Sunday, 1 March 2015

Ready To Spray

I've been sent some pictures of carriage 2046 for final approval before it receives a coat of varnish.

Looks pretty good to me. Another neat and careful job by Himself.

These pictures really show off the WHR crests we had produced for us by Precision Decals, they certainly finish off the models beautifully.

2046 will be running in the carriage sets when we take the layout out next month to the Crawley show (which is in Fareham, actually).

All the details are on the exhibition page so come along and see us!

Oh, and Happy St David's Day to our Welsh readers too.

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant hapus

Friday, 27 February 2015

New Bogies On Test

We've been trying out the prototype FR bogie I made up a couple of weeks ago.

Himself has attached couplings and given the pair a coat of black paint and installed them under our new model of 116 to see how they look.

As I expected they need quite a bit of packing to get the ride height the same as with the plastic bogies we've been using, although it varies from carriage to carriage.

(It seems I'm no more consistent than Boston Lodge in the way I build them!)

It doesn't necessarily show on the model, because only the bottom half of the bogie is usually visible on FR carriages, but if we're going to try to fit these as replacements throughout the fleet then it could have consequences if the old pivot bolts are not long enough.

So I've decided to get a Mark II etch designed which will have the stretcher beam 1.5mm higher which should reduce the need to for packing.

It will mean going through the process of making another master for the resin cast of the axle box and suspension details but it'll be worth it to get it right.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

More Carriage Painting

We still have one more WHR carriage yet to enter service and it is the latest one, 2046.

I scratch built this model out of styrene and now Himself is busy painting it.

2046 is very different visually from the other WHR carriages with its big, wide windows with the thin, sliding toplights above.

Now that the FR has its revised Super Barn 119, has joined it on the railway then there is a little more of a family appearance developing, but it still takes a little getting used to to my eyes.

Himself has added a little extra detail which I hadn't thought of - he's fixed some handrail knobs onto the seat backs to represent the brass knobs on the real carriage.

With luck 2046 will be ready in time for the Crawley show in April so we have have our WHR carriage rakes up to full strength for the first time.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Primed Planet

Our replacement Conway Castle is coming on a treat and has been given a coat of primer ready for painting.

This one, you'll recall, is being built because our original engine - our very first OO9 model, in fact - sports the orange / black / grey so called 'Bertie Basset' livery of the 1980's and so is totally inappropriate to use on Bron Hebog to represent this workhorse of the WHR reconstruction and Dinas yard factotum.

There are also a few detail changes on the body such as the proper cab doors and the square cornered windows and some air filters which sprouted on the bonnet in the intervening years.

Conway Castle II is again built from a Chivers white metal kit running on an Ibertren chassis, but it has received an organ transplant in the shape of a Mashima motor donated from our original model of Blanche which was forced into retirement when its outside frame motion self-destructed at an exhibition with Dduallt a number of years ago.

The motor was still a good 'un though, and Himself tells me this 'Conk Out' runs very sweetly.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Only 8 Years Late

We now have a full set of 3 13m saloons after Himself finished off painting and assembling 2044 and 2045.

This means we've almost caught up with the real WHR in the size of our carriage fleet - our model of 2046 is in the process of being painted right now.

On the real railway three carriages were built in 2007 and our models of them spent quite a few years stored unpainted in a drawer while Himself - quite rightly - concentrated his efforts on getting Bron Hebog built.

In fact, to be pedantic, we have more carriages than the WHR because we have models of the original semi-open 2020 and the service car 2011 which it was rebuilt into.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

138 Ready For Action

Our third NGG16 is finally ready to enter service.

Himself tells me it took him most of a day's work to reassemble the locomotive after it had been split up to allow painting, with lots of fiddly jobs like reattaching pony wheels and soldering on the wires which connect the two power units and ensure even smoother running.

All 138 needs now is its number and works plates which are being etched for us by Narrow Planet.

As you can see from these pictures of it posed on the Cemetery Crossing segment of Bron Hebog it's going to look really striking at the head of a full-length WHR train at exhibitions.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Oberon Wood - Phase 3

Every so often the Artistic Director surprises you with an unexpected surge in productivity.

So imagine my delight when an envelope arrived through the letterbox at the weekend containing exquisite plans for another 3 houses to make up the Oberon Wood scene.

These drawings are a true work of art and I am being careful to file all of them away after the models are built because they will make a wonderful archive collection.

To my mind they are to 009 modelling what the hand-drawn Wainwright books are to hillwalking.

I may be exaggerating slightly but I'm sure you get the point I'm making that they are beautiful things in their own right aside from their intended utility.

Yet again all three buildings are hideously complicated with nooks, crannies and split levels and it will be challenging to turn these 2d images into 3d models.

These three will complete the row of houses backing onto the cutting into Goat Tunnel and Himself has ordered that their construction be prioritised!