice little diorama for taking photos


I finished the Limpet - wash of "off black to tone down the rust/black and wash of faded rail red + Humbrol 94 to tone down the orange. Excavating in my boxes to find the WD road van kit turned up a VGA I'd forgotten about which acquired Kadees and a wash of Tamiya Flat Earth on the underframe. Representing a coat of dirt on the stainless steel sides probably needs an airbrush and I haven't got one.


In the same box I found a VDA bought off someone else a decade ago as a doner. I didn't much care for the basic weathering so reweathered in washed of enamel and acrylic andI'm very pleased with the result In a burst of enthusiasm I fitted Kadee no5s - well if it went wrong this was a spare wagon - which was my first genuine Kadee installation . In a further burst of enthusiasm , I added a kadee to one end of the Limpet to replace the pocket I robbed for the VGA. Possibly an underset coupler would have been better than packing it - I suspect it's slightly high


On the wagon kit front, the WD road van progressed as far as cleaning up the flash and drilling holes for the handrails. Being resin, working with files drills etc in the flat is absolutely forbidden onsafety grounds, so I had to wait for a fine day and go outside. The instructions are a possible entrant for Metropolitan's Rubbish Instructions competition. They give tips on using cyano, and on painting, they tell you how to prepare the Dapol chassis and drill the holes. They do not contain any instructions on assembling the parts in the kit, though there's an exploded drawing attached


These 2 can rarely have appeared on the same workbench:<br /><img src="http://img356.images...1024x768xq3.jpg" alt="Image" />


The Slaters MR asymmetric box van of 1880 must be the earliest prototype available as a plastic kit. This is for someone else. With the POA Blackadder I have copious amounts of Blood On My Hands [ the last 2 elastoplasts were removed this morning - it seems to be twist drills not craft knives that do the damage]



The chassis came from a monstrosity Triang Hornby claimed to be a Winkle - the body went in the bin. That also surfaced from the boxes in the cupboard. Suitably cleaned up and with the V hangers filed out and representational detail . Then I made a blunder - digging in my boxes I found some A1 18" railfreight buffers , which sounded right late on a Bank Holiday without a photo in front of me, and fitted them. Photos of similar wagons in the Cheona books show "two stage" oleos on POAs and TTAs They are very firmly stuck - and they're staying.


The thing is , I'm not attempting to build "the definitive 4mm POA Blackadder" for desplay on the DEMU stand at a show. Its an attempt to knock up another airbrake wagon from bits out of the cupboard at nil cost on a Bank Holiday Monday . I actually havbe a 51L /Wizard Models kit and will build that properly - the likely fate of both is to form a rake of 6-7 scrap wagons for use on an exhibition layout , and quite probably there may be several such rakes required. This wagon is making up the numbers, and I suspect most of the effect is going to lie in painting and finishing . It is already dawning that things like the black and yellow stripes on the top won't be easy. Does anyone do Railease logo transfers?



Also the TTA chassis is representational at best - and a hasty look at Paul Barlett's site suggests it may be wrong for this body style:


Wagon with TTA chassis?:<br /><a href="http://gallery6801.f.../p23292324.html" >http://gallery6801.fotopic.net/p23292324.html</a><br />


Wagons with same body style as jonhall's resin casting from his demos- which is what I found in a box:

With FAT suspension but longer brake levers:

<a href="http://gallery6801.f.../p23292333.html" >http://gallery6801.fotopic.net/p23292333.html</a>


With pedistal suspension:<br /><a href="http://gallery6801.f.../p23292307.html" >http://gallery6801.fotopic.net/p23292307.html</a>



posted on Sun May 11, 2008 5:16 pm


Most of the ground work around the fuelling point was done last night , so we have pictures of the stock. Unfortunately I still have to resort to flash , despite a sunny day , so quality isn't perfect :


Weathered VDA and Limpet<br /><img src="http://img122.images...p1010312bi3.jpg" alt="Image" />


home mixed greys in acrylic , Railmatch faded rail red plus a coat of railmatch matt brushing varnish on the VDA . The varnish does bring out the faded silver grey


