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  1. It was gloomy yesterday so I turned the layout lights on and tried running a few trains in the dark. Daft, but oddly fun. Anyway, a few random pics of variable quality. The station in general, I need to lightproof the roof more next time it is off. This is a lucky pic. I cant really see the from of the station building so its just done by point the camera at the mirror on the end of the layout and hoping. The resultant image is then reversed in preview. Through a window. At
    76 points
  2. One morning long ago, an 1854 class shunted the Old Yard at Farthing. The crew were slightly bored. Nothing much ever happened in the Old Yard. Just a handful of sidings. A carman (sic) watched them roll by, perched on his trolley (Birmingham pattern). The carmen at Farthing were famous for not using reins. William Simmons was particularly skilled. Known as The Horse Whisperer, he worked without reins for 46 years and never had an accident. People did wonder why his rounds took so long.
    67 points
  3. When in danger or in doubt, get the model railway out. The fourth layout in the Farthing series is taking shape, a welcome relief from the lockdown blues. Above is a reminder of the trackplan. So complicated that it broke Templot. Only very advanced modellers can do that. A test piece to see what the new Peco Bullhead track is all about. I decided to give Peco a go as a change from handbuilt track. The chairs are wrong for GWR, will be interesting to see how much I notice it. One advantage of the
    57 points
  4. When I was a boy I hated The Weasel with all my heart. The Weasel was our maths teacher and to me he was the prototype of the Evil Teacher. When he taught he got all worked up and saliva formed at the corners of his mouth, and he would walk down among the desks while talking and suddenly pounce on you and slap his hand into your desk and hiss “Am I RIGHT, or am I WRONG?!” It was a rhetorical question of course. We were expected to confirm that we was right, and we always did even if we understood little of what he said. Because quite simply we were scared to death of the man.
    56 points
  5. Greetings everyone – Pickle S. Finkerbury here, railway historian and time traveller. As previously explained, I have a knack for being in the right place at the right time, which has provided me with unique insights into certain unknown aspects of GWR matters. Here is another extract from my files: Farthing, early 1900s. It is well known that the GWR treated the workers at Swindon to an annual excursion by rail. What is less known is that the top management at Swindon Works also undertook an annual excursion, although that was of a much more exclusive nature. This
    55 points
  6. I had a setback with my Dean Goods. I was spraying on some varnish in preparation for lining, when this happened: Orange peel - or something similar! There followed the usual process, so well described in Dr Mindbender’s insightful ”Coping with Failure in Railway Modelling: The Four Phases of Modeller’s Recovery” (Wild Swan, 2019): Phase 1: Despair (”Why me, Lord?”) Phase 2: Resentment (”Stupid model!”) Phase 3: Detachment (”It's only a model.”) Phase 4: Comeback (”Br
    52 points
  7. Here's a little scratch-building project that I'm working on in-between the coach painting. The prototypes were used extensively at Paddington Goods in the 1900s. A similar but more austere type was used at Hockley. I couldn't find any drawings, so the dimensions are guesstimates based on photos. The build was a real pleasure, especially sourcing the parts. I'll let the pictures explain the rest - gradually!
    52 points
  8. Nörreport station, Copenhagen. Every day after work, I wait here for my local train home. Today it’s late, rush hour is over. Everyone is tired, noone is talking, noone is present. We’re not really here, we’re already somewhere else. While I wait, commuter trains roll into the platforms and leave again. Many are nearly empty, having already dropped off most passengers at Copenhagen Central. They will terminate
    51 points
  9. What goes through a modeller’s mind? 'Very little', my wife would say, and she’s not far off . Am I the only one who enters a Zen-like state of mind when operating the layouts? It begins like this. You decide to run some trains, forget all the worries. Get the gear out, set up on the dining table. The engine purrs into life, pulls a train off the traverser. You get down to eye level, begin to dream. What if there was something else behind those windows? Distant spires maybe?
