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  1. An opportunity presented itself to drag the baseboard outside yesterday and take some photos in the rather dull afternoon light. At last I feel some progress is being made, or in other words, what a difference a bit of ballasting makes! I took a few more photos to show how some of the areas are finally tying together after some further detail was added. Oooh look, ballast at last! This is my own somewhat unconventional technique since the ballast in the 1840s was all over with only the rails showing. This can be a bl**dy nightmare when it comes to keeping things c
    27 points
  2. Finding things to do in lock-down is something of an ‘art-form’. A friend recently introduced me to some software called 'Pixbim ColorSurprise AI'. He showed me some remarkable results, where it had automatically coloured some of his old monochrome photos. So I thought I’d try it out on some of my collection of 19th-century railway photos. There’s a ‘free trial’ version but, as is so often the case, it is hobbled by printing multiple watermarks all over any saved results. To show the effects it produces, I made screen copies of some of the preview images. I’ve no idea
    13 points
  3. It's about time that I introduced my next locomotive project, which has actually been going on since before I started the Scrap Tank. It's a Barney 0-6-0. It started with the Worsley Works etch, but has morphed into a project using my own etches for the chassis and body, as well as for a 6-wheel tender (the Worsley etch provides the 8-wheel type). The main reason for not sticking with the Worsley etch was the fact that I wanted to do my own tender including axleboxes. I reasoned that I might as well make etches for the loco as well, to make construction easier and facilitate a built-in gearbox
    10 points
  4. A little package of wagon bodies was posted off last week and my friend Phil has put one together with its chassis and sent me a photograph. I think it rather looks the part. He just has another eight to do now, should keep him busy for a while.
    10 points
  5. For those who don't know what a J17 is, here is a picture. They were a James Holden designed locomotive built for the GER between 1900 and 1903, a sort of half-way house between the lighter J15 and heavier J20. As I hinted the J17 kit from PDK is also quite 'old school' by today's standards. The frames just had simple holes for the bearings, not even a half etched line as a nod that some people might spring or compensate their locomotives. Progress today has been quite swift, partly because I was working with such nice components and probably partly be
    9 points
  6. So there I was feeling quite chuffed that I'd managed to get the wheels on the J17 chassis. There is a video which includes it running on youtube. Then I started work on the footplate, I got the buffer beam and valancing on quite nicely and then turned to the splashers. I felt quite good about the job I'd done until I put the footplate onto the chassis and realised that the kit had exactly the same issues as the previously built J20. Now I don't exactly know what size wheels and flanges the designer had in mind but I think they would have made eve
    8 points
  7. This weekend I turned my attention to adding some planted areas to my station, as per the prototype. Looking at images of Cranbrook station gave the most inspiration and it seemed to be among one of the most adorned locations on the line in terms of floral displays. Clearly someone took a lot of pride in keeping the station looking its best! The border is oversized ballast applied grain by grain with tweezers. It took about 30 seconds for me to hate myself for taking this approach... but I think the result is ultimately pleasing. This seems to have been the approach utilised by Cra
    8 points
  8. Some recent low-stress modelling on Stourpayne Marshall: This Bachmann Jinty was renumbered to a Bath example and then weathered. It came with "British Railways" lettering which I was reluctant to remove, even though I don't have any evidence that this particular loco carried that scheme. A number of S&D locos did, though, right through until 1953 or so, so it's not obviously out of place. It runs smoothly, and incredibly quietly, but I can''t get it to start and stop at as low a speed setting as I'd like with the decoder - some tweaking is called for
    8 points
  9. I pondered over how to make the six rather large windows and decided to go with the self-adhesive label method. The windows were drawn in pencil on the labels and fixed to the clear glazing before cutting around the panes and lifting out. I sealed the outer edges of the frames with Micro Kristal Klear to prevent them from lifting. Structurally, the windows on the model support the roof so I needed the glazing to be quite thick. (I studied online photos of lighthouses and have seen roofs atop some very slender window frames with no other apparent means o
    7 points
  10. Like a lot of my stash, this is like the fisherman's knife that's had 3 new blades and 2 new handles but still the same knife. I bought the Metro kit donkey's years ago and scratchbuilt a chassis in EM. Then swiftly moved to P4 and scratchbuilt a compensated P4 chassis. Then bought a new chassis and then bought an etched kit. The original EM chassis had Ultrascale wheels which the EM Gauge Society sold at the time. I recently put the EM wheels on the scratchbuilt P4 chassis to see if they would be usable and coxed around my P4 layout. Ultrascale wheels are nice and I was loat
    7 points
  11. Progress will initially appear exceedingly fast because I'm trying to catch up with this blog! But rest assured that I was doing this construction in about November over quite a few odd hours. First up, here is the tender chassis assembled. The spacers are 6.4mm PCB with gaps filed in on each side, soldered on using the jig described in the previous post. The horizontal one is set slightly below the top of the frames so that there is somewhere for the solder to attach on top. The extra axle hole is for the body pivot, which I have yet to fit. It's designed to take a standard muff o
    6 points
  12. Now for the sails. Having trawled the local £1 Emporium for anything which could be pushed into use to represent the 'square mesh' look of the sails, and drawing a blank, I decided to build them from scratch. Styrene strip was the obvious contender here so out came my hoard of Evergreen products. Firstly, a drawing was required, drawn to the exact size of one of the required sails... This drawing has to be used four times because we require four sails. Therefore, in order to protect it, I taped some clear plastic over it, retrieved from some p
    6 points
  13. I have finished my little coastal village diorama (22x14,5 cm) The cobbled surface is a texture is from Smart Models. I liked the colour of this one for this diorama. With an embossing pen I scribed the individual cobble stones row by row and one by one. I did this free handed, looking carefully to the texture. Every day about 10 ten rows. The visible holes are for the figures. Next job is to paint them. After I had finished the cobbled quay I glued the cottages in place and made some doorsteps. Now I had to paint the figures. Painting is done with paints from the
    6 points
  14. As I mentioned in my previous blog posting, the splashers on the J17 kit were designed to accommodate the most steam-rollerish of flanges, being almost 4mm in diameter larger than scale. Well I've managed to take them back off the foot-plate. file them down to size and refit them. They look to be about .5mm too large now but I'm ok with a little extra clearance for the springing. Missing from the kit, but visible on the plans and photographs were the beading around the base of the splashers (which is also around the sandboxes when we get to them). This appears to be an
    5 points
  15. This tower mill is based on the surviving example at Bembridge on the Isle of Wight. I emphasise that it is 'based on', not a slavish copy. For a start, the real mill is built of stone which appears to have been rendered at some stage in its long life. Following two renovations, the mill currently exhibits rendering on exactly half of the building. Holiday postcards in my possession are all taken from the rendered front of the mill and show the building in an attractive pinkish buff colour. I decided to model the building as if the whole of the base was rendered. Photos of the mill can b
    5 points
  16. Passing the Depot at Watford. Southern Cement passing Harrow. Southbound at Harrow. Cabview approaching Harrow on the Down Slow Line. Suburban interlude at Watford. Northbound at Headstone Lane. Latest video of the layout with non-DCC sound at
    5 points
  17. Just playing with some Irish stuff.
    4 points
  18. The roof of the windmill is a rather complicated shape. Basically, I estimated the dimensions and formed the roof from a number of different shaped parts. Trial and error rules o.k. The pictures should give the idea of how it was accomplished. The rear of the roof... The whole roof was now given a coat of shellac varnish (french polish) to harden and protect the rather soft mount board. The next stage was to cover the roof wi
    4 points
  19. As I said in my previous piece, my intention with this layout was to create a bit of nostalgia through recreating a number of cameos from my visits to Bangkok. Additionally I wanted to include some signature pieces that would firmly place the layout in Thailand, since I have met very few railway modellers who know the slightest thing about Thai railways. That meant that the layout would have to be based on Thonburi rather than be a representation of Thonburi. An example of one of these personal cameos is how rail enthusiasts generally see trains arriving at Thonburi. T
    4 points
  20. Hi! This is my first real venture into blog writing and my first adventure into the world of RMWeb, which I have used as reference for a long time. I must say I'm not particularly confident that all of this will make good reading. Nevertheless , given the amount of free time which has materialised during this second lockdown, I thought why not. So... A little about me, I'm a Scottish philosophy student who spends too much of his loan on model railways. I'm from the North East and live out Deeside, which explains my leanings towards layouts set in this little slice of the country. Fro
    3 points
  21. How time flies. I last added to this blog over two years ago, so it's probably time to pick things up again. I have worked on the layout, though progress is probably not as spectacular as might be expected after two years. My involvement in the Great Model Railway Challenge did mean it gathered dust for a year, but since the end of 2019 some steady progress has been made. In earlier blog pieces I described individual features that I had created, now I think might be the time to describe the framework in which they sit. Like many layouts, this one is an exercise in nosta
    3 points
  22. Having a clear out of old model rail acquisitions, I found a Peco brand goods shed that I'd picked up as part of a job lot eBay purchase. It was painted blotchy yellow, with a grey roof, dark red drainpipes, gutters and doors, and - somewhat bizarrely for a goods shed - it also had scale size holiday destination posters glued to it. I very nearly consigned it to the recycling bin. But I reconsidered and decided to take it on as a salvage project. It had been so well glued together that dismantling wasn't an option. Luckily though, it had only been painted
    3 points
  23. 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
    2 points
  24. And so we come to the rather interesting industrial building which has been featured at the head of each of my blog entries. The model is based on the frontage to Tutbury Plaster Mill. It was intended for use on a proposed industrial layout which never materialised. However, the idea might be resurrected soon as I feel the urge coming on for a change from green and pleasant fields. At the time of building I was unable to trace any photos of the entire mill frontage so an amount of imagination was used. I started by drawing and cutting out the mill frontage...
    2 points
  25. With wagons #1 and #11 now numbered up, we officially have a train. Further vans are close behind, seen behind. Just some more subtle weathering to do here. Loco needs it too.
    2 points
  26. Following on from an earlier post, today (and a good part of yesterday) was spent building up layers of weathering on my recently "bashed" station kit. Once painted with primer, I added two coats of yellow and picked out random bricks in varying quantities in black, white, brick red and blue-grey. I painted the interior "arches" plain white too. Having discovered that my usual "Brown Earth" paint had dried up in the pot, I ordered some more online - although not the same brand, rather an independent supplier of "identical" shades. I use the Brown Earth as a wash
    2 points
  27. Wagon #22 gets buffers in the peg clamp, jigged up.
    2 points
  28. Having noticed - when going to the kitchen cupboard - that the "Co-op" have gone back to their old logo, I got to thinking that if I could build a Co-op Supermarket - the logo off a tea bag box etc could serve very nicely as a shop sign. A quick rumage through the scrap box later, I came up with a serviceable little low relief of the rear or side of a Co-op. I used no glue in its construction, just good old double-sided tape to construct it (and the foam padded kind to add extra depth between the lower and first floor layers, and a bit more under the signage itself.) I will
    2 points
  29. Just a small filler project to sit between the Stables and Greyhound Place at Bricklayers Arms. Bermondsey was the centre of the London leather trade chosen because it was sufficiently south of the Thames for the inevitable stench not to trouble the great and the good, notwithstanding the fact that at that time they had their own stinking cess-filled river to contend with. Apparently, at their peak, the tanneries of Bermondsey supplied one third of all the leather in the country. I chose to reproduce a section of Alfred Hunt's chemical works as it can be interpreted as such or perh
    2 points
  30. I have long wanted a pub somewhere on my layout, but unfortunately I have limited space to put one - the only available site would in fact mean modelling in low relief. Ideally, the pub would be situated on a spot that could offer a view that was interesting - for the tiny sozzled patrons. I decided therefore to suspend reality somewhat and create a pub that probably wouldn't exist in real life. And why not? I found a likely candidate on eBay: Upon its arrival, I set about dismantling the model (which was thankfully only lightly painted and glu
    1 point
  31. The cottage has a small porch over the front door. This was quickly made from two triangles of card with a rectangle for the roof, coloured with felt-tip pens... The roof was made from mount board in one piece. I scored along the centreline with a scalpel and bent to shape. Note the small cut-out for the chimney of what is named on the drawing as the 'bake oven'... Before fitting the roof, I usually colour the underside of every edge, for about a centimetre, with a dark felt-tip pen. I also colour every edge. This will hide an
    1 point
  32. Our subject for this current build is another of John Ahern's charming buildings - a village general shop. If you are fortunate enough to have a copy of 'Miniature Building Construction' you will find a drawing (BC.7) at the rear of the book. I actually built this model one year after the timber-framed cottage previously discussed, and the techniques are much the same. However, I tend to adapt my techniques to deal with any particular problem as it arises as you will see over the course of this series. Many a time I have lain in bed trying to fathom out a solution to a current build pr
    1 point
  33. LMS 6399 Fury - Footage of it running and build photographs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPyQ6GYo6FY
    1 point
  34. WARNING! Snob opinions incoming... I've lost count of the amount of images I have seen of stunning model railways which are marred by less than convincing model people. Every modeller has their own areas of interest; some enjoy scratch building, some prioritise complex electronic systems and some just want to get down to running trains, all pretence of "finishing" their layout out the window. This is fantastic because this kind of diversity in approach is what makes any hobby interesting. But I do find it odd that so many of us spend painstaking hours recreating certain details, only to abando
    1 point
  35. My clever wife bought me a new 3D printer for Christmas (how did she guess what I wanted?) I was a bit concerned because the box was shipped direct from China by FedEx via what appears to be a puddle at Cologne Airport. Creality customer service were very helpful and we decided it was worth trying to build it and just replace any bits if we found they had been damaged. In the end everything went together very easily ( about 30-45 minutes assembly to first print) and I managed to print off the sample 'little dog'. The only issue I had was that the print bed w
    1 point
  36. Killing time waiting for the modelling clay ballast to dry on the left of the yard, I made myself a few wagon-loads of various minerals for my POA wagons. Cut an oblong of card or plasticard to fit the Open, mould a lump from floral foam and glue it to the former. Paint, or cover with glue and chippings: The wagon on the outer left has two, incorrectly shaped, 'heaps' glued to a base, unpainted. My first attempt, this will be re-done. The inner left is an experiment of coating the foam heaps with modelling clay and painting with acrylic for sand (three coats plus t
    1 point
  37. Due to my unusual platform format, see here: I have had a Kestrel Station Kit waiting in the wings for a while now, waiting to be converted from "long and thin" - as it is sold, to "sort of L-shaped" so it will fit neatly in the corner of the layout. I started by measuring out the area that I have available - a square footprint of just about 10 x 11cm. I then went about removing the various pieces of the kit from their sprues, and basically playing with the pieces - laying them out flat, like the net for a cube. Once I was reasonably pleased with a t
    1 point
  38. In order to cover the exposed corners I decided to do it 'Scalescenes' style whereby a strip of card is scored down the centre-line and covered with the printed stone paper, which is wrapped around the edges and stuck to the rear of the strip. The strip is then folded along the score and is then glued in position on the model. A problem arose at this point. If I was to use the same stone paper as used for the adjoining walls, it would be nigh on impossible to ensure all mortar lines lined up between the corners and the walls as the mortar lines on the corners
    1 point
  39. Here we are on the final leg of this short journey. I hope you have enjoyed it so far. The lean-to extension was drawn on mount board, scribed and cut out... The three sides were assembled thus... Thin card was used to make the corner posts and the door frame. The door were made from a piece of scribed mount board. The structure was painted using watercolours. As before, a track pin was used as a door handle... The window made use of the Scene Setters glazing bars mentioned earlier.
    1 point
  40. I’m writing this taking a coffee and (home baked) shortbread break while I order up some more wheels, and yet more vans from Shop2. Yesterday I got some progress on brake gear after watching Nick Mitchell’s wonderful video on building the 16T mineral, and following his methods I have succeeded in getting 3 or 4 levers on. I did a stock take and found I had one chassis too many, so I had to buy 2 more van bodies (they come in pairs) so I had to get another chassis too. Good job I like vans! Pictured below is the workbench at close of play last night. If you look carefull
    1 point
  41. Last night I set out to scratch build a chassis for the tender for my Standard Goods. Having got the brass out, I ended up scratch building a loco chassis instead.... Can you tell what it is yet... In the meantime, the Standard Goods has passed its buffer height test. Must get on with the tenders!
    1 point
  42. I've started making a lathe for my model workshop. Boy does it have a lot of pieces! I've still got the gearing on the drive end to do and the bracket which holds the top set of pulley wheels. I'm not slavishly copying this photograph but trying to make something which looks lathe-like. The main bed of the lathe worked out to be too big to print on the Anycubic photon in a single piece so, as it was a relatively simple shape and could be sanded easily, I printed it on my Ender 5 FDM printer. This came out really well but I did have some issues with the tolerances betwe
    1 point
  43. https://youtu.be/8-k0oem70GU My new update on Crewe Station N gauge layout
    1 point
  44. A bit of a boring one really, as it concentrates more on a single part of the engine but ill try and bed it out a bit more with some more slightly interesting bits..... A view of 26043s 6LDA with both side covers removed (reason why will be explained in a bit) In this view you can see where the block is bolted to the crankcase, and you have a good view of the camshaft, there are 3 cam lobes per cylinder, the outer 2 of the lobes operate the pushrods and the centre lobe operates the fuel pump, also note that the camshaft is gear driven (a common sulzer trai
    1 point
  45. Growing up with trains Thanks to my dad’s interests, I was raised on a healthy diet of trains, canals and anything powered by steam. It was therefore inevitable - after receiving a Hornby GWR Mixed Traffic train set for Christmas - that I would develop an interest in modelling for many years after. My first layout was an extension of my first train set, with various different pieces added over time. It was safe to say it kept me busy until my teenage years, when I craved something more. At this stage, I was given access to the extensive loft where – with Dad’s help – I created
    1 point
  46. On Saturday 21st Hastings Diesels tours arranged a tour from Hastings, via London and Cambridge to Ely and King's Lynn. Billed as 'The West Norfolk Wanderer' it was intended that folk would travel to Ely and King's Lynn for a fine day out and included a quick run out and back on the Middleton Towers freight line. My enterprising brother (he has his uses and a blog http://www.northernvicar.co.uk/) spotted this via the Cambridge university railway club's news and contacted the organizers regarding the possibility of just doing Ely and Lynn and the Middleton Towers branch. Arrangements were made
    1 point
  47. Just completed the first cassette of dummy wagon turntables to go outside the goods shed at Bricklayers Arms. This is a set of four, one table inside the shed and three outside. The set will sit at 90 degrees to the front of the shed serving one of the bays. There are six bays each with a set of turntables, three with three and three with four, plus another set of four at one end. Each set is joined by the running lines, one inside the shed and three outside. To start, two long rails were laid, soldered to PCB sleepers with extra long ones to support each of the four turntables. Then
    1 point
  48. In recent posts I have detailed corridor connectors for Bachmann Collett coaches and I have touched on the Hornby Hawksworth Full Brake. Hornby Hawksworth Coaches as bought (left) and as modified (right) When Hornby introduced their Hawksworth coaches back in 2010 I was most impressed with the coach detail but not so happy with Hornby’s corridor connectors. I wanted the coaches to be more closely coupled and it took me a lot of courage to remove Hornby’s moulded black plastic connectors. Closer coupling is quickly achieved by paring away some of the plastic from the
    1 point
  49. About the age of 12 a piece of hard board became available to me on which a Hornby single platform station halt and crossing where mounted. Some simple scenery built up etc and for added interest the gates where operated with cotton thread, ever since I have wanted working crossing gates. One of the ideas bouncing around in the old grey cells for years was this simple system of mounting the gates on L shaped wires to be swung by the back and forth movement of a plate below the base board with grooves in it. One of the requirements on Dunster was to have the gates animated. When our DVD
    1 point
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