Sunday, 3 November 2019

Paint shop open for business

I usually spray paint in the garden in the dry but the weather has not been particularly kind recently. Even when dry there has been a lot of moisure in the air. I've had to resort to getting the spray booth out. I've found that sitting it on the windowledge of the railway room sucking the air out the open window works pretty well. The window is north facing so with the usual south westerly winds we get it pulls any excess out the window. It's not ideal but it works for me.

Below are the 12 wagons I've had waiting for painting. These have had a couple of coats of primer, a coat of topcoat and have spent most of the day in the airing cupboard.


I also primed the engine Joan with some etch primer but I can't have cleaned it thoroughly as I should have as there is a blot on the side tank where the paint hasn't taken. It remains to be seen whether remedial action needs to be taken.

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Weathering Wagons

I've known for a long time that I needed to remove the pristine finish of the wagons but when you know you've done a good job of painting and lettering wagons it seems quite a risk to start taking washes of paint to them!

On a recent holiday (one of many reasons why there has been a lack of posts) I was reading about the recently introduced AK Interactive Weathering Pencils. They struck me as a potential solution since the way they work is that you rub on the pencil as you would with any crayon but you can then spread it out and work it into crevices using a damp paint brush.

If you really don't like the result then you can use more water and wash it all off completely. Here are some examples of what I have achieved so far.




It's a mixture of smoke, rubber, dirt, earth and sepia. Due to shortages of the packs of six I splashed out on the complete set, probably excessive but it did give me the chance to experiment. Interestingly I didn't like the effect I created on the roofs so I dampened a piece of kitchen paper and wiped it off, creating a better effect than expected!

They can probably take some more layers and there is definitely a technique to getting the dirt in the corners but I think I will persevere.

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Second Hand Wagons

I picked up some wagons at Pewsey and, along with some others in the stash, I decided a quick cleanup and repaint and we'd be good to go. The emphasis was on quick but it wasn't to be.

A week later some of them are clean enough but most still need work. Soaking in Stripit removes a layer of paint but doesn't touch the next layer or the several after that. All the wagons have been painted multiple times with thick paint to the point where I knew the detail was there but couldn't see it clearly. Of course I broke a couple of brake handles in the process but I have spares of those.

It did get me thinking about the practicality of second hand over new. I paid £6 for a wagon compared to £10 for the new kit price. So I exchanged £4 for the tedium of stripping paint, prodding it out of crevices and having to repair broken bits.

If the wheels need replacing, at £6 a pair, then it is definitely a lost cause. Hey ho, I might look more carefully next time at how much work it will take to refurbish!

Monday, 19 August 2019

Pewsey 2019

That went well! Pewsey was its usual great exhibition and I was pleased that Melin Dolrhyd behaved itself. Most of the stock ran well and my good friend, Matt Kean, brought spare stock to use which was really useful. We had the occasional derailment but all the obvious issues that were exposed at Swallowfield had been fixed and we were able to enjoy ourselves.

Here's the obligatory photo of The Earl on a good train showing how the tree sort of camouflages the entrance/exit line.


I was asked if I could do a video so as an experiment I produced this. I'm quite happy with it for a first attempt. Next time take the tripod!


Sven van der Hart came across with his new loco, Bob Telford's Ashover Railcar.


Sven does some exquisite modelling and I was honoured to have him use my layout to showcase his latest model. More photos of this can be found here. Sven's website is here.

Lastly, I spent money. 5 second hand wagons off the society stand plus a job lot of replacement wheelsets to fix the worst offending wheelsets that are on my stock. A quick tally showed that I have 12 wagons and 3 coaches partially built. Time to finish them!

Friday, 9 August 2019

Quick, do some work, there's an exhibition coming!

The bi-annual Pewsey 009 Meeting will be happening on Aug 17th. You can find show details here  where you will discover that your truly has been invited, or was that coerced. Never mind! I'm taking Melin Dolrhyd so I thought I should do some of the jobs I had planned since its first outing.


The first job was to hide the layout exit a little. My stash of trees is looking a little empty but this one did well enough though I think I need to do some work round the base to make it look less out of place.


The second piece of work was to add a little more detail round the Mill garden in the form of someone working and a gate and fence. There's much more to do here but I currently expect this to be the only person on the layout!


Lastly, I've started to add vegetation along the embankment wall. I don't want to overdo it but I suspect in real life, even for the era I am modelling, there was probably significant vegetation against the wall.

Do come to the show if you want to see a good number of narrow gauge layouts.

Sunday, 23 June 2019

New Toy

It was an itch that wasn't going away and whilst you are told never to scratch itches, I couldn't resist. My birthday present to myself was a 3D printer. Most people are aware now that there are two types of printer, Filament or Resin. Filament printers are those that melt plastic and Resin printers are those that deposit resin under ultraviolet light. Both have their pros and cons but as I was going for detail I opted for a resin printer, the Anycubic Photon S. It's the latest version of a very popular printer but there are limited supplies at UK Amazon - I saw they were back in stock a couple of weeks ago and bought one. Now they are out of stock again.

2 weeks after the day of arrival I finally produced the first print from the test file.


It's a lattice cube that stands about 2 inches tall and prints exactly as you see it in the picture without any support. In the end it took just over 6 hours to print this.

Why did it take so long to do the first print, mainly because of the paraphernalia that is required with resin printers. First off I had to reorganise my den to have a solid area for the printer to sit on, then you need the IPA to clean the print plus containers to put the IPA in, then you need to build/buy a UV curing box, then you need to work out how to use the software. Combined with working for a living it all took time to get up.

Right at the last minute, Kathy Millatt produced a great video on resin printing which helped build confidence and fill in a particular blank I had.

Next up is a railway test print, to learn to use the software better and to get back to building stock for Melin Dolrhyd.

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Fiddle Yard Wiring

One task that had been left for later is wiring the points in the fiddle yard. For it's first outing the points were operated manually and there was no frog wiring. This wasn't an issue and it was fine to operate like this. Long term I have half an idea to automate the fiddle yard which means it does need wiring fully.

At a recent 009 Wilts group meeting, Adrian turned up with a new point motor, the MP1 from MTB Models. They are available from  DCC Train Automation. They are a motorised switch with adjustable range, automatic cut-off and a single pole switch. They are also very compact with a 45mm x 45mm footprint and less than 20mm deep. They run off AC or DC.

An order was placed and they were waiting for me on my return from a business trip and a bank holiday Monday seemed an ideal time to complete, what is, a very dull job.


The picture shows the primary end of the fiddle yard with the three motors in place along with the power connections and high frequency cleaner. As an aside, the cleaner was also a post show addition and showed that one particular engine has a dead spot in its pickups somewhere. It flashes with each rotation of the wheel!

The layout has now gone back onto the units where it is stored and I can carry on with detailing the layout and building stock.

 

Paint shop open for business

I usually spray paint in the garden in the dry but the weather has not been particularly kind recently. Even when dry there has been a lot o...