Wednesday, 24 May 2017

A Bit On The Back

I've moved onto the second extension which needs to be added on to the house to make it more like the shape it appears in the aerial picture I posted the other day.

Here, I've simply had to build on an extra part of the ground floor.

I'm not sure whether it is an extension to the kitchen or some kind of sun lounge, and there was not much of it I could see from the photograph, beyond it's basic shape.

So I've made some assumptions (always dangerous) and put in a door to the garden at the other side and a large window at the front.

I have also decided to level off the bottom of the render and not extend the up-slope, which seemed the logical thing to do if it was indeed an extension to the original house.

It's been quite fun to do, so far.  Maybe I should make more models wrong to start with?

Monday, 22 May 2017

Half A Million Milestone

I know these things must be taken with a pinch of salt, but I was very please last night to notice that the pageview counter on this blog has passed the figure of half a million.

According to the statistics provided by Blogger May 2017 has also set a new record for the number of views.

Whether that is really an increase in the number of you coming here to take a look at what we're up to, or just attracting more attention from the bots, I have no way of knowing.

I notice also that it's now just over seven years since I began blogging.

I've never managed to establish the habit of keeping a diary of my daily life but it occurred to me the other day how, by accident almost, this has developed into a comprehensive archive of our modelling since he beginning of the decade.

Seven years ago I was working on our first Superbarn carriage so in many ways very little has changed.

The layout still isn't finished, but it is complete enough to have been shown a couple of times at exhibitions.

The last time was back in the autumn of 2015 but as I write this now I regret that there are no shows confirmed for the future.

That's no reflection of any unwillingness on our part so if there are any exhibition managers reading this who would be interested in having Bron Hebog at your show please do get in touch.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Getting The Builders In

I have begun the reconstruction of the house after pulling various bits off it last week.

The front of the upstairs bedroom has been moved forward and the frame for the dormer window built up.

I've also blanked off the two small windows on the side nearest the camera.

There will be an extension added in front of the area with the back door and another two windows will be cut in the new side piece.

I've also blanked off the bottom of the old patio door to create one very large window at the back of the house.

I would like to hope that you have to look very carefully - or certainly will when it's finished - to see the joins.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

In Service

The poor weather so far this week has had at least one compensation - it's forced Himself to retreat from the garden into the safety of his modelling den,

He's been getting on with finishing a few off jobs including final assembly of the service car 125 after it was varnished many moons ago.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Measure For Measure

I saw a discussion online recently where a young narrow gauge modeller was thrown to the lions for asking for confirmation that in OO9 4mm equalled a foot.

As one has come to expect on social media this person was mocked and condemned for their ignorance, and the lack of initiative for asking the question in a post rather than researching the answer themselves.

However it made me realise that those of us who scratch build or work from drawings on a regular basis probably take it for granted how many conversions and calculations me make as a matter of routine.

As well as scaling down the dimensions we also have to convert between metric and imperial repeatedly.

Even the scale I'm working in - 4mm - is a mix of the two.

So take, for example, a model I might decide to make of one of the FR's latest carriages.

These days they're designed using metric measurements, expressed in mm.

So my first task is to convert this to an figure in feet and inches and then scale it down and get a value based on 1 mil for each 3 inches.

(I'm not too proud to admit that a calculator is involved at this point.)

That is not the end of the process, either,  because when I come to make my model - in metric - I'm building it using styrene strips from America which are sold according to imperial sizes.

So, for example, if I need a strip to be 1mm wide (a scale 3 inches) then I need to reach for the packet with strips that are 0.40 thou of an inch thick.

It's no wonder people who are relatively new to the hobby go online in search of answers, is it?

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Pulling It Apart

Having discovered the errors in the house I've just built (see the previous post) I thought the best thing would be to start the deconstruction immediately - thus avoiding any temptation to procrastinate.

There isn't that much that needs to come off because the changes that are required are mostly to add bits on.

I have managed to slice the roof sections down the middle and prise the left hand side off the upper and lower ones.

