Thursday, 18 May 2017

It isn't O9, but I like it...!

Just a quick glimpse of the main structure for my 009 project, a conversion from the Wills 'Station Garage' kit into an office and workshop, with a few added parts. I was surprised to see that the instructions for this kit are dated 1979, so it's been in production nearly all my life (but at least the mouldings are still sharp)!


O9 service will resume soon...

Colin

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Take a Fence, a Ratty Fence

I was lucky enough to receive the latest Graham Whistler DVD of the Ravenglass and Eskdale railway for my birthday and I couldn't help notice some seemingly portable fencing between the platform lines at Ravenglass station. Further research finds pictures of this fencing in use at both Ravenglass and Irton Road stations.

This picture proved particularly useful as it clearly shows how the posts are separate to the panels, the details of the posts and how it fits together.


I figured that I could quickly put together a couple of panels from a leftover piece of the Parkside Dundas fencing used on both 'Shifting Sands' and in cut-down form on the diorama 'The Path to...'. The length used here was destined for that project but had unfortunately snapped during construction.


The posts are simply constructed from Evergreen styrene strip and as an added detail I split Grandt Line rail joiners in two to create a representation of the metalwork.

I have assembled one panel with two legs, the other with one. To aid holding during painting and to strengthen the future central joint 0.5mm wire has been inserted in the top and bottom rails - so at this stage it cannot be fully assembled as the wires are over-length!


This has proved a very quick Bank Holiday project. the paintshop awaits...

Colin








Saturday, 29 April 2017

Peco Skips as RTR O9?


Having been seduced by the Peco 009 'Rugga' V-Skips as a fine example of UK-made ready-to-run model railway equipment, my mind has started to wonder if they could form the basis of O9 models. This may seem a wild idea but there are two factors to consider:

  • Real skip wagons came in a variety of sizes.
  • The necessities of RTR 009 manufacture mean that the models are closer to 5mm+ scale than 4mm.
So some research started, firstly by posing a wagon with a 7mm scale figure to see how it might look:

It doesn't look too ridiculous so I carried out some further research. Two sources were consulted:
  1. The 2016 NGRS reprint of the Robert Huddson 1915 Edition 'Light Railway Material', p49.
    This contains dimensions of a 20" gauge 13.5 cubic feet 'double side tip wagon'
  2. 'The Blakesley Miniature Railway', Dr Bob Tebb, Silver Link 2009, p94
    This describes skips made by Busch of Bauten, Saxony, which may have been the type supplied to Blakesley Hall.
From that information I compiled the following table of dimensions at 1/43rd scale:



Peco (mm) Hudson (mm) Hudson 1/43 Blakesley (mm) Blakesley 1/43
Wheel Diameter 6.0 225 5.2 300 7.0
Height from Rails 18.5 1000 23.3
0.0
Width over all 25.0 1250 29.1 1160 27.0
Length Over all 31.0 1500 34.9 1530 35.6

As can be seen, the Peco skip is a little smaller than these examples but not beyond the realms of possibility. However, if you re-calculate the dimensions to 1/48th scale....


Peco (mm) Hudson (mm) Hudson 1/48 Blakesley (mm) Blakesley 1/48
Wheel Diameter 6.0 225 4.7 300 6.3
Height from Rails 18.5 1000 20.8
0.0
Width over all 25.0 1250 26.0 1160 24.2
Length Over all 31.0 1500 31.3 1530 31.9

That brings the dimensions even closer and makes the Peco V-Skip a realistic prospect for O9 (or indeed On18) use. Just be mindful that is is a lot smaller than most other commercially available O9 wagons and locomotives (which may be larger than scale). I posed my wagon with SMR no.3, which is a reasonable 15" gauge pleasure line sized machine and it doesn't look too bad, but a shorter loco such as a scale length Lister would look even better....



Food for thought?

Colin

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Shifting Sands - North of the Humber

You may have seen mention last time that I needed to get Shifting Sands out of storage and wondered what on earth for....

Well, our friends in the Hull MRS have given the opportunity to show the layout in public on June 3rd at their 'Summer Show' held at the their clubrooms at the Walton Street Leisure Centre - details here. As usual I will need to check everything over, test the stock, make a couple of scenic tweaks before the show and find all the bits to make it look like this:



There is the prospect of some visiting locomotives on the day, and the usual real-life 15" gauge problem of non-matching couplings...

