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Pixie last won the day on May 7 2011

Pixie had the most liked content!

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  1. I remember this enigma well. The outcome (which I think was published in a later issue) was the photographer had used a type of film that reacted the same with yellow and green light, therefore it appeared not to have a warning panel but in reality did. Steve
  2. Kobaru do an etch - they're excellent, as are all their other detail bits and pieces. They used to be available on eBay via PlazaJapan; currently none listed but their stuff seems to appear in waves. It's shown on their website here: https://www.plazajapan.com/4562246951219/. Etched washing, what a time to be alive. Pix
  3. Hi Justin, Thank you very much for your kind offer, but sadly I needed the LNER version specifically. That said, one turned up in the Association Central store so with the one Andy supplied I'm now satisfied. Indeed, thanks to the community all my needs are dealt thing. Thanks all! Cheers, Steve
  4. Scarily - I think it was quite a long time ago. I don't think Roath has seen daylight in over 10 years. Seeing as just about everything I had planned this year has been cancelled, perhaps I should dig it out and see if it still works. Hello Jim! Apologies, I had seen your message in the Any Questions thread but not quite gotten around to replying. I source most of my materials from Tiranti’s in Thatcham; initially because they were close but I’ve always had good service so I stay with them. Usual disclaimer, however. For the rubber I use T28 Silicon with the T5 FAST Catalyst. Silicon Spray also makes excellent mould release. For the resin itself, I used Axson F32 for a long time but I have now moved across to EC4 FastCast urethane resin at the recommendation of Tiranti’s – so far it seems very good. Although awful for the environment, given they’re truly single use, I also use a plastic pipettes, wooden tea stirrers, plastic cups and plastic shot glasses. I would fully recommend buying a digital set of scales from eBay that go down to 0.1g resolution; you should be able to pick up a set for less than a tenner. In terms of process – below is what I do. I’m by no means an expert but I’m happy with the results for my own use. For preparing your master I would suggest removing any painting/printing and spending as much time as possible to make it as good as you can. The rubber will pick up brush marks, finger prints, tampo printing, etc. Once ready I attached it to a smooth flat base with a smearing of PVA. I’m currently using some fibre backed copperclad board that picked up by mistake for another project. I build a Lego wall around the master, attaching it to the PCB with double sided tape. If it’s a one piece mould then I would build a simple wall like the below. If it’s to be a two part mould then I would expose a layer of bricks to allow registration of the two parts of the mould. I wish I could lay claim to this genius idea but I believe it originates with Guy on the DEMU forum. To work out how much rubber I need, I then fill the mould with rice until it’s at the right height. I then pour the rice into a measuring jug to measure the volume in millilitres. Back to the mould – I give it a very light spray of the Silicon Spray to allow for the master to be easily removed. It should set in around 30 minutes or so. Place a measuring jug onto the scales and ‘zero’ them. Pour the volume of rubber you need (as defined by the rice) into the measuring jug, once you have it make a note of the mass (in grams) of the rubber as stated by the scale. You need to mix a 20:1 rubber to catalyst by mass; in other words 5g of catalyst for every 100g of rubber. Measure out the catalyst on the scales in a shot glass; this stuff evaporates really quickly to be sure to put the lid back on the can ASAP. Mix the catalyst into the rubber - the catalyst contains a red dye which is really helpful for making sure you’ve mixed the two elements well. I use a teaspoon for this. Once the rubber is well mixed; using a brush I start to paint the rubber onto the fine details of the master. Things like grilles and door panel lines are perfect for holding air bubbles so you want to work it into these areas. If you apply a really thin coat of rubber (sub 0.5mm) then they should be visible for you to tease out with a pin or toothpick. Once this is done, it’s time for the main pour. You do not want to have an ‘avalanche’ of rubber out of the beaker as it will introduce air bubbles into your mould, instead I start from one corner of the mould to pour a very small amount of rubber. Once it starts to pour, begin to tilt the beaker back and lift it up away from the mould with the target of making the ‘bead’ of rubber to be as thin as possible. This will force air bubbles out of the rubber and with a bit of practise you can get the bead to be a fraction of a millimetre in diameter and from a height of a few feet. Once poured, it’s then a waiting game. With the FAST Catalyst it should cure in around 6 hours but I leave it 24 to be sure. Once set carefully remove the Lego wall and pull the rubber mould away from the flat surface. If it’s a simple open-backed, one-piece mould, you should have a mould ready to use. If going for a two piece mould then the process is essentially repeated. Taking the first part of the mould, turn it onto it’s back and build a new wall around it. Make sure the master is well seated, give is a spray of Silicon and then pour the resin in the same way. Below is the mould I made for the D803-D812 Warships; the first part is on the left and the second part on the