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Sunday, 7 November 2010

Orange Peel Opportunity

Following from lest weekend playing trains, I've been back at the model again this weekend. I did some more work on Moel Tryfan and thought I'd make some progress by spraying it and Russell in primer. First spray went well but then the second just spluttered a bit and turned it into that awful orange peel texture on the surface. Thankfully they're both soldered together so the paint stripper can come out again and take them back to metal. However I bought some paints last weekend so thought I'd use it as an opportunity to see how they look, so here they are.

Moel Tryfan is in Midland red which is supposed to be the correct colour for an ex-shop loco. Russell is in a dark brick red which is what the paint was reported to fade to relatively quickly. The brick red isn't quite as pale as the camera flash has made it look but I still find it a bit weak. I may use it with some varnish on some coaching stock but I think I may mix it with some of the Midland red to get a slightl less vibrant colour for some of the loco stock.
I also spent a bit of time completing a covered van and putting together a Parkside kit of a Pickering Brake Composite. I have to say I've been a bit disappointed by this kit as it is purely the sides and ends and some plasticard for a floor and roof. I wasn't expecting to have to create an underframe for it so now I'll have to sort out some I beam sections for the solebars and something for the truss rods. If I'd known it before I would just have gone fro some Worsley sides but you live and learn.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Playing Trains

Well, it's been a very railway-focussed weekend. I made it to ExpoNG on Saturday which was as good as ever. Not as many layouts as I remember from the past but more than enough traders to throw my money at - a 50HP Baldwin Gas Mechanical should be appearing beneath the Christmas tree this year!

More impressively though was the first outing of Colin Lea's Rhyd Ddu. I've been following it's build on his blog for the last few years and I'd been really impressed by the way it looked in photos. However it was even better in the flesh. Too many layouts I've seen pictures of seem to end up as less than the sum of their parts but Rhyd Ddu was quite the opposite. Here's a picture of Colin hard at work.

Apart from that I spent a day actually operating a layout at an exhibition. Batcombe is
a relatively straightforward OO BR southern region terminus owned by a friend of my dad. It was straightforward and really enjoyable although the exhibition was a bit more modest than ExpoNG being in the Woodchurch Memorial Hall in Kent where we were trying to raise money for their roof fund.
We may have been quite modest but one participant - The Gresley Beat - wasn't. A 32' long model of the Kings Cross Top Shed area filled the main hall on its own - we were definitely playing second fiddle. Here's a pic that doesn't even start to do it justice.

And finally there is, of course, my own layout. I've been relearning a lot of lessons that I'd forgotten during my lay off. Trying to make this double curved turnout was certainly challenging my ability and patience but I seem to be getting over the hump with it. I've got some alignment dowels and traverser rails in the post so hopefully I'll be able to get a few boards together and actually run some trains.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Ok, well this biggest change will make some of you happy going by previous posts. I've made the switch to DCC. With a Prodigy Advance and a couple of Digitrax DZ125s I've been able to run Russell and Moel Tryfan on the test track. Slow running is truly excellent although I'm struggling to get my head round deceleration CVs. Moel Tryfan seems to either come to a dead stop or carry on like a greased weasel on a ski slope!

Aside from that I've started to put together another Parkside NWNGR Workmans' Carriage. I think the can of grey primer will have to come out soon.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Break it down and build it up

Well, it's amazing what 15 minutes and a jar of paint stripper will do. Russell was pretty soon down to its component parts. I found it quite intriguing watching all the previous liveries come through as each layer was stripped back.

But that was the easy bit! But it's not a complex kit so, after about an hour with a soldering iron, most of the kit was back together again. Even better it was back together in much better condition than when I first built it over 10 years ago. I think I must have chucked it together with superglue in about 5 minutes flat. This time it's all square, well held together, and without all the odd little gaps that were in it before.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

I'm back

OK, so I might have been quiet for a little while but that's because, well, I haven't done anything. No real excuses but after a few months in Iraq with work and a house move I just sort of drifted away from modelling for a bit but no more.

The odd thing is that when I start digging my stuff out I couldn't quite remember where I'd got with everything. As a result the first stage was a bit of housekeeping with the paint stripper and cellulose thinners. So the airbrush is now working, teh Chivers Russell is now in its component parts, and some older kits are being reviewed. Hopefully I'll be able to come up with a proper plan of action soon and there'll be some visible progress to stick up here!