Saturday, 21 July 2018

Wild Geese That Fly

A very important part of the fleet in the weather we've been having so far this summer is the water tank wagon.

In South Africa vehicles like these were towed behind the Garratts to extend their operating range, in Wales its role is as a strategic, mobile store of fire-fighting water in case of a lineside conflagration on one of the more remote sections of the WHR.

I puzzled for a while about how to build the tank before I discovered the diameter was pretty much a match for plastic pipe I could by at the local DIY store, and for the domed ends I adapted parts from that old faithful, the Airfix / Dapol four-wheel oil tank wagon kit.

The whole thing was mounted on one of my resin cast DZ wagon chassis.

On special occasions the wagon does get a run and performs another useful purpose as a barrier wagon between double headed NGG16s to prevent any strain on the heritage bridges on the WHR.

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Schnitzel With Noodles

In this case the noodles definitely come in a tomato soup sauce!

I love everything about this model, except the colour, but I can't blame anyone except myself for that.

Himself did a fine job converting the Backwoods LT kit to look a little more like DLG, especially with the much wider cab opening.

It's just a shame it's so orange.

More DJT than DLG!

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Doorbells And Sleigh Bells

And so to the pride of our FR fleet.

Our model of Merddin Emrys was the first of three Backwoods Double Fairlies built by Himself.

If it looks a little different it's because we finished ours to look like it was in 1988 when it first emerged from its Victorian rebuild with oil tanks and less bling about it than it has theses days.

What a beauty it is with those lovely big Fairlie wheels.

It wasn't Pete's first 009 kit but I regard it as the one which changed the rules on what was possible in this scale.

I hope that one day a manufacturer will take the obvious step of producing an RTR Fairlie, I'm certain it would be a big hit.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Crisp Apple Strudels

Or perhaps gooey goulash, in this case, because this wagon has Romanian roots.

It was built for the WHR push to Porthmadog to supplement the SAR ballast wagons, and it's party piece is to spread the stones in all sorts of directions rather than just to the side of the track.

It was a hideously complicated shape to make out of styrene and I'm really chuffed with it, including all the brass bits I shaped and soldered for it.

There's no way I could have taken it on without a very kind insider taking pity on me and giving me a copy of the plans and lots of photos of it under construction.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Cream Coloured Ponies

Since I began modelling the FR I've always been drawn to the quirky items of rolling stock, and they don't come quirkier than the Parry People Mover.

This complete technological flop - sorry, but it was in Welsh Highland terms - never made it beyond Dinas before it left the railway.

(In fact it barely made it to Dinas at all without frequent stops to spin up the flywheel.)

So running it on Bron Hebog is a classic case of Rule Number 1.

However, I justify it on the basis that if it stayed on the railway long enough - and if it somehow managed to limp to Pitt's Head - it would certainly be able to freewheel quite happily all the way down to the sea again.

It runs on a Kato 4 wheel chassis with a body I made out of styrene.

I think it has something of the spirit of the BR / Leyland prototype railbus, which morphed into the Pacers, about it.

As a kid in the 80s I remember thinking that machine was pretty cool.

Alas, the PPM looks unlikely to lead to a railcar revolution on the WHR.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Warm Woollen Mittens

It's totally unprototypical to be sitting in the siding at Beddgelert, for lots of reasons, but this model of one of the FR's former oil tank wagons counts as one of my favourite things.

The model was a challenge to make because I had to kit-bash a plastic kit for a vintage road tanker - from Cooper Craft if I remember rightly - to get the distinctive oval shape, and then scratch build quite a complicated chassis.

The bogies are also home made being a very unusual Polish design which the FR acquired a number of once, and for which I could find nothing similar on any N gauge wagon or carriage.

It also makes very creative use of waterslide transfers to represent the livery carried by this vital, yet unsung, fleet of waggons which have now passed into history.

Can you see how the word oil is made to look like a loco?

Monday, 9 July 2018

Bright Copper Kettles

I suppose, by rights, it should be steam engines we're featuring today, but I'm posting these photographs in the order I took them so you've got a pair of diesels instead.

Both of our Funkey locomotives are made from Worsley Works kits sitting on Farish class 90 chassis, but we've added quite a few extra details to improve them.

Most obviously, we've added false pieces on the chassis block to create the effect of the very tall bogies on these engines.

Himself has also cut back the front of the roof on the Vale of Ffestiniog, which is too long as supplied, and they both have some headlight jewels, handrails and extra bits like horns on the bonnet.

Our Caernarfon Castle is currently confined to light traffic, suffering from some transmission issues.

How prototypical!