Saturday, February 24, 2018

Saturday Film Club: Great Cockrow Railway

We've seen a couple of miniature signalboxes this week, let's spot a third on the Great Cockrow railway courtesy of Pathe News. 

The commentator makes one point that I've often laboured when chatting to people - the sheer variety of different folks you meet taking part in a hobby. As I point out to da kidz at shows, you never know when being aqauinted with a barriser or bishop might be useful.

Friday, February 23, 2018

H&M Loco tester

There aren't many tools I aspire to own, but a cheaper item on this list the the H&M Locomotive tester.

Dating back to the 1980s as I recall, this is a rather nice rolling road that works for both diesel and steam locomotives.

Hosues in a wooden base, a length of track has been bent (in a press presumably as it's very neat) so one end can support a non-powered bogie or tender with pickups. The lower level is home to the rollers - brass with plastic ends. These only power one side at a time so you have to flip them around to make sure both polarities are delivered to the model. Knowing how the loco picks up and from where is a bit help here. Foam strips hold them in place and stop too much wobble. These have aged, but I'm pretty certain something suitable can be bought from a DIY store.

While I own a Bachyrus rolling road, which allows for multiple gauges, most construation will be in OO, and this is a lovely thing and still workd perfectly. Price, £20 from Stafford second hand still and worth every penny.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

First play with AK chipping fluids

Time for a bit of a play with something the plastic modellers have used for some time - AK Interactive Worn Effects and Heavy Chipping fluids.

The results can look brilliant, but like most advanced materials, they need practise. People tend to underestimate this, assuming that the models they see are from geniuses who get everything right first time. Well, it's easier to assume this than put the time in having a go...

Anyway, my test started with a rusty coat of enamel on plastic sheet. Left to dry it received a coat of both fluids (not on top of each other, one each side of the plastic) left to dry and then a coat of blue enamel. Once this lot was dry, as per the instructions, I gave the sides a wash of the magic fluid and scrubbed them with a bit of wood on the workbench.

I'm quite happy with what I got. Heavy chipping scratched more than Worn Effects. There is skill required in the scraping to produce something that resembles real wear, but looking at photos will help.

Using enamels is a departure form the instructions and I wonder if they are harder wearing than acrylic. I'll try some of these next.I'll also dig around the web for more advice. There is a test model in the stash though...

Thanks to Hobby Holidays for supplying these products.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Warehouse Wednesday: Onibury Signal box

Onibury signal box

Yesterday we had a tiny model signal box. Today, a tiny full-sized one.

Onibury, found on the Shrewsbury to Hereford line, sits beside a level crossing and closed station that is now a private residence. The current box opened in 1977 according to the Signal Box discussion forum

You can find more details on the Signalling Record Society website.

Onibury signal box back

Let's be honest, this isn't a beautiful building, but I like it a lot. For a start, modelling would be simple if a few basic measurements were available. Those could possibly be worked out from the height of the door.I also like ugly structures to show off the beauty of the surroundings. 

Looking at this photo from Wikipedia, the original box was far more traditional:

You can clearly see the box on Google Streetview - but mooch around a little, the crossing keepers house (station masters?) has some interesting stuff on the drive...