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Lovely photos Tom. 

 

I do like the BR Standard brake van. 

 

Kind regards,

Nick.

 

Thanks Nick!

 

So do I, and the Modelu lamps really give it the final touch. The Bala Toad should be here in the next few days, so I can have a go at starting to make the modifications required.

 

I ordered the flock cement last night, so the start on the grass work can commence shortly. I think that will give me a real boost. I know there are other bits that need doing  (texture to the road/track lane and the drystone walls that run alongside the road to the level crossing) but they can be done as and when, I can at least start the grass work.

 

Getting the grass to look right is paramount for me....I want it to look like open moorland. I've been using the Gravatt book on grass work as my main source of inspiration. The first task will be the embankment the railway runs on and then moving on to the moorland. The grass work will start with short fibres of a mix of green to yellow fibres, before adding longer orange/yellow fibres to build the look up. The Moorland itself will be done similar, but patches will use teddybear fur which is that darker brown colour to resemble that typical long moorland/grass often where the ground is boggy, such as these photos show.

This is at Cwm Prysor itself, and you can see the longer type grass that I intend to use teddy bear fur for.

post-24300-0-57453000-1535483531_thumb.jpg

Here is by the trackbed but half way between Cwm Prysor and Trawsfynydd (near the location of Llafar Halt). I will probably cut the teddy bear fur into small groups, still attached to it's backing material, to make it easier for positioning, and then add static grass around and interspersed with these pieces. The variety will make it interesting I feel, with the mix of colours (greens, yellows and browns). These were all taken in late October, which is the time period I wish to model.

 

post-24300-0-23925500-1535483557_thumb.jpg

 

post-24300-0-59631300-1535483600_thumb.jpg

 

Like I say, I really want this to look 'right' to my eyes as to what open moorland looks like...not just a mass of the same colour.

Edited by 9793
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Afternoon all!

Delivery from Liverpool this morning, one was track cleaning fluid (I'm sure there are cheaper options that track magic), but I've cleaned the rails....and for the first time in over a year, a train has run on Cwm Prysor. 4645 ran with it's single coach from Bala, stopped briefly at Cwm Prysor, before heading off down the dropping gradient to Trawsfynydd and Blaenau Ffestiniog.

 

The other item that has arrived, is the AA3 Toad. What a shame Oxford Rail messed up on the ends and made it planked. I'll get those planks filled in, and repaint. I'll try and mask off the numbers and BALA allocation with maskol, but as back up I have transfers obtained from Cambridge Custom Transfers.

 

post-24300-0-86937200-1535548959_thumb.jpg

post-24300-0-86937200-1535548959_thumb.jpg

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Well I've made a start tonight. Happy with it mostly, but it's a pig of a job!

post-24300-0-76547400-1535578359_thumb.jpg

 

post-24300-0-65894800-1535578371_thumb.jpg

I also added small amount of squadron putty onto the L bracket stanchion ends so they at least resemble the earlier hand rails. I'm sorry but these mistakes scream of laziness to me.

post-24300-0-76547400-1535578359_thumb.jpg

post-24300-0-65894800-1535578371_thumb.jpg

Edited by 9793
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Further investigation has made me decide to re brand the whole thing as Oxford's branding doesn't all together line up with the real thing as you will see below. I had already purchased transfers from Cambridge Custom a year ago. I might as well make it look as close to the real thing as I can. I'll remove the black patches so they wont show through on the repaint.

 

post-24300-0-72134500-1535583581_thumb.jpg

 

post-24300-0-12073100-1535583590_thumb.jpg

Edited by 9793
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Great stuff Tom.

 

Inspirational as ever..

 

Followed your blog and updates else where. I know the area well and you've captured it perfectly.

 

Great to see you back posting on here.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

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Good work Tom, as you said, it is a shame that Oxford Rail didn't get it right in the first place. Side on, the body does look very nice. 

 

Kind regards,

 

Nick.

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attachicon.gifDSC03772.jpg

 

Well....where do I start!

 

Cwm Prysor started life several years ago now, designed to be my first Exhibition layout. I have had a passing interest in the branch between Bala and Blaenau Ffestiniog for many years, and after researching into the line further, I fell in love!

