Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Monday, August 10, 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
I have been trying, over the past week and a half, to get enthused about Swallow’s End, my embryonic 2mm shunting plank. The biggest hurdle has been finding time – and the second has been dealing with the procrastination streak I have running during daylight hours, owing to it being school holidays (hence having time – sort of) and the kids all being home too. Couple this with not being at “home” as such (renovations going ok but I’d be happier if they were going better) and you can see why I get bogged down. Evenings are different – more of which later – but I need the space and that means outdoors and daylight hours.
Today was a bit different. I had help. And whilst “help” when you have five kids, the eldest being 9, can be a very subjective term I was pleased that Hollie (who rated a mention in the Toowoomba Train Show post) was interested in building soldered track and was quite good at it. She even (shock horror) listened to instructions and didn’t argue!!!
Anyway, as my students at school are wont of saying, pictures or it didn’t happen so:
All in all, two 60’ lengths in a couple of hours, all on chair plates (Versaline for those playing at home). No burnt fingers and no frayed tempers either. Apparently she is now allowed her own soldering iron…
Hopefully more track down on Friday. Not going to make it to the LAG meeting with a working plank on Saturday however. Still issues with getting the points to work – and time. Maybe tomorrow afternoon.
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Last year I wrote about the Kickstarter project by Andy Vaughan here. This was followed up with my progress with the sheds here in February. Since then, other UFO projects have managed to get in the way but I started on the Semi-detached House kits (see here for the picture on Andy’s website) a few weeks ago. Progress has been slow but today I managed to get to this:
Now the quick and astute will notice that it looks more like a Terrace than the picture on Andy’s website. This is because on looking at the dimensions, I felt that the two houses were a bit small to be as described but I also felt that with a few of them, they would make a pretty good terrace of two up, two down workers houses. And so it has proven.
As one of the Kickstarters, I was able to get a few of them at the time – so I got 8 of these. The fifth is at the back of the four, and a sixth has made it to a similar stage to the fifth. I fitted the roofs to the four today (this is the front by the way) and will get onto putting the extra detail which wasn’t included in the kit – guttering, down pipes and so forth over the next few days. As I presently don’t have access to the layout to see how they are going for length, I won’t be adding to it at this stage but I expect 7 or the whole 8 will probably be needed.
Saturday, June 13, 2015
Same day report – don’t get used to it! (And yes – apologies for not having one last month at all!)
6 of us gathered at a new venue (well new in the sense we haven’t been there as the LAG before but only one of us had never been at all) today where the highlight was the presence of David’s 2mm layout of which video was shot – more of which anon.
Some discussion was had around the 2mm scale layout Greg has out the back of his place having obtained it from estate of the bloke who introduced him and I to 2mm Finescale in the first place. I suspect that 2016 could see it finally getting done, some 13 years or so after Andy’s unfortunately early departure from this life.
Once modelling got underway, all of us worked on our various projects.
Ben and Greg did something about replicating the lamp posts pictured at Sturminister Newton for his layout. You guess the height of the fence, do some drawing and some scaling, bit of maths then get a paper clip, some bits of plastic tube of various outside diameters, a sequin and bead and voilà – lamp post. The assembly judge it pretty good but felt the lamp was too close to the bend so some tweaking needs to be done for the production run. Still, not bad for half an hour!
Barbara continued on with her N Gauge Society GWR wagon project, this time doing the opens which come as part of Kit 48.
Don kept on going with his pair of GWR Milk Brakes from Etched Pixels – I think this is the second of the pair under construction but I forgot to ask.
David, flushed with the success of the running session, got the servomotor for the fourth point mounted and wired. It now just needs the blades installed and the programing done and he’ll have the ability to run around a train. Next month…
I carried on with building the Severn Models Semi-detached Houses (N7 in their catalogue) of which I obtained 8 examples as part of their Kickstarter Campaign last year. I decided early on based on their published dimensions that they were more suited to terraces than semi-detached and so I am building them as a terrace of 2 up 2 down houses.
So a very productive get together. Next meeting is the 11th of July. Hopefully I will have Swallow’s End running for that one so we will have two 2mm planks operational.
