Monday, April 20, 2009

Update on all fronts

Vale of Ffestiniog - the ‘fake’ bogie sides have now been added to one side of the engine and one of the upper parts has been test fitted to check dimensions. It looks good I think. Please note this idea of using a split bogie side arrangement is not mine but is near enough a direct copy of that produced by the Wallers for Dduallt, and as featured in the model railway press. Thanks, once again, are due to them. I didn’t make my own springs though, instead using springs included in the parkside FR bogie kits, which are pretty similar and were spare it the ‘bits box’!

I have also soldered the roof in place, not without trouble I must say as the tolerances are very small indeed (as well as it being far too long!) and much filing and messing about was necessary. In all that, tacking on and off and on and off again, I managed to solder it on with the roof vents facing the wrong end. D’oh! However, I have decided not to bother messing about taking it all off again, so I may either fill the holes and make new ones (square!), or not worry as only the rivet counters would notice! The most relevant hole is that for the exhaust, so I might just create one new hole for that and be done with it.

The ground frame is in place as a former really, the sides of will be faced with stone and the area around it and its top face filled with ballast (as per the real thing). There is also a small handrail to go on.

Talking of handrails, here are the two for the Tro Ffridd sheep creep. I couldn’t make them stand up for a photo, so the flying bench is doing its best.

3 ton slate wagons – 5 of these are now complete, 2 are braked. For slate waggon spotters 3 are of the BL variety and 2 of the BM2 stable.

The weather has been better of late and so the spray painting season has started. Before I start on the monster process of painting carriages, I did some practice on fencing and slate loads. Here are a load of loads(!) – both the 2 and 3 ton varieties of resin pieces marketed by Chris Veitch, they were sprayed in primer and one in the image has had a different shade of grey dry brushed on top. They have now all had this treatment and a third shade of grey will be added soon to add realism.

The plasticard path from the steps/ramp up to the platform area has been painted and fencing is ready to be added asap.

Here is a shot of the previously mentioned level crossing, the gates are just leaning but the rest is stuck in place. I have also started looking at the boards to sit in the 2 foot and also the anti-pedestrian 'sawtooth' bits.

Two new trees (smaller pines from the hornby skale scenics range) have been added, can you spot one of them in the image below?

In the Cheltenham workshop, the FR gunpowder van (Long variety) has been completed by Dad. His theory that the reason these kits are so fiddly is because they have been ‘shot down’ from 7mm makes sense indeed, why didn’t I realise that before? I wonder if the England kit suffers from the same problem? I understand it contains a drivetrain of 10 gear wheels! A reason indeed to wait for the impending release of a version with a RTR chassis! Below is an image of the van alongside Merddin and behind are the two 16mm waggons I mentioned previously.~

Finally, another oddity. I have had a hornby portaloo that came in a set for a while. At the weekend I got another from the Bachmann range, thinking they would be similar – look at the size difference!


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Update on various matters


The fake bogie sides for the two funkeys have had bearings added to represent the axleboxes and a bank of three springs in the centre of each side.

Blanche has been successfully converted to DCC, the chip just fitting into the boiler.

Rolling stock:

Carriages 119 and 120 have had their resin roofs added, with a small amount of filling necessary in a couple of corners. These were specially produced by a 009 supplier, who may yet produce a kit of 119/120.

The FR hearse waggon (from a GEM kit - white metal sides and coffin(!), etched brass chassis and roof) was put together. The kit features a bizarre arrangement for the wheels, where you have to solder wire across the bottoms of the axleboxes to keep the wheels in - we are talking very small pieces of wire!

I have deferred the construction of the long wheelbase gunpowder waggon to Dad on the basis that I have developed an intense dislike for Mercian models waggon kits which are just too fiddly for words.

In a break from 009, I put together a 16mm (garden scale!) Croesor/FR iron waggon as a present for Dad. Plans are afoot for a garden railway, but this will not, readers will be pleased to note, deflect attention from Rhyd Ddu. Although it will be rather nice!

The FR Quarryman brake vehicle with a single balcony (Van 6) has had a chassis added, but I couldn't find an exact fitto add to the worsley etched body so side extensions to a closely matching chassis and new ends were created from plastic strip.


