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  • Location
    Ely, Cambridgeshire
  • Interests
    Cromford & High Peak Railway (P4)
    Danish railways (P87)

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  1. Martin, One other suggestion here is to use fine grit paper as the basis for this kind of surface. I've used this quite a lot in my p4 and p87 models. It takes paint from an airbrush quite well, allowing subtle variations in colour to be built up, and texture can be enhanced with small patches of dust fixed with dilute PVA. Hopefully the attached photo of the loading bank on my recently completed Danish goods shed will hint at what can be achieved. I love the way your layout is shaping up. Worth experimenting with different techniques in small areas until you get the best effect. Regards, Geraint
  2. Brian, Long ago I gave up trying to guess what might come out of the ZOB workshops next, but that mere statement gave me an idea. Why wouldn't the ZOB repair works be located alongside Quai87, and why wouldn't they have expanded their business to offer refurbishment and maintenance services to all comers, whether standard or narrow gauge? One could imagine all sorts of oddities arriving by ship, by transporter wagon or under their own power - the world's your oyster! I quite understand the need to go back to something that grabs the imagination, and besides, we p87 folk need to stick together! The RGVJ directors will be pleased to see such a renowned engineering establishment staying in business! All the best. Hopefully we can catch up soon. Geraint
  3. Just to follow on from the Christmas Eve post, I've now finished the crossing keeper's hut for the Overdammen level crossing. This is of a fairly standard Danish design, with dimensions taken from photos found on the internet and a drawing prepared in CAD. The basic structure is in plasticard, with etched windows and door. The chimney stack uses my standard method of producing brickwork with strips of .011"x.022" Evergreen strip, with the vertical joints cut with a scalpel. The base was originally cut from scribed 2mm MDF, but I couldn't get the right combination of colours for the cobbles. In the end I hit on the idea of using a Noch pre-printed sheet, which has been scanned in, adjusted to reduce the size of the cobbles to match the prototype street, and then printed onto 250g/m2 grained watercolour paper. This has a delicate rippled surface, which takes the ink well and removes the flatness of what would otherwise look just like a photograph. A small amount of weathering with powders gives further variation to the colour. The fence is made from microstrip and the large edifice to the left is actually the warning gong for the level crossing. Crossing keeper Mouritsen (one of Modelu's excellent products printed at 3.5mm scale) is anxiously looking at his watch. The afternoon mixed from Gram must be running late today! With the hut finished, I can now turn my attention to the rest of the crossing, which will have two booms across the street. At this stage I haven't decided whether this will be a manually operated crossing (in which case the winch mechanism will need to be added to this scene), or whether it will be one of the new fangled (for the late 50s) electronic crossings with flashing lights. Watch this space! Regards, Geraint
  4. I'm having guilty visions of being ostracised from these portals for making only one post this year, so to make up for it, here's a brief Yuletide update from the RGVJ. Progress has been limited of late, with the focus being on developing a plan for additional rolling stock. This is mainly to provide better coverage for Obbekaer on the exhibition circuit, but also for some additional variety at Ribe Skibbroen, as and when that becomes operational. First off is the small 3-axle B&W diesel featured before in these pages. This is a scratchbuilt effort, which has required a considerable amount of research and design work before artwork could be prepared for etching. Even then, some of the parts have had to be redesigned, either for a better fit or a more simple assembly, but that's actually a part of the whole process that gives me a good deal of satisfaction. So, after well over a year of effort, sometimes sporadic and at other times hectic, I'm only just at the stage of having a working chassis. The final loco comprises three sub-assemblies - chassis, footplate and body - which all screw together. All are made from nickel silver. The chassis is sprung, using CSBs from steel wire running through handrail knobs. High Level hornblocks carry the axles and the wheels are from Alan Gibson. A Mashima motor is mounted centrally, driving through North West Short Line UJs to two identical High Level gearboxes on the outer axles. The basic footplate structure has been completed, with buffers and screw couplings. Springs have been fitted to the w-irons, but the axleboxes (white metal castings from Rumney Models) will be fitted after the remainder of the soldering is complete. There's an array of additional fittings and pipework to be attached before then, and I'm only just beginning to come to terms with what it all does! Brake gear will follow later. Anyway, here's a photo of the unit as it stands. Away from the rolling stock, I've completed a small 'ledvogterhytte' for the level crossing over the main street (Overdammen) at Ribe Skibbroen. It's all plasticard, apart from the cobbled paving surface, which is actually a photograph printed onto a textured watercolour paper. You'll also see from the background that the track gang has started to lay sleepers in the station at Ribe Skibbroen. These are laser cut, with two stuck together to give a full thickness sleeper and a small countersunk head brass tubular rivet inserted in the top layer, to which the rail plates and rails will be soldered. That simple description doesn't do justice to the boring job of putting them all together! Anyway, that's it for now. Hopefully more updates in the New Year, but in the mean time from all the Directors and staff at the RGVJ, a resounding GOD JUL to everybody! Regards, Geraint
