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steve howe

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  • Location
    Deepest Cornwall, where the sun comes early and stays late
  • Interests
    P4 GWR, L&Y, light railways
    7mm narrow gauge
    Industrial archaeology

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  1. Looking good Gordon, Inglenooks can be fascinating, both to look at and operate. I started one a while back: https://www.scalefour.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=101&t=3745&hilit=an+inglenook+in+P4 which is about half finished, and would probably remain that way except I was collared at Scaleforum by a certain Challis, C. and before I realised the trap was laid, it had been booked for Railwells next year...….. Suppose I'll have to get the wretched thing finished now! Perhaps we should have an Inglenook feature at one of the finescale shows?? Steve
  2. Landscape The foundation for the scenery is my favoured method of vertical profiles cut from corrugated board scrounged from the local supermarket hot-glued to the baseboard with 30 – 40mm spacers glued between forming an ‘egg-crate’ structure. Strips of thinner card (old cereal packet is just right) about 10mm wide are glued over the surface in a lattice formation and covered with Mod-Roc scrim. I like this stuff because you can fit it in place dry and finish edges neatly before brushing with water to set. Finally an ‘earth mix’ of 1 part Polyfilla to 2 parts dry sieved soil with a generous splodge of PVA mixed to a thinnish slurry is brushed over the scrim to give a tough shell. Final basic texturing uses the ‘Zip texture’ method first described by Linn Wescott in Model Railroader magazine more years ago than I care to remember. It was much used by David Jenkinson on his epic ‘Little Long Drag’ layout in the early ‘80s, but it seems to have fallen out of favour. Odd, because it is a very quick and effective method of getting a semi-finished scenic surface on which further detailed work can be undertaken. In essence, dry plaster is mixed with dry powder pigment of the desired colour. Experimentation is needed to gauge the proportions of pigment to plaster, and it is very much a case of trial and error with small samples until a suitable ratio is reached. In my case I used a mortar dye for colouring cement which was a strong yellow ochre or raw sienna shade. For the record, although I doubt it’s of much use to anyone, my ratio was 5 parts dry Polyfilla to 1 part pigment. This was measured into a large screw top jar and shaken vigorously to mix. The area to be treated was liberally sprayed with water to which a drop of washing-up liquid was added, and the plaster mix sifted over from an old tea strainer. A gentle over-spray will help set the mix. The moisture is absorbed into the plaster which over several hours eventually sets hard. It is important not to touch the surface until the plaster is fully set otherwise the granular texture will be lost. The texture can be built up with subsequent siftings and sprayings until the desired effect is reached. This provided a good general ‘sandy’ surface upon which further Art can be performed. A good video with ‘recipes’ for various colours can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gtd4bNmpQ1k The future's bright... the future's orange!
  3. Can anyone advise if the Dundas Hudson V skip can be made to tip? I want to try to get some to unload sand into a loading chute ideally using a similar device to Giles Flavell's 'End of the Line' layout. Steve
  4. Progress continues erratically. The basic shell for the landscape has gone in and awaiting final texturing. My Mod-Roc had 'gone off' in storage so it wasn't so easy to get the nice smooth contour I was after, so a second coat of Polyfilla slurry was applied to even things out. The final texturing should settle everything in. The cutting and bridge bringing the 2' tramway to the plant is present in embryonic form. Hopefully progress might speed up now the messy bit's over!
