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About Firecracker

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  1. And a late night milestone! With the point rodding down, the platform road has been ballasted. That means all the track is now ballasted. There’s the ballast shoulder to tidy once the southbound platform is finished and the facing is in, around the compensating cranks once their base is made to look more like creosoted timber, but it’s near-as-damnit done. Owain
  2. Well thank you! The ballast siding area is experimentation from one end to the other. It’s a base of plasticote textured ‘stone’ spray paint, which turned out to be a very close match to woodlands scenic ballast. So areas where there would be no/less traffic got a bit of the ballast added over the spray paint. Then the tyre tracks were added. First work out how and where the vehicles (telehandler loading wagons, lorries delivering ballast) would manover. Then the tracks were added using games workshops dry brushing colours. Then a bit of contrast was added with dark washes. Finally, in the middle of the tracks, a bead of glue was very carefully applied and turf dusted on. That scene isn’t quite finished, the bank behind the ballast heap is getting another layer of static grass and a bit of scrub, I think it needs to look more overgrown. Also the running line needs its ballast weathering, the siding will be left pretty much as is, because steam locos rarely enter. Then there’s the point rodding (oh goody) to go in, I’m also debating would the trap point be controlled from the box or a ground frame. I use the photos as a way of examining the modelling. It’s easy to miss something at the time, and notice it later in a photo. It might be something that’s the wrong colour, or isn’t stuck down. So there’s a lot that don’t make it onto here. Owain
  3. And a little bit more, one tedious job and one I’ve been putting off for a while. Tedious - finishing off the point rodding in the platform roads. This is from the Wills offerings, so it’s assembled into longer runs on the bench. There’s also compensating cranks in that run, they’re made up on a base of 20thou styrene sheet. Da plan is that this will be painted to resemble timber before it’s bedded down. And offered up. The job I’ve been putting off is sorting the southbound platform. As I said earlier, due to a cockup when this was laid, it’s 4-6mm too close to the track. There’s clearance, but no room for the cosmetic platform face (a mixture of breeze block on the new extension and stone on the original). The reason I've been putting this off is it involves a mallet, chisel and slightly more violence than I like around finished models. But I wanted to sort it before any more details (ie the point rodding) went in. So here’s the aftermath. The edge is now where it should be, the ballast will retouch and no other damage occurred. Finally, a couple of shots taken from the operating side. Owain
  4. The latest bits! First up, breathing on the DMU, or more specifically closing the gap between the two cars. I picked this up in Wales last year,it’s a lovely model apart from the massive gap between the cars. Why bother with the close coupler mechanisms and then fit a drawbar that’s far too long? Anyway, I’d researched this and found that there were shorter drawbars out there, for other Bachman DMU/EMU’s. This then got forgotten, until a browse of the spares in Monk Bar models (I was actually after a spare pair of mk1 bogies, but that’s another story). When compared with the original DMU offering (DMU lower) they’re quite a bit shorter. And trialed, they’re ideal. The lights still work, the cars negotiate the points with no problems but the gap’s gone. Think that’s a result. On the scenery front, these Scale Model Scenery manholes have gone in the cess in the cutting, to suggest that as part of the track relay the drainage has been tackled as well (soil colours aren’t quite right yet, it’s a mixture of the wrong paint and it’s still wet) Whilst clearing some assorted wagons out to move them onto a new home, this pipefit appeared (parkside dundas kit).. It’s been weathered, kadees fitted and entered service. Finally, here’s a cheap and easy way of holding lots of individual bits for a spray coat of primer. Plywood offcuts and double sided sticky tape. A mixture of skytrex drums and barrels, with some Langley tyres for the yard junk pile. Owain
  5. Gone to a new home! As as I said, collection (York) or delivery Pickering/Whitby/York area by agreement, will be at Kendal and Doncaster exhibitions as well. Owain
  6. Now departed to new home. Owain
  7. So what do you do when you’re bored and taking it easy? Let’s have a little photocharter!. So the standard 4 departs Sedbergh with the BR goods wagons. This is my take on the goods rakes you see in preservation, a surfeit of 12t vans, not enough 16t minerals (or any in this case), brake vans at both ends (makes the running round easy) and something unusual (that milk tanker) in the middle of the rake. Someone needs to tell that cleaner you don’t need hi-vis on the footplate as well. Enjoy. Owain
