Saturday, 3 October 2015

End Of The Marathon

At last the marathon casting session is at an end!

All the bits for 24 wagon kits are done.

I left the trickiest ones - the ballast wagons - til last, now that I am properly back in the flow of casting.

All that remains now is to finish trimming, secure them in the packaging and post them to Porthmadog, hopefully early next week.

Then I can start making models for myself again.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Triple Whammy

Three things are conspiring to restrict the amount of construction content I'm able to post on the blog currently.

I'm still working through a large order of kits for the FR shop - yes, still! 3/4 done now, by the way.

While that's tying up my time Himself has not had anything to contribute. In fact he's going to be out of action for a few more weeks.

And lastly my elderly laptop has expired and there's only so much copy you can type with one thumb on a smartphone before it becomes terminally tedious.

So here's another snippet of video to keep you entertained in the meantime.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Funkey Freight

I had another very busy weekend at the workbench casting yet more kits to be sold in the FR shop. (Halfway through now - yay!)

It was rather more productive too.

In contrast to the B Wagons which were a little troublesome with an irritatingly high number of mis-casts the bits for the batch of DZ wagons came out almost faultlessly with hardly any wastage.

I doubt, however, that you'd be interested in seeing another picture of dozens of resin casstings curing on my desk, so instead here's another wee bit of video from the layout.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

A Little Bit Of Lyd

It's been a quiet week on the modelling front - other than wall to wall resin casting.

(Around a third of the wagon kits for the FR shop have now been cast, you'll be pleased to know, so there is hope that I may soon be able to return to more interesting topics on the blog)

In the meantime I hope I can amuse you with a short piece of video I filmed on the layout at Super Power a fortnight ago.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Out Of Practice

A fresh consignment of resin has arrived so I've begun work on this big order for the FR shop,  but it's not going as smoothly as you might imagine.

When it comes to casting you need to be in the grove and after a number of months away from it it's been a but hit and miss so far.

It's taken me 2 days (or at least the bit of the day I have available) to cast the buts for 3 B wagons with a 1/3 wastage rate so far.

I've had all the usual niggles: casts that don't set right because I misjudged the 50:50 mix, air bubbles in awkward doors that can't really be filled and times when the cover had lifted so half of it goes missing.

The autumn climate (and my stubborn refusal to put the heating on yet mean I've also had one that went all bubbly, necessitating the use of a dehumidifier.

We'll get there in the end though.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Winter Work Programme

The pace has slowed a little after our return from Dinas and the flurry of activity in the weeks leading up to it.

Himself will be taking an extended break from modelling and right now I've got my commercial hat on to meet an order for more SAR wagon kits to restock the FR shop.

I have decided to make a strategic reinvestment and have cast a fresh set of moulds for all the components of the four kits, expect the main chassis pieces which get 50% less use.

These are just a small selection with the rubber curing in the moulding boxes...

Casting a couple of dozen kits is going to keep me busy for a couple of weeks.

There's the Cwm Cloch farmhouse to finish as well

Then I'm going to push the boat out - and break my biggest golden rule - and cast another couple of MkII Super Barn carriage bodies.

Photo courtesy of FR
That's carriage 117 which is fast approaching completion at Boston Lodge and work on a replacement 118 is already underway.

The insiders who whisper information into my ears are utterly insistent that these two carriages will be identical - note the word, identical - to 119 which was rolled out last year.

When I made a model of that last year you'll remember I very optimistically made styrene masters and cast the body sides in the hope that I would be able to use them for the following carriages.

The moment of truth is nearly here and if I should subsequently discover any significant difference between the three carriages.......

Following on from those, and something that I'm really going to have to be in the mood for, is the fancy new Observation Carriage 150.

It was on display in the bay platform at Dinas during Super Power: Great & Small II so I had a good chance to poke around it and take lots of research pictures.

I've got a fair idea how I'm going to go about making it.

That's my mid-winter project I reckon.

And finally, more houses...

After the carriages I shall crack on with the end row of properties in Oberon Wood.

As you can see they are as idiosyncratic as the rest,

Lucky me!

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Take A Trip

During the show at Dinas last weekend we were able to update our Driver's Eye View videos of the layout.

Last time we tried this exercise was two years ago at Super Power when the layout was only half-complete with track running as far as Cwm Cloch Crossing.

 The videos are shot using a nifty little miniature camera belonging to one of our operators, and Dinas shed fitter Huw, mounted on a 4-wheel flat wagon and propelled along by one of our locomotives.

You want to ensure that you'll get a nice, smooth run with no jerking or hesitation so we rostered one of our NGG16's for the job.

We also had the unprecedented opportunity to repeat the exercise on Dduallt.

Please also take a look at the Layout Videos page on the blog where you'll find a wonderful 14 minute film of Bron Hebog in action last weekend.