Monday, March 30, 2009

B cool!

I had a go at the brass angle on one side of the next B wagon to go through the assembly line myself this time (Dad did the last lot) and surprised myself with a decent enough job I think.

Leighton Buzzard

Took a trip to Leighton Buzzard on Sunday...

Caught the 12.20, diesel hauled service to Stonehenge works and back. This is an unusual railway, mostly used by locals it seemed, and one which is hemmed in by houses for much of its route (even more to follow should housing plans come to fruition). The fields second is pleasant but not fantastic. The highlight has to be the numerous road crossings, controlled by two blokes with red flags, who jump off the train prior to the crossing and then get back on afterwards. This makes the journey somewhat stop-start.

Our journey was behind the big blue (ex Channel Tunnel?) diesel below.

At the Leighton Buzzard (Page's Park) end, there is a large engine shed (with a public walkway around the back for viewing purposes), a decent shop and a cafe. Parking is plentiful and free.

at the other end is the works, with much going on and a few displays to look at plus a small crafts and drinks shop.

Thomas and I went looking for other locos and found this little lot...

Including this beauty! 590 anyone?

So, on our scale it scored 42%, the same as the Corris. 17th out of 23. Worth a look, certainly.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Really quick update

- Resin roofs for 119 and 120 have arrived and are being affixed.
- Seats for the longer bowsiders 19 and 20 were completed and glued in.
- 6 carrs have been found to need attention to their ride height and these are being attended too.
- Diamond mesh has arrived from scale link for the mesh on two bug boxes (zoo car and the forthcoming porthole bug)
- The mounting method for bogies has been settled (more on this in a future post), but requires the acquisition of over 60 3mm scale wheels. Dad is at a 3mm exhibition to source these.
- The WHR funkey has had air horns added and a hole drilled in its top light for the exhaust.

FR/WHR 2009 carriage formations have been announced (may change) as:

A: 100/124/122/116/106/113/118
B: 111/105/14/107/120/104/Van 5
C: 102/119/117/114/112/110
E: 2100/2010/2044/2041/2042/2045/2020/24 + B cycle wagon
F: 2115/2090/2043/2040/2060/2021/2022/23 + B cycle wagon

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The devil's in the detail

Some details completed today: firstly railings for the Tro Ffridd bridge.

and Rhyd Ddu nameboards.

I also installed interiors for Vans 4 and 5 plus Ashbury corridor No. 25.
Finally, last night I compiled a list of special details necessary e.g. lamp tops, extra steps etc.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A lunch brake!

Firstly, here is 2090 the WHR brake saloon, which now includes a loo and a service area, having finally appeared from Boston Lodge yesterday, and (hurrah) the works have not altered the beading. All that was necessary was to blank out a few panels on one side only and add two new window bars, one at the end of the blanked out piece (easy) and another splitting a wide window into 2, where the toilet has been fitted, A piece of 30 thou plastic strip was glued across the back and then another was added on top inside the window, giving it extra strength and making it easier to fit. All done, so the roof was soldered on during lucnh today...hence the title 'lunch brake'! Next the paint...

Yesterday, Dad and I unexpectedly had the chance to get on with K1 when the kids had a long sleep. In addition to the parts already done by myself, Dad added the wheels and 20T gears to the axles, popped them into the frames and added the buffer beams including overlays. Then the flycranks were sawn (with a piercing saw) out of their fret (lost wax brass), broached and crankpins added after they were tapped 14BA. These are stored ready. I added the dome to the boiler and the headlights/filler tops to the tanks after drilling the correct size holes. The gearboxes have also been folded ready. So the loco looks like this now:


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Take your seats...

Three carriages with the new interiors added, these have been built up on plasticard floating floors using parkside NG coach seats. I think it works well.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009


The first etched brass kit I ever built was FR observation carriage No. 100 (now mess car 1000 on the WHR). Frankly it showed and in attempting to add a roof yesterday it became obvious that the whole thing was a mess. So, it has been scrapped. Whilst remaining very aware of my deficiencies, it is fair to say that I've come a long way since then!

So, moving on...more 10 BA nuts arrived and nearly every carriage now has them added to the floor above the bogie pivot holes, now that this is my favoured approach for bogie attachment.

Also 4 FR barns No.s 104-107 have all had roofs added and in the case of 2 which don't come with interiors (the worsley ones) these have been added, although they are just hacked down standard liliput interiors, and so sport a central gangway, not the 2+1 arrangement that is really correct. will anyone notice?

Much research has been done into NWNGR and heritage WHR train formations to ensure that I've got the right carriages to run behind Moel Tryfan and Beddgelert. A post about this will follow.

A small amount of scenic work has also been done on the layout, particularly in testing different forms of fencing.

I have a bit of a quandary over the bugs...I have attached the roofs prior to painting, which sounds obvious, but with a fixed floor, we have a glazing issue - I would obviously add this after painting, but wouldn't be able to.....ummmm..... what to do???

oh and a surprise email last week meant that I now have a decent (excellent actually) drawing of FR 1st obs 102. Happy days.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Progress has been slow for obvious reasons, but I have been able to get a bit done when both children were asleep.

