Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Masterclass Models LNER Quad Art - Part I

I obtained the kit for this last year following the return from Longreach - in fact it was the first parcel of train goodies to be delivered to home.  The kit had been advertised in a flyer (I think) in the 2mm Association Magazine - I can't find it now going through the mags.   In anycase, being as it was something different and potentially useful for St Alban's (Abbey or Priory or even both) I obtained one.  It has sat in the gloat box for some months, fished out from time to time and then put back.  At the Brisbane Model Train Show I decided to fish it out again and get the bogies sorted - naturally I had left the couple of pages of instructions Chris had supplied at home! 

The bogies were straight forward, following the same method of assembly which I had put together some GWR and LNWR bogies.  Construction of the 5 bogies took 5 hours - although I am pretty certain I would have done it quicker had I been at home, even with the attendant distractions of wife, children and football!

On the Monday, I figured I should plug on with the kit - and having found the notes, discovered that, like pretty well all the etched kits, it is simply a matter of taking your time, being methodical and using as little solder and flux as possible.  The note suggest photos (which is excellent advice for all kits to be honest) and all I had at the show was my iPhone which isn't the best at a) searching (yes it has Internet access and yes, I tried more than Google!) and b) then displaying what it has found in comparison to a PC, which proved by the second weekend of the build to have been a nuisance!  More anon when I work out what I am going to do!


The four body shells - all thirds

Four chassis - no buffers as I don't have any! (Nor do I have any 10BA bolts so not joined either!)

Two of the five bogies - not finished owing to the no bolts issue mentioned above.

All in all, a very satisfying build to date.  The kit goes together well and I particularly liked the provision of a piece to solder in at the top of the sides to give extra strength and rigidity.  Very much looking forward to getting the remaining bits and pieces and putting it all together.  Then there will be the matter of painting (LNER Teak) and transfers - it will be an awful lot of 3s to put on doors!!!  Hopefully roofs will have sorted themselves out by then too - I am hoping to have it finished in time for the BRMA(Q) Annual Model Making Competition which is being held in November (I think) and entering it in the Kit or Scratch Built Rolling Stock category.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Brisbane Model Train Show 2012

For the first time in 4 years I got to my local show, which is held on the May Day long weekend.  This was the 35th year it has been held and, sadly in some ways, the last at the Brisbane RNA Grounds at Bowen Hills.  Next year it is moving to on of the racecourses owing to redevelopment of the RNA.  I was glad to make it to the last one as I have fond memories of going as a child and then participating as an exhibitor, firstly with a fellow club members layout, then our club layout and finally my own (which managed to win a prize in 2007 for Signalling fidelity - very excited about that.)  49 layouts (according to the advertising - I didn't count as I walked around on the three days) and a fair whack of traders (again, I didn't count and I can't find the flyer now which had the numbers) but I felt a little bit disappointed both with the general standard of layouts and the offerings of the traders.  Suffice to say, I didn't spend much money - bought the kids a wagon each and ended up with a Hold N Fold but that was it.  Cheap weekend!

The layouts, as I think I implied, weren't up to much.  I discussed this with my fellow BRMA members on our display stand and we weren't able to reach a conclusion about it.  I think quite possibly as my modelling has developed, so have my personal standards and what was once something to aspire to 20 years ago as a teenager, is not something which floats my boat now.  I do know, first hand, how much effort goes into a layout and realise that what excites one, won't necessarily enthrall another and all the operators seemed to be enjoying themselves and 10,000 people came so hats off the the AMRA boys for a successful show, regardless of personal opinions.

I took some photos of what did inspire me - but stupidly without taking photos of the layout number to aid in identifying them all.  If I have included your layout without appropriate acknowledgement, please get in touch so I can edit the post!

As an N gauge modeller, and a British prototype modeller, there wasn't anything which ticked both boxes - although there was a British N layout.  I did have a look - and my kids told me about it (Thomas and Percy being mentioned in the report from DD1 and DD3!) but I was a little underwhelmed by the Lima 4F on the turntable when I had a chance to look for myself.

The highlight was Queen's Wharf - O Gauge Australian with my personal favourite Australian diesel - the NSWGR Class 44 Alco unit.  This was in out of the shops Tuscan with sound and all the current fun stuff.
Quiet scene on "Queen's Wharf"

Disturbed by the arrival of 4411!

Ground level view of 4411 - definitely has a "presence" about it!

Well modelled country hall on "Roseville" (I think!)

Station footbridge on "Roseville"

The centre piece of "Two Up, Two Down" - British OO four track mainline

Girder bridge on the Coffs Harbour MRC layout

Another bridge from the CHMRC

Industrial visitor on Queen's Wharf late on Monday
It would be nice if this was N (or something like it) don't you think?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Back in the saddle

Well, the footy season is now at Round 6 and despite what I thought when I posted last (back in Round 1), the mojo hasn't really returned.  I have done some stuff - pictures to follow - but until today, I haven't really been that inspired to do much modelling although I have done things for my hobby in general such as cutting up the bits and pieces to make some new stock boxes a couple of weekends ago. (There was also a comment from one of the students at my new school about the lack of updates so I thought I better - now to see if he actually reads the blog!)

Today was a little bit different.  It was the first day of the major model railway show in Queensland - the Brisbane Model Train Show (here) and the first train show I have been to since taking "St Alban's Priory" to the 2008 show.  I spent the morning building a 2mmSA replacement chassis for a Peco 15' wagon - not for a Peco wagon, but for an Etched Pixels LBSCR Stroudley Coach.  It was nice to get back in the saddle as such and so I thought I would share some of the bits and pieces I have done over the last 6 weeks:

 I've had this version of the Farish Std 4 2-6-0 since it came out and I was very disappointed with the "short" connector between the loco and tender - so much so, I had to double check that it was the short one, since the gap didn't seem that smaller once I had fitted it.  I have since made a new connector using some PCB (frame spacer actually from the 2mmSA) which has closed it up nicely but still allows the loco to travel around my curves - smallest radius on St Alban's Priory is 14.5".

Long time readers will know I was not happy with the first attempt at scenicing Swallow's End, my first attempt at a 2mm Finescale layout.  So much so I ripped up all the track and the board came back from Longreach bare.  I have since repainted it brown on the basis that I wouldn't need quite so heavy a layer of scatter material over a brown base, but I still wasn't convinced so I have cut the track formation out of 4mm ply.  This I am going to paint grey to provide a base colour for my ballasting attempts.  I am not sure that a scale 2 feet of permanent way would be correct for such a sleepy terminus so I plan on building the surrounding countryside up using 2 or 3mm board (Masonite probably) and fitting the pieces together (such as the cattle dock, coal merchant etc) like a jigsaw as I go.  I will be able to do the bits separately - so if I don't like the result I just bin the offending section rather than having to attack the layout - and then put it all together later.

Last but not least, I have built these 4 etches from a Langley etch - garden shed, dove cote, green house and a conservatory extension.  Not sure where they will be used yet, but they were in my to do box so I did them!