Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Painting The Picker

A sneak preview of the Cherry Picker in glorious technicolour.

Still some finishing touches to add, but it's a good impression of how it's going to look.

With so many different colours it's slow process waiting for one area to dry before moving on. Plus, the yellow and white areas have needed multiple coats.

Monday, 23 August 2010

A Roof Over My (Tamping) Head

Some images of the latest progress on the roof for the KMX tamper. Very impressed by Himself's ability with a sheet of brass. (Can't get on with the stuff myself.)

The next stage is to get it working. The Kato 'Shorty' has had a rather extreme stretch job done on it so we need to install some wires to restore the pick up feed from the unpowered bogie.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Tamper Progress

Some shots showing how Himself is getting on with the roof for the KMX tamper.

It's a really tricky design with lots of angles and curves to work out. And to make it more awkward still it's broken up into random length sections.

I think it's looking fanstastic.

Once the roof's done then it will back up to me to finish off the detailing like filling up that big empty space inside with all the tamping gear.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

More On The Moose

Musing about how best to go about modelling the Purple Moose Beer Wagon (see previous entry on this blog) reminded me that it's not the first time the Bron Hebog team have recreated an FR spoof.

A number of years ago the Society magazine carried an April Fool piece suggesting the FR was to follow the example of the Big Railway and start carrying advertising on the sides of the carriages. A doctored photo showed the Engine Side (*) of buffet carr. 103 decked out in Purple Moose branding.

We thought this would be a great joke to try out on the unsuspecting public at exhibitions with Dduallt.

The way we did it was very simple. We scanned the magazine photo and through trial end error managed to reduce the image to the exact dimensions of our model of 103. Then we simply printed it onto ordnary paper, cut it out and blu tacked it onto the side of the model (It didn't damage the paintwork at all).

It was only on the one side of the model and it stayed like that for many years giving much amusement to those 'in the know' who saw it at exhibitions.

* Engine Side. On the FR vehicles are said to have an Engine Side and a Clock Side. It relates to the interior of the Old Erecting Shop at Boston Lodge Works.

As you look in from the yard on the far right of the shop is where the original engine to power the line shafting was sited. And over towards the left hanging from the rafters is a clock. As locos and stock are rarely turned on the FR each side can be referred to as to which would be facing the Clock or the Engine as it would be as it sat in the works.

The clock also has an interesting history. The usual numerals

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Have been replaced with


Why? It's a long story, but the jist of it is during a bout of mild industrial discontent in the 1970's a very senior company figure told the staff that they shouldn't mind about long hours and low pay because, after all, it was "Jolly Good Fun". Un-impressed, to say the least, by this response a witty worker decided to alter the clock face thus and it has remained so to this day.

Another reminder of the unique spirit of the FR.


As regular readers of this blog will know recent research visits to Beddgelert have revealed some unwelcome surprises. Unwelcome, that is, when you thought you'd got that bit of the layout sorted.

Over the winter I knocked up models of the Cwm Cloch Farm buildings from designs prepared by Francis. There was a lot hidden from view by foliage or farm equipment and we'd assumed the rear aspect of the smallest of the buildings had a door in it.

This summer, however, we got a better look at it and it appears to be a window.

The model has now been returned north to me and it should be a simple job to graft in a piece of styrene to turn the door into a window. The tricky bit will be getting the scribed stones to line up.

Super-Barn Snagging List - Sorted!

A final session on Super-Barn 103 today sorting out all the little details that needed finishing off. Now it's ready to be sent down south for painting.

The items added today were the vacuum pipes and the electrical connections on each end, and also the gutter pipes which are very prominent because this new FR design copies the recessed doorways of the modern WHR carriages.

The only detail that I haven't been able to do are the vertical handrails on either side of the doorways. These have 'T' welds at the top and bottom and will be soldered together in brass by Himself (who, unlike me, has a soldering iron and - what's more - knows how to use it!).

Here are a few works portraits of the finished carriage.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Wind Up Wagon

I find myself between projects at the moment.

The Cherry Picker's in the process of being painted, but once you've had your ten minutes entertainment applying a coat of one colour it has to go back in the box for at least 12 hours before you can do anything else to it.

