Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Back dated 48xx

Done save the wethering. Top feed gone. Wiring, whistle shield and fireman's steps gone. Renumbered repainted and relettered. Airfix body on a Hornby mech. Interesting project - it looks more chunky and lower set with the boiler fittings removed and although it still shows its roots it does make a huge visual difference.
On to buildings or cattle wagons next.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Fiddle yard at Pratts Bottom

 Nipped up to the Pratts Bottom show at the weekend. Not only for the delightfully named location, but for a club show of the old style. No big names, but lots of interesting ideas and an extensive club s/h stall. It did quieten down a little, but we hit it at the peak and it was sharp elbows to get around for a while. Which tend to back up my comments on Scaleforum a couple of months back. This caught my eye: a clip on FY on a Canadian layout. Possibly over engineered, but then it's a bit vulnerable stuck out there. I'd guess around 14" long.

Monday, 15 January 2018

Great Western 4800

This has been a slow burn project and there's still quite a bit to do.  Last night saw one side of pressfix lettering go on along with the Narrow Planet bespoke number plate. This is a pretty much stripped down basic 48XX with everything taken off, and when put alongside the standard Airfix/Hornby model it looks startling different without the top feed/whistle cover/steps/wiring. This is though a reasonably cheap first go at a conversion. You can get the bodies separately, but there are enough non-runners knocking about (as this one was) that you could do the work and then upgrade with a new Chinese chassis unit afterwards.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

The perfect small American prototype?

It struck me that this would give something away from the usual urban canyon American layout vibe with small stock and a lot of natural view blockers.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Railway Modeller

Not one, but two RMs hit the mat this morning. Primarily due to it containing a speedily written piece by self for the Comment page near the back. Here I witter on about using a standard fiddle yard set up to fit multi scale/multi gauge small layouts. Hardly a new idea, but one that doesn't feature very much. Due to the twists and turns of the editorial pencil, my old mate Andrew Knights gets one and a half name checks as well. I do wish they wouldn't use the photo that was originally posed as a bit of a joke. Time for Craig to take a new one.
A quick flick through and the one that caught my eye was Handcross - a Rev Awdry plan from the 60s done with Setrack. Works surprisingly well.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Utility buildings

I'm a bit of an enthusiast for utility buildings - those brick block houses that often house water/electric/sewage equipment, but are also fairly numerous on the rail system. Devoid of any character and usually faced with unadorned brick, they disappear into the background and yet a just as much of the surrounding scenery as any of the Victorian architecture.
The above is a mess room at Hastings. It looks as though it was originally split into two rooms. Plain doors, Crittal casement windows and simple flat felt roof. Delightful. Something similar is probably available in one of the ready-to-plant ranges in 4mm, but how easy would this be to scratchbuild? Slaters sheet over a card base might be best to get the slab feel better than Wills sheets. The fiddly bit would be the handrails  for the steps over the trunking. Note the store with the up and over garage door on the left.
I'm sure Stig knows when it was built, but I'll plump for late 1960s.

Monday, 8 January 2018

Light railway station

I just noticed this in an ad in RM (where else?) for a new PECO kit. It's designed as a 'cricket pavilion', but the eagle eyed will spot a bit of nifty re-packaging of the doors and windows from their station kit and the roof from the Will taximan's hut. The walls are milled wood (!), the rest is plastic.
At seven quid and a little work I'm thinking light railway station building. Though the roof would probably be the first bit to go.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Painitng coach panels

An initial bit of painting on the Tri-ang following the same method as I used on the Ratio conversion earlier. The whole body was scrubbed with a very light soapy water solution and a toothbrush to get rid of 50 years of grime. Now I'm into the black raised beading with a small brush. I find this incredibly fiddly and can only do a bit at a time. It also looks terrible at this juncture so isn't very inspiring - no instant gratification here. I'm pondering whether to just do the ends and one side, after all....

Friday, 5 January 2018


Finished putting the short trestles together tonight. Not awfully successful to the point where I may have to disassemble them and re-do. For some reason I can cut small bits of plastic, but anything which leans toward a DIY size eludes me.

First warm up project of 2018 is this light titivation of a Tri-ang coach. I know I could chop a few of them up to make something representing a C30, but for the AotC it seems a little too much. And to be quite honest will most people notice? If it was good enough for the Reverend, it's good enough for me.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Saturday Ramble.

Firstly a Happy New Year to all the blog readers. Granted it's a little late, but I tend not to follow the same pattern as most with yesterday being my first day off in fifteen. Yesterday was tidy up, now to look forward.

Modelling wise, 2017 was all about getting bits of GWR done and finishing the AotC. The later is now done, has one small showing in March, and then will probably find a new life. The immediate job with this is to build a couple of bits of stock and get two more trestles built for it to perch on. Then it would be onto completing Orne the 009 layout. Other than that there is the rolling, associated but not modelling, editing 009 News for The 009 Society and the completion of my third (and final!) book for Crowood. That means twelve monthly print deadlines for the former and one toward the end of the year for the later.

Regulars will know that as usual exhibitions are limited to about six local-ish shows and only single day ones at that. I find two day events too problematic to wrap around other stuff, and anyway I think the smaller shows are more interesting than the big events. Which brings me to another bugbear, that of advanced booking: I had a couple of enquiries last year which turned out to be 2019 and onward. I find it hard to plan much more than a week away, so two years seems unbelievable. Will I still be alive in two years? Will any of us with the way things are going? I'll repeat it here as always. If you have an exhibitor drop-out, call me a few days before and I can give you a fast yes or no. If it's for two years away forget it; see rule one. As I said a few posts ago. I'd probably find it better to build stuff for others to take to shows rather than for me.

Next up then is some writing, some GWR stock and buildings for the AotC and volume three. Have a great 2018 and lets hope for some governmental changes to calm things down a bit.