Monday, June 8, 2015
Saturday, April 11, 2015
Friday, April 10, 2015
I have been impressed with the various versions of the new Duchess Bachmann have released under their Farish brand for the N Gaugers for a while. I have seen a number of them, belonging to fellow members of the SEQ Area Group but have only recently obtained one myself via eBay.
I picked up 46229 “Duchess of Hamilton” in maroon for a good price – more so when I consider that the local Australian price if one does support the Local Hobby Shop is $420. Given Hatton’s and other sell for half that (and I got mine less than that again) you can see why we generally don’t buy our locos out here.
The latest NGS Journal arrived today (10 April) and it had a letter from a bloke “over the ditch” in New Zealand enthusing about two examples which have made it to the Land of the Long White Cloud. According to the letter, they haul 15 and 19 coaches. This is pretty good and allows for prototypical haulage. We put mine to the test on Sturminister Newton last week and it didn’t have any trouble with 25. The train was made up of 13 Farish LMS coaches and 12 Farish Mk1s as shown in the accompanying video. All in all, very happy with the purchase.
I have since renamed and numbered it 46245 “City of London” and retired my old Poole version of the same name/number. I know London is available but not at the eBay price Hamilton was. Now all I need is to get my hands on a green one (46253 “City of St Alban’s) and a blue one (46237 “City of Bristol”) and all my old ones will head out onto the Bay of E and to new homes.
Sunday, March 15, 2015
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
At the end of 2013, I was asked if I would be willing to teach a Technical Drawing class in 2014. Now as someone who did it to Senior, I wasn’t especially fazed and agreed to teach 8 Graphics to help out. The biggest issue I faced was time had moved on and more of the course was now done with a CAD program than it was back in the late 80s/early 90s of my school days.
Nevertheless, I sallied forth and had AutoDesk Inventor 2013 (which was what we had at the time at work – we’ve since upgraded to 2015 for the students, but not me!) put on my computer. I attempted some bits and pieces on my own, using a couple of YouTube video tutorials but it wasn’t really until I sat down with Phil Badger of Gopher and Ixion (along with BadgerBits) at the Toowoomba Model Train Exhibition last year that it all started to click.
By June, I had developed enough skills and insights to have a go at drawing a wagon. I settled on the LNWR D6 2 plank open as my first attempt as it wasn’t too big, I had a decent set of drawings in LNWR Wagons Vol 1 and, importantly, some pictures as well.
After a few nights work, it looked like this:
I designed it in a similar way to putting together a plastic kit – one end, one side and a floor then assembled it all – two sides, two ends and a floor. The assembly was the easiest part as it happens.
I was pretty pleased with it and uploaded it to Shapeways and got a print sent out (along with a bunch of other stuff – so the postage was defrayed). I wasn’t disappointed with the initial print, but I was not surprised that there were a couple of areas which needed tweaking – principally the buffer hole spacing. Since then I have received two more prints (which have gone slightly banana shaped since arriving but flex back under pressure. I presume once I build the chassis and fit, this won’t be a problem. Not sure if it is climatic or something else) and had a few people buy the model.
I know that the cost of the model is far greater than the price of the materials for scratch building or even the time involved (by the time you allow for the time drawing). However, the time drawing was useful as it was learning and any new skill takes time. Further, if I want more than 3 of them, I can get more which will be identical – something I doubt my scratch building skills will allow for at this time!
D6 was chosen as it had the right brakes for me to model it. Only 60 odd D6 wagons were built but they were upgraded D2s – of which 14000 were built to a 15’6” length before another 4700 were built to 16’ length. At least 400 D2s passed to the LMS in 1923. I must work out how to model the brake rigging for a D2 at which point, this body becomes much more useful.
The picture shows the post Beta print. I hope to have it on a chassis and painted (Humbrol 79 apparently is a reasonable match for LNWR grey – prior to weathering!). Transfers – well, typically this is yet another kit where there isn’t any! However, I am learning how to fix that problem as well.
I have started on another LNWR wagon – the D15 Beer Van. As it happens, I can tweak that drawing to become the Grain conversion without too much hassle. Those of you with LNWR Wagons Vol 2 can check it out. The ends were the work of an hour – which I doubt I could scratch build in that time to be honest.
