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MrTea

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    Southern steam
    Preserved lines
    80s BR Blue oop north
    Swiss Railways

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  1. I found these photos of the Kato lighting kit I’ve added to some of my EW1s. It looks like your Bernina coaches have a slightly different light bar to the ones that came in this pack? These have cuts where you snap them to the desired length and a silver strip down the middle. From what I can remember the LED unit goes at one end above where the pick up strip is visible? I’ve had a mixed experience with mine, the light level is ok but they are sensitive to dirty track and often flicker as they get pulled along which somewhat spoils the effect. I’d wondered whether a capacitor would help if it could be wired in? That seems to be used to smooth out gaps in current on some of the other coaches with light I have in 00. Interestingly the built in lights in the Gourmino coach don’t seem to flicker so there must be something different about the way that’s constructed.
  2. Hi Jon, Those plastic pieces look a bit similar to the clear plastic diffuser that comes supplied with the Gourmino restaurant car: On this model you break off the small piece at the bottom and fit the diffuser to send the light down the roof of the coach. Otherwise it’s lit by the table lamps only as supplied. I think the Kato light bars are slightly different. I’ll see if I can dig out a photo for you. Ian
  3. Hi Jon, Did your Allegra set come with the box? Sometimes you can find the instructions on Kato sets hidden tucked under the foam in the base. Depending on if anyone else comes back with an answer I’ll try and did out the diagrams when I’m back on Sunday for you. I seem to remember that the coupling lengths are partly related to the gangway connections - they sometimes have long or short ones depending on the couplers being used. Have fun! Ian
  4. Thanks for sharing your photos Gordon. Made a bit more progress on the Bergun side of the layout last night. The area around Plaz tunnel hadn’t had much done to it for a couple of months so I decided to pull that and the middle board out of storage to work on them. We had some more of the thick corrugated card left over from a recent delivery so I intercepted it before it could go in the recycling. As with the other tunnels I wanted a removable section so I could get at the trains in case of derailments. Another necessary but not very glamorous job was painting the sleepers represented on the unijoiners. You can see the difference it makes to the overall look in the two photos above. I’ve also added a card fascia to the front of the tunnel to tidy everything up. A couple more evenings work should see this area formed up and with a first layer of plaster ‘snow’ on the surface. Finally I added a layer of white paint in the area in the valley in front of the bridge and cut down some Kato catenary poles to represent the OHLE on this section of the line.
  5. Hi Craig. I did find this when I was looking into backscenes for my Swiss layout? https://www.atelier-dietrich.at/modellbauatelier/kaufkulissen/index.html Hope this helps! Ian
  6. Nice. Now you've got me wanting to put up catenary wires on my n scale RhB layout!
  7. Before I had to put the boards away I managed to get a bit of time to photograph some trains on the layout today. New arrival GE 4/4 iii #650 crosses the bridge. GE 4/4 ii #631 heads down the gradient towards God tunnel and Bergun. Close up of #631 from near the lineside approaching the bridge near Crestas. A southbound service heading up the line.
  8. Finished off the Smooth-It on the bridge board last night and made a start on painting the backscene. The trees on this section came out a bit more abstract but I think that's fine. Looking back at how I did the other side, it was done over 2 or 3 sessions, with the colour built up in layers starting from the distant hills. There's annoying line behind the bridge which I'll have to try and disguise. For the first time I'm starting to think I might actually finish this layout - that'll be a first for me if it happens!
  9. Sometimes when progress feels slow on a layout it’s good to look back and see the difference you’ve made. The photos above are from the start of April when this side of the layout was mostly card formers either side of the track bed. Looking at the same location tonight made me realise how much has changed even though I really didn’t get much modelling done over the summer months. I like the way the track climbs through the landscape on this side of the layout. There’s something aesthetically pleasing about the way the track curves and follows the shape of the hillside. The arch bridge is now bedded in a bit more and the road will hopefully blend into the backscene fairly seamlessly. Once the Smooth-It layer is complete on this board I think I’ll have a stab at painting the rest of the backscene although this section will be more like the Veja Megstra side with rising mountains and forest in the distance. This section will also have a few trees in the foreground to the right of the bridge which should hide the trains briefly on their climb and break up the vista a bit. There are also a couple of signals to go in, including one of the rather interesting square distant signals. But because they’re fairly fragile I’ll need to wait until the base layer of scenery is complete before I think about installing them.
