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.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Back to the yard

Regular readers might remember that last month I started building a Petite Properties "Harper's Yard" kit. I got as far as sticking some Plastikard on the front, and then it all went quiet.

I had carried out a bit more work - the openings were all lined with plastic and I'd got as far as trying the windows. At this point I realsied that losing 1mm off each side made the pre-printed glazing look odd. On the PP stand, the model is covered with their brickpaper and the problem doesn't occur.

So, the lining was carefully removed despite all the effort I'd gone to to put it in neatly. Then the plastic started to peel from the front. Then it tore. Then I'm embarrassed to say, I had a bit of a meltdown and screwed the whole kit up and lobbed it in the bin.

But, I still like the model and with the bit more care, I think I can do a good job. So I ordered a replacement kit which has arrived and I'm back to making progress.

This time, the inside edges of the openings will just be painted. Some need to be a painted wood colour, others brick. While the lack of mortar lines might annoy me a little, once on a larger model, no-one is going to notice. At least I'm not going to tell them.

So, I'm going to learn from my mistakes. A slightly different tack to the build and no more modelling while stressed.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Smallspace 2018


It's 40 years since the superb BBC sci-fi drama Blakes 7 debuted on our TV screens and a very young Phil sat and watched some dystopian telly, missing the sub-plot completely and just enjoying the special effects and spaceships. It was grittier than Dr Who but I didn't care.

Smallspace this year celebrated this with the original Liberator (in a VERY bad way) and an appearance by Michael Keating, who played Vila Restal in the series along with the designer and model makers from the show. A shuffle of displays allowed us to enjoy "Vila's Vault" with a collection of props and costumes, bot real and reproduction. You can tell the later, they are better made and more detailed!

UFO hunters

Along side this there were examples of more sic-fi modelmaking, a bit of steampunk and the most amazingly detailed bakers shop where every item was hand made from clay and I wanted to tuck in!