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Blog Entries posted by Steadfast

  1. Steadfast
    I needed a break from constructing the building for Baby Laira, so have spent the last couple of days weathering up 08947
    I'm not 100% happy with it. Perhaps I'm looking a little too close, and forgetting it's only an inch long. The weathering of the bodywork isn't a direct copy of this loco from the few pics I can find of it at Westbury - unique features, like rust patches etc, are copied from 08947, but general dirt is an amalgamation of several examples to give an overall look that I like.

    First job was to faded the yellow on the ends. This was a wash of white gouache, with a damp cocktail stick being used to remove it from the black stripes. Next, the body was faded with an airbrushed coating of matt varnish with a drop of white paint mixed in. This gave the loco an overall dusty look, but soon disappeared once the surface texture was broken up. The underframe got a coat of weathered black, and the body drybrushed with faded Rail Blue. Weathered black and Sleeper Grime washes were applied to both, looking at where the dirt build up ont he real things. The oil streak in front of the cab, and the brown coating on the tops of the bodyside cabinets are both typical 08 weathering features to my eyes. Bufferbeam air pipes and the like were also attacked with weathered black. Adding these colours and washes removed the overall dusty look - before this it looked like it had been working in a quarry!

    Once the paints had dried, I worked on greasing up the underframe. In the absence of grease from a real locomotive, a mixture of products were applied. First up were a few washes of Tamiya smoke paint - this dries to a nice sheen as well as working like a black wash to pick out detail. On top of this, a mix of Mig Smoke Black weathering powder and Johnson's Klear was applied around the axle mounts and btween the springs. I made it up very thin, a couple of brushfulls of Klear with only a tiny amount of pigment, scraped from the inside of the lid to get the bare minimum. I found the best way to gauge the finish was to test various mixes on a scrap of card. I discovered that making it up like a thick sludge, surprisingly the mix dries matt, but the Klear fixes the powders solidly to the model.
    Anyway, back to the model. Once the mix had dried about 50%, I got a soft brush and moved horizontally, almost like a drybrush type of effect resulted. I also did this around the exhaust outlet to give the hard burnt on black deposits. Once dry, some powder was applied in the normal dry fashion with a soft brush for the smoky clag deposits on the roof. The shiny mix for the underframe was also applied over the diesel spill on the roof and bodyside to give a gentle sheen to it

    I've spent a while looking at Pugsley's 08, well, 09, weathering and have found it rather useful guide, so thanks mate!
    The idea of using Tamiya smoke and powders on the grungy underframe came from there, although used in a different way, it was deffinitely a pointer in the right direction
    I couldn't find the customary penny, so a USB connector will have to do
    As I said at the start, I'm not 100% happy with this one, if there's anything anyone can suggest that jumps out at them, please let me know!
  2. Steadfast
    Work progresses with detailing the HST stock. With the progress on the boards and track, I needed a break and have kept work on the stock moving forwards.
    The first power car is just about done and ready for storing until the rest of the stock is ready for painting blue. It'll all get painted in one go for consistency's sake.

    The van door is 10 thou plasticard, a similar one has been made for the cab. The exhaust work mentioned previously here is complete, complete with struts inside the outlets.

    The chassis has been lowered - much improving how the model sits.

    The upper body shows some of the work involved - I've removed the cooler group on the roof, ready to fit the mesh on top, and filled the mounting lug holes on the cab door along with the guard van windows. I've found that there are some big steps along the mould join lines on Bachmann produced shells, so the next one will use a Poole Farish shell.

    Three different variants of mk3, all based on a trailer standard.
    Top is the normal TS, middle the early style disabled toilet conversion and bottom is the micro buffets recently introduced. The various windows are blanked with plasticard. The toilet windows are glued in as they provide the roof mounting pips

    The conversion for the interiors of the last two types. Disabled loo (with the curved door) top, micro buffet bottom. I'm more creating a representative view here, as the side windows will be tinted, but these details will be visible through the end doors, which FGW had removed at refurbishment.

    The trailer firsts retain end doors (as do the TGS) to the best of my knowledge as they need locking to prevent public access to the power cars. This is the end of one, fitted with a Mictrotrains coupler in the buffer beam and some wire representing the air pipes. ETH sockets will follow, along with power car air tanks - watch this space!
    Work has also been continuing with the various transfer artworks - last night I cracked on with the bits for the HST stock

    Now I am beyond the stage of doing the first power car and carriage as test conversions, it really feels like the project is moving forwards. I bought another 08 the other day to spray up in FGW green and fit with buckeyes
    The sprinter bodies have also been stripped and cleaned up ready for spraying
    That's it for now,
  3. Steadfast
    So after hours spotting places visited on holiday and local landmarks whilst dawing up, well, typing up I suppose, the artwork for the 150, it's just about complete now. The test print is purely to check the sizing, it's done on fast draft on the inkjet, whereas the final will be ALPS printed all being well, allowing the base paint colour to show through. It shouldn't take too much work to modify it for the 153, and the good news is that it sizes up perfectly.

