Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Warehouse Wednesday: Steel water tower

Water tower

Spotted at the Churnet Valley Railway, this steel water tower.I'm pretty sure it's not an original railway structure, but then the railway hasn't built it from scratch either. My guess it the tank was bought in and mounted on new steel legs.

A useful industrial structure, the modelling challenge would be the raised stars on the panels. Ideally, make one and cast the rest in resin. At least the "livery" is simple enough - grey with a touch of brown and green weathering powders.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Wobbly axle good news

For a cheap kit, this GVT wagon is very well specified. When it came time to fit the underframe bits, which are mostly from glass-reinforced plastic, I find that this is no simple 4-wheel wagon.

A rocking, or compensated, axle is provided. This should aid road-holding over uneven trackwork. Something narrow gauge lines are notorious for. On a wagon with this short a wheelbase, I wonder if it's strictly speaking necessary, but a nice touch from the manufacturer.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Painting brickwork

Duncan asks:

As I am making an satisfying and active return to model railways, I am attempting new modelling media as well as the older established materials like card, plastic, white metal and brass. I recently puchased the low relief laser cut shop in the photos from a well known on line trading site(!) . It has a lovely smokey smell  and there is some texture on the sides. What paint process would you recommend and how would you go about it, please?

Secondly, I have been given a Coopercraft rail weighbridge and office. I recall you used a coloured pencil/pastel pencil to colour the brickwork. Having gone into a local and less than friendly art shop who were less than helpful, what precise kind of pencil(s) would you recommend, please?

Glad to hear you are getting back into modelling Duncan. As you have found out, over the years, a whole host of new materials have arrived for us to work with. This is great news, although it doesn't mean that the old methods aren't still useful.

Starting with the second question, the pencils I use aren't anything special. I collect brown pencil crayons so I have plenty of colour variety. Harder rather than "watercolour" or other special crayons are my preference and you can see some of the ones I use in the photo above (click for a bigger image). The Staedtler Stabilo came from Staples stationery store, the others from various art shops.

To use them, I paint the bricks beige (Humbrol 121) and once this is fully dry, rub them on the surfaces. 2-3 coats with different colours seem to give the desired effect, but practice makes perfect as you'll need to see what you are happy with. 

Laser-cut brickwork can be a bit of a problem. The edges of the bricks are very sharp and so the pencil crayon method doesn't work. All that happens is the bricks tear the pencil apart. For this, I need to dry-brush paint on. For this, I like a Coloro brush from Humbrol - as I explain in this blog post.

I hope this helps - happy painting! 

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Llanfair 2018


Sometimes, I get the chance to spend a lot of time on motorways. A couple of weeks ago, my weekend involved a trip to Telford followed by a run to Llanfair the next day. I wonder if I can get a frequent diners card at the Telford services...

It's all in a good cause though as the Llanfair show is always enjoyable. For a start, once the motorway peters out, the scenery is stunning. Then the show itself is large enough for there to be loads to look at, but just small enough for me to be able to chat with all the people I need to in a day. Just.

Layout wise, Waltham Wharf, seen at the top of this post, was new to me and right up my street. Strictly speaking it's not garden railways, but large-scale, finescale modelling representing an 18-inch gauge line. The details were spot on and superbly reproduced. I'm taken a set of pictures I hope to find page space for in the future...

Indian Hill Railway

My time was spent chatting, which is why I go along. So busy in fact, that I didn't get lunch until the ladies running the cafe came around with a trolley selling off the leftover sandwiches!

The day wasn't done though. On the way back, there is the steam festival at the Welshpool and Llanfair railway. Dropping in at Llanfair, the place was full of smoke and steam with trains and lorries filling the modest site. Being contrary, I like the Ferret most of course.


Moving along to the Welshpool end - somewhat slowly as I ended up following a steam lorry on windy and hill roads, there is a "normal" railway exhibition and a couple of second hand traders, one of whom has a vast selection of books and leaflets that I aspire to having the time to go through properly one year.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

I'm not gone!

Apologies for those who looked at the blog this morning and saw a message that I'd gone away. It's not true, I'm not going anywhere yet - well apart from to a beer festival later one today.

That post is one I wrote in case there was a problem. I usually leave it set for a couple of weeks ahead, and this time forgot to move the publish date.

Sorry about that. Thanks for all the nice comments though, they were much appreciated.

Normal service will now resume. 

Saturday Film Club: British Locomotives in 1959