Monday, May 30, 2011

Wagon Assortment

Busy end of the month - tonight I got around to putting some paint on the above wagons.  The one in the middle is my first scratch built wagon body (and got painted Midland Dark Grey to help hide the blemishes!).  The others are assorted 2mm kits with all of them running on 2mm chassis.  Paint colours vary - along with the aforesaid MR Dark grey, there is LMS grey, GWR grey, LBSCR grey and Humbrol light grey!  If I can work out which is which (the MR and GWR aside) then I will put appropriate letters on them - not sure if LBSCR wagons ended up on the W&U or at St Alban's Abbey but when in doubt, apply Rule 1!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Photo update - 28 May 2011

Not the greatest photo - sorry about that - but it shows the progress made today on the LBSCR set.  As mentioned yesterday, I have painted these in Pullman Umber.  The information I have suggests this would be right for the period from 1903-1911.  Precision Paints do a Marsh Umber but as I think this is for the locos rather than coaches, and I only need it for these four coaches, I am not going to worry about tracking it down.  I was trying to determine if the brake ends should be painted vermilion (NGS members will be able to see Gareth's set in J02/11 has vermilion ends) at this time - the information I have says the practice of doing so to goods brakes was discontinued and they were painted all over grey so I feel it reasonable to assume the same with coaches so that is what I have done.
They do need a third and fourth coat to get them up to the same finish as the sides.
Now to put in some glazing, try to determine if seats are really necessary (well obviously but how detailed) and work out what sort of vents I should have on the roofs - having first decided if the coaches would have had the new fangled electric light by 1905 - which is when the "Improved Engine Green" started to vanish.

Friday, May 27, 2011

LBSCR Stroudley Set

The N Gauge Society AGM and Annual Model Making Competition is on this weekend - unfortunately not close by (St Ives being... well a long way off from here).  As I can't attend, and being unwilling to trust my models to the loving care of Australia Post and Royal Mail (thereby making the trophies safe from coming Down Under :-)) I took inspiration from the latest Journal which had a picture of Gareth Colliers' Gold Award winning entry in the Coaching Stock and did some more work on my set of Etched Pixels coaches, destined to either trundle around behind Amity's "Boxhill" or my "Stepney".

As the picture above shows, at this point all that has happened is the bodies have all been finished (one of the Brake Thirds was done some months ago) and the roofs formed.  Since this photo, the bodies have been primed.  At this point I had a closer look at Gareth's models and noticed he had added door handles and steps on the end of the brake coaches.  I guess this is why he wins - the attention to detail.  I thought about removing the primer, drilling the holes and scrounging through the spare box from steps and bending wire for the handles and decided that I could live with the lack of detail - Rule 1 and all that (remembering that LBSCR isn't part of my plethora of interests!). 

So the next thing is painting then sorting out chassis.  Painting I have decided to go with the later Umber rather than the original Mahogany.  In the absence of anything better, I am going to use the Pullman version (which I have) rather than get something specific as there is only the four coaches, although the rake may be extended or even doubled since we have two locos.  This leaves the chassis.  As designed, they are supposed to go on modified Peco 15' ones.  The trouble is, this involves a lot of cutting and what not so I thought 2mm FSA etches - but which ones?  At the time they went to Umber, I think they were braked and had electric lights - which throws up the question of vents on the roofs - but I can't find a useful diagram.  If you can offer any insights - would be a place to send those insights!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Layout Part X - dirt

As promised on a number of occasions, here are a couple of pictures of landscaping progress.  The first is of the cattle dock area and to date, the ballast has been done on the track to the dock but not yet cleaned up - you can see the specks of ballast on the rails in the larger picture.  The "dirt" (Woodland Scenics B71 for those playing at home) has made it to the wall of the fodder store, but not around yet.  As you can see at the top left of the fodder store there is a bit of brown.  This is damage to the ply when I removed the first attempt and I haven't gotten around to filling it yet - perhaps tomorrow and then earth works can continue.   The white patch is where the points (turnouts) have to go - haven't sorted all the bits for the TOU (the best practice keeps changing!) so they haven't been fitted yet.  The photo actually looks better than real life as the dirt is a bit patchy.  It has been put down onto neat PVA glue and looks much better with a second coat - some has been but most hasn't.  A job for later.

The second picture shows the coal merchants area.  Very clean!  I have some real coal in Brisbane which I am going to use here so, while further progress is possible with what I have in Longreach, it will have to keep until September when I can get better stuff.  The white patches are the crossover at the buffer end of the station - refer back to January for a track plan!

I had intended an over all shot, but the lighting didn't work.  These photos were taken on a 1sec exposure with a tri-pod and were the best of a 12 shot selection!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Photo update - 24 May 2011

Only one photo of the 6 UFOs which are now FOs.  The pair at the back are Gresley D113 BGs - the blue one from the NGS kit and the red using Ultima sides on a Minitrix donor coach - which needed some hacking to sort it.  I had the sides for years and a damaged coach turned up one day on a second hand stall for a fiver (dollars, not quid) but it wasn't until I had built two NGS kits (the other is also red) that I got a roundtuit and then discovered it was a 113 as well...  The bits of white are the Krytal Klear windows which I put in after finding the glazing in the 2 NGS kits didn't quite make it around 3 models!