    Also got a test print of the main logo for the mk3 done - this will be home printed on white decal paper. Gurt lush it is Again, the sizing is perfect. I can't believe how well this project is going so far, there's normal at least one cock-up in the sizing with my homebrew transfers...

    Here it is at 100% in Photoshop, all taken from a photo I took of an ex works set a few years back. Proves the point that you never know what'll come in useful in future!

    Next up it'll be all the small stickers; carriage letters, disabled logo, first class, carriage numbers etc
  4. Steadfast
    Work continues with the Sprinters, both of which have gained new exhaust pipes to improve appearances. The first photo shows the work done to the 150, 1.2mm brass rod bent to shape, with the finest wire in my toolbox wrapped round and soldered to make the supports. The plastic underframes have needed to have a little bit of material removed to allow the exhaust to wrap round and pass into the bodyshell.

    They will be painted silver and heat stain colour and glued on once the model is painted. I'm not sure whether to remake them or not, as this photo on Martyn Read's site shows, mine don't hang low enough below the bodywork: http://ukrailwaypics.fotopic.net/p37857083.html
    The 153 has had the tubing connected to the turbo made up from some smaller brass rod (0.8mm I think) along with some tube for the canister. I think this is the air intake for the engine. This rebuild work has given several benefits. It removes the boxy underframe (needed on the motorised versions to hold the motor), looks more like the prototype and also matches the Farish model a lot more closely

    This piccy on Hattons shows how blocky it was to start with http://www.ehattons.com/StockDetail.aspx?SID=31842
    Next, a little more progress on the coupling setup - the plough is mounted on the 150 using Plastruct strip. It'll be coming off again to paint, but this was a quick test mount to check clearances.

    The final picture shows the extent of the modifications of the Dapol plough to make it look closer to the Farish offering. A top lip has been added to the low section using 10thou plasticard, and they have ended up looking quite similar, I'm pretty happy with the overall effect, especially given the size compromise due to using the Scharfenberg coupler. I've also drilled out the the air horns like James suggested as per his 37s - dead easy and a real improvement!

    I've also been stripping more mk3s, but I'll save an update on that until the mods I have planned are underway
  5. Steadfast
    Hope everyone's had a nice Christmas, having worked loads in the run up and over Boxing Day, yesterday and today have provided a much needed break, and put me in the mood to do some modelling. So, after being inspired by Pugsley's silver bullet work here on the 4mm version, today I sat down and did the first of my fleet.
    It started out as a standard weathered model, and the techniques I played with will be used not only to customise my other three weathered wagons, but also to dirty up my shiny ones.

    The first thing I did was to adjust the base shade of the wagon, as to my eyes the Dapol brown is a bit too orange and rusty looking. Once Games Workshop acrylic Graveyard Earth (a muddy brown) was applied roughly to "brown up" the underframe, a wash of this shade mixed with Vermin Brown and Chaos Black was applied all over the barrel and chassis to bring the two together. This has given the tank a much duller brown shade, and removed the almost satin finish of the factory weathering. The photo above compares the shades

    This shows both sides of the wagon, the prototype of which can be seen here on Martyn Read's Fotopic site. The wagon appears to have had a bit of an overfill, and I think my model is best described as based on, rather than a copy of, but I'm happy with it. Once the brown mix was removed where needed from the ECC logo with a cocktail stick soaked in screenwash, various white GW acrylic washes were applied around the barrel. Various drybrushing and stippling effects followed, with several thicknesses of wash applied in between. Once I was happy with the overall look, and a couple of big streaks added, I moved onto the smaller streaks. These were applied with gouache, which I first tried properly here. Small dots were applied with a cocktail stick where I wanted the streak to start. Then, with a barely damp brush - I lick my finger, then gently run a brush through it, so very little moisture makes it to the brush - downward movements were made over the spot to drag it into a streak. The effect is variable, so can have a denser start point (like a rust spot) or be blended into the streak or surrounding area, like with spills.
    Here's another photo, I tried to take it from a similar angle to the one of Martyn's linked above

    I was also in the mood to do some more to 08947, in this case adding the transfers and starting painting the underframe with a wash or two of Graveyard Earth. There's still a long way to go with this 'un, but it's getting there bit by bit. The variation in shade on the blue is where I have used Klear to give a nice shiny base for the transfers.