right. If I were doing it again, I’d add a couple of ‘feeds’ into the inside of the body to allow the excess resin and air to escape easier when pushing the two parts of the mould together. To learn the process, I’d recommend making a couple of simple one-piece open back moulds first. Things like bogie sideframes, underframe boxes, etc are good for this. In terms of casting; it’s a pretty simple process. For tricky areas (like diesel grilles) I brush a little talcum powder on before pouring as it seems to help against bubbles. The resin is mixed 1:1 ratio by mass (not volume) – very important as one part is far denser than the other. Measure out the two parts in shot glasses with the digital scales and mix together with a tea stirrer. You don’t have long to work with it, around 2 minutes before it starts to cure. First I take a small amount in a plastic pipette and ‘inject’ it into any small details. Air bubbles are then teased out with a cocktail stick before the main pour is made. It will turn creamy coloured quite quickly and can be removed from the mould after around an hour. The first couple of pours in a new mould might be used to help locate troublesome areas where bubbles collect and also show up some stray bits of rubber that can be snipped off with a sharp set of nail scissors. The rubber is hardy stuff, the Warship mould is around 5 years old and still have most of grille and rivet detail - excuse the lint! I’m sorry the above started out with some photos and ended up being a bit wordy. I’d planned to make a mould with a load of photos this evening to demonstrate the point but time has disappeared it seems. It’s a lot simpler to show rather than explain, I promise! For something like a BR 5-plank body, my main concern would be a relatively thin wall section which it could be hard to get air bubbles out of. Are you planning to run them loaded? Perhaps a fake floor could make life easier? My interest is piqued however; if you’ve got a photo of the master we could come up with some ideas. I’d certainly be interested in a few for my modelling needs…! Hope this helps – shout if I can assist anymore. Steve
  5. Hi Robert, The etched elements may be available in time but you would need to source the underframe tanks and side frames from the Bachmann Spares Department. As some of the cast elements origins started with Bachmann’s design (although modified), I’m not comfortable with the legal and ethical side of selling them. Cheers, Pix
  6. Hello all, A few more etches and castings have made it to the first-trial stage in the last couple of weeks which should allow a few projects to be completed in the not too distant future. First up - some etched bogie inners and cast resin standard BR DMU bogies. A little while ago I picked up a Farish 108 centre car in BR green for a few quid at second hand shop in Reading. I'm not entirely sure what for but it'll be useful for dropping into a 'scratch' DMU rake at some point. The main issue was that it was missing it's bogies - originally I had intended to buy spares from Bachmann but after a bit of consideration I thought that it'd be worth investing in a photo-tool and rubber mould to allow self-sufficient in the future. And fitted to the vehicle that inspired them. The bogie steps are included on the etch; I'll add them once painted. As these came out well, I dug out a couple of Farish 101 DMBS bodies that had came my way. As this post may testify, I see to have a bit of a magpie instinct with pickling up bodyshells when the opportunity presents itself! I think I've always considered it 'cheap' way of building up a stock of parts for conversions or means of re-bodying basket case models, but it seems to be a false economy looking back. The 101 DMBS bodies were bought for no real reason aside from them 'looking useful' but ultimately I decided on conversion into a pair of the earlier, but similar, Met-Cam Lightweights as a couple of them turned up at Swindon in the early 1970s. I'm not wholly sure why they were there, but I guess it was linked to stripping reusable components from them. Whatever the reason, it didn't end well... particularly for this one: https://www.railcar.co.uk/images/9417 ! As Bachmann didn't produce a un-motorised DMBS chassis I made my own - with a fold up etch and various resin details. There's a few bits missing but for a 'scrap' DMU that will be dragged through a layout; it'll be fine. I'm surprised how well the motor castings came out, especially considering it's a home brew casting without a vacuum chamber or anything. The finished-ish result. Just need to start on the bodyshell now. Continuing the theme; BRLines has been listing new style Farish 20 bodies for sometime. A couple have been purchased and built up to match their powered counterparts. Bogie styles and mounts follow the started Association method and standards. If there was ever a case for a unmotorized RTR loco, a 20 is probably the ultimate candidate. And finally on this theme, the same idea for a 37. I need to countersink the retaining bearing to allow the centre axle to fit into the frame but otherwise it's worked out OK. I don't really need a lot of unpowered 37's (it's a pity the triple-headed Llanwern iron ore trains didn't appear a few years earlier!) but again, it gets a few body shells out of the 'to-do' pile and into the stock box. Now, for something completely different. A few videos on YouTube have appeared recently for UV-cuie resin; mostly aimed at the jeweller makers out there. It's sold as a miracle-cure which cures in a few moments with no bubbles to give crystal clear results. I've long been looking for something like this for recreating RTR glazing