Tuesday, May 29, 2007

One step forward and...

Progress so far this week:

- The car park area has been marked out and initial slopes have been added with polyfilla. These will need extra coats to get the slope right and then areas of 'bunding' will need to be applied where the level changes more dramatically.

- The hillside below the station has been marked out, but doesn't look right. This is because I have a shorter platform length than reality (I can't possibly fit in a 12 coach platform or indeed wish to run 12 coach trains!). Therefore I will be using the relative heights, but not the absolutes and will thus over-emphasize the heights to make the layout look 'right'. All this takes time, but its important to get it right.

- Another wiring expedition is planned in mid-June and work has continued planning the exact wiring diagrams ready for this. It is hoped that the layout could be wired up and running pretty soon as quite a bit of the prep work has already been done (see earlier posts - point machines are in, panel is constructed and much of boards 1 and 2 are wired up already).


Sunday, May 27, 2007

3 is a magic number

Well, 3.28 actually...

I've been at the calculator for some time over the last few days taking spot heights and distances off the WHRCL (Welsh Highland Railway Construction Ltd) plans and putting them into scale terms, so they can be transferred to the layout to sort out scenic heights etc. Multiplying a distance on the plan by 3.28 gives me the actual scale distance in mm, easy as that.

Have also been screwing up newspaper into balls, but that's another story.


Friday, May 25, 2007



Progress has been sporadic with moulding rocks and the process has taken up much of the garage floor whilst I pour and break out the moulds, preventing work on other parts of the layout.
Anyway, I've managed three separate pours of outcroppings, boulders and rock mass. The image below shows 'outcroppings'. I've now run out of lightweight hydrocal!
Tonight I'll break out the third pour and then I'll set to work with the earth colours set... That set also includes colours like concrete and tarmac which will be useful for the platform and roadway, although I'll be adding some fine ballast to give texture and depth.

Work has also continued on working out how the scenery looks in terms of contours etc. ready for cutting out the 6mm ply spurs. Should be some progress on this front over the Bank holiday weekend.


Sunday, May 20, 2007

In the mould of...


Some progress:

- Have been playing around with woodland scenics rock moulds to create the outcroppings for the Fridd Isaf section - some photos hopefully soon.
- Have found that the parkside kit for the ex Vale of Rheidol railway brake van differs significantly from the actual van as now running on the WHR (P). The differences are: no duckets, solid not panelled sides, windows in ends, footboard not as long, vents at top of windows smaller, extra beading half way up sides. Will be a major project to convert, although it is broadly possible. A kit that was supposed to be an easy 'gimme',will now have to wait its turn in the major workshops!
- Have categorised many of the Rhyd Ddu photos taken on holiday, but have already found one area where I need more images!!


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The show must go on

Hi all,

So, the Porthmadog show then. Firstly the venue was excellent -a modern leisure centre,plenty or room, good car park, near to the station etc. I didn't have time to try any food/drink so can't comment on that.

The programme/guide was very well designed in the Roy Link house style and sports a full colour cover too. To top it all, it was free*!

*one assumes it was paid for though through the entry fee, so it depends on your definition of free!

On entry, I mooched around a few trade stands, before I started taking a photo at this layout- the lentil soup works railway (LSWR - get it?). This consisted of various bits of quarry machinery dispensing split peas into wagons etc.

The WHR(P) were there pushing the Russell appeal (http://www.russell2009.fr/) - hence the model below - and the ashbury heritage coaches appeal (http://www.ashburycarriages.co.uk/).

Mercian models were there and were friendly as usual. They laid out this superb model of Prince in 7mm onto a backcloth so I could take a decent shot of it. Top model, top people - buy their top kits now!!!

and Backwoods... one day my K1 will look like this... (except I'll obviously paint mine!)

Tan-yr-allt - a super little Welsh layout loosely based on Tan-y-bwlch, but much slimmed down. The stock was well modelled and the scenery was good. The perspex front obviously helps protect the model, but did make photography more difficult, so I'm not sure if my model with incorporate that feature or not.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfNJonmShX0 - watch a short video of Tan-yr-allt. This showcase of 7mm NWNG/WHR/FR stock was on display -very nice indeed.
Scrub's Lane/The Maltings (next 2 images) - a perfectly nice model in 009. Note the level change in the backscene on the second photo - this is one option for part of Rhyd Ddu as the levels of the hillsides in front of the backscene varies considerably.

Moorton Bottom Yard - Paul Windle's latest and superb, especially the wagon lift that moves wagons between floors of a building at the far end of the layout. The only thing I could fault this layout for was the bridge on the left hand side that leads off the layout towards the viewer and just hangs there in the middle of nowhere.

A close up of that bridge...

NG Sand and Gravel - fantastic in all respects especially weathering and sound, Roy Link really has a layout here that will go down in model railway history. 10/10 Watch a clip with sound here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TtuZ_GPrlo

Shoeby -a 'layout' in a shoebox, simple as that.