Weathered Seacow and partbuilt POA Blackadder<br /><img src="http://img158.images...p1010321uu8.jpg" alt="Image" />


posted on Thu May 29, 2008 9:30 pm


Some folk can nearly finish a DMU kit in 72 hrs (my 150 still sits as a black reproach on the bookcase). Me , I had a bank holiday and what did I manage in 72 hrs . Err... I fitted Kadees to two wagons, and part painted the Blackadder . The POA and a detailed Hornby TTA now have Kadees and I've used up all the number 47s in the packet. Possibly I should have used something shorter as the buffers look a bit far apart. The Blackadder is off-black , (except for the underframe which is suitably brown and the interior which is suitably rusty ) I'm in the corse of sourcing transfers. And that's all folks - except I waved the chequebook around in the direction of various detailing bits



It may not be quite right in the underframe department , but the POA is starting to look quite good - if you don't know your stuff on the details of wagon underframes


A rummage through boxes turned up some MEA bodies bought for 50 p each off the Bachmann stand. Dangerous things, cardboard boxes . I need some more TTA underframes, cheap


The MR box van was finished, painted in what may be too dark a shade of grey and dispatched to its new owner. I used acrylics cos I was rushing the job , and I have to admit I'm not entirely comfortable with athem as a medium at least for basic painting. Covering power is not as good as enamel - I'd hate to apply yellow acrylics - and they have a habit of drying up very fast - potentially disasterous if you've mixed a shade .



posted on Mon Jun 02, 2008 12:41 pm


A little progress over the weekend. Some of the shopping arrived on Saturday, and with a packet of flushglaze in my hot sticky little hand I attacked the LMS BG. It's rather embarassing to have to admit this is my first serious coach project - assuming a couple of Ratio MR coach kits in my mid teens are excluded (results were slightly better than might be expected, but not in the "keeps all feet on the floor" department). The last 2 layouts were freight only , the light rail project was a different ballgame , so its nearly 20 years since I had to worry about coaches


The flushglaze went in neatly enough with UHU - there's probably a much better way of doing it, but this seemed safer than superglue - and an excellent flushglaze effect was achieved [ There is a sequel to this- it doesn't go without saying ].The bars behind the glazing were reinstated with white cotton , a pair of tweezers and more dabs of UHU top and bottom. The old wheels were replaced with Hornby coach wheels , and while the body was off I started weathering the underframe. As it came , the van had the solebars painted blue , and I initially set about painting them black as it gave a most odd appearance, before spotting that the new Bachmann GUV also had blue solebars , and removing most of the black acrylic in haste with a fibreglass pencil. Black and white photos were no help at all here.


The underframe was then treated to a coat of dilute (enamel) Railmatch frame dirt as this seemed a suitable darkish brownish shade to approximate the colour of underframes in various colour photos of coaches. In a fit of enthusiasm, I then tackled the new GUV with the same stuff . It's remarkable how long painting an underframe actually takes , once you've got in around all the detail and painted the fronts and backs of the wheels (as they weren't primed , I'm not sure how durable this will be , but I don't make a habit of handling my stock by the backs or centres of the wheels , so it should stay on . At least it seems to , where wagons are concerned ).


This makes a big improvement to both vehicles and the BG is now starting to come together. I need to weather the ends suitably (the upper footsteps have been removed, as they had gone by this stage - electrification) and fit Kadees. The GUV is a very nice piece of work , and has NEM pockets at the correct height (I think) but a lot of parcels vans got truly filthy and this is a bit of a challenge of one of my first attempts at coach weathering


I'm still not particularly confident about the BG in this livery (blue/grey) and condition (gangwayed) in parcels traffic as late as the 80s, though a little less unhappy than I was. The relevant Cheona book turns up 3 photos - one gangwayed in all over rail blue in parcels traffic in mid 1975, and two with the gangways removed plated in all over blue, one c1980 . Paul Barlett's site turns up photos of derelict vans in the mid -late 80s , but blue, and with gangways removed/plated, and one photo of an LMS BG in blue/grey , from 1968.


