Saturday, December 20, 2008

tower of strength?

Tonight I have test assembled the more difficult (Beddgelert end) water tower. This has been modelled directly from the WHRCL plans and so is to scale. It consists of a girder section framework to hold the tanks and 4 circular hollow section pillars (well I have actually lined them with strong wire to add strength). This structure is more concerning as the Waunfawr end version has 6 pillars (why you ask - well trains run underneath this one!).

Below is a photo - I'm pleased to say that even in this state (base not affixed to the ground, no extra strapping for the sides etc) it holds the weight of the brass tank. However it is flimsy enough to concern and I may now swap this tank to the Waunfawr end tower and build the second tank with a plasticard top to reduce the weight a bit.


The roofing challenge

Here is one big roofing challenge... This is a selection (!!!) of the carriages that now need roofs.

Now this is going to take a while, scoring and cutting out 10 thou brass sheet, then bending it, soldering them on...

So, I'm starting to think about how I can fast forward this process? Bending bars and guillotines seem way too expensive though (at least £100 each!). Anyone got any ideas?


Meanwhile, on t'other layout

As you can see, some gentle progress on 'Nant Gwernol' (I need a new name really!)... Some trees (woodland scenics) have been added, the rockface background base has been added (plaster rocks next), the area around the chapel has been surfaced and the hut has been added, plus general scenics too. It's amazing what 10 mins here and there can do for a small layout!



Recent work (despite the garage getting pretty cold!) has focused on arboriculture...

Whilst my men (bachmann PW workers) are surveying the track, a copse of pines has been placed in the far corner. This is really there in reality and also forms a nice scenic break for viewing the layout.

Note: my camera flash makes some of these trees look a funny colour - don't worry they aren't that garish really!

At the far end two trees have been added (again they really do exist in reality) to 'hide' the exit to the hidden sidings.

In the station area two copses of larch/spruce have been added, more low level detail is to come too (including clearing up the wood shavings from drilling the holes for the trees to be planted in).

Further away from the station, is a mixed copse of trees and conifers.

an end to end overview.

The trees are a mixture of Faller HO (thinned down considerably with cutters), anita decor handmade, woodland scenics premium and bachmann scenescapes.


Monday, December 01, 2008

Bull Ant


I've been worrying for a while about the performance of ibertren chassis on Rhyd Ddu. I just don't think they're up to the job - huge flanges (that can be turned down in a lathe - but I don't have one!) and hard (but not impossible) to convert to DCC.  The only locos in the stud that use this chassis style are: Blanche (already built and painted and I'm loathed to fiddle!) and Conway Castle.  

That's why it's going to be time to replace the ibertren put aside for Conway with this baby.

It comes with a 31:1 reduction gearbox and nice little mashima can and a flywheel - it's all good.  The wheelbase is perfect (well 0.5mm too long!) and the wheels are much larger than the ibertren, making it more like the real thing too.

Dad has one of these for his 3mm DMU and it performs mega, so bring it on!