    So far work done includes:
    - Remove unwanted marker lights and trunking
    - Renumber and name using custom transfers
    - Fitted new post 98 OHL flashes, rusted old ones where needed
    - Replace whistle with air horn
    - Fit detailing air pipes
    - Detail painting (rusty silencer, cantrail stripe for example)
    - Replace cab end buffers with Oleos
    Still to be done
    - Fit driver and refit glazing
    - Fit new handrails
    - Fade, weather and varnish the body
    - Weather underframe

    Although I've modelled it beacause of the time it spent at Westbury, I'll be using it on Baby Laira until I get round to doing an FGW 08 or two
    More in the new year!
  6. Steadfast
    Here are the photos I promised in the original entry here, hopefully they illustrate my ramblings a little better

    A comparison shot between a fully detailed Farish 150 with BSI and the Tomix Scharfenberg, hopefully showing why I am using the Farish BSI to detail the outer end of the class 153

    Scharfenbergs together. The height discrepancy is nowhere near as bad as the photo looks, it's due to the 150's bogie pointing up slightly

    Nice and close coupling. Although not illustrated here, the corridor connectors are pretty close, and whilst not as close as new Mk1s, the close coupling mechanism on the Dapol 153 allows them to negotiate corners ok. It really does show the difference between the Dapol and Farish attempts at the bogies though...

    Work on making the front fairing a more realistic shape, including the electrical jumper cut out. This is the end that will be detailed with the scale dummy coupling

    Various angles, hopefully explaining the coupling mounting to the sprinter bogie as per the previous blog entry

    A trimmed down Dapol 153 plough against that of a Farish 150, showing how although it's still a bit thick, with a lot of cutting and filing it can be made a reasonable shape - this image shows how huge it was before:

    Between snapping the photos and getting the chance to get them online, I have done some work on the underframe, will pop that in the next update in detail, but basically this afternoon consisted of soldering up the underframe pipework
  7. Steadfast
    So, over the last few days I took it upon myself to forcibly dismantle my 150 and 153 to see what was what.
    After much sound of snapping glue and a stabbed thumb, they were apart - here's the 153

    The general conclusion is that Dapol use much more glue than Farish, and the design of Farish models makes them much easier to disassemble to modify/ respray, not that that is what they were designed for of course
    Anyway, at the N Gauge Show in September I bought a pack of the Tomix Scharfenbergs for fitting to Rapido pockets as a "just in case they come in useful" type purchase. And lo and behold - they did! I unclipped the NEM pocket from the 150, and drilled a hole through the new coupler, bogie under where the NEM clips on and a small piece of plasticard.A piece of wire was threaded through all three, thus allowing the coupler to swing side to side.

    Despite the fact I really dislike the look of these couplings on a Sprinter, when coupled in the middle of a pair it does look ok, and was much easier than trying to fit a Rapido to the 153. They will run as a semi permanent pair, with the outer ends detailed using the plough and BSI coupler from the Farish 150.
    Apologies for the low res phone pics, some proper ones will be taken in daylight!
    I've also been working on the decal artwork for these, the main blue body and pink doors will be sprayed, with the text printed on clear via an ALPS printer

    That's all for now folks,
  8. Steadfast
    So to kick off this new blog, here's some up to date pictures of some bits I've mentioned briefly on the other blog.
    Both are development pieces, so progress moves both ways, working out what works and what doesn't.

    This is a Graham Farish HST with a Dapol Mk3

    Doors have been removed, and the chassis lowered, though there is still too large a bogie - body gap, I think that's down to the bogie being too shallow. Bits of metal have been filed off the underframe too, to improve the relief. The other power cars will have their doors in place.

    The roof grill is replaced with mesh, and part of the TPM exhaust deflector is glued on and used to drill out the exhausts. The actual exhaust outlet still needs adding in the hole and a fan under the grill.

    This is the hole for the coupling bar. Comparing it with the TPM etch for the hatch, I managed to cut it the right size with pure guesswork - lucky!