The patio door has been ripped out and a small section of wall which sat between that and the window the right has been sliced out.

It looks a bit of a mess right now, but hopefully I can cover all that up an the only people who'll know it ever happened will be you who've read this.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Spy In The Sky

It's happened again!

Just when you're congratulating yourself on finishing a model some new information comes to light which, with a sinking heart, makes you realise you're going to have to pull it apart and rebuild it.

The model in this case is the latest of the houses I've built for the Oberon Wood scene.

I'd said all along that I was having to make an educated guess about what the back looked like, because I didn't have any pictures.

That was until this week when the renowned FR photographer Peter Johnson posted some aerial pictures from a helicopter trip he took along the route of the FR and WHR, and he has kindly given me permission to post one here.

For the first time I've got a fuzzy glimpse of what the back of this house looks like, and guess what?

Photo: P Johnson
For comparison here is the back view of the model I've just built.

As I wrote above, the detail on the picture is pretty grainy, but it is enough to see the rough outline.

The things I will need to change will be to extend one of the bedrooms upstairs and add a dormer window, remove the patio door on the ground floor and try and add an extension.

Fortunately because of the way I make these out of styrene it's usually possible to do a cut and shut job and disguise the joins.

Of course I could pretend I've never seen these pictures and just put it on the layout regardless, but I know it would just nag away at me.

Out with the scalpel then....

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Preservation? Restoration? Conservation?

The truth is I haven't done a lot of modelling recently, and neither has Himself for that matter.

You see we've just had a week of unbroken sunshine here in the west of Scotland.

What a time to be alive!

(I was also kept busy making a batch of castings for a customer.)

So instead I thought I would offer up a few thoughts on a subject of narrow gauge current affairs - the rebuilding of Welsh Pony.

I was most amused by an intense debate on a narrow gauge interest group on a popular social media network which was sparked by this picture of the new frames and cylinders for the engine alongside the old ones which were judged beyond repair.

As is often the way it degenerated into an ill-tempered flame-war which led to users blocking each other.

The gist of the argument, to start with, was about whether it was right to embark on a rebuild / restoration which has required the replacement of parts which some believe are the essence of a locomotive - its frames.

It then developed into a row about to what degree historic objects should ever be repaired and renovated?

A very militant argument was advanced which suggested that an object's value is based solely on its antiquity and authenticity, and thus replacing bits of historic steam engines like Welsh Pony is wrong.

The logic of this position is that to do so is destroying the value of the entity and it should be conserved as a static exhibit - if we want steam engines we must build replicas.

The problem with this line of argument is that any machine deteriorates as soon as it is used, and a steam engine more than perhaps any other

Today's replica soon becomes tomorrow's artifact.

Many steam engine components are by their nature consumables and the machines were generally intended to be either rebuilt or recycled or replaced.

Questions about when a object ceases to be itself anymore quickly move from the science of engineering to the art of philosophy.

For myself I tend to take a rather Humpty Dumpty-esque view that it is because I say it is.

My position on question of Welsh Pony is very clear and as a long-term supporter of a return to steam I put my money where my mouth was as soon as the plan was announced, as you can read in this archive post so I won't repeat it here.

Should you wish to know more about what has done to the engine during the rebuild , including details of what parts are being reused and which replaced, it has been extensively documented on the Society website.

What I was reading online got me thinking about the nature of preservation, restoration and conservation, and the peculiar context of the FR.

Many believe - and I'm one of them - that the present day FR is an extension of a history which began in 1836.

We are not about 'preservation' so much as 'continuation'.

(This was one of many moot points in the online debate with the argument advanced that FR history ceased in 1946 - I regard this as nonsense.)

To get back to Welsh Pony, however, it occurred to me that there is a peculiar distinction with the FR in that as well as asking how much original material there may be in a locomotive or carriage we much also ask to what it extent it is in original specification?

The England engines are a case in point.

Take Prince, which when it was rebuilt in the late 1970's emerged oil-fired, superheated and with a superstructure that had been force-fed a diet of maxi-muscle.

