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Pixie last won the day on May 7 2011

Pixie had the most liked content!

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  1. Untitled by Schtebe, on Flickr Iris takes to the rails. Pix
  2. A couple more test builds tonight. Firstly some bogie inners for the Metro Schlieren bogies fitted to three Mk.1s as a trial. The cut out for the close coupling mechanism is a bit tricky but I think it’ll work. A niche, but allegedly M25282 made it to blue livery with them still fitted. The Western roof walkways have also been revisited - the border just wasn’t quite right before so have been thinned down. Happy with these now - I think they make a real difference. And finally, a winged-but-hornless 24/1 and 25/0 headcode boxe that was fitted to a few machines. This is only test fitted to the body at present so it’s not seated quite right. I did vow to have some bits available at the 60th Celebrations a few post ago and, whilst the show hasn’t been able to go ahead, I’ve started to put together a listing of bits I have available which I’ll post up shortly. Watch this space. Cheers, Steve
  3. You’re more than welcome Steve. Falcon is an ornament, but a very nice one at that. It’s amazing to think you can buy an RTR 7mm model of it really. If the company who are proposing a 7mm HST nail it then I’ll probably have a power car on the side too eventually. I warn you now Chris; it’s a bit agricultural. I take some Tamiya masking tape and apply it half to the etch. I then take a relative small diameter tube (in this case 6mm) and make sure that the alignment between the tube and the etch are perfectly square. Then simply start to tightly roll it onto the tube. Here it’s a simple TPO side with small windows but for a more typical coach side I would probably start with a bigger tube and get progressively smaller. I then untape it and turn the etch upside down and repeat to get an even curve. It’s worked well so far; I would recommend experimenting before using the method on any sides of great value. The below is the result, the line of a different hue is where the tape was, the resulting arc of the curve is nice and constant. Hope this helps, Steve
  4. Excellent choice of prototype and model John - we shall have to compare notes sometime! I have a lot of information and photographs from various sources so please let me know if there’s any gaps I can help on. The Parkend branch saw a huge variety of motive power over the years, even uncommon traction like Hymeks, 31s and a token Warship turned up. Interestingly you can now stay in Rose Cottage (well, Corona aside..!) which I’ve been tempted to take my 2mm version too at some point. Watching with interest! Steve
  5. Evening all, I think it’s fair to say that the world took a bit of turn after my last update! In a parallel universe, where 2020 was a bit more normal, a lot of us would currently be somewhere between Derby and home right now. But, alas, it wasn’t to be. I look forward to the Diamond+1 Jubilee show when happens; apparently in France it’a tradition to give a Platanus tree on a 61st anniversary, so maybe we all need to tree to the show?! Anyway, since Corona I’ve done almost zero 2mm modelling. By spring time I’m a bit ‘modelled-out’ after the winter and tend to down tools for a while. Not being able to do that this year, I’ve reverted to working on the house - something the rest of the nation has been doing if the queues at IKEA and Wickes are to be observed. Most important DIY project has been the repurposing and fitment of a BR ashtray-bottle-opener, a short reach from the BBQ. This is between work, which has been ‘interesting’ to say the least. ‘Interesting’ to the point that I’ve concluded I need to do something different with my professional life. Although, given the daily news of impending job-market doom, perhaps this isn’t the right moment to be making such a leap. Anyway, back to modelling. Just before lockdown I submitted an etch to PPD for a few more item. They have been very good in keeping me informed during their shutdown and I was happy to see the it turn up on Saturday morning at long last. I’m always pleased with PPD (usual disclaimer) but there’s certainly a bit of variety in the quality of etch, sometimes they seem to lack definition and resolution. Still very usable, just a bit... ‘fluffy’. However, most recent delivery is probably the best I’ve had - the crispness is wonderful. Delivery of these etches has kick started my mojo and I’ve spent the weekend merrily year building stuff. First up was a set of Derby Lightweight ends - I’ve wanted to model Iris and the Ultrasonic Test Train for a long time and finally given up waiting for Bachmann to shrink their 4mm model. These will graft into the Farish 108 with a bit of cutting-and-shutting. There was a lot of guessing with the various angles and curves so I’m pleased the test build has worked out well. Next up, the Tribology Train shown up thread needed some motive power. In my period, this was mainly D5901 and I’ve spent the Winter working out how best to make a Baby Deltic. A spare Class 40 Body was acquired and having cut it about, grafted on some 37 ends and then covered it in 2thou Stainless Etches it’s staring yo come together. A rough mock up... ...and something a little closer to finished. Although there’s still a few bits to do, like the window frames and curve between the tumblehome and buffers to work on. A small etch but something I’ve been meaning to do for ages is a conversion pack for later D6300s which were build with split boxes. There’s a couple of machines I’d like to do, including D6354 which seemed to be a Parkend regular. One model to be finished off recently was a rework of a Farish Autocoach into Test Car 1. A good tip for the window frames - after years of trying to paint them, I’ve now standardised on buying models with light colour frames and using a Sharpie to recolour them. The model started out as a blood and custard example and an orange Sharpie made quick work of their recolouring. For non-railway stuff; I’ve become the proud owner of a load of Schuco 1:43 Opel Ascona B’s in the last few weeks. Lovely models and I’ve taken great pleasuring in sawing the noses off and grafting some home-brew Mk.1 Cavalier resin noses onto them. And finally, a landmark birthday happened in the family in April, as the Cavalier made it to 40 years old. Happy birthday ol’girl; the vehicle can now be officially reregistered as a Historic Motor Vehicle. I have a lot planned for the next decade for it as by its 50th I would like to have it back to showroom, concourse condition. Now the house is in relative order, I’ve started to work on non-critical area which will be essential for housing everything as it comes off the car. The loft is now full boarded out and lit, a fully ready ‘Cav-Crypt’ of spare parts. Next will be sorting the garage, it needs some work on the roof, boarding out the rafters and then fitting out with electricity/lighting and painting to give a clean environment to work in. Then finally I need to build a shed at the end of the garden to act as a workshop and house some of the heavier items. I think all the above will take me around 2-3 years which I think will be about right for was the car will need a good freshen up. Let’s see how I get on... I hope you are all well and sane amongst the madness. Cheers, Steve
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. Great stuff David - your work is so wonderfully neat. Cheers, Steve
  13. 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
  14. 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
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