Friday, 21 September 2018

Super Duper Barn

I did get some modelling done in the days before we left for Wales, in fact there was quite a burst of activity on my latest superbarn 120.

In the last post about the carriage I had just begun the process of cleaning the flash from the windows, and I managed to get that completed, made up the corridor connections out of styrene (a fiddly job I'm not fond of) and glued them together into a basic bodyshell.

Once that's done, and in order to protect the rather fragile superglue-on-resin joints, I try to make up the floor and false roof so that they can help to keep the carriage square and stop it flexing about too much.

Incidentally, while I was in Wales for Superpower I learnt a new nickname for these carriages which amused me.

The first three were designed with regular droplight windows in the middle of each bay of seats, in line with the tables.

They became known as 'Super Barns' in a nod to the original series of Centenary carriages build in the 1960s.

The most recent four carriages have been revised with much larger windows with hopper windows set into the toplights, which a friend referred to as 'Super-Duper Barns'

I rather like that.

The official name for them, I should point out, is Super Saloons - but I've never heard anyone call them that in conversation and I'm not about to start here.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Rebel Without A Tender

Even though we've worked for 20 years to create a layout of very ambitious scale, one which is also as accurate as we can make it, we're not above having a little fun with what we run on Bron Hebog at exhibitions.

We've always quite enjoyed making a cheeky reference to the politics of the railway or happenings, such as the model of the crashed car at Bron Hebog crossing which - as I expected - was a talking point at weekend among those 'in the know' who came to look at the layout.

Another irresistible target was the appearance of the replica Lynton and Barnstaple Baldwin Lyn at the Superpower event, which was appearing on the Welsh Highland for the weekend under the strict understanding that it would never been seen near the FR's resident Manning Wardle Lyd.

(That moment is to happen for the first time in Devon.)

With Himself having burned some midnight oil to get our new Backwoods Lyn to the stage where it can run the temptation was too great...

The model itself is still requires a lot of running in, producing a rather dramatic squeal if given too much juice, and it still has a rather pronounced waddle at this stage, but it managed to put in a few laps of the layout, some of which were caught on camera.

The real loco was only running top and tail with Taliesin between Caernarfon and Waunfawr, and we had the chance to take a ride behind it courtesy of the free Rover tickets which the railway provided for all exhibitors.

Ours ventured a little further south to Beddgelert.

We will, of course, post updates as construction is completed.

Monday, 17 September 2018

Delightful Dinas

We've returned from a terrific three days showing Bron Hebog at its second home - the goods shed at Dinas Station - during WHR Superpower 2018.

It was great to see so many familiar faces and also get to meet a number of fellow modellers who we've only ever had contact with in the virtual world until now - a couple of them even brought along some special guest locomotives which had a cheeky run around the layout.

There'll be more to tell you about in the coming days but for new here are some extended video highlights for those of you who weren't able to come along, and to enjoy again for those who did.

Thanks again to our friends on the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway for inviting us along and looking after us so well over the weekend.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Ready To Go

Bron Hebog is all packed up and ready to head 'home' to the top left hand corner of Wales this weekend.

The layout is supposed to be up and running in Dinas goods shed from lunchtime tomorrow (Friday) which means we're going to have to hit the road early in the morning for the 350 mile journey.

We're talking radio breakfast newsreader early, so it's a good job I'm used to it.

We're both very much looking forward to it.

Will we see you there?

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Ashes To Ashes

The new BZ wagons will be ready to make their appearance on Bron Hebog this weekend.

Himself has been busy over the last few days painting and lettering them.

The lettering incurred some unfortunate, unforeseen expenditure.

You may not have considered it before - I know I hadn't - but on most sheets of lettering you don't get equal numbers of letters, and certainly not many Z's.

Which is a bit of a hinderance when each of these wagons requires at least 4 of them.

Thanks to the modern marvel of internet shopping Himself was able to get in fresh supplies in time to get the wagons ready for the show at Dinas.

They've also been filled with a removable load of locomotive ash, which is how they were being used when we photographed them at Boston Lodge last year, and this is quite often tripped along the WHR to be spread at various locations so they at least have a prototypical purpose for appearing on the layout.

Sunday, 9 September 2018

The Third Baldwin

I mentioned in passing on here a few weeks ago that we have a new locomotive project - a Backwoods kit for the Lynton and Barnstaple Baldwin Lyn.

The real sized replica will be running on the Welsh Highland next weekend so I guess that provided some inspiration for Himself to dig it out of the box and see what it was all about.

This model is unusual for us because it comes part-assembled.

It came into our possession as a quid pro quo from a good friend of the layout in return for Himself taking on some advanced troubleshooting on a couple of other locomotives.

Now, with second-hand Backwoods kits the best advice is caveat emptor and it's very much the case here.

(Apologies, this post keeps drifting off into Latin.)

Himself tells me that the person who'd started the kit had broken the golden rule of following the instructions to the letter.

In this case they'd jumped ahead a few stages in putting the frames together meaning it was now impossible to insert the wheels, and their associated compensation mechanism.

Fortunately it was not so far advanced as to prevent him unsoldering parts and reconstructing it as it was designed to be put together.

Himself tells me he regards all this as a very good warm up exercise for taking on one of the new Garratt kits we obtained in the summer, which I anticipate will become his main winter project.

Friday, 7 September 2018

Hole In the Wall

A challenge for all layouts which have a distinct scenic area and a fiddle yard is how to make the break between the two.

Typically this is done with an overbridge or a tunnel.

In this respect Bron Hebog is quite unusual because we have our tunnel in the middle of the layout and you get to see both ends.

What we don't have is an obvious scenic break at either the Portmadog or the Rhyd Ddu end of the layout.

I suppose at the southern end we could have employed the Bryn Y Felin road bridge but that would have been stretching things a bit.

So instead we just have the line disappearing into the trees - just as we do at the upper end as well.

The difficulty we had was that the entrance to the fiddle yard was just too much of an obvious mouse hole, so we've tried to disguise it with a few carefully placed trees, although we can't have too many otherwise there's a danger that the board will no longer mate with its opposite number for storage and transport.

There's always a compromise in this game.