A 40 thou plasticard piece was cut out and glued in to represent the final tarmac strip between the steps and the entrance to the platform.

A butchered Hornby ground frame has been installed as the yard ground frame. This needs more detailing yet and the replacement of ballast around it where it was scraped away to provide a flat base for the frame to be installed.

Peco flexible fencing has been sprayed with primer and then a muddy yellow colour to create the level crossing fencing. The same colour was used for 7 packs of Slaters fence posts and the gate for the edge of the coach pulling in area. Unfortunately the kind of plastic involved appears to not take paint wonderfully well and a few small areas have flaked off, these will be hidden by weathering (dry brushing to come) and some strategically placed grass tufts.

The level crossing's etched gates were also sprayed grey, as were the handrails for the Tro Ffridd sheep creep. These may yet turn silver, as apposed to primer grey...I'll decide when the silver spray (on order) arrives.


Ideas for the other side of the layout continue to develop, with the latest plan being a simple scenic section with just a single track and no points (echos of the 7mm layout 'Holiday Haunts'??). The scenes would be: Plas Halt incorporating Tyler's curve, Garnedd Tunnel and Dduallt tank curve/Campbell's Platform.

As all these locations are relatively hidden and difficult to access (Plas Halt is up a steep and long climb from Plas Tan y Bwlch, and Campbell's Platform is a private halt for Plas Dduallt), I have been playing with names like 'Hidden Ffestiniog'...and on that theme the current favourite is 'Here be dragons', with a movable red dragon to feature on the layout for added fun.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Triple hundred

The 300th post!

Here's Vale of Ffestiniog. She is sitting on a farish N gauge chassis from the new warship. This is DCC ready via a 6 pin plug and I've added a TCS decoder and tested her already. Today I fettled the body so that the chassis fitted nicely and I have started work on replacement bogie sides, made from plasticard (as per David and Rob Waller's article in Narrow Gauge and Industrial Railway Modelling Review) with detailing.

The two funkeys (I'm making up the bogie overlays for the WHR funkey at the same time) will be key locos for Rhyd Ddu, as they run beautifully are already DCC fitted and both are likely to see extensive use on the WHR in 2009/2010. They are therefore a key priority for finishing.

The roof is just laid on top for now, although it doesn't foul the chassis at all, so I'll solder it on asap.


wheely good

Here is a big packet of 3mm scale wheels. Why should I want these???

The reason is, that once the metal axle is removed, the two wheels make perfect mountings for bogies. The hole left is almost exactly correct for 10BA, so a screw can be inserted through it and can find a captive nut soldered to the carriage floor above it. The plastic false axle is also fluted, allowing a bogie with a hole in the middle to be friction fitted to it. This allows for easy changing of bogies should there be a problem too.

The only issue was getting hold of enough of these rare and unwanted (who wants plastic wheels these days) items. It just so happens that Dad is a member of the 3mm society, so on a trip out to Salisbury the other week he was able to source a load of them, in addition to a few he had lying unloved in a box. Thanks also to Terry of TT3 supplies, who sent on a load FOC apart from postage. Top man.


Monday, April 06, 2009

oh, what's occuring?

some testing...just to check carriage lengths etc for train formations. The carrs were just laid on top of the rails (most have no bogies attached as they are being prepped for painting). The loop will fit 7 FR carriages easily...

the yard headshunt is a decent length, at least 3 B wagons.

just 2 in the short siding though.

and plenty of room in the long siding.

but the main event was the loop... 6 WHR saloons, or 5 and a B wagon no problem. If you look carefully in the below shot you will also notice that I've added the short ramp section at the end of the platform too and ballasted around it.


Beddgelert got a roof and the cylinder covers added...



Saturday, April 04, 2009

2 B (or not 2 B)

1 more B wagon done, photographed next to its sister - I ran out of brass angle to complete the other two.


Thursday, April 02, 2009

B patient!

3 sides of the 6 necessary to make 3 more B wagons have now had their vertical angles added, a fiddly job!
The 6 sides and 6 ends have also been folded and soldered at the back as a rebate to take their floors. SAR pattern bogies are complete already.