Sunday, 22 November 2020

Sierra Leone No. 85

 


Another lockdown project has been completed. This time it is the Welshpool Sierra Leone No. 85 loco. I first referenced it in one of my October posts. It's been a relatively quick build because that's what I wanted after the length of time it took to complete Triumph. 

One of the ways to make it happen quickly was to adopt the plain black livery that the Welshpool & Llanfair adopted for the engine's last year of running in 2009. They put the engine back to it's original Sierra Leone livery and condition which meant reinstating the front coal bunkers and removing the Welshpool plates from the side of the cab panelling.

The engine is sat on my usual Dapol 2-6-2 Ivatt chassis which needed minimal bits cutting off. I made a few changes to the body. The coal bunkers which were just too chunky in whitemetal. The rear ones I fabricated from brass sheet and rod, the front ones are 3D prints I made. I fitted Greenwich couplings which necessitated some modification to the buffer beams. The air cylinder was a 3D print as the original suffered badly from mould lines where the two halves must have been badly aligned. The supplied tool box just didn't fit so that was another quick 3D print though a chunk of plasticard would have done just as well.

Lastly I made a fresh roof out of 10 thou brass. Having bought a set of G. W. Models bending rollers over lockdown I now wonder how I ever managed without them (actually I didn't, I have largely steered clear of brass till recently). I also modelled the open roof vent since every picture I have seen of this engine has it open. I am guessing that like many steam engines it is hot in the cab.

Overall the Dundas Models kit is excellent. For a whitemetal kit the parts are very crisp and fit together well. There was a slight discrepancy on the length of the side tanks but a bit of filler sorted that and I guessed, correctly as it turned out, that it would not be noticeable once painted.

Having done this one I am tempted to build a second one in the blue livery which it carried from 2003 to 2009. To me, the blue livery is much more attractive than the red North Staffordshire livery it carried from 1992 to 2003. The only problem is the lining which is much more complex than the one engine I have done so far.

That said, there are a lot of kits in the stash and it's time to finish the Welshpool coaches that have been in a semi built state for over a year now...

Monday, 2 November 2020

Photographing models

Recently I have found that I have struggled to take good photos of models. I would balance track on different boxes or mounting board but it was never a good experience. I can always use Melin Dolrhyd but the lighting isn't as far forward as it really needs to be for good photographs. I had a piece of track that originally was a DCC programming track set on something that could be fashioned into an embankment but it had no depth so something had to be done.

I found an offcut of MDF and started cutting out foamboard. I had an idea of a curve of track, set on an incline with a platform that could be used to host non track based products. The first picture shows the basic shape. A piece of wood is holding the stone walling join against the platform edge.


After that it was a case of laying track, putting some sandpaper down to represent the platform surface. Rummaging through the bits and pieces box I found some fencing from my first 009 layout and then I found a nameboard from the layout. I had to pause then as most work is done early morning and late night and I realised that static grass cannot be done in artificial light. It needs some natural, if grey, light to help with the colour blending. The second progress shows the progress after doing the grass.


After that it was onto the homeward stretch for a little bit of weathering and a hedge across the back to help with hiding the back. I also have a piece of backscene on a some floating mounting board that can go behind. The final picture is the finished product with Triumph on display with its nameplates that arrived from Narrow Planet recently.


All in all just a few hours work and now I have something readily available for photography.

Sierra Leone No. 85

  Another lockdown project has been completed. This time it is the Welshpool Sierra Leone No. 85 loco. I first referenced it in one of my Oc...