    A couple of photos of the interior I've knocked together. It still needs seats adding. If anyone is unfamiliar with the layout of an HST cab, here's a link http://www.uk-train..../p64568476.html

    The mk3 has had a bit of home improvement - with the end wall being knocked through. Most FGW mk3s don't have end doors, so this is a bit of character that needed modelling. The fact the interior isn't designed for viewing from this angle didn't help matters, but was easily solved with some sidecutters

    Microtrains couplers have been added, and in time air pipes and ETH sockets will be gained too. The toilet windows are glued in here, so that once all sprayed blue, they'll be pretty flush like the real things are.
    Eventually the fleet should stand at 3 power cars, 4 or 5 Mk3s (maybe more) and a pair of gronks.
    That's all for now
  9. Steadfast
    All good things come to an end - and this week sees the end of the FGW loco hauled diagram due to the arrival of the various 150/1s from London.
    The weather's not up to much this week, so here's a shot from a few weeks ago, when 67026 was on the circuit

    In the meantime, I *think* I've finished my model of 67026. No doubt I'll spot something out of place sooner of later though. The weathering work was covered here http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php/blog/360/entry-4781-skips-and-stonesfiddling-with-gouache/
    Overall I'm pretty happy, the varnish has brought the whole model together, and it's the first time I've had a go at doing wiper arcs. It has toned down the gouache a little, but it still looks good in natural light - the trick now is trying to capture it in the photos! Might have to wait for some decent natural light to try

    I like the way the sheen on the fuel tank is picked up by the lighting I used, though I don't know if it needs a small glossier area closer to the filler.

    These 2 shots highlight all the details I've added to the front, well, rear, end of the loco. I'm dead chuffed with this, but it does highlight a couple of points. The wipers are rather chunky, and stand away from the windscreen rather nastily, I think an etch would work much better here. Also, the knuckle coupler has been robbed from a Farish EWS 66. It's a shame the model doesn't come with this in the detailing bits included. I wonder if it's worth mentioning these to the after market detailing guys? The comparison with the real loco also illustrates the huge light clusters on the model. One day I may take a file to a 67 and see what can be done here. Oh how crude my homemade tail lamp looks! B)

    Now onto getting the mk2s done to run with it, and a powered loco to haul them.
  10. Steadfast
    I've managed to get a bit of modelling in today, with both my dummy 67 and my autoballasters hitting the kitchen table today for a dunk in the gouache.
    Anyone who's not come across this stuff before - it's ace, give it ago! Gouache is a type of paint that's similar to Artist's acrylic, but able to be re-wetted and re-worked once they are dry. This makes them great for rust streaking and subtle dirt streaks for example. It was Martin (Pugsley) who first introduced these to me via a workbench thread on a previous RMweb, and they really are good once you get used to them!
    The 67 has had its base weathering applied for some time (airbrushed Tamiya and Railmatch), but today I finally got round to adding to it with some gouache. Some of the colour changes are so subtle, they look great to the eye, but the camera doesn't pick them up well. I might have a go tomorrow if it's sunny and I can find time between F1 and my birthday
    Oh, by the way, clicking the pics will make them nice and big

    These first two are a general overview which shows the overall state of the loco. It looks suitably grubby and unwashed, but not filthy There are several bits I want to add to or alter now I've seen the photos, but that's the joy of Gouache!

    Both ends of the skip highlighting the variation in shade, at the exhaust end the dirt tends to wash down the cab front, especially if the loco spends weeks coupled to a mk2 without a clean. The cabside shot tries to hightlight the streaking and dirt, but as I've already said, a lot of it is hard to see in a photo.

    Side on shot of 67026. When this is varnished to seal the gouache, I'm going to try masking the wiper arcs

    Here's another 67 on the FGW working I'm modelling, I've based the weathering on this one amongst others

    3 of my 5 Autoballasters. The weathering on these is mostly Games Workshop acrylics, though I'll be airbrushing a light coat of Railmatch sleeper grime on the lower bits and bogies, and some Tamiya Hull Red (rust!) to blend the slightly brush-marky weathering together. Bleached bone has been stippled on top of the rust in places to tone it back, and give a different effect to the raw paint applied.

    Please excuse the peeling transfer on the generator! The rust spots on the canopy and exhaust are both good examples of why I love working with gouache - once you start playing you don't want to stop! I haven't payed too much attention to the interior as it'll be getting a load of ballast. The prototype photo is one of several I've been working from purely for the canopy and shows the effect I'm aiming for, albeit mine's a little more rusty
    That's it for now, not sure when I'll get chance to do more to these and update - soon hopefully, as the JJAs have been on the go for nearly 2 years!
  11. Steadfast
    After an early start and a long day yesterday, today has been a lot quieter - giving a chance to think through the theory of my 150/153 combo, and have a gander at how the 153 goes together. When I get round to actually working on this it looks like a fair amount of work, and that's without considering the FGW respray...
    Anyway, a couple of photos to illustrate the models.