This resulted in it being used once more in front line service in the years of the final push to Blaenau, rather than the vintage attraction that it is mostly today.

There was a logic to what was done then although I doubt anyone would seriously propose doing it again - I think the lesson has been learnt - but this too is now part of the story of the England engines.

As a man in my 40s I can only remember seeing Prince in this condition.  To me, and anyone younger than me, it is Prince.

That is also why it is important that Palmerston and Welsh Pony are restored to steam, because if they weren't how could future generations know how an authentic late 19th / early 20th century FR England engine performed?

No amount of study of Princess is going to tell you that, however much it remains mechanically in a 1946 timewarp.

This is why we will learn more from Welsh Pony in steam, and appreciate it more when it is back in steam than languishing like this.

The same argument could even be applied to the Double Fairlies.

If Livingston Thompson is never to steam will anyone ever again get to know how a saturated double engine with slide valves performs?

Anyway, I have rambled on long enough here.

There is a comments section below, so let the flaming commence!

Monday, 8 May 2017

The List Grows

I'm in danger of developing serious backlog of carriages to be built - not for the first time, I might add.

The FR and the WHR have new carriages joining the fleet this summer and I will have to play catch-up later this year after I have made the missing house for the Oberon Wood scheme.

Himself took some snaps of 2047, the new WHR-sized saloon, stored in the new heritage shed last weekend.


The look of the carriages is synchronising so the the main difference between the WHR stock and the FR Superbarns is their size, and that they sit much higher on their bogies than FR carriages ever have.

I notice, of course, because I'm a self-confessed carriage spotter but I suspect the average passenger would not notice much difference between 2047 and 118 which is now in traffic on the FR.

Which is what those in charge intended all along, I suspect.

118 is probably what I will work on first because I have some castings for it sitting in a photo album on the shelf above my desk,

Why a photo album, you may be wondering?

It's the best way to make sure you keep them flat and don't lose them.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Best Of Both

The list of future projects has grown now I've finally got some pictures of the unique BZ wagon.

This is a hybrid that's been dreamed up at Boston Lodge combining the most desirable aspects of a B Wagon (the fixed sides) with the best bits of a DZ (its more user-friendy height).

There's just the one been made so far and it's currently sitting in the new heritage storage shed being used as a place to leave bits of Blanche.

You can see in these pictures that it has been designed with the fold-down, drive-through ramps at each end which are also being retro-fitted to some of the DZ fleet to assist which delivering small diggers and various other pieces of self-propelled equipment to work sites on the lines.

So I think I shall inevitably have to build one.

The question is whether I scratch build it as a complete model or create masters of a kit of parts I can cast?

Will they be making any more?

If they do, will they be identcal? (Stop sniggering at the back!)

And would there be any demand from other modellers for a kit?

What I will do will depend on the answers to these questions.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Never The Same Twice

Himself spent the weekend in Wales enjoying the Quirks and Curiosities II weekend on the FR.

(Some of us still have to work for a living on Bank Holidays.)

Naturally I armed him with a list of things I needed pictures of during his visit to Boston Lodge Works.

The first thing reported back to me - which will come as no great surprise to readers of this blog - is that the second of the Super Barn observation cars, to be numbered 152, will not be an identical twin of the first.

152, or at least the steel skeleton, was transferred from Dinas a few weeks ago and the carriage works team are already working their magic with wood.

The breaking news, for me at least, is that 152 will be different at the front to 150.

Instead of one single pillar at the front of the observation saloon it will have two either side of the centre, making it look a bit more like the WHR Pullman 'Glaslyn' perhaps.

More frustratingly there is another very subtle change at the front.

Unlike 150 which was flat across the centre above the drawbar, 152 is being built with a very slight curve, as you can see in the picture below.

This means that I will certainly have to create a new master for casting the front section of 152 when I come to build it - and this piece was one of the most challenging aspects of doing 150, so as you can imagine I am delighted about that!

I now have my fingers crossed that the sides will be a match for the first carriage so I can at least re-use those parts.