The front row, from left to right, is my NGS Shark, now with a coupling - a staple glued under one of the ploughs which enables it to connect to anything with a Rapido - doesn't seem to like the Unimates some of my stuff has for closer coupling.  The other end is waiting for a screwlink coupling and a lamp but other than that it is finished.  The Dogfish which is next has a Unimate at one end and a Rapido at the other.  The rest of the rake has Unimates (short one end, medium the other so they have to be put down the "right" way).  It is in this photo due to having a load fitted.  Not convinced as to the realism of the shape but the colour is OK.  I will see how I go living with it before I do the other 6.  Third from the left is the Farish PoW Horsebox now on a Peco chassis - I haven't put lifting arms on it yet but they are around here somewhere.  Last is the fixed Farish cattle wagon - one of the bars had gone missing so this was replaced with some 0.2mm nickle silver wire I had left over from the cattle dock.

Not much really but a couple of hours work and 6 more things of the UFO pile so that is something.

Friday, May 20, 2011

UFOs - a return

I managed to lose the mojo at the start of May due mostly to work pressures so I have returned to the methodology which I find works best to get the juices following - the UFO box.

Some of what I have been working on, I was working on last year about this time so clearly not enough progress there!  However, stuff has been done - a Farish Private Horsebox which was acquired via eBay has been put on a Peco chassis with a view to using it as a shunting wagon - I use the Peco arms and home-made electromagnets on St Alban's Abbey.  I have also replaced the missing bar on a Bachfar BR Cattle wagon and done some work on fixing the roof for the Minitrix/Ultima D113 Gresley BG conversion.  Lastly there is putting transfers on and finishing off the NGS D113 BG in all over Blue.

No photos - sorry - and I won't get any done tomorrow as I am off to Brisbane to be godfather to a mate's daughter on Sunday.  Hopefully a photo update on Sunday including the current look of Swallow's End.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

GWR P19 - Part III

The long term readers will remember in August last year (my doesn't time fly) I obtained via the good offices of Richard the NGS Journal Ed some GWR P19 wagons, from which the Grampus has its roots.  While waiting for glue to dry on the landscape attempts on Swallow's End I thought it would be handy to have loads for these wagons. 

My first thought was to use the Woodland Scenic Light Grey ballast I have been using on SE but I am thinking of putting that to use for loads for my 7 dogfish and so I have gone for used ballast - which means some finely sieved bedding sand which I have glued to some thick card (as this didn't warp, unlike the plastic I used for mk1).  All up, very pleased with the afternoon's efforts - which is more than can be said for the landscaping but progress is progressing on that front and I am hopeful of photos by the end of the week.

Next job however is to do a stock take and get ready for June - UFO/FO month Down Under.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Layout Part IX - Landscaping: a beginning.

I mentioned in my last post a couple of weeks ago that I was hoping to make a start on putting the finished bits and pieces on the board - or at least landscaping around where they were going to go.  Well one thing and other has delayed the update - Blogger going down over the last few days at awkward times if you live Down Under being one; my unhappiness with the initial results being A N Other.

The state of play currently is some of the land has been done, but needs some more work before I will be showing it off.  Rest assured (because I know you are all lying awake wondering!) that progress is taking place, albeit slowly.  And I thought constructing track was a slow process!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Fodder Store

In doing the research (such as it was) for the cattle dock, I noticed that a lot of cattle docks (at least the majority of the few I found on the web and in my books) had a building near by which was described as a fodder store.  These buildings tended to be reasonably small and windowless and, while there may have been caption errors, it made sense to me that there would be somewhere near to the dock to store at least straw or hay to be able to put down in the pen prior to the arrival of the beasts - or it they were going to be placed in the dock for a spell from travel.

Now while Swallow's End is not somewhere where a load of cattle would need to be taken off the train to be fed, breaking their journey, it was the fact that a terminus like Moreton Hampstead had such a building which prompted me to have a go.

Attempt 1 was built using some styrene chamfer board I purchased by accident (I was looking for v-grove and picked up the wrong thing).   I painted it cream then weathered it reasonably heavily - assuming that it was either long out of use or long uncared for based on my 1960s time period.  However, when it came to the roof, I decided that putting slates on was the wrong move.  First of all, I am not sure that a slate roof would be held up too well by a chamfer board building (although I guess there is no reason why it wouldn't) and in any case, it was judged too Australian.  So I will take the slate off and put corrugated iron on it and put it aside for a future Australian themed layout.

So back to the drawing/cutting board.  This time I decided on a brick building and used the Scalescenes aged red brick as the covering of the styrene building - and getting a bit more confident with this scratch building game, put a hip roof on.

With management out this evening I will see about siting this on the layout and post a picture later - kids willing...