    The Farish 150 is, IMO, one of the best N gauge items available at the moment, and to my eye, sadly, the 153 isn't quite on a par. I wanted to model something a little different, so a 150/153 combo seemed the way to go. A dummy 153 and a cheap 150 were bought at Leamington yesterday to modify and respray.
    As the pictures show, the coupling and plough areas of the two models are considerably different. I'm not a fan of the Scharfenberg coupler that Dapol fit, being considerably larger than the BSI prototypically fitted, and normally seeming to jut out at 45 degrees to the front of the model. So, I'm going to fit the Farish BSI and plough off the 150 to one end, and move the Scharfenberg from that end onto the 150, allowing the two to be coupled. They'll be a semi-permanently coupled pair, making the most of the better shape, size and detail of the Farish detailing parts. The Dapol ploughs will be fitted to the ends with Scharfenbergs, though as the photos show, will need a fair amount of work with a file to reduce their size. I reckon they are almost 3mm:ft scale. By making the small cab the end that couples to the 150, it'll also hide the erroneously recessed cab front. I'd like to add detail and relief to the underframe and fit Farish 150 bogies, but I think this is more than will realisiticaly be achievable.
    Moving on, as paper mache-ing of the boards for Baby Laira progresses, work has begun on stock for it (which the 150/153 is also part of). Those of you who were at Leamington yesterday and visited the DEMU stand may well have seen this pottering about the circle of track:

    The nose has had a hole cut in, and the coupling bar added allowing the power car to be shunted around be an 08.

    Here they are coupled together

    A close-up to show the bar coupled up to the 08

    Demonstrating the turning capabilities, far extreme of what it'll ever need to do on track! The etched mesh on the roof is to represent the style of cooler group fitted to the FGW MTU power cars. Two doors have been cut out, and a bufferbeam has been added to the inner end. I think I'll use the drophead buckeye (though modified to be un-dropped) from the forthcoming Farish mk1s to fit the buckeye, as no others are small enough. This is still very much a work in progress, and there's a lot more detail still to add, and that'll be blogged when it happens.
    Here's a couple of shots of the 08 coupled to it, part way through becoming 08947. This will be heavily faded, and was a Westbury favourite for a few years. It still wears BR blue now, albeit in private ownership with Mendip Rail. This will probably be used to shunt the HST stock until I get around to doing an FGW example

    It's had 2 lights removed from each end and associated holes filled, and is actually sat on the chassis from an EWS loco, with faded red drybrushed onto the bufferbeams and rods.

    TPM Oleo buffers have been fitted to the cab end too. Although the rods are rather wide, once the loco is moving on a layout it looks fine, and for now at least, isn't worth the hassle of fiddling.
    Anywho, thats enough wittering for now, if I've left any gaps, please do pop up a comment and point it out
  12. Steadfast
    Well, I guess this is what you call finished. There's the odd blip, as usual, but I'm happy to call it done. Paint is Tamiya sky blue with a drop of white, and the yellow is Railmatch late warning panel yellow (I forget the years they print on it, 88-03?), with a gloss black underframe, all given a top coat of Railmatch satin varnish to tone down and bring it together. Detail painting is mostly Games Workshop acrylic, with MIG powders for the roof weathering. I prefer to do locos in grubby condition, partly because it helps to hide the mistakes, also because I find the weathering effects easier to get looking convincing. It was a bit touch and go with the clag dirt on the roof, but it's looking ok now, and will be staying as it is, in roughly this condition from early 2009. All it needs now is for me to crack on with some Murco tanks!

    Needless to say, DB stablemate 60040 will be rather grubbier when I get around to modelling it. The transfers, nameplates and donor loco are waiting...
  13. Steadfast
    Well, 59004 is just about done. There are one or two tidying up jobs, and the skywards pointing buffer needs attention, but apart from that it is there. The Yeoman logos are printed from my artwork by Kelvin at Red Firecracker, and are white on a clear backing to allow the blue to show through. The same effect is used on my upcoming PGA rake, to avoid trying to colour match the blue on the computer with the paint
    Here are some general shots of the finished model

    And a couple of shots comparing prototype details with the model, showing how much has been left off, err sorry, my interpretation of it
    First up, fuel tank, battery box and air piping

    Secondly the fine brake piping above the no 1 end bogie

    I find it quite amazing to consider the finished model has essentially come from this computer model http://www.shapeways.com/model/43587/mendip_rail_ltd_class_59_0.html to a fully finished loco. A couple of years ago this would have been unthinkable!
    Back to the more conventional plastic and etches for the next post
  14. Steadfast
    At Bristol show last weekend I collected the plates for my 59, so the loco now is named and numbered 59004 'Paul A Hammond'
    This gave me the kick I needed to get on and do some work on the model, with weathering started, and it now just needing windows, Yeoman logos and the weathering finishing.
    Here's a couple of shots of the current state of play - will add some decent ones once the loco is finished, hopefully in the next week or two!