I am considering putting it up as a 3 or 5 body option which should bring the price down – if you are interested in getting more than 1, please get in touch and I’ll see what I can do.
Friday, February 20, 2015
I thought I’d bring back the FNU owing to the fact that most Thursdays I get together with a couple of mates and we try to “get stuff done”. This get together was initially organised by my wife along with the Thursday night host’s – they felt we were more bearable if we did modelling more regularly than our Second Saturdays and since Ben lives a mere 20 mins away (less if the lights are kind) it has worked out quite well. Ben has a blog too but it is only fairly recent – you can find it here.
My initial thought on going over to Ben’s was it would be an opportunity to work through projects as against what tends to happen here at home – I start on something, get side-tracked and next thing I know, the UFO pile is growing and I am beginning to feel I am achieving nothing. With the Thursday night working bee, I could have a box with whatever I was working on, with the tools for it and leave it in the car from week to week. This has worked quite well.
So what have I been doing? Well I obtained a set of the Etched Pixels Thompson suburbans – you got 4 in a set but Allan sent out a fifth coach as it was a loner and he was moving into 3D printing with these models. I can’t remember how long I’ve had them but I suspect I was living in Longreach when I got them!
With a project in mind – get them built – I have been working away over the last few weeks since Christmas. I have tended to get about 75-80% of the body done each night which now means all 5 were done a couple of weeks ago. Last work evening I started looking at the door grab handles but got a little side tracked on my VR K and the latest purchase from Atso-Cad – a C12.
I am planning on putting these on some of the Atso-Cad Gresley bogies from Shapeways. I recognise that the Dapol ones may be better, but I purchased a set of Steve’s previously and having fitted one at the end of the Dapol Gresley Brake following a melting incident due to a short circuit (stopping a train with the last axle in the non-isolated section – light bar ready bogie) I thought they would do. Besides, I figure if I buy Steve’s models (such as the N2) he might do some more!
The coaches are as follows: 2x D339 Thirds, 2x D340 4 Compartment Brakes and 1x D338 Lav Composite. The copy I have of the LNER Coaches by Campling seems to be a bit over the shop when it comes to these coaches so I’m not sure if the extra goes in the rake or outside it as a strengthener – I’ll run it as shown below unless someone tells me otherwise!
Not the all time greatest shot but the weather has been rotten for the last couple of days – we’ve had over a foot of rain fall in under 48 hours and the overcast conditions haven’t suited photos at all. I will take better ones once I have done something about door handles (lots!) door grab rails (also lots – I think more than the handles from the pics, especially on the Brakes) and do something about initial painting. I also have to find the roofs!
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
A period trawl around the web thinking of useful search terms resulted in me finding that DCC Supplies had spare chassis. I guess that is one of the things spending time on the likes of RM Web or the N Gauge Forum will get you – but it doesn’t get a lot of modelling done! Still, I purchased a chassis and it turned up about a month ago.
Since then, I have been working on the model on and off with an eye to entering it in this years BRMA (Q) Modelling competition.
Now I have had bad experiences in the past with both Railmatch (enamels – hence my preference for Precision) and acrylics – Tamiya in my case but a fair few years back. So I was naturally hesitant. However, having given the Humbrol Rail Blue Acrylic a go (and finding that my attitude towards acrylic was confirmed) I figured the situation couldn’t be any worse. Happily, it worked out very well indeed, although I didn’t attempt to use the airbrush. Thinned with a bit of filtered water and about 4 coats later:
The next problem was what number. I model LMR generally but the kit is for a WR example. The LMR ones didn’t have gangways, but had a third window (and there was only 4, which seem to have been the first four scrapped). So a couple of evenings were spent trawling the web.
Turns out a 128 in Rail blue with gangways, head code boxes and round buffers is a bit of a difficult combination to source but I ended up very lucky and found this picture © David Hann (link):
A bit more of a trawl around David’s photos on Flickr and I was lucky enough to find he had taken a picture of the arrival (the photo above shows the departure of W55991 and W55020) earlier the same day – which happens to be September 11, 1981(second bingo as it fits my time period).
