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Showing content with the highest reputation on 14/09/13 in all areas

  1. Drainage ditches are not really very interesting - well about as - no even I can't commit that pun! But, they are important and I have realised that I have got mine all wrong. A couple of days ago on a military rail forum someone posted some links to a couple of original films. on British and one German and I have watched each several times over now. Strangely enough it is actually the German one which is most interesting as it must have been shot after the big break through in March 1918 and shows off loads of captured British positions. Well, amongst the mass of detail (in both films), it clearly shows the drainage ditches by the side of the track that I had already identified as a feature and had incorporated into my track bed. Only thing is, is that I went to great lengths and represented piled dirt on each side of the ditches. Silly me! The film clearly shows a very precise slit trench with the excess soil having been removed. Obvious really as the whole point would have been to provide drainage which a pile of earth would have prevented. It is one of those things that may never have been noticed but I would have known and hopefully all you people out there (over 10,000 views now!), who see the final layout will look and say 'those ditches are correct'! Was a fairly easy matter to undo all my good work but far to late to get the vacuum out to clear up the mess so a touch up of paint and more mud will have to wait until tomorrow. Those films are a mixed blessing actually as in one go they provide far more information than all the other published sources put together - suddenly my eighteen feet is just not enough to get it all in. Apart from messing around with ditches I have finished off the field kitchen. Again lack of information shows up again as had no idea what colour it should be. What I settled for was green for anything wood but as the main body is like a huge range stove I thought it wouldn't have been painted but stove polished like our Victorian fire places. Knowing how rusty these get if not polished regularly (which they aren't!), I coated the whole thing in ModelMates rust and then dry(ish) brushed MetalCote gun metal over the top - see what you think. I have not gone too over the top (no, I am not punning again!), with what you could term environmental weathering i.e. mud and dust as want everything to look consistent so will deal with such things all together right at the very end - oh how I look forward to that bit! As a complete aside, this is not the first time that German propaganda has been useful to me. When we were building or kitchen extension there was some debate with the planning department as to how big it could be (a percentage of the current building area). Now this area was defined by what was there at the time of some 1950's town planning act and our garage and out building were in contention as couldn't be proved how old they were. Well, every year the Severn Valley Railway (at the bottom of our garden), have a 1940's weekend and proudly on display was a German recce photo of the station area dated 1941 which clearly showed our house - and - garage! Didn't have anymore trouble from the planners!
    3 points
  2. Hello to those of you out there who have been interested enough to come and read my ramblings I have been on RMWeb for a while now, and always intended on setting up a blog. This is my first venture into it, so here goes .... My present model railway features a depot/yard, and the use of a Bachmann 08 shunter is an important part for one of the shunting moves that takes place (weekly tanks to fuel point). I have had no end of trouble with unreliable running of my shunter, which I knew would be the case largely thanks to the 0-6-0 wheelbase and the badly positioned electrical pick-ups.. (One wonders whether Bachmann conceived this particular design feature on a Friday afternoon perhaps?... ). I have been having a mental battle with myself over the last few months as to the best way of overcoming the issue. I have always been one for accuracy (well, my version of accuracy at any rate), so the solution I found my mind presenting me with was quite upsetting . A Match-Wagon, akin to the type that 08's were seen trundling around with to help make track circuitry "back in the day", which could have electrical pick-ups added and be permanently coupled to the 08 at one end. Great idea! Except.... the period I model is pretty much present day.... with hardly any 08s around let alone a prototypical operation involving a match wagon! However, the other day I read an article in which several models had been produced by the layout's creator that were a "feel" for the real thing, not necessarily an accurate, rivet-counting rendition of the model. I was sold. I therefore set about creating my match wagon, which was to be a Bachmann CAR (Well, a version of the CAR, which is in my workshop and I can't be doing with trotting down there to find out the right code now!). My intention was to make a fictional wagon. I dug out the ol' transfer box, had a rummage, and found some antique Fox Transfers "HST Barrier Vehicle" transfers. The first job was fitting some pick-ups, which I did using 0.45mm brass handrail soldered to a small section of copper-clad circuit board which was glued to the underneath of the wagon. The handrail wire was then bent so that they "sprung" against the back of the wheel flanges. A little crude maybe, but effective as it turns out. At the same time, I removed the main body of the wagon from the chassis and added a rather large lump of steel inside the wagon body to improve weight, the theory being this would force the wheels down for better electrical conductivity., whilst conveniently clearing yet more clutter from my workbench in the process Next came the creation of the entirely fictional