Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday Night Update –20 February 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

South East Queensland Area Group Meeting - 14 February 2015

This months meeting was again a visit, this time to the local outpost of the SDJR - see Neb's blog to the side for more details.

We were well down on numbers this month owing to illness and work claiming a few of the regulars but some progress on UFOs was made by those who were there.

I got the transfers on my VR K class mentioned in previous posts and had it running hauling one of Ben's VR W cars from Spirit Design.  I also took the opportunity to run in my 128 as I knew Ben had cleaned his track for the meeting - mine hasn't been touched since New Year!

Graeme brought the Class 3 Std Tank he'd fixed for Anthony along and gave it a run too.  Ben had his recently purchased 4F circulating which prompted comments on how good RTR is v Kits and v Old time models (a significant number of members can claim to have owned a Lima 4F although "operated" was something different!).  Graeme was also working on an O gauge wagon...

Discussion was also had about transfer options - particularly the lack of LMS coaching stock transfers.  Hopefully a solution is near at hand.

Usual lunch enjoyed supplemented by Mrs Neb's Brownies and Muffins.  Owing to the late start on my renovations safe to say we'll be back!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Class 128 Parcels Railcar

In March last year I made my first purchase from Shapeways.  Regular readers will have seen my post about the Atso-Cad N2 which I obtained along with the Patriot kit from the same stable.  I also purchased the kit for the Class 128.  I mentioned at the time that it would go in the queue until such time as a chassis was obtained.
The initial idea of getting a cheap 121 or 122 from Hatton’s never came off – there wasn’t one cheap enough for me to be willing to chuck the body.  I am not a big fan of having bodies lying around with no wheels.  So I was stuck in a bit of a quandary.

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.
128 1
Initially the model got a good scrub in some warm water with a bit of kitchen sink cleaner.  This got rid of the wax former which had stuck in the various corners.  Then a coat of primer was sprayed on.  Turns out primers aren’t primers and a plastic primer works better than my normal cheapie rattle can stuff.  Still, job done eventually.
Then the annoying bit.  I prefer to airbrush enamels.  Problem is I have run out of my preferred Precision Paints BR Blue and as this model is going to be used on a 1975-1982 themed layout, that’s what I needed.  Much stuffing around, including taking a Farish Class 47 to get colour matched (smallest they’d do was a 1 litre tin – that’s a lot of N Gauge models!) and help arrived in the form of some Railmatch Acrylics. 

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:
Next problem was the yellow – the photo above was taken after this had been sort of solved.  I tried a novel approach, which involved painting some Humbrol 63 Sand on the ends.  It looked pretty good, until I put it next to a Farish 101.  Then it looked pretty ordinary.  Still, I figured as a base coat, it should improve things.  It did, sort of.
Yellow is one of “those” colours really.  Still, weathering it should work out.

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):
W55991 Reading
Bingo I thought.  However, it raised another issue.  The model has holes for the Dapol lights to shine though into the head code boxes.  As it happens, they are for the inside boxes, where as you can see in the photo the dominos are on the outside.  Still, don’t have to have working lights. 

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).
128 3
I’ve cropped the photo down to just show 55991 – it’s still David’s © (link to original). 

(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.)
So this is what I am trying to achieve with my model.  I have noted the half open window on the middle loading door.  The driver is clearly seen in the cab door window too.  And the leading end doesn’t have the exhaust (which I haven’t fitted to mine)  There is also the weathering pattern.

My model has progressed, based on the second photo, to this:
Arrows put on, as has the number.  I don’t have Parcels Service transfers, but I believe they are, unlike a lot of transfers, obtainable so I will have to get on and do that.  I won’t glaze it until the handrails have been added, the exhaust pipes are on and footsteps are put under the doors, along with the final transfer.  Once all that has been done, and it’s been glazed, then weathering.  I have until November 21 to get it finished.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Victorian Railways K Class Part III

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

A Shed in Your Hand.

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!