    The grills are 'homebrew' transfers drawn up in Photoshop and printed on Crafty computer paper (clear). Simply black and grey, they allow the paint to show through the grills, like the real thing, as shown here with 59002 last week at Pilning on 6A83 Machen - West Drayton

    The Yeoman logos have been printed for me by Kelvin at Red Firecracker, cheque's in the post so hopefully will have them on the model soon!
    Will report back when it's done
  15. Steadfast
    Today I've finished prepping stock for Trainwest, an ED got weathered (may end up on the engineers in place of the dutch tractor after the photo I found today) and the VEP is finished. It runs ok, may need some more lead added, but we'll see. If push comes to shove (no pun intended) it can always run with an ED at the show. Anyway, some pictures:

    The 73 was weathered following a couple of photos using Games Workshop acrylics. First up, Graveyard Earth was applied to the fibreglass panels very thinly, not worrying about brush strokes. The it was applied with a chunky stiff brush, giving the texture that can be seen in the photos. Areas of the roof were then drybrushed the same shade. Black washes were then applied to tone it all down and add shade and depth. On top of this, black MIG powders were used for the roof clag, and too add depth to the side grills and streaks down the bodyside. The underframe is drybrushed Graveyard Earth with Industrial dirt and black MIG powders applied over the top. I've got some more 73s to do (a GBRf pair spring to mind as well as some more for the early 90s) so may do a step by step if anyone would find that useful
    Next up is an MLV - it was bought cheap (body only) from a friend. I assume it's TPM inlays and ends on a Farish mk1. Currently it sits on a Farish mk1 underframe to get it usable for the weekend

    The 4VEP is in a usable state now, and has spent part of this evening lapping the test track. I was rather worried at first, as it didn't seem to keen to move, only doing a few inches before stalling with no signs of improvement. I stuck with it, and kept fiddling, and it was eventually lapping well. Hopefully the performance will be as good, if not better, on the layout tomorrow. I'll cover the motor car in detail when I fit a BHE underframe kit, hopefully being able to get one at Bristol in a couple of weeks. The don't appear to do an MLV chassis kit, so I'll have to think about that one, unless anyone has any ideas?

    If anyone is popping along to Trainwest please do say hello, I'm there all weekend
  16. Steadfast
    Well, yet again, I start by realising how long ago it was I last updated the blog. Come to think of it, how long ago it was I last did some proper modelling!
    At Warley I picked up a Kibri kit for a rail crane. Although not a design in use in the UK, it's similar to the large Kirow cranes in use on engineering work over here. It is an expensive kit (the £29.95 I paid was a knock down price, some websites list it at up to US$130!!!) but does go together well. I plan to paint it up in Grant Rail orange and blue - was in Hobbycraft the other day comparing a photo on the internet on my phone with the Tamiya colour rack!

    Here is the support wagon - these size cranes seem to run with anywhere between one and four support wagons, depending on the individual crane. This is a Farish Freightliner flat, modified with some Evergreen I-beam to create the side rails and buffer beams. The over hang is meant to be some kind of step over the buffers - may fit a TPM etched ferry walkway on here if I can find them in my boxes of bits. The I-beam has had the inside projection removed on the lower edge because otherwise it clashed with the angled bars on the underframe. The small ladder was soldered up from wire, and the one up the side of the mess and stores container is N Brass signal ladder soldered to a piece of wire to mount it. I mounted the hadbrake wheels by cutting a length of wire the width of the wagon, soldering a hand wheel to each end and after it's glued into a groove under the wagon, bent to shape to the right height. Can you tell I've been practising with the soldering iron recently?
    The spreader beam sat on the wagon is simply a piece of I-beam, with the ends cut to 45 degrees and several holes drilled through. It should look a bit more separaate from the deck once it's painted