    48 points
  10. I was posting some pictures of Sherton Abbas on the "O gauge Guild" forum https://www.gauge0guild.com/, where it was pointed out that my poor signalman had no means of communicating with the rest of the world. This situation obviously had to be rectified by the addition of some telegraph paraphernalia! I spent some time researching the subject, but as is so often the case in this hobby, the more I read the more questions I needed answering:-) During my search I came across a number of interesting sites including this one http://www.telegraphpoleappreciationsociety.org/ For what its w
    48 points
  11. Modellers try to recreate the real thing. But sometimes we don't know how the real thing looked. Then what? These photos show my experiments with what I think was a standard livery for larger GWR goods depots around 1907, following lots of browsing of photos in books, and a brief discussion in this thread (many thanks gentlemen!). The trouble is of course that photos from the period don't have, er, colour - and are full of light and shadow. So it's hard to tell grey from light stone, or light stone from dark stone, or dark stone from chocolate. Above is t
    47 points
  12. I’ve been working on the alternative side of the goods depot recently. The sides and roof are now more or less done and I'm preparing to lay the ground and track in front of it. The roof has caused much muttering and swearing. Some time ago I dropped the whole thing on the floor, and had to rebuild much of it. Because of the accident, the roof is now slightly out of true in some places. That's not really visible, but it meant I had to give up on flush-glazing it. Certainly a compromise, but I was getting close to abandoning the whole thing, so decided that I had better just accept it and move
    47 points
  13. Yesterday I went to get some things in the attic of the old apartment block where we now live. Each flat has a tiny storage room, and as I entered the attic I noticed that one door was ajar. Feeling curious, I had a look inside. The room was empty, but someone had left an old filing cabinet in the corner. Imagine my surprise when, inside the cabinet, I found a number of files marked “Farthing”. With trembling hands I opened the first file, and… Pleased to meet you Ladies and Gentlemen! I am Pickle S. Finkerbury,
    46 points
  14. I thought it was about time that I finished my Dean Goods, so here it is virtually done. It's taken an awful long time to do, although in fairness it has been resting untouched for long periods while I worked on other projects. The loco has the original twin flywheel Oxford mechanism that came with the lined pre-grouping version. Mine is a very smooth runner, which is why I found the project worthwhile in the first place. Indeed I've bought another one at a sale, which also runs very well. Below is a summary of the mai
    45 points
  15. This is Tim, the Domestic Overlord. Paul died last Wednesday. I wasn't in the right frame of mind to come on and post this before. We were together for a long time, and I know just how much he loved modelling and loved being able to get things just as he wanted them. I'd like this blog to stay up here if that's okay by the administrators.
    45 points
  16. Here’s a summary of my recent 'experiments' (a.k.a. mucking about) with Modelu and other 4mm figures, and how to store them. I have previously modified figures from the Andrew Stadden, Dart Castings and Preiser ranges. So obviously, the Modelu range had to suffer too! The resin used in these figures cannot be bent (it will break), but clean cuts with a scalpel worked OK. Joins were sanded, fixed with superglue and smoothed out with putty. Not everyone will think it’s worthwhile, but I find it relaxing and you get quick results. This driver was shortened and had his fe
    45 points
  17. It has been a while since I did any work on the roundhouse roof so I recently added the smoke hood support wires, 4 to each hood, to the 22 that are inside the shed. The roof is entirely scratchbuilt from brass section and nickel silver wire. The smoke hoods are of two types - 3 older wooden types which are ex Midland/LMS in origin which I scratchbuilt from plasticard and brass angle, and 19 'asbestos/concrete' units which are cast in resin by my Friend Morgan from a 3D printed master. Morgan also produced the etched supports on the lower edge of the units. I have used Markits W
    44 points
  18. The polystyrene sheet was coated in textured sealing paint, which I'd pigmented with some brown acrylic paint. Once dry this formed a hard, flexible surface that I could use as a base for scenic treatment. Point rodding stools from MSE https://www.wizardmodels.ltd/shop/signals/ls05/ were fitted to lengths of wooden sleepers and then glued in position alongside the trackwork. Ballasting was done using Woodland Scenics ballast using exactly the same method that I used on the main layout. The backscene was then painted using white emulsion as a base coat for the "Sky" The
    43 points
  19. Despite the covid-19 lockdown, modelling output has slowed this month. However, I have been slowly working on the station building and feel like the to-do list is getting shorter. Canopies have been fixed in place, the south side one is removable in case I can’t get it into its travelling case. Rain water pipes have been added from the rather nice Modelu range and this weekend’s job has been to make the roof trussing. I made a cradle from foam so I could invert the roof and work on it separately. Main spars were cyanoed into the rafters and various cross rods and struts soldered on based on
    42 points
  20. Farthing, 1904. With a rising sense of panic, Goods Porter E. Sparkler stared at the pigeon baskets he had just knocked over. A lid had opened, and the pigeons were escaping. The pigeons soon scattered around the goods yard. They were white show pigeons, en route to a prestigious event at the London Philoperisteron Society. One of the pigeons flew into the goods depot. At first it flew aimlessly about.
