Sunday, 30 January 2011

Burnt fingers and brass...

I've knocked up some rear wipers from 0.9, 0.7 and 0.45mm brass wire, pliers, a file and solder! The main arms are filed into a tapered square section, and look good up close.

Handrails fitted with 0.9mm wire and the hood door handles are 0.9mm that is bent and the handle filed flat.

More on the forums when she's finished with step by step photos.

The roof is on...

Cut and fitted this afternoon from 6mm MDF. It's got a 30mm overhang which visually changed it from a purely British looking structure to slightly European, at least in my eyes, what do you think?

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Starting to come to life...

Despite still just being an oval on the carpet the placing of the shed has really helped me visualise the possibilities of this whole project.

You can see the clearance between the shed and the guards van, and how around the shed area there are going to be awesome photo opportunities! It's hi-lighting the need to install some isolating sections (or go Digital!)

1982 on the Steyrtalbahn...

Found this on YouTube this evening...

and here, a photo from Molln showing the shed that in a small part that inspired my design.

Painting and decorating...

Before the roof is cut, fitted, sealed, painted etc etc I need to finish the interior painting. I've started by painting the floor a grey, after initially trying black and it feeling too dark. The outside walls have had two coats of chalk coloured paint too, and the shunter is posed before being stripped down for further Europeanising mods!

Friday, 28 January 2011

It fits...

Just a test fitting before further finishing work on the shed! Next up painting the floor and outside walls before fitting a roof.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

And for my next trick, a station...

Sketching and dimensions started to try and calm my nerves (Dad's funeral tomorrow has really shaken me up) for the station at Alison. Those familiar with the Welshpool and Llanfair should recognise it... It's based on the original ticket office at Llanfair.

You can also make out notes on taking the Lilliput diesel a stage further with more drastic modifications inspired by the RhB tractor units featured on Klein Arosa (in Continental Modeller). Removing the Davenport raised wording, the cab rivets, painting orange, black roof, wire handrails..... Is it a step to far? Anyone know how easy they split down?

All in white... Shed progress

Here is the current state of play, well almost. The shed has had a coat of Sandtex primer and 10 year undercoat, it's dry and I've now just painted on a second coat paying particular attention to all exposed/cut MDF edges.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Re-visiting an old friend...

I picked up a copy of Continental Modeller today, a Peco magazine. It's got to be at least 10 years since I bought one and I was very pleasantly surprised.

I was initially attracted by the Klein Arosa article, as it's rare to see G in a mainstream mag especially to this high standard. However the content beyond that article is lovely and the layout is so clean and refreshing.

I particularly like the Greek layout, it's very effective and the colouring is very convincing. I fond myself drawn to articles like this just by the quality of the modelling and sympathetic photography. The article on South African steam is also lovely to flick through and very evocative. I remember seeing similar images in a book I had as a child.

The reviews are very much Peco and are very positive, tending to avoid any unpleasantness. There are also two weaker layouts, a US behemoth (it would be awesome to have that space inside) and a European 'out the box' one with unmodified stock, kit or ready to plant buildings and awful trees! I'm pleased to say that these don't detract from the quality feel of the magazine and this issue in particular.

It's also lovely to have change from £4 and read a magazine printed on nice paper! Well worth it, go buy a copy!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Engine shed progress...

Well I braved the weather as it had eased off and got the wood cut out, test assembled and then marked out the doors and windows.

I've since glued this together using Evostik Exterior PVA. When it's dry I'll seal the MDF edges with dilute PVA, and apply some Sandtex exterior primer all over, apart from the top edges as I need to glue the roof on once the interior is finished.

The interior will get two coats of primer, and a black painted floor. The exterior will be chalk paint, all Sandtex smooth exterior paints. Once the base is dry I'll flip it back on to the base and sort out the roof, which will be 6pm MDF.

Engine Shed at Alison...

Work starts today on the Engine Shed for the EJ&KLR. Although this sketch doesn't yet show the roof arrangement it gives vital dimensions and an impression of the building I'm hoping to build. It takes inspiration from Austrian narrow gauge sheds, but also the running shed at Llanfair on the W&LLR.

It will be constructed from 6, 9 and 12mm MDF. Starting this is quite emotional as I never had a chance to share my plans with my father before he passed away. I want to do a good job, and create something he'd be both happy with and proud of, and have selected materials, construction methods and finishing from his arsenal of skills as in the past he was always the man who did the scenery.

