Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Doorbells And Sleigh Bells

And so to the pride of our FR fleet.


Our model of Merddin Emrys was the first of three Backwoods Double Fairlies built by Himself.


If it looks a little different it's because we finished ours to look like it was in 1988 when it first emerged from its Victorian rebuild with oil tanks and less bling about it than it has theses days.


What a beauty it is with those lovely big Fairlie wheels.

It wasn't Pete's first 009 kit but I regard it as the one which changed the rules on what was possible in this scale.

I hope that one day a manufacturer will take the obvious step of producing an RTR Fairlie, I'm certain it would be a big hit.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Crisp Apple Strudels

Or perhaps gooey goulash, in this case, because this wagon has Romanian roots.


It was built for the WHR push to Porthmadog to supplement the SAR ballast wagons, and it's party piece is to spread the stones in all sorts of directions rather than just to the side of the track.


It was a hideously complicated shape to make out of styrene and I'm really chuffed with it, including all the brass bits I shaped and soldered for it.


There's no way I could have taken it on without a very kind insider taking pity on me and giving me a copy of the plans and lots of photos of it under construction.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Cream Coloured Ponies

Since I began modelling the FR I've always been drawn to the quirky items of rolling stock, and they don't come quirkier than the Parry People Mover.


This complete technological flop - sorry, but it was in Welsh Highland terms - never made it beyond Dinas before it left the railway.

(In fact it barely made it to Dinas at all without frequent stops to spin up the flywheel.)

So running it on Bron Hebog is a classic case of Rule Number 1.


However, I justify it on the basis that if it stayed on the railway long enough - and if it somehow managed to limp to Pitt's Head - it would certainly be able to freewheel quite happily all the way down to the sea again.


It runs on a Kato 4 wheel chassis with a body I made out of styrene.

I think it has something of the spirit of the BR / Leyland prototype railbus, which morphed into the Pacers, about it.

As a kid in the 80s I remember thinking that machine was pretty cool.

Alas, the PPM looks unlikely to lead to a railcar revolution on the WHR.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Warm Woollen Mittens

It's totally unprototypical to be sitting in the siding at Beddgelert, for lots of reasons, but this model of one of the FR's former oil tank wagons counts as one of my favourite things.


The model was a challenge to make because I had to kit-bash a plastic kit for a vintage road tanker - from Cooper Craft if I remember rightly - to get the distinctive oval shape, and then scratch build quite a complicated chassis.


The bogies are also home made being a very unusual Polish design which the FR acquired a number of once, and for which I could find nothing similar on any N gauge wagon or carriage.


It also makes very creative use of waterslide transfers to represent the livery carried by this vital, yet unsung, fleet of waggons which have now passed into history.

Can you see how the word oil is made to look like a loco?



Monday, 9 July 2018

Bright Copper Kettles

I suppose, by rights, it should be steam engines we're featuring today, but I'm posting these photographs in the order I took them so you've got a pair of diesels instead.


Both of our Funkey locomotives are made from Worsley Works kits sitting on Farish class 90 chassis, but we've added quite a few extra details to improve them.


Most obviously, we've added false pieces on the chassis block to create the effect of the very tall bogies on these engines.

Himself has also cut back the front of the roof on the Vale of Ffestiniog, which is too long as supplied, and they both have some headlight jewels, handrails and extra bits like horns on the bonnet.


Our Caernarfon Castle is currently confined to light traffic, suffering from some transmission issues.

How prototypical!

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Whiskers On Kittens

I can't pretend that the Rodgers and Hammerstein lyrics bear any relation to the models in these posts, so please don't waste any of your time looking for hidden meanings.

This time I thought I would feature our Cinderella Garratt, K1.


For the locomotive which was supposed to be the icon of the WHR reconstruction - the WHR's Double Fairlie - it's remarkable how low a profile it had once it returned to steam.

I suppose that's the WHR for you - commercial to its wheel flanges - and K1 just couldn't handle the loadings the railway requires.

I hope we will see it steam again, though.


This is a Backwoods Miniatures kit, and until the latest vintage carriages came along, with all their gold leaf, I thought it was Himself's ultimate lining job.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Raindrops On Roses

Recently there have been comments that there are not enough pictures of our collection of rolling stock on this blog.

(In fact, for those who care to look, there is a link to archived Model Of The Week posts from a few years back which feature a lot of what we have in our stock boxes.)

However, I thought I would take advantage of a fortnight's enforced separation from the modelling bench to show you a few of my favourite things.

(Have you cottoned onto the title now?)

For me, the most satisfying models are always the ones you've scratch built, because you have the double challenge of working out how to do it and then actually doing it.

It also means you can own unique and obscure models like our version of the FR Cherry Picker wagon.


The bucket at the end of the boom was really difficult to form out of styrene - and it was even more difficult to get it to keep its shape - so I have no hesitation in choosing it as my first favourite thing.