  10. Quick update on the God tunnel end of the layout: Now that the fascia has dried, the next job was a layer of Smooth-It to cover the rough bits of the plaster bandage. Once that dried I mixed up some gloopy ‘snow’ to cover the surface using white powder paint and PVA glue. While that was drying I took the chance to paint the rail sides and the sleepers around the Unijoiners - that makes quite a difference to the look of the track especially at the joints. Then I took the plunge and added some white to the track and ballast on the tunnel approach. This is the bit I’m not really sure about yet. Has anyone got any advice on how best to model the transition between ballast and snow? I can’t quite work out how to make it look like the snow has drifted at the edge of the tracks or where it’s previously been ploughed. At the moment it still looks like the ballast is sitting on top of the snow or that it’s been painted white. The other issue I’ve got to resolve is that the ballast shoulder is noticeably darker than the Unitrack roadbed. I think a wash of frame dirt acrylic will help but it’s a bit two-tone for my liking at the moment!
  11. Hi Keith, Those photos look good to me. I've used Tacky Wax for temporarily positioning figures and found it works well too. You don't seem to need much - I think I used a cocktail stick to apply the wax to the base of the figure's feet. What I liked about using the wax was that you could set up a scene for a photo and then move the figures afterwards. I know what you mean about the style of some of the figures, there seem to be fewer modern style ones in N. On Veja Megstra I've got a mix of people from Kato, Farish, Noch and Preiser. Keep the updates from Obermatt coming! Ian
  12. Not sure what others think but I found this month’s instalment a bit lightweight in terms of content and insight. I definitely preferred Engine Shed when it gave an insight into the development process of the models and focused more on the research side of things. What do other readers think?
  13. Made a start on the backscene above God tunnel the other night: Rough outline of the mountain sides and a cluster of distant pines. Starting to thicken up the forest. This where I’ve ended up. It’s starting to look the part and I reckon it will give the right sort of impression once there are a few 3D model trees planted in front. I’ve got a mix of reference photos to work from. Some are screen grabs from Google Streetview, some are grabs from one of Fabio’s cab rides I found on YouTube and the rest are photos sourced online. It’s difficult sometimes to find the right angle and time of year in a photo but hopefully when this is complete it’ll give the right impression overall. One thing I have noticed since I took these photos is that I’ve probably made the trees a bit too bushy. But hopefully it won’t be too noticeable. If I get chance over the weekend I might try and add some more filler to simulate drifts either side of the tracks here (I think this is in shadow, being north west facing, a lot of the time).
  14. Well, hasn’t time flown? Can’t believe it’s 2.5 months since my last update! Hope you’ve all had an enjoyable summer. The weather in Berkshire wasn’t up to much on Sunday morning and having got through most of my urgent domestic chores on Saturday it meant I could grab a couple of hours to work on the layout. I decided to continue the landforms on the Bergun side of the layout. Mostly this consisted of adding a layer of Mod-roc (plaster bandage) to the card hillsides but I also took the opportunity to fill a few gaps with Woodland Scenics Smooth-It (essentially just fine filler) and add a fascia to the right hand side front of the board. I don’t know why but there’s something oddly satisfying about a nice edge to the scenery where it meets the edge of a baseboard. I’m quite looking forward to the next stage with this side of the layout which will be a thick coating of white mush to represent the snowfall followed by an attempt at representing the mountains and trees on the skyline above the trackside. On the Veja Megstra side I was pleasantly surprised at how well the backscene turned out give it was a first attempt with water colours. I think it helped that I had a good selection of reference photos and that I’d gone for a fairly neutral mount board as the base colour. This isn’t the best photo as the sun was getting low outside but you can see what a difference having a uniform surface across the whole board makes to the overall look. Like others on the forum I’ve had a few recent additions to the loco and rolling stock roster courtesy of Kato’s latest RhB releases but I’ll cover those in a future post.
  15. Here are some recent pictures from the 'less finished' side of the layout: Approaching the bridge near Crestas. Above Bergun. Approaching Plaz tunnel.
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