Saturday, 30 April 2011

A wall, trackbed and track laying...

All in a day, I sit supping a real ale absolutely exhausted from over 6 hours of work on and off today which saw the wall built, infilled behind, then started on the track bed.

The wall is built on a shallow bed of ballast, the same material used to infill behind. I should have ordered another 5 bags of that!! The trackbed is then sharp sand that has been levelled before messing around trying to get the track down in the right place! Now it's down it's not coming back up!

Tomorrow we'll nip out for an extra couple of bags of ballast, sharp sand and also try and source the track ballast, horticultural grit or the like I expect.

I'll sign off there... Another update tomorrow!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Station planning...

I've spent the last few days mulling over the station, you see at the weekend I knocked up a cardboard mock up of the original plans - and it just didn't look right. It neither had the presence, or the right feel for the line. Then Mum mentioned about McBride station in British Columbia and her fond memories of our family trips to Canada. I took a look, and scoured my collection of Austrian Narrow Gauge images and have combined the styles to come up with something that just about pulls off both! Funny actually it's got a bit of the 'house style' of the engine shed to it as well. Designed to be constructed from 6, 9 and 12mm MDF I'll hopefully get a chance to start on it in the next few weeks. Construction will follow my tried and tested techniques, honed on the engine shed build - full progress will be tracked on here, as usual.

As an aside, all the gravel, sand, mortar and top soil will be delivered to Chester tomorrow to allow more progress this weekend, and I've been investigating track ballast options thanks to the kind chaps on G-scale Central.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Day 3: More labouring...

It's been such an enjoyable and rewarding weekend in Chester that it's sad to see it end, I long for the day that going home doesn't mean dismantling the railway. It's funny, because it's so intrinsically linked to my last memories of Dad, somehow taking it all apart upsets me quite deeply.

So today I finished the initial labouring by lifting the rest of the flags, after I'd lifted and cleared away the track. I'm back next weekend on my own to build the wall, then it's filling in with soil and levelling, laying track and wahey we'll be up and running. Track down by Dad's birthday on the 25th June seems achievable. I can't wait...

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Day 2: More playing...

...and laying out the new wall!

This afternoon everything G scale we own has had a run round including my Father's Shay, to check clearances don't you know.

I'm settled down watching the diesel shunter and PW train trundle around in the late afternoon sun. Lovely!

First trains run... (outside)

Well you can guess what happened once I'd demolished the second wall and completed the loop...

Out came the trains. First up the PW gang inspected the Chief Engineers handiwork... Elly drove the diesel with the first train. Once the levels and camber had been addressed I couldn't resist getting out the U-tank and bogie coaches. I really should lift the track and clear out some more of the slabs.... But a nice cool drink watching the trains run by in the afternoon sun holds more alure than more hard labour!

Day 2: Further demolition required...

Another lovely day in Chester, Easter Sunday. Elly and I got the outdoor track out and laid it out on the patio. Eyeballing it, it was apparent that the wall and corner were going to have to come out to skew the line around the tree stump.
Out came the mallet (hammer variety unfortunately) and stone chisel and in 20 minutes it was down. Another 20 and the loop was in situ and looked great opening up more photogenic locations and the stump will Actually help form the scenic break in the centre of the loop.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Day 1: wall down

We got here early afternoon and I set straight to it, and in an hour and a half managed to get the wall down to below the patio level. I've also started on lifting some of the patio...

Tomorrow I'll be putting together the outdoor layout and seeing if I need to take down any more walls and exactly how many of the slabs need lifting.

It was good therapy, I found myself sat talking to Dad when having a rest, working out what to do with the stump!

Tired but happy with progress I've put together the indoor layout and have had great pleasure running first my diesel and freight train and then the OBB Steyrtalbahn formation.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

More progress planned this weekend...

With a visit to Chester this bank holiday weekend I hope to get some more preparation work as well as running trains!

I should have time to get EVERYTHING out this weekend! I can't wait!

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Finished the DR coach...