    42 points
  21. I've returned to the cobbles for the last couple of weeks and tonight, I finally finished the last section of the planned cobbled area. Here are a few photos taken this evening, most (but not all), to show the cobbling (or granite setts). The effect I'm aiming for is that the larger vehicle turning/parking area will have been tarmacked sometime after the war, but done 'on the cheap', and is now beginning to wear off, so the edge where the cobbles meet the tarmac is not regular and even, as some sections have broken or worn away, where vehicles have been moving, and there are also a couple
    42 points
  22. Over the last few weeks, I've been doing a little cobbling now and then. It's been quite relaxing in fact, especially after a busy day at work dealing with the aftermath of the recent flooding on the railway. Now I've got to the stage where the main areas for cobbling are now complete, namely the section between the goods shed and the nearest running rail of the in-laid siding, plus the 'four foot' area of the siding itself: The remaining work is to scribe three rows of cobbles parallel with the opposite running rail, to match the opposite side, and then scribe cobbles for an inch
    42 points
  23. I’ve built a new ‘one-size-fits-all’ traverser for my Farthing layouts. My latest layout - The Stables - has two levels, so I needed a traverser which could accommodate that. After I had proposed various harebrained schemes, Stu suggested the principle that I have sketched above. This was clearly the way to go. But how? After mulling it over I looked at my old traverser (above) and realised that I could kill two birds with one stone. I prefer to have just one traverser for all my layouts, and the old one has served this purpose well
    41 points
  24. These past weeks I have had some pleasant early morning modelling sessions, building a GWR covered float for my early 1900s setting. The model was built using two drawings in Great Western Horse Power by Janet Russel (figs 180 and 182) and a photo in Great Western Way p.163 (original edition). I was a bit slow to discover that there are variations between the drawings and the photo. The prototype is not in the GWR diagram book for horse-drawn carriages, but is arguably a variant of the E5 diagram (see GWR Goods Cartage Vol 1 by Tony Atkins). I
    41 points
  25. I usually take pictures of the layout using my iPad, but thought I'd have a go using a compact camera for a change. I've had a Panasonic Lumix https://www.panasonic.com/uk/support/discontinued-products/cameras-camcorders/dmc-tz60eb.html for a few years now, that I use on motorcycle trips and for general photography. Although generally happy with the results that I get from it, the smallest f stop that it will go down too is F8 and I thought this would cause problems with depth of field on models. The pictures were taken using a tripod, with the camera set on F8 for an exposure of about hal
    41 points
  26. One thing I see quite frequently when browsing layouts on forums like this one, is that if it's china clay themed it's all too often been shoehorned into a micro layout, or the clay works is relegated to occupy the smallest possible corner of the larger layout. The thinking I've quite frequently encountered is the question of "how little clay works can I get away with modelling?", as if it would be an intolerable burden to include more than the absolute minimum. To give you an example, for one modeller here on RMweb I produced a 3D model of a traditional coal fired dry as a scale reference for
    40 points
  27. Hello again 2 posts in as many weeks, this is unprecedented! I seem to be on a bit of a roll with the layout right now, I dont know why and it is a bit weird but I am not going to stop myself if its working. Weekends are good, they mean I have an opportunity to spend a little more time on things I enjoy doing and although the weather has been a pain I have still managed to get a few bits done... While the station board is out it seemed to make sense and carry on working on it, the area around the station building needed the most attention. The about photo shows the beginni
    40 points
  28. This little project was described some time ago in my workbench thread. A couple of recent discussions suggest that the modifications involved may be of interest to others. I don't seem to have posted the usual build summary in this blog, so here it is. The Coopercraft GWR 4 Plank Open kit (4mm scale) has an error which means that if you build it as designed you end up with 4 planks on the outside and 3 on the inside, as seen here. So, following good advice (thanks Nick) I cut along the red line indicated above, in order to remove
    39 points
  29. I put 'Engine Wood' up for testing this morning (it is normally packed away at home), to ensure that all was well for a forthcoming session. The testing regime normally consists of running a loco up and down all roads, in all configurations, ensuring that the signals work etc. This time, apart from my usual pannier test loco, I deployed 82044 on the layout for the first time. This loco, which is a combination of Bachmann body and modified Comet chassis, featured in some of my earlier blogs a couple of years ago or so, but apart from running it up and down on my test track, it had never b
    39 points
  30. Hello. As the title says really I am really trying to get motivated on the layout once again. Its just been sat around untouched for nearly a year now but now one board is unpacked and sat on my kitchen table. Stage 1 is to take some photos to remind myself why I am doing it... Missy
    39 points
  31. A weighbridge has appeared at Farthing. It began as a kit, but in the end much of it was scratchbuilt. Here's a summary of the build. This was the point of departure, a lasercut kit from Rail Model. A little research showed that it is based on the prototype at Leckhampton, a drawing of which appears in the EricPlans volume on GWR and LMS structures. The kit is nicely cut, but I noticed that the corners weren’t mitred. So I sought to remedy this with a file. Bad idea! The MDF edges began to crumble. My mistake.
