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Old Time Workshop

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  1. I'm not sure how long you're shaking the can before use, but what feels like excessive shaking may improve things. Aerosols generally seem very thin on pigment, so if any of it is stuck to the inside of the can, you will be fighting a losing battle. Simon.
  2. Scott, I'm sorry but most folk do the cottage industry stuff as a hobby. A bit of spending money is good, but that usually gets mopped up on developing the next product. It's great fun though, and allows a great deal more creativity than if you are tied to a single layout. Probably the best response you can give is to hop over the fence and try your hand at filling a gap you see in the market. Whether CAD drawing for etched brass or making masters for casting in whitemetal and resin, there are a few basic modelling skills but most of it is fairly straightforward. Simon.
  3. Well put, Dave. I am confused at the number of kits that just disappear though. On occasion I have asked if retiring cottage industry modellers would like to hand over the reins for me (or someone else) to continue a kit. Almost without exception, the answer is the same no. This doesn't seem to be about money (as this isn't discussed) or a possibility that the current manufacturer might start up again. I'm confused and have pretty much stopped asking now as it generally doesn't seem worthwhile. Life is a little too busy to reinvent the wheel when 2/3s of the market already has a particular kit... Simon.
  4. I think my comment on 'booming' may have been misunderstood. It was only referring to the relative sales within OTW of 009, 0-16.5 & SM32 waterslide transfers. There is much less take up by trade or modeller in 7mm than sizes smaller or larger. I guess this reflects a market which has Parkside for 009 & Slaters/Coopercraft for SM32. A problem for modeller and manufacturer alike is the wide variation in hardware & practice between different narrow gauge railways. Most standard gauge locos will not look too out of place on any layout of vaguely the correct era (give or take 30 years). However, a Fairlie can only run on the Festiniog, a Quarry Hunslet only in a quarry etc. Whilst I am a great admirer of Motorail's Simplexes, they are hardly a thing of beauty for the average punter. For me the attraction of narrow gauge modelling is that if I spend several months making something, it is unlikely that Bachmann will bring out a new model within days of mine being finished. It is very disheartening to build a nice brass kit or scratch build something and find an RTR equivalent for half the overall price a couple of days later. Some time back there was discussion of an RTR Fairlie and it became apparent that even in 009 there wasn't a market to support the massive investment required. Simon.
  5. Scott, One reason for a lack of industry standards is a lack of industry. There are a small number of cottage industry suppliers out there who make things when they can. There isn't a big enough market for a bigger approach, as large batches would sit on shelves unsold. I've noticed the general reduction in trade folk over the past 20 years of more, but this is across the entire hobby and probably more noticable in 00. The ready to run models are in a sense too good and put off the novice from trying. I agree that for some NEM pockets are a nicety that makes personal choice of coupling easy, but this is a mainly a spin off from mass production. If getting them right might add another couple of hundred pounds to development costs on a kit that might sell 30 - 50, then it's a big gamble for little return. If accurate injection mouldings are required, in might be more like a couple of grand, depending on the iterations and problems encountered. For 0-9 kits (7mm scale, 15" prototype, 9mm scale track), my friend Owen Ryder hit on a sensible idea and used working scale semi-automatic couplings cast in whitemetal. They wer fine for R&ER stock, but would have been inappropriate for Romney vehicles and unthinkable for another protoype gauge. Some things cannot be a one size fits all. I've always thought of 7mm narrow gauge as an obscure scale. Granted when I started using 9mm track in the early 1990s that was taking things to extremes. Putting on my OTW hat for a moment, when I've tried to offer narrow gauge transfers in 7mm the take up has been very small. In contrast, 009 and SM32 seem to be booming. Finally, I've found there is only one way to turn the tide. Become part of it. You have some ideas of what you'd like in the market place. Unless you're completely mad, there's a fair chance that some others would like something similar. Why not design a kit or two, bring them to market and join the fun? I hope some of this helps. Simon.
  6. I believe many (and possibly most) of the ex-Wrenn, ex-HD moulds for the locos and (plastic) coaches are currently owned by a collector who operates the current incarnation of the Wrenn company. I get the impression they are happy selling off existing spare parts, but have no strong intention of re-starting manufacturing. They've had the moulds about 10 years now, and I don't think anything has happened with them yet. It may well be that either the moulds are incompatible with modern machinery or were sold with a contractual obligation not to restart manufacturing. I doubt all the moulds were too worn for further use. The HD E3001 body shell was incorporated into the main Triang range and was scrapped fairly recently by the modern Hornby company.
  7. I presume this is for the Hachette Scotsman? There were a variety of blues used during the experimental period, but Caledonian Blue is the nearest to a standard. It faded significantly making touch up difficult and this was part of it's demise. You may be able to find photos of an A3 with white/black/white lining very similar to the LNER style. If so, then either the transfers you have or anything similar would be appropriate. If you want pink or red lining (as used on some examples), you may need to learn the art of the lining pen... Hope this helps, Simon.
