Thursday, March 31, 2022

Sailing the Tri-ang yacht


A sunny Saturday provided me with the chance to test my Tri-ang yacht that I re-rigged earlier this month

There wasn't a lot of wind, more a very gentle breeze with lots of calmness, but I didn't think the boat would like to take to the water in a gale. Not least because there is a hole on the deck that could really do with a bung in it before things get too rough. 

I like the idea of setting the boat free to have its own adventures so just dropped it on the lake for a tootle around. 

Given a light breeze, it set off in a pretty straight line and at a reasonable pace. It healed over a little, but the connection between sails and rudder seemed to be working to ensure good steering. 

The difference between enough wind to move and enough wind to lie on its side isn't great, always a problem with the smaller vessel. Fortunatly, the hole in the deck remained just above the water so there wasn't an embarasing sinking. 

I really could to to learn how to set the sails properly as I think it will be possible to improve the sailing if I can get all the tensions correct. Definitely a work in progress. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Good boxes

Cardboard boxes

I spotted this on Twitter and it really struck a chord with me:

One thing no one ever talks about being an adult is how much time you debate yourself on keeping a cardboard box because it's, like, a really good box.

It's a phrase I think about regularly. I bet we all end up with lots of really good, very useful boxes. Boxes that could become the start of that filing system we all promise ourselves to look after all those bits and pieces. Yet, there are too many of them and I could easily need a box to hold the boxes!

Enough! I can't keep them all, to the recycling bin with them!

Does anyone else have this problem?

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Bachmann Model Collect Create shop


Last week, with my BRM hat on, I visited the new Bachmann model store in Hinckley. The Model Collect Create shop is NOT a model shop apparently, because it only contains stock from the Bachmann range - but I beg to differ. There are kits and railways and loads of other great stuff, so I think it is a model shop. 

More importantly, the concept is inspired by Games Workshop. Look at their shops and you'll find people learning how to paint figures most days, and especially Sunday. Bachmann plan to have visitors wandering in off the street and building a kit, or some Woodland Scenics project. Basically, anything to get them into our hobby. 

I've done a fuller write-up over on World of Railways, complete with video tour. 

I love the concept. I love the ambition. If this shop works, then we can look forward to more appearing. They won't compete with the existing trade. Indeed, the top account holders were told about this before the press so there wouldn't be any disconcerting leaks, and they like it. Everything will be sold at RRP, but the target market is not the seasoned modeller, it's the general public. 

That won't stop me heading back one day though. 

Monday, March 28, 2022

So what did you buy at Ally Pally then Parker?

It seems the law of the web says you must post pictures of all the "top bargainz" you buy at a show. No idea who came up with this, probably an N gauge modeller as they seem especially keen on it, but who am I to buck the system? 

Lord Westwood

A Hornby "Lord Westwood". I've fancied adding one of these to the collection for a long while. Basically, this is a GWR Hall in a lairy ficticious livery with the Hornby phone number on the tender. It drives the Great Wobbly fans mad - and that is as good as any reason to want one. 

Released in 1974 and only in the catalgue for two years, these things normally command premium prices. I'm not paying £65+ no matter how much it annoys the GWR maffia. I will pay £15 though, especially for a model in such terrific condition. 

Well, I say terrific, the price takes into account the motor doesn't work. Worse, the steam sound is diconnected too. The later should be an easy fix, and I'm sure I can source a working X04 motor from somewhere too. Locomotives of this era might be light on detail, but you can usually rebuild them. 

Both "Lord Westwood" and this giraffe car came from the second-hand stall, and both cost the same price. It turned out that there were no less than three cars on the stand, and I doubt I got the best one. Compared to the model my friend Earl gave me just before Christmas, this is tatty and I probably paid over the odds, but then there is the fun of buying a giraffe car at Ally Pally, so I can live with this. The repairs will be something to blog anyway. 

A few weeks ago, I realised that I don't own a hand-operated drill. Well, for £3, now I do. To be honest, I bought this one because it looks fantastic, but the jaws close tightly enough for a sub-1mm drill bit, so it's going to be useful. And if it isn't well, who cares when it looks like this!

Finally, one that will take a bit of research. A Model Power controller. This dinky unit has an odd conrol - the greem lever on the bottom. That was the selling point, well, that and it was only a fiver. I can be curious for that money. If it works, I dream of fitting the thing to a test track as it wouldn't take up much space. 

And that's it. I know many would have spent far more, but then my life is well-stocked with toy trains so I don't really need any more. All of these sort of meet William Morris's instruction "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” so I suppose this is all right. 