    38 points
  32. Last week I was browsing a secondhand bookshop here in Copenhagen. Imagine my surprise when I suddenly came across a dog-eared copy of "A Traveller's Guide to the Great Western Railway" from 1926. What really got my attention, however, was that this was one of the rare illustrated versions, with photos by J. Peerybingle, a well-known photographer of the day. Feigning complete indifference I managed to obtain the book for a very reasonable price. I particularly like the chapter entitled "Journey to Didcot", and have decided to reproduce it here. I hope I am not infringing on any cop
    38 points
  33. Hello. I have decided to take a bit of a break from the layout. It was getting a bit frustrating and I wasnt doing as good a job with it as I could, that plus the fact I had to remind myself that its a hobby after all and it should be enjoyable! Refreshed with this in my head I have turned once again to my favorite side of the hobby which is designing and building engines. The latest one on my workbench right now is a little 0-4-0 Peckett saddle tank engine... After a very useful advice from someone with regards to Shapeways and the way to send files I resubmitted the body onc
    38 points
  34. In 1884 the GWR centralized the provision of provender, so that every stable block on the system received a regular supply by rail from the provender store at Didcot, typically every 1-2 weeks. The supplies consisted of hay, chaff, straw bedding and sacks of feed. The feed included oats, beans and maize, either pre-mixed or separate. The sizeable stable block at Farthing obviously needs a regular supply of feed and bedding, so two provender wagons have been made. I began with a diagram Q1, using the Coopercraft kit. The GWR only made a total o
    37 points
  35. It's been a very long time since my last post (which I think was a 4mm scale chair!) but I've nearly completed my latest build: Canterbury & Whitstable Railway, Taylor 0-6-0 goods loco, no.121, c1847. The bulk of it was constructed whilst convalescing with a broken left metatarsal. What a tragedy to be signed off work and have to sit there day after day with my foot up, drinking tea and model making, life can be so cruel! A friend offered some Portescap motor/gearboxes in exchange for kits so one of these formed the basis for this engine. The gearbox had to be dismantled and rev
    37 points
  36. Right, back to some modelling. I have said painting is not my forte, add full size painting to that too. Anyway, a scotch derrick. I made this a long time ago for the previous layout, but I haven’t got round to fitting it since its a bit vulnerable as it is towards the front of the layout. Scotch derricks are a simple crane, they were used in large numbers throughout the railways and industry in general. Drawings of the size preferred by the CR were published in “The true line “ and mine is scaled closely to those. It’s a basic model, the wood bits are mahogany, the iron bits are b
    37 points
  37. I’ve been reading Patrick McGill’s “Children of the dead end: The autobiography of a navvy”. McGill worked as a navvy in the 1900s and became known as the “navvy poet”. It’s a fascinating read, and it made me realize just how much we owe to the men who built the railways, canals and towns. Talk about standing on the shoulders of giants! So instead of the usual progress report, I’ll let the navvies do the talking this time. The lines are excerpts from McGill’s poem “Have you”. Have you tramped about in Winter, when you
    37 points
  38. Well it's been a long time coming, but here are some pics of the finished William Clarke station building. Its painted using Humbrol and Railmatch enamel paints, with the colour being built up in a number of washes and then followed by some dry brushing. I followed the discussion on the forum about GWR window colours in the Edwardian period with great interest. I found the evidence presented highly convincing, so have consequently painted the windows chocolate. To my eyes the black and white pictures look quite convincing, I'd be glad to hear what others think! In best "Y
    37 points
  39. The men stood in silence and stared at the broken crate. It had fallen on its side and the contents had spilled out. There was no mistaking it: There in the middle.... .... was a human skull. Station Master A. Woodcourt was the first to speak: "Well it may be a murder, but it's hardly a recent one!" At this point the director of the travelling theater company launched into a major outburst: "A murder? Are you mad? We use that skull for Hamlet! Didn't I tell you we were pl
    36 points
  40. Hello As the blog post says I am still managing to get some modelling done although the enthusiasm isnt what it should be. Firstly I had a great time at the St Albans show, which is now I think my 4th year there. I thoroughly enjoy myself there and thanks goes to David and the CMRA for inviting me once again. It was a great opportunity to meet up with friends once again plus also meet and chat to others so thank you to all those that took the time to come and say hello. As usual I didnt get that much modelling done at the show (but I never do!). I took the opportunity this year to
    36 points
  41. Over the few years I've been a member of RMWeb, I seem to have erroneously created several blogs. My clumsy grasp of computers has been a bit frustrating as I never know where I've posted and have a horrible habit of posting new material on the wrong blog and so on. Therefore a little bit of belated Spring Cleaning is required and I have copied the info from my previous 'George England 2-2-2' blog to this one so that I can have it all in the right place. So, apologies to those who have read the first bit before and I hope that the new material is sufficiently interesting to make up for it!
