Friday, 30 January 2015

Pecket Painted

It's just over a year since I posted a photo of our Peckett 'Harrogate' in its first coat of green paint and it's only now that we've managed to get it finished, but, hey, that's railway modelling for you.

So here it is varnished and with its Statfold Barn Railway initials in place on the tank.

Like 138 it is also awaiting a set of plates to complete it.

Alas its appearances on Bron Hebog will still have to be filed under modellers' licence because currently it has ventured no further south on the WHR than Waunfawr, but it's a nice wee engine so we're going to run it anyway!

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Lined Up

This is what I've been waiting to see - 138 all lined out!

Obviously it's not on its wheels yet, but Himself has now completed the painting process with a coat of varnish and all it needs now is a set of works plates which are on order from Narrow Planet.

The rim of the chimney has had some minor surgery after an eagle-eyed reader noticed that we had plonked on the original Beyer-Peacock version which comes with the kit, not realising that 138 and 143 currently sport a different one.

Thanks to one of my squad of F&WHR informers we were able to get comparison measurements and photographs taken of the chimneys on the real 87 and 138 which confirmed to us that we would be able to adapt the casting on the locomotive.

I think in this red livery it's going to look really striking when it's doing the business on Bron Hebog.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Tongue Tied

I've been building a trio of SAR wagons for a client who wanted them ready to run complete with couplings.

On his layout he's fitting all his stock with the new coupling PECO has developed for its L&B coaches and wagons which are designed to locate in a NEM pocket.

The task for me was to work out how to fit them to my resin wagons / brass bogies and get them set at the correct height.

My bogie design has a brass tongue which extends from the stretcher and, on our rolling stock, this is where we solder on the long shaft of the brass, fold-up Greenwich couplings which we are now fitting as standard on Bron Hebog.

It works well too with the old Bemo couplings which have a long plastic shaft which can be glued on.

The PECO ones, however, have a very short shaft because they're designed to clip into the pockets and a test run gluing one of them onto the end of the brass tongue on my bogies showed it was a whisker too short and there wasn't quite enough clearance for the coupling loop to rise as high as I'd like.

So what I've decided to do is solder a small extension onto the tongue using some offcuts from old brass frets - yet again proving the value of being canny about what you throw away.

My customer also sent me a PECO RTR wagon to enable me to set the coupling heights properly.

As lucky would have it the brass tongue is in almost exactly the right position and can be easily bent up or down a bit as required.

And here is is with one of the B wagons sitting on its bogies.

There's nothing like the satisfaction of a successful adaptation.

Saturday, 24 January 2015


I haven't got very far with my project to model the new WHR water tank wagon but I have obtained the single largest component part, and on the most favourable terms too!

The diameter of the tank scales down at 22mm which, rather fortuitously, is a common size of plastic household plumbing pipe.

I'm only going to need around 10cm worth of it, however, so those of you who share my tightfisted tendencies will readily understand why I was reluctant to go out and invest in a metre length of pipe (or more) when I only required a fraction of it.

This is where the benefit of living in a relatively isolated small town played into my hands.

We are fortunate to still have an independent DIY shop and I figured there was a chance I could talk the proprietor into selling me a six inch length of pipe.

In fact, such is his acute appreciation of customer service and the value of repeat business, not only did he cut me a small length he told me I could have it for free.

So I am more than happy to use the pages of this blog to say that if you ever find yourself in Largs and are in need of any miscellaneous hardware do not hesitate to call on Peter Valerio and his staff in their little Aladdin's Cave in Stanlane Place.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Happy Endings

In my naivety I used to think that making another 11 and 12 set would be a 'quick fill-in project' whereas in fact they're requiring as much time and effort as any other FR or WHR carriage.

Putting the beading detail on the two ends of 11, for instance, has taken up a couple of evenings in the last week.

At the observation end the challenge is to make sure everything is symmetrical and that the vertical bars in the middle are indeed truly central.

On the brake end it is the two narrow windows on either side which have had time lavished on them, in particular the rounded corners at the top.

As I have described in more detail in the carriage building How To section on the blog the technique I was taught is to glue small triangles into the corners and then attack them with a round needle file.

On these old FR brake vans I've had to go through the process three times.

Once when fabricating the basic outline piece.  Then again when the second beading layer is added on top.

Finally the window droplight, which I bond on behind, also has rounded corners at the top  - damnit.

As I don't have any decent pictures showing the top of these droplights I did, at the eleventh hour, contact one of my FR sources in the vain hope that they would come back and tell me that all four corners of the droplights are square - like on any normal carriage! - but alas they didn't.

Hey ho, out with the file again!

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Single Yellow Lines

Some very painstaking work has been going on with the lining out of 138.

After many hours work - and the simultaneous wearing of many pairs of glasses, no doubt - the rear bunker is more or less ready.

For the fine lines around the edge we're using the smallest size of lining produced by Fox Transfers in that colour,  just 0.35mm thick.

These are waterslide and come in straight lengths and a ranger of corner radii.

More worthy of note is the WHR lettering.

We were unable to find any ready made transfers with the correct shading so Himself has had to achieve the effect by offsetting a yellow transfer above a black one and the result is very effective indeed.

The front water should be rather more straightforward and then there's the very fiddly lining complete around the cab.

It's going to look fabulous when it's finished.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Ducking The Issue

Little by little I've been adding the second layer of beading to the first of our new 'Garraway Twins' carriage 11.

If you're familiar with the carriage, though, you'll immediately notice something missing - the duckets at the side of the guard's compartment.

These are slightly tricky to make in styrene because you've got to get the plastic to hold the tight bend and the top and you also need to make sure you get a matching curve / slope on both sides of the carriage.

In fact when you factor in carriage 12 I also have to make four of them and get them all looking the same.

I did it before, of course, with my red liveried pair, but this time I thought instead I would make one master and cast the four I need from that.

I just haven't summoned up the motivation to make the master yet, that's all....