Thursday, 23 February 2017

Still Slating

It's not a fast process, but I am nearing the end of fixing the strips of card slates onto the roof of the old barn.

This side (which is south facing) is in a worse state than the first and has a whole section of slates slipping off en-masse on the right hand side.

Once these are finished I can fix them into position on the building and hand it over to Himself to paint at his leisure.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Site Visit

I probably should have done it before I'd got 90% of the way through the build, but at the weekend I took the old barn over to Himself's place to see what it looked like in place on Bron Hebog.

The reason for testing it out is because I reduced the dimensions of the building by around 15% compared to the mock up which had been made by the Artistic Director.

It's always hard to judge when a model is still in naked styrene because it will inevitably stick out like a sore thumb, but I reckon that should be OK.

In fact it will have to be because I'm not about to do all that scribing again!

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Slipped Slates

This last week I've been working on the roof of the old barn - the end that still has one, that is.

The challenge with this has been to make it look suitably distressed.

On all the houses I've been building for the layout I've been able to use embossed plastic sheets but here the only realistic solution is bespoke slating.

I use strips of very thin card - or perhaps, more accurately described as very thick paper - onto which I have run through a photocopier with repeated design of rows of slates.

I cut out a row and then slice with the blade on the markings between each slate, leaving them connected by a sliver along the top edge, and then I glue them, row upon row, onto a styrene sheet using PVA.

Doing it this way I can break the row at any point to create the look of a missing slate, or one that has slipped.

In case you were wondering why there is the triangular marking at the top it's because I first created the pattern when I was asked to make a model of Minffordd weigh house as a retirement gift for FR permanent way legend Fred Howes.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Fine Lines

Britomart is edging closer to completion with Himself working hard on the fine white lining.

It's not a job that can be rushed so it's taken most of the week to get to this stage.

The nameplates and rather small  Hunslet works plates are on order from Narrow Planet.

Incidentally, if you ever wondered about the brass band which adorns its distinctively tall chimney, it's not just baby Hunslet bling.

The story goes that after the engine's arrival at the FR, following it's purchase from Pen y Orsedd quarry by a group of volunteers, it was discovered that at some point there had been a very rough repair to the chimney and the band was added as a colourful way of covering it up.

I've always thought it rather suits it and completes it's rather cheeky character.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Droning On

This is a post purely to share a photograph rather than to update you on any particular progress.

While taking some snaps of how far he's reached with the fencing Himself took a shot from directly overhead the area of the farm which looks like the kind of image you'd get from a camera on a drone.

Or possibly one of those satellite pictures on Google Earth of maximum magnification - without the pixellation, of course.

What it does show up, more clearly than a normal viewing angle I think, is the way we have used different shades and textures of scenic material to represent the vegetation - from the mowed lawn of the farm garden, to the grazed fields around the barn to the long, tufty grass elsewhere.

I reckon it looks very effective - what do you think?

Monday, 13 February 2017

Stick With It

This is a model railway blog, so readers don't generally come here expecting investment tip offs - but if they did I would advise them to buy shares in firms which manufacture cocktail sticks.

Yes, Himself is still hard at work on fencing, and as you can see there's still a lot of layout to go - we've only just reached the top points.

If you will indulge me in a little immodesty, I can't help remarking that this almost eye level view looks damned good!

All it needs is a Garratt descending into view with a train to complete the scene.

You can also see how there is a notable change in the gradient as the trains depart the station heading north.

We quite often find that when an item of rolling stock is brand new - when there is the least resistance in the axle cups and when the couplings have not been adjusted quite right - that we can have breakaways further up the layout and the vehicles which have broken free roll quite happily all the way down into the station.

The model HMRI would have a kittens!

Saturday, 11 February 2017


There's been a two week break in the barn build on account of me having to run off another batch of wagon kit castings for sale on the Narrow Planet webshop.

With those done I was able to put in an hour's work the other night and I had a go at fitting some rafters and battens on the front section of the building.

The rear is to have a dilapidated covering of slates which I think I shall represent by using strips very thin card, sliced to mark the individual slates - a number of which will be slipped or missing entirely.