The idea of portraying something that was far from the twee Great Western Branch Line, with the mucky pannier tanks, single crimson coach in a wild, bleak landscape struck me as the perfect place to model.

 

I had originally planned to model Trawsfynydd, but felt at the time it was too big of a task for me. So I settled on Cwm Prysor.....the station in the middle of nowhere. It has a single point which suited me as it was my first attempt at building track. The point represents a dead end siding which use to be part of a loop for Troop Trains to be held in the 1st and 2nd World Wars, but was removed in 1951.

 

Work on Cwm Prysor had been steady, as well as working on stock and wagons .....however things came to a halt last Summer. My Dad (well actually Grandad as I was brought up by my Grandparents), passed away one year ago yesterday (25th). He was my best friend, and for the previous 2 years he had begun to struggle breathing and was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis. For those two years I cared for him, and while he was able to, I drove him down from North Yorkshire to Snowdonia for some lovely day trips. He knew how passionate I was about the line, and about modelling the branch.

 

With his passing, my interest stopped completely in Cwm Prysor, and I've struggled to get my modelling mojo back. Back in the spring I posted about modelling something closer to home, but I felt I was forcing myself to get back into the hobby. Being his first anniversary yesterday, I thought it was going to be awful, but it wasn't as bad as I imagined. A voice in my head said 'do some modelling'....so I did.

Jonathan Wealleans of this parish, had built me a coach as part of some horse trading, which was one of types specifically used on the branch, however no kit had every been produced. E157 Brake Composites were all too familiar to be seen on the branch in the mid to late 50s. I commissioned Worsley Works to produce the sides, and Jonathan made the kit up using Comet components. It sat untouched since Easter since Jonathan handed it back to me at York Show.

 

Yesterday I weathered it....and once it was sat on the layout, the spark was back!

 

 

attachicon.gifDSC03775.jpg

 

attachicon.gifDSC03779.jpg

 

Best of all? 6 months before Dad died, Alan Buttler of Modelu came all the way up from Mid Wales to scan Dad, and my Border Collie Lass. So now Dad is always there...waiting for a train to take him on his next big adventure.

 

attachicon.gifDSC03780.jpg

Welcome back Tom.

 

I've no professional qualifications to support what I'm about to write but I can say that in my own experience the first year is the hardest in terms of grieving. Every day is a reminder of the same day the previous year - birthdays, anniversaries, things you did and places you went together, and so on. After that it gets a little easier as you remember more of the good things about the life you shared and the pain diminishes. We never forget - and nor should we - but I have found that the old adage about time being a great healer is very true. Your decision to restart work on the layout seems to me to bear this out, especially the little cameo of your Dad and Lass.

 

With best wishes.

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Good to see you back modelling Tom. Slightly disappointed that Askrigg is on the back burner as I was looking forward to seeing that. However, this looks rather excellent as well.

 

Cheers for now.

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Great model we are seeing more of these simple station models where its a railway in the landscape ah la Pendon. Keep up the great work looking forward to updates. This article appeared on a Welsh Highland web site at the weekend you might be interested.

 

https://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/drowned-railway-line-re-emerges-15050399.amp?__twitter_impression=true

 

Keith 

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Thanks for the nice comments guys. Sorry I've been out all day....back in Gwynedd!

Left early and was up at Cwm Prysor for 10am! Had a walk on the trackbed, and took some decent reference shots of the crossing keeper/station cottage. It's seen better days!

 

post-24300-0-05991400-1535653329_thumb.jpg

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Although it is a rather nice little cottage! I'd quite happily live there. 

 

Kind regards,

 

Nick.

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Not sure if you have seen these before. I took some pictures on 21st February 2003:  This shot of Cym Prysor viaduct gives an idea of landscape coloring for that time of year. As you said earlier, lots of different colors...

post-6680-0-70679600-1535654444.jpg

 

Trackbed between Trawdsfynedd station and Cym Prysor. Telegraph poles but no track!  I'll bet it is really beautiful this time of year....

post-6680-0-70841100-1535654446.jpg

Edited by coachmann
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Thanks Larry! I do love that moorland grass. I stopped off and took some more reference shots of the grass (although I live in the Dales, so I should know what it looks like).