It is probably a forlorn hope.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

House Handover

So all of a sudden, after what seemed at times like very slow progress, the house is finished and ready for Himself to paint and plant.

The things which it needed to complete it were the ridge tiles, the window cils and the guttering which I managed to get done over the space of a couple of evenings during the bank holiday weekend.

There is just one more house to make to complete the row up the left hand side of the estate which is an unusual half bungalow - two storey house affair.

I can't begin work on building it immediately because I will have to work out the design and draw some plans first.

It is also attached to the house below it - in fact they slightly overlap on one corner - so I will need to fetch that one back from Himself's place to take a look and see exactly how I'm going to do it.

In the meantime, however, I have some casting to be getting on with.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

On With The Bricks

That's another of the remaining tasks ticked off - the 3 courses of brickwork have been added beneath the render.

When it is in position on the layout the landscape will come up to the bottom of the bricks with all the white sytrene buried in the ground, just like real foundations.

The thing I need to keep reminding myself is that I need to add the window cils.

Usually this is something I do right at the start of the build process, once I've cut the windows out, before the walls are even glued together.

For some reason I didn't do that this time and I can easily imagine a scenario in which the first time I noticed that I've forgotten is when the layout appears at an exhibition.

Friday, 28 April 2017

The Leveller

For the first time since I began building it the house is sitting straight and level.

The wonkiness is part of the design because the ground slopes up from the front to the rear, and because these houses have a few courses of brickwork on show below the render I have to make them with the bottom of the walls following this profile.

In order to stop the building leaning when we put it in place on the layout I add these foundations with styrene sheet fixed to the inside surface of the walls.

This has a number of functions as well as making the house sit level.

It is a surface that I can glue the three brick courses onto, using pieces of embossed styrene for the job.

The deep foundations also give us a lot more scope to build the scenery up around the house and 'plant' the structure in the landscape rather than sitting on top of it, if that makes sense.

You will also notice that I have added the chimney since the picture I posted two days ago.

The remaining tasks are the brick courses, the ridge tiles, window ledges and guttering.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

A Bit On The Side

Just when I was thinking that I had finished the main structure of the house I remembered there was a small extension I had to add onto the side.

This is the wall which faces the public at exhibitions so I can't really ignore it.

I've had to make a few assumptions with this.

From the images on Google Street View I make out the basic shape and position of this extension, but as it sits behind a solid garden fence I can only make a guess as where there might be any windows and doors.

The only purpose I can see for a small addition to the building here is to act as a porch and it doesn't look to me like there is a door in the wall at the side or to the front, so I've presumed there's one at the back.

In fact, the whole of the rear of the house is guesswork.

I had no images to work from to I supposed that as the front of the house is a mirror image of another of the houses in the estate which we have already made then I would copy the outline with the position of the windows and the doors reversed.

I think maybe some tactical shrubbery is required when we come to landscape around it.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Red Lilla

Himself has put his repairs to the cab front of our 3D print of Lilla to the test by giving the body a coat of primer.

The join is not quite invisible but it doesn't stand out especially, the only difference to the rest of the model is that the lines are vertical rather that horizontal.

Now the body has a coat of paint, rather than the translucent finish of the print,  you get more of an idea of the quality of it.

In places, particularly the rear cab sheet, I am surprised just how visible some of the lines are, even having opted for the best quality print.

Despite that I remain impressed with the way the body has been designed, and it is clearly a very impressive technology.

For the moment, however, it is clear that it cannot compare to the quality of finish that can be achieved with etched brass or injection moulding.

The one consolation is that the pictures of the recent repaint of the real Lilla at Boston Lodge show just how rough and pitted the surface of the platework is, so perhaps by the time our engine has been top-coated, and lining distracts the eye, the imperfections of the 3D print might not be quite so obvious.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Roofing Begins

I have started to fit the roof to the latest house.

It appears at first glance that it might be simple but in fact these pieces are very complicated to cut and fit.

