Friday, 3 July 2015

Future Plans

So what's next on the agenda?

Well, I've still got plenty of projects that I want to get completed in time for our appearance at WHR Great & Small II in September.

First priority is to build the interior for my model of carriage 12 (our 3rd incarnation of it) which is supposed to look something like this.

It's relatively straightforward so I'd like to think there's not much more than a week's work in that.

There are a few other foutery details to finish off on both of those carriages, like the vacuum pipes and the electrical connections, and then I shall send them off to Himself to fettle and paint.

I am also determined to get my WHR water tank wagon finished in time for the show at Dinas.

So far I have acquired the tube for the tank - for free! - and cast the main chassis block in resin.

What I need to do now is get hold of a Dapol oil tank wagon kit to rob it of the end sections and summon up the motivation to get on with it.

I also have designs for another two of the Oberon Wood houses ready and waiting.

The next ones on the list are those nearest the entrance to Goat Tunnel which begin a row heading down towards the front edge of the layout.

And when they're done, looming on the horizon like a recurring nightmare is new observation carriage 150.

I feel a headache coming on.....

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Room At The Back

The remainder of the first class interior for number 11 has been completed.

As well as the observation section at the rear the carriage has a compartment behind with four seats arranged around the central corridor.

It doesn't show up so well in the photograph here but the right hand seat at the back is wider than the other three, and the sliding door leading into the guard's compartment is offset.

I do not know if once upon a time this was considered to be a double seat and two passengers used to be expected to squeeze themselves into it but I doubt that's still the case now. Is it?

This compartment is also the only access point into the carriage for passengers but there is a second door, with a frosted glass panel and engraved FR crest, which separates it from the observation saloon.

With both doors closed and the train underway it makes for a very convivial little space for you and your companions.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Street View

The three new houses have survived the four hundred mile trip in the post and are being tried out in position on the layout.

So now we have most of one side of the street in position and Oberon Wood, although very obviously unfinished, will be looking a bit more respectable the next time the layout is on show in September.

With the row complete Himself can now adjust the road to its final position.

It would appear that it needs to be shifted a little towards the side of number 21 - that's the unpainted house on the far left - but it wasn't a bade guess.

Here's the view from the operators' side looking across at the row of back gardens.

Not a bad effort for such an unusual collection of houses I think.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Face Off

The other side of the observation compartment on number 11 is finished now.

I'm always stuck by the way these two sets of seats face each other across the carriage - it's rather redolent of the trains on the London tube and Glasgow underground.

Or perhaps the inspiration wasn't taken from railway practice but the House of Commons?  It looks familiar, doesn't it, with those two forward (or backward?) facing seats by the bulkhead.

When the next generation of FR observation carriages were built, starting with 100, they had individual swivelling seats taking full advantage of the more generous loading gauge but, as I've written before, I think the cosy inside of 11 has got much more atmosphere.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Mersey Seat

I've spent a few days prevaricating about getting started on the interior for number 11 mainly on account of knowing that I was unlikely to have an opportunity in the near future to get it done in a oner.

Quite often I find knowing that I am unlikely to be able to get much done in a modelling session is a disincentive to get started in the first place.

Am I alone in that, I wonder?

Anyhow, the other night I told myself to stop faffing about and get on with it.

I didn't have very long and what time I did have was interrupted by getting the kids to bed and making the dinner, but this is what I managed to produce.

In case you didn't get the reference in the title, when number 11 was converted into an Observation Carriage in 1958 it was fitted with some ex-Mersey Rail seats, the ones at the observation end were fixed lengthways at either side.

Until the last overhaul there was a block of 4 seats on either side but it was always rather snug - and they do say that the average British tourist has become bulkier since the 1950's - so two seats have been sacrificed and a little breathing space created between them.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Panel Games

With the track in position, the point motors installed and the tangle of diodes in place to work them Himself has turned his attention to the final control panels for the fiddle yards.

(At previous exhibitions we were using a temporary controller and hand operated points)

The idea is to make it as idiot-proof as possible and he has stuck on the track diagram at the Caernarfon end.

The point and section switches can be seen in the photo, what he has still to fit is the LEDs which will indicate which road has been selected.

I fear that despite all the wizardry come the first exhibition head-on collisions will still be inevitable...

Labelled up the Caernarfon end fiddle yard this afternoon. Will still have to put some LED in for indicating the road that has been set, that will have to be done later..

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Twelfth Night

I managed to put in a couple of hours work the other evening to assemble the parts of number 12 into a body shell and fit the chassis and roof so it looks like a carriage now.

Before I could do that, however, I had to make up the corridor connections on the guard's van end which are rather unusual and more of a challenge to model that normal.

Perhaps because of the heritage value of the carriage / van (?) the usual side guards formed of a plank of wood with a folded rubber section are not mounted directly to the woodwork at the end of the carriage but instead are hinged on metal frames so they sit clear of the body work.

I don't know the reason why. I wonder if it is to make them easier to remove, or the mounting points less obtrusive, so the carriage can be turned out with a more heritage appearance when required?

Maybe someone who knows could enlighten us?

Anyway, the main issue for me was how to replicate this feature?

I decided in the end to drill holes into the styrene and insert short lengths of 0.5mm brass wire and drill more holes in the end of the carriage, very carefully so they lined up accurately, so they would sit proud of the body shell.

I also managed to find the time fit the roof skin to number 11 as well.

Interiors next, I think.