Friday, 24 October 2014

Rusty Rails - Clean Conscience

When Bron Hebog, and before it Dduallt, are described in exhibition programmes or magazine articles they are usually referred to as being built by Father & Son.

The hard truth, however, is that there's not a lot of 'son' about the building of the layouts.

Yes, I do my share of making the rolling stock, building the buildings and waffling on this blog, but I cannot remember ever lifting so much of a finger to assist with the construction of the baseboards or the track and scenery on them.

So last week when I spent a half term holiday with the family chez Himself I felt an overwhelming urge to put that right.

And so I spent a happy hour or so painting the sides of the rails rusty on the first part of the S-bend.

It wasn't a particularly skilful or taxing contribution to the construction effort however it does have a disproportionately positive impact on the overall look of the layout.

If you've never done it painting the rail webs is one of the easiest thing you can do make your model railway look better.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Gate Post

Himself is being kept busy with more of the fine detailing work which still requires completing on the layout.

There must be at least a scale mile of fencing needing to be put in and still some occupational crossing to be equipped with gates.

This one is on the first curve out of Beddgelert station and the four gates were made up from 1mm wide styrene strips.

Modelling a real location means you're very unlikely to be able to get away with using ready made farm gates that you could buy in your local model shop, but the effort of building your own is rewarded when you see the finished effect.

This is another crossing, to the south of the station and very close to the starting point of the layout which has now been painted.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Seeing Double

I'll make no excuses for posting some more pictures of my 2nd model of the KMX tamper.

Building the first one was enough of an achievement - and I still think it's the best thing I've done yet - so I'm chuffed that the second has turned out more or less identical to it.

Before handing it over to the client in Hull in a couple of weeks time we took the opportunity to pose it on the layout with our own one.

I think they look rather good together if I say so myself. So, I'm pleased to say does my client who also keeps a blog Penlowry.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Ghost Trains

I mentioned a few days ago that Himself is hoarding a drawer-full of un-painted carriages, mostly complete but still in virgin white styrene.

(In his defence he has been rather busy building Bron Hebog so we'll let him off)

Among this fleet of ghost carriages are models of the current Barn 106, the original Barn 105 with a toilet in place of the first class compartment in the centre, and unique 1970's carriage 116 as rebuilt as a 3rd class saloon.

These models were all made a number of years ago now and knowing the FR as I do my very real fear is that the actual carriages will be rebuilt once more and altered before Himself has got these models finished.

The latest carriage in the queue for the paintshop, of course, is 2046 which had a try out on Bron Hebog to check the ride height against the other WHR carriages.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

A Lovely Couple

There are some jobs you can't do from 400 miles away and one of them is setting coupling heights.

So the new tamper match wagon I'm making has had to be transported south so it can be stood next to the KMX tamper and have the coupling fitted so it matches precisely.

With that small job done it can be dispatched back to Scotland to be finished off.

With a bit of luck and a following wind it might even be ready for the exhibition in Hull next month.

You may also notice that the rail webs on this section of the layout have now been weathered.

It makes a huge difference and Himself is slowing making his way around board by board.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Taking Stock

Taking a new layout on the road has prompted Himself to rethink the storage of our rolling stock.

We've used these very safe and sturdy bespoke wooden boxes for a number of years now with Dduallt but the order in which the carriages were laid out in the rows was becoming increasingly anachronistic.

The formation of FR carriage sets changed greatly in the years between us first showing the layout in the mid-1990's to the present day, with new carriages being built, others rebuilt and re-using the numbers - and in many cases that was all the shared with the previous one - and the order in which they were marshalled mucked about with.

All the new models we built to keep up with developments on the FR, and all the new WHR stock, was stored in an ad hoc fashion in a new set of boxes and not in any formation that related to the order they were running on the real railway.

As the years went on it was taking longer and longer to get the stock transferred from the boxes into their formations on the layout, and became a right faff when it was time to dismantle the layout at the end of the exhibition.

So this is how the boxes are laid out now.

Here's the main WHR carriage fleet...

And the main FR box...

It still contains some glaring anomalies for a 21st Century WHR layout - like the push-pull set in its two tone green livery. Yes there is enough replica building to keep me occupied for a number of years.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Match Point

With the tamper finished for my client I can, at last, get around to working on our own KMX. Or at least the match wagon which goes with it.

Making a match wagon has been a long-term ambition, as I wrote a few weeks ago.

This project is going to be a 'kit bash' and I'm using one of the OO9 Society's latest in-house kits for a generic RNAD wagon which is the basis of the real WHR wagon.

The key bits I need from the kit are the solebars and axles boxes and I'm also making use of the plank effect wagon top.

I got Himself to measure the wagon for me at Boston Lodge Works a few weeks ago so I have some proper data to work from.

Interestingly, if you're building the RNAD wagon kit you need to chop the ends of the solebars because they are over-long (they are also from a mould for another kit) but it just so happens they are the perfect length for the match wagon.

The floor, however, is too short in the kit, which made it harder to use it as intended to set the solebars the correct distance apart.

So what I've done is to cut a piece of styrene to do the job because there is plenty of clearance above the wheels.

The kit does come with two floor pieces (that legacy of its design for another kit, again) so I was able to cut a slice from the second one to make my floor to the correct length.

Now I have started to add the side extensions before setting about making the storage boxes on top.

The floor on this wagon sits much higher than the typical FR / WHR wagon so before going much further I think the next job is to compare it to some of our existing stock to work out how to mount the couplings at the correct height.