Thursday, 28 April 2011

D Minus 30

Just under a month to go, then, until Dduallt emerges from retirement to appear in public again at Railex and various refurbishments are being undertaken.

Replacing some of the crumbling lineside walls also meant digging up and replacing some of the ballast so the KMX tamper has trundled down from Dinas via the cross-town link to work for the first time in anger on the FR.

It is seen here in these exclusive paparazzi shots giving the track beneath Rhoslyn Bridge and at Barn Cutting a quick once over...

The tamper will be making it's public debut on the layout at Railex at Stoke Mandeville on the last weekend of May.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

It's Coming....

....not long to wait now.

The world's first model of Lyd (?) will be unveiled here soon.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Furniture Factory

I'm still working away on my latest FR Barn carriage 106. This a model of the carriage in its 2002 rebuilt condition when it received a brand new body.

At the moment I'm concentrating on the interior. I make up each of the seats and tables and glue them in individually.

Here's how the third class double seats start off...

The square bits (with the rounded edges) will be the bottom section and the backs will be glued along the middle of each to make a double-sided seat.

You'll see the backs are not perfect rectangles - this is to represent the latest style of seats being turned out by the carpenters at Boston Lodge with a curved top to each seat, as seen below in 105...

My seats made out of 60" styrene sheet - a little thicker than it should be for scale, but don't have any 40" in stock at the moment.

These ones in the picture below are going to be the single seats at each end of the third class compartments, which are placed thus to make room for the through corridor...

Pieces of strip are fixed underneath to set the seats to the right height and to glue them to the floor / underframe combo.

So here are all the third class seats and tables ready to be fixed in the carriage..

And of course there is a first class compartment too. Originally the Barns were equipped with four ex-Pullman seats. After the rebuild the two composites, 106 & 107, have a simpler design without the wings on each side of the headrest...

Monday, 25 April 2011

Waller By Name...

...Waller by nature, it seems.

Himself has finished painting and weathering the replacement walls on Dduallt.

It turns out that the old Pyruma walls hadn't completely crumbled. The stones - the wee balls of the cement - were still mostly intact, but it was the bonds between them which had turned to dust. Quite prototypical in fact.

About 75% of the walls have been replaced over the last week or so, and some other running repairs have been completed - mainly to the Ratio signals - ahead of its appearance at Railex. The last time Dduallt was on show was at Warley at the end of 2009.

One of the irritating side effects of the deterioration of the pyruma walls is that the sugar grain sized dust has spread itself around the layout and got into all the foliage and flock. It's made worse by the way the layout is stored, with the boards fitting together one on top of the other scenery to scenery, so as the walls on the top one crumbled the dust fell down onto the board below.

After sorting the scenery Himself has been back in the paintshop and some pictures of a lined-out Lyd are promised later this week. If you'd like to see those as soon as they appear why not sign up as a follower of this blog, or do the same on Twitter or Facebook.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Walls Come Crumbling Down

I'd hate to think I was responsible for giving any readers a shock, so be warned, this post is all about some actual layout progress. Or, perhaps more accurately, some layout renovation. Even so it's quite unusual for this blog.

Himself has been doing some titivation of Dduallt ahead of its appearance at Railex next month. Many of the stone walls have had to be replaced.

The originals were made 20 years ago, in a characteristically labour-intensive fashion, using Pyruma fire cement. We rolled hundreds of tiny wee balls of the stuff between our fingers and then formed them into long strings which represented dry stone walls quite effectively.

They lasted well up until the last couple of years when the layout spent a period stored in an unheated industrial unit and was exposed to severe temperature variations between summer and winter, at which point the chemical structure within the ancient fire cement cried 'enough!' and this was the result...

Some rather crumbly walls...

Some which had not collapsed so much have been treated with superglue and are holding together for now, but the worst examples have been replaced with plaster wall sections from Ten Commandments, a product which had it been on the market back in the early 1990's we would have jumped at using, as indeed we are on Bron Hebog.

Here you can see the replacement sections grafted into place. The next step will be to paint and weather them to match the existing walls.

As you can see Himself has been doing the work under a track possession which explains why the sheep are being allowed to wander along the line...

Thursday, 21 April 2011

A Brace Of Barns

Thanks to everyone who's got in contact with comments on the tamper here on the blog and also on Twitter and Facebook.

Also running off the production line this week are the pair of Barns I've been building for a client.

They've been made to a reduced spec of detailing (on my own models I'd include full seating detail, grab handles etc) but that's the beauty of a bespoke scratchbuilding service, you get exactly the model you want for the price you want.