wagon. The model I had was (somewhat ironically) an electrification wagon, with a green base livery with wasp stripes at the ends. Firstly, I blanked out the "Electrification" wording by painting a simple black patch to the sides of the wagons. I then cut some black plasticard, applied the "Barrier Vehicle" transfers less the "HST" initials, and left these to one side to dry properly. Modern overhead warning flash transfers were then applied in the usual OTT fashion to bring the wagon up to date with HSE legislation . The wagon was reassembled, dummy flashing tail lights and fixed headlights were fitted to the lamp brackets, an old Romford Screw-Link coupling was painted red and left strategically on the wagon, and finally the "Barrier Vehicle" Boards were glued to the sides. I fed the wires from the pick up board on the wagon through the two predrilled holes on the buffer beam that would be coupled to the shunter, then put the wagon to one side. Fictional wagon created ! The next task was to set about making my BR Blue liveried Bachmann class 08 look a little old and tired. The nearest to any form of prototype for a BR Blue liveried 08 in recent(ish) use was 08706, which I believe was based at Toton. So here came my next compromise; I model the South West, and ordinarily I would only entertain locos/stock which I knew had run atleast at some point in the South West in the given era. This fictional modelling was becoming interesting though, and was certainly giving me some flexibility so I decided this would be my prototype. I was becoming lazy though and to be quite frank I could not be bothered to do a full "as per prototype" representation of 08706. To do so I would have needed to make up another box for the L/H side of the loco, which is located infront of the lower two side grills, and modify the lighting conduit. I stripped the loco down and dismantled the wheelsets both to allow access for a thorough clean, and for weathering. Clean completed, I painted the underframe, wheelsets etc with a coat of Railmatch "Frame Dirt" from their Acrylic range. Two holes were then drilled in the front bufferbeam of the shunter to accept the wires from the wagon (these were drilled in the position that air pipes would have occupied anyway). The wires were carefully fed through, then soldered onto the pick up wires within the shunter. The shunter was then reassembled. Attention was then turned to the body. I stripped off the numbers and data panels carefully using cotton wool buds dipped in thinners. The numbers came away quite easily actually on this model, without damaged the paintwork beneath. Numbers/Data panels from the "Modelmasters" range were applied, followed by copious quantities of post-2000 Warning Flashes. The finish I was after on the model was to make it look like it was dirty, hard worked, with faded pain, etc. I rummaged around my paint draw and found an old, but unopened, tin of Railmatch Enamel "Faded Blue". This was a bonus, as I had already tried my previously successful technique of fading BR Blue with White Weathering powders...and failed...miserably....it looked awful. These were rapidly washed off again needless to say. The first job was to get some grime on the body, so I reached for one of my Vallejo Acrylic washes, and applied this in liberal but workable quantities. Immediately after this was applied, the vast majority of this was removed again with cotton wool buds. This results in the grimy wash being left in all the nooks & crannies with the general surfaces left fairly clean. Once this was completed, I reached for the "Faded blue". Using cotton wool buds, I applied the "Faded blue" in minute quantities, rubbing it into all raised surfaces that were originally painted blue. The effect this achieves, once dry, is to give the illusion of "bleached by the sun" paintwork. The loco was then treated to more of the grimy stuff, after the roof had been given a coat of Railmatch "Roof Dirt" Acrylic paint where required. This served to "blend" everything together. A dummy Buckeye coupling was made up using an old whitemetal one I had kicking around, and this was painted shades of rust and attached to the bufferbeam in the swung back position. The release lever assembly from a Bachmann 66 was added above the coupling, and a coupling & two air pipes completed the bufferbeam. This was then treated to the same grimy wash as previously described. The shunter was finally looking like a filthy workhorse Lamps were fitted to the lamp brackets and a spare one was added to the side of the shunter. I think details like this, when placed strategically really do enhance a model. Attention then turned back to the wagon, which was now looking rather clean compared to the shunter! Firstly, I wanted to add a shunter (as in person not machine!) to the wagon to cater for reverse running. I found a Dapol track worker with a fairly good pose (i.e. arm waving on). I duly decapitated said worker, and brutally slaughtered a Bachmann modern trackside worker in similar fashion.. and then created my Franken-shunter . The poor fellow was then painted accordingly, and added to the wagon. The wagon then got a treatment of the grimy stuff. Handrails were painted white on both the wagon and shunter, then weathered using photographs for reference. This pretty much completed the models, and I set about giving them a test run..... and whoooop whooooooop! I now have a reliably running shunter that can trundle around the depot and yard at ease Moral of the story for me? Well, don't get too bound up with the nitty gritty details. I realise this would not do for some, but for me it is an avenue I may explore again in the future. Life's too short, and following a recent health scare I am only too aware of this now, so why sit there putting up with a problem when a solution can be created? Anyway, enough of my ramblings for one evening , have a look at the pics and see what you think?
