Sunday, 12 February 2012

To Intrepidly Go...

I've had a few setbacks on the painting front of late - which I have put down to being a bit out of practice, but I can now say that this is on the right track:

Since a second sprayed coat of blue (I said there were setbacks...), this has had three coats each of the roof and solebar grey, and red bufferbeams. Details have been touched in, including the headlights (which will get a dollop of Araldite once varnished) and door handles. Transfers are a mix of the Dapol whiskers and SMS transfer lettering, applied with MicroSet and MicroSol:

This is a key project for me in many ways, whilst it is the first item to be finished since I got back into the swing of things, it is also perhaps the last dedicated item to be built for 'Shifting Sands' - future projects are still in the dreaming phase!

Friday, 10 February 2012

Carrying the Goods

As regular readers will know, my O9 modelling has mostly centred around passenger carrying miniature railways, as these are of the greatest interest to me, and are perhaps the most realistic use of the scale/gauge combination as 9mm is closer to 15" gauge than 18" gauge in 7mm scale.

However, from time to time I've tried to dabble in industrial and/or estate prototypes, most notably recently with the never to be completed 'Misterton Fen Tramway'.  In it's latest build phase I did put together a couple of 3-plank dropside opens and described them alongside a gauge convertible i/c loco here.

The one on the left used the chassis and resin floor from the twin-oil barrel carrier that used to run in the 'Shifting Sands' works train, whilst that on the right was a new build on a spare Black Dog chassis.  These two wagons finally made the paint shop recently for a blast of red oxide primer, but not until I had replaced some of the bolt heads on the ends with Grandt Line mouldings.  They can be glimpsed in the background of this workbench shot:

Painting the two wagons turned my thought to adding to the fleet. I hit on the idea of a chassis swap for another of the 'Shifting Sands' works fleet, a rebuilt Black Dog chequerplate flat. This was carefully stripped down, removing the floor and extra some sideframes I had added from Plastruct section. The floor has been rebuilt to sit on an RCL skip frame (which in a previous plan was destined to be a static drum carrier due to issues with the wheels on MicroTrains magnets).  This will be permanently coupled to a partner to alleviate this issue.

With a MicroTrains coupler added at one end, a rather nifty link to the other wagon was constructed by shaping and twisting a long brass split pin to resemble a prototypical coupling bar - even if it does end sat in the loop of another split pin on the other wagon:

Meanwhile, the Black Dog Mining chassis emerged as a one-plank, fixed side open. This is a simple build in styrene on the recycled Shifting Sands flat wagon frame, using a floor from an abandoned Gn15 wagon project.  Detail comes in the form of Evergreen strip, rod and some Grandt Line bolt heads:

As Dave Lister of the mining ship 'Red Dwarf' would have it, there are always a few parts left over.... the wagon above was to have been another 3-plank, so the off-cuts of the sides and ends have been joined by a floor, like the wagon above this is recycled from an older project, to form a ready to build kit. This may benefit from the fake channel section frames removed from the Shifting Sands flat and the 'research' into using Dapol railbus axle boxes....

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Building an Avalon Line Enclosed Coach Kit - 2

I've made a few changes to the build of my Avalon like kit, some forced by necessity (having castings only) and some by my choice to use MicroTrains bogies rather than the kit originals.

I created a roof using my usual method involving 20 thou styrene (in this case recycled supermarket ice cream carton lid) an empty cola can, pyrex jug and boiling water.  In simple terms the styrene is cut to the approx shape of the roof, taped to the can using scotch tape and placed in the pyrex jug.  Boiling water is poured into and around the can and as if by magic the styrene takes the shape of the can.  That is the simple version, this roof actually uses two visible sections and six hidden strengthening parts, plus strip and sheet styrence for strength!

Underside of the roof - triple layered styrene to try and avoid warping.

Roof in situ, the join in the upper surface is covered with a 10 thou strip.

As the image above shows, under the solebars I have added the strengthening framework, however I have added this to the chasis frame rather than directly to the body.  In order to do this I have added styrene fillets at each end to support the framework.

The chassis frame with added chassis framework.

Styrene fillets add strength to the joins between underframe and side frames.
The picture above also shows how I have mounted a MicroTrains coupler mount to the chassis.  This involved filling the cast hole and re-drilling 0.5mm closer to the end, then opening this out to 3mm to take the mounting supplied with the MicroTrains bogies.

The bogies themselves are a hybrid between MicroTrains and Avalon components.  The Avalon sideframes are cut from the bogies and thinned down - for this (and most other sanding in the project), I used a pound shop emery board.  The MicroTrains bogie has had all side detail cut and sanded off, and the parts joined using Araldite.

Modified MicroTrains bogies with Avalon side frames.
With the bogies completed this coach must be ready to join the queue outside the paint shop....

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Sometimes I can't resist the urge to tinker...

As can be imagined, I'm starting to build up a small stock of Dapol railbus underframe parts and for some time I've wondered what the suspension and axlebox parts could be used for in narrow gauge modelling.  Of course they could be used for loco underframes - as per the original version of the industrial i/c loco, but where would the fun be in that?!

I've wondered what use they would be for wagon underframes, so taking already-used parts from the old i/c loco chassis, I had a play:

Top of the picture is a BlackDog 6ft chassis for comparison.  The sample under that uses the Dapol suspension wrong way up without the spring, I think that this would pass quite well in O9.

The bottom sample uses the Dapol axlebox right way up and chopped about a little (lot) the idea is to fill up the gaps either side above the axlebox with filler, this would be more suited to O-16.5 or Gn15.

Oh well, kept me occupied for half an hour....