So - blue/grey is a geniune livery, and gangwayed vehicles were used in parcels traffic , and to at least the mid 70s . However the only photo of this is in blue .. Blue/grey gangwayed Mk1 BGs were certainly used in parcels trains in the 80s, and LMS BGs were certainly used in parcels trains to some point in the 80s , probably the mid 80s , but the only photos found show vehicles in plain blue with gangways removed. So a blue/grey gangwayed LMS BG in a parcels train in the period 1985-90 is not proved impossible but seems a bit unlikely...


I'm not doing a repaint , and the gangways are rather nice work anyway . But there is enough flushglaze left to do another van, so if an all blue van turns up (they were certainly produced RTR) a pukka plated conversion might well be on the cards . [ Since then another one has turned up...] Overall , the base model seems quite good


In a rush of enthusiasm, I extracted a very elderly Hornby Mk2 from the bottom of the stockpile , in the naive expectation that similar improvements could be made. Alas , this is a very much worse proposition. For starters , the sides are about 4mm thick, so the "flushglaze" doesn't fit flush - there is still about a 2mm step , and it is not going to look too plausible against modern models . Then , the flushglaze doesn't fit. It's necessary to file back the inside of the window apertures to get it in at all , and with all the vents this is a major task, and one that is likely to result in a loss of crispness/minor damage. I wrote off 2 sets of windows before I worked all this out



Then the coach is not, as billed, a BSO Mk2c but a BFK mk2a, of which most of us have much less need . The rail blue is self coloured plastic . There is no white lining between blue and grey .There are probably some more faults I was too disheartened to spot. It's now gone back , literally , to the bottom of the pile


But the parcels train could end up looking rather nice...



posted on Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:04 pm


The blue/grey BG is now done, barring Kadees , and the wheels on one side which I forgot to brushpaint. Since it's now dawned that a parcels train has a gaurd and a guard needs a van its a necessary item at a practical level 'cos he can't ride in a CCT, the Maunsell Van Bs had gone by the 80s, and there's not really sufficient length for a Mk1 BG and much else, though I shall probably end up with a Mk1 BG in the end because they were so much a staple of parcels and van trains in from the 60s to the end


The Bachmann GUV is also more or less done, and as a payment on account here are some rough shots . You can see that "on Ravenser's bookcase" is not a figure of speech and the Branchlines 03 chassis just visible has made zero progress in at least 18 months . Despite being taken in daylight flash was necessary and played its usual tricks, and without a tripod, strewn with digital noise and not quite pinsharp they are blatently snapshots...


<img src="http://img223.images...3quartertc9.jpg" alt="Image" />


<img src="http://img225.images...rguvsidedv4.jpg" alt="Image" />


This is my first attempt ever at weathering a coach : I wouldn't use some of these methods on a passenger coach but NPCS notoriously got covered in grime and I can live with the results . The photograph over emphasises colour contrast but clearly the bogies need another wash of track dirt


I've sourced a TTA chassis and it clearly doesn't fit the MEA bodies. I suspect a scratchbuild will be needed . Anyone know a source of suitable heavy plate W irons and FAT suspension?



Comment posted by PMP on Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:56 pm


The bogies and underframe look too shiney, and the wheels are too brown vs underframe. I'd give the wheels a wash of matt dark grey/black to take the 'earthyness' away, and then give the underframe a coat of matt varnish first, before applying any more weathering. That way it'll harmonise your colours so none stand out above the others!


