Friday, 28 October 2016

Oh Oh!

I posted last week about my fears that Himself was about to be distracted from the narrow gauge project by his grandson (aka The Trainee) and my prophesy has come to pass even sooner than I had expected.

I suspect Himself may already be regretting his innocent suggestion of taking The Trainee along to the local exhibition last weekend.

No sooner had we entered the venue that The Trainee zeroed-in like a cruise missile on a box of old OO track being sold off behind one of the trade stands.

Anyone who has ever had dealings with a 3 and a half year old will appreciate that from that fateful moment there was no way that Himself was going to be allowed to leave empty handed.

He is now the proud owner of 10 yards of finest concrete sleeper PECO Streamline which The Trainee is expecting to be transformed into a basic train set by his next visit.

(You can take it from me that Himself's life won't be worth living if it's not! The Trainee will see to that.)

Incidentally, I suspect the choice of concrete sleepers was a deliberate move - he's no doubt anticipating high speed running!

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

That Will Do

I think I'm ready to hand 150 over to Himself to add the finishing touches and then get on with painting and lining it. (Which I'm sure he's going to love me for!)

The last bits I've added are various pipes which poke in and out and round about around the vacuum cylinders.

I've done the best I can with these from the photographs I've taken, which has meant almost lying down on the station platforms to see what's under there, so tucked away out of sight is it all.

The things that remain outstanding are the brake pipe and bags - always his speciality - and the handrails either side of the doorways which have to be soldered up from brass wire.

I shall turn my attention back to the service car 125 meanwhile.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Swap Shop

One of the more mundane jobs on the workbench at the moment is a re-bogieing programme on the Super Barns.

The final two are going through the process.

Because these bogies, which we make ourselves,  are much longer than the Dundas-based mash-ups we've been using since the we started scratch building FR carriages over 25 years ago, they don't have enough room to swing under the body and Himself has to carefully hack away at the underframes so they can run on the tighter curves on Dduallt.

We still have a mountain to climb, though.

While we'll soon have the Super Barns all sorted, nearly all the rest of our modern carriage stock will need to be tackled.

That's more than two dozen carriages, I reckon.

This is going to be a long road indeed!

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Mr Forgetful

I'm getting slapdash in my old age, it's a good job Himself is on the ball!

It was his eagle eyes which spotted a rather silly oversight in the model of the rebuilt carriage 116 which I finished a couple of years ago - I'd forgotten to put any footsteps on it!

He's corrected the error for me.

Indeed, it gets worse!

Looking through the old stock boxes I was ashamed to discover that neither did I fit any to the previous model of 116 in its face-lifted composite form.

What was I thinking?

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Up Pompeii!

The other day I got a reminder of a time before Narrow Gauge.

It was something like the model railway equivalent of a paleontologist discovering a fossil from the moment the dinosaurs died out, or those plaster casts of the bodies buried in the ash at Pompeii.

Around a quarter of a century ago Himself was in the process of tarting-up an ancient Triang 'Hall'  with a Crownline detailing kit.

This is as far as the project got until work was suspended, never to be resumed.

My memory is a little hazy but I think it's likely that this was the moment a teenage me presented him with a Chivers kit for Conway Castle and the rest, as they say, is history.

We came across the half-finished Hall the other day while my youngest was rooting around in the crates of old 00 models kept in the garage - his favourite activity.

(As everyone else who appears in this blog has a nickname I propose that henceforth he is known as The Trainee.)

Back in those days Himself's modelling ambitions didn't extend much beyond detailing ready-to-run - a far cry from his Backwoods-building exploits of today.

The signs were there, if you looked, however.

If you were able, as he was, to make white metal MTK look half-decent than an NGG16 is a walk in the park by comparison!

Since discovering the Hall he's been making noises about trying to finish it off.

This is causing me some concern because he's also being nagged non-stop by The Trainee to build him a small 00 set so that he no longer has to be content with pushing things along on the carpet.

Could the wheel be turning full circle?

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

In The Night Garden

While I was away last week Himself was getting started on landscaping the garden around the farmhouse.

It's a mix of our usual underlay for long grass technique and fancy-pants static grass using the electric sieve.

He also added a pathway leading to the front door.

Perhaps it's the blue colour of the render, or perhaps it's a sign I've spent too long in front of the telly with the kids when they're watching CBeebies, but the first thing that came to mind was this...

All aboard the Ninky Nonk!

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Boxes & Cylinders

The slow process of finishing off 150 - at least the constructional part of it - continues with adding some representations of the various bits that lurk beneath it.

I've never been one for rivet counting nor for mimicking every bit of the brake gear because unless someone picks it up and turns it upside down, or you have a catastrophic derailment, no one is really going to see very much off what is going on under there, especially with carriages which sit as low as the FR's.

So what I'm aiming for is to create an impression of the main bits which are lurking there, and in the case of 150 the most obvious things, apart from the fuel tank and battery compartment, are the vacuum cylinders which are rather unusually set at an angle.

Even so, when it is running on the layout all you will see is the merest hint of their presence, and only them if you crouch down to rail level.