  8. You have a couple of options that spring to mind. Firstly, if your etched numbers are brass and you'd like to model a prototype that had polished steel numbers, you can try using a silvering compound (eg silver nitrate).  This is used by clock restorers to colour the chapter rings of clocks silver, even though they are made of brass. Otherwise, if you want them white on black, paint the numbers in gloss white (ignoring any overpainting of the background).  When completely dry, overpaint the entire plate in black and then wipe the black from the numbers.  This is easiest done if the plate is still attached to the fret. If you want a couple of plates to practice on, just give a shout.  I've got various rejects from the Jackson Evans stock that would be fine for trying out the technique. Regards, Simon.
  9. I think the relative cost of different scales can be thought of either way. I reckoned N or Z were the more expensive scales I played with and LGB the cheapest per square foot. In a larger scale, you don't need the same quantity of locomotives and rolling stock. A compact layout can be made with a certain 'wow factor' using only a couple locos in 7mm. In a smaller scale, the same costs are typically spread over many more smaller vehicles. I'd work out what sort of use you're going to give the loco before shelling out for a pair of motors. If planning on running on a 30' plus oval with 12 coach trains, buy as good as you can afford. If limited to a sub 10' shunting or there & back, something little more powerful than a OO motor should be fine. Simon.
  10. Rob, If they are just partly lifted, try a small amount of water to soften the gum. With a little luck & patience, you may be able to get them to lay a little flatter. I wouldn't recommend adding any further adhesive as this may well argue with varnishing the model later. Simon
  11. Rob, There are 2 types of transfers: those with removeable varnish (such as Modelmaster's 4mm range) and those with thin, non-removeable varnish. With the former, the varnish can be removed once fully dry. The latter (as per OTW range) is thin enough to disappear umder the first layer of varnish. For those who want the ultimate smooth finish with permanent varnish, the transfer can be scored in an outline round the printed design prior to dipping in water. The wet excess varnish can then be carefully eased away from the design whilst still on the backing paper, leaving the trimmed transfer ready for application. For most models it shouldn't be needed though as the varnish should be thin enough to practically disappear under a layer applied to the entire model. I'd recommend a layer of varnish applied to the entire model regardless of what type of transfers are used. Transfers are by nature fairly brittle and only just held to the surface of the model by a water soluble gum. Varnish makes handling the finished model a less likely to damage it. If you want a set for 4472, send me a PM. Hope this helps. Simon.
  12. I've had reports of GW varnish lifting my transfers, especially if they have metallic pigments in them. I concluded something in the solvent mix was to blame. If using a spray (aerosol or air brush), a dry coat or two that will seal it and hold it all together may help, prior to something a little heavier to get a better finish. Transfers never like to get too wet with acrylic solvents. simon.
  13. A couple of things to bear in mind with this approach: Cellulose is frowned upon by the environmental lobby, and is not as easily available as it used to be. It has been banned for use in the automotive trade, but is still available from some outlets for other uses. Car paints are made with pigments that perform well under daylight. I sprayed a 5" gauge loco in a close match to Doncaster green. Outside, on the track it looks excellent. When it is displayed indoors under flourescent tubes, it takes on a lurid yellow colour. This was just about OK for a model that spent much of it's life outside, but is not ideal for one that is intended for use indoors. If you do go down this route, do some test sprays and check how it looks under a variety of artificial lights before committing yourself. I wholehartedly agree regarding the variation in colour between locomotives. Pale blue and pale green are particularly poor at fading. Those who have seen any touchup work on Northern Rock on the R&ER (pale green) will have noticed quite how quickly that can fade in the sun. I understand the main reason against Caledonian blue as a BR express livery was lack of fade resistance. Hope this helps, Simon.
  14. You may be getting muddled between the Welsh Highland Railway (narrow gauge, Wales) and the Highland Railway (standard gauge, Scotland). Recently I was researching livery details of both for OTW, and there was ample room for crossed wires when talking on the phone about either of them... I'm not aware of anything in the Highlands, but the Campbeltown and Machrihanish http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campbeltown_and_Machrihanish_Light_Railway might be worth a look if you want a prototype for something. Simon.
  15. Nice to see an ICL No1 in the makings of the layout. What coaching stock are you planning to use, as I don't recognise the vehicles in the pictures? Simon.
  16. I would guess that whilst there may have been many initial issues of the trial, it is unlikely that it persisted for more than a few issues. Since folks get a taste of soldering & glueing within the first few magazines, that might be as far as the test went for most early subscribers. As has been said before, the partwork came from a mindset more used to display models than working ones. Seeing a trial all the way through to completion would be very expensive and take too long. They started with a finished model design, so waiting another 2 -3 years to bring the magazine to market would not appeal to the bean counters. Simon.