<img src="http://www.rmweb.co....n_thumbsup2.gif">




posted on Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:18 pm


The underframe is the bit that didn't get the treatment with matt brushing varnish..... Washes of Railmatch Frame Dirt seem to come out semi-gloss. The bogies aren't quite so shocking in real life as in the photos , but the brown wash was clearly far too weak here and needs redoing, and the ? battery box suffers from the same problem. With varnish on the whole lot , not just the body/solebars/roof , it should look more uniform





posted on Sun Jun 22, 2008 4:16 pm


I've patched up the GUV , the bogies no longer look like a fright (though I think I may have missed one wheel) and if Imageshack would stop running like extremely viscous glue , some pictures could be posted:

<img src="http://img57.imagesh...41/brguvfg3.jpg" alt="Image" />


<img src="http://img57.imagesh...3640x480cd4.jpg" alt="Image" />


And here's the LMS BG:

<img src="http://img57.imagesh...7/lmsbg5vk5.jpg" alt="Image" />



posted on Mon Aug 11, 2008 2:45 pm


I've finally got round to doing some modelling , and some Townstreet castings are decorating bookshelf and workbox


These are for some 3/4 relief buildings. You may be unaware that there are any 3/4 relief buildings in the range - this is 'cos there aren't . Once again I am suffering from my usual inability to build anything in accordance with the instructions, compounded by delusions of grandeur. The original intention was low relief but they seem to have grown in stages at the back.



In short I'm attempting to kit-bash plaster castings , and I'm not sure if it was a bright idea. The main building I've been working on is by way of a trial piece - the housefront casting (acquired via someone else) suffered some slight damage to guttering and downpipe , which I've attempted to patch - successfully with the guttering, more questionably with the downpipe . If it doesn't work out - well it was a test piece and the bits might otherwise have been ditched.


The main problem is the side walls: Townstreet's only stone side walls have very Scottish stepped gables: entirely authentic for Fife but I'm not a Scot and have no intentions of modelling Scotland. This leaves stucco castings and the need to reface them , or provide an alternative.



The low relief fronts are square ended with stonework continued round the edge. The stucco sides are mitred. Option one, based on something I'd seen from someone else, involved sawing off the edge of the end casting to allow for the depth of the front, then cladding the thing in Slaters rough cast stone plasticard, with a suitable cutout to fit round the casting for the front . This was for the chimney end. Option two involved a new end in 1/8th balsa, clad in the same Slaters plasticard, but this time with a sizeable overlap across the end of the facade casting . I had hoped to cover the end completely but there is a small gap : with the edge of the plasticard suitably treated/cut out at the mortar courses this is not very noticeable


I then painted up the castings and the plasticard stonework . First problem - you get a different shade on the plasticard and the plaster with the same paint (I was using Humbrol 94) . This was blended in by a hasty wash of Humbrol 93 on the side/end of the front casting, and the result is a fairly decent match. However a dry run suggests that Option 1 produces a very noticable butt joint with the two castings being very difficult to fit exactly to each other. This is unacceptable : the plasticard has been ripped off the side casting - it was stuck on with Evostick - and a new plasticard overlay will be prepared without the cutout , in the same was as for Option 2


As the building will be part of a terrace, you may well not see the side walls at all , which is the only reason I'm prepared to contemplate these approximations and bodges . What may well be visible is the gable and very top of the side wall, so something has to be done, rather than simply a plain bit of balsa


Its also very apparent why the full relief buildings (from which the side castings come) use mitred corners - I can't see any other way of securing a reasonably neat join between plaster castings. I suppose I could have tried filing a 45 degree mitre onto the front castings , thus sacrificing the cast stonework detail on the edges - the castings are about 9mm thick


I've also painted up castings for a three storey bank. These are over a centimetre thick, and I'm inclined to use the plasticard with a slight overlay onto the casting - anything less than about 9mm out of line with the adjacent building and all you'll see is the cast plaster detail on the side . Anything more - well , a dressed stone facade and rough stone sidewalls aren't exactly unknown , and any difference in texture /colour can be accounted for by the change of material. I suspect this is mainly going to be an issue at the gable and the top storey


I'm also having to cut down slate roof sections to fit the house ( involving careful use of a junior hacksaw ) and it looks like I'll have to cut pantiles to size for the bank



posted on Sun Aug 17, 2008 4:47 pm


A little more work on the Townstreet castings, and some pictures.


First the scene of battle (or as the Anglo Saxons preferred, the place of slaughter...)


<img src="http://img507.images...orkbenchpb2.jpg" alt="Image" />


You can see I've recently peeled off the Slaters cladding from the end plaster casting after a certain amount of shaking of head..


