Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Building an Avalon Line Enclosed Coach Kit - 3 (Acrylic Afternoons)

It's been a while since I reported on my Avalon Line coach build, to be perfectly honest it was primed using a Halfords grey primer then sat for some time awaiting a flash of inspiration.  That came from the Sherwood Forest Railway's new enclosed stock painted in dark blue.  Although I considered using a Halfords aerosol to paint the main body colour, I decided to try something I wouldn't usually do - paint a complete coach body using brushed-on acrylics.

I chose the colour 'Regal Blue' from the Games Workshop Citadel range of paints.  Four coats of this applied with a flat brush built up sufficient colour depth, with little sign of brush marks.  The solebar and roof were painted using Vallejo black (suitable toned down) and Humbrol grey respectively.

Following a coat or two of Johnsons 'Kleer' over the areas in question, lining came from Fox transfers (Royal Mail TPO lining!) and the crests an old set by SMS, I think they are Caledonian Railway examples.  Inside the interior walls are the original grey primer and the seats and floor suitable shades from the Citadel 'Foundation' range.

Following a spray with Citadel 'Purity Seal' varnish, windows were individually cut from 20thou clear styrene to fit within each window opening to give a flush glazed effect.  Each pane was touched in around the cut edges using a permanent marker pen to reduce refraction within the glazing material.

The finishing touch for the body were door handles from the 7mm Narrow Gauge Association, secured in place from behind using Araldite.  Bogies were refitted and the official photographer summoned to record the completion of the build.  I am happy that the full-acrylic paint job stands up against sprayed models with little evidence of brush marks in the underlying paint finish.

Of course, there is something missing, passengers!  For some time I had in mind using this coach for an experiment in colour and shade. I had read a theory that passengers in coaches could be painted a dark colour and simply be 'shapes' behind the windows.  Just look at the next full size bus or train to pass you at a distance and give this theory some thought....

The figures involved are a set I purchased from Aidan Campbell at a show some years ago, they were an experiment by him in resin casting, from the conversation we had I'm not sure if it is one he repeated.  All were legless below the knee.  I had previously started to paint these but I had fallen out with them as some of them looked rather odd.  Using some cheap Chinese Prieser copies I gave two of the figures new heads, and then got carried away and added the lower parts of their legs, using further oddments, and some genuine Prieser parts to complete this process.  Milliput covered the joins and hid a few bodges.

The figures were sprayed with grey primer, then given a coat of flesh colour on their faces, arms hands etc.  Once this was dry, a wash of black was applied over the entire figure, seeping into the creases and shadows.  This darkened the grey areas and avoided a solid mass of colour.

The real test is what they looked like through the coach windows...

I'll leave readers to judge for themselves on the effectiveness of this treatment.  I have the coach in my display cabinet for daily inspection, I do wonder if the upper body clothing could do with a dry brush of light colours, but we shall see, at the moment I feel that it works, certainly for fully enclosed stock.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

'Rails to the Sands' - the Sequel

Today saw my first trip to the Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway for several months, in fact the last time I was there I was the first person to remove and exhibit from the old 'Rails to the Sands' exhibition in the craft units when 'Shifting Sands' returned home. I was intrigued to see what the re-use of much of the display material in Griffin Hall at Lakeside station would look like.  I had many personal connections to the original exhibition having painted sections of the structures and other smaller tasks....

'Mighty Atom', Bassett-Lowke no. 11 of 1908 is a display centrepiece.  This loco ran at Southport and Great Yarmouth so has genuine seaside links, alongside it's place in the Sutton Coldfield collection.
The ticket office transported from over the road, I'm told a TV is due to go in the opening very soon. The lifering that was cosmetically back-dated using 'mod-roc' on our old kitchen table looks a little tired, I do have the paint somewhere if anyone wants to touch in the chips....
'Blacolvesley' (L), Bassett-Lowke, 1909, veteran of Saltburn and Seaburn as well as Blakesley Hall, and currently out of traffic 'Sutton Belle' (R). 
SMR no.4, the canopy over the doorway has recycled from the old display in the craft units with some adjustment. 
The Triang-Minic locomotive.  When the original display was set up my modelling skills were put to use cleaning up and spray painting the reproduction arrows it carries.
Whilst there is no doubt more to do to enhance the exhibition, the inclusion of the 'Rails to the Sands' material has enhanced the offer in Griffin Hall no end.  In fact, the only thing missing appear to be my sandcastles...

Of course the longest-term resident in Griffin Hall is the SMR 'Loco Coal' wagon, inspiration for one of my recent models.  I now have a good, clear picture of it (I should have moved the bin...):

My model is definately an 'inspired by' one, having now seen several details in close-up a lot has become clearer, for example the how the end door hinges actually form the door retaining system:

Outside 'Mountaineer' and the GCR 'ROD' O4 were in operation, however I was keen to see the latest arrival at the CCLR, the rather interesting remains of the Les Anderson (of Minirail fame) RapidoRail articulated railcar set, a long-term restoration job no doubt!

RapidoRail railcar ex-Flamingoland, Dudley Zoo, Rhyl and long-term storage.