Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Tall Slim Aussie

While I was away Himself was making progress on the test etches from RT Models for the Dinas shunter number 9.

At this stage the bonnet and cab are just resting on the footplate, and in the case of the bonnet it's just a basic former which will need some thin door and grill pieces scratch built on top.

What surprised me was how comparatively thin it appears, probably on account of the cab being so tall.

The most important developments have been down below where the chassis has had its Farish fly cranks replaced with brass ones from Meridian Models and the jackshaft drive has been grafted on.

Himself has decided not to use the replacement keeper plate supplied with the kit but to insert a brass tube through the rear of the chassis to hold the unpowered axle.

Its been reassembled and test run on the layout.

The next stage will be for me to do something with the bonnet.

Monday, 12 July 2021

Another Round Of Toast

Having embarked on my project to scratch build models of the FR / WHHR Hudson 'toast rack' carriages, on account of the 009 Society kits being sold out, imagine my surprise when one of them turned up in the post at Himself's place.

As luck would have it this appeared just before I began any serious work on the model of the WHHR example, which regular blog readers will know has its L-section strapping the opposite way - the correct way - round compared to the replica built for the FR by Winson Engineering in the early 1990s.

While I was away on holiday in the West Highlands last week, Himself put together the kit, which includes very neat etchings for the protective hoops on the side, which I scratch built using brass wire on my model.

In the photo you can see it posed next to my first attempt at scratch building FR carriage 39 which I did from guesswork more than 20 years ago - it wasn't such a bad effort.

Wednesday, 30 June 2021

Australian Adaptations

Himself has begun making the alterations to the Farish 08 chassis which will power our model of No. 9 - the large, yellow, ex-Australian shunting diesel at Dinas.

In the search for a more authentic look, with chunky fly cranks, he's replacing the plastic extensions which create the false outside frame effect on the 08 with a couple of packets of brass cranks we had in our strategic reserve of bits and pieces.

These were once produced by Meridian Models (item MP24) but so far as we can tell are not available at the moment - which is a shame because they're very handy to have.

They are fitted over the stubs of the overlong axles on the wheel sets on the chassis.

Quartering is as simple as it can ever be because you can line up the crank with the inset in the wheel where the original plastic cranks were positioned.

The jackshaft drive will be created using the clever replacement chassis keeper plate supplied by RT Models and employing a fourth set of these cranks.

Friday, 25 June 2021

Adventures In The Spare Room

Many months ago I mentioned the idea of a home test track and at last it is coming to fruition.

The pretext is to provide something semi-permanent for the youngest generation to mess around with the antique collection of OO models, which have been faithfully hoarded by Himself since the family moved house and switched to narrow gauge modelling over three decades ago.

The location is my spare room / study, which occupies a rather narrow extension on the side of the house and is only five and a half foot wide.

We're also designing it to fold away into a storage frame, because I doubt I could have got 'planning permission' for something which took up half the room on a full-time basis.

Over the course of a couple of days Himself and I have knocked together an 8 x 5 baseboard using a sheet of thick ply - with some cunning slicing and dicing -and a bundle of 2 x 1 lengths.

We've yet to tackle the really difficult bit which is getting it hung on the wall!

I wouldn't normally recommend a flat baseboard ,but it is only intended as a glorified train set, rather than a layout.

Having put in all this effort, of course, I'm demanding something back and have negotiated running powers for an element of narrow gauge to be included on the track plan.

Officially this is purely for the purposes of testing rolling stock under construction at the other end of the room.

However, I would be lying if I denied I'm not a little bit excited at the prospect of having a layout of some kind in the house for the first time since I was a teenager....

Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Hooping For The Best

For what appears to be such a basic and insubstantial carriage it's remarkable how much fiddly work is involved in scratch building a model of FR 'toast rack' carr 39.

Last night's task was to begin bending and fitting the distinctive hoops at the side of these Hudson carriages.

This involves forming sets of U shapes of three radii out of 0.45 brass wire and carefully fixing them in position.

Thank goodness for 60 second superglue!

One down, one to go.

Sunday, 20 June 2021

Painted Pickering Carriage

And just like that, a few days later, a new carriage takes to the rails.

Himself spent the week putting the finishing touches to the Pickering brake replica which looks quite the part posed at the platform at Beddgelert station.

When the body side is brass, as this one is, it makes painting the drop lights neatly especially challenging.

I'm also very pleased with how the resin cast lamp pots on the roof look now they're been picked out in black with the base ring matching the off-white roof.

What really sets it off, of course, is the W H Rly lettering.

This has been done by transfers, rather than the slightly raised metal letters on the real carriage, but at this scale I think it hardly matters.

I look forward to seeing it as part of a WHHR rake running behind Russell, and hopefully it won't be too long before that scene happens in real life.

Monday, 14 June 2021

Painting The Pickering

With the construction phase done Himself is putting the Pickering brake carriage through the paint shop.

After being sprayed with primer it has now been treated to four coats of gloss green before the tricky task of picking out the window droplights in a woody brown.

I'm still quite satisfied with how the third generation lamp pots look.

Hopefully that won't change when they're painted black against the light grey roof.