Sunday, 28 February 2021

More in Paper, Pencil and Cardboard

After planning a scenic treatment for the Julian Andrews brickworks plan that didn't incorporate a running line hidden in a building, I decided to try a version that was closer to the original in that respect. This plan also moved the trees towards the background and potentially does away with the backscene on the left hand side of the board.

The building as sketched is a close copy of the one completed Misterton Fen Tramway structure, the workshop. I sold this on, due to storage space constraints, so it would be good to recreate it in some way.

Mocking this up in finest cereal packet card created a better effect than I had anticipated, The grouping on either side of the trees/smaller huts and the tree/tank/workshop seems to work well. The idea is that this layout will be my first use of a photographic backscene so there won't be quite such an apparent gap in the scene. The Port Wynnstay hut features again whilst the adjacent engine shed could equally be a concrete sectional structure rather like the old Skegness miniature railway example that I built extra wide and in low relief a few years ago.

There may be a few more ideas to consider, but I might have to eat some more cornflakes!


Friday, 26 February 2021

Planning in Paper, Pencil and Cardboard

Drawing inspiration from the old 'Misterton Fen Tramway' sketches and the more recent pizza exercises I have now sketched a few ideas for my project based on the plan of Julian Andrews brickworks layout. These initial ideas have dropped the line running through a building approach of the original.

The first sketch uses a round tank on stilts very much like the one in the old sketches. The arrangement on he left hand side incorporates a workshop containing some machine tools that I have in my possession. The building would be based architecturally on the one part of the MFT that got completed - the workshop. I sold this on, due to space constraints, so it would be good to recreate it in some way.

I came up with an alternative for the right hand side that used the Port Wynnstay hut and a modified Airfix/Dapol tank (on brick piers). However, my mind must be in 009 mode still, when I attempted a 3D mock-up it wouldn't quite fit as sketched and I had to adapt the idea a little.

This was certainly a starting point, I had a few concerns about being able to see both lines curving away and how that might look, especially as I envisaged backscene boards both sides of the scene. Also the two trees I had in mind to use in the scene have turned out to be better background trees than foreground examples.

More soon...


Friday, 19 February 2021

Pizza Ponderings 2 - Square Pizza

There used to be a pizzeria locally who's trademark was square pizza. I suppose it is better box space utilisation if nothing else... 

Curious I took the estate scene pizza and translated it to the same 13 x 19" board size as my 009 scene 'Old Quarry Line', retaining the 5" radius curves of the pizza but adding in a straight on each side allowing a short siding to be incorporated.

Having checked with a full size plan the siding would probably have to be curved in reality, but it just about fits. Overall the scheme reminds me of some of the micro layouts that James Hilton has built over the years, more recently in OO6.5.

At 13 x 19" is isn't much smaller than the 15 x 24" of my stalled corkboard scheme but it seems a very different style of scene. All this thinking is leading towards how this project could be restarted and as part of that process I have revisited some older sketches made during the development of the 'Misterton Fen Tramway' scheme (another square pizza) to see how I tackled issues such as the line vanishing behind the buildings and through the hole(s) in the sky.

In the scheme above a tank on brick piers, and a simple block structure hide the exits. The tank was the focus of my attention, I think it was envisaged as Knightwing on scratch built piers but could easily be fully scratch built. In the scene below the all too familiar hut appears!

Eventually a full size mock-up was made, by this stage I had actually extended the board a little at either end. A combination of structures and trees would hide the exits reasonably well.

Ideas are now starting to fall into place and thoughts are turning to how the corkboard inspired scheme can be taken forward...


Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Pizza Ponderings - Fresh Toppings

Some issues with the recent Christmas Pizza have led me to strip back the scenery to almost a bare board with embedded trackwork. There is a chance that I won't be reinstating the snow scene, at least in the same form, having found that keeping track clean and snow were not really compatible! The trees and other bits have been recovered for reuse but in the meantime I've been thinking what could be done in terms of a "re-theme". 

I recalled a sketch made some time ago for an O9 scene, representing an estate railway, split into three views of a roadway with vehicle/office or station/yard.

I have now created a couple of sketches of how it could look in practice. From the roadway side (without the vehicle in place) it can be seen that a Port Wynnstay hut and Peco phone box are envisaged, oddly enough both kits are to hand...

The yard side features a grounded van body, inspired by the Peco O-16.5 one used on 'The Headshunt' (indeed there may be aside from it somewhere!) and a series of junk bits.

During the early construction of the Christmas pizza a friend asked if the mounds were going to be sand dunes or snow, which must have struck a chord... A more recent pair of pizza sketches depict the familiar territory of a passenger-carrying seaside miniature railway, but a more run down, lower key setup than that depicted on 'Shifting Sands'. 