I'd like to have a bash at the WHR's Romanian-made ballast wagon, but I'm going to need to source some detailed pictures of it first. It's quite a complicated bit of kit with lots of tricky angles and mechanisms to get right. As I'm not likely to get to Wales myself again this year I'm having to appeal to various contacts to do my research work for me.

So I might end up doing a spoof of a spoof.

This wagon appeared on the WHR junction line opposite Spooners Bar at Porthmadog Harbour during the Quirks and Curiosities event in May. (The pranksters even laid a pipe leading from the wagon off in the direction of the pub.)

The tank seems to be sitting on a former skip chassis so it looks quite a simple job to knock up in 4mm. The trickiest bit is going to be designing and producing my own transfers for it. And getting the shade of purple right.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Ee That's Grand!

A slightly self-indulgent post, if you'll forgive me. Last night the Bron Hebog blog smashed through the one thousand hit barrier - and I've only had the counter on it for just over a month.

So thanks very much to everyone who's logging on to take a look, it's very satisfying to know that the time - which would otherwise be spent modelling - isn't going to waste.

Thanks too, to my fellow bloggers who've added links on their sites.

We've had hits from all around the world, Western Europe, North America, Asia, Africa and Australia and New Zealand as well as all those modellers here in the UK.

(Interestingly I don't seem to have had anyone from my home patch in Scotland. Am I the only narrow gauge modeller up here?)

It would be great find out a little more about all you guys who are dropping in here so please feel free to leave a comment and introduce yourself. (I believe there's someone who's taken a peek from Halifax, Nova Scotia - one of my all time favourite holiday destinations)

Also, do let me know if there are things you'd like me to blog about. So far it's been mostly about stuff on my workbench, carriages and wagons mainly, but if you'd like to know more about other aspects of the Bron Hebog project, or our previous layout 'Dduallt', then let me know.

Himself (aka my father David, the loco and layout chief on the project) has just returned from another research trip to the FR / WHR (and also helping out with Kids Training Week) so I thought I'd share a couple of snaps of WHR interest with you.

Replica Lynton and Barnstable loco Lyd has been running trials on the FR this past week. Here she is warming up at Boston Lodge.

And the unsung hero of the WHR reconstruction, Upnor Castle, is nearing the end of a well-deserved overhaul. Is that patch of Off White paint on the back a clue to a new livery? Is the old girl going to be painted to match the other FR diesels Conway Castle and Cricceth Castle?

And before you ask, no, I shall NOT be repainting my scratchbuilt Upnor.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Running To Stand Still (Part 2)

Last month I blogged about changes around the real Beddgelert station and our dilemma about whether to attempt to keep up with developments on Bron Hebog or 'lock off' the layout in 2009. In the end we decided on the latter.

A research visit by the other half of the team last week has confirmed the wisdom of that decision.

Within the collection of buildings at Cwm Cloch Farm is an old stone barn / longhouse in a graceful state of dilapidation. Note, in particular, the state of the slate roof...

So that's how I've been building it.

The only picture I have of the my longhouse model is at a midway point in construction. There are no slates on the roof, just the holes where the missing and slipped ones are, but I have since finished it and sent it down south for painting and take my word for it, every slate was cut out of thin card and faithfully stuck in place.

Over the years the real barn has been shedding slates like a christmas tree drops its needles until last week it was observed that the farmer has decided to do up the building and it is now sporting a posh new corrugated metal roof.

The upstairs dorm extension on the front (as shown on the first picture) has also been taken down.

Needless to say I'm not ripping apart my painstakingly dilapidated barn to copy him!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Picking Up Where I Left Off

Now I've completed the outside contract for the Ballast and DZ wagons I've got a chance to work on some of my own models again.

Before starting anything new I've decided to finish off projects which have been sitting around 99% complete for months on end, like the Cherry Picker. It's been waiting since last summer for a ladder to be glued into position on one end. It's funny how sometimes it's the five minute jobs you keep putting off.

Now it's off to be painted.

Another little job is to finish off the 'super barn 103' with vacuum pipes and the electrical connections at each end.

The carriage team at Boston Lodge have begun construction of a sister vehicle, 121, which will probably be my next major build. But I shall have to wait a while to see if it emerges identical to 103. I doubt that very much....

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Attention Wagon Fans..

You'll find an update - and a little rant - over on the other blog.