    2 points
  3. For the members of the RMweb John Thaw fan club. I have followed the TV series of inspector Morse and became a fan of John Thaw. For my diorama’s I searched for names so I started to read some of the Inspector Morse detectives by Colin Dexter. I discovered that the personality of inspector Morse was more complicated in the books than represented in the series. I also discovered a nice link between inspector Morse and our interest in railways and railway history. You can read my discovery in the article about Fanshawe Ltd in the Northall Gazette. In this case I have used the name of inspector Morse and made him a provision merchant in Northall a long time ago. Morse Teas is a real tea brand in Canada and still available. And of course some pictures of my modelling efforts of Fanshawe’s premises. The two windows are resized textures from internet and placed to try out. Thanks for reading. Regards, Job
    2 points
  4. Now for one of my smaller projects.... A few months ago I bought an F1/ F2 off of ebay. The body I thought was sublime but sadly the same couldn't be said of the chassis. In particular, the wheels were woefully under-sized. I began by taking the wheels off (and ripping my fingers and thumbs basically to shreds in the process- who knew that bunt brass flanges make excellent knife blades?) I then replaced them with spares from a Hornby M7, and fitted new connecting rods which are again Hornby spares, this time from their 08 shunter. I then gave the loco a new coat of black paint and restored its identity with HMRS pressfix transfers. For less than ten hours' work, spread over a week, this I feel is a very credible result.
    2 points
  5. Chassis assembled last night with pickups temporarily attached to the motor it had a couple of hours on the rolling road
    2 points
  6. Well, I do actually own one... but sometimes I just choose to "go with the flow" when it comes to weathering.. especially so with wagons. I have had to be a little more careful with which products/techniques I use in the hobby since having kids, so I very rarely get the airbrush out these days. The photo below shows the wagons, in this case some Bachmann Seacows, in different stages of weathering. I find it helps if I set up a "production line" when doing this sort of work. The wagons shown here were all weathered without an airbrush, using washes, powders, rust "pastes" (mixed up "in-house") etc. In my opinion, these techniques work quite well on wagons, which are fairly unloved on the cosmetic front anyway. I'm happy with the outcome, what do you think?
    1 point
  7. So the Paul Chetter sound chip was duly wired in and a whopping 2200uF capacitor hooked up and lo it did chuff I know the chuff rate is not right, that's a job for tomorrow
    1 point
  8. At long last the eBay seller has come back on line and I was able to order the sofas for the living room. I've not had to wait that long for the real thing anyhoo, a couple of snaps of them in place in front of the TV ready for occupants Just waiting now for Black Cat Tech to finish getting married/moving house (bless) and then I'll fit one of his lovely universal lighting kits to the roof
    1 point
  9. sad I know, but I made a list of things to do to finish the loco - 14 things, so that's two weeks if I only do one a day - eeeek! so here was the kitchen table workbench last night The chassis is ready for primer, as is the front bogie having cut off the front section of the Hornby lump and drilling to take a self tapper to hold a Bachmann small coupling in place. The bodyshell is almost done, I still need to add the screen/window that does behind the driver's seat. I have slotted the bottom of the cab doors to provide prototypical appearance and should allow the fall plate the pass under on tight curves I've also added a couple of 1mm plastikard "cheeks" to the front so the 8F chassis sits a little more snugly Some of these jobs were not on the list
    1 point
  10. I was all set to start a new project, completely unrelated to Thompson's Pacifics, when a timely email from an old friend reminded me I had yet to finish the most controversial one of all... This is a project I first had a go at in 2007, on the old RMweb. The project's premise was clear: to build a model of the Thompson A1/1, Great Northern, from a Gresley A1. Much as Thompson did, in a way, by adapting the standard components of the A1 and converting them into the larger Thompson 6ft 8in Pacific. In my original build, I used a Hornby Railroad A1. This was the monstrous result back then... Not pretty now I look back on it, but this was Genesis. My very first kitbashing exercise. I never did get the valve gear to work, and I broke up 60113 for spares two years ago, knowing that it was, sadly, not brilliant and also not going to fit into the vision I had for my next layout. Now however, Graeme King has come to the rescue in the shape of some more excellent resin components - and it's surprising how similar, in some ways, the resin kit adapts a Hornby A1 (or in this case, A3) to create an A1/1 to the ideas and methods I was using all