Friday, February 29, 2008

Reponse to recent comments

Thanks for the comments:

I'll try and find a way to tag all the supplier reviews (parkside dundas is next this weekend) and present them together later.

Brush painting in 009 should be effective, just make sure your only work with the wet paint, if you miss a bit, wait for it to totally dry and do another coat then - once the paint half dries it can be fatal! Also make sure you mix the paint well (a battery powered stirrer comes in useful - IKEA sell them for 99p as latte frothers!).


Thursday, February 21, 2008

A nice niche

This is the first post in a proposed series on narrow gauge suppliers: first up is Worsley works.

Firstly, let us be clear here, without a supplier like Allen Doherty's worsley works, it would be very hard to model many railways, in particular the more modern varieties (such as the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland!). Everything would have to be scratch built as the other manufacturer'skits that are available tend to be very heavily biased towards war department and earlier stock only.

For the sheer number of carriages I require for Rhyd Ddu, the task of scratchbuilding without a kit would be a mammoth undertaking - enough to probably put you off even trying! Some have done it of course - David and Rob Waller of Dduallt and soon to be Bron Hebog fame scratchbuild FR and WHR carriages from plasticard strip and make an excellent job of it, but that is not for me, or indeed for most modellers out there.

So, worsley have a nice niche in the marketplace - they provide excellent quality etches of sides and ends plus (usually) the floor and bogie frames and they do so at a reasonable price (considering the low quantities the market demands of the more esoteric kits and the cost of brass). A normal carriage costs between £15 and £20 which is good indeed.

Allen has a decent range of FR and WHR kits available incorporating most of the heritage vehicles (although in some areas actually duplicating other commercial kits). As mentioned above, the real benefit is in the more modern carriages and with the exception of a few items such as the new FR observation saloons 100 and 102 (I'm on to him about those - don't worry!) he covers most of the fleet. The oddities and weird are also well provided for - take the
Dacauville Aine, Petit Bourge, Paris stock or the Campbeltown and Machrihanish coaches for example.

One major issue is keeping up with the ever changing policies and designs of Boston Lodge/Dinas - beading changes, window lines alter and all that means multiple versions of the same kit. In fact few at Boston Lodge could tell you when what was altered!

Obviously, you still need to build up any interior detail you need, add a roof (pretty easy on most FR/WHR kits), add door details such as handles and glazing etc but all those elements are pretty easy to find - just spend an hour wandering around a big show.

Some images of his products are below - so I urge you to give them a go, they are pretty easy in the main to solder up (in fact they make good learning items) and the etched detail is really well done.

The latest kits that I picked up at Shepton Mallet are the 3 WHR(C) saloons - the new 13m long ones completed in 2007 No.s 2043-5 and the Romanian Coach 2060 - now available so get your orders in!

Oh and he does some locos too, notably the FR and WHR(C) funkeys! Keep up the good work Allen!


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Shepton Mallet review

Shepton Mallet 2008:

16mm - ooooh lovely!

Hayesden - very nice snow effects, the lady operator said never again(!) yes you can cover up mistakes and dodgy bits with the snow but you still have to put most of the work into what is later hidden anyway!

Threlkeld quarry - love the backscene and frontscene effect (look carefully), the excavator worked (see video below) by a kind of pull string method (like puppets and not motorised!). Extremely nicely done and weathered - and by a young man too!

Charmouth - fabulous layou, cracking colours, top running and gorgeous stock too - simply stunning!

and an innovative method for attaching the sector plate...

Russell on the live steam layout...

and an attempt at modelling 143, not quite right (coal fired for one!), but good enough.

Then there was the bizarre : PBSSR loco (electric traction for a precursor of the WHR) and the Eclipse (a steam loco converted to electric overhead running at Llechwedd) on the Mercian stand

And Bramble Bottom - well what can you say - really cool!

and finally some live steam action:


NG15 news

The FR have published the below drawing as the likely look of a restored NG15:

At the Shepton Mallet show this weekend (review coming) I saw this:

Scratch built by Paul Windle, this is clearly a very nice model, although of course it is constrained by the availability of a decent N gauge chassis. Ignore the tender on the model as the FR version is considerably remodelled from the originals than ran in South Africa.
I liked the look of the model and half considered asking for another for myself (backwoods have promised a kit at some point but not for a while and ceratinly not before one of the WHR NG15s are restored).
However something else doesn't look right to me - the boiler looks too short, rather like it has been cut down to fit the chassis a bit too much.