Sunday, March 27, 2022

The London Festival of Railway Modelling 2022

Ally Pally in the morning sunshine

Strolling around Alexandra Palace on a crip spring morning is magical. No matter that the reason I'm down at the gate at 7:05 on a Sunday morning is to ensure a good place in the car park for loading up later in the day, there is something special about appearing at an iconic venue. 

Two years ago, this was the first major show on my calendar to cancel, but now we are back. I'm attending my with my BRM project layout DHAPR Wagon Works, with additional photo taking responsibilities. 

Saturday was spent talking. Lots and lots of talking. Sunday was much the same. And I'd forgotten how much hard work this can be. I'd also forgotten how difficult it is to eat and drink properly during the day. A breakfast in a box from the hotel doesn't really set you up for the day, so there was lots of surviving on KitKats and other bad things going on.

At least my hotel was next to the poshest fish'n'chip shop in the world, so the evening meals are sorted. Hand made cod fishcakes with chips and salad. Very nice thank you. 

Underground Trains 

Of course it's not all about food, although Jamie Warne delivering home-made cookies to the MRC stand (I tested a couple to be on the safe side) was undoubtedly a highlight of the weekend. He needs to stop modelmaking and get on with baking!

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Saturday Film Club: Guildford to Cranleigh and Horsham in the early 1960's

Just a short video this week - and one that makes wish for a time machine to be able to go back and experience travel like this!

Friday, March 25, 2022

R131 Wagon with wheel load

R131 Hornby wagon with wheel load

While I'm not the toy train collector I once was, there are still a few odd models that have lodged in my brain. I remember coveting this, R131 Flat Wagon with detachable wheel load as a youngster. 

Looking at the Hornby Collectors Guide entry, it appeared when I was four, so not too many years before I took ad interest in model railways. By that point, a staggering 41,000 had been made. You don't see production runs for a single wagon in those sort of numbers now!

I suspect that the idea of getting some "free" wheels appealed to me. I certainly wasn't looking at prototype fidelity as I doubt there is any. What I didn't know, is this is the only wagon Hornby, or anyone else made, that can run upside down as those wheels rotate in their cradle!

Oddly, there the R number isn't on the chassis of the model. Does this indicate it is from a set?

This model came my way when I needed something for a magazine article. A little negotiation with the shop owner allowed me to swap the wheels under the wagon for some of the dreadful "Silver Seal" sets inflicted on us by the firm in the period. Now, I wanted 'orrible wheels, so someone else has the slightly better set that should have been under this wagon. Everyone wins!

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Coupling up rolling stock and APT oggling in April's BRM


A model railway needs rolling stock, so it's time for me to build some for my latest project layout, DHAPR Wagon Works. 

On past layouts, couplings have been an issue. The "sensible" option is to stick to traditional tension locks, but that means trying to solve the uncoupling conundrum. None of the simple commercial ramps work as well as I think they should, so with a tiny layout and limited operation, I've gone all fine scale with 3-links. 

There's also the chance to enjoy one of my earliest layout photo shoots. Lower Exbury is a lovely model, but when I took the pictures in London a couple of years ago, I couldn't forsee that various factors would conspire against them appearing in print. Everything is better now though, and you can see the fruits of my efforts. 

The April issue sees our review of Hornby's latest go at the Advanced Passenger Train, and to conincide with this, on BRM TV, I'm talking about collecting APT memorabilia. Sadly, I didn't get to take the model in this photo away with me!

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Harecroft Mine Hutch - Part 3: Adding the wheels and job done

Birkhill Fireclay Mine Hutch

And there we have it - job done. I've painted the chassis with Revell No.9 to match the ironwork. While I'm not sure if this is prototypical, but it looks good. 

A dose of weathering powders followed. These work brilliantly on wooden models and with little skill, a variety of shades are produced from just dark brown, black and a touch of rust. 

I have made one change - according to the manufacturer, the axleboxes can be glued in place. I tried that with superglue, and didn't feel they were likely to stay attached very long. 

Digging out the pillar drill, I popped holes in them so I could use brass pins for extra support. Driling the plastic was tricky as it melts if warmed up. I should have used the drill with variable speed, but didn't. Never mind, all bu one od the pins were fitted and those 'boxes aren't going anywhere. 

This is a lovely kit to build, and produces a very cute item of rolling stock. In the back of my mind, I've always wanted to build a 16mm scale 32mm gauge micro layout, and a few of these would be perfect as the basis of the rolling stock. 