  17. Sending out sets of the original kit make reasonable sense as a base line on which to evaluate whether the project was plausible. If non-modellers can't build the original, there is little point pursuing it further. There was room for improvement on their evaluation of subsequent deviations from this original design. Partworks in general have a poor reputation with this. I'd expect many buyers did a few few web searches on the various other models that have been done in the recent past (Bismark, radio controlled cars etc) and came to their own conclusions on what compromises would be in store by using a partwork format. It would be interesting to hear from anyone who has attempted both an original DJH and a partwork kit to see if there is any material difference in difficulty between the two. In thinking about the relative merits of entirely etched brass construction, I remembered my early experience with etched brass kits. some years back when whitemetal kits fell from fashion in favour of 'modern' etched brass, some maufacturers seemed to go out of their way to make practically the entire kit from one material, regardless of cost or practicality. For the young teenager who is unsure what shape cylinders or buffers should be, it was a nightmare, especially in 4mm. My experience of poor etched brass kits with minimal instructions or diagrams put me off railway modelling for 10 years or so. Brass rolled boilers will always give the best results in the hands of a craftsman and allow more prototypical variations than plastic. However, for the novice this may be a battle to leave until a later kit. As has been said, after a layer of paint it will be forgotten. I guess most DJH pacifics end up mantlepiece models most of the time. A layout that can let a loco of this size run for any period is enormous. A shed scene, diorama or similar is quite possible, but few can afford a tail chaser without putting it in the garden. At a model railway show, it's usually the largest club layout in the hall. Simon
  18. Are you sure the paint is fully mixed? For a long time I found the top half of a tinlet of paint was far glossier than the remainder. Mixing for much longer and making sure ALL the sediment is lifted from the base of the tin improved my results dramatically. Simon.
  19. I'm sure there are others, but you could try http://www.oldtimewo...RTG0Intro.html. Available in white or yellow, depending on preference. Regards, Simon
  20. I agree this time around there seems to be more interest in 09. I think it is something that has something of a snowball effect. Trying to start interest in this scale/gauge was very slow, but now that a few exhibition layouts have happened, it has inspired a few more to have a go. Don't underestimate how big the sleepers should be. Many lines have been using standard gauge sleepers cut in half. Unless you fancy going the copperclad route, I'd hide the sleepers in the weeds. That said, scratch building track is fairly straightforward, and the difference to the layout is quite remarkable when a few large sleepers populate the trackbed. Simon.
  21. The 7mm range of former Jackson Evans plates are no longer available from Modelmaster. Having been in storage elsewhere for some time, I have resurrected them and am currently restocking. Hence my offer of free plates for the first three kits to complete. Hope this clarifies. Simon.
  22. Why ever not? Dream up a location where the main scene is sleepers cast into concrete or cobbles, and any track is quite good enough. Just avoid the large radius points as they aren't tight enough for the scale! Simon.
  23. If you've got the wagons in the scrap box and they are too far gone to be worth ebaying, then yes, it should work. N gauge wheels tend to be rather small for 09, but use what you've got. I wouldn't go out looking to buy them though, as they are presumably a similar price to an 09 wagon kit. With regard to using N gauge chassis, that's entirely what I've done. Look out for the Bachmann 'spectrum' US outline stuff. It's signifiacntly cheaper than UK outline and seems reasonable quality. The Ryder/Avalon Lady Wakefield are based on that chassis, as is my ICL no 1. 009 track is fine if buried to hide the sleepers. Otherwise, using copperclad isn't too painful for plain track. We cheated on Boot and re-sleepered Peco 009 points. Some of the sleepers are already the right sort of size, but a few need changing. It depends if planting weeds is easier than track making for you! Hope this helps, Simon.
  24. I seriously toyed with building a model (and probably kit) of one of the Bassette Lowke engines, but looking at the then available Farish chassis options I found the boiler was not big enough to contain the motor, regardless of centre height! That somewhat shelved the project, which was a pity as we already had a rake of 4 wheel coaches and most photos of the rebuilt station at Boot show the BL pacifics, not the Heywood tanks. Simon.
  25. I'll have a word with Howard to find the score on the Theakston wagons. When the came out in the early 1990s I thought they were one of the easiest wagons to assemble, and little room for improvement. I quite agree with regard to using the railway are the focus of the model, but not the entire model. Back in 1993/4 Owen and I made a model of Boot station (the only one to have closed during 15" days) and could comfortably get it in 8' length with plain track of the approach and delapidated mine with access road at the other end. This was with no shortening, as we'd done a site survey and wanted to do make the most of the scale. If I did it again I'd be tempted to use wider boards, although at the time we were limited by the dimensions of student transport when designing the boards. Going from 2' up to 2'6" would allow greater height to the scree backdrop and look amazing. Simon.
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