Below is another NG15 built by Ian Turner [who kindly sent me these shots] which looks right to me (again ignore the tender):

I think that is pretty conclusive, I am not sure therefore whether the Paul Windle project was meant to be shorter for some reason or whether it was a necessary compromise for the chassis. Let's hope it was the former.

Beyer-Garratt News


As 138 is being taken apart for a boiler overhaul/exam:

Dad is closing in on finishing my model:

However, this is where it will stop for a while, as we know 138 will probably come out of her 10 year overhaul with a load of changes to pipe runs etc - Boston Lodge/Dinas have quite a track record for changes like that! There is no news on livery either so who knows??

Friday, February 08, 2008

The anatomy of a scratch-aid carriage (and no they're not coaches!)

Or how to finish a scratch-aid carriage in many easy steps:-

Start with the Worsley Works sides, ends (and sometimes bogies too)

Add nine lines plastic bogies (they come with wheels) or add decent metal wheels if using worsley bogies and bearings

Add 10ba nuts/bolts to hold the floor down and attach the bogies, using spacers to get the ride height right

add bemo couplings, attached to the bogies to allow them to swing and thus take tighter curves without locking and derailing the carriages

add interior detail on a plasticard mock floor using proprietary 4mm seats

initial paint spray of body and interior separately in halfords primer first, then the relevant colour.

Add detailed painting on panelling/lining- add door handles from Roxey mouldings or even lace pins filed down

add glazing

add roof (I'm going to ask a resin moulder if he can do me a load of these) and hand paint said roof

add vac pipes

add people inside and any extra detail like lighting or drinks on tables etc (or is that going too far!).

and that's that...Colin

Monday, February 04, 2008

Stir crazy!

Why are so many models that come up for purchase second-hand so badly painted? I reckon there are a few common mistakes:

- Forgot/didn't bother to clean the model before painting, meaning grease and flux deposits affect the paint

- Didn't mix the paint well enough giving lumps

- Didn't use thinners and applied the paint straight on causing too thick a layer and loss of detail

- Overpainting of previous liveries with a new colour, again causing a reduction in detail and an overscale look.

- Using too big a brush

- Being too enthusiastic with spraying - quick mists are better

I hope to avoid these, but I also avoid such models as undoing bad paintwork can be a pretty big job too. Shepton Mallet show next weekend will show up again how bad secondhand can be...


Saturday, February 02, 2008

Chesterfield show review

Ok, a long overdue review of the Chesterfield show..

Overall an easy venue to find, plenty of free parking and being close to a main road I assume local bus links are good too. The hall was spacious and the refreshments were brilliant - home made, lots of choice, but the room was a tad too small (nothing you can do about that though as it was the only side room).

The standard was excellent, I will obviously focus on narrow gauge, but layouts like this - Haverhill South - were very nicely presented:

There were too big narrow gauge layouts in attendance: Rheilffordd Cefn Gam (7mm) and Fallgate - Ashover Light Railway (4mm - 009). There were some lovely models on the former, this is Moel Tryfan for example:

The layout runs through a model of Beddgelert station to a fictituous location (well a quarry that never in reality had a railway) with a station and engine sheds:

Jerry M (the prototype is coming to the Ffestiniog later this year!):

and then there was Beddgelert station itself. I saw this part at Warley and made reference then to the backscene, scenic colouring and the high sided Goat cutting, which I didn't like. I won't repeat those comments here, but certainly the stock was excellent:

and what better to finish on than a De Winton: Gorseddau here we come...

Fallgate I had never seen before and was superb. The stock was nicely weathered, scenery was believable and there was even sound!

Proper nice eh!
A novelty was this mini layout on Seabury Town (O gauge)! The train on this micro layout even went round the loop!

West Harptree in 3mm - my flash is a bit unkind to the yellow fields, they were greener than that!

Ashbourne Midland was very nicely modelled:
This shot shows the method for achieving traverser line up and electric continuity (I have forgotten which layout though - sorry)- I will copy this.

Other layouts included Shadbolt's Lock in OO/4mm...

and this French 1/22.5 scale layout called St Jean sur Mer which was superbly detailed:

oh and in case you're wondering what I've been doing...

and I've made up two more FR bugs, soldered duckets to 2 carriages (11 and 12) and built 2 Hudson bogie wagons, 2 Hudson 4 wheel wagons and added the seats to 24 (vale of Rheidol parkside kit bash).
It's all good...
[and yes all those photos did take ages to upload!]