The sketch on the right uses an ice cream van as part of the disguise of the circuit, and whilst not split directly into thirds as per the estate plan sufficiently breaks up the scene. Wanting to see how it might work I made a sketch of how it might look.

It is funny how I can visualise these ideas but not the layout that I am currently stalled building - the Julian Andrews brickworks inspired scheme...maybe it will come in time?


Sunday, 14 February 2021

The Trouble With Cloning

Following on from the theme of my previous post 'My Oh-Nine', another iteration of that thinking was seen late in 2020. I've always liked the outline of SMR no.3, a 4w diesel that has had many rebuilds over the years (seen here midway through the last one), but a loco that has a little too much overhang on the curves on the proposed layout. There is about 5mm of length beyond the ends of the Kato chassis at each end.

Frustrated by a couple of frustrations in the Alan Keef project, I deduced that I needed a shorter version, and rebuilding to shorten it perhaps wasn't an option. So one Sunday back in November I started work on a new locomotive...

This draws influence from no.3 but with a few changes to make it a little different. There is perhaps also a little influence from the MG Models 'Classic' locomotive, but as they both perhaps have similar DNA that isn't a surprise.

Whilst it has got a little further since the last photo, progress stalled in December and it hasn't troubled the workbench since...The 


Saturday, 30 January 2021

A Cacophony of Wagons

O9 wagons have been something of a theme during January. As hinted previously, there were already a couple of wagons in the paint shop before the latest builds were completed, a flat and a 'Tops' wagon.

The 5ft flat is (I think) one of my earliest Black Dog Mining chassis, having been the flat with two oil drums in a previous life, then an open and now a simple flat using a Black Dog body - but not a flat, it is a much cut down open wagon - don't ask! It is finished in a well-worn wooden state.

The open 'Tops' wagon body is the scratchbuilt one that had been transferred to the ex-Shifting Sands generator wagon in that exchange that we don't mention any more... Reunited with it's original Black Dog 6ft chassis, which has been stripped and repainted to match the body.  Internally a repainted floor was required after work to remove the glue marks left by the last load. Finished in worn grey with a weathered wood interior.

On to the new-builds, the single-plank wagon, technically a refresh of the ex-Shifting Sands generator carrier, has emerged in pretty much the original colours of grey body and black solebars, with a weathered wood interior (and rather a lot of sand dust!)

The new two-plank 'Tops' wagon has an overall weathered wood finish, in contrast the to weathered grey of the previous example. I've used different shading underneath colour washes to try and give the effect of different types of wood on the body planks and underframe areas.

The three-plank drop-side wagon is painted in Humbrol red/brown with a weathered wood interior and weathered black hinges/strapping. I painted a wagon converted from a Chivers O-16.5 kit in this colour a few years ago and rather liked it. The eagle-eyed will spot that I have used a brown MicroTrains coupler, which is a very similar shade.

Judging from the short testing session after taking the photos it may be necessary to have a coupler 'Grease-em' and adjustment session, but that can wait for another day!


Thursday, 14 January 2021

Three Wagons Roll

The three new wagons seen in my last post have now received a coat of primer, doing it's usual wonder of making everything look a lot better. It also allows us to look at the wagons in more detail.

Firstly this is hopefully the final incarnation of the (ex) Shifting Sands 1-plank wagon. You may recall that this 6ft Black Dog Mining chassis gained a 2-plank 'Tops' body not many months ago with the original load transferred... we'll pretend that didn't happen... that body is heading back to it's original chassis and the load will go in another of the more miniature railway outline wagons in the fleet. The chassis was stripped of old paint and this new body uses one of the floors from the planned batch of wagons and one plank recovered from intended sides and ends.

Next is a fairly standard (for me) 'Tops' wagon on a 6ft Black Dog chassis. Another floor from the intended batch build and sides cut down to 2-plank (spare planks went to the body above). End handrails are recycled from the similar body that became the 009 Christmas present wagon, which was a shorter body intended for a 5ft chassis so I haven't gone totally mad! 

That 5ft body had been intended to go on the chassis of the last new wagon, a Sidelines Gnine chassis. This is the same length as a Black Dog 5ft chassis but with a longer wheelbase and taller from rail level. I had acquired this with a mine tub body as it was all Steve had at the time. I reduced the chassis height by about 1mm some time ago and had originally created a 'Tops' body for it. But it never looked balanced right in that form and the chassis seemed to look better with a flat or 3-plank body. As I have another 5ft flat in the works I opted to use a shortened set of 3-plank sides intended for the batch build, with a newly marked up floor. I used modified Grandt Line hinges again but only a pair each side rather than three, which looks a lot better balanced for a shorter wagon in my eyes.

They'll now join the queue for the paint shop (there are already be a couple of wagons in there to complete first).