The lower section was particularly tricky because it needed a slit in the middle and a slice out of the right hand end to fit around the wing walls either side of the recessed gallery window.

The upper piece also has to be done carefully with its double dog leg

I'll be moving round to the front of the house next but that also has its challenges with a piece which needs to fit around the dormer window and the section on the top of the garage which includes a tongue which goes up into the bottom of the gully.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Last Windows In

It's always hard getting back into the modelling groove after a week on holiday but I did manage to restart work on the house and get a couple of hours in.

I've finished off the main structural elements of the walls of the house now, adding the dormer to the upstairs room nearest the camera and the wall on the opposite side with the gully that connects it to the opposite side of the building.

The long gallery window at the back, which is a feature of a number of the houses in the development, has been made up and fitted into place.

The obvious next step is to cut and fit the sections of slate roof.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

The Faerie Queene

Our Britomart is finally complete.

The name and works plates have been fixed on and she's been reunited with that wonderful little chassis.

You only really see just how dinky the loco is when you see it lost in the middle of the expanse of Bron Hebog and sitting next to one of our NGG16's.

The project has been a slow burner but I'm really delighted with how it's turned out.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

It Came Off In Me Hand

Our first adventure in 3D print modelling has got off to an interesting start.

I mentioned in my first post after the arrival of our body for Lilla that Himself's first impressions were that it felt flimsy - we'll he's just discovered quite how delicate they really are.

The print came with what we assume was a blow hole in the cab roof where there is supposed to be a small hole where the safety valve pops out.

Himself had used Milliput to fill the gap and was working to smooth that out, holding the model with a finger on the front of the cab, when it went clean through the very thin panel between the spectacles.

What you see in the picture above is the repair job he's done with some styrene.

A number of other small and vulnerable bits have also been knocked off during attempts to polish the surface - the supports on the end of the springs and the handrails in the cab for instance.

These can easily be replaced with styrene or brass, so it's no big deal.

While it's very impressive that these small details can be printed it does leave me wondering whether it's wise that they should be?

Due to the nature of the way the print is built up modellers are still going to want to smooth and polish off any obvious ridges - even with the best quality products - however it's clear that they must be handled extremely carefully while doing this.

Perhaps instead of trying to create something that is as near as ready to run standard as you can get it, might be better to treat these prints more like scratch-aid kits, leaving the modeller to add finer details in other materials?

Or maybe it's just Himself being all fingers and thumbs after decades working with white metal and brass?

Friday, 14 April 2017

Also In the Carriage Works

Welsh Highland brake coaches are quite the fashion at the moment.

On the real railway Boston Lodge has been converting one of the original series of Winson-built saloons into a vehicle with a on-board toilet and storage for catering supplies.

It will re-enter service renumbered from 2041 to 2091, continuing a series which started with the original brake coach from the first set, 2090.

This has also undergone many modifications over 2 decades in service but our model remains in the condition it was first delivered to Dinas.

Ours too have also undergone a programme of improvements over the years, with the bogies being swapped from the plastic Nine Lines L&B wagon bogies we began with to my own fold-up brass and resin SAR diamond frame bogies, a pair of which have just been fitted to our 2090.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Service Car Sprayed

Our latest carriage, the service car 125, is just about finished.

It's been given a coat of matt varnish with the aid of an airbrush and there are just a few details to finish off before it's ready to join the rest of the Superbarn fleet.

The footsteps at the doorways need to have their yellow safety line added along the front edge and there are also those pesky handrails to fix in place either side of the passenger entrances.

After that it will just be a case of slipping the glazing pieces into place.

There is previous post about these describing how we painted the back of the clear styrene to create the effect of the blanked out panels in the kitchen area and, of course, the toilet.

Of course what the service car really needs is its running mate 150, but I won't show you a close up of that until it's completely finished.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Tool Box

Here's a closer look at Britomart, one of the models which were being given a coat of varnish in the previous post.

Himself has fixed in place a couple of the finishing touches including the oil can on the back corner of the running plate and the rather natty wooden tool box which is perched on the top of the saddle tank in front of the cab.