    35 points
  42. Hello all. I'm sure some of you have been wondering where I've gone, or noticed that it's been a while since I posted to the blog. If you've been following my exploits in this forum for any length of time you'll know that in 2015 I emigrated from Cornwall to Ontario to move in with my then girlfriend, now wife. At the time she was in university finishing up her biology honours degree, so we had to stay put for a while, but both of us had ambitions to move to the west coast. On October 31st this goal became a reality, and so we set off from London, Ontario on the first leg of our 5 day jou
    35 points
  43. The Farthing layouts have seen some major rebuilding in the past months. In the early autumn, we sold the house and moved to a flat. Having made sure that the layouts survived the move without damage… … I immediately cut them to pieces. It was clear from the outset that downsizing was needed, as the only place to store the layouts is in a small attic room reached by a narrow flight of stairs. The Down Bay was the first to suffer. The sky backscene was dismantled and the integrated fiddle yard was cut aw
    35 points
  44. I've been thinking that railway modelling needs a better public image. People seem to think the hobby is a bit weird and nerdy, when really we’re a bunch of smooth adrenaline junkies. Here are some examples from my own awesome life. Firstly, we railway modellers have really cool gear. These DIY tamping and scribing tools were made from coffee stirrers and my wife’s discarded sock knitting needles. Max bling! The top three are for smoothing DAS between sleepers and under rails. I use Latex gloves to help seal glue containers. Aft
    34 points
  45. I find it much easier to paint coach sides "in the flat" rather than when the coach is fully assembled. This is obviously impossible with etched brass kits, soldering painted sides would be a challenge, however with plastic kits it's not a problem. The Slater's sides come in two halves which have to be joined, fortunately the Guard's ducket helps hide any join line. I think it looks more realistic if coaches have a few windows open, so micro strip was used to represent the top of the droplights in the doors. Sides joined and droplight height adjusted The sides
    34 points
  46. I have a thing for GWR stable blocks. The subject isn't systematically covered in the literature, so in a previous post I tried to obtain a tentative overview of the major types and styles. Since then I’ve been searching Britain from Above, Google street view and old online maps looking for past and present traces of stable blocks. It's all a bit esoteric, but for what it's worth here is a selection of my favourite 'finds'. Westbury It's 1929 and a plane soars over Westbury, capturing the photo above. The small stable block with the distinctive roo
    34 points
  47. ‘Mess about’ [British, informal] > to spend time doing things that are not useful or serious: to waste time Merriam-Webster dictionary Here’s a 1½ minute video showing my new traverser in action. Or frankly: Just a bloke enjoying his layouts. The trains run daily at the moment, maybe it’s operating in a living room environment that makes it a more natural and sociable part of my daily routine. To my surprise, I hardly miss my man cave in the old house. Not to everyone’s tastes I’m sure, but I’m enjoying it
    34 points
  48. Goods checker J. Peerybingle was tired. It had been a long day in the goods depot, and his feet hurt. Life is so dull, he thought. I should have gone to sea. I should have married Emily. He looked up at the skylights. There was a bird up there. Was it a crow? He thought: How lucky birds are, how free. Up on the roof, the crow looked down at Peerybingle. It thought: How fortunate that man is, working with the trains. He must be very happy.
    34 points
  49. Look what the postman delivered! Thanks to Cygnet Magazines for publishing my article and to Jerry (queensquare) for his excellent photos. I guess that although we aren't allowed to go out during the bank holiday, at least we're still allowed to read! Best wishes to all during these unusual and difficult times. Dave
    33 points
  50. It has been some while - June in fact - since I posted anything about the roundhouse. Since then I have had a closer look at the structure of the roof and realised that I had seriously under estimated the number of roof trusses required for the roof. Looking at an aerial photograph of the shed roof I plotted the 13 trusses and realised their positioning made no sense. This made me have another look at my collection of photographs and I have now calculated that the majority of the trusses are at 7ft 6in centres. This gave me a grand total of 22 trusses for each of the three roof pitches or 66
    32 points
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