Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Vintage Interior

Productivity has been much improved at my end of the operation in recent weeks.

Over the course of a few evening sessions I have been able to complete the interior for the Worsley body for 15.

Unlike the styrene carriages where I attach the seating to the floor and it becomes a part for the chassis, on this one I have left it removable, which will certainly make it easier for Himself when he comes to paint it.

In its current condition this carriage is a tri-composite and so the two compartments with comfy looking seats towards the centre are, in fact, a first class and a second class.

(The upholstery in the First comes up slightly higher than the other if you look closely.)

The biggest challenge with compartment stock is with the dividers between them.

They have to be placed very accurately because the window pillars are very thin on this model, and you also want to ensure, as much as you can, that they remain vertical.

This is why I've chosen to use relatively thick 30" sheet and anchored them at the bottom with some chunky square section before I attached the seat bases on either side.

As always, the only true test will be time.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Out Of Hibernation

It would be foolish to declare the end of winter is in sight but we've enjoyed a comparatively warm spell on the Costa del Clyde in recent days, warm enough, in fact, for Himself to venture into the garage and resume work on the estate scene.

He has started work on landscaping around the final two bungalows (mostly) at the front of the layout, with the aid of some plaster.

The area towards the bottom of the picture above (in front of the conservatory) will be grassed over as the garden.

On the other side - facing the operators, so the bit most folk don't see - are the front entrances to the houses which will be mostly gravel or paving.

How much more gets done, and how soon, is very much in the hands of the weather systems I suspect, but Himself has plenty to keep him busy indoors and outdoors right now.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Another Obs

I can't put it off any longer, I have decided I'm going to have to begin work on a model of 152.

(My reluctance is on account of the fact that these are very complicated carriages to build)

I'm able to re-use most of the moulds I made for 150 so while I had the resin out for making the lamp holders for 19 I decided to cast a set.

The only major alteration on this carriage is that the front needs to have a very subtle curve on it.

So what I've done for that is very gently reshape the master I used for 150 - which was a composite piece with a brass backing and styrene moulding detail on the front - and I'm going to make a fresh mould from that.

It's not in the shot above because it's currently sitting in a bath of gooey RTV silicone rubber - I'll post a before and after pic once I've taken a casting from it.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Mr Fixit

Himself is cracking on with WHR saloon 2047 after I delivered it to him last week.

Already it's been primed and he's begun applying the top coat to the interior and the outside of the body.

Much to my embarrassment he discovered (another) error which I had made.

Somehow I had managed to fit the electrical connections on the wrong side on each end of the carriage - goodness only knows how I managed to do that because I was using 2046 as a guide alongside be.

I'm beginning to believe that this carriage is cursed!

He also did some delicate soldering to firm up the brass brake rigging underneath which had been secured (or indeed, unsecured) with superglue.

Despite the litany of errors during construction on my part I'm sure he'll turn out a carriage which looks as good as all the other ones.

Monday, 19 February 2018


With the name and works plates from Narrow Planet fitted our Robex Lilla is ready at last.

We'll just leave these here.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Top Hat Tale

My contribution to the carriage 19 project is to try and come up with something to represent the reproduction lamp pots installed on the roof when the carriage was restored a few years back.

My plan was to try and make something out of styrene as a master which could be copied and cast.

I've made a guess about the dimensions based on what I can see from pictures and the sizes of styrene tube available and come up with this.

The close up, enlarged photograph is a little misleading, I hope, although it maybe that when I cast some copies we conclude that the top cover is a little to thick and should be a little smaller in diameter, but you'll have to take my word for it that it doesn't look like that with the naked eye.

Anyway, the RTV rubber is setting around it as I type so I shall update you when I have some cast.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Off My Hands

I've done as much as I can on 2047 and handed it over to Himself to finish off.

That innocent phrase - finish off - involves a lot more than you might first imagine.

There's the handrails which go either side of the entrance doors to be soldered together from brass wire, which probably Himself's least favourite job.

The bogies will need couplings fitted, which may well involve grafting on an extension to the shaft.

There is the glazing to cut and fit and the roof to glue into position.

Then, and only then, will he be able to begin to think about priming and painting it by hand.

It will be finished off with transfers, a coat of varnish and the interior populated with a few people.

(Only a few, mind. Have you see how pricey they are!)

So as you can see, it's a real team effort.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Fill It Up

Himself is loading me up with jobs - which is a reversal of the usual situation, it has to be said.

Not only has he tasked me with finding a way of making the lamp pots for the roof of 19,  I have been presented with a bare body shell of number 15.