The final job is to fix on the nameplates and the Hunslet works plates which have been etched for us by Narrow Planet and then slot in the chassis.

It's a beautiful little model and I look forward to it appearing on many special charters and 'jollies' on Bron Hebog in due course.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Soft As Satin

Himself has been saying for months that he would wait until the weather turned warmer to catch up on his backlog of painted models which require a final coat of satin varnish.

Now the clocks have gone forward he's decided it's time.

The models you can see here - split into their constituent parts - are the new Britomart, the service car 125 and the observation car 150.

The latter is an interesting case.

I have restrained myself from posting any pictures of it while it was being lined out because I intended to do a big reveal when it was finally finished.

That was around Christmas time, though, and my resolve appears to have weakened.

The one thing preventing us from considering it properly finished is that Himself needs to think of a way too represent the curtains in the window of the rear saloon.

All suggestions appreciated, I'm sure.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Front Rooms

Finally we have four walls connected - or to be more correct, four elevations - because these houses are made up of umpteen segments.

The new bits in this picture are the walls at the front left.

The upper one has a dormer window and is suspended a few feet in front of the ground floor one creating a sheltered area in front of the main entrance door.

There is still one very tricky bit to do in adding on the other side wall which creates a distinct gully in the roofline between the two halves of the upper floor.

It is, however, undeniably beginning to look like a house, and unmistakably like an Oberon Wood house, too.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Put The Rubbish Out

Another of the distinctive features of the houses in Oberon Wood is that many of them have these built-in cupboards with slim, slatted doors for keeping the bins or your mop and bucket in.

The flats on South Snowdon Wharf next to Harbour station are the same.

That's the bit I've been working on these last couple of days.

As you can see this bit of wall also includes the front door and a full length window plus a sloping roof, just to keep me on my toes.

Even more entertaining is that, as you can see above, it still doesn't connect with any other bit.

You have to be so careful when putting these house models together or you'll end up with something really wonky looking.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Bald Yins

I don't know how much excitement it's possible for narrow gauge modellers to take - and I know I'm late with the breaking news here - but the first of the Bachmann Baldwin tanks have broken cover.

(I nearly required fresh underwear, I don't mind admitting.)

Photo: Bachmann

These follow on from Heljan's L&B Manning Wardle models and are also expected to go on sale before the year is out.

We're hugely excited by these models because a Baldwin 4-6-0 is an iconic WHR loco, although very much in the modellers' licence zone as far as modern day Beddgelert is concerned, but we can dream.

The other reason is because I had never expected us to be able to have a realistic model of one of these locos,

Yes, there have been body kits around for a long time but no way of getting a chassis with the proper wheel arrangement - with the big gap between the 2nd and 3rd driving axles - unless you built your own from scratch (which I did once see done beautifully in a magazine article).

We've already got our reservation in with the lovely people at Festshop.

These engineering prototypes looked to have captured that perfectly as well as all the messy plumbing (to the eyes of those brought up on British designs) and I'm really looking forward to getting to see if they've captured that top heavy, about-to-roll-over-any-moment look of the real thing.

Hopefully the extra 1mm in the gauge hasn't spoiled that.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Up And Over

It's been one of those weeks (yes, another!) so I will freely admit that progress has not been spectacular.

However I have moved forward a little with the house build, and as long as you're moving forward that's all that matters, right?

The wall at the front with the garage door has been made up and fixed in place.

For the garage door I use a sheet of Evergreen's Passenger Car Side styrene.

What is supposed to be wooden tongue and groove looks just as convincing as a pressed metal door to me.

Next I will have to create the L shape section which include the front door and a wall which sits beneath an overhanging upstairs bedroom.

If you were wondering why the door comes below the bottom of the wall it is because there are a couple of brick courses to be added on later.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Walls Come Together

This is the most exciting stage of a model build when you glue the first bits together and you get the first hint of the form it's going to take.

Form here on there's a lot of hard graft and you never make such a great leap forward again.

