Wednesday, 31 August 2016

DFS - Damned Fiddly Seats!

Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet.

I've been chewing over how I would make the first class seats for 150 for quite a few weeks - not in any kind of constructional detail, just thinking about how curvy and awkward they are.


You see what I mean? Not your average seat, is it.

Having said that (or indeed, written it) it's reasonable to aspire to make up something that looks vaguely like it in 4mm.

It is not, however, reasonable to make sixteen of them. Not for me, anyway.

So I shall reach for the resin and I have begun work on a master I can make a mould from.


The trick here, given that I don't do split-mould casting (yet) is to break the seat down into bits that can be cast in an open-back mould.

One of the issues is that these high back seats have a pronounced bend in the lumber area.  (The old Pullman seats do as well, of course, but it's hidden by the wings to a large extend so you can get away without representing it)

To do this in a way which is mould-able I have filled the gap with my old friend Millput.


I have also had to leave off the front legs.

I may add them on later, or a may not, given that no one will ever realistically see them and the seats should support themselves quite adequately because they are either placed back to back or up against a partition.

The same goes for the armrests.

I will most likely add them on to the castings with strips of styrene, but to put them on the master would increase the probability of miscasts greatly.

I don't need that much frustration in my life, I have quite enough already, thank you.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Amazing Glazing

One of the most satisfying aspects of scratch building models is the challenges you have to find solutions to.

A good example of this is the glazing at the front of the observation car 150.

The angle of the bend is such that you need a piece of perspex which keeps its shape rather than something which will spring back flat at the first opportunity.


Initially Himself experimented with heating some clear sheet before bending and then letting it cool, but it left a blemish.

Then he found some sheet which could be bent when cold without marking, but he had a very limited supply of it.

Furthermore,  once you've got the angle correct you've also  got to account for the curve which follows the roofline at the front.

Ultimately he decided to make up two large pieces which have the L shape at the front and extend all the way along the sides of the carriage, meeting in the middle at the central window pillar at the front.

I think he's done a superb job, again.

The only downside is that now he's handed it back to me I've got no excuse not to get on with trying to make the rather fancy first class seats to go in it!

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Pantomime Horse

The new service carriage 125 is rather unusual in that it is one ended.

That's not unique, on the FR, of course, because the railway is the home of the Observation Carriage.

No, 125 is different because the it's the narrow gauge equivalent of a pantomine horse.

Allow me to explain.

The Caernarfon end - I want to write Bottom End but that's not allowed any more - is pure Super Barn with the inset double doors.

The Blaenau - or Top - end looks like it is derived from the gene pool of the original Barns being full width with no end windows and no entrance doors either.

Most of the carriage, as you will know from previous posts, is being scratch built in styrene.

I can cheat, though, with the bottom end because as far as I can tell it is built like a regular Super Barn and so I can cast those bits.


I feel something of a fraud but I'm sure the feeling will soon pass.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Straight Down The Middle

So now the vital central window pillar is in place on the front of 150 it's time to pose the question whether we have captured the look of the real thing?


After much discussion we decided to make it out of brass rather than styrene which should have a couple of advantages.

Firstly, and most obviously, it should have much more strength and be much less vulnerable than a piece of plastic.

Himself has also hit on the idea of making the glazing in two parts which will meet in the middle on either side of this pillar rather than attempting to curl a single piece around the inside of the front.


As you can see from the sideways-on shot the brass is fixed so it comes down behind the lower body panel and we will be adding a layer of styrene on top.

It's also worthy of mentioning the fantastic job Himself made of forming the piece of brass strip which sits underneath the front of the roof.


I'm really pleased with how it's turning on, now the pressure's on me to make an interior which lives up to the exterior.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Rio Not So Grande

Now the Olympics are over I may be able to get a little more modelling done.

I'm not a massive sports nut but I must confess that in the last two weeks I have succumbed to the temptation to plonk myself on the sofa in front of the TV of an evening and attempt to understand what's going on in various strange disciplines.

(And just why that diving pool turned into a giant garden pond?)

So I'm afraid that all I have to report today is that I've managed to add the sliding windows on the basic sides for 125.


In my defence, it's rather more work that it appears because they're formed out of very fine and flimsy 10 thou strip which needs to be cut and fitted with a very high degree of accuracy.

Now those are in I'll set about adding the second layer of beading detail.

Assuming there's nothing much to watch on the box, of course.....

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Running Repairs

Himself has been confined to barracks by some unseasonal Scottish summer weather of late - note I said unseasonal, not unexpected - but that has given him the chance to catch up with some odd jobs which needed doing.

These odd jobs included making good all the cat-related damage to Dduallt.

So the Up Home signal has been uprooted and repaired.


He's going to add some strengthening pieces before inserting it back in position and reconnecting it.

Collapsed  S and T workers have been got back onto their feet.

Fallen trees on the spiral have undergone root canal treatments and been restored to vertical.

Telegraph poles have been spliced back together and the gate by Rhoslyn cottage once again has five bars.

Finally, dozens of sheep that were lying prostrate across the landscape are grazing once again and the area has been cleared of cat hair.

The moggy, by some miracle, has yet to be recycled into a tennis racket...

Friday, 19 August 2016

First Class Roof

Perhaps it was because I uttered the magic words, "There's no rush", or maybe a summer of non-stop garden rebuilding and home-making has brought on withdrawal symptoms, but Himself has knocked up a roof for 150 faster than I'd imagined possible.


What's great is that this time there's no need to post the carriage to the opposite end of the country for us to do alternate bits of work on it, and neither to I have to try and make a judgement on whether its hit the mark with a handful of photographs but I can pop over any time and make a thorough physical inspection.

The really tricky thing with this roof is that the underside has to be made so that it supports and holds the top of the body side in place and locates the top of the glazing.

This is what the flat false ceiling I fit in all the other carriages is there for but because of the huge front windows on 150 which go all the way to the roof line that's not an option this time.

My first thought was that we could solder on brass strips or channel on the underside of the roof but Himself was worried about how the brass might react to the heat and so he's bonded on a layer of styrene so we can use plastic strip instead.


He's indicated that he's not entirely happy with it so I shall make it my business to head over to his place in the next few days and take a look for myself.

Don't worry, I shall be the epitome of tactfulness, as always.