If you'd like to see more pictures of this pair you'll find them here

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

KMX Komplete

....and so here it is. Finally, actually and properly finished.

For now I'll let you just enjoy the pictures. If there's anything you'd like to know about the the model and how I built it leave your question in the comments and I'll answer them for you.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Penblwydd Hapus

Doesn’t time fly? Here we are a year old from my first posting on this blog and so perhaps you will forgive me for a moment of self-congratulatory reflection.

So what’s been achieved in the world of Bron Hebog?

Well, on the layout itself, absolutely bugger all! (But, in fairness, the team were evicted from their ‘clubroom’ early last year and there aren’t many places you can erect a 25 x 25 foot layout to work on it as a whole) Hopefully the summer of 2011 will see more progress. We’ll have to because a year from now we’re committed to taking Bron Hebog to a major NG exhibition in the south of England, for the long-awaited head-the-head with another 009 WHR layout. (Let’s not have ourselves shown up, boys!)

2011, though, has seen some big progress on the rolling stock front.
We’ve seen 2 Backwoods Garratts completed. NGG16 87 has been finished and turned out in photographic grey livery...

And after many years languishing in primer our K1 has been magnificently lined out by Himself...

Another long-running project which has reached a conclusion is the KMX Tamper. (Log in again later this week to see pictures of it completed.)

I kept churning out the carriages. We’ve had FR Super-Barn 103 built....

There have been two service carrs completed....

Himself has begun painting the backlog of WHR saloons..

There have been so many Barns I’ve almost lost count, but let’s try... 1 x 100 (for a client) 1 x 102 (for a client) 2 x 105 (one for me, one for a client) 106 (for me) and I’m about to begin work on a 123 (that’s what used to be Obs Carr 101 which has reappeared as a 3rd class, Blaenau-facing Obs).

It’s been wagons roll as well. There have been six AY ballast wagons turned out ( 4 in 4mm scale and 2 7mm giants)

There have been 2 Romanian super-ballast wagons coming off the production line and 4 DZ’s.

As for the stats, I’ve only had counters running since June but in that time we’ve had 12 and half thousand page impressions from damn near 2 thousand unique visitors from 42 countries. Not bad methinks.

(Although in the interests of fairness I should point out that for these purposes the Isle of Man counts as a country and I don’t think everyone was necessarily logging on for a narrow gauge modelling fix. I rather suspect the one Nigerian visitor was hoping I would help him access the frozen assets of his late Great Uncle thrice removed, and quite what my singular Thai visitor was looking for I can’t begin to imagine – but the Traffic Source breakdown provided by Google Analytics shows some rather saucy URL’s clicked on the posts titled ‘Shafted’ and ‘Rods For My Back’).

I do hope you’ve been enjoying logging on and reading about all this in the last year and thanks in particular to everyone who’s made the effort to leave comments. It’s great to get feedback on the blog and I hope more of you will leave your mark in the coming year.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Dirty Pretty Thing

I did promise something special later this week, and here it is. Himself has been busy weathering the KMX tamper.

I particularly like the way there is a variation in the amount of dirt and grime on the various bits and pieces , with the tamper head and the aligning gubbins getting the heaviest treatment, and some particularly effective work on those little wheel things. (Blinding you with science, now, eh?)

It also has the Festiniog & Welsh Highland crests applied at each end. There are a number of other notices and warning signs on the real thing which we 'may' be able to produce using photos and DIY transfer paper.

It's been sprayed with matt varnish (unlike most of our models which get finished in satin) as befits a hard working p-way machine. The roof, which is a separate sub-assembly, will be getting some light weathering, there is still the glazing to fit along with some headlight jewels and windscreen wipers as well.

And there's also the wiring and hydraulic looms to be attached on one side. But its definitely getting there and I hope these pictures might help convince some of you to visit Railex next month and witness the tamper's debut on Dduallt.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Double Cream

A short update for you this time to show progress on painting the twin Barns which I've been working on.

They've had two coats of cream (or ivory if you prefer) above the waist.

You don't get to see a lot of me painting models on this blog - mainly because I don't do a lot of it - so I thought it was worth posting for the rarity value if nothing else.

They're being hand painted using a tin of Humbrol enamel so there's nothing particularly interesting to say about the process. However I can promise you something much more interesting that I'll be posting from Himself and his airbrush later this week...

While I'm on the subject I've received some correspondence from a reader who was a little confused about who 'Himself' was, so for the benefit of anyone who hasn't twigged or has recently discovered the blog I should explain that 'Himself' is my Father, David, who is one third of the Bron Hebog team and based 400 miles away from me in the Chilterns.

