Tuesday, 26 May 2015

On The Other Side

I've been cracking on with the 'south wing' of the new house (number 21) which includes the built-in garage which juts out at the front of the building.

Unlike most of the other houses in Oberon Wood this one does not appear to have an offset between the two halves so I only have to make three pieces, although one of the, the side, is typically challenging in terms of getting the slopes cut accurately.

The other two pieces look a little rough and all becomes clear when they are joined onto the rest of the house.

At the rear number 21 has had an extension added at some point.

Originally the wall would have continued all the way down, I guess, and there would have been a window and door there.

The extension will be built separately and added on later so for now I've just left a big hole so that there isn't an obvious blank wall to be seen when it's finished.

At the front I've extended the wall on the upper bedroom much further down into the garage space to provide more support for that long side wall and to help to keep the structure square.

I think the next step will be to complete the front piece of the garage and the other wall which joins at 90 degrees just to the side of the patio door.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Ready For Relaying

Down south work continues on the Fiddle Yard refurb.

Himself has replaced the fascia and restored the uniform mud colour.

In these snaps you can see how there is now a clear split level along the middle section of the yard which will give us much longer storage roads.

He is waiting for more points to arrive to enable him to relay the trackwork

In the meantime he has produced a mock up of where the yard control panels will be positioned.

At the first two exhibitions we made do with a temporary double controller in the centre of the yard which combined with hand operated points wore out a lot of shoe leather over the course of a weekend.

Layout operating is so much more civilised when one can sit down on the job, don't you agree?

Friday, 22 May 2015

Hanging In There

After a week of very intense, and yet slow, work there are some encouraging signs of progress with house number 21

The basic box shape of the northern half of the building is together.

Now you can see very clearly how the step in the side wall works and relates to the attachment to number 22.

In this view the line, in Goat Cutting, is running along the bottom of the picture.

And here from the front you can see that the wall on the new house is set very much further back and how the ground level has risen.

The 'south wing' which has yet to be built, includes a single garage which extends a long way forward creating a kind of courtyard in front of the two houses.

These are not models that you can bang out quickly, they're far too complex for that, but it is very rewarding when you see them come together.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015


A re-design is underway on our fiddle yard which involves some minor surgery.

You may recall that the yard is at the back of the layout and the lines from either end enter at different heights.

For the first few exhibitions we had it divided exactly 50/50 with one half higher than the other.

The problem was the roads were not long enough to hold a full-sized WHR train of 10 carriages plus a Garratt. 

Himself's solution is to resconstruct the middle board so it still has two levels, but instead of being split along the width the fault line will run the length of the board with the lower level lines in front and the upper ones behind.

This will give us an extra 76 cm - or 2ft 6in in old money - about 3 coach lengths.

Putting this in practice meant cutting out half of the low and high levels and swapping them around, hoping they would match in size and fit.

And the good news is they did!

The fascia still has to be added in front of the high section, then it will have to repainted before the track can be re-laid.

Now that the track layout has been finalised - we hope -  Himself is going to built in powered points with automatic route setting.

This involves the deployment of much brain power, a shedload of diodes and cat's cradle of wiring.

Monday, 18 May 2015


So, I've finished scratching my head and begun cutting styrene on the new house.

I'm starting with the most difficult bit first, the northern wall which overlaps with the neighbouring house.

It took quite a bit of working out and on its own this stepped section looks very strange.

Offer it up into position though against number 22 and it begins to make sense.

The stepped section is necessary not just to help locate it in place but to help me work out where the wall at the front of the building is supposed to go.

There are three windows to hack into this side piece which is going to be interesting now that I can no longer lay it flat.

Hmm, tactical error there, I think...

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Empty Shell

I've been sent the brass body of our new carriage 16 with the expectation that I'll make up an interior for it in styrene.

It'll have to take its place in the queue behind the current house I'm building but it shouldn't be too much trouble.

It has been made up from a Worsley Works scratch-aid kit.  They can be a little tricky to put together, I understand, but if done so neatly and with care they make very nice models.

Being number 16 it includes the famous coupe compartment once graced by former Liberal Prime Minister David Lloyd George.

Remember them??

Thursday, 14 May 2015

My Brain Hurts!

I started work on house number 21 a couple of days ago but I've yet to take a scalpel to single piece of styrene.

It's a bit of a knotty one is number 21.

From the front it looks relatively simple - well, as simple as any of these Oberon Wood houses is...

The problems start when you take a peak around the back.

See how it nibbles into the corner of the house next to it?

Yeees. That's the tricky bit that's been causing me all the head scratching.

I've been spending my time drawing and cutting out paper templates to offer up against the model of 22 which I've just finished to try to make sure I've got it looking right.

Because I make the main walls of these houses of of 60" sheet I takes a quite a lot of effort and you really don't want to have to go cutting them out any more than you have to.

That's not the only bit of this building that's going to be challenging - take a look at the southern end..

All those windows and their positions betray what complicated and unconventional layouts these houses have plus they're built on a slope!

But there's no point moaning about it, I'd better just get cracking on with it.