Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Making Myself Unpopular

Himself's birthday has come around again, and just like last year I decided to treat him to a Robex 3D print.

We've seen what a fabulous job he made of the Lilla so I thought I'd challenge him with the WHHR's Bagnall 0-4-2 Gelert.

As the real one has made a test trip as far up the line as Beddgelert it would be nice to be able to represent that on Bron Hebog.

It's true that in his first experience of the material he found it very much less robust that he was used to with brass, and it was quite a steep learning curve, but at least the project with the Minitrains chassis was quite straightforward.

Not so with Gelert.

The Robex print is designed to fit the Fleishmann 0-4-0 chassis, and no problem there because I've had one of them in strategic storage for years.

The difficulty is that the Bagnall is outside-framed and Himself looked rather unimpressed when I broke it to him that his challenge is to try to covert it with new driving axles, fly cranks and all the rest,

I've no doubt he'll be able to achieve that because he managed it brilliantly on a pair of Ibertrens under our original Penrhyn ladies more than 20 years ago.

I am expectiing my name will be mud when he gets round to trying to do it, though.....

Monday, 19 March 2018


Altering the Dundas WHR carriage to make the flood removable, as we do with most of our other carriages, has meant a lot of changes on the inside too.

On the kit the seats are supposed to be fixed to the insides resting on these moulded ledges.

Not only are the ledges not required if the seats are going to be free-standing, they will also prevent us slipping in the glazing, so they'll have to be removed.

Fortunately this kind of plastic is very soft and it's easily done with the scalpel.

Next, the seats need to have new ends made to support them where they would have been fixed to the inside.

All these seats, once they've been made up, are fixed in place on the floor, which has also had its footsteps glued in place.

Here you can see it in place inside the body.

The roof has not been fixed in place yet and is just resting in position for now.

It's been handed over to Himself to get on with painting it at his leisure.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Tools Of The Trade

There's been more work done on the gardens of the houses since the thaw set in and the temperature in the garage has nudged into positive figures again.

He's added details like garden sheds, fences and quite a lot of hedges.

I thought you might be interested in seeing the way he's done these.

The secret ingredient is a former made out of thick, green felt which is a hangover from his former life fixing pianos.

The felt is fixed and supported with brass pins and then Woodlands Scenics foliage is added onto it.

It looks rather like Fuzzy Felt for adults

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Purple Patch

Hot on the heels of bowsider 19 Himself has already begun painting 15.

This is going to be another exceptionally intricate transfer challenge for him, attempting to replicate the gold leaf lining around all the mouldings on the bodyside.

At the moment it's had some coats of the Royal Purple and cream base colours.

If we were sticking with the nominal year of 1988, with which we started the Dduallt project all those years ago,  then this would be all we would have to do on 15,  but the abilities and ambitions of the Boston Lodge carriage works have expanded since then, and so unfortunately the challenge for us is to try to match them.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Breaking The Rules

I am one of life's rule-followers.

If there's a queue, I'll stand it in. If there's a notice, I'll obey it.

All of which makes me a little uneasy about casting aside the instructions for putting together the Dundas kit for the WHHR Bro Madog carriage, but I think I'm doing it for the right reasons.

Many years ago when scratch building our carriages we realised that it made more sense to have the roof fixed in place and leave the floor removable.

On most plastic kits, though, just like this one, you are advised to build the body shell by fixing the side end pieces onto the floor and leave gluing on the roof until last.

The problem with this is what you do when it comes to glazing and varnishing the carriage?

If you fit the glazing and then glue the roof on, making a sealed box, when you come to give it a protective coat of varnish you end up spraying (and ruining) the glazing.

If you don't fix the roof down, so enabling you to spray it without the glazing in there, then you have to run the gauntlet of using solvent to secure the roof later and any runs, spills or drips could ruin all your hard work.

Keeping the floor / chassis removable until the very last minute solves these problems, which is why we do it that way.

So although it looks like I've built the carriage conventionally in the picture above, the floor is, in fact, removable.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Pot Black

The temptation to declare "That'll do!" is something that has to be resisted in modelling - I had that drummed into me by Himself years ago.

Other times though, you have to accept that something's probably as good as it's ever going to be and stop fiddling with it.

So it is with the lamp pots on the roof of bowsider 19.

These are the second lot I cast which are quite a bit lower than the first ones we tried.

They're still not perfect, I know. They're probably too thin around the middle, not quite tall enough now and the tops are probably curved too much.

Ironically this time it's Himself who's said "That'll do" because when I popped over a few days ago - after they'd dug themselves out of the snow - he showed me this and told me that they've already been painted and glued on.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Have A Bash

In idle moments between casting another batch of SAR wagons for Narrow Planet I have been having a go at adapting the Dundas kit for the WHR Bro Madog coach to represent it more like it's current form.

(I say current because, just like Boston Lodge across the Traeth, Gelert's Farm is always fiddling with things and the entrance doors have been altered again with a double opening to give better access.)

There has been a large degree of trial and error in the process so far.

I had hoped that I would be able to leave a very thin bar of the original plastic along the top of the windows but it proved to be too flimsy so I ended up chopping it off all along and fixing a new strip along the top of the opening windows to form the toplights.

At the far end, as you can see above, I was able to leave the pillars full height and just put to horizontal strips in to form the new window.

Once I've got the second side done I can start making up the kit as per the instructions.