Finnegan's crossing - 3mm scale, 9mm gauge Irish 3ft prototype. Nice, but I don't really have any interest in Irish narrow gauge...

Penrhyn Quarry Railway - a diorama in 16mm scale - very nice indeed and recently in railway modeller.

and finally Greys Steel Works - an industrial steelworks. It was nearly 5 metres long and I particularly liked the smokey chimney!


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Progress on t'layout


Right, for those not interested in my holiday snaps, there has been some progress on the layout too, namely:

- The purchase of a scenic mat and some silflor tufts of a brown colour to go with the green ones I got from Father Christmas...
(see this post http://rhydddu.blogspot.com/2007/04/progress-update.html )

- A vast amount of photography at Rhyd Ddu - nearly 700 extra images of the landscape and the right time of year to allow the basic scenery to be constructed (next steps)

- The purchase of two parkside plastic kits both of WHR(P) stock - the Bro Madog coach and the ex Vale of Rheidol van. These have already been cut from the fret and the main body of the Bro Madog was put together last night after finishing the blog updates.

- The purchase of a mini cooper model which is exactly to scale. Ever the big spender this cost £1.25!

Some of the new Rhyd Ddu photos will appear on this blog later this week as scenery construction moves up a gear...



Monday, May 14, 2007

Part 8

The final few days...

Thursday: Snowdon Mountain Railway, electric mountain cafe and play 'den', Llanberis Lake railway and Dinorwic quarry walk. Images below:

The view from 'Rocky Valley', due to high winds this is as far as we could go, and the summit cafe is being rebuilt so it doesn't go all the way to the top anyway!

The view from the viewpoint high up in the Dinorwic quarries (all perfectly safe and on a public footpath by the way!)

Then Friday I got up early to walk down to Hafod y Llyn and have a look at the Nanmor river bridge, before we explored Plas Brondanw gardens and then had lunch and an ice cream in Beddgelert. It then started raining, so we aborted to Porthmadog to check out the maritime museum (closed -opens late May!) and the Snowdon Mill play centre/art gallery. Saturday we went home via Conwy butterfly jungle and the Portmeirion seconds shop in Stoke [much cheaper than the seconds shops in North Wales].

The Nanmor river bridge.

Plas Brondanw

The butterfly jungle - one lands on me!

Thomas at Lyn's restaurant in Conwy...


Part 7


On the Sunday, I also visited Porthmadog model railway show (a full report will appear on this blog after this holiday series is complete).

Tues we took Thomas swimming for the first time at Glaslyn Leisure Centre, which he really took to, splashing about really enthusiastically. Then I visited the Purple Moose Brewery and found some half price bottles of merry x-moose (see this post : http://rhydddu.blogspot.com/2006/11/is-this-best-name-for-beer-ever.html ) and then we went to Antur Waunfawr (an ok craft shop and rubbish cafe that shuts at 3pm, just as people want a cup of tea!!!) before ending up at Llanberis for a mooch around and to book early-bird tickets for the Snowdon Mountain railway.

Weds we took the Ffestiniog from Tan-y-Bwlch to Blaenau and back (the Tanygrisiau waterfall was particularly pretty!) and walked around Plas Tan-y-Bwlch gardens - lovely rhodos! We followed this with a tour of the inigo jones slateworks near Dinas when the rain came. Photos below:

Myself trying a hand at slate engraving, which I was rubbish at - it's very difficult actually!


FR Interactive weekend


The weekend was mostly about the FR interactive weekend, although we kept busy by adding in walks and gardens. Some 55 images of the event are available on my fotopic site at www.colin-lea.fotopic.net and some videos are being gradually uploaded at http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=colinlea009

Then on Monday we travelled on the WHR(C) from Waunfawr to Rhyd Ddu and return.

and after some rain, I popped into the WHR(P) to take this shot of Alice, visiting loco during their gala.


Part 5


Friday - we started off by visiting Ynys-y-pandy slate mill (image below) and the nearby lake whilst Thomas was sleeping. We were heading for the gypsy wood attraction near Dinas, but on arrival we had second thoughts and instead headed for Caernarfon, for a very nice cup of tea opposite the castle. Oh and the WHR train just happened to be arriving...

Then we drove across past Yr Eifl to Criccieth and a rabbit farm. Well rabbits, lambs, pigs, puppies, goats, ponies etc etc

and then to Black Rock sands, where you can drive onto the beach (but we got stuck in the sand and had to be pushed out - whoops!). Anyway, Thomas loved it!


Part 4


On the Thursday I had a meeting at Harbour Station, before I walked above Boston Lodge and took some super panoramic shots...

Oh and that new 12x zoom camera really was worth it!

Then we drove to Blaenau so I could check some of the walks I have written for the FR website. One walk takes you close to here...

Then we parked above Tanygrisiau and walked up towards the Stwlan Dam, some superb views!