Monday, 11 March 2013

A pleasant diversion on the way to somewhere?

As those who have observed my construction of the Unit Models wagon kit may have mused, I seem to be on the cusp of one of my industrial/agricultural minimum gauge phases.  Those who know me well will know that these periods don't often last that long, this time might be different, we'll have to see!

At Narrow Gauge North a conversation with Steve Bennett of Black Dog Mining about what O9 bits he had to hand resulted in the purchase of two wagon bodies that by close of play that same day had been attached to two chassis from my stockpile and were ready for painting:

The biggest/longest part of the build was cutting out the mountings for MicroTrains couplers....

A few weeks ago I had started an experiment in building O9 wagon bodies from Basswood, a technique I had wanted to play with for a while.  I hadn't got that far really, but a spare floor that I had marked out to fit a 5ft Black Dog Mining Chassis has been put into use to rebody my chequerplate flat wagon (itself a throw-together of surplus bits).  All the staining/painting/weathering work on this was completed in an afternoon:

Who knows where it will all lead?!


Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Building the Romney Scooter - 1

When Allen Law launched his 'Minimum Gauge Models' range the one that caught my eye was the RH&DR 'Scooter' to fit a Kato mechanism.  The Scooter, or PW2, has been an item of Romney stock that I've known about for years, my late 1970s/early 1980s guidebook to the line shows it at Hythe next to one of the famous Pacifics.

I've only met the machine (I hesitate to say 'locomotive') once, on it's only trip away from home to date, to the Kirklees Light Railway in September 2011, where it operated with 'Redgauntlet' on the shuttle services.

The MG Models kit includes a number of compromises, some can be overcome to a degree but I think that you just have to accept that this isn't going to create a fully accurate rendition and just get on with it.. I have made several alterations and additions to enhance the kit as it comes.  Sorry there are no real "in progress" shots, I just wanted get on and build.  Here's the model, my guidebook, and a useful photo downloaded from the internet:

A closer view of the model, the biggest compromise of them all is the wheel positions, they should be right at the ends of the frame, the real machine is built on a former 4w coach chassis:

Head on view.  The handrail is one of my additions, as are the buffers, a bargain find at a recent exhibition:

Side view, I replaced the etched grille with a finer mesh from the scap box (dating back to an old MTK kit eons ago). I've added strips to the edges of the roof, and along the bottom of the cab sides, to represent the door sliders on the real machine:

I've scratchbuilt an exhaust from brass wire and tube, the real thing seems to have one formed from plumbing parts...:

After a pause in work I added the de/re-railing bars under the bufferbeams, made from scrap brass and some rail, soldered together in a jig.  They are too long in the photo, now corrected.  Ironically I have had to superglue these to the buffer beams as I've used plastic infills to tidy up the slots for the MiroTrains coupers and provide a mount for them behind the bufferbeam.  Headlights on the cab front and rear have been made from HO scale truck wing mirrors on a homemade mounting :

I did manage to find space for a customary Dapol part in the grouping created to cover up the part of the Kato chassis that pokes out into the rear compartment.  It's joined by a Merit 4mm scale postal sack in a new life as a bin bag:

The real loco now sports a hinged cover to this compartment, as seen here at Kirklees:

After some cleaning up both with a glass fibre brush and a good wash, it will be time to blacken the corners and vulnerable areas with gun blue, and then it will be time for primer (assuming the weather wants to warm up the workshop a little!).


Sunday, 3 March 2013

Building a Unit Models wagon kit - 3

As predicted, various levels of weathering have appeared on the Unit Models wagon.  The whole wagon received a thin coat of brown translucent paint, an old product from the sadly missed Penhaven range.  This was followed by a wash of black over the more naturally coloured planks inside.  I then used dry brushing exclusively, some warm rust tones on the strapping, then highlights in two shades, darker followed by a lighter shade.

I've fitted MicroTrains couplings - I do need to touch in the screw head with some black paint, but this may have to wait until I decide whether to give the whole wagon a coat of Citadel 'Purity Seal' varnish once the workshop is warm enough.