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Showing content with the highest reputation on 21/06/19 in Blog Entries

  1. 14 points
    Bullfinch is just about done, apart from some small but enjoyable final touches such as crew, glazing and some suitable lamps. Here it faces off against City of Truro! The plates are from 247 Developments and It's numbered for the post-1912 numbering scheme. The kit has been terrific fun and while the end result is more impressionistic than anything else, it does look different enough to the City to represent the small-drivered 4-4-0s and is certainly a nice runner. I can't remember if the City was sprayed with a rattle-can or airbrush, but it would have been done using Railmatch's later shade of GWR green, whereas for the Bird I opted for Precision's 1906-1928 shade, and applied it with an airbrush. The black bits were then brush painted with Lifecolor "weathered black" which dries quickly and is a very matt, almost dark grey shade. I've still to give the tender a good going over. There are a few things I'd do differently if I was building another one. My rivets are rubbish - must try harder - and the boiler bands are a bit on the heavy side, albeit matching the ones on the Airfix firebox. A job I might get around to sometime is moving the cranks in-board a bit as they don't need as much clearance as they've got here. However, I'd be loathe to alter the quartering so that might be a job that waits until there's some other reason to take apart the chassis - hopefully not for a while! Of course I would like a curved-frame Bulldog but I have to be realistic and say that I'm already at capacity with GWR engines - not that there aren't a few more in the kitbuilding queue, including such lovelies as a County Tank, 2021 class, Armstrong goods, a De Glehn compound and a few others. Better get cracking!
  2. 6 points
    Whilst the 14XX 0-4-2 is more closely associated with the last years of goods services to Kington and Presteigne, Dean Goods locos did once work through from Rhayader to Leominster, when the through route via Capel Bethesda, New Radnor and Kington was open. It seemed appropriate, therefore, to have an example on the roster for 'Bethesda Sidings', working the occasional goods train from Leominster and back. I am aware that much has been written about the Oxford Rail model, not all of it good and in truth, I probably wouldn't have bothered with a Dean Goods, had this RTR model not been available, but I had the opportunity to acquire one as a birthday present last year, so I thought I would. Whilst an etched kit or even a thorough upgrade of the old Mainline body might have 'put right' the various faults that some have pointed out, I decided that the model passed the Captain's 'Black 5' test (if it looks like a Black 5, then it must be a Black 5). I was fortunate to end up with a decent-running example in BR black and am happy to report that the gaps in my knowledge about the class mean that I am content enough to give it house room on the layout. I decided that my Dean Goods would be one of the last ones in BR service, namely 2538, which was allocated to 89A Oswestry prior to withdrawal on 31st May 1957. Although that date falls within my somewhat flexible operating period on 'Bethesda Sidings', I might perhaps pretend that it's usefulness on the Bethesda goods allowed it to survive a little longer. The loco is, of course, far too clean and needs weathering, before it can be put into service. Although I am normally happy to weather my own locos and stock, I decided that I would ask Tom Foster - https://tomfosterweathering.wordpress.com/ - to weather 2538, which would save me a lot of time and hopefully enable 2538 to be used on the layout at it's first booked show next year. I really like Tom's work and would recommend him to anyone wanting a good weathering job done. Before the loco could go off to Tom, though, I needed to do a small number of little jobs, namely make up and attach screw link couplings, fit the smokebox door plate and remove the moulded plastic cabside number plates and fit replacement brass ones, with the correct number on. Why do manufacturers think that it's clever to mould a number plate onto a cab side, by the way? The plates were supplied by the ever-helpful Brian Moseby at 247 developments: I attached the smokebox door number first. I wanted to try to see if I could have it standing slightly 'proud' of the smokebox door, as they do in reality, rather than gluing the number plate directly to the front of the loco, so I soldered a couple of 0.5mm p/b spigots to the back of the plate and glued them into some corresponding holes, drilled in the smokebox door, working from a photograph to ensure that it went at exactly the correct height (see photo below). I then had to remove the moulded cabside plates. This is the original (apologies for being slightly out of focus): I considered just gluing the new plate on top of the old one, but I felt it didn't lie flat enough: So, it was out with a curved scalpel blade (a brand new, very sharp one is required) and the old plates were carefully pared away: The new plates were then glued in place. Full marks to 247 Developments for getting the correct brown background colour, too: I had already made up the screw couplings (mainly Smiths, with a home-made brass 'dangling shackle' and Exactoscale steel end links. I use the overscale Smiths hooks, because they are much easier to use under exhibition conditions. The loco was finally reassembled and tested on the layout again. I had to remove one of the tender wheel sets, which had a back-to-back of 15mm (the rest of the wheels were the correct 14.5mm) and re-set the back-to-back. Here is the loco posing on 'Bethesda Sidings', before being sent off to Tom for weathering:
  3. 2 points
    A few more pictures of the junction in action. My track laying leaves much to be desired in some of the shots. This all looked perfect when first laid, but there are a few wobbles here and there that are more apparent in the close up shots. It all works and I've had no running problems and yet it shows just how much attention must be paid to laying perfect, level track during the construction of long line layouts. A Hornby Class 20 combo hauls a short engineering train through the junction and down the branch. A Lima Class 101 passes on the other line. This little loco is a superb runner for an old model and it has to represent Lima's finest hour with its flush glazed windows. The motor is original so the model hadn't been used much before I picked it up cheap on eBay. With a bit of weathering and detailing I think it has come up quite well. One of my favorites anyway. The superb Bachmann Class 25 hauling a short Freightliner. The factory weathering really makes this loco for me. A Lima HST set. It's a real pleasure to see this run around and around now. I gave it a new motor replacement during detailing and it goes like a rocket. It seems ironic that these older models have no problem running through Code 75 track and points. However, I did have to take down the flanges on the 'Pizza Cutter' wheels first.
  4. 1 point
    I spent the weekend exhibiting Sherton Abbas at Railex http://www.railex.org.uk/ accompanied by Al (Barry Ten), to whom I'm indebted for all his hard work setting up the layout and for his ninja like operating skills We arrived in Aylesbury around 6.30pm and took about 90 minutes or so to unload the hire van and get the layout set up in the exhibition hall. Everyone was very helpful and welcoming, particularly David Lane (David Bigcheeseplant) who's the exhibition manager. Setting up Image courtesy of Kevin Wood Once the layout was set up we headed for the "bright lights" of Aylesbury and enjoyed an excellent curry at the Bengal Blue Indian restaurant. https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186222-d2546313-Reviews-Bengal_Blue-Aylesbury_Aylesbury_Vale_Buckinghamshire_England.html This was followed by a couple of pints in the Bricklayers Arms http://www.bricklayersarmsaylesbury.co.uk/ a particular treat for a London boy who's been living in Wales for the last 30 years! London Pride On the stroll back to the accommodation we crossed the railway line and I took this picture, I've no idea what the stock is, but it most certainly isn't Edwardian Great Western!:-) 21st Century Railway! The following morning the exhibition started at 10.00 am, so once fuelled by a fry up and coffee we arrived back in the hall for 9.00 am. The exhibition was very well attended, but because of the well managed layout of the hall it never felt cramped or congested. Exhibition in full Swing photo courtesy Anthony Mead Al doing sterling work shunting at Sherton Abbas David Lane had arranged a social event for the Saturday evening, so we were taken by vintage bus to the Hop Pole pub https://www.aylesburybrewhouse.co.uk/thehoppoleaylesbury which has a remarkable range of real ales on tap, my particular favourite was a beer called Gravitas, definitely recommended! A convivial time was had by all, chatting and eating pizza:-) I arrived back in the hall on Sunday morning to make some minor adjustments to the level of the layout, on Saturday we’d experienced some free running wagons catching up with the locomotive after uncoupling and I was keen to rectify this! Some judicious packing was required under a couple of legs which seemed to clear the problem:-) During Sunday afternoon David brought his rather lovely Lee Marsh 517 along which ran beautifully, though for some reason he declined my offer to drill its buffer beam and fit a wire suitable to couple with my Spratt and Winkle fitted stock! Lee Marsh 517 class Towards the end of Sunday afternoon I was surprised, though delighted to be told that Sherton Abbas had been voted “Best Layout” at the show. This was particularly gratifying on account of the many excellent layouts on display at the exhibition! I was presented a rather nice plaque by Jerry Clifford which is now in pride of place on the front of the layout Photo curtesy of Anthony Mead Pride of place! It was a thoroughly enjoyable, though tiring weekend, my knees are only just recovering! It was great meeting the many RMweb members who have commented on this blog over the last few years, thanks to all of you for your encouragement. Finally thanks must go to the Risborough & District Model Railway Club and David Lane in particular for holding such an excellent event. Best wishes Dave
  5. 1 point
    I finished the model for my local Gundam club's contest. At least, I'm calling it done. More work was had on the centaur. I'm going to plan and finish the 'human' torso before I go farther with the 'horse.' The paint guide I found for a palomino is about 90% pastels, so I want to minimize handling before clear. I also made treacle tart. Went over well. Here's to the contest.