First the bad news.

In attempting to solder on the tricky Pullman 2115 roof, I unfortunately mangled one of the windows and broke the cant rail above it. This took a good 30 mins to 'correct' and it's not perfect yet, although I think it passable. Claire thinks I'm being pedantic! It's the far window in the image below...

oh dear, anyway...

There will eventually be 4 seating styles in my stock. My guiding principle is that I want a base on which seated passengers look right, but that is quick and easy to install - I've too much to do to waste time building correct interiors at the moment (I may return later though). Firstly there is longitudinal seating of the parkside pattern - example below. This will be used in most heritage and NWNGR stock where its appropriate.

Secondly, the modern stock has been installed with resin castings (made for me specially by Port Wynnstay) of 1+2 seating. The pattern was basically a bashed Liliput interior raised on a plinth and designed to tessellate. Below is an example in FR car 119. The pieces at the ends have had rebates drilled so that a captive nut for the bogie pivots fits underneath.
For carriages 15/16 southern pride models standard gauge bench seats have been cut down and glued back to back to emulate the high backed compartments in these carrs. Bowsiders 19/20 will be similarly treated. The shorter bowsiders 17/18 come with langley interiors already.
Not shown are the L+B bench style seats also made by langley. These will be used in the WHR semi-opens 2020 and 2021 (and 2022 if I ever make a model of that too).

In other news, the Pickering brake has received an underframe courtesy of some S shaped styrene forming the footboards. [The 'kit' comes just as a body!].

and Thomas helped me add the first layer of slate dust and small chippings to the 'tip' at the back of the other layout (which still hasn't got a name, so remains 'Nant Gwernol' for now).

I'm also making the platform signs for Rhyd Ddu at the moment, using slaters' plastic letters.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

A gorgeous baby girl

Olivia was born on 10th March at 0325 (no sleep for us then!) weighing 8lbs 8oz. Mum nd baby doing well. Dad tired but elated.

Monday, March 09, 2009

On the level

Firstly some non-carriage news - the level crossing has been test installed - gates not hung yet as they need to be painted.

a load of carriages have had interior seating added:

NWNGR Brake No.1 was completed with roof.

and carr 113 was completed up to bogies and couplings level as a test.


Sunday, March 08, 2009

After much messing about....

...the nightmare carriage now has a roof! This required taking off the painted ends, stripping them, reattaching them to the sides at the new height, moving the captive nut assembly lower, altering the chassis, removing and reattaching the buffer beams and finally adding the roof. phew! Thank goodness that's over.

Pictured next to the considerably easier carriage that wasn't painted before I needed to fiddle with it.

and then I finished two more carrs - FR 113 (which has run on the WHR for a few seasons, so is relevant) and 114 which is a pure FR carriage.


Saturday, March 07, 2009

A right kerfuffle

Well, after much messing about, including pretty much a complete dismantle and rebuild the two new WHR saloons 2043 and 2044 now have roofs that fit.  Yippee.  The concern is that the other one (2045) is the carriage that we test painted last summer.  Taking that apart is not really a palatible option, so I'm going to have a think about it!

Also roofed today are FR No. 26, which has previously been used on the WHR and two original NWNG Summer cars, I will probably make one of each version - one with glazed windows and one just with window bars.

So, to catch up, I now have 31 carriages with roofs.  cool.  That means I can nearly make up 10 trains.  Needed now for the grand 11 train plan are:
  • 2090 (wait to see how it comes out of Boston Lodge)
  • 2010/2100 (kits required - worsley works are working on these using photographs [2010 is actually very similar to 2043 etc] and a photograph of a drawing for 2100 is freely available on the WHR project site - official drawings are hard to come by for commercial kit purposes)
  • 2045 mentioned above needs thought to avoid undoing the paintwork done already.
  • 2115 domed roof needs thought, but my test on car 110 has worked fine
  • 1000 - another domed roof
  • The Pickering brake needs an underframe, although it has a roof now
  • NWNGR brake No.1 (underframe complete, needs body constructing/roof).
  • Quarryman brake (needs an underframe and a roof)
  • Representative FR set: need 100 and 124 (scratch building underway), 114 and 112 (roofs needed, these are next on the workbench).

Friday, March 06, 2009

Carriage bonanza

Loads to report - a real carriage roofing bonanza tonight! Here's Ashbury corridor No. 25 (full height as per the original and the replica being built by the WHHR). Etched brass bogies were completed for this, including brass pinpoint bearings.

Here's the buffet car done too. Bogies were also assembled for this.

FR Long bowsider No. 20 for my Colonel Stephens' era train. This also had bogie mounting stretchers added with captive nuts.

I did the Zoo car (Bug semi-open No. 1) and found it pretty easy, so I did all five bugs:

The pickering brake was harder - the duckets stood up too much, so the roof had to come off, and after some judicious filing, it now looks fine.

