Thursday, September 29, 2011

LNWR Horse Box - Paint update

Sorry about the poor photo - you should have seen the others! - but it shows where I am at with this kit.  The roof is bowed - I seem to have managed to muck it up after fitting and it has flattened out where the square vents are.  It is more noticeable in the photo than normal but given how long it has been gestating and how much my skill level has improved since then, I figure it will serve.

Paint is the Precision version of LNWR Plum.  Sources vary as to what colour this vehicle should be so I have pleased my self with this.  The couple of photos I took with a flash actually showed it is quite thin in parts so I suspect it may need redoing with an airbrush in due course.  There is still the matter of lining and so forth but this will have to wait for another day.  Once all is complete, I will add the brake cylinder which will be a left over one from an NGS kit.

Comments, as always, are welcome either on the blog (which is a hassle I know) or via email.

Monday, September 26, 2011


One of the advantages of coming to Brisbane is it has given me the opportunity to organise most of my collection and make some plans for the next couple of months.

I brought down the majority of the stuff I had in Longreach - some which is now, a few days later, heading back - so I could put it all together and get some sense of where I was at with providing for the various interests I have.  As it turns out, I needed both more time and more room to do this!

The first thing I learnt is, I don't have enough stock boxes to make a coherent plan.  My ideal situation is to have things organised by region and era - particularly with coaching stock as this has a greater impact on setting the scene than goods stock does - but I found I was about 4 storage trays short of doing this effectively.  On one hand, this is annoying as it means I will have to get the materials and make some more, but on the other hand it is useful to know before the big move so I can budget for this stuff in advance.

The second thing I learnt is trying to organise goods vehicles is a bit of a mugs game.  In the end I am putting them in three categories - fitted, unfitted and shunting.  The last is those wagons which are fitted for hands off shunting.  My present system is to use the Peco couplings, the lifting arms and electromagnets, but having tried DGs I am a bit of a convert so I can see a mass re-fitting program taking shape which will probably see all the Peco wagons progressively be replaced with Farish ones.  This has its benefits as the Farish ones are better looking and more accurate.  The down side is replacing 60 wagons!  There will be a time when both are being used I am sure.

Lastly I was able to gather up all my BR Blue era locos (along with the 04 Trams) with a view to fitting them all with chips for DCC operation.  There are quite a few to do - some, like the 37, are plug and play.  Others, like the Poole Farish and most of my 73s are not so this will be an adventure.  First thing is to work out which chips to use.  So research coming up.

Friday, September 23, 2011

AMMC - 2011

The 8th Annual British Railway Modellers of Australia (Queensland) Modelling Competition took place on Thursday 22nd of September this year and I made the 1200km journey (with wife and kids) the day before - partly to enter and partly to return the 3 trophies I won in 2010.  I was in-eligible for these 3 categories this year and, while I was keen to enter the remaining 4, in the end I was only able to get organised for 2 - the Diorama and the Scratch Built Line Side Structure.

As you can see from the photo, my cattle dock was judged the winner in the Line Side Structure and the diorama which I made for the N Gauge Forum was successful in the Diorama section.  Both of these categories were well represented this year after both failing to have enough entries last year. 

I was unsuccessful in the main prize - the Martin Astle Memorial Trophy for Best Model which was awarded to a 7mm model of 4472 in A1 condition.  There is, however, next year!

Friday, September 16, 2011

GER Mac K - Part I

My efforts for this evening.  Not the traction engine - it has been on blogs before.  No, the Masterclass Models GE/LNER Mac K on which it is sat.  Unfortunately, I don't have any buffers or these would have been included.  As you can see, one of the DG's is fitted - the latch end.  I haven't put the bar end on yet.

I purchased this kit from Shop 2 simply because it is a GE kit.  When I got it, I had a look at the etch and thought gloat box for a bit.  Tonight however I got it out because my original plan for the evening, building a chassis to go under an NGS MR van kit, wasn't going to happen because I have a 9' chassis and I need a 10' Peco replacement.  So I had an evening with modelling mojo present and nothing to do...

