Thursday, 24 May 2018

Running Out Of Puff

Being a legendary cheapskate I decided that rather than buy a whole new can of primer just to coat the new brake van, I would try to eak out what was left in an old aerosol on the shelf in my modelling den - with predictable consequences...

Well, at least the outside is more-or-less covered - it's a thin coat but it'll do.

There wasn't any paint (or puff) left in the can to spray the inside, but I'm sure it won't matter too much in this case if I paint the top coat straight onto the styrene - it's not as if anyone's going to see much in there because the van doesn't have many windows.

As it is I've already had to set free the digital moths from my wallet by ordering online an entire bottle of BR blue paint for one wee model - I'm hardly likely to need it for anything else!

In the same manner I'm also facing the prospect of having to fork out for a whole sheet of double arrow transfers when I'm only going to need 2 of them.

My dedicated to the cause is unstinting, as you can see.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

It's All In The Detail

Himself and I spent an enjoyable afternoon at one of those typical small, local shows at the weekend - in this case the Kyle MRC event in Troon.

I hadn't expected to find much of narrow gauge interest - continental modelling is surprisingly popular here in Scotland in my experience, much more so that south of the border it seems to me - so I was delighted to find an excellent little OO9 layout called Bachdale and Dibley Level.

It's not large - in fact so may call it a 'rabbit warren' - and it's completely freelance, basically running anything which will fit inside a loading gauge which makes the original FR seem generous.

What impressed me, though, was the high standard of execution in everything to with the layout, especially in places that you can't ordinarily see into.

The engine shed is a case in point.

The interior has been modelled in exquisite detail, but you won't see any of it unless the operators are kind enough to remove the roof for you.

Among the items of rolling stock which caught my eye were these four wheel carriages.

As far as I can tell they've been made from plastic kits which are readily available, but they've been finished with a beautiful teak-effect scumble.

I clearly wasn't the only one impressed because, quite deservedly, it was voted the best layout by the visitors.

The other thing which really pleased me was to get my first proper look at one of the new Bachmann Baldwin 4-6-0 tanks.

Previously I'd only seen them in a display case so this was an opportunity to hold and examine one and see it running.

(And it was a case of only seeing it because it ran almost silently.)

The level of detail and finish is extraordinary - like nothing that's ever been seen in 009 ready-to-run before.

Bachmann haven't just raised the bar, they've shot it into orbit!

It's only increased my excitement for receiving the 590 version which we have on order, and I can't wait to see what sort of job they do on the Quarry Hunslet tanks.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Van Rails

I've been adding the final details to the WHHR ex-VoR brake van, such as the couplings, air brake pipes and grab rails.

The holes have also been drilled for the T door handles and the glazing cut to size.

The next stage, I suppose is to prime it.

Friday, 18 May 2018

Hitting The Road Again

It's still two weeks until Narrow Gauge East at Bressingham but Himself is already getting things organised and Bron Hebog has been packed up ready for the long journey to Norfolk.

The main reason for getting so far ahead of the game is that the stacking arrangements have had to be revised since it last went out.

The boards are paired up, face to face.

In the last could of years, however, we've done a lot more scenic work, in particular planting trees.

Trees have an awkard tendency to raise the height of the scenery and so some of the bracing pieces have had to be adjusted to take account of this, making some of the units slighty wider.

What we won't know for another fortnight is whether we've gone our back of the envelope calculations correctly so that it still fits in the same size of hired van it always used to fit into......

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

More Bling

On Monday I showed you the finished 'blinged up' bowsider number 19 - but work continues on our other Victorian extravagance, number 15.

Himself has finished applying the gold lining - and my goodness isn't there a lot of it! - to one side, and he's also added the FR crest and monograms.

(These may be slightly overscale, but who's measuring?)

He's also intending to try and fit a tiny number 15 inside the middle of the crest!

One end of the ends he's started to apply the white lines around the panelling.

Again, this is not strictly prototypical because there should be two incredibly thin lines either side of the beading, whereas the solution we've got for here is one single line on top of the beading,

But quite frankly, this is so damned small and fiddly to do that I think it's remarkable enough that there's anything there at all, don't you agree?

Monday, 14 May 2018


Our new model of bowsider 19 is ready to join the fleet.

The carriage has been given a coat of varnish - which has come out a little on the matt side, but never mind - and put together with its glazing and the final details added like the door handles, which Himself made from scratch from very fine brass wire.

I think the lining looks absolutely stunning, especially the stuff along the frame at the bottom.

It's going to look great running in a small Victorian set along with the curly roof van, 15 (which is coming along nicely - more on that soon) and the first class Ashbury 4-wheeler.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

I Love It When A Van Comes Together

I was able to enjoy the best bit of a model build last night when I glued all the basic parts together and you get your first impression of how the finished thing's going to look.

The plan to graft a new body on top of the 'frames' of the Dundas kit for the VoR brake van seems to have worked out well, and I've clearly been able to accurately replicate the dimensions of the original kit because the roof still fits on perfectly and when you offer up the redundant sections of body side (which I sliced off) they match the new ones.

I've made a couple of adaptations to improve it's longevity and performance.

Just as with my scratch built carriages I've installed a flat false roof at the top of the body shell to try to ensure that they don't bow inwards over time.

On the chassis, before I glued the parts together, I drilled out the axle boxes and fitted brass bearing cups.

Experience teaches us that pin point axles running in plastic axle boxes is a recipe for wheelsets working loose, and eventually dropping out.