Long term readers will recall that this is the result of a rather silly error when we were making a second model of 16 in Col. Stephens livery to use on Bron Hebog.

Not considering the difference between the carriages we accidently ordered a Worsley scratch-aid kit for 15 which features the windows in the balcony end of the first and last compartments.

You may recall that he had soldered the frets together before we twigged.

Not wishing to waste them we put it to one side with the intention of making another model of 15, in its present high-Victorian condition, and so the time has come for me to make up an interior in styrene.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

One Sided

One side of 19 has been fully lined out now.

Posed on the layout it does look most impressive, don't you think?

We've had to make a compromise which we're not fully decided on yet.

The panels in the doors beneath the windows are not wide enough to accommodate a regular 4mm transfer for THIRD or FIRST.

Instead what Himself has tried out is using 2mm scale ones to see what they look like.

They're undoubtedly smaller than they should be - but are they too small or could we get away with it?

Better to have them than nothing at all?

One of the ends has also had its white lining added.

It'll look very nice running with the Curly Roof Van, I think.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Tables And Chairs

To borrow a phrase from Britney: Oops, I did it again!

There's been another blunder, this time with the interior.

(This carriage seems fated.)

The re-cast table and seat units went in easily enough in one evening session, and I sat back to admire my handiwork.

It was only a couple of days later when I was looking at it again, and comparing it to 2046 that I realised something was wrong - the single and double seats were on the opposite sides of the carriage.

Which one of them had I got wrong?

I delved back through by research pictures and confirmed that, yes, both carriages confirm to the normal FR / WHR standard of having the double seats on the clock (inland) side.

I had made a very simple error when gluing them into place.

I was so concerned with ensuring that the seat backs lined up perfectly with the window pillars that I failed to notice I had it the wrong way round.

Fortunately, because they are resin and fixed in with superglue it's quite easy to snap them off without damaging them, and I can confirm that they've been replaced in their proper positions this time.

I really to need to start paying attention, though.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

The Bits Beneath

So I've been getting on with the chassis of 2047 - and also getting it wrong (again)!

The original WHR saloons built by Winsons were very modest and keep all their gubbins covered up behind large panels which ran almost all the way along the underneath between the two bogies.

Quite literally a case of 'nothing to see here!.

Since then progressive designs of the carriages have opened everything up and all the brake gear and other stuff is on show, which is bad news for the modeller when the carriages sit so high on their bogies and there's so much daylight underneath them.

So what you can see here are representations of the vacuum cylinder and the reservoir along with the boxed areas which contain, among other things the fuel tank for the heater and the batteries for the electrics.

I had still to add the brake gear fashioned out of brass when I took this picture.

I have also since discovered that I've once again made the mistake of using 2046 as a guide and making a wild assumption about them being identical.

In fact it turns out that the longer of the two panels, nearest the camera, is cut back on 2047 allowing sight of the brake gear from both sides.

This is easily corrected at this stage, but it's annoying all the same.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Gold Lining

Himself has been busy starting work on lining out bowsider 19 with its gold leaf lining around the panelling and the first results are looking spectacular, don't you agree?

It's very intricate and tiring work, as you can imagine, and this is the result of one day's labouring at the workbench.

The product he's using for this is the thinnest waterslide lining sheets from Fox Transfers which come in packs with straight lines and corners of various radii.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Skin A Car

At long last Saturday night was modelling night.

With the two ladies in my life away for the weekend, and the youngest sound asleep, I had a couple of hours undisturbed to make some serious progress on 2047.

The first job was to finish putting in the remaining ribs and fixing the roof skin in position.

Fortunately the WHR saloon design has always had a flat area immediately above the inset entrance doors which means I can employ my usual styrene skin technique, rather than being forced to use a brass one (which shows the curve beneath) as we do on the FR Superbarns.

I also got a lot of work done on the underframe, but I'll show you that in the next post.

Friday, 2 February 2018


Himself has been getting on with painting carriage 19, moving onto the interior which is fixed onto the brass frame / chassis of the carriage.

If you read my earlier posts you'll know that the making of this carriage has been somewhat protracted (that's understatement for you) to the extent that we've had to update some of the details of the styrene interior bits which I made more than a decade ago.

The first class compartments now have headrest squabs fitted above the old Mersey Rail seat units and there is also now an upholstered back to the benches in the recreated second class compartment.

The irony is that compared to the modern carriages with their very large windows you can see very little inside a 4mm scale Bowsider and you could probably get away with fitting nothing more than the compartment dividers, but that's never been our style.