Sunday, 20 January 2013

Bet I couldn't eat three....

My wife returned from a local charity shop the other day with a small plastic bag containing a few railway items she had bought for a pound.... usually such well intentioned gifts tend to turn out to be nothing much of use to an O9 modeller, but this time, she has hit gold:

It may not look much, but there are some useful bits in this Grafar-made promotional item (I think from the 1980s?) and the added bonus is that I always wanted one when they were available, but no-one would have eaten enough Shredded Wheat in our house to get one!


Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Re-roofing the 'Romneys'

Moving on from straightening out the roofs of the Exmoor-style coaching stock, the next job for winter tinkering is to address the problems with the roofs on the coaches known as the 'Romneys'.  Although RH&DR in style, they actually owe their origins to the work of Clive Mortimer and his planned 'Great Ouse Valley Railway'.  There were actually several of these coaches, mostly shell-only, and three, no.s 9-11 were selected for rebuild back in 2005/6.  Here is no. 10 ready for paint in Feb 2006:

From this picture the construction of the roof is all apparent, chopped about Hornby/Dapol brake van roofs covered with tissue secured with solvent.  So much solvent that six years later the result is seen on no. 11:

It's a bit wibbly-wobbly along the edges and starting to bow upwards at the ends.  The only solution is new roofs, these have been built using the same materials as the originals but with the split in sections moved over one of the doors.  There will be no tissue paper cover this time, one of the reasons back in 2005/6 was to hide my bad cleaning-up of the roof sections of their rainstrips and chimney.  I think I have made a better effort this time, please excuse the typex in use as filler as a final fill over the join, this will of course be smoothed back before painting:

Things may slow down at this point as it is minus 3 degrees in the workshop and not exactly the time to be spraying primer.  Luckily, these coaches were semi-retired some time ago so there is no hurry!


Saturday, 5 January 2013

Running Repairs

In what is traditionally the miniature railway 'quiet season', even in model form the Somerthorpe Miniature Railway can find a list of jobs for the workshop team to do, and that's before they even dare contemplate anything 'new'!

Following on from the rather protracted overhaul of No.3, I have now started to tackle one or two other outstanding jobs in the stock box.  First on the list was a quick bit of work on the 'Exmoor' style semi-open coaches (14-16).  The roofs on these coaches were held in place with UHU solvent free adhesive to facilitate access to recover loose figures etc, however over the years this has had to resist the roof trying it's hardest to warp.... and lost.  The roofs on these coaches are cut and shut from Dapol/Hornby GWR 'Toad' roofs, with a layer of 20 thou styrene over the top to give a smooth finish.  Not equally layered on the underside this has caused the warp.  My attempted solution is below:

What at first glance looks like a multi-coloured spider attacking the workbench is actually no. 16's roof, on the underside two strips of 20 thou (black) styrene have been cemented in place and the clamps are holding the roof straight against two lengths of November 5th rocket stick.  Each roof has been clamped like this for at least 24 hours.  The result is a much less warped roof.

Here no. 14 demonstrates the next phase of the process.  I have again used UHU solvent free to allow easy access in the future (but more of it this time around), and then held the roof in place with elastic bands for a further 24 hours before removal, with the end result demonstrated by no. 15 (each coach is getting an equal turn in the pictures today!):

Whilst working on no. 16 I actually surprised myself at some of the little details I had forgotten that I had included, including the window between guards and passenger compartments, and that I customised the guard figure (Prieser) with rolled up flags under his arm (no doubt from their 1/48th Aircrew set):

This little overhaul has kept me out of mischief for a few days, fitting well into limited time and quite frankly not feeling so great and not wanting to do to much.... Next into the workshop are the 'heritage' Romney Hythe and Dymchurch style coaches, which will need completely new roofs to solve their problems...