  6. 1 point
    I have made more progress on my gauge 1 custom engine and now I have got most of my school work out of the way I can crack into it and motor on in construction. since the last post I have shortened the chassis, took away the pistons and piston rods, cut and shortened the boiler and made a cab. I am going to quickly add a coat of paint so that I can figure out where things will be placed I also found out that it is the perfect hiding space for a pug I am currently feeling extremely motivated because of some recent news that I will share at a later date. I need to make sure however I might as well say now that I might be able to become a volunteer at our local preservation group. I have been approached by a member of the group to help build an engine and to help with maintenance and eventually running engines.
  7. 1 point
    My old copy of Tweedale Byways (1908 edition) includes a sketch of Frog Fen Lane, which I've reproduced below... It looks a pleasant enough spot. I imagine the artist sitting happily beside the dusty road on a lovely sunny day, the only sounds being the gentle tinkling of sheep bells and the chuckling of contented chickens, with maybe the odd skylark thrown in for good measure. If you were to have wandered along and informed him that the area was to be designated as a 'green field site', he would probably have complimented the authorities on their forethought in safeguarding this slice of rural idyll. At that point you would no doubt have wished him a good day and walked on, not wanting to disillusion the poor fellow. The photo below was taken from more or less the same spot, but some half a century later in the 50s/60s... The frogs, sheep and skylarks have all gone of course, but strangely enough the chickens are still there. The industry moved in so fast that there was no time to round them all up, and a feral population have infested the site ever since. Actually I've quite surprised myself at how quickly the industry has come together. It's amazing what a looming exhibition deadline can do for motivation. There are still small details that can be added, road signs and so on, but as with the other scenes those can wait until later if I have time left over. The buildings were constructed using my preferred medium of cardboard, but most have been faced with Slater's corrugated Plasticard. I never quite know what is the best way of gluing these dissimilar materials together. UHU glue seems to work quite well in the short term, but I've found it goes brittle over time and the surfaces can come apart. The method used here, though it was more of a bother, was to add a paper backing to the plastic, bonding it by soaking solvent (Mekpak) through the paper to the plastic. I then used PVA to glue the paper-backed plastic to the card sub-structure. I have a feeling it may be more stable than the UHU, but that has yet to be proven. The chimneys and pipes are based on paper tubes. They are rather fragile, but at least having the layout contained in a box reduces their vulnerability somewhat. However the large chimney has already gained a dent at the top, where it was struck by a meteorite. Bends in the pipework consist of sections cut from wooden or plastic curtain rings. Paper collars were added to one end of each straight and curved piece, then a great time was had plugging them together. The pipework could really do with more supports, but the space was too tight fit any more in. As you might guess, track cleaning is tricky, but then the whole layout is a rabbit warren so that's nothing new. It involves the use of a stick with piece of paper towel wrapped around the end which is then carefully manipulated betwixt and between the obstacles. No abrasives or solvents are used but it does a satisfactory job. It's still not clear exactly what goes on at the Frog Fen Lane works. An industrial spy once noted that wagon loads of innocuous materials arrived and drums of noxious substances departed, mostly to Castleport where they were loaded onto a barge and dumped in the Twee estuary. The railway is unconcerned. Traffic is traffic and it pays the bills, with the added bonus that the leaky drums work wonders at keeping the track free from weeds. Cheers, Alan.
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