Sunday, 27 September 2015

Of Lamp Posts and Phone Boxes

Just a quick update of progress in preparing 'Shifting Sands' for the Sheffield Model Railway Society's Annual Show on October 10th. As previous posts have shown, my long-awaited aim to have lamp posts on the layout has been achieved, and they were 'planted' yesterday.

The posts have been located using some lengths of the same 3/32nd tubing that forms the centre section of the pole.  Lengths of this tubing were cut to match the distance from scenic surface to the underside of the baseboard and Araldited into a pre-drilled hole. Underneath the board, once the posts were in position, enough of the 1/16th tube that runs the full height of the light was showing to add the inner working of a chocolate block electrical connector to clamp the post in position, allowing removal if required.

Another scenic addition that has been made has only been planned for a short time, from the day after Peco announced their 7mm scale plastic kit for a classic red telephone box. This has been built as per instructions (and when they say paint before assembly, you really do need to paint the inside back wall first!), sprayed with red oxide primer and finished in Vallejo red acrylic, varnished with Testors Dullcote and lightly weathered.

The phone box has taken the place of the bench that previously stood here, with a little adjustment required to slabs and some extra grass added to hide the surgery. The previous inhabitant of the bench, assumed to be the long-suffering partner of the photographer lining up his shot, has taken up residence outside the rock emporium where she continues to read her magazine!

With the layout outside for photography I couldn't resist having a play and created this image, although all attempts to digitally add the sea in the background have so far failed!


Sunday, 20 September 2015

Illuminating Progress

Just a quick update on the new lamp posts for 'Shifting Sands'.  They have now been primed with etch primer, with the lamp base and top touched in with off-black.  A finishing touch are the asset numbers created from 4mm scale vehicle registration plate numbers.

On the top of each shade I have added the little sensors that appear on top of each light, these are from a Ratio 4mm scale swan-necked lamp set.

With a little weathering they will be ready to put in place on the layout ahead of a forthcoming appearance... details here!


Monday, 14 September 2015

See the Light

I've always planned to add some street lights to 'Shifting Sands' but finding the right design and look has taken some time. Ideally I'd like some concrete tapered columns but couldn't see an easy way to produce these (although 3D printing may of some possibilities if anyone wants to try...). Last year I spotted a light in Ulrome, on the East Riding coast, that offered some possibilities:

Now I suspect this is on private land rather than part of the council set-up, but it ticked the boxes for the '
look' I was after. What follows is not an exact copy but an 'inspired by' lamp.

Here are the raw materials, K&S 1/16" brass tubing, some larger (I believe 3/32") brass tube that telescopes over, Evergreen 1/8" styrene tubing, brass drawing pins and a Modelscene 4mm scale lamp.

The first step is to upscale the lamps from the 4mm product. Each shade was drilled in the centre to accept the drawing pin and the lamp holder was carefully cut from the post, cleaned up and drilled to accept the 1/16" tubing.

The 1/16" tubing runs through the whole height of the lamps. I cut the length of tubing in half to 6" lengths, giving a good length of tube to go through the baseboard and a lamp height of approx 125mm. I cut a 50mm length of the 3/32" tubing and soldered this in place 45mm from the top of the pole.

The final step was to add a 28mm length of the 1/8" styrene tube to form the base of the lamp post, this was drilled out with a 2.5mm drill bit at the top to overlap the brass tube and given a slight angle around the top. Both the bases and lamps were fixed in place with Araldite, although the lamp shades and drawing pins are still separate parts at this stage to aid painting.  On each base I added a 12 x 4mm inspection cover from 5 thou styrene sheet.

The lamp post are now ready to paint and plant on the layout, but that is for another day!


Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Back at the bench

You may have noticed from the three month hiatus this blog appears to have had that I've not had a lot of modelling time of late, but in those odd moments I caught I considered, or rather reconsidered, the chassis I had used under the second A1 Models loco build.  The kit is promoted for the Kato mechanism and both my kits had an appropriate baseplate in plastic for this.  Putting myself into the frame of mind of "what would I do coming to this anew with a Kato in hand?" the result was this chassis frame, caught here after overall application of grey primer and then red primer on the "buffer" beams:

This frame uses the A1 Models plastic baseplate (which I was surprised stuck OK with Humbrol liquid poly), and 40 thou styrene frames and buffer beams.  The axleboxes and springs are from Cambrian Models 4mm scale mouldings with hangers fabricated from evergreen section.  Coupler pockets from MicroTrains couplers are scratchbuilt as before and the cab interior pretty much replicates the version I built on the Bachmann frame. Cab detailing would later be appropriated from the old version.

The new frame was sneaked into the paint booth for varnish just before we went on holiday, so the Dullcote had a week to dry before weathering.  The overall result was this:

I am much happier with the way this now looks, the old frame looked a bit too 'stumpy' and I don't think that was helped by the grey paintwork.  Of course I could have just painted the old one black and saved some work....

The frame has been weathered lightly to match the loco body and highlight the spring detail, those Cambrian mouldings are quite detailed! Inside the cab the controls, cushion and driver have been transferred over from the old frame, with only minimal touching in required:

Of course, although I planned for it to be as simple as possible to describe and build, I did perhaps over-detail in places, and didn't take any progress shots of the build. So I then went on a quest to develop an even simpler version, but more about that another day!