Harecroft Birkhill Mine Hutch kit.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Harecroft Mine Hutch - Part 2: Building the body


As expected, all the body parts slot together perfectly with no fettling. I intended to use PVA glue for assembly, so treated the wood to a couple of coats of Weathered Woodstain before starting. No matter how careful you are, some glue will escape onto visible wood, and that stops the stain taking. This then stands out like a saw thumb. 

I also scribed the planking on the inside of the wagon. A small touch, but this is a tiny model so details matter. Also, I feel I've make it "my" model with this quick upgrade. 

The laser-cut wooden "ironwork" was sprayed black, then lightly sanded to hide the woodgrain. Bolt heads were stuck in place with superglue and the whole lot sprayed black again. I need to pick up some Revell No.9 Anthracite spray really, as the colour suits a weathered model. I quickly brush painted it though, which looks fine and hides the grain even more. 

The sides are etched with guides for the ironwork, so a bit more PVA and the body is pretty much ready to go, and looking good. I know Harecroft's version is sign written, but I'll make a pigs ear of that, so my model will be unbranded. Know your limits!

Monday, March 21, 2022

Harecroft Mine Hutch - Part 1: What's in the box


I'm embarassed to admit, that Harecroft's Birkhill Fireclay Mine Hutch kit has been in my stash for at least three years. Bought long before Covid, it's been knocking around the office in it's lovey, tidy box, for far too long. However, it's time has come as I look for more simple kits to build to distract me from  doom-scrolling the news. 

First impressions are good. This is a more detailed model than many 16mm scale kits. Most of the parts are laser-cut wood, plus some acrylic. Wheels come from Binne and bolt heads from Cambrian. A good move - why re-invent the wheel (or bolt head) when there are people making these things out there who will happily supply another kit-maker? 

Three A4 sides of instructions compliment the model. Printed in colour, they provide a prototype photo and some in-build shots, although this is such a simple prototype, you could probably get away without them. A dry-run slotting the major bits together gives the builder confidence that this model isn't going to be abandonded half-way through the build through frustration.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

New boat battery makes the difference


New battery ordered from Component Shop on Sunday - Tuesday morning, new 3300mAh, 7.2v battery drops through letterbox. Excellent service. 

It certainly takes longer to charge then the old, knackered one. On the water - 20 minutes sailing with very little loss of speed. Maybe that brushless transplant can wait a while.

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Saturday Film Club: Discovering railways with Peter Purves

Let's head back to 1977, when railways were more interesting (do enthusiasts from every era think the same thing?) and let Peter Purves tells us how exciting they are. 

Not partonising, just a straight tour that shows trains as something to be proud of. 

Peter Purves is a top chap too. Years ago, a friend and I were working at the local Guide Dogs event. In our cub uniforms, we had to stop people going up stairs they shouldn't. 

At the event were Barbara Woodhouse and Peter Purves. I queued up for a Woodhouse autograph and on reaching the front, was pointed at a sign telling us should would only sign books. Peter, on the other hand, happily signed my event programme and chatted to to the two of us. I still have that programme somewhere, and don't own any books by Barbara Woodhouse.

Friday, March 18, 2022

Off to Ally Pally

All being well (with the current state of the news, I don't like to tempt fate by being certain, or looking forward to things) I should be heading down to the capital today to take part in the London Festival of Railway Modelling this weekend. 

For reasons we all know, it's been a couple of years since the last London show, and there are plenty of people looking forward to climbing up that hill to see some excellent model railways. 

I like Ally Pally as a venue. It's light and airy for start, which should help with Covid (remember that?) issues. 

It's also an iconic building with a stunning view, making exhibiting there extra special. If the weather obliges, I enjoy a stroll along around the building in the morning. The adjacent park is worth a look too. 

Anyway, the plan is that I will be taking the BRM project layout - DHAPR wagon repairs. I don't intend to operate it like a layout, but instead act as a demo, chatting to everyone about layout building and even letting a few people get hands on with the model. 

If you are visiting, please drop by and say hello, I'll be pleased to see you. 

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Tri-ang Dockmaster train set

Tri-ang Dockmaster box

Who doesn't deserve a train set for their birthday?

My Dad enjoyed a major birthday recently, and I thought it would be nice for him to enjoy a set as a present. Of course, he doesn't do that DCC stuff, he's old-fashioned enough not to be convinced by that new-fangled electricity either, so clockwork it is!

