Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Wagon weathering

And done. Well it was done last week, I just needed to tone it down a little.
The lettering is somewhat assumptive. The van had a couple of mod's done during the larger letter days, so I assumed that these may have been added in the only place you can fit them... the door. By the 1920's it may have been looking quite sorry for itself, so it was out with the new top quality airbrush, worn out Poundland 90p paint brush, and a modicum of dry brushing all over the iron bits with some Games Workshop stinky willie grey and Humbrol 62 ( I made some of that up).

To recap: Ratio iron mink kit, vents filed off, Shire Scenes sides added, painted. Would I do t again? Yes. Would I use super glue as suggested ? Not a chance.

Monday, 19 March 2018

East Grinstead Exhibition

 A trip to the East Grinstead show yesterday. One of those annual treks which is almost habit. E G is not top flight, but nor is it a village hall show either with stuff from the host club and some selections from other local clubs and lone wolves such as Peter Bossom's 3mm scale Bulverhythe above being operated by Richard Preece.
 One of the main reasons for going was to see Bob Vaughn's Tansey Bank and take some photographs for 009 News. Bob has a spread of small highly detailed layouts in 4mm scale which are full of cameos, all beautifully executed and often use commercial kits in a way that they were not originally intended. That as well as a fleet of top quality rolling stock as above.
A third lone wolf in the shape of Andrew Knights with Eastwood, which uses a brace of Airfix/Dapol buildings twisted to fit the American prototype: here a few recognisable parts from an Airfix signal box become a delightful American switch tower.

Show 7/10
Catering 10/10 mainly because of the speed, sensible menu and pricing.
Highly recommended

Friday, 16 March 2018

Saturday Ramble

I know what a sharp eyed bunch you are, so you will have noticed a few background changes on this web page. What it needed was a clean and a slight update.

This blog has been running for nearly nine years and although I'd been blogging for a while, back when there were no gadgets and no commenting facility, this was an idea to just put a few model pictures up. The title reflected a 009 layout that was built around 1999, and nine years ago I was a couple of exhibition layouts further on, hence 'Wood End and Beyond'. Now that seems completely irrelevant; not only is it the name of a layout that I no longer own that was conceived and built last century, but my approach, modelling, and to some extent life, have moved on. There are for instance a few bits of associated writing that don't really get much of a mention here, but should. The list of layouts at the top has almost doubled and the writing within the posts is more opinionated and directed. In short it's more me, much more me than Wood End. Also the page had some loose ends and I needed put the stuff that I thought was important near the top: contact, links to books and links to other blogs, both of which are easier to do now than when I started here. These links are there because I think they are the relevant ones - the ones I find inspiring, the ones who I believe represent the forward motion of railway modelling. The only loss is Penhydd which does not exist any more. Shame.

The same irreverent spiel will occur in the posts - do continue to email and comment; they do get read. Welcome to the new (old) blog.

Wealden show and the AotC

Last weekend's Wealden Railway Group show was a weird one - no real changes there. Regulars will have gathered that it was the AotC's only public outing. The WRG event is so laid back that the stress level is pretty non-existent. It's a bit like inviting all of your mates round for a tea. The layout performed just about faultlessly, and considering the lowly roots of some of the stock, you could have expected a lot worse. I operated the layout on my own all day - no I'm lying. Nigel Hill covered most of it while I talked my way though the day.

I even left early for a prior engagement leaving Nigel (again) to throw the layout into the back of Mrs F's car to take home. It sits still packed to my right awaiting its fate. The challenge complete, the Roy Link plan built and gingerly exhibited to a gushing public. The root of its story on here was back in 2010 - almost eight years from inception to endgame. Its job is done - almost.

Pics of the AotC and the rest of the show can be accessed via Mike Campbell's blog here .

