Monday, 26 March 2012

On Being Industrious

I'm pleased (perhaps relieved) to say that my i/c industrial loco project is now at a degree of completion.

Following a coat of Games Workshop varnish, I have glazed the cab windows with individual pieces of glazing, including a representation of a sliding window in the cab side.  I have also made the headlights look like lenses using Araldite.



At the moment the couplings (and indeed chassis) are in O9 mode, however it can be made to sit on a 24mm 'Spud' and fitted with modified NEM-fitting tension lock or Kaydee couplers with a few moments work to run in O-16.5 mode.


Inside the cab some of the detail (mostly Sidelines parts) can be seen:


It could really do with a heavy dose of weathering but that will have to wait until I decide it's fate, It is a bit of an alien interloper in my existing fleet, and certainly looms over any of the 'Shifting Sands' fleet.  Of course it is intended as an 18" gauge industrial loco rather than a 15" miniature one.  Although I did start work on some wagons for it to pull, these are on hold at the present time until I decide whether to pursue the industrial approach or whether to explore other options.  But don't worry, either way will be reported here in due course.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Preservation in Miniature

I've alluded in a past update to a project to restore my early miniature railway models, from my 'experimental' phase almost 10 years ago, to something close to their original condition.  This involves the first 'Intrepid'  being lowered to as-built ride height on a dummy chassis and my Routemaster based coaches being given new bogies.

Here's the target 'look' - the yet to be named locomotive with the Routemaster stock in tow:


The bogie donor is a Del Prado UP locomotive, sadly the cast chassis block is too long for this project. Interestingly the body of this has a separate roof panel in just the right place to sit a miniature railway driver...


The bogie details were stripped back and modified to resemble the conversion carried out originally on Bachmann bogies.  2mm Evergreen channel added over the top edge, plus new bufferbeams and other details in styrene.  In the background MicroTrains 'Archbar' bogies are having the mountings altered to suit the Routemaster coaches and hook and loop couplers replacing the MT originals for between coach couplings (i.e. the cheapskate way!):


A styrene chassis frame will hold the dummy bogies in place, this will locate into the fitting used on the frame I built to fit the present Atlas chassis (now what will happen to that....?!)


A waft of primer over the bogies and chassis frame was followed by a spray of matt black on the frame itself, whilst the bogies were painted using Valejo acrylics and everything subsequently varnished using Humbrol 'Matt Cote'.  A bit a dry brushing here and there has brought out the detail in the bogie sides:


The dummy couplers are Bachmann mouldings as supplied with wagons in the US N range, they are bit on the chunky size but do the job (i.e. are cheap and non-functioning).  They don't look so bad with the body in place.  This picture is an attempt to re-create one that I took for 'Model Train International' several years ago which has featured on the blog before:


The coach bogies were also toned down with Matt Cote and a bit of drybrushing, three coaches have been treated this way, this photo is of coach number 1 which was repainted a couple of years ago after a disastrous attempt to re-livery it in Maroon.  The underframe was modified at the same time to better resemble my loose prototype of the ex-Sutton Miniature Railway coaches.  This is set off by the 'Archbar' bogies that closely resemble those of the Sutton Stock:


The completed train presently has pride of place in my display cabinet.  Which reminds me, I better find something to fill the other shelves...

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Narrow Gauge North 2012

What a pleasant day out this turned out to be, not just in terms of an excellent line-up of layouts and traders, but also to meet up with both familiar faces and to put faces to some familiar names from the NGRM Online forum.

O9 modeller Jordan Leeds had brought his Paul Windle-built 'River Mite' to show me, and by special arrangement via social networking, I had brought my Avalon Line R&ER coach to accompany it.  What then followed was an almost 'flash-mob' takeover of the MG Models demonstration layout (thanks Allen!):


Not to be content with just one Ratty loco, I then brought 'Cumbria' out of my bag to pose it alongside 'River Mite', truly 'minimum and miniature' (or vice-versa):


Allen Law had several interesting etched parts on show, including a model of the Dudley Zoo railway articulated stock complete with guards coupĂ©, he has this on sale now having designed it within a week, following measuring up the prototype at Windmill Farm last weekend.  Tempting as it was, I opted to buy his etch for the Rhyl 'car de luxe' to add to my etched kit practice pile.  My purchases were complete with a few resin goodies from Steve Bennett at Black Dog Mining, more on which another time.

To Intrepidly Complete...

I hadn't realised until I had a conversation at Narrow Gauge North this morning that is nearly a month since I updated O9modeller.  So what have you missed?  Well, er... not a great deal!

Intrepid (II) is now complete, treated to a coat of Citadel (Games Workshop) satin varnish with no ill effect on the enamel paints used for the secondary colours, hopefully as a result of leaving them plenty of time to dry before overcoating.  Smaller parts such as the air horns were fitted and glazing added mostly using parts from the kit.  A tip to pass on here is to use a black marker pen around the edges of those curved corner windows, this really reduces the prismatic effect.  A second tip is to use 'Kleer' floor polish to coat the windows inside and out to get a good transparent effect.


The cab door windows are the only ones not used from the kit, 20 thou clear styrene was used for these, the divider bar is a strip of silver car trim line.  Nameplates are from A1 Models.


A comparison with the original loco was inevitable,  The new loco is on the right!  The original is now undergoing some work to restore it to it's 'as built' height (basically without the grey solebar) for display purposes.  I'll write some more about this project in due course.



I've also completed the Hudson framed open wagon, seen here temporarily carrying oil drums, however events may have overtaken this one, more in a future update!


An finally my industrial i/c loco is progressing in the paintshop after several setbacks, including an almost total strip-down and repaint, the colour now used in Halfords Ford Meadow Green.


And if that isn't enough of an update, I'll post some thoughts from NG North later this evening....