(As an aside, I have tried to find out on Flickr how to get in touch with David to seek his permission to publish his photos here. I couldn’t see how to so if someone could tell me, I’d appreciate it. As it isn’t for commercial gain, and I have acknowledged Copyright, hopefully there isn’t an issue.)
My model has progressed, based on the second photo, to this:
Sunday, February 8, 2015
Another one of the long term projects. Part I and Part II date from 2011. Since then progress has been spasmodic with the tender bogie situation referred to being sorted in 2013 when I obtained some castings from Phil Badger – who made the kit. At some stage, the whole lot got a coat of black paint but I don’t remember when.
The current state of play is this after this weekend:
There is still a bit to do – cab and tender steps, paint the buffers on the tender and then put the number plates on. I’ll also have to work out a front coupling. It has a Microtrains 1015 on the tender but it is a little high so I’ll have to take it off and pack it. Then there is the all important (add it to the pile!) weathering and then finally some real coal in the space. At one stage I was considering DCCing this one, but I’m not sure where I would fit the chip.
Still – progress, mostly inspired by the painting of a couple of VR Diesels, more of which anon.
Friday, February 6, 2015
I posted late last year about the Kickstarter project from Andy Vaughan which resulted in me getting a number of the etched building kits he was offering under the Severn Models banner. Andy has since gotten underway as a quick look at his website will show (and those who cruise the Bay of E may have seen the various kit options there).
My initial thoughts on the sheds are detailed in the previous post. As I mentioned the lack of gutters, down pipes and a chimney, at least on the brick shed, were a bit of a let down. So I got out my collection of brass and had a look to see what I had and what could be done about it.
I found some pipe which had an outside diameter of 1mm and thought it would be suitable – no round channel available at the local hobby shop and I am not even sure it if is available from the K&S or Albion Alloys ranges – and with the aid of a sanding disc in the Dremel and about 5 mins of careful sanding I had a length of gutter. A downpipe and a stove pipe chimney came from some .7mm OD pipe and that had the brick shed sorted as a coal merchants office.
The other building I decided to use as a fodder store – gutters and a downpipe were sorted but the stove pipe was left off. A coal stove (or any fire source) in a fodder store is not the best idea I would think! In the end I removed the downpipes as I thought they were a bit much but as the gutters were well soldered on, they were left in place. In any case, now that they are painted, I think the gutters complete the building.
Yes, I noticed the chimney is crooked after I took the photo!!!
Doesn’t look as bad from the back!
I have to fit glazing – I was thinking of giving microscope slides a try for a proper glass look – but I’ll leave that off until after weathering. The weathering UFO pile is really building up!
Friday, January 30, 2015
I have had this model kicking around for sometime waiting, as seems to be the trend, for transfers. Lots of kits unfortunately seem to be produced without transfers being obviously available (or if they are they only cover one period of the model’s life) and this one is no exception. Luckily I have the Tatlow NPCS Book and it has the Python in it (handily next to the LNER Long CCT which Chivers does too – more of which anon) and the pictures give enough inspiration to get on with cutting various bits and pieces from other transfer sheets. The only thing I wasn’t able to find was a yellow W of a suitable size.
I haven’t put the sealer coat of varnish on the transfers yet and like the previous couple of Former UFOs, weathering to take place.
I have two more of these kits to build – one is going to be 580, the one specially strengthened to carry elephants but I am going to have to find a GWR Roundel transfer for that as the picture I have, dated 1947, has the vehicle in brown with a roundel!
Monday, January 26, 2015
Another UFO getting close to FO status – this time with a much shorter gestation period!
These LMS tube wagons date from 2012 when I saw some on eBay and purchased them. They were duly made up in late 2012 and managed to get some paint on them in early 2013. Since then, sporadic progress on transfers had LMS applied to 5 out of 8 sides, numbers applied to 3 out of 8 sides and that was it. With 8 transfers per side (number, tare, Tube, L, M, S and a pair of small Ns to denote non-common user) I was well behind! I found them again during the tidy up period mentioned in pervious posts.
