Motivation Monday Transfer Transformers

A few years back my brother got hold of a couple of Kadee 40ft boxcars, and I weathered one. It was ok but not really one that I could get enthused about, so I tried doing a patched out livery. That made it worse, so onto the shelf of doom it went. In 2012 a trip to the Near North allowed me to visit a couple of Canadian hobby stores, and thinking of this car, and getting a souvenir that could pack easily I bought a set of water slide decals, and they joined the car on the shelf of doom!

So, six years (yesterday) later, I’m rummaging through the mancave and this gets in the way. I realised it’s one of those ‘one day’ jobs, and thought why not today? Well the car side had been cleaned of the patching paint, the original livery, the details such as ladders and walkways, and I sat down in the sun, with cotton buds and T-Cut to polish the sides for the decals. You can see above the high gloss finish the T-Cut achieved so with Microscale decal setting solutions it all looked a reasonably quick job.

I’m pleased to say that the high gloss finish and the decals and solutions all worked well you can see above how the solutions help the decals adhere to the surface, with no silvering. A couple of weeks back I tried out an aerosol can of Humbrol acrylic matt varnish and was really pleased with the quality of it. It seemed a good option to try it out on this HO car as I’d used quite a bit of it on six 7mm/O Gauge wagons and the can feels quite a bit emptier, I’d received a couple of comments regarding the spray getting blotchy as the can pressure reduced and it seemed a good idea to see if I got the same experience. I’m pleased to say, so far, I haven’t and the final top coat of varnish is seen below.

The result being a nice addition to the small HO fleet of stock I’m building up, a fast job that I’d put off for far too long which has literally transformed this cars appearance, and means it goes straight into the operating fleet. It’s also excellent motivation to get a fast result, and the shelf of doom has one less occupant!

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Posted in blog, Cameo, Cameo layout, canada, DCC, dcc sound, decals, finescale, HO, hobbies, Hornby, Inspiration, iphoneography, kadee, Kalmbach, Layout, life, man cave, mancave, model, model photography, Model Railroad, Model Railway, Model Railway Journal, modeling, Modelling, monday motivation, motivation monday, n gauge, O Gauge, o scale, Ontario, OO Gauge, Oxford rail, Rapido Trains, scale, scale modelling, shelfie, toy train, Toy trains, toytrainset, train set, trainset, True North, Uncategorized, waterslide | 1 Comment

Throwback Thursday, Fifteen Minute Heroes, How to Gain Weight

It’s been a while since I posted a Fifteen Minute Hero, a couple of years at least! One of the things I want to do with Shelfie2 is to have it hands free operation, so with that in mind I’ve been assembling Dingham couplings. Shelfie2 will mainly be operated as a small north eastern drift Colliery disposal point, so lots of 21 ton style coal hoppers, and minerals.

I’ve got a few of Hornby’s excellent 21 ton hoppers, and to ring the changes a small batch of Accurascale 24.5 ton hoppers. So where’s the fifteen minutes? Well, as well as buying RTR wagons I’ve a few of the Parkside BR PC77 21 ton hoppers (dia1/146) to complete, these will be run as individual wagons rather than fixed rakes. The thing is, these kits are very light, the other hoppers aren’t exactly pie eaters either, but I do want to add weight to the kit versions.

I could put weight inside the hopper itself, meaning that they’d run partially loaded all the time, but preferred to find space underneath.

I’ve standardised on Trax self adhesive wheel balance weights, so I looked at how they might fit these wagons. The obvious location is in this valley between the two chutes, the weights are narrow enough that they fit with little lateral movement, however they do project underneath the hopper without any modifications, so I wanted to reduce that as far as possible.

So this is the fifteen minute bit! The nearest weight above is unmodified, the one at the back is adapted to fit as discretely as possible. Being a mild steel the weights file relatively easily so the first job is to remove the adhesive backing, this reduces their thickness as I’m using superglue to keep them in place instead.

Using a file I remove a section from each end of the weight, to about a 45 degree angle. This saves space at the joint between two weights and makes them less visible.

So, here they are test fitted, once filed back they are almost invisible from the side. The 45 degree chamfer makes better use of space at the depth of the hopper valley, and reduces the visible section protruding when the wagon is the right way up.

Basically that’s it! Arrange into a V shape and superglue in place.

A good use of fifteen minutes or so, it gives an unobtrusive weight gain (see above), and the wagons are now a little bit lighter than the Hornby models, but significantly heavier than they started, improving the running quality immensely. The Hornby hoppers are a bit crap with their running qualities, and I’ve found a fifteen minute improvement for those too, of which more later!

The Trax weights are very useful for kit builders too, I use them on almost every wagon I build, from conflats through to closed vans, they give a standard weight to a wagon, so none are either too light or too heavy! Improved running, Simples!

Posted in Airfix, Bachmann, blog, British Rail, Cameo, Cameo layout, dapol, dingham, Eastern Region, finescale, Forest of Dean, Great Western, HO, hobbies, Hornby, Layout, LMS, LNER, man cave, Midland Region, model, Model Railroