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  1. I second what Keith said about run-rounds. Twice I've designed layouts without one, thinking I wouldn't need it and that it would give me more siding space, regretted it and fitted one retrospectively. Both layouts in question have industries on facing and trailing point spurs and it's a real help to be able to 'swap ends' with a loco without taking it off the track. The tracks inside the loop can still be used as sidings when a run-round manoeuvre isn't needed.
  2. Maybe it's just the wipers not making proper contact with the wheels. That was the cause of intermittent running on at least two locos I brought brand new.
  3. A few goodies arrived today from Anyscale Models. Several happy hours of cleaning up and painting ahead. Had another go at the sea, making it a bit darker. It's basically blues, yellows and greys topped off with a couple of coats of PVA.
  4. Will I never learn? This is the second time I've built a layout without a run-round then decided I needed one after all. So after laying the track and doing the ballast and roadways, I took up two tracks at the left end and inserted two turnouts. I changed my mind like this on my last layout, but didn't leave it quite so late. This makes operating the fiddle yard easier. Now, if I want the loco to push a car or two onto the layout, I can run them onto the fiddle yard using this home-made re-railer as the loco doesn't have to be behind them, pull them into the loop with the loco, then bring the loco round and push the cars onto their spots. I've also been having a go at a harbour wall and 'sea'. This is the first time I've tried sea and it took me a while to get anything near a colour or effect I was happy with. At first the whole thing was a horrible teal colour, then I brushed in more blue and white. I may revisit it and make it a bit greener, and will have to do something about the gap between the two halves and find a way of fixing it more securely to the baseboard. Also, I didn't have enough of the flint-style plastic card so I decided to do half of the wall with Superquick stone paper. Maybe there's a prototype somewhere... Now to acquire some marine detailing, and thanks to those above who gave me some pointers.
  5. Cutting some pieces of card to stick to the front of the baseboard, I managed to cut a slice off my finger (again). This must be up there as one of the most common railway modellers' accidents.
  6. Bearing in mind my intention to build a harbour or wharf scene, with the front of the layout as a harbour wall and an extra two or three inches in front to model water at a lower level, I'm going to need some appropriate HO scale detailing items, e,g, lobster pots, rope, fishing nets etc., and maybe a boat component or two. Can anyone suggest a source, preferably in the UK?
  7. The Alco S-4 shoves a boxcar into the siding... to pick up a hi-cube from Ahab Engineering. Later, an RS-3 picks up an empty gondola... and takes it to the interchange sidings. (Must straighten that wall). Sme views of the whole layout so far, showing the matchstick rail bumpers and the walls screening the fiddle yard.
  8. I've run out of materials for a backscene and don't feel like buying any more just now so for now I'm going to do without one. To make the low relief factory stand up, I made a sort of slotting system. For the warehouse interior rear walls, which aren't part of the Scalescenes kit, I found an online photo that was a pretty good match and adapted it.
  9. A bit more progress, with the Scalescenes low relief warehouse freebie and some ground cover, again using Scalescenes products and Wills cobble sheets which I've had for some time so I thought I might as well use them. The idea is that there will be a harbour wall all along the front of the layout, with a length of 'sea' a couple of inches or so deep , hopefully with room for a couple of small boats. Mostly I haven't been a fan of printed card kits because of the basic 2D appearance but they are easy and pleasant to build and I must say they look better than I thought.
  10. I usually use card stuck on top of the sleepers to the required height and painted, or topped with Scalescenes ground surface printed onto paper or thin card. This way everything is easy to take up if I need to re-use the points. Not as good looking as the 3D Wills sheet, which I have also used between tracks, but not bad either.
  11. Worsley Works apparently do an etched cab, body and chassis.
  12. I haven't done much in 3mm lately, having been more wrapped up in American TT (what a nice scale that is, by the way), but whatever the scale I have a rule I try and stick to. It's finished when I say it is (or when the little voice in my head tells me it's good enough), then I move on. I can't start a project till the current one is done because it just nags at me. Am I weird or what? I say try to - I couldn't finish the the 3mm scale Y7 so rather than agonise over what to do, I sold it. As to the J39, I seem to recall having to make some bits for it (splashers maybe) and although I told myself it was finished, I never liked what I'd done. Sold that on too.
  13. Very nice. I suppose one advantage of using the Tri-ang chassis is that you don't have to think about adding extra weight to what must be a very light body.
  14. A small start with scenics for this new layout in the form of the 1930s factory from modelrailwayscenery.com, repurposed with an added more modern Walthers door. Sides and roof still to do. I like the way this kit goes together. It was supplied as OO scale, which I could have got away with but I reduced it to 87% for HO. I think it will look nice against the backscene on top of a loading ramp.
  15. Or you could mix your own using cheap blue and white poster paint. You don't need much blue at all.
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