and flush glazing certain models so I had high hopes. Having tried it... it's OK. It's certainly got potential but it really needs to be built up in a lot of layers and I'm struggling to get a beautifully flat 'glass' type finish that you get with laser-cut material. What I have found it useful for is adding a thin layer of resin to give a glass effect on things like head codes - I think it would be really useful for adding lenses on tail lamps, headlamps and so on. Research continues...! Hello Jo - hope the house is slowly becoming a home! For a brief moment I though you were thinking of putting a 60 Speedo into your car! If you want to really go to town on the idea, I to have a GLS-level Cavalier binnacle with both the speedometer and rev-counter. I started to do a bit tinkering to convert it into a two-part clock; the speedo doing the hours (with each divider presenting the hours) and the rev-counter doing the minutes. I managed to get an Arudino to get movement out of them both but never progressed it any further - if I find a neat way of mounting them nicely. Oh, and if you have trouble getting 'train-things' in the house, just pretend it's modern art. It worked here. Certainly should be able to help out there with the Western bits; drop me a PM. Cheers, Steve
  7. Great stuff David - your work is so wonderfully neat. Cheers, Steve
  8. No problem Andy; how many do you need? I've not got any at the moment, but starting to line up a 'Production' etch. Pffft.. My next layout will be the well-known Hydraulic hot spot of the Norfolk Broads. Or Holland. Or the Bolivian Salt Flats. How's life in Spain? Last week I was able to pop to Tiranti's in Thatcham to restock some resin supplies. Due to the nature of component sizes in 2mm; you need to build up a good amount of things to be cast before investing in 2kg of resin before it expires. I knew some of these things ha been sat around for a while, but I was a bit shocked to see the 2011 date on the etches for the container master below! Anyway, here's the first shots of a BR Type A 10' Freightliner Container and a Type C 27' Freightliner Container. The moulds for the 20' Type B and 30' Type D are curing at the moment too. It'll be nice to finally have a load for the Harris' Freightliner flats and, thanks to Railtec, the transfers are now also available which crosses a job off the list. Cowlings for the Western's were also produced; based around the original Dapol item. I'm not sure if it's standard, but every Western I've ever picked up from them only contains one. And finally, something a bit different. I'm slowly restoring a couple of antique artists watercolour chests, produced by my employer around 150 years ago. I'm slowly collecting the bits to make them whole again but one of the biggest problems was to find the half pan watercolour squares in good condition; it seems that certain colours began to breakdown over time, either cracking or disintegrating. Speaking to the chief chemist at work, he was fairly confident that the rubber used during mould making wouldn't cause any issues and agreed to lend me two 'good' examples from the archives. I think they've come out nicely - originally they would of had a lead wrapper, but I won't be going that far. Once painted, I think they'll look fine! Cheers, Steve
  9. It’s no secret I like Warships - their brutish looks, coupled to shagged out condition in the early 1970s makes them very imposing things. The Farish model is a good basis for D813-D829/D831and with the resin bodies shown a few pages back I’ve been able to model examples from the D803-D812 batch but the gap has always been the NBL machines. The biggest hurdle has been the raised fan grilles - after a little experimenting, a composite etch of a 10thou nickel silver base with a 2thou stainless steel grille has worked out pretty well. They’re not perfect, but I’m kinda chuffed with these. Same stainless sheet also included walkways for the Western; it’s now full steam ahead on the project. This one will be D1021. Sure; it’d be my pleasure. How many words are there per page roughly? Drop me a PM. Cheers, Steve
  10. Evenin' Andy, Have you got a copy of David Larkin's 'BR Parcels and Passenger-Rated Stock - Volume 3: Self-Propelled Parcels Vans, TPOs and Car-Carrying Vehicles for Motorail Services? Phew, that's quite a mouthful! That has a series of excellent photos of all six Mk.1 TPO vehicles sat at Penzance in June 1960. If you need any detail photos or inspiration then this is probably the best out there. I do have a number of etches spare that would allow you to model this rake if required; let me know. Thanks Julia - that's very flattering. I think 'ish' is probably the best answer. At the moment it's just future-proofing the artwork to allow easy production if needed; my major blocking factor is the writing of instructions, being accessible to answer questions and queries and having the time to manage stocks to offer anything in a formalised basis. That said, I'm now getting to the point where I have got enough artworks ready to go that I could build a small stock of items so I will make an offering in time through the Association newsletter. In other news; the Cavalier passed it's MOT today and, as it celebrates it's 40th birthday in April, it's the last compulsory MOT required before it can be re-registered as a Historic Vehicle. I will certainly welcome paying zero tax; although I think I'll keep the MOT going to ensure it's road worthy. Happy days. Cheers, Steve