Last night I applied satin varnish via airbrush to the DR coach, and once dry detail painted the handrails black and door handle brass.

This morning I took advantage of the wonderful weather to grab some photos including the current EJ&KLR rake, where she looks right at home. Just need an EJ&KLR tank engine to finish it off!

Frank's crew...

Elly's Stainz, from the Big Train starter set came in unpainted black plastic without any crew.

Well it didn't take long in the early days to address the finish with custom transfers and satin varnish applied but it wasn't until this weekend that the Bachmann Scenecraft driver and fireman made an appearance.

They look great and as usual service from Dragon G Scale was impeccable as usual.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Transfers on one side...

Just a short 'teaser' update... I have managed to get one side of the coaches transfers applied. To say I'm pleased is a bit of an understatement! I'm chuffed to bits and can't wait to get the other side done after dinner so I can apply a coat of varnish.

Obvious progress...

Three hours with a saw and clippers and the majority of the tree is down!

The recycle bin is full, the trunks are on the bonfire pile, but Mum and I have only got through half of what we've chopped down. Lots more to do...

Next we need to knock down the wall, and see how big the roots are to determine if we can get the root and stump out or whether it'll be a feature of the line!

Friday, 15 April 2011

Ready for transfers...

I've removed some of the masking, fitted one side of windows and placed on the roof... I'm pretty pleased with how it's looking already...

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

It's turned green...

I checked over the primer finish on the coach this evening and was happy to progress to painting. I've got an Expo tools airbrush set with compressor and dual action airbrush. I find this allows decent control to paint in both 4mm and even in G although it's fairly narrow spray pattern means it can take a while.

So the coach is now green, painted with Humbrol Satin dark green, 163 and Bert was just checking the finish before they apply a gloss varnish tomorrow in preparation for transfers at the weekend!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Drab makeover begins...

Today the chaps in the EJ&KLR workshop started on the recently acquired DR carriage. After stripping it down and masking they applied a coat of undercoat.

Geoff then looked down the work instruction over a mug of coffee, he's not a tea sort of fella, almost choking when he saw that the Chief Engineer is replacing the colourful red and cream paint job with a drab olive green! What is he thinking!

On a more serious note work started in earnest on the coach this evening. I've got the transfers already sorted for this repaint, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the finish when she's done.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Latest arrivals...

Two new items of rolling stock for the expanding fleet...

The guards van is for Elly's birthday this summer but was very well priced, mint condition and never run! This will be used 'out the box'.

The coach is to be repainted into the EJ&KLR corporate olive green at some point although it's a tough decision as it does look great in the crimson and cream Deutsche Reichsbahn livery. Again VERY well priced and in mint un-run condition although the box is tired at one end.

I'm hoping to find an open wagon, van and stake wagon before the summer.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

More musing...

Well another weekend of running and we didn't have time to get the indoor line out this weekend. With a day out for Mother's Day today we didn't get any further on clearance but the new target is Dad's birthday in June.

I did dig out a few items and plonked them on the window sill, mulling over prototype possibilities and what other items of stock would be useful. I'm thinking an open, a logging stake wagon, coach, guards van and then one more locomotive, the Frank S conversion.

Should have another off that list this week! Watch this space!

Oh and if anyone has any good ideas for constructing the smoke stacks on the engine shed please let me know!!!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Trial assembly...

We woke at Mum's this morning to dry weather and decided it worth doing a trial assembly of the outdoor line.

So you can see I was ably assisted by my daughter Elly who had the honour of running the first train. It was wonderful to see the diminutive starter set train making it's way around the flowing curves of the railway.

We also dug out Dad's Shay. Running that was quite emotional, I think it meant a lot to Mum, my brother and I. Sounded great with it's sound card, and looked so much better on the R2 minimum radius of this line.

Progress has been made on clearing the old conifers, with just the tree like one to come out now, but we may need a subtle adjustment of position to clear the roots.

Tomorrow I hope to fell the tree!