Thursday, 18 July 2019

The Rivet Files

Himself is being mindful not to get ahead of the boys at Dinas in our build of NGG16 130 but one thing we do know is that the new tanks and bunkers are plain welded ones with no rivets.

For this it’s necessary to file off the rivets half-etched by the esteemed designer of the kit, who would most definitely not approve.

It’s looking a lot more complete now, but there are still many details which we won’t add until we see precisely where they’ll sit on the reality one.

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Lifetime Guarantee

I've had one of my oldest models returned for repairs.

This is a 4mm scale model of the idyllic cottage where I was lucky enough to live during my second year at university - quarter of century ago.

It was made as a birthday present for my 'cottage mate' who loved the place as much as I did.

At the time I didn't have the skills to make a protective perspex case, nor know anyone to approach to do it for me, so the model has been open to the elements ever since.

All things considered I think it's stood up pretty well to living on a shelf in a dusty house with children and crazy pets, but it's beginning to show some obvious wear and tear and I've been asked if I'll give it an overhaul.

When I handed it over to my friend I told him it came with a lifetime guarantee and it'll be my pleasure to restore it, I hope, to its former glory.

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Completing The Set

They've been delayed by quite a few months, but finally I've received the etches for the carriages we need to finish our WHHR set.

These are Worsley Works 'scratch aid' kits for the two Ashbury carriages at Gelert's Farm - the NWNGR corridor carriage replica and the ex-WHR 'Buffet Carriage', which is a cut down version of the same type.

As is the way with Worsley kits all you get are the etches for the body and floor - no roof or bogies - and you don't get the luxury of instructions of any kind either.

Fortunately for us, Himself is very proficient at solving these puzzles, and if we get a following wind it's perhaps just possible that we might be able to get them ready to run on Bron Hebog when it's on show at the end of October, to recreate Russell's recent historic runs to Beddgelert.

Except ours will probably venture a little further up the hill towards Rhyd Ddu….

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Gladstone Gloss

A new item of stock which didn't manage to make it to the show at Perth was the Gladstone carriage which is still in the process of being painted and finished.

Not that it matters anyway, because the real thing would never appear at Dduallt anyway, but as the years go by we've started to bend the rules and run things - like a WHHR set - just for the fun of it.

The carriage has had a couple of coats of Humbrol gloss paint, which is applied - very carefully - by hand. There is no masking tape used to get he join between the red and the ivory, it's just a question of concentration and a steady hand.

The colour of the seats in the centre compartment has been a matter of disagreement. To my mind the fabric on the real carriage has a distinctly pink shade about it, but I was overruled, with the deciding vote coming from someone who's authority is not to be questioned.

So blue it is.

We've also gone through a lengthy process of deciding what to do about the N.W.N.G.R lettering on the side.

On the real carriage these are gold letters with partial red shading, but we've been unable to find anything equivalent to that.

We could, of course, go down the route of commissioning a bespoke set, but we've tried out some plain gold letters as a test and concluded that the red shadows probably wouldn't show up very clearly against the colour on the carriage anyway.

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Dduallt at Perth

It’s been a while since I’ve gone so long without posting, but it’s been a very busy few days showing Dduallt at Perth.

It was busy but also hugely enjoyable.

In my opinion this is the best exhibition in Scotland and comparable with the really good ones down south too.

If you've never been don't dismiss it on account of the distance. Not only is at a great show but you can combine it with a visit to one of the most stunning parts of this island.

The show fills two very large halls and attracts a very high quality of layouts, and as an exhibitor you are looked after royally by the Perth MRG - where else do you get a dram of finest malt whisky brought round to you as you operate?

There was a terrific social evening on the Saturday where we were taken by bus to a barbecue at the Wester Pickston Railway - a charming miniature gauge line running through the woods with trains steamed up just for us.

The layout ran well over the two days of the show and half a dozen members of the Greenock club had their first taste of operating it.

Nearly everything from the stock box got a run over at some point over the weekend, including a few interlopers.

The next show for us will be giving Bron Hebog its Scottish debut at our home show in Greenock in October.

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Clearance Run

Himself tends to have a number of jobs on the go at once - or perhaps we should just call them 'concurrent projects'.

One of them is the Observation Car 152, which has recently had a pair of bogies made up for it and has been taken for a test run around Dduallt by Blanche, which has itself been undergoing a strip down and clean of its pick ups ahead of the show in Perth this weekend.

The wisdom of a test run at this stage may be recalled by long-time readers of this blog, who will know that I made a very elementary mistake building the chassis of 150 and managed to drill the holes for the bogies not precisely along the centre line of the carriage, meaning it walloped the side of the very tight Rhoslyn Cutting as it passed under the bridge.

Thankfully, I haven't repeated that mistake, and the sister carriage passes through very sweetly with an equal amount of daylight either side.

Himself is now gathering the mental energy to take on the task of making the curved glazing for the observation end...

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Test Build

I've made quick progress in getting the masters for Van 51 turned into rubber moulds and cast the first copies, which I've now cleaned up and glued together to see how it looks as a body shell.

At this stage I haven't established a design for the floor / chassis, so I've put the four sides together as a box with only a very small contact area on each corner, which is a little tricky.

When I come to write the instructions for the kit I will most likely advise builders to fix either the sides or the ends to the floor first, which will make it a lot easier to put together.

Compared to an injection moulded plastic kit these resin sides are a lot thinner, but because I used open back moulds there is always likely to be a tiny variation in the thickness from cast to cast.

I am very pleased with how the front balcony step has cast, and it looks good fixed in position.

The biggest outstanding issue is the handrail on the front edge of the balcony, but I have a plan for that.