If it ever stops raining here I shall start construction this afternoon!

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Another promotional poster...

Running session...

Some photos from yesterday's running session. Look how tiny my new LGB loco looks compared with Dad's Shay!

Conversations with Mum over location and design of the layout in the garden continued, we think we'll add a little more visual interest with more flowing curves on the non station side of the loop and a kink in the circuit to better fit the existing flowerbed shape.

I do wonder if we should go for R2 curves on the mainline as well?

Thursday, 20 January 2011

The U-class arrives...

You might have spotted it in my previous post, behind the workmen but I've acquired an LGB U-class 0-6-2 tank, something I've always wanted, and a locomotive as my tribute to my father.

She's not TOO big and negotiates R1 curves, 30cm tank to cab back and 33cm coupling to coupling.

The model is a characature of the original, the cab is high to match the LGB carriages which ride higher than the prototypes. However it is beautifully proportioned in my eye, and the prototype 298.56 is preserved in Austria.

Next to the Stainz you can see the increase in length, but it still looks good atop my Zillertal coaches... I do feel another rolling stock project coming on though, to create some olive-green with silver roofed OBB carriages!

I should get a chance to run her tomorrow when I'm in Chester, registering my father's death. A happy moment in an otherwise sad day I hope.


This weekend will see the start on the Engine Shed construction and as such I needed a short 75mm length of track to give enough clearance between the shed and the stock siding, something I had originally overlooked.

To make the postage worthwhile I decided to get a few people. Elly chose the station staff and the Workmen are for the shed.

I also picked up a track rubber and some insulating rail joiners to make up my own insulating sections. Peco buffer stops are on there way too.

Excellent service from Garden Railway Centres on Cheltenham.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Zillertal coaches are finished...

Just a sneak peek before I write this up properly, I've just grabbed a few shots of the LGB coaches repainted into a representation if the Zillertalbahn livery. I'm really pleased how they've cone out.

I also took the chance to spray a cost of satin varnish over Elly's starter set Stainz which I'd added the custom transfers last week. Wow, what a transformation!! I think it looks great, definitely as crisp as the £250 version LGB did themselves in this livery.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Old memories of Llanfair again...

If you recall a few weeks ago I shared some photos my child hood best friend sent me over from an early trip to the Welshpool and Llanfair in 1991 (we think). Well whilst at home making arrangements for my Dad's funeral I've been digging through old photo albums and feeling all nostalgic.

I came across these two photos - taken at Llanfair on the same trip. They show Orion prior to it's restoration - or at least it looks that way - and a general overview of the station throat before the locomotive shed had been erected adjacent to the running line - the headshunt at that time used to store coaching stock (one of the Sierra Leone coaches can be seen in the siding roughly where the single road steam engine running shed stands now). It's funny, looking at them I remember the trip, but not the ride! I can't remember if it was the Earl that hauled our train, I expect so - but I do remember just enjoying being with my friend and his father - and talking endlessly about trains. I hope they help paint the picture further - and explain why these memories go so deep.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Planning permission granted...

With the news this evening that there is a green light for garden construction this spring thoughts turned to structures.

I've bought some MDF, 6 9 and 12mm thicknesses for construction. Out came tape measures, card, CAD and 1/10th scale mock ups! I couldn't get a full appreciation in 2D. So the shed is quite narrow but will enable me to try out some techniques on a simple structure first.

Oh and why is is that long? Long enough for a U class 0-6-2!

Should be able to share progress on the coaches tomorrow night.

Friday, 14 January 2011

The wheels keep turning...

It's been a tough week but modelling it turning out to be both a tribute to my father, and therapy!

The brake van is now finished with glazing added today so work has started on the Zillertal coaches - I'll share more on that project in a seperate post. I've also been working on smaller jobs on the two initial locomotives.

No.1 is the LGB starter set Stainz locomotive.
All over black with no details sounds basic but actually looks much better than the green/black ones in the more expensive sets. LGB sell a similar model for £250ish so I've copied the text of those and had my own custom transfers made up. These are a little small and may be beefed up if I ever do a second - but have gone on well and just waiting on a varnish coat to seal them - I'll do that the same time as the coaches though to save cleaning the airbrush.