The other third, who is sometimes referred to as 'Our Artistic Director', is Francis, who is also webmaster of the Cooper Hire Model Railway Club blog. (That's the teaser feed at the top right hand of the screen) Officially this was started so they could tell the world about their other modelling activities but I have a theory that really it's for the benefit of their domestic authorities to disprove the (not wholly unreasonable) suspicion that they do nothing other than blether and drink beer during their weekly 'club nights'.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Primary Colour

Some aerosol action for you, once again. Himself has given 'Lyd' a spray.

As you can see the Backwoods kit divides so that the front running plate and buffer beam is attached to the chassis. That's not as silly / obvious as it sounds because until Pete's products came along with their bespoke chassis the norm in 009 was to have a whitemetal kit where the front bit of the locomotive was attached to the rest of the body.

The rest of the paint job should be relatively straight forward because I can now reveal that our 'Lyd' will be turned out in the spoof BR livery the locomotive has been wearing for the last six months.

I think it looks lovely in the lined black livery, and beside which there's no shortage of Southern liveried Manning Wardle tanks out there on the exhibition circuit.

It also fits with our decision to model 87 in the photographic grey livery it wore for the first year after restoration at Boston Lodge, rather than the dark blue it now sports.

I'd love to hear what you all think of our decision.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Count 'Em

No new modelling but a new picture I wanted to share with you that shows up really well the effect you get with resin transfer rivets.

Now, to be fair, you are looking at a 7mm scale model here so it's a much bigger target. But I have to say I've been really pleased with how these have turned out and I'm seriously thinking about applying them to some 4mm models in future.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Prime Time

A coat of primer's been applied to the two Barns 102 & 105.

And I suppose that's about all there is to say.... There's no special technique employed in shaking a bog-standard can of grey stuff that you can pick up in any car accessory shop.

Perhaps I should mention, though, that the light is shining a little unkindly in these shots, which were taken while the paint was still wet, so the finish isn't as lumpy and bumpy as it might look. Honest.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

We're All Domed!

The best part of a day's worth of modelling has seen the construction of my commissioned model of 102 completed. One of the landmark features on these carriages are the sloping ends to the roof above the obs compartment.

I have a tried and tested way of doing these, which are also a feature of the late-70's 'tin carrs'. My way is to cut a triangle section out of the roof skin before it is glued in place over the former (see the carriage building guide in the page menu for more details on how I make my roofs) and then put filler into the void and sand down to shape.

I've seen other 009 modellers try to use filler but doing it across the whole width of the carriage where the roof skin is cut short at each end instead of having a triangular section. This means they have to rely on the sanding of the filler to define the triangular edges leading from the centre of the roof down to each corner.
It seems like an awful lot of hard work and hassle. I think my approach is much simpler and dare I saw more effective?

As usual this carriage has a removable underframe with the interior detail fixed onto it - the interior doesn't include seats as per my client's specification.

And here it is alongside 105 which is the other half of the commission. Next stop the paintshop.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

The Joy Of Movement

As promised (and with apologies to a popular brand of anti-inflammatory painkiller) here is some video evidence that Lyd's chassis does work, on test on the rolling road.

Himself tells me not to be alarmed by the bouncing movement, it is not so noticeable with the body in place.

And here are some pictures of the virtually complete locomotive, all that remains is a couple of oil fuel tanks to be knocked up in styrene and dropped into the bunkers and then it's off to the paintshop.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Joy Machine

After the burning of more midnight oil, accompanied by the sound of coins being dropped into a swear box, Himself has completed valve gear on the other side of Lyd's chassis.

Our Lyd is going to be a pure-bred Backwoods kit. No cheating with simplified Joy valve gear or grafting on a Grafar shunter chassis here, this one's the real deal, built as Pete McParlin planned. (And proof that it is possible to build them that way!)

There's been a bit more progress on the body as well, mainly around the cow-catchers on the front and rear buffer beams. (I suspect that's not what the L&B called these devices and am open to correction.)

Himself did mention that there is some video evidence of the chassis on test and if I receive it through the ether in due course I shall attempt to post it here.

I should think there's every chance now that Lyd will be ready to undertake some public test runs on Dduallt when it comes out of retirement at Railex in Stoke Mandeville next month. Maybe see some of you there too??

Friday, 1 April 2011

The Ends Of The Affair

I like making FR Observation Carriages. (A good job really, as this is my 9th)

I think it's because of the varied design - the guards compartment at each end, the frieze rail only on the centre portion of the bodyside etc. And because the two ends are different.

Somehow it's just that much more interesting making different ends copying the same part twice.

And so another carriage takes shape...