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Geordie Exile

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    The very, very western Highlands

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  1. Four Fencehouses P4 hoppers have emerged from the paint shop. Thank goodness the NCB didn't have a standard size of lettering. It means I can use pretty much any size I've got. The full hopper on the left has Railtec transfers; the others are from Fox. I was worried about the quality from Railtec as they're much cheaper than Fox. They're a joy to use. Edit: P.S. I've tried a different masking technique with this lot when spray painting below the solebars. Rizla. They're cheap as chips, easy to cut, easy to position, pre-gummed, and I've always got
  2. Well, that's the artwork for the Charles Roberts 15-ton Hopper (a Backworth exclusive!) sent to PPD. Hopefully I've applied what I've learned (and enjoyed, and not enjoyed) from putting a few different etch kits together, along with my first etch of the coal processing plant. I think I've added enough, but not too many, tags. Hopefully I'll not just get a frame back, with the rest ending up in the etch soup at the bottom of the tank. Time (and upwards of 70 quid, I think!) will tell. Members of the Forth & Clyde Area Group have offered much advice, including 'try 3D printi
  3. I've learned to ignore that small but clearly audible rattle when I vacuum. What used to evince a whimper from me is now met with a philosophical shrug.
  4. I've a wooden floor, and yet the bits that ping away still disappear. Apart from the ones that I roll over when I push my chair back to look for them. And the brand new reamer that rolled under the skirting board and fell into the expansion gap betwixt wall and floor - I know where that is, but I'll never see it again.
  5. I've been juggling a couple of jobs over the last week or so. Working my way through the etch artwork for the Chas Robert Backworth hopper, I ground to a halt when my three-layered solebar wasn't deep enough. Start at the fold and the bearings, and it underhung the body. Start at the body, and I'd need a really long axle. It hadn't occurred to me that Chas Roberts wasn't constrained by .25mm nickel silver, and could make his undercarriage as thick as it needed to be! So, I turned to see how Bob Jones had done it on his P4, and did a batch of three. Bob's experience showed - he'd included
  6. Morning Ray I have both of those books - the Elliot & Charlton one is already dropping to bits as I've used it so much! As I'm going for a period immediately prior to closure (i.e. early 70's) then it looks as though the motive power was almost exclusively Austerity J94s and Class 14 diesels. Initially I'm hoping to use re-wheeled / detailed versions of the Farish models, and I've picked up one of each from eBay to play with. No 29 was an RSH side tank (I think - I don't know much about locos!) which was transferred from Ashington to Backworth during that period, so I may en
  7. Hi Ray The final bills have landed - or at least enough envelopes to create the last of the windows! They've got just the right level of translucency to show the interior as silhouettes, which is just as well as I've no idea what was actually in that building. I'm hoping to model the whole pit area, with shortened sidings to the north and south so the whole area covers about 1m x 2m. The southern two-road approach opens out into several roads more-or-less starting at the weighbridge. This is where I've got so far: The buildings modelled so f
  8. Hi Ray. I'm assuming there were two doors in the bottom of the hopper, with a transverse crossmember two or three planks tall, so that's what I'll model. I'll add internal strapping which appears to mirror the exterior vertical one, but I'm not planning on doing any hinges on the floor. This is the best picture I've got of the inside of the hoppers: ...so I'm also using this fortunate/unfortunate photo as an aid to the design: I'm not sure of the type of hopper this was, but it was in use on the Ashington system when it got involved in a fight with several others on Bl
  9. Well, I'm feeling quite pleased with myself. While I'm waiting for bills to land (no, really) so I can use their windows as glazing for the current building project, I've returned to the etch artwork for Backworth's signature 15t hopper. The internal angles have been doing my nut in. But, a couple of weeks away from it have meant a clear-headed approach, and I think I've finally got it. I've printed the hopper body onto plasticard in 4mm, and it's come together nicely. So, I think I'll crack on with the chassis frame and brake subframe, and start playing with axleboxes.
  10. This whole 2mm journey has been a series of firsts for me. But I doubt if I'll ever get to "Oh goody, a tax bill"
  11. The Coal Processing Plant is taking shape. I'm at the glazing stage, using the cellophane from window envelopes as it has just the right translucency. I never thought I'd be hoping for bills to land! I'm glazing one storey at a time, and adding the central opening sections randomly open and closed to relieve the monotony of each aspect. Once done I'll floor each storey furnished with fictitious machinery, all in black, to further reduce the detail but give the clear impression of something going on internally. In all the photos it's the only building that you can see into.
  12. Sound advice, Chris. Except I don't have any brass. I've got to the point where I've added the embossed plasticard brick sections, so that's the end of the soldering. I have braced it with corners of the etch frame (which make accessing the interior a bit, erm, gynaecological) and I'm going to floor it with 1mm plasticard superglued into position once I've glazed it, so that should add some strength. And I doubt if any of my models would survive being sat on . My partner wants a new cat, which will be absolutely banned from the shed which will eventually house the layout! Rich
  13. Thanks for your comments, Ray. I grew up on Marden Estate, about 10 miles away from the pit. Was dragged a couple of time to Backworth Primary School when it became Backworth Drama Centre. And the artwork for the wagon etch is progressing, slowly, so watch this space...
  14. You mean I needn't bother putting a stamp on that letter to the Patents Office, then?
  15. Well that went up with fewer swearies than I expected. And only three bits fell off. The distortion is mostly the fault of the phone camera, it's squarer than it looks. Honest. I've just tack-soldered it for the moment. Now to add the two layers of corner columns, painstakingly folded using my (as-yet-unpatented) clamp-n-bend-n-pray tool. After that, infill the bits between the windows with brick-embossed plasticard, glaze it, floor and roof it, add the opening windows, and paint it.
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