Here's the rework , showing the large overlap .This time I've gone a bit further and I've cut round individual stones , wherever possible, as well as filing back the edge of the plasticard to a bevel to avoid a prominent line, and filing out the mortar courses at the edge .


<a href="http://imageshack.us" ><img src="http://img224.images...treetendrq2.jpg" alt="Image" /></a>


Here we have the frontages - I have still to paint the window bars white


<img src="http://img507.images...rontageswy4.jpg" alt="Image" />


I've been experimenting with the slates. Initially I used Humbrol 112 Tarmac - and after comparing it with some roofs visible out of the window, I decided it was far too dark. The small test piece (off cut from cutting down the roof) features half painted with 112 tarmac then given an acrylic grey wash composed of Tamaya matt white and matt black (roughly to the shade of the darker Railfreight grey) . The other half was an attempt to mix the tarmac with some white enamel to tone it down.


I'll be going with the Tamaya wash.....


<img src="http://img232.images...eettilesbf7.jpg" alt="Image" />



Comment posted by c37408 on Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:15 pm



How odd, I just spent some of Saturday dirtying up a very similar looking Parcels BG! I'll post some pics later. Yours looks great to me though, I especially the variety of shades of blue it now has in that second pic!



posted on Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:28 am


The GUV is partly a demonstration of the difference made by decent photography, as I didn't actually rework the body weathering at all. First shot is taken in haste with flash , close up - which tends to do awkward things to colour and certainly accentuates any contrast. The later shots are taken in natural light . The underframe needed a bit of reworking though



posted on Sat Aug 30, 2008 12:40 pm



Not too much to report, but on account , as it were , here is a hasty snap of the POA Blackadder, which still needs wasp stripe on top edges and buffer beams , and further weathering



<img src="http://img370.images...p1010494zd5.jpg" alt="Image" />


I have been struggling with the roof of the larger Townstreet building , which is pantiles - the supplied castings need to be cut down in both dimensions, and the break on the narrower roof at the back has not come out straight - as it is the back of a 3/4 relief building against a backscene I am pressing on , in the expectation it won't be noticable when in position on the layout


Painting is Humbrol 82 , lining orange, which was the nearest enamel I could find but is still a bit bright and well orange. I have applied an extremely weak wash of matt leather acrylic toned down a little with matt flesh. Perhapsd this is slightly too light a weathering coat , but the results of tests using thicker heavier coats on off cuts were not good at all



posted on Sat Sep 13, 2008 6:35 pm


Moderate progress has been made with the Townstreet buildings. The small house is now complete, the windows properly painted , and the bank is complete except for its roof - I think I need a final toning down acrylic wash on the pantiles which are still a bit fresh and new.


I had quite a few problems with the roofs . No way could I get the slate roof of the small house to fit without gaps, and I ended up filling the gaps at the top of the gables and at the ridge with very fine grade milliput (about the first time I've got milliput to work well - maybe using a pack that was less than 5 years old helped ) The gap around the chinmey base was filled in the same way, and painted to resemble concrete flashing (121 pales stone ) this worked rather well.


The stones picked out in 110 chocolate stood out a bit too much even after a grey acylic wash - I had to apply another yellow brown acrylic wash then reweather with very faint dark grey to tone the whole lot down


But I must say the bank looks a very very impressive structure when the pantiles are put in place as a dry run


To give a glazed effect to the windows I painted over the black with Humbrol Gloss Cote



posted on Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:19 pm


Well, a bit of progress to report. The bank is finished and I'm pleased with it. I still haven't cracked weathering pantiles, but as reasonably new tiles it looks fine. I've also had a go at paining and finishing two buildings which someone else built, using the same approach. These seemed to come out a bit darker - perhaps ~I was slightly heavy handed with the dark acrylic weathering wash, perhaps I made it too close to black and it should have been more of a grey. But still the overasll effect is good , and stone buildings which have been cleaned up a bit a different times are not exactly the same shade.