  8. Well thank you! That was one of the reasons I picked that wagon up, the second was the livery. That’s the entire joke behind the rake of P.O. wagons, there’s only two different designs in the rake and I justified this as someone’s acquired a rake of internal user wagons from a works somewhere, then set to and repainted them into liveries that either someone likes or have local connections. Owain
  9. Whilst shaking off round two of the lurgi that’s doing the rounds at work, I’ve been getting distracted (as is my wont). In the last months of 2019, I moved the main modelling workbench from a cramped corner of the garage to a much larger, warmer space in the small conservatory (this is on my blog, and before anyone asks, yes, I do live on my own). Anyway, one rather palatial bench was joined by a rollchest to give a bit of extra storage and somewhere for the loco servicing facilities to live. Now, I want to add a test/programming track to this. This is the previous effort, which served two earlier layouts. I fancy replacing it because a) over the years, it’s acquired an impressive bend, b) it would be handy to have a set of points on the test track to check back to back dimensions and c) I fancy something a bit more scenic, to be able to grab the odd photo of a new arrivial or detail and weathering jobs. So, whilst coughing, sneezing and dozing, ideas began to form. Here’s where I’m basing it on, and I’m sure this will be recognised. Several reasons, it’s a compact area with a backscene and it’ll serve as a testbed for modelling track buried in ash and filth. The track plan is nothing fancy, loco length headshunt, LH point, two sidings. Backdrops to rear and RH end comprising of boiler shop wall and running shed end gable. And see if it’ll fit, it should do, just need to add a small overhang for a headshunt. Finally, whilst having the clear out of the bench, this older ratio kit surfaced (LNWR corridor third). According to the net, a couple of these survive as bodies, so the railway has recovered one and started to build up a vintage rake, along the lines of Embsay or KWVR. Might be joined by one of the Hattons Genesis offerings, or other kits might pop up. It’s going together nicely, the lining is something I’ll worry about nearer the time. Owain
  10. Excellent, more power to your elbow! Hope yours goes as smoothly as mine did. Owain
  11. I used the DCC23 (following a long consultation with Martin at Monk Bar). Only thing I did was because it was going to be on top of the motor was that I wrapped it in sticky tape to prevent any shorting. Bizarrely, considering how small the beast is, it’s one of the easiest installations I’ve done. Literally undo the four screws, remove the coupler blanking plates and the chassis popped out with no bother. Reassembly was similarly straightforward, set the address to 48 (I use two digit adresses, usually the last two digits of the loco number, due to using an older lenz system) and it ran like silk first go! Monk bar had already test run it for me on DC. Owain
  12. I think (I haven’t got one to hand to check) but any ex. Dapol/airfix RTR short wheelbase wagon body should be a simple clip on/off. Certainly the 5 plank body in my photo above did, so their 12t tank wagon should as well. I’ve tried running it without the runner, however due to the point work in the yard throat it stalled repeatably (this is not a criticism of Hornby, more a comment on my tracklaying). Owain
  13. And let’s show it off with moving pictures! Phone set up on an extemporised tripod of a ‘helping hands’ soldering jig, but gawd, that microphones sensitive! As per the title, ‘The 1130 departs Sedbergh’. Owain
  14. And a few more! I’ve been carrying on with the weathering of the coaching stock. The major difference is that I wanted the maroon rake to be a bit more varied in condition, to suggest some coaches are due an overhaul. At this point I was browsing the paint rack in games workshop and I found one of their dry brushing colours, the wonderfully named ‘Verminlord Hide’. To my eyes, this looked like faded BR maroon, so the rattier of the two SO’s had this dry brushed on the sides, with the brushstrokes kept vertical and the difference with the second SO behind below. And in the platform. I’m still rather fond of the Ruston, so after rearranging the yard (it’ll happily shunt 6 wagons, any more than that requires an ‘all or nothing’ driving style that anyone who’s driven an underpowered car will recognise), it collected a short train for the station group (tree pruning and brush-bashing?) And later returned to the yard. Owain
  15. And as threatened, moving pictures! Ignore the heavy breathing, I really must sort something other than my phone for these. Just knocking a rake of Parkside Dundas vans and a Bachman brake van about. Owain
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