Thursday, March 31, 2011

Laying the land

Last night I spent a little time laying a new cork base for the new track alignment and adding modroc to the scenic base (brushed with water).  I also tore into many little pieces the carpet underlay ready for application as grass asap.  That is once the ground has been painted a background muddy brown colour (in case of show through/damage) - soil isn't usually white!

Steady progress on this area and it is already clear that the new track alignment will be significantly better and actually closer to the reality of the prototype too. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

preparing the ground


Flat grass isn’t flat, so in preparation for the laying of modroc over the grassy part of the new extension I’ve created some random effects in filler. 

I’ve also stripped the hidden sidings board to allow it to be treated for the damp that has affected the board (bleach off the marks and seal) as well as an updated track plan to create more through roads and get rid of the farish points that caused problems at expoNG.  Peco replacements will then be ordered, although I’ve picked two up cheaply already. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Moving on



The piece has been attached and an initial layer of filler added.  I have also stripped back the rails either side of the new piece to start thinking about the new alignment.  One clear issue is that the water tower base will foul the new alignment so this was removed too.

Another layer of filler will be required once this is dry and then I shall glue down the cork roadbed.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Today after mowing the back lawn and other various gardening jobs I found a couple of hours to work on the layout.  Thus the extension to the station board was attached.  The first photo shows the various brackets used to ensure strength. 2 L shaped ones at the sides, 3 smaller L’s along the top of the board and two long pieces across the underside joins.  Should be good enough!


Then I erected the board next door, clamped it together to the new extension and drilled the 10mm holes for the M10 bolts.  Finally I removed the ply top from the front couple of inches of the extension as this needs to sit lower down.  I then cut a piece of plywood to sit at the lower level (just like the adjacent board).  In the shots you can see a clamp being used whilst a piece of 2x1 is glued at 90 degrees to this new piece.  When dry it will be attached to the board which might be tomorrow. Then filler will be used to create the slope between the lower and rail level sections.



You might note that a couple of trees have suffered during transport from expoNG – no problem to correct though!

This now means that all is clear to sort out the alignment of the track here (which will of course include removing some track already laid.  It should be worth all this though as the extension is expected to help running considerably. 

Of course I’ll need to extend the hidden sidings too by the same amount, but I will wait and do this later prior to complete erection of the layout again.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Some progress going on

You may have noticed some images of a nearly completed 138 in red livery from expoNG.  Well the red was hastily selected in a murky halfords in the days preceding the exhibition.  It turned out to be way too scarlet and in your face.  We have now selected a better shade via railmatch and this is being applied.  Photos to appear here soon.

In other news, I added small plasticard spacers to the bodies of Harlech and Criccieth Castles, drilled suitable holes, tapped them and added 14BA screws.  After a little playing with pickups they run well.  However one step got broken in the process and I will need to build another somehow…


I have also sourced enough vac pipes and have started the long process of adding these to the ends of all the carriages.  A spot of superglue and attention that all is square and the effect is good. 

On corridor connections, I am talking with Roger Keen regarding close coupling systems and may have something to report soon.  If not, then I do at least want to represent the general look of the end of the carriages, perhaps using a plasticard addition.

009 FR crests are now also available via EDM models, hopefully improving delivery times.

Monday, March 14, 2011


I’m finding it increasingly difficult to find time for modelling due to my new job and the extent of the travelling involved.  There is time to read, but not to act.  So good planning is necessary to get the layout up to the required standard for Sparsholt next year. 

At the moment, the time I do have is being used to add vac pipes to carriages/wagons and to complete the detailing on Rob’s Romanian ballast wagon.  I’m also figuring out a way to attach the new farish 08 chassis (with RT models jackshaft extension) to the harlech and cricieth bodies that I’ve already made up.  Some packing, tapped holes and off we go hopefully…

The summer will be spent working on the layout to improve running, with the hidden sidings being upgraded to run with entirely peco points (the older farish ones caused no end of fouling problems at expoNG) and the Waunfawr end of the station will be extended to allow the alignment to be improved.  The water towers will have proper supports soldered together from brass I section/tube/wire and new cloth bags will be added (the plastic ones ended up being taken off as they were not elastic enough to let the trains pass underneath without deflecting the whole tower!

Then when winter comes again I will concentrate on stock again.

Dad has promised to complete 138, 87 and K1 for sparsholt and in return I’m doing some work for him.  Merddin should also appear as there is little to do there.  There is no prospect of Lyd or Taliesin appearing.  They will have to wait for a future show.  Russell looks unlikely too, if we are realistic.

However this would give us:

  1. 143
  2. 138
  3. 87
  4. K1
  5. Castell Caernarfon
  6. Vale of Ffestiniog
  7. Upnor Castle
  8. Cricieth Castle
  9. Harlech Castle
  10. Merddin Emrys
  11. Gelert
  12. (Russell in brass?)

When should I start the countdown clock?