Blacklade, my Challenge layout , has been a bit stalled in recent months. The two major outstanding jobs have been fit the point motors /decoders and build the screen wall , and somehow other tasks, commitments, work and so forth have taken priority. But I have at least taken a first step , and built up the first of two MERG accessory decoder kits , kindly sourced by paulcheffus. Now I haven't actually tested the thing yet - it was only finished on Sunday night - but the thing is finished, and I'm very hopeful I haven't accidentally fried the IC chips.


Considering I haven't attempted any form of electronics circuit construction since I was in my teens - and that was only a few very simple projects at school , most of which didn't work - this may seem like tempting fate . However I have to pay tribute to the kit design and technical support provided with it , in that I assembled the thing , slowly, but without any serious difficulties or real problems . Apart from one hasty appeal here to discover which way is positive on a capacitor , there was nothing that actually proved a stumbling block .



I think I know the real reasons why my teenage school efforts at simple electronics were normally a failure:


1.They didn't teach me anything about soldering . To be specific , they didn't teach me the necessity for cleanliness of the work pieces and tip to achieve a joint, anything about recovery time, or the role of flux. Maybe something was said at the beginning of the lesson and perhaps I missed those 2 sentences , and perhaps I wouldn't have missed key points like that if it had been an English lesson or a history lesson. I don't know. But I'm quite sure nobody ever actually showed me how to make a solder joint or taught the theory of good soldering - if they did it can have been no more than 10-15 seconds by the desk and half a sentence


2. Nobody ever mentioned that you can destroy an electronic component by overheating it. I didn't hear that till years later.


I remember lots of repeated attempts to remelt joints with a lingering iron in the hope that they would flow properly and not be dry. No wonder most things didn't work - I must have cooked several of the components in the assembly process


This time I've been very careful - fine tip bit , straight in and out, minimal time on the job , give components a chance to cool before the next joint - and the bit time to recover. As I say it's not yet tested , but fingers crossed - the joints look neat bright little cones, as they are supposed to



Another job under way is weathering a Hornby PO open for someone else. This is the 4 plank open - acquired second hand for not very much when my local model shop was closing down . Modifications have been slight - I removed the brake gear on one side as a granite company's 4 planker is most unlikely to have had independent brakes like a bottom door mineral . The wagon is beaing worked into post war condition - ie very tatty . After a "toning down " wash of a lighter grey to fade the lettering and a further wash of a timber colour , I've painted out several of the planks in a different timber mix.


I am not quite sure I've cracked a suitable mix for timber. My first effort, concocted out of Humbrol 94, some Railmatch Centro Grey (not sure what use I have for Centro grey.._) and 53 Gunmetal had a faint greenish shade - gunmetal is recommended under these circumstances , but any noticeable quantity seems to have a substantial and not wholly desirable effect on the shade . The second attempt, for the planks, featured Humbrol 110 , Centro grey and a faint trace of Gunmetal and seems rather better , though perhaps rather yellower -

"representational "; pine planking rather than a faithful shade , which would surely be more of a silver - grey . The solebars got a second wash with the revised wood mix - it's very noticeable in shots of weathered wooden POs that the solebars end up similar colour and of a piece with the body



Comment posted by PaulCheffus on Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:13 am


<cite>Ravenser wrote:</cite><br />1. They didn't teach me anything about soldering To be specific , they didn't teach me the necessity for cleanliness of the work pieces and tip to achieve a joint, anything about recovery time, or the role of flux. Maybe something was said at the beginning of the lesson and perhaps I missed those 2 sentences , and perhaps I wouldn't have missed key points like that if it had been an English lesson or a history lesson. I don't know. But I'm quite sure nobody ever actually showed me how to make a solder joint or taught the theory of good soldering - if they did it can have been no more than 10-15 seconds by the desk and half a sentence


2. Nobody ever mentioned that you can destroy an electronic component by overheating it I didn't hear that till years later.




