Tuesday, 28 December 2021

War Department (WD) Bogies

 Tryng to make this a quickie I have taken a leaf out of Matt's book and have been trying to build in bulk. To that end I have spent some time each day working on the bogies for the coaches and for the two wagons that fell into my shopping cart at the same time.

The bogies are very straightforward. First there is the matter of cleaning off the flash, of which there is a reasonable amount. Once done it was a case of adding the brake blocks, slightly tedious to have to glue 24 of the same thing but you get into a rhythm.

The next phase is to organise couplings. I use Greenwich couplings and these can be easily fitted by cutting and filing a groove in the top of the bogie (one has a very fetching matching groove in the underside. Don't ask!). Once done, I file off the paint from the underside tail of the coupling and then superglue them in. I usually do build Greenwich coupling in bulk and discovered that I did not have a sufficient supply for this project so there was a temporary diversion when I spent spare time on Christmas Day folding and building the couplings. Now that is definitely an item best built in bulk! 

Lastly, the brake assembly needs putting together. Here I fought the tempation to 'improve' it and lost. The pillar is fine and was glued on as is but the shaft on the brake wheel is just too long and the plastic shaft too fragile. I replaced the shaft with some brass wire. I also drilled out the handwheel to take the wire. They were superglued together and, once dry, I cut away some of the brake wheel shaft. This assembly was then glued to the pillar. It's definitely better to have less of a blob under the wheel but some of them are not as level as they should be.

After that it was a case of painting. I elected to hand paint so I didn't get paint in the axle boxes nor the rubbing plate but that meant tediously painting them first with primer (Humbrol Number 1). This struggled in a couple of palces to stick and I realised I had not washed the parts to remove any moulding remover but it wasn't too bad so I persevered. The topcoat was with a Games Workshop "Base Corvus Black". This is a good contenter for a colour that isn't too black but neither is it obviously grey. Again, this was tedious to put on.  

Here they are, a collection of bogies sat on the diorama, just!

Sunday, 5 December 2021

Ashover Temptation

 I recently helped out at the Great British Model Railway Show, operating The Clydach Railway by Richard Holder. Next to the layout was another exquisite layout by David Wright based around the Ashover Railway. I did a bit of research and decided that this could really form the basis of a quickie layout for the simple reason that the stock is all available as plastic kits and the engines are mostly available as ready to run from Bachmann.

More research and more spending has resulted in the necessary books, engine and kits arriving over a period of a few weeks - "another parcel for you" was a repeated refrain in our house!

I've made a start on the Meridian coaches. The kits have been around for a few years and are very popular. Studying them closely I realised I didn't like how the chassis was formed and so, despite the desire for it to be a quickie, I took the opportunity to extend my 3D printing learning by producing my own chassis.

In the picture you can see two Meridian Ashover coaches. The left one is from many years ago and sits on N gauge bogies. The right coach is the Meridian kit with my own chassis sat on the WD bogies that are provided. The locomotive is "Bridget", the excellent Baldwin from Bachmann.

Hopefully, that will get me back on track to it being a quickie!

Saturday, 20 November 2021

Butterley Pulp Wagons

There are a couple of ideas running at the moment for the next layout. I'm pretty sure what will get done next so more on that when I finally make a decision. For now, it is back to the plan to produce a layout based on the Bowaters Paper Mill system.

In real life, they had hundreds of what were known as pulp wagons. These were large flat wagons with vertical ends. Two forms existed, the earlier wooden version and the later steel variant. If you want to see examples then some are preserved on the Sittingbourne and Kemsley Light Railway. There is a good Flickr group here to see their photos.

There are two kits on the market for the steel wagon ut availability is mixed and I do want quite a few. It made sense to try my hand at printing them. I've struggled with flat surfaces not being flat with the printer and it took me many attempts to make this work but eventually, I found an orientation that worked. The base and the ends are printed separately. In the picture below you can see the parts glued together and sprayed in primer. The stays between the vertical panels are 0.3mm dia brass wire.

This is definitely good enough for now so bogies need to be designed and then the whole design will probably need tweaking to make it robust and repeatable.

Friday, 12 November 2021

In the news

Quite a while ago I was asked to write an article for Railway Modeller. I'll cut a long story short and say that there was recently a request to get it finished as there was only one week till the deadline. Needless to say, it got sorted and I am pleased to see that my layout, Melin Dolrhyd, is in this month's Railway Modeller, available at all shops that sell it and, let's face it, only real shops sell railway items!

Chris Ford has done a great job with the text and Andrew Burnham produced some excellent photos so thanks to them and the rest of the team at Peco. There are some other excellent articles in the issue but forgive me for being biased and just giving a taster of mine...

Saturday, 6 November 2021

Another Long Absence

I was rightly chastised recently that I had not posted anything on this blog for far too long so time to catch up. The primary reason for the absence has been that I decided I wasn't busy enough and needed a fresh challenge so I have taken on being editor of 009 News, the magazine of the 009 Society.

Chris Ford had done a great job and done it for over 4 years which is a marathon stint. The one thing you realise about the role is that it is relentless. The magazine has to go out every month so as soon as you've finished one, it's time to start the next, so all credit to Chris for the 50+ issues that he produced. 

Being edtor has eaten into my modelling time. It took a few issues to master the desk top publishing program and to develop a process for the articles but now it is reasonably organised and I don't have to take so long each month.

Here's the covers from the 7 issues I have done so far. If anything takes your fancy to read then the 009 Society has all the back issues available on the website so join the Society and read as much as you want about narrow gauge modelling.

Sunday, 28 March 2021

Welshpool Coaches Finished

2 years later and the Welshpool coaches are finally finished. It's been a journey of discovering new skills since I had never built a brass coach before, never made my own 3D printed parts, never commissioned decals and so the list goes on.

I'm really pleased with the results. There are aspects I will do differently next time but for now I am happy to consider them done and to move onto another model, again with plenty of aspects of "I've never done that before".

To all those who have offered encouragement, thank you. To Matt and Simon who continue to provide support and ideas, thank you and we'll be down down the pub soon - my round!

I made up a quick video today because I could. This is done with the basic Windows 10 Video Editor and works well except for the lack of transitions but, again, not bad for a first attempt.

Saturday, 20 March 2021

Almost there

When I started the Welshpool coaches I had a reasonable idea of what I wanted to do and knew I would have help in those areas where I had next to no experience. Transfers were always going to be a challenge. My good friend, Matt Kean, has already built some of these coaches and knows exactly how to letter them but it does involve taking individual letters from different transfer sheets and then getting them all lined up. I admire his tenacity on this approach but getting to know Andrew from Custom Model Decals gave me hope that there would be an easier way. Andrew is a fellow member of the 009 Society and is also their webmaster. As I am taking over the position of editor for the 009 News magazine we have plenty to discuss. The process of getting transfers done was surprisingly easy. I had to say what I want and Andrew drew them up. I had to learn how to clearly specify what I wanted but after only 3 iterations Andrew was able to produce some excellent transfers and the standard A6 sheet contains more than enough for 12 coaches.

The pictures below hopefully capture the crispness of the transfers and they were extremely easy to apply. 

Glazing has since been applied to the coaches using acetate sheets stuck in with Kristal Klear. I like using this product to glue in glazing as it can be cleaned up very easily with a cocktail stick and acetates are very resilient to scratching which allows a relatively easy clear up process for any excess glue.

The last stage is seating and people and then I will declare the coaches finished!

War Department (WD) Bogies

 Tryng to make this a quickie I have taken a leaf out of Matt's book and have been trying to build in bulk. To that end I have spent som...