Tri-ang Dockmaster train set

The local model shop had a really tidy Tri-ang Dockmaster set on the shelf, and I decided that I wanted it it would make an excellent fun gift. A little fiddling with the track and we had fishplates on the ends of all the rails - they are spot welded, but some had still gone missing. Fortunatly, Super 4 rails slide in and out of the sleepers easily, and after a bit of digging around, the owner and I managed to make up a complete set. Price was a little higher than the original 16/11 though!

Tri-ang Dockmaster train

The loco and wagons are in excellent condition, hardly used, if at all. There is a key too. Once set up, the loco runs really smoothly, performing 7-8 circuits before running out of puff. 

I know this isn't a rare set. Pat Hammond's history tells me that in 1964, this was the most numerous set produced by the firm. I don't care though. For a start, handing it over was fun and made everyone smile - worth a lot on its own. 

It's the box I really like though. Look at that painting - it shows a world that would have been current when the model was produced, and is history now. Cargo ships arrive at ports laden with metal boxes, not holds to labouriosly unloaded by men and cranes with hooks. 

I like the way the artist has painted the model in the box, complete with missing buffer heads and coupling rods, not a fictionalised version to look real. Even the sqaure hump on the boiler top to give the clockwork spring somewhere to expand into is there.

It's a lovely set, Unashamedly a toy, and from and era when model railways could be fun.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Timpdon Models Rolling Stock Putter-Onner


Another bag off the kit pile - this time a useful device to make putting 45mm gauge rolling stock on the track a bit easier. 

Supplied as a mix of laser-cut MDF and basswood (I think) parts, everything slots together nicely with no fettling. PVA glue was my adhesive of choice. Using a few weights and clamps, construction took very little time. The results would be strong enough for a small steam loco, and possibly something a bit bigger is you were careful. At 26cm long, you'd need to feed a Garratt on, but I'm sure it could be done.

The instructions suggest spray varnishing the result, so I gave it a few coats of Halfords laquer. This sort of worked, but the results were a bit blotchy as the paint soaked into the MDF unevenly. The following morning, I gave it a sand and a couple of coats of Ronseal interior varnish, producing a much more satisfying result. 

Mind you, the varnish is just a nicely, the thing will work just as well without it, and perhaps even gain a working pattina more quickly! To be honest, the thing is so cheap, you could replace it when it gets tatty anyway.

Timpdon Models Putter-Onner.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Precision glue application


You can't have just one 3-link coupling hook, a spare is essential for when you lose or break the first at a show. Hence, I'm converting a smaller torch than yesterday's to do the job. 

For both, a wire has to be attached, with a hook on the end, the torch body. Firmly. 

Both torches are made of an unsolderable alloy, so it's down to epoxy glue, but I want to do a neat job and that's not easy with this stuff.

Unless you have a Tamya paint stirer to hand. Dip this in the glue and dabbing neat fillets in the wire/toch body interface, is easy. 

Glue can be scraped off the paint paddle once it has dried and the thing is as good as new.

Monday, March 14, 2022

Reconfiguring a Wilko inspection pen light


I need to make a coupling pole for 3-link couplings, and as any fule kno, these must be attached to a small torch so you can see what you are doing. Furkling around in the gloom trying to fish for small chain links is a whole load of no fun. 

Finding a suitable torch isn't as easy as you might think, but I thought I had struck gold with a Wilko Inspection Pen Light.  Metal, a nice length so you have control over the wire that will be fixed to it, and even a clip to hang it on your pocket. 

Back at home, I found a snag. The thing has three settings, which are cycled through by switching it on and off using the button at one end - On, half-on and an epilepsy-inducing fast flash. 

Seriously Wilko, why? 

If you are inspecting something, you really don't need the flashing, nor the half-on. On and off, that will do the job. 

Worse, it made the torch useless for my purposes. Full on is perfect. Half on less use, and the flashing gave me a headache. 

There was only one thing to do - take it apart and rebuild it. 

A quick check with the continuity tester showed that the switching was all handled at the opposite end to the light. No need to fiddle here. 

At the business end, we find a circuit board. The batteries bear on the reverse of this, but between them and the LED lights are some surface mount components. 

A bit of work with the soldering iron, the components were removed, and the wires disconected. Then all I had to do was poke around with the tester again to find out where the postive and negative connections were to be found. Solder the wires to these, and then reassemble it back into the light-up bit, and it worked! 