  11. Thanks all for the comments. Not that hard - find me some photos of them in red on the WR in 1971 and I'll happily build a few. I have got plans to model W80300 in red as it seemed to be a late survivor (Mods - please note; I didn't imbed the below...! I shared the Flickr links and they popped up automatically!). There's a certain elegance about the Westerns; I think they looked very smart with a rake of matching coaches. I do prefer the Warships though; they've got a very brutal presence about them! If you look hard enough on the internet there's even footage of a running one. Admittedly, it's over 4 years old. Cheers, Pix
  12. Hello all, Over the past few months I've been on a mission try and clear a huge amount of half finished projects off my workbench for long enough for me to get fed up at looking at them. Having had to pack everything up and the unpack it all during the house move, I was quite taken aback by just how many things had been started but later abandoned as interest had been diverted elsewhere. At times, my workbench has looked like a 2mm Swindon... All of the above have been striped back, detailed, reprofiled wheels, painted, transferred and weathered. In the cases of the Dapol items, each have been motored and had the bogies rebuilt to get rid Dapol's sloppy 'flappy paddle' pick-up system. I thinking about writing up these locos on a class-by-class basis rather than go into details of them all now; I'm not sure whether to put it on here, in the Association mag or something else but the intention is to do something. This week I received a package from PPD - I'm sure I'm not alone in the childlike excitement as you peel back the tissue paper for the first time and get to see the CAD drawings you spent an eternity 'tabbing' and 'hatching' become a reality. The arrival of this sheet marked the last stage of 'Project: Workbench Clearance' and I now have everything I need to finish the last clutter of semi-complete models. First up was some bogies, shoebeams, pantographs and various little details for a pair of Raworth class 70 Electrics. The basic models are resin casts of 3D prints, made available by Radley Models. They're both well out of region and a little early for my 1971 Western Region theme, but as they were dragged from Brighton to South Wales for scrapping in 1969 I felt it was close enough. Both 20001 and 20002 are now more or less complete, save for the handrails and glazing. I'm really please with how the pantographs came out - more of a representation but I think they've got a bit of finesse about them. A small, but long standing stumbling block has been the Spanner boiler port for the class 47. TPM make a great etch for most types but missing the Spanner type that was fitted to many WR examples - notably the namers. D1664 and D1662 are now fitted and ready for paint. Very little on the Western's themselves have appeared in this thread - not through any dislike of them but more working out what to do with the Dapol model. Both the Western are D6300 are great mouldings but let down by poor paint application, patchy assembly and some interesting design choices in the chassis. I've had a running chassis float around for a while which has worked well on Parkend - main issue was the massive holes that Dapol has put into the wheels, giving the look of a Golf GTI. The recent etched included some covers for these, new lamp irons, roof walkways, cab side windows (inspired by Andy C's Warship windows) and a couple of jigs. First is to drill the holes for the lamp irons and front hand rails. Secondly to align the nameplates, number plates and arrows. Please excuse the wonky window here - it's just tacked on the moment but I think it's an improvement. Only step now before completing these is to produce a rubber mould to replicate the front valances; a trip to Tiranti's looms. Buffers are from N Brass Loco. Full credit to Dapol for the shape of the Western front end - I really think they've nailed it, even when blown up on a computer screen it looks right. A couple of coaching projects have also benefitted - a Dapol Gresley Buffet has received a window overlay to give the later version. This will become W9135 in blue/grey which seemed to turn up all over the WR. A few TPO vehicles are now also in primer awaiting final tweaking - one has become a diag. 722 Stowage Van, probably to become M80401 in blue/grey with nets. Whilst the other is an currently unidentified diag. 731 Sorting Van. Finally - to those who I have long-discussed Class 14 chassis' with, I'm nearly there. Version 3 is now in hand and I will test build in the spring; main developments are the inclusion of brake gear and the choice between solid coupling rods or individual sections. I did want to go another step further and add a layer of spring detail behind the wheels but I'm increasingly coming to the conclusion that life is too short. Cheers, Pix
  13. Hello Peak, It's a long time since I did the filling but it probably would have been Holt's Knifing Putty, available from Halfords and the like. I would have stripped the original model of it's factory paint using IPA with a 6% water dilution and the only other preparation of the blade would have been to give it a little rub with fibreglass pencil. I build up a few layers and would have sanded back with fine sandpaper but I could get to the final 'skim' layer (a bit like a plaster) where I would have applied a layer of knifing putty and then used a long knife blade dipped in butanone to smooth it all down. I since found out (by... erm, dropping a plough) that on the 2mm model the blade unclips from the main body which would have made it many, many time easier to work on. Happiness is stripping Dapol paint off... Cheers, Steve
  14. That's great Fraser - I hope the 2mm bug bites! Steve
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