Colin



Monday, 17 April 2017

You can’t do that!

The title might be the (light hearted) reaction in some quarters to the project I hinted at over a month ago... yes, the mystery scale was 009!

As every idea to build another O9 layout has fallen flat on its face, especially anything away from my usual miniature railway themes, it makes sense for a small project to evolve that doesn’t have the pressure of expectation placed on it. By developing this in 009 I will hopefully be able to use up some items of 4mm scale material held in stock, plus be able to purchase some of the items that as a 7mm scale modeller are largely unavailable to me, such as the Wills ‘Scenic Series’ kits.


As can be seen a baseboard has been constructed, the trackwork laid, painted and ballasted, and there is good progress on the foundations of the scenery. I've never been a fan of polystyrene (and I'm still not) and this is really the first time I have used it like this. It has proved quick and relatively easy, I don't think I could have made these landforms using formers and infill in the limited time I have had available. 


Speaking of which, along the line I have to admit that there have been doubts about progressing this scheme. Although good progress was made thanks to planned time off work, outside of that time has been hard to find. On top of that I have wavered on the 009 vs O9 debate a few times (a certain person regularly asks if it is O9 yet) but I plan to complete the project as planned, if only to justify the Peco skips I received as a gift! As ‘Shifting Sands’ will need to be brought into action within the next month progress may not really make it that far too quickly…

Colin










Monday, 13 March 2017

(no) O9

January rolled on in to February, February rolled on into March... the workbench refused to stir.

Yes, it has been a quiet couple of months where various other things have gotten in the way of railway modelling. However this has given chance for reflection and absorption of various ideas through visits to exhibitions in February, contrasting the overwhelming but often mediocre show at Doncaster and the excellent event arranged at Newark by the Lincoln club.

March brought Narrow Gauge North, where 7mm scale was in the minority but the trade support gave access to the 7mm Narrow Gauge Association sales stand and it was good to catch up with Minimum Gauge Models. Allen had a few new products on show, the one that caught my eye (and snared my wallet) was this etch of grilles, louvres, hinges etc:


I've spent some time in the last week or two on the concept and practicalities of a new project, which will be a new direction but one I've given some consideration to recently for various reasons. I will go into a little more detail in due course but here is some 'concept' artwork:


Of course, what isn't apparent from the sketch is what scale or gauge this will be in... there might be a clue on the heading of this post...

Colin



Sunday, 15 January 2017

A Salted Tub

An oddity on my fleet of stored O9 wagons was a Black Dog Mining WA25 mine tub, a recent purchase from ExpoNG in 2015. It came with the Gnine version of the chassis which looked odd in O9, so an old 5' Black Dog chassis was re-purposed from another wagon and placed underneath.

As it was not really suited to my usual interests I proposed to experiment and use the method of using salt to mask to create a rust effect on this wagon, as described most recently in 'Narrow Lines' (7mm NGA) but previously published elsewhere. This base layer of rust effect is stippled on acrylics over Halfords red oxide primer - Humbrol Red/Brown, Vallejo Hull Red and artists Red oxide, followed by a slightly more orange mix of the latter:


Having left the rust stippled paint to dry overnight I wet the surface of the wagon body and added the salt - a mix of rock and table salt - with hindsight a lot of the rock salt was far too big in size (despite my efforts to crush it). This was then left to dry out (aided by the airing cupboard):


Once dried out I did remove some of the larger particles of salt before spraying over the wagon with Halfords grey primer and again left to dry:


Once the grey paint was dry I rubbed off most of the salt and then washed off the residue. The effect is very pleasing and I think I would struggle to achieve this any other way:



The next stage was be to paint the underframe to enhance the wood effect and also to add some further weathering to the body by adding some texture to selected rust areas using weathering powders. This was applied over dabs of Vallejo Matt Medium to provide some adherence. It does look rather bright but once varnished it toned down:


Before varnishing I did add a little more rust coloured weathering powder to the worst patches, then the next day I sprayed with Humbol aerosol matt varnish which dried satisfyingly matt. Once the varnish was dry I added some light dry brushing around the body edges and wooden chassis frame, and some metallic dry brushing on the coupler blocks and axle boxes.



This has certainly proved to be an interesting diversion during the Christmas and January period where a lot of real life happenings have restricted the modelling time somewhat....

Colin