No.2 is the Lilliput diesel shunter.
This model was a little 'American' as purchased and so I've removed the running board and cut bar from the buffer beams. The LGB buffer was fitted to the coupler and a box fabricated around the shaft to form the buffer housing - visually quite successful. I have also lettered this one up with more custom transfers, the EJ&K and No.2 on the buffer beams.

I feel I want to get something else - something to act in my mind as a place marker, a memory of this week. Originally I was convinced I wanted a LGB Corpet - but I am finding myself drawn to the U-tanks (0-6-2) and I've got my eyes on one for £370ish brand new. It's a lot of money though - a lot of track - so we'll see how things pan out in the next 7 days.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Keith Hilton - 1942 to 2011

On the morning of Monday 10th January 2011, my father Keith sadly passed away in his sleep.

Truly my hero and inspiration I will miss him forever. He had suffered with ill health for the last 5 years, and we've had some dark moments in that time but the last month of his wonderful life was so important to me - we both started a project together, this one, and it is the thought that in some small way continuing on that journey will pay tribute to a man who was father, husband, friend, lecturer and inspiration to a whole range of people from all walks of life.

Dad, I'll never forget you.

PS you're Shay sounds awesome and runs wonderfully. Elly will love it!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

An expensive development...

Both expensive and a sideways distraction, my Dad has just invested in a Bachmann Shay, found in a local model shop for just £525! With this the EJ&KLR now has three locomotives on it roster, although nothing suitable for this to pull (yet) and possibly a need for 2nd radius curves this could lead to even more outlay in 2011!

The Shay is exquisite mind, a truly wonderful model that really captures the weight and complexity of the gear drive, and the sounds not bad either. Apparently Dad is planning on lettering her up as No.3, EJ&K Railroad, with some more custom decals.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Memories from 1991...

When I first described this project and it's inspiration - I mentioned the influence of a childhood friend.

I had remembered visiting the Welshpool and Llanfair with him and his father during my time at primary school, and after we met up (after over 12 years) at Christmas, Tim dug out some old family photographs to find a couple that really did bring back nostalgic memories.

There were taken, we think, in the late spring of 1991, as they show Joan was out of service, by Tim's late father - Mike. For the record, Tim on the right, me on the left in both the mug shots!

Now I know they mean nothing to you, but they show two friends both enjoying a day out on the train and no doubt plotting about either our OO or G-scale layouts - and soaking up the knowledge and information Tim's dad had on all things GWR.

Nostalgia is a funny thing - in this case there are only positives. Thanks for digging them out Tim, and I hope you, reader, appreciate why it's important I share these with you!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Designing you're own decals...

Is a lot harder than you imagine!!!

Thanks to John at Precision Labels we're getting there though! I've designed my own for the van but also included ones on the same sheet to do the Zillertal coaches, the open wagon, the shunter and the Stainz steam engine.

I managed to track down the German technical font, used for these sorts of data panels - and drew the other artwork up by hand.

Here is a sample of what I hope to achieve - the black will be printed as white, the grey is to show up, as these have a clear background. The finished file will be printed by John onto transfer paper using an ALPS printer - to print the white text - and sealed with varnish. You then cut out the transfers with a sharp knife and apply in the usual way - sealing with varnish on the model to protect them.

It's difficult photographing grey and black so...

I've thrown in the yellow Playmobil man again!

The van will be getting a second coat of satin black on the roof, and grey on the bodywork this evening and the transfers are 90% designed ready to go to the printers this weekend hopefully.

Trackwork delivered...

Fantastic service from Dragon G-scale as Jeremy and team turned around my order in record time! The 2 R1 points (1 left, 1 right) and 4 600mm straights turned up today excellently packed in pristine condition.

Eagle eyed readers will notice the 4 coupling packs as well - ordered because I'm in need of some additional hooks on the Zillertal and Toytrain stock.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Do not adjust your monitor...

The van was primed last night so I grabbed some shots this evening before applying the first of the top coats - it all looks a bit greyscale doesn't it!

The roof has now received a solid coat of satin black, and looks great. The body, doors and steps a coat of satin dark grey - just a touch darker than the primer. On this, the jury is out... I'm not sure whether to go for the satin dark green (think dark olive) which is the same darkness, just more green, and perhaps more prototypical for a European van - whereas the grey is more in keeping with a UK theme... decisions decisions!