Monday, March 31, 2008

Amerton Railway


Yesterday (Sunday) we took a trip to the Amerton railway, which is a small but friendly line situated on a farm that also serves as a children's playcentre (soft play etc), craft shop, bakery, animal rescue centre (including birds of prey, snakes, rabbits etc), farm animal display, garden centre, restaurant, hand made ice cream shop, jewellery shop and farm food shop - including some great real ale brews - including FIREBOX by RCH! Oh and it got even better when I stumbled across a model shop! Yes a model shop on a farm - how cool is that!?! I was able to get some sheet brass, some more peco 009 track for the hidden sidings and a wild swan book on etched brass loco construction secondhand (£5.95 was an amazing price!). wow!

Anyway, the railway's star attraction 'ISABEL' is in bits for a major overhaul at the moment, so we had the visiting loco (built in 2006) 'Emmet'. A 10 minute ride (no stops, just a continuous loop of about a mile) was £1.80 and as it's a continuous loop, trains depart about every 15 mins (5 mins for crew to layover, shovel some coal etc). The fireman was especially friendly and took us on a tour of the sheds, where I found a vertical boiler De Winton style loco. Definitely worth a visit! Images below:

Back to modelling then, well nearly, cameras first... Unfortunately my camera refuses to flash anymore and makes some odd sounds on focusing (don't worry, dodgy images will only be seen on this entry - a new camera is in the post - check this deal -

Some of the images below have thus been taken with no flash, just household lighting and then altered in photoshop, so the noise is bad, the focusing even worse - it's just plain horrible - sorry!

But the point is that considerable progress has been made. The SAR brake has had its details (hinges etc) added and has been soldered together (just needs a roof now). Also FR Bug box No1 (the zoo car) was completed - the images below were supposed to show the huge difference in size, but the camera problem ruins the point- oh well... One of my wife's cakes and a cup of tea sit ready to be devoured by a tired modeller!

FR Bowsider No 19 was completed - need to get some bogies for this yet (and a roof plus the handrails at the ends).

WHR ex C&U Admiralty brake (1001):
WHR Buffet car (with half height sides), the other car I have already completed will become Ashbury 25 as the WHR(P) propose to make their replica a full height version, thus I had misled the blog reader previously in stating I had soldered together the buffet car. A good article about these cars is in Heritage Railway magazine this month (near the back).
and the crowning glory - the Romanian coach 2060 - really pleased with this, the folds around the doors are complicated but make for an accurate kit - well done worsley works again.

An order was posted today for 2 more WHR saloons (2040/1) with the new beading style [why oh why did they need to alter it?] and FR straight sided iron framed bogie 15 - another 3 to solder up then!
and the hour changed (BST) so work on the layout itself will recommence soon too. I have started tidying up the garage ready!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Carriages update

Progress as of late Saturday night - full update with photos tomorrow:

Now complete and ready for primer:

- FR Flying bench - a bit of fun!
- WHR(C) Romanian Carriage 2060 (a beauty!)
- FR Bowsider No.19
- WHR(C) 1001 Admiralty brake van ex Chattenden & Upnor

Bogies were soldered up with bearings added for the first ex SAR 'B' wagon and the ex SAR Brake van.

and most of the Zoo Car bug box No.1 with final assembly tomorrow...

It's all good!


Friday, March 21, 2008

Short update


Some varied news at Easter time: firstly we visited the Golden Valley Light Railway today for a trip up the line behind the yellow simplex (pictured). A nice run, a bit short but friendly and despite the hailstorm that hit us 5 mins from the end of the trip, it was pleasant.

On the modelling front, I tested a section of hairy carpet underlay to see how I got on. I had bought the necessary strong PVA (febond) earlier in the week, and using an off cut of ply, I glued down small pieces of the Burnley (see earlier posts) underlay. When dry overnight, nail scissors were used to cut off the excess and then a hair trimmer to literally mow the grass down to a sensible height. The results are good and I am confident that this procedure, with extra detail added later of course will deliver the results I hope for. PS The image shows the underlay before trimming!

Below are 6 bogies with bemos glues on (the bogies are ex liliput - the coaches went for about £8 each on ebay with the 'replacement' bogies so I'm happy) - note the long length necessary to keep the bogies in the prototypical situation under the carriage, but also to place the couplings in a sensible position too! I also wanted to make sure the couplings were attached to the bogies as these huge carriages will need all the help they can to get round my 12 inch radius curves (even though my curves are transitioned).

The clock behind the bogies also has a story - I showed a guy from Yarra trams around the NET tram depot last week and he gave me this as a thank you gift - it is crafted from an original tramway block used in the early days of Melbourne trams - cool! Best corporate gift I've had in a long time.

Tonight, I've also tidied up various boxes and found loads of little bits and pieces I had forgotten I had but which will be useful in the months ahead and I also soldered 3 Ffestiniog wagons together using low melt - 2 covered vans and a coal wagon.

I won a model of Jerry M (Mills class Hunslet) on ebay last week, it even has outside frames - well one side's finished and the other needs some work...ho hum. The other Jerry M (or Cackler) I have is sat half finished, so it might be time to get that to a state where it could be sold.

and finally, the additions to the Bachmann dynamis have been announced: the pro upgrade (to allow multiple controllers) is just £14 and an extra infra red receiver (to help avoid the coverage problems I have been hearing out) is just £17 - all good and it now almost certainly means that dynamis is the way forward.

Happy Easter


Monday, March 10, 2008

Photo review of Narrow Gauge North in Leeds

I'd never been to Narrow Gauge North before so this was an eye-opener. The venue was easy to find, although the roads approaching have speed cameras about every 100 yards - beware!