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Shire Scenes cattle van 4

 The sides drop over the ends as per the plastic originals. These were a little on the tight side so a bit of material needed to be removed from the leading edges of the ends. Because the new sides are less than half the thickness of the old there is a bit of 'bend'. The smart will have extended the floor with lengths of strip. Me, I just wacked a couple of blocks of scrap against the doors with some super glue and solvent. The top edge does need some support, here using a strip of Wills brick sheet. No I don't know what bond it is.
 With buffers, hooks and brake lever on I waved some Halfords primer over it which nicely accentuates all the crooked bits and finger marks.
Top coat of 67 and we're nearly there. Just some tidying to do and the questionable lettering. Did the van ever carry large GW lettering, and where did the G & W go on the side?

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Stewart Reidpath Gnat

 This passed by my nose in the last few days. I believe it's a Stewart Riedpath 'Gnat' possibly marketed by Hamblings just post WW2. Heavy does not describe it. With a whitemetal body, possibly a lead chassis, and two bits of brass strip bolted to the bottom, it weighs more than most of Hattons Bachmann stock put together. Apparently it still runs well once warmed up.
I have a feeling that John Ahern used this chassis under at least one of the Madder Valley locos. I wonder how many of todays current crop of RTR will last seventy years?
It was passed to a friend of mine for disposal and has a boxed 0-6-0 companion should you be interested in this piece of model history.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Coleford Book

I've just reviewed this for 009 News. John Wilkes' book on his Coleford layout, which is one of the most non-clich├ęd and eclectic 009 layouts around. Well worth a look and available from Narrow Planet's web shop at £9.95.   

Monday, 12 March 2018

Shire Scenes cattle van 3

 The modified ends need to go on very square. A little more care than normal was required here as it wasn't just a case of building a box with the adjacent side. The  ends need to be a firm and straight pair of posts to hang, what are quite a flimsy side piece from. A square is pretty much the tool of choice here.
 Both fitted. The marginally more pedantic may think it necessary to cut some 5-10 thou sheet squares to plug the holes inside - Possibly a step too far I thought.
As far as I know this is the only reference shot and is freely available on the web. It shows the van ex works (presumably 1888) with the 19th century lettering style.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Cattle van 2

 On to the chassis: The scary bit was chopping the side away. The Ratio MINK is quite an old design, with the solebar and side moulded as one. The danger being that you risk spoiling the edge where it attaches to the floor resulting in a wobbly wagon. I left the part on the sprue to give me more to hang on to. Except at this moment where I'm juggling the camera as well.
 With the detached solebars I made up a basic rolling chassis which needed a fair bit of fettling to get the wheels and solebars in the correct position. I used plain bearing for a change as tophats threw the whole thing out. This was going to get more than average handling so I left the brake lever for the time being. The Gibson wheels came with the Ratio kit, but at this point I noticed that there was an amount of flash on the back of the wheel-centres which was filed off with a flat needle file.
The rudimentary instructions that come with the Shire Scenes kit barely mention the ends. It occurred to me that the vent was superfluous so checked with the one existing photo. It's square on which is not helpful, but you can see inside. Why would you put vents on a semi-open vehicle after all? Filing off looked risky, but I carried on. It is possible, but the plastic is paper thin as you can see.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Shire Scenes cattle van 1

I haven't done a series on here fore an absolute age, so I thought this might be a good one to run. The Shire Scenes etch to go with the Ratio Iron Mink. This will be the final of the trio for the forcoming book now in the writing. This build isn't finished as yet so it could all fall over.
Above is what you get with the kit: a simple etch with two sides. Most of the projections either fold to the front excepting the lower panels which go to the rear. The instructions say to use super glue. I wasn't altogether happy with this , but ran with it for simplicities sake.

 The two flat panels folded up to the rear with a tiny smear of gel type super glue. The main problem with this is permanence and also the fact that you can scrape or brush excess solder away, dead glue is not so forgiving. Any slight bending the side caused the parts to ping away.

The strapping pieces are highly flimsy and care is needed not to bend. The same issues with the glue again - too much and it spreads, too little and it won't stick. It's fairly low tack as well so you have to stand there holding it for a while - solder would be instant. The two 'L' shaped hinges don't fold up. They're etched the wrong way around so need to be cut off flush and positioned loose. Just the tiny drop bolt is left to do here.