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Saturday Film Club: Let's talk about coal

A really interesting chat between steam railway managers about coal - the lifeblood of our preserved railways. If you don't understand the costs of getting a chuff-chuff out of the shed, then pay attention, running a heritage railway is a difficult job.

Friday, March 11, 2022

Tri-ang 12" Racing Yacht re-rig

I like model boats, I collect Tri-ang trains, so it's no great surprise that I own a few boats from the same firm. However, I don't own a yacht, mainly because I'm not into wind-powered craft. But them I spotted this one on eBay, and it was available for £12, and thought "Why not?"

OK, the box is battered, but the hull and the sails are intact. In theory, all I needed to do was replace a few bits of string and it would be as good as new. Or at least as close to that as matters to me. 

Balancing the boat while I worked on it was the first problem. Not owning a suitable stand for something with as deep a keel as this, I improvised with a couple of kitche rolls held together with a belt. It might look a bit Heath-Robinson, but it worked a treat, holding the model perfectly while I fiddled with it.

My rigging of choice is Lincatex Linen Thread. It's about the right thickness, if a bit white. It should be strong enough for the job anyway. 
Working out where everything  should go was helped by a diagram on the back of the box, which mostly showed me what I needed to do. No mention of replacing a fitting under the jib which had rusted away of course, but everything else seemd OK. The sails move, can be tightened if necessary, and since I haven't a clue what I'm doing, I suspect will be left as they are, and the elastic band on the tiller will centre the rudder. 
Will all of this work? No idea. At some point I'll put it on the lake and see. For the moment it all looks pretty. More importantly, another project ticked off the list, and that's what matters most. 

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Manx magnificence in April's Garden Rail


Garden Rail April

Sometimes, to find your prototype, you just need to look out of the window. That's what David Mart did when replacing his O gauge garden railway. Taking the Isle of Man, which he can see from his house, as inspiration, the result is a beautiful line bursting with colour.

All railways need locomotives so we take a look at Accucraft's latest steam locomotive – the Cranmore Peckett. If diesels are more to your taste, Rik Bennet builds some on a budget using a 3D printer.

All this and more including the very latest new products for modellers in the larger scales.

Wednesday, March 09, 2022

Warehouse Wednesday: Crew coach

With a few minutes to kill at Princes Risborough station recently, I took a couple of photos of this old coach, now converted to crew accomodation on the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway

Peering through the windows, it's kitted out with storage, a well-equiped (OK, it has a microwave) kitchen and somewhere to sit and eat. 

The vehicle sits on an isolated piece of track which begs the question how it was moved there. Crane? Rolled in and the pointwork removed? Both seem overly complicated. 

Anyway, it would make a nice model as it sits behind a working mainline platform. A good use for an old Tri-and clerestory coach perhaps?

Tuesday, March 08, 2022

A suitable tea-stirrer

I like tea. And I like my tea properly stirred, not shaken. 

Browsing eBay randomly the other day, I couldn't resist a proper railway teaspoon. Branded LMS, I assume it's from a dining car or station buffet. What I do know is that it's considerably older than me. 

Despite this, the plating is OK, and it does the job. The bowl of the spoon is deeper than you find on modern teaspoons, and as befits a utlitary item, the metal is a good deal thicker. 

All this for four quid. That's a lot of history for not much cash. 

LMS Teaspoon

Monday, March 07, 2022

Testing the ultrasonic cleaner


Back in April 2020, I was battling to keep my airbrush clean and tried out an ultrasonic cleaner bought years earlier. It made no difference. 

MikeB commented: Reading through old posts and saw this. Ultrasonic cleaner probably only of use for acrylic paint residue as no amount of water action will get through dried enamel or cellulose. However, one useful bit of info I can pass on is that there are an awful lot of useless ultrasonic cleaners out there. To test one, put water in it and hold a small strip of aluminium cooking foil half way into the water. A proper working cleaner should make the foil get lots of tiny pinholes in it after only a couple of minutes. If it doesn't then unfortunately you have a machine that froths water and not much else. I bought a £20 jewellery version a few years ago that seemed to do not much apart from make small bubbles. Once I found this test from a reputable manufacturer I realised mine was indeed useless. Hope this helps you or someone else. 

Finally, I decided to give his advice a go. 

Half an hour of noise later and the foil show no sign of pinholes. From this, I concluded that Mike had a point. Mine was junk. 

But, I wanted to be sure. So, three screws and a lot of sawing later, I took a look inside. 