Transferring recommenced Thursday night and the models were completed over the Australia Day Long Weekend. The models were then sprayed with Humbrol Matt Varnish out of the Humbrol rattle can – not overly disappointed with the fact the black is now looking more battleship grey as it starts the weathering process.
As I have mentioned before (way back in 2010!!) I have never been especially successful in getting the Chivers chassis to run well and these have proven to be no exception to the rule. The kits came without wheels and I know the Parkside Dundas 6.2mm diameter ones are recommended but I have found a tendency with my Parkside wheels to come apart with the tire falling off the plastic centre. Wheels therefore have been a bit of a problem for me. I have tried a number of different manufacturers and, owing to my cack-handedness with building the chassis (previous LMS tubes in BR livery run on 2mm Scale Association etched replacement chassis – I can see already this happening with these – doubly so considering I will then be able to easily fit DGs and later 2mm wheels) there is a variety of wheels fitted, all in an effort to get them to run smoothly. The best ones are a single pair I had which don’t match anything else in my bits box and I don’t know the manufacturer.
As with other UFOs recently FOd, they haven’t been weathered. The weather hasn’t been good for attempting to spray anything over the summer – too wet and humid – and with the desire to emulate Tim Shackleton, some practice on scrap bits is called for first I think.
Friday, January 23, 2015
From what I remember from when I got them (2010 – seems to be a trend developing here…) Richard Bardsley had done the opens as part of his Mill Lane Sidings range and then sold the moulds to the NGS – I’m sure someone with the full skinny will comment and let me know if I have the wrong end of the horse. Either way, the kits were very easy to put together and I left off back in October 2010 having painted them with Precision Paints P127 BR Bauxite as recommended. I thought (and we know where thinking can get you) that I would have to paint the sides white to put the transfers on as I assumed (erroneously as it turns out) that the white part of the transfers were clear.
Fast forward 3 and a bit years and I managed to find the transfers and the wagons (different places – which accounts for the delay in part) and added them to the “something” pile which could be completed at the kitchen table rather than in the shed.
I painted one wagon side white and made a bit of a hash of it to be honest – spray at x paces and no masking so not flash. Not worried as I knew I was going to have to touch up with bauxite around the edges. Put first transfer on and that’s when I discovered the white was white and I didn’t need to have done the painting. C’est la vie.
So two have been done other than the tarpaulin bar – I have to find suitable brass wire – and the white stripes on the ends. The third needs to have the paint sorted before I get it to this stage.
These are similar to the P19 Ballast Wagons which I have likewise in the UFO boxes in as much as the transfers are very thick and the use of MicroSol or similar is highly recommended. I found it very difficult to get the transfers where I wanted them and so ended up with a less than satisfying pair of models. I am going to get a Kit 36 from the NGS to see if the transfers are any better and if so, I may see if I can get get transfers and fix them up. As they are, wreathing will probably hide most of the sins. I’ll put a picture up when I have managed to sort the three with bars and weathering – hopefully not a similar time span!
Friday, January 16, 2015
Readers with either very long memories or recently arrived and trawling though the back catalogue may remember the title as being attached to a post made back in April of 2010. For those now curious see here for an explanation.
As it happens, I have been back on the UFOs – the perils of tidying the shed and having your wife ask what's with all the boxes in the bottom drawer… My UFO drawer as it happens. So Amity counted and decided there were too many and proclaimed “something must be done about that”. Permission was sought and granted to do “something” at the kitchen table whilst various paper craft things were being done (we can be together dear) and so “something” has been done. I’ve finished it.
The windows were done with the Krystal Klear as suggested (correct spelling this time) and from what I could tell from photos, the only lettering was the vehicle number – at least in BR days. In Southern days they had Luggage and Southern on them as well. Either that, the rest was hidden under the layer of grime which seemed to be the correct livery from the 1950s as I would have assumed things like length and tonnage would have been somewhere. I haven’t done the grime yet, but will get around to it in due course, especially as I have the weathering books by Tim Shackleton and want to try out some of his techniques.
I remember how much fun it was to build – and I had only limited experience then. I will most definitely be getting a couple more – one for painting in Pullman livery once Dapol bring out their WC/BB Pacific.