I was originally taught to solder by my Father at the tender age of eight but you are right school never did explain things properly. As one of my hobbies during my teens was electronics (possibly influenced by my Fathers interest as a Radio Amateur) I learn't quite quickly that certain electronic components don't like heat.







posted on Fri Oct 24, 2008 4:51 pm


A photo of the wagon - transfers are now on, and a wash of off-black "dirt"; will be added over everything. I'm not entirely sure about the ironwork - flash tends to exaggerate things, but it is slightly red in natural light, and perhaps something a little further towards chocolate brown would be better


<img src="http://www.rmweb.co....le.php?id=39204" alt="">




posted on Fri Oct 31, 2008 11:02 pm


The wagon is now finished - unfortunately I didn't think to take another shot before delivering it . It recieved the thin wash of black (which picked out the planking slightly)and the lower regions got a thin wash of Railmatch trackdirt which makes the wheels stand out less, before an overall coat of matt varnish. To be honest the whole lot didn't radically change the appearance from the photo


A certain amount of time over the weekend was spend playing about with DCC - I was supposed to be sorting out points on Blacklade , but with the layout up it seemed like a good chance to use it as a programming track - one of its functions in life.


The Hornby-Lima NSWGR 422 class was duly fitted with a decoder. Breaking in was something of a nightmare at first as I couldn't get the body off , even though it is supposed just to remove from the chassis . I resorted to business cards down both sides to get some leverage , (and I mean cards plural...) and eventually managed to free the ends . I suppose I should at this point post a photo of the interior /chassis : unfortunately I didn't take one at the time and you can guess why I'm not anxious to remove the body and take one now.... Consequently you'll just have to use your imagination and picture - a chassis with a very Lima looking round pancake motor complete with beige blob , plus a largish circuit board amidships with a DCC socket in it, and at the far end a recessed open area. The loco has working headlights - a twin white LEDs in a block at at each end centrally above the cab windows- which are powered by 4 brass strips fixed to the interior of the roof, pressing on contact pads on the circuit board. There are no cab interiors<br />


The general effect can be judged from the photo - this is in fact an 80-class of 1981, taken at Broken Hill in Dec 1983, and not the earlier 422-class (1969) or 442- class (1971) as the copyright is mine,but the effect of the front end is very closely similar (for the record the top of the cab of the 422 is a lower shallower profile , and it lacks the cut away recess at the apex of the cab in which the horns are fitted on the 442 class and 80 class - I've been doing some hasty looking at photos)


<img src="http://www.rmweb.co....le.php?id=40692" alt="">


There are some pictures of 422s on the Aucision site in support of their forthcoming high-spec 422 class


I fitted a TCS T1 with harness - the new version with Back EMF , which was stuck in the convenient recess at the end with double sided tape and the harness wires restrained with parcels tape . Unfortunately the harness can be seen through the cab windows at one end - the recess is where there might be a cab interior but isn't


Performance is good. With a bit of tweaking (and track and wheel cleaning) I managed to get it to move at speed step 2 of 128 . Start volts were set at 1V [entered as 18], and I've played about with the speed curve by making mid volts 4.6V [80] and top speed 11V This reduces the tendency to high speed running at the upper end while leaving a good top speed : an excellent moderate and controllable speed is maintained up to about speed step 70 I left the suppression capacitors in place - it performs as well as I could hope from a pancake motor and rather better than I expected . I tried experimenting with dimming of the LED but it really doesn't seem any dimmer . There is only one function required - for the lights - though the headlights are directional. The decoder has all sorts of wierd and wonderful US light effects , but as I'm not sure if any of them are relevant to NSWGR operations I haven't used them



All in all , it looks like a good 'un and I'm very pleased with it. Many thanks to Shortliner and Chris Ellis at MTI for selling on the review copy [ Now all I need is some wagons . And mayby a CPH tin hare for the passengers. And about 6' x 18"; plus fiddle for a small terninus , plus some rock moulds , and some gum trees ... And space to put it... Stop !]



posted on Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:54 pm


Contrary to appearances , I've actually been doing a bit of modelling recently .