Do you see any sign of ultrasonicy things in there? All I see is a switch, and motor fitted with an off-balance weight. Turn the device on and it makes a noise, rattles and does bu**er all to clean anything in the water. You might was well stir it with a teaspoon!

I can't remember where I go this piece of rubbish from, but post this as a warning to others. Obviously I kept the motor and switch, but it's an expensive way to get those...

Sunday, March 06, 2022

Ulfstead Road part 2 in NGW


Part 2 of the article by Richard Awdry (with my photos) on his grandfathers' 009 "Rabbit Warren" layout - home to many of the narrow gauge engines from the Railway series, appears in the Mar-Apr edition of Narrow Gauge World

Saturday, March 05, 2022

Saturday Film Club: Hythe Pier Railway

I'm told by the maker, that this videois 40 years old. It looks like it was filmed on a tape camcorrder, and so presents a little slice of history showing this fascinating line. Another one to go on the list to visit one day!

Friday, March 04, 2022

Mystery PO underground train model

Digging in a drawer for an old wagon for use in a magazine article, I found something I'd forgotten I owned. Hardly surpriseing, as it's tiny - but there's no surprises that when I spotted it, I bought it. 

The prototype is a train from the famous Post Office underground railway

Scale is 4mm - the model is 90mm long. I didn't paint this, but I don't think it is a professional souvenier. 

It's cast metal, but feels heavier than whitemetal, but that's a guess and I can mark the base with a screwdriver, so it's soft. 

The ends are pivoted, but the wheels (unsuprisingly) solid. 

So, where did this come from? Who made it? Why can't I remember buying it?I know readers of this blog like a mystery, so any answers would be appreciated.

Thursday, March 03, 2022

Mazda K360 - Part 3: All finished

Mazda K360

Here we go - the finished K360. It's not a bad model, but there are some niggles. 

The clear bits are best described as "interesting". Windcreen fit isn't wonderful, but Ok. The front lights though - they should be the same but one is twice the thickness of the other. Neither is a great fit in the front, but some serious work with a sanding stick at least fixes this. I could have reduced the depth of one of the lights too, but left it as the result would be opaque. 

Transfers are supplied with acres of excess film. I trimmed this back for the instruments, which is fiddly. The scripts are raised on the sides so I just painted them silver - far easier than applying decals. 

Overall, though, it's an attractive model of an interesting prototype. I'll admit I'm now pondering a cakebox size diorama to display this and the Diahatsu - but that will need suitable figures and I'm not sure it's a good idea for me to go and order some right now. Who knows what else I'll buy!

Mazda K360

Finishing this model clean is interesting, and a handy test of the paint and lacquer, but a bit of dirt would bring it alive. Something to consider in the future. 

At 95mm long, I can really see the appeal of building a collection of these cars - there are several others in the range. Tackled with more than my "stick it together for fun" approach, and they each make an interesting project, but won't consume too much display space.

Wednesday, March 02, 2022

Mazda K360 - Part 2: Fleshing out the paint.

The Mazda K360 box art shows and attractive two-colour paint job, and as a change from the last two models which came out mucky, I thought I'd have a go at something pretty. 

First challenge, chose your colours. The top is white, but I remember from chosing the paint for my campervan years ago, a pure white looks odd. Pick an off-white (I used a Peugeot colour) and it looks nicer. On that basis, I opted for Humbrol 147, one of my regular go-to colours, in fact the one I use for white on other models. 

The darker colour looks to be a peach, but I don't have that in my collection. Setting out to buy some at Doncaster, the closest match, and it IS close, is Tamiya Flesh colour. 

Applying the 147 was difficult as my airbrush is still playing up. The Badger 200 is a bit brutal (great for large boat hulls though) although it did an OK job. 

As an experiment, I brushed the Tamiya in the load bed area - and after two coats, it looked really good. No brush marks, nice solid colour. No need to spray!

Drying time is quick too. Both coats were on in an evening. A little touch-up where the masking wasn't perfect, despite my best efforts, then a little silver, and things were looking good. 

A 1/32nd scale model needs a little shine if it's supposed to be clean, and so I was presented with another oportunity to experiment. 

There has been a couple of cans of Halford Satin lacquer on the shelf for a while, and I resoned I ought to try them out. If everything went wrong on this model, it wouldn't be the end of the world. 

As it was, everything went right. Three thin coats look pretty good. The paint sprays well and provides a pleasent shene to the body. It's pretty controlable too, not always the case with car paints. Maybe the results would be a bit thick for N gauge, but if the airbrush (currenlty being cleaned again) is out of action, a realistic alternative.