  5. David, Many thanks for your kind words. It was a real pleasure to do this show, not only from the point of view of the organisation (which was excellent), but also for the rapport with the many interested visitors on the other side of the barrier. All too often there appears to be very little interaction with the paying public, which in my case I have often put down to the possibility that they don't know what they're looking at, but on this occasion it was exactly the opposite, which made the whole experience all the more enjoyable. I know that many of the exhibitors I talked to felt the same. Judging from the favourable comments that have appeared on the Scalefour Society Forum, it seems that a number of modellers at the finescale end of the spectrum now have marked this down as one of the key one-day shows in the calendar, which speaks volumes for the quality of the event. I have the luxury of family to stay with in Hampshire, so next year's date is already in the diary for a visit as a paying customer! All the best, Geraint
  6. Michael, May I recommend Giles' article in the latest MRJ on layout presentation? All the answers in there, and a thoroughly entertaining read to boot! Well done Giles, and apologies for the interruption! Geraint
  7. My, it's been some time hasn't it! Not a huge amount to report here, with work on both layouts somewhat hampered by continuing difficulties with my wife's health, which are not going to go away. The RGVJ directors have been assessing the rolling stock situation again, and progress is being made on the construction of the B&W boxcab diesel which has featured on these pages before. An order for further body parts is shortly to be placed with those excellent people at PPD, and some further progress is hoped for over the coming months. A rash purchase of a motorised inspection trolley from a railway in Austria will see the directors travelling the line in a bit more style shortly, with the vehicle currently in the paint shops. Pictures will be posted on completion. Next year will hopefully see more work on a couple of steam locos to complete the roster. In the very short term though, Obbekær will be hitting the road for an appearance at the Portsmouth show on Saturday. We hope to see some of you there.
  8. The Obbekaer team look forward to a highly enjoyable event in Portsmouth this weekend - the furthest south we've ever been, but an excellent show in prospect. See you there!
  9. Hi Richard, Totally by chance I was thumbing through a copy of the May 1965 Railway Magazine this morning and found the attached. It's credited to Gordon Biddle and dated May 1956. Track still visible in the setts, and I like the lamp fixed to the side of the building. Hope it's useful. My apologies for the poor quality, but the original magazine print was not brilliant. Regards, Geraint
  10. Rich, I'd like to echo the congratulations. Thoroughly deserved. I could have spent ages on Saturday drinking in all the detail - lots of cameos within the cameo! Just goes to show that there's much to be gained from a small project done to a high standard, from the view of both the builder and the viewer. Also that you don't necessarily need action to grab the attention. Looking forward to more progress on Monks Gate. Best wishes, Geraint
  11. Al, Can you do something to round off the corners of the backscene? I realise that the baseboards have a sharp angle here, but perhaps you could incorporate a curve, even a tight one, above the scenery, and hide the transition with a bush or two. I think it would really make a difference. For my Friden layout, which at least initially is going to be a permanent layout at home, I'm arranging for the baseboards to slide under a pre-formed backscene, with small variations in the height of scenery to cover the join. On my p87 Danish offering (Obbekaer) I built in a fillet of 1mm ply between the end and rear backscene boards, bent to a 25mm radius. It's quite unobtrusive, but it just helps to frame the scene much better. Regards, Geraint
  12. Hi Tom, Congratulations on the healthy report. I had a similar result last year and felt tons better for it! Returning to the pre-IPA conversation for a minute, I've always used lighter fuel, applied with a cotton rag, for cleaning both track and rolling stock wheels. It comes in a small can for about £1.50 and lasts a long time. The trick these days is to find a convenient supplier, as the days of the corner shop tobacconist are gone! I also make a point of cleaning wagon wheels once in a while. Two reasons for this. Firstly they can spread the dirt around the layout, making track cleaning even more necessary. Secondly, the build up of a thick layer of 'crud' over time has an impact on running quality, especially in p4 or p87. Regards, Geraint
  13. Paul, Go on, I dare you ….. set this up on your demo table at Scalefour North this weekend and prove that your locos will go round those curves! See you on Saturday, Geraint
  14. Hi Tom, I think you're absolutely right about painted backscenes, and it's even better if you can get a proficient artist to do it for you. That way you can get the mood of the picture to match the mood you're trying to capture on the layout, which of course allows you to pick the season, prevailing weather, and even time of day, if you really want to. I wonder whether you're aware of this website, which allows you to download the actual panorama profile for a specified location and direction? http://www.udeuschle.selfhost.pro/panoramas/makepanoramas_en.htm Worth a play, if only as a check that you've got the main elements of the topography right! All the best, Geraint
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