Saturday, July 21, 2018

Saturday Film Club: Isle of Man by railcar



Next week, I should be on the Isle of Man, so in tribute, here's a couple of minutes travelling in the ex-Donegal railcars out of Douglas station. Not a view likely to be repeated in the near future as restoration isn't on the cards. Apparently they simply aren't big enough, or fast enough for modern loadings. In fact there is a good chance they will be on their way back to Ireland...

Friday, July 20, 2018

Talyllyn perfection in Garden Rail


Sometimes my job allows me to meet some special people. The main feature in this month's Garden Rail is a loco built by Simon Atkinson. Before contacting him via social media, I didn't know him, but I knew his work. Specifically some of the spaceships that appeared in Blake's 7 back in the 1970s. Now he produces amazing graphic art and teaches model making.

You might think that us normal bodgers can't learn much from a professional. He has access to tools we don't and will probably use exotic materials.

Tools - yes, but then laser-cutting is becoming available and more to the point, it's not essential. You can cut sheets of plastic yourself, it just takes longer. And the rest of the work, well I can see how you could repeat much of this at home.

Elsewhere in the magazine we have some technology in the form of RC couplers and even running a layout completely automatically. There's quite a bit of rolling stock construction too as an antidote to that main course of scratchbuilding.

Oh, and a competition to win a very impressive controller.

Garden Rail 288.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Bunglow, dock and a layout refurb in BRM

August is the scenic special issue of BRM and in the past this has seen me build a detailed diorama in 7mm scale (O gauge). This year is no exception, with the subject being a prefab bungalow.

Despite being built to a deadline, I always enjoy doing these. So far I've managed to keep them train-free with a vegetable garden and nissen hut being the previous stars.  There's plenty of detail and this time, digital reader can even download some printable tea towels to add to their own washing line! (I just tided up the file I made for my efforts).

This isn't cake box size however, but I've built one of those too:


Using models from the Graham Farish range, we have a slice of a dockyard scene. This could easily be expanded to layout length by simply repeating the walls. In fact I have some left over if I fancy a bit more 2mm scale (N gauge) waterfront.



On the DVD, Howard and I take on the challenge of reviving a second hand layout. The model is basically very good, but the scenery needed going over. Two days work and the results are, in my opinion, excellent. It's a very different project from normal, but one I think people will find useful. You don't need to buy in a layout, you could just look at your own with fresh eyes and use some of our techniques.

Digi readers will also find me looking at the Heljan 07 and trying a Golden Valley Hobbies Janus loco. 

August 2018 BRM.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Warehouse Wednesday: Tin hut

Corrugated iron hut

This week, I return to my love of corrugated iron with this cracking hut spotted at the Moseley Railway Trust. 

A simple enough building, the doors and windows are boarded up and painted to match the walls, as so many scruffy huts seemed to be. If I have a comment, it's that the paint is good modern stuff, not the thick black pitch from days of yore. Not that this matters for modelling purposes.

I suppose it's a bit clean too, miniature versions would benefit from a coat of rust working its way up from the ground.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The perfect tool to dry-brush brickwork


I've decided that the Harper's Yard brickwork should be painted rather than pencil-crayoned. I'll probably use some of the Robert's mortar stuff too, but the key is - no brickpaper. I want all the finishes to match up and for me that means taking control. 

Dry-brushing bricks is a bit of a fiddle, that's why I evolved the crayon method. It's very easy to get brick colour in the mortar lines. I've found a brush that makes the job easier though, a Humbrol Coloro Number 8

These are the cheaper end of the Humbrol brush range and if I'm honest, not my favourites. They lose their pointed shape almost immediately and are very stiff. But, it turns out this makes them perfect for brick-brushing. See the exciting video below: 

Dry brushing

Shot on my 'phone, you can see how easy the job it. Paint is picked up on the brush, worked off again on the corner of the modelling board and then brushed over the bricks. A shallow angle to the surface is essential, but once you get the hang of it, pretty easy and with hardly any paint where I didn't want it.

I'll go over the surface with brick and a couple of browns to add variation, but the results look pretty good so far. And I'm keeping all those Coloro's safe now.