 

Couple of snaps I took as I headed out of Llan on the old road to Bala. Funny to think the cement for that damn came in presflos through Cwm Prysor, nearly 60 years ago.

post-24300-0-31643600-1535659659_thumb.jpg

 

 

Oh and if anyone fancies a farm....

post-24300-0-67310900-1535659706_thumb.jpg

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post-24300-0-10409900-1535662099_thumb.jpg

It's interesting isn't it. Today we have a trunk road (which takes the place of the railway track bed at Cwm Prysor), and with the mass forestation.....it doesn't quite feel as bleak. However in the late 50s and early 60s, it was just bleak moorland, a tiny track lane that ran up from Trawsfynydd and meandered across the moors to eventually join the Llan Ffestiniog Bala Road. 

 

With the house standing on it's own and the railway only for company..... it really was a lonely place!

https://www.photosandpostcards.co.uk/Miscellaneous/M127-Cwm-Prysor-in-1961.jpg

Edited by 9793
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In post 30 do you know what the three words are below "Bala R.U." on the van side?

 

Gordon A

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In post 30 do you know what the three words are below "Bala R.U." on the van side?

 

Gordon A

Possibly Blaenau Ffestiniog Brake.

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attachicon.gifDSC03976.jpg

It's interesting isn't it. Today we have a trunk road (which takes the place of the railway track bed at Cwm Prysor), and with the mass forestation.....it doesn't quite feel as bleak. However in the late 50s and early 60s, it was just bleak moorland, a tiny track lane that ran up from Trawsfynydd and meandered across the moors to eventually join the Llan Ffestiniog Bala Road. 

 

With the house standing on it's own and the railway only for company..... it really was a lonely place!

https://www.photosandpostcards.co.uk/Miscellaneous/M127-Cwm-Prysor-in-1961.jpg

Loving everything about this, great photo in the link.

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Possibly Blaenau Ffestiniog Brake.

Almost, ‘Blaenau Festiniog Branch’ (notice incorrect spelling of Ffestiniog). John Isherwood updated the BALA transfers to include it on my request a year or so back.

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Loving everything about this, great photo in the link.

Thanks Ade, it’s taken some time but I’m getting there.

 

I’ve a fair amount of photos which really show the remoteness of the place when the Railway was there, but due to copyright I can’t post them sadly.

Edited by 9793

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Rural branchlines look idyllic in color albums but in reality, nothing much happened all day. That said, I looked in on the GWR's closed Ffestiniog station in the early 1960's, and it looked very nostalgic.

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Tom,

At least you are fortunate enough to still be able to photograph the old station cottage.
I suppose it shouldn't really surprise me as in the UK you tend to keep buildings and NOT destroy them at will like here in Australia :no:

I know I certainly wouldn't mind the old farmhouse. Looks good with character! Look even better done up.

 

Khris

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Tom,

At least you are fortunate enough to still be able to photograph the old station cottage.

I suppose it shouldn't really surprise me as in the UK you tend to keep buildings and NOT destroy them at will like here in Australia :no:

I know I certainly wouldn't mind the old farmhouse. Looks good with character! Look even better done up.

 

Khris

 

 

Ha, well I can sympathise Khris, around a mile of the line I'm modelling is now under a reservoir and still a sore point for a number of residents of the Afon Tryweryn Valley,  understandably (the reservoir is used to water Liverpool and portion of the North West of England).

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Tom.

I am very much taken with your model and look forward to seeing progress with the scenic work.

 

I use the Bala to Traws road several times per year on my way to the F&WHR at Porthmadog (sorry about the spelling) and have always thought Cwm Prysor was the bit beyond the viaduct, where the formation clings to the side of the precipitous valley side. Now I know better. This certainly is a very wild and remote location and, apart from the surviving crossing keepers cottage, not much sign of habitation. I wonder why on earth they built a halt there and how much trade it generated?

 

Best wishes with the model.

Dave.

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It probably paid for itself (the overheads cannot have been high) on market days.

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