Thursday, 1 December 2016

String 'Em Up

Himself has been carrying on with the fence installation around the S bend, all the while muttering that he takes pity on the contractors who had to do it for real all the way down from Rhyd Ddu to Porthmadog on Phase 4.

You'll notice that due to the location of the board joint the fence line on the upper side of the line, in the middle of the picture, will have to be broken with a stand-alone section on the other board.

As you can imagine these fence posts are going to be very vulnerable to knocks when putting and taking down the layout, or even shifting the boards around in storage.

So Himself has cunningly strengthened the ends ones by securing them in position up against a length of piano wire. (He never throws useful things away even when retired!)

What's not so smart is that he's also realised that when the fence line marches up over the high edges of Cutting Mawr the board will most likely no longer fit in the face-to-face storage racks.

So fine were the tolerances that those couple of centimetres will make all the difference.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Back To The Floor

After taking the best part of a fortnight to cast another batch of wagon kits to resupply our friends at Narrow Planet I've been able to resume work on 125.

Unfortunately, for the purposes of this blog, what I've been doing is not visually spectacular.

Firstly, I have drilled the holes for the bogie locating bolts.

This doesn't sound like the pinnacle of railway modelling achievement, I appreciate, but you must see this in the context of the humiliating experience of discovering that on my last carriage (Observation car 150) I managed to drill them off-centre to the extent that it fouled the walls of the cutting under the bridge on Dduallt.

So this time I did this routine task very carefully indeed!

I have also added on the skirt which represents the very prominent frame that the Superbarns are built on.

This one is more complex than the others because it includes the cut in on the clock side for the staff  access doorway and an alternation on the engine side to allow for the doors on the generator compartment.

This is the most boring bit of carriage building - it will get more interesting, I promise.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

122 Upgrade

Fitting proper-sized modern FR bogies to all the modern carriages is going to be a long-term project, but Himself has begun with one of the carriages that shows them off to advantage - Stefco's one-off 122.

These are the bogies we make up with brass frames etched by Narrow Planet, fitted with 'top hat' bearings which then have resin castings with the axle box and suspension detail fixed on top.

So far we have them fitted beneath all the Superbarns, the rebuild of prototype 116 and a couple of the most recent Barns I've made to replace to older models.

Quite a way to go then...

Friday, 25 November 2016

Fence Line Advances

Himself is going through a spell of multi-tasking.

As well as painting the Observation Car 150 and upgrading the bogies of some of the older carriages he has also been spending some time in the garage inserting more fence posts on the layout.

The section he's working on at the moment is the middle section of the S bend.

In order to put more of this, the central part of Bron Hebog, together Dduallt has been taken down for now.

It's more than 6 months that it has been up and running in the garage and I'm struggling to think of any occasion where it has ever been put up for more that 4 days continuously.

In fact it's probably the first time since 1989 that we've had an actual layout to run, which is when we moved from a house where there was a large OO layout in the loft.

That's rather a long wait.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Now For The Tricky Bit

The painting of Observation Car 150 is finished.

Now comes the challenge of lining it out!

Just like with the Welsh Highland carriages Bodysgallen and Glaslyn, Himself will be using the waterslide sheets produced by Fox Transfers for 4mm scale standard gauge Pullman carriages which are about the closest we can get.

There have to be some compromises but they do the job well enough. Or at least we think so.

The hardest bit will be trying to replicate the very fine vertical lines on the window pillars.

Expect some more pictures in the coming days.

Monday, 21 November 2016

The Wire

Himself's been getting on very well with the fences.

The first section to be tackled - at the back of the layout on the run down past Bron Hebog Crossing - has had the posts painted and some representation of the wire added.

We do this by running fine cotton thread between the posts, wrapping it once around each before carrying on down the line, repeating it three times.

The real fencing has both horizontal an vertical wires which form a square pattern but we're not about to attempt that, so we've gone for the same method we used on Dduallt.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

First Wash

A couple of days ago I showed you a picture of the new Observation Car 150 being primed, now Himself has made rapid progress on painting it.

I'm particularly pleased by how well the interior has come up with wood frames and the blue fabric well represented on those very distinctive armchairs in the main saloon.

The body has also had a first coat of its main colour - is it called Royal Purple?

The inside is more complicated than the average carriage with two-tone colour on the ceiling.

I think it's going to look pretty special when it's done.

The only downside is that they're already building the framework of a second one so well have to go through this all again.