New Year is an appropriate time for taking stock, and I duly did. There are an uncomfortable amount of projects outstanding , and accordingly this years New Year Resolution comes from Magnus Magnussen : "I've started, so I'll finish" . Or in other words - no new projects . This doesn't mean I'm not going to start anything new - it means I'm trying to avoid buying anything new in order to sort out the stuff to which I've already committed , and which is adorning the book case or sitting in the cupboard. Or worse still sitting on top of the cupboard forming a pile of debris


Buying 153s doesn't count, of course . They were already on the list as a carry over from 2008 , because Blacklade needs 153s to enable multiple unit working . My Central 153 has been rushed into service , with a TCS T1 decoder , the floor, tables, and seat backs painted (I used a spare bottle of Railmatch Centro Grey , for which I have no use at all) and passengers added - Slater's figures painted up with acrylics and the legs cut off. I tried to modify them to remove some of the period air (eg WWI forage caps) but you can't see much inside beyond the shapes



I've also had a fit of putting Kadees onto everything with NEM pockets . The 153 requires a long and an extra long Kadee - two longs together are not enough separation with 23m vehicles. The 57 I picked up cheap off the Bachmann stand at Warley has has another T1 fitted and runs very nicely , and has acquired long NEM Kadees - anything shorter fouls the 3 link coupling . So have my FEAs . These were ordered basically to support the venture without any actual need but I decided that if I had container wagons there really ought to be some containers for them , and I've bought some C- Rail kits . Four 40's are now built and nearly all the transfers applied. Yang Ming , in particular, is something of a pig on the livery front with 8 seperate transfers on the door alone. Being a cheapskate I mixed up my own blue for the P+O box and I think its come out a bit light. The containers are the first time I've used Microsol - quite essential given the ribbed sides - and its proved very effective


I've also got a couple of tank containers - on the first one I tried painting after assembly and discovered it makes painting the framing in black very difficult indeed. The second kit has therefore had the framing prepainted before assembly - much easier. I have also struggled to get a decent white finish to the tank barrel - I'm up to 3 coats now on the first tank


The one perminent Kadee fitting was to the 422 class , where I cut off the very obtrusive forward projection from the bogie which carried a Roco coupling . After much headscratching the best I could come up with was plasticard packing behind the buffer beam to create a platform , onto which I glued a piece of 10 thou plasticard overlapping the buffer beam, then glued the draft box in place on top with solvent and reinforced the joint with a fillet of Zapagap cyano. Kadee used was #24 Talgo , but with the draftbox only. I've only done one one end at this stage because I'm not confident of the strength of the joint


There's also the new stock box, mainly for engineers wagons , which I've knocked up out of a boxfile , based on an idea in one of Chris Ellis' books, not to mention the Parkside PMV which keeps failing to get done, and the possibility of sorting out the old Airfix 31 , thanks to a useful note by K9-70 in the DCC forum



posted on Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:23 pm


Things are looking up...


I've built the Parkside PMV , although perhaps it's not my best kit ever. Things kept going wrong and having to be bodged. Firstly , when I assembled the underframe there was a slight rock , and the solebars were too firmly stuck to remove one and pack it. After trying to drift the bearing by opening out the hole slightly I was driven to the horrible bodge of getting out the soldering iron , and drifting the bearing with a 25W Antex. That wheel set is now a little loose and sloppy , giving enough float to ensure all 4 feet are on the floor, which is a potential problem with a wheelbase this long.


On the floor is also where two of the roof vents ended up , and as the carpet is green , there they'll stay.... I resorted to bodging up a representation of the roof vents with scraps of microrod and solvent


I had glued on 4 footboards before I checked Paul Bartlett's website and found that by the 1980s all footboards seem to have been removed . I've removed mine and cut away the struts for the lower footboards, though I can't remove the strap across the spring and I haven't represented the brackets which used to support the footboards. The final bodge was that I needed tall vac pipes - I don't have any SR ones, and I resorted to some LNER pipes from ABS


It's going to get Kadees and then I can have DMU tail traffic. Maybe the SR bogie brake comes next.


The Airfix 31 is up and running on DCC as well , as reported elsewhere, though I need to get in and oil the worm gears. Then I just have to produce a detailed body....



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