In particular with these Oberon Wood houses this is where it begins to get tricky when you have to add on lots of different sections of wall which all have to be kept square and straight.

It's hard to know which bit to tackle next - the bedroom on the first floor on the left or the garage and porch which extend out on the right?

 I think I shall prevaricate a little longer.

Monday, 27 March 2017

The Back Door

The simplest part of the house I'm building, from an architectural point of view, is the ground floor at the read which is one long piece running the whole width of the house with no strange angles or bits that jut out.

It does, however, have almost as much window as wall in it with a set of patio doors, a large window and that back door to be cut out and the frames formed behind.

This is quite a vital piece because it will form the main connection between the two distinct halves of the house so now this is ready I can start fixing bits together and it will begin to look something like a building.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Taxing Windows

The windows all have to be cut out of the blank wall pieces before any of them can be glued together.

As you can see some of them are in quite unusual positions.

Doing the job turned out to be easier than I expected, probably in part due to a brand new blade in the scalpel and perhaps a slightly softer sheet of styrene which I bought just a few weeks ago.

I have also added the strip behind to form the window frames so these are basically good to go, apart from the the sills which I will fit at a later stage.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

We Have The Technology

We've made the giant leap into 3D printing - albeit just buying in a model rather than designing or producing our own.

In this case it's a Robex model of Lilla, the Hunslet tank which has long been on our wish list.

Himself's first impressions are not just how light it is - which is not necessarily a good thing on a layout with a hill - and how it feels a little fragile. (Although to be fair he's more used to working with brass or white metal so that's not surprising.)

I have not inspected it myself yet but I know that some people have created very fine models using one of these prints so I'm very much looking forward to seeing what he does with it.

It's worth remarking, though, that once you add in the cost of buying a Minitrains 0-4-0 chassis for it to run on it doesn't work out that much cheaper than the projected price of the RTR Baldwin 4-6-0.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Blank Look

I know it may have looked as if I was never going to finishing the drawing (it was, if you will pardon the expression, a rather drawn out process) but I have now taken the first steps towards building the next house.

The first stage is to cut out the blank walls, without windows yet, for the sides which have all the tricky angles on them.

It's only when you have the pieces in your hand and can place them back to back and compare them that errors in the drawing become apparent - and there were quite a few it turned out.

The next stage is to hack out the windows which is always the most tedious bit of a building project.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Foliage Photo

There's not been a tremendous amount of work down in the last week, except for a few new trees appearing.

My day job has been rather full on with lots of fuss about some vote which may or may not happen, and with spring almost upon us Himself has been ordered out into the garden.

However he did find the time to plant a line of trees in front of the farm yard.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Not As Easy As It Looks

I've been plugging away at the plans for the new houses.

It's been slow progress at times and involved a lot of rubbing out as I wrestled with the various angles of the different roof sections and the bits of the building that stick out.

I think I have the shape of the blank walls sorted out, so all that remains before I begin cutting styrene is to mark in where the windows go.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Making Plans

Completing the Oberon Wood scene has been delayed by not having any plans for the missing houses, and my failure to pull my finger out and design them.

(I've been spoiled up until now by the beautiful works of art that used to be supplied by the Artistic Director)

However, I am slowly attempting to put matters right.

All of the houses in the estate are all different in some way or another, but as far as I can tell one of those I need to make is effectively a mirror image of one I've already done.

So what I need to do is create a reverse plan.

Yes, you're right. I could have just run the previous drawing through a photocopier or scanned and flipped it on the computer.

But we've never knowingly taken the easy way out on this project, so why start now?

Monday, 13 March 2017

Barn Painted

Well, that was quick!

Because we use acrylic paint on the buildings (as preferred by the Artistic Director) rather than the enamels that we use on the trains, the process is a lot swifter due to the difference in the drying times.

We still have to complete the landscaping around the barn which is just resting on its plot in the photos here.

Once it has a few trees camouflaging its position I think it will blend into the scene nicely.

So that's one of the big outstanding jobs ticked off, now I really need to get on with those remaining houses..