The Gladstone car has a roof, captive nuts inside above the bogie holes, new bogies with white metal axleboxes and (the ridiculously brittle) steps added.

Earlier in the day I had started one of the three new WHR saloons (2043-5). I tacked the ends on and found a problem - quite a gap above the top of the panelling. This remains an issue and will be considered tomorrow. I might have to file the ends down a little and resolder the sides on slightly higher. Basically its annoying as the sides can't drop any lower really due to the way the chassis works. ummmmm.

But I did manage to complete roofs for the 2 semi-opens 2020 and 2021.


and the unusual 2042, with its beading between the windows and original style panels above the windows.

and least I forget, I also finished the roofs on Vans 4 and 5 (ex carrs 11 and 12), two useful brake vehicles for heritage trains. Sat next to the WHR saloons, the loading gauge differences between FR and WHR are apparent!


Thursday, March 05, 2009

We're all domed!

There are quite a few carriages on both the FR and WHR with domed ends - most of the tin cars, the obesrvation ends and the Pullman 2115.  I appear to have sorted a method for adding roofs to carriages with normal shapes, but what about these domes.

Well after much thought about resin castings, wooden roofs filed down etc I decided to give a new method a go on my least favourite carriage (in case it didn't work).  In case you're wondering this is FR 110.  

The idea is to add the central section in brass as if I were doing a normal carriage.  Then at the ends where the doors are, I cut a piece of brass to fit just inside the top and soldered it in place. This left a 'false floor' just at the ends, where I was able to add filler on top and mould it to fit the brass roof already soldered on.

The above image shows the second layer of filler on.  Once dry in the morning, I'll sand it all down.  It might need small amounts added to finish it, (the left hand side perhaps) but generally I feel this has worked and gives the right effect.  


A picture's worth 1001 words

15 mins spare - combination car 1001 has a roof.

A man with a van and a plan

This is the ex SAR brake van and the first of my creations to feature a removable roof. This is because it has a fixed floor and to ensure that the bogie bolts can still be accessed if maintenance is required, I have decided to have a removable roof. So, the roof has two spare bits of brass soldered onto the underside of the roof at each end. These drop down and are angled so that they friction fit against the internal sides of the van. It seems to work fine. Lead weight was also added and the bogies had two O rings added and work fine. Time to spray it - after cleaning - in red oxide primer.


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

two oh four oh

The latest roof is 2040 seen below, it was a bi of a fiddle (hence the oh in the title) but has come out ok in the end.

I have also finished the underframe of NWMGRs No.1 bogie brake and... on the layout a wall was added on the Tro Fridd curve and duly partially covered in burnt grass to blend it in to the scenery.


ultra-sound as a pound

This my friends is a technology I knew nothing about until yesterday - this is an ultrasonic cleaner.
Wikipedia says... "An ultrasonic cleaner, often colloquially referred to as a sonicator, is a cleaning device that uses ultrasound (usually from 15–400 kHz) and an appropriate cleaning solution to clean delicate items."
Indeed, and what's really cool about this?

You can use it to easily and quickly (3 mins) clean off flux and grease depositis off etched kits. Millions of tiny bubbles are created when ultrasonic sound is passed through liquid. It is these tiny bubbles combined with a huge pressure that create superb cleaning results. You onyl need to add warm tap water for general cleaning or tot of special natural 'Sea Clean' (made from seaweed) solution for enhanced/extensive cleaning.

and what does this space-age technology cost? £30 from ebay.

Needless to say I am hopeful that this (as well as cleaning jewellery, CDs/DVDs, cutlery, nibs etc) will save a lot of time prior to priming my models.


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

One one six

Here is the latest carriage to come out of the soldering works...FR 116.  A roof was cut out too and bent using the traditional method (no rolling bars available for this one).  I like these kits as the underframe detail is good - steps, riveted frames and even the bracing.  Bogies are in stock (Parkside Vale of Rheidol's).  


Trees a crowd


Last night further tree planting (prototypical) occurred around Tro Ffridd and this practically completes the trees for Rhyd Ddu. Further bushes will be added around some of them and along the stream.

Once again the camera flash affects the colours here... However, I know have a D-SLR (and tripod) so I'll be taking some better images soon.


Monday, March 02, 2009


I have it on very good authority that the planned RTR Ffestiniog fairlie in 009 by roco see here:

may also be followed vintage RTR stock such as the FR bowsider, curly roofed van and slate waggons...

watch this space!

[I do hope that the roco loco is 1) DCC 2) quality and 3) a model of David Lloyd George and not Merddin, as Dad has made such a great job of my backwoods kit that I wouldn't swap that!]


Sunday, March 01, 2009


Following on from a successful roofing of WHR summer car No. 23 by Dad (a kind of 'shows you how' session), I had a go at FR car no. 16 and I'm pretty happy with how its turned out.  I also added and drilled out bolsters for the bogies too.

On the layout, the first pass of sleeper grime has been completed on all track, with just a few areas that need patching.  I am now starting to consider the walling for Tro Fridd, fencing around the station level crossing and the final placement of trees.