A bit of a rummage round presented either the above or the pair of LNER Toad E's I have, also for the W&U collection.  I have a quick look at the destructions for the Mac K and decided it wasn't all that bad and so sallied forth.  The picture above is the accumulation of 2 hours solid work - only one cup of tea was harmed in the making of the model.

The destructions suggest fitting DGs is interesting.  Certainly you can see how I have bent it upwards but it couples and uncouples from the test wagon so it can stay that way.  I folded up the mounting plate behind the buffer beam and then filed a bit off the buffer beam down to the mounting plate before putting the DG on, having cut the mounting bit on the DG quite thin. 

The traction engine is the Fleetline/Skytrek one, minus the roof (Trevor the Traction Engine doesn't have a roof - he also maybe a different model but Rule 1 and all that!).

Monday, September 12, 2011

All quite - well kind of

Work has gotten in the way of hobbies of late - it being the time of the year that my Yr 12 stuff has to be sorted out and sent away for verification.  Coupled with kids who aren't sleeping well, there isn't a lot of modelling mojo going around.

In an effort to try and do something, I tidied my work bench (Amity suggested I should take a before and after picture and blog that but I don't think there is much difference between the two - it is more organised chaos rather than merely chaos when it is tidy!) and did some pottering.  Nothing worth photographing but this is what has happened:

DGs have started to be fitted to the Fruit Van train which is destined to be hauled by either a BR J70 or a Cl 04 when Elm Road is finally built, early next year.

The treads on the Cartic 4 are half done.  Not a fan of stainless steel, no matter how much nicer it might look compared with n/s.  I think the n/s would have been better as it would have been soldered into place rather than glued - and with less bubbles.  Definately need cars for this first one!

A perliminary coat of paint has been applied to the LNWR Horsebox.

So not much for the best part of a week.  I must really get stuck in and get a couple of things finished prior to next week - we are going to Brisbane for the BRMA(Q) AMMC.  Hopefully I can manage to snare a couple of prizes - Scratch built lineside structure (the Cattle Dock) and Diorama (the Cattle Dock again - but this time with art around it as previously shown!).

Sunday, September 4, 2011

LNWR Horse Box - Update

Way back in August 2010 I blogged about building the PC Models shoot down of the D436 LNWR Horsebox as sold by Ultima.  Some of you may have found this blog because Alan linked to it from the relevant page in the catalogue.

Well, progress didn't get beyond what I showed back then, because I was trying to figure out a roof (and what the roof should look like) and the detail on the chassis.  I was also wondering how to fix the errors I had made in folding the chassis as it didn't run square.

Having learnt a lot in the last 12 months, the box with the model in it, made it back to the top of the UFO pile and, given that I have been on a bit of a Pre-Grouping build kick recently, I took another look.  I had managed to pick up David Jenkinson's LNWR Carriages (Pendragon) which had a picture of 'box number 337 in it and a diagram number so Google was more useful with this information, showing me a couple of other kits from different manufactures in different scales.  As the roofs on all of these were the same they were either a) correct or b) working off the same incorrect drawings.  I figured since it is almost 90 years since the LNWR became part of the LMS and over 60 years since these were running in LMS livery, I feel that the chances of anyone "knowing" it is wrong assuming b) above are slim so I went for it.

As it happens, having seen the pictures of the completed models, I learnt the vents were square.  I was wondering how I was going to model these (having assumed the etch supplied only flat bits and the vents would be castings - not supplied) I had another look at the etch and found they were fold ups needing me to only find a scrap bit of etch to put a lid on.

Further fettling of the chassis resulted in it getting worse, not better.  I was still no closer to working out how to do the axle boxes and springs but discovered I could get these via Ultima - I don't think Alan had them 14 months ago when I ordered the kit.  I decided in the end to cut my loses and used a 2mm SA etched bogie, cut in half and fiddled around to the point where the thing runs square rather than crabbing - it isn't spot on when you look at photos but given that it wasn't going to look spot on anyway, I think practicality trumps look in this case.

So an updated photo of the first one - armed with my learning on this, I am going to organise a second which, hopefully, I will do a much better job on.    I have yet to work out a paint job - LNWR plum, "quick brown" or LMS crimson.