the way back in 2007. You will need a Hornby "Sandwich" A3 for this conversion, for the correct washout plug and mudhole doors arrangement on the firebox. In my case, I bought a second hand bodyshell of this locomotive on eBay. So far, I've only tackled the fitting of the largest resin parts to the carefully cut up bodyshell. The way to fit the three major parts (the smokebox, the front running plate, and the set of two running plates) is not wholly different to that I covered in my A2/1. You need to remove the front smokebox (and keep the snifting valve safe - this sticks onto the top of the resin smokebox), and carefully remove the running plates on both sides, and cut a notch into the firebox to allow the the replacement resin parts to fit. In my case, I deliberately cut the notches a little larger to fit the S curve snugly, with Humbrol modelling filler applied to fill the cab and leave it smooth when sanded. To my annoyance, the bodyshell had been mutilated by its previous owner so badly, that the splashers were beyond repair. Graeme's build on the LNER forum (found here) used the rear of the splashers to support the resin running plates. I will have to improvise a set of splashers behind the running plates on either side of the boiler to further strengthen them, unfortunately. The bodyshell did only cost a tenner though, well worth the price! The resin front running plate extension needs to be cut so that the top of the A2/3's angular step is removed, leaving the bottom section of running plate intact. After sanding this down, a notch needs to be cut in the centre of the running plate at the rear, in order for it to fit around the diecast block of the Hornby A1 chassis. Once that is done, the front running plate, and the resin running plates need to be mated together (and to be completely level so as to fit onto the firebox sides perfectly. Fitting the resin smokebox component (which simply slots in thanks to Graeme's inventive and simple "sleeve" at its rear edge) will help in locating the resin components, as the bottom of the smokebox has a notch which forms one half of the smokebox saddle (the front running plate has the other half). One that is done, you can fit the Hornby A1 smokebox into the front - it simply slots in and can be glued with a little superglue at the rear. The face of the model is more or less completed by test fitting the resin deflectors. It certainly looks like 60113, albeit the number will need to be changed soon! I know there's a debate going on elsewhere about the pros and or cons of these resin components plus the ready to run chassis used with them, against full kits for these models; but I must post some defense of Graeme's brilliance with thoughtful kit design and resin casting. If it were not for Graeme's hard work and willingness to supply these well designed parts in his spare time, there would be an awful lot less models of the various Thompson Pacific classes running about on layouts up and down the country, including many examples of A2/2 and A2/3 (and recently, my own conversion to make a reasonable A2/1). It should also be remembered that the interchangeability of the standard components between the real Thompson Pacifics has made building any one of these classes using Graeme's components, affordable. Some of us do have the spare cash to order X kitbuilt model made by Y kitbuilder, and that's absolutely fine and I would never wish to decry anyone being a "cheque book modeller" (because quite frankly, if I had the cash, I'd be one of these cheque book modellers too). However, not all of us do have the money to spend on a full DJH or PDK kit, and on wheels, gearbox and motor, and then pay someone to build said kit professionally. That's where Graeme's components fill a massive gap in the market for those modellers who do want to portray a section of the East Coast mainline; and let's face it, without one or two examples of these classes running about, it's not a wholly accurate representative of the period 1944-1964 of the ex-LNER main lines. Rightly or wrongly, there's now entirely different two ways of building models of these Thompson Pacific classes, and the results on both sides speak for themselves. Let's not try and turn it into a "them and us" scenario of kitbash versus kitbuilt. It's more a question of economics and the personal comforts of modelling. Neither right or wrong; different, and it suits some of us better than others. This final photograph for the day perhaps sums the whole situation up for me. I now have four wholly reasonable portrayals of each of Thompson's Pacifics. I could not have envisaged that without major expenditure into the thousands of pounds, three years ago. I'm not too far away from my dream of lining up one of each ex-LNER Pacific class, in apple green livery, alongside each other on shed. Once the A1/1 is finished, it'll be a reality. Until next time, when I tackle the other resin components supplied with the kit, and produce a "unique" solution to the splashers problem. Good night, thanks for reading.
    1 point
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