    This isn't strictly an update from the kitchen table either, since the table is currently in the living room while the new kitchen is fitted! Once it is, and the garage is clear of cupboards and white goods, I'll whack a coat of primer on the whole setup, and the 59 underframe
    'til the next time
  17. Steadfast
    So, a little bit outside the usual sphere of operations for this blog - early 90's Southern region EMUs.
    With Trainwest at Melksham only a couple of days away, work is progressing well with my 4CEP. The photo shows Farish mk1s prepped to take Electra sides, with TPM ends fitted to the driving cars. The motor is from a Bachmann USA diesel picked up cheap, which it appears the TPM mk6 motor bogie frames are designed to fit. I had great fun chopping the block down with the minidrill! The chassis was bought when I was still at school, as it was affordable. Does seem to be pretty solid though, so hopefully will have the grunt to shift 4 cars.
    Until I get to see BHE at Bristol, the unit will retain mk1 coach underframes, as at least there is something there. I've also got an MLV shell to stick on a coach underframe to get it rolling for Saturday.
    I really must mention the brilliant fast service from Adam at Electra, even with Easter and the Royal Mail to deal with!

    I know it doesn't look it from the picture, but most of the hard work is done, and it's now just a case of re-assembly
    Normal (dieselised) service will be resumed shortly
  18. Steadfast
    This shows the current situation with 59004. While I have been working to get a 4VEP ready for Trainwest this coming weekend I've managed to slap some black paint on the underframe. Dropping it on the way in from the garage didn't help, but I don't think it's noticiable now.
    I must get round to getting the transfers printed, and will hopefully get the name and numberplates from Brian at Shawplan over the weekend. Then its just windows and handrails before weathering!
    It's finally getting somewhere
  19. Steadfast
    A quickie update of some porogress - a basic airbrushed coat of weathering has gone on the underframe of the 67 and mk2s. This is Railmatch frame dirt. The loco needs patches of light and shade adding, and the mk2s need dampers and axleboxes painting in. Now they are reassembled, once this painting is done, the mk2s will get another coat of weathering, to get the coach ends, and tone down the detail painting. The loco roof and ends still need weathering too

    While I had the airbrush out I also threw some yellow in the direction of what is to be 60074 'Teenage Spirit'

    I just had to put a piccy in to get a 60 on the blog at last
    The 67 project, which was a bit of a spur of the moment idea, is turning out to be pretty rewarding, and I'm trying not to get carried away and rush it and slip somewhere like usual in the final stages
    Back to Royston Vasey on Dave now
  20. Steadfast
    Over the last couple of days I've got some decent progress in the class 67 project.
    First up is the work I've done to the mk2s. The BSO is the most involved, as work is needed to modify the roof vent and interior layout. The standard roof vents were cut off and filed/filled at the guard's end of the BSO. The replacements are cut from plastic strip, 2mm wide cut into 3mm lengths, not sure on the thickness though.

    The interior is a cut down TSO moulding, with a piece of 20thou plastic sheet cut to form the partition. It's a T-shape, being mounted on top of the seats, and dropping to floor level between them

    With this work done, attention could turn to more cosmetic elements - out with the paint! This photo shows the effect I'm aiming for with the roof

    Here the roof has had several washes of orangey brown, before drybrushing a similar shade on. It looks quite brash at the moment, but once I've airbrushed a darker tone over the top, it should give a nice variety in shade.

    Here's the end details mentioned last time (etched corridor, RCH cables, lamp iron and handrails). I'm not worried about the crude white painting, as the ends of the coaches are very grubby!

    Last shot of the BSO is over exposed to help show how effective the interior is, with it's simple 3 colour paint job in white, grey and blue. Needs some people adding though!

    On to the work on the 67 - this first picture shows the modified baffle plate. It was removed from the bogie, and the mounting prongs cut off. The cut out for the coupler was filled with a piece of plastic and filled to make good. A 0.8mm hole was drilled for the ETH cable (0.3mm wire) with a piece of plastic glued behind it to secure the cable.

    A couple of shots of the 67 with the baffle plate fitted. As well as this, I've added the knuckle coupler (off a Farish 66) and cut lever (0.3mm wire), painted the wiper blades, multiple socket and paint chips on the light cluster, with just the air pipes needing adding once I've finished touching in the black paint on the lower front end. I also need to make a tail lamp to stick on the lamp bracket. The underframe has had a light dry brushing on the underframe, but more will come from the airbrush, along with roof dirt

    The exhaust was painted a dark metallic grey, then drybrushed with a rusty colour and black and grey washes, to try and create something a little more realistic looking than the Dapol finish of silver with orange speckles

  21. Steadfast
    On Thursday I took a trip to East Somerset Models to collect my dummy 67026. I also picked up four blue-grey mk2s and some seating strips too, allowing me to throw together a representation of the Cardiff - Taunton (or Paignton) service operated by FGW. The 67s that I have (006 and 026) haven't worked together on this working (indeed 026 hasn't at all IIRC) and the mk2s aren't the right variant of aircon, but it's as near a representation as I'll get with RTR stock, and I wanted it to be a quickie project.