  5. Nicely judged Dave, Does Grandt Line still trade? I used quite a few windows from them on Gweek North Quay and their range of bolts and rivets are so useful! Steve
  6. Helston & Falmouth MRC are pleased to announce their April 2020 show has moved to a new and more convenient venue: Pool Academy, Church Road Pool, Redruth TR15 3PZ is located centrally between Redruth and Camborne and just 3 minutes off the main A30 at Tolvadden Junction. Exhibits booked so far include: Layouts Gweek North Quay 7mm 0-16.5 Tredethy Wharf P4 Rolvenden P4 Bewdley OO fine scale Oake OO fine scale Hendra. OO fine scale Old Elms Road OO fine scale Newvaddon Parkway N gauge Stratford Road N gauge Poldu N gauge Padstow 2mm fine scale Traders Kernow Model Rail Centre Squires Tools and Crafts Andy Lynch Attwood Aggregates Frome Model Centre Fred Elton Books Demonstrators Geof Stephens – Aspects of Scratchbuilding Societies MERG Helston Railway
  7. Yes I think keep both sidings down to the bufferstops, and just have a lock-up office either at the front or tucked in between the siding and the running line? From what I've seen of NG prototypes, goods facilities were pretty rudimentary to say the least! Steve
  8. Pity to lose the carriage shed as it complemented the loco depot, but I agree the open space looks better and will give more shunting potential. You'll just have to build an extension to create more carriage sidings! Steve
  9. I may be turning into an Anorak, but didn't the Birds have stiffening plates only on the rear axles? what's also interesting from the prototype photo is that Seagull seems to have fluted side rods, whereas I was under the impression the Birds had plain rods. Typically I have just fitted plain rods to my, as yet, unnamed version! Steve
  10. Very helpful, thanks guys. Coincidentally only hours after making my post I came across this clip from Huntley Archives which shows Skylark backing on to the special, presumable the same as Miss Prism's photo. It quite clearly shows lining on the boiler and 'G W R' on the tender. From the tonal quality of both images I suggest she is in green livery although the Huntley clip is undated, I suspect its likely to be 1950-1 (?) so I guess she carried the green livery to the end. https://www.huntleyarchives.com/preview.asp?image=1009077# Sorry about the duplicate thread - my internet went down just as I clicked submit, but somehow still managed to post the thread! Steve
  11. I am building a 'Bird' class 4-4-0 in 4mm 00 gauge for to run on our 1950's era Club layout. It will probably be 'Skylark' or 'Seagull' as these were the last to be withdrawn in 1951. I would like to know what livery they would have carried by then? I am assuming unlined British Railways black, and which version of the lion crest would be used, but if anyone can confirm that I would appreciate it. Steve
  12. Thanks for the feedback guys. I'm looking at getting one of these: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/KATO-Powered-Motorized-Chassis-11-104-also-alternative-for-11-103/283601735620?hash=item4207fb0fc4:g:VS8AAOSwJcldbOKh as a basis to either scratchbuild or butcher a body shell. Anyone know if it might be adapted to fit under the Shapeways simplex? I can't find any technical information as to the wheelbase dimensions. Steve
  13. Thanks Andrew, the body looks the thing, the problem seems to be getting the motor bogie. I'm looking on ebay for a Grafar chassis, but don't hold out much hope. Do any of the British N scale manufacturers sell spares?
  14. Not being a 009 or 4mm scale narrow gauger, I am finding getting hold of a simple industrial pre-War IC loco somewhat complicated. My current Cameo Challenge layout calls for a short narrow gauge feeder line running a small IC loco and three V skips on and off stage. Simples I thought! bound to be loads of kits out there to choose from … but it appears not. All of Nigel Lawton's otherwise perfect range are currently unavailable, Narrow Planet have various body kits but all seem to rely on a Kato chassis of some form or other, and my attempts to locate a source of Kato tram chassis without having to purchase the whole unit at eye watering prices, have so far drawn a blank. Can anyone more knowledgeable in 009 matters than I suggest a simple way of getting a basic Simplex or similar loco running at a reasonably sensible price without scouring Europe for obscure chassis parts?
  15. August seems to now be the monsoon season in Cornwall, not much fun for tourists, but handy for railway modellers looking to escape from gardening etc. for a day or two. The trickiest job was always going to be fitting a scenic profile around the board. I glued small wooden blocks around the perimeter of the baseboard with strong wood glue and left them for 48 hours to set. The blocks were set about 3mm in from the baseboard edge to accommodate the scenic profile. I had originally intended doing this in thin ply, but the acute bend at the stern made even the thinnest ply I could find unmanageable, fortunately I had some sheets of 4mm Foamex scrounged from my local B&Q when they were changing their displays. This stuff is widely used in the exhibition and display industry for mounting graphics. It is light, surprisingly easy to cut and, crucially, very flexible. I made a rough cardboard template of the profile and used this to cut a continuous strip of Foamex to shape. The acute bend was helped by vertical scoring on the inside face. The facia was clamped and glued with Evo-stik Gripfil to the blocks with a few strategic screws to make sure everything stayed in place. Eventually the expanding foam filler will be sanded back, the screws removed, and the whole filled with polyester filler to make a smooth profile linking the scenery to the surfboard. The profile in place and a basic mock-up (or maybe c*ck-up) of the loading bins. The timber revetment holding back the encroaching sandunes in trial position. The horizontal beam marks the position of a bridge carrying a 2' gauge tramway from the sand pits. The initial scenic profiles are starting to go in. This is to get an idea of the basic landform before the intermediate profiles are added. More profiles added. A lattice of thin card (cornflake packet) woven over the profiles. I like this method of making landforms even though its been around for donkey's years, because it is a) cheap as chips; b) easy to alter if you don't like it; c) if its good enough for Pendon and Jack Kine, its good enough for me!
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