The venue was a school and it worked pretty well although the halls were quite a way apart and it was easy to miss something if you didn't use the map provided. Food was good but seating area too small I suspect (we were lucky).

Traders were good - parkside, worsley, andrew neale books, 009 sales stand, 7mm sales stand, blackham transfers etc

I purchased a load of bogies and wheels for all these cars I've been soldering together recently and also picked up a few more carriages to go onto the work bench (I've already cut them from the frets last night). The new additions include 104 and 105, which will need some extra beading adding, and bug box No. 1 (zoo car).

So what about the models then? First up we have the Holdsworth collection - superb here is a Baldwin gas mechanical:

A WW1 Baldwin - 590 anyone?

A superb L&B coach
Sand Hutton the latest model from Peter Kazer (he wrote the wonderful wild swan narrow gauge modelling book): beautifully modelled track, buildings and rolling stock,

Here's a cheeky Russell with VERY bright colours on Avyn a Lyin

16mm Blanche:

Then we got round to looking at the best layout there by a country mile: Dinas - Blaenau in 7mm scale DCC (Lenz) and even sporting smoke units (seuthe)!
This beautiful double engine (Taliesin) was built by Frank Sharp and was lent to the layout for the day:
The incline:

Little Giant under construction:

An assortment in the hidden sidings, 7mm waggons a De Winton and a 4mm scale James Spooner (converted to 8mm gauge with sound on board and smoke!).

An England shunts a slate train:

Some of the beautiful stock:


Videos of Narrow Gauge North Action

Dinas - Blaenau (7mm scale DCC with sound and smoke units):

Sand Hutton by Peter Kazer

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

and another two...

Got home quite late from at meeting at Grand Central's offices in York, so didn't expect to do any modelling tonight, but at about 9pm I started cutting bits from frets and it continued, so much so that 2 hours later, the other two WHR 13m saloons were all soldered up. They need a bit of cleaning up and fettling, but otherwise are complete and ready for primer.... cool.

and a shot of what they'll look like in the end:


Monday, March 03, 2008

A big dog!

My word it's big! It's massive, considerably long, very hefty, humongous, immense, substantially sizable, voluminous; a hulking gigantic heavyweight!

Of course I'm talking about 2043 - the first of the 13m long WHR(C) saloons that I have put together - it's 160mm long! The DKE that such a long car will need may require some changes to the scenery of the layout it's so huge!

Of the three 13m saloon kits I have, all have had their chassis populated with door steps and underframe detail as well as the necessary holes for attaching floor to body having been drilled.

Coach 1 (2043) has now been completed up to 'box' level (ready for spraying in primer) with doors attached to sides, ends attached to doors and buffer beams attached too. The right angles attached to the interior ends with 10BA nuts on were then added too. Floor and body came together and we get the below:

On another note, I found that the plastic seating moulding inside the Liliput Murtalbahn coaches are the perfect width for my FR and WHR cars, so with a bit of judicious cutting, they can form the basis for the interior detail, sitting on top of a false floor.

I have never been into interior detail really as in 4mm scale once the roof and glazing are in, you can't really see in anyway, so if the detail gives enough for a few passengers to be added, I'm happy. Of course a quick plasticard table isn't hard to fabricate and install later either...

The liliput coaches also have great bogies with integral bemo couplings on, so I'm thinking of using those too. I'll replace the liliput bogies with nine lines cheap plastic ones, add some surplus wheels and sell them on with the replaced bogies and interior detail missing - an interesting thought is how much those would then make on ebay???


Sunday, March 02, 2008

Man with a van (well 2 actually)....

Progress tonight - FR cars 11 and 12 (called van 4 and 5 now), all droplights in, duckets both sides and bogies attached too.

I also added bearings to one of the bogies for the WHR ex SAR brake van, before running out of the correct size bearings!


Saturday, March 01, 2008

A Walk in the Park...?

The second in my supplier series: Parkside Dundas .

To many beginner modellers Parkside is where it all begins - easily available (most model shops stock a few of their kits), well made, relatively simple plastic kits (they do a few etched kits too but it's mainly plastic)...

They have a decent range too, although it is disappointing that the range has been static for a number of years now - there are plenty of vehicles/waggons that have no kit - so come on guys!

All kits come with quality instructions and are generally well cast and only require a little cleaning up of flash etc.

Also, should you lose a part (or think you haven't had it in the first place) they will kindly and with no bother post you another -a superb service. How many suppliers are like that? I know of plenty who would argue about whether it was or wasn't in the bag, or try to charge you too! Of course Parkside take the opportunity to post their latest catalogue with the part - given you're in a good mood when the replacement part arrives I'll bet that more than often further orders are forthcoming...!

I have had few problems with their kits, in fact it is the super detail that is often the issue - some small hand wheels or brake gear parts are very fiddly to attach and have next to no chance of standing up to handling!

But overall I recommend their kits wholeheartedly and it just might be that many modellers would never even start in 009 had they not started on these relatively easy kits first!



Progress over the last few weeks has included:

- Cutting out from the etched frets 10 carriages, all of which were then tidied up, the floors and associated chassis detail assembled and 10BA nuts soldered over the relevant holes to attach floor to carriage. This has then created a backlog of carriages ready for assembly into their 'box' shape, then ready for painting.

- Those that have now been completed up to 'box' level are, FR/WHR No. 23:

FR Observation car no. 111

FR Car No 117
FR Car No. 119
To follow soon are the three new WHR 13m long saloons, Romanian car 2060 and an assortment of heritage vehicles such as the turtle roofed van, bowsider 19, 2 vans (ex cars 11/12)...
and I'm running out of solder again!