Sunday, 22 November 2020

Cover Version

130 is inching towards completion as photographs posted online give us more pieces of the jigsaw.

The latest part to be painted and lined with complete confidence is the cylinder covers.

The last major part outstanding now is the main boiler unit because we need to see confirmation of where the pipework will run from the top of the firebox into the front of the cab before we can finish off the details and begin painting it.

We've also now received the number plates from our friends at Narrow Planet which are excellent, as always.

Friday, 20 November 2020

Stripped Back

The Welsh Pony project has taken a step back ahead of - I hope - the final canter to completion.

Dissatisfied with the first attempt at lining out - and the residue it left on the surface after removal - Himself has got the paint stripper out and removed the original coat of purple brown gloss and the red oxide primer beneath, taken it back to brass and applied a fresh coat of grey primer.

This is all because we've received a sheet of bespoke lining transfers to try out.

As is our masochistic habit, we've decided to apply the lining from a combination of straights and corners, rather than one-piece prints that are available in larger scales.

That's our choice, and if you keep checking back on this blog you'll find out whether we live to regret it or not....

In the picture at the top you can see how the Mercian kit for the England engines comes apart for painting.

The motor is fixed into the body frame, rather than the chassis, and it's also worth considering that - according to the design - it should be mounted in a transverse position.

Well, good luck with that........

Monday, 16 November 2020

Diplomatic Service

Once again I'm being called up for commercial casting duties.

A regular customer is looking for an easy way to improve the interiors of his fleet of modern (I use the word advisedly) FR carriages and has decided the best way would be to get me to design and cast some seat and table units as I've done for the Superbarns and WHR carriages.

The carriages in question are the 'tin cars' and the Carnforth cars which from the early 90s onwards were fitted with what I always regarded as very elegant 'Diplomat' seats.

These were a great improvement visually on the bus seats installed in the carriages from their construction in the late 70s and through the 80s.

I miss the tin cars.

Saturday, 14 November 2020

Lovely Lattice

Yet more infrequent blogging - apologies.

I'm still hard at work casting wagon kits every day while Himself has been completing more fiendishly tricky brass signals for the Greenock club's new Kirkconnel layout.

He's making sure he's putting in his best work on these because the task is being shared with the chairman and I've got a feeling the competition is spurring them both on.

There'll be more news soon, I hope on Welsh Pony and 130.

Tuesday, 10 November 2020

He Chutes

The last few days of modelling have been filled with more steady casting as I work to restock Narrow Planet with the full range of SAR wagon kits.

After a batch of DZs I've moved on to the most complex of my kits, the NG-Y ballast wagon.

The trickiest part to cast are the pieces which make up the ballast chutes at the bottom of the wagon.

Unusually this time I've been able to make a full batch without any mis-castings.

I must be getting the knack of this resin casting lark.

Thursday, 5 November 2020

Chocolate Orange

Himself is already starting work on what I suspect will be a very complicated job of lining out Welsh Pony.

He's started with the gold / orange (call it what you like) band which runs around the outer edge of the panels.

The main part of the lining is going to need something bespoke.

The colours are so unusual that we can't really try replicating it with a composite made up from the menu of regular shades.

I've seen a few custom transfer producers are making sheets in larger scales but from my enquiries I've yet to receive a firm commitment to run some off in 4mm scale for us.

Hopefully we won't get stranded with a half-finished model....

Monday, 2 November 2020

B Is For Best Seller

 The reason that not much new modelling is appearing on this blog is that for the last week - and for a few weeks to come - my time's being used to cast parts for my range of wagon kits to restock our friends at Narrow Planet, who kindly sell them through their webshop.

I've not kept a detailed log my if I had to guess I'd say the versatile ex-SAR B wagon is the kit I've sold the most of, and I began by casting a batch of them before moving on to the smaller DZ wagons this week.

One consequence of the pandemic - which has caused offices up and down the land to remain empty -is that I've run out of supply of the very stiff fibre card which I used in the packaging in the kits to help keep the parts flat.

I obtained this for free by recycling the bottom part of the boxes which come into our office containing packs of binding cases for sales presentations.

Now the sales team are all working at home none of these boxes are being used any more and I'm having to hunt around for suitably stiff cardboard to repurpose instead.