    Having not had a chance to get out to the garage and spray the crane due to it being full of the old kitchen, work started today on detailing up the mk2s and 67. The loco end of the BSO and one of the TSOs have/will have wire handrails and lampirons, TPM gangway and BHE brass buffers fitted to improve their appearance. I'm not bothering with the inner connections, as it's less noticable without the gap by the loco. BR Lines seating inserts have been painted up (blue seats) and look good inside the coach. The real thing still has Virgin XC seats, but through the tinted windows, and in the darkness of an N gauge carriage, the colour looks fine. The BSO has had a bulkead added at the midpoint of the coach. Now need to dig out the plastic people!
    The next stage is to get the roofs looking a bit like these mk1s and add the cantrail stripe

    I'm trying to got to town with the end of 67026 - it'll be getting a tail lamp, full body mounted baffle plate, swing head coupler and cut lever and full ETH gubbins on the baffle plate. Basically, the ETH recepticle is a small piece of plastic strip, and the cable is the Dapol head, fitted with a piece of wire going through a hole in the baffle plate, just like the real ones! All these details can be seen in this shot of Royal 67006 at Pilning

    I'll stick some photos of the models up once we have daylight so I can take them, hopefully tomorrow

  22. Steadfast
    Over the last two afternoons I've had a bit of fun knocking together the underframe for 59004. The finishing of the shell I've covered on old RMweb, and in a previous blog entry, and it's in this state that the model has sat since the last November or so. I had an urge to crack on with the underframe yesterday, so had to get on with it! Here are some piccies to illustrate where I'm up to, I'm not sure if I want to prime it, as that'll only show up all the slips and shortcuts even more!

    Bits I can think of that may not be clear, bogie frames are from BH Enterprises, orange bits are Capri Sun drinks straw, fuel tank is Farish as it's a better shape and yes, I know the sideframes sid a bit low, but I'm happy with them at the moment. Needless to say, I'll probably decide they need moving after it's painted and weathered...
    Hopefully the detail shots of the real thing illustrate what each piece is meant to be, how crudely much of it is represented, and how much has been left off.
    They're pulled from here, http://joalder.fotopic.net/c1534446.html which has plenty of class 59 detail shots
  23. Steadfast
    Having picked up a handful of the new Farish MBAs over the weekend, today I thought I'd set about adding body mounted knuckle couplers to them. The outer ends of the outer 2 wagons retain Rapidos in NEM pockets for coupling to locos. The inner ends of these two, and both ends of the inner wagons have been fitted with a Microtrains coupler mounted at bufferbeam height. On the buffer fitted wagons, this represents the swinghead coupler, and the inners are fitted with a fixed knuckle, though of course on the model the only variation is whether it has buffers or not

    The original bogie mounted Rapido in an NEM pocket which is retained on the outer end of the outer wagons

    Before and after - note the coupler pocket had to be trimmed to allow for bogie swing. The lid of the coupler box has been left off, using the base of the wagon as the top. To aid construction, one end of the spring was glued to the top half of the knuckle head piece

    Doesn't look too shabby once coupled!

    The coupling gap is closed up a bit with the knuckles fitted. It could be shrunk further by setting the Microtrains coupler further back into the wagon, but this would restrict bogie rotation for tight curves

    Both with an without buffers, side by side
    I'll wait until I have a couple more wagons to make up the set before weathering and making a scrap load.
    A complete aside from the rest of the post, I do like this Windows 7 malarky, got Raiders of the Lost Ark playing in the right window, and I'm typing this in the left window.
  24. Steadfast
    Well some more progress has been made on the grotty Dutch tractor. Inbetween scratching the weathering and throwing my paintbrushes out of the pram, I've attacked the underframe with some powders. They still need some work, but the variation in tone is getting there - in fact it looks a lot more varied, yet subtle to the naked eye than in the photos. Somehow I'm going to add some satin bits to the black on the underframe to give that greasy look, probably a powder and varnish mix. I'll probably add some drybrushing to the steps too with gunmetal or similar. The front end details are done too, pretty happy with these, and the scratches of yellow showing through on the centre plough.

    Not sure whether to cut back and redo the bodyside brown weathering to remove the scatches, or live with them. We'll see!
  25. Steadfast
    Some of you may remember the 3D printed class 59 bodyshell I was fiddling with on old RMweb http://www.rmweb.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=10057&start=234
    Here is the current progress, once it's done, I'll do a proper step by step blog entry covering the shell, and also the underframe work

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