Saturday, 24 September 2016

Fencing Repairs

One of the many little jobs on Himself's 'To Do' list is to fix some of the small instances of damage to the layouts during their cross-border migration and the time in storage last winter.

A corner which suffered was the fencing around Bron Hebog level crossing which is being replaced.


He makes up the fences using styrene strip sections of various sizes - the main horizontal bars are 20 x 60 thou for example.

These days the safety regulations demand that a veritable maze of fences are erected around a level crossing - and there are no shortage of them on the big S bend out of Beddgelert - and so we find ourselves getting through a lot of styrene.

And with the stuff retailing at nearly a 40p per foot these days the price is probably to scale too!

Thursday, 22 September 2016

More B's

There are usually part-built and untouched kits lying around in a drawer in a modeller's home and Himself is no different.

A couple of years ago I cast him a job lot of B wagon kits and there are still some he hasn't got around to making up.

So he's decided to get on with one of those to kick-start the autumn modelling season.


This one, he tells me,  is number 1125, and I am not in a position to argue.

My encyclopedic knowledge extends only to carriages, not the finer details of wagons.

To me they're all sort of reddish-brown utility vehicles and I've never studied them enough to tell one from the other.

Himself has paid a little more attention, however, and I believe he has altered the position of the vacuum reservoir on this one and I can see the the handrail at the top right is the opposite way round to normal.

I can only assume this is correct for this wagon, and I know there are some of you reading the blog who'll be happy to correct me should I be proven wrong.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Wiggle Room

No it's not a radical new design of carriage - although it's an interesting idea - it is in fact the chassis of our latest Superbarn 117 on test.


The purpose of the test run is because we've discovered that these carriages, fitted with my own design of proper-sized FR bogies, do not have sufficient swing to traverse the tightest curves on Dduallt.

Previously, when we have run superbarns on the layout, they have all been fitted with Parkside Dundas Vale of Rheidol bogies dressed up to look (not a lot) like FR carriage bogies.

Although the new FR bogies were fitted to carriage 119 it had only run on Bron Hebog, where the geometry of the curves is more generous.

The root of the problem is the way the frames are inset below the doors at either end - a consequence of the designer attempting to squeeze the absolute maximum amount of carriage into a loading gauge designed for horses and slate waggons!

Himself has been hacking away at the underneath of the chassis to give the bogies a little more wiggle room.

He sent me this picture, but now I think about it I realise that he didn't actually say whether or not it was a success....

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Fully Furnished

After two weeks making masters, moulds and then castings I've finally assembled all the seats and tables to make up the interior of new Observation Car 150.


I'm pleased with the way the tables have come out which is going to be a lot more elegant than the previous way of doing it with a big supporting pillar in the centre.

Before I can fit in the carriage I'll have to make up the rear bulkhead and the shaped screens which divide the observation saloon from the armchair section behind.

And to do that I'll need to very carefully remove Himself's curved glazing without scratching it. Eek.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Creaming It

A pleasant moment last weekend in Wales was seeing confirmation of another aspect of our models which we have, somewhat accidentally, got right.

Over time the ivory colour on our carriages darkens to a distinctly creamly complexion.

Looking over at one of the sets of WHR carriage stabled at Harbour station we noticed something similar happens to the real ones.


I would assume the carriage in the middle of the picture has passed through the paint shop more recently that those on either side of it which will account for its much lighter shade.

(So I hope no insider comes on here and shatters my illusions by informing me that they've changed the paint.)

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Table For Two

Such is my dedication to accuracy that I drove more than 350 miles at the weekend to the 'top left hand corner' to confirm some details about the interior of 150.


Don't feel too sorry for me, though, because some of this 'research' was conducted while quizzing (they may say interrorgating!) the carriage builders over a pint or two in the pub.

My main query was about how many tables are in the observation section of 150.

(It was a good job I checked too, because my initial information was wrong!)

With that all confirmed I've been able to have a go at making a master for the main saloon tables.

I'm doing these a little differently and will attempt to cast them in one piece.

The usual superbarn tables I make have a vertical pillar to support the table top along its centre.

For 150, though, I thought I would try to be a little more prototypical.

Although the real ones are fixed to the side of the carriage - not self-supporting like mine - at least there will not be a bloody great pillar to see.


In fact, this is how the smaller free standing tables in the front saloon are made, although I can't promise mine will be as fancy.


There are only two of these - which is part of what I needed to check - but the question is whether I cast them or just make both from scratch?

Monday, 12 September 2016

Best Seats In The House

Half a dozen lucky passengers get to sit in comfort at the business end of 150.


I've made these like I did the armchairs in the main saloon as a mix of castings and bits of styrene glued on to complete them.

The main 'bucket' section of the seat is one casting and the other is the square base and four legs.

The base has proved to be a very awkward piece to cast reliably. It is the devil's own job to make sure that there are no air bubbles trapped in the legs which are just short sections of 1mm square strip.

Even the smallest bubble fatally weakens them and on half of the seats I've had to graft on styrene replacements.

Anyway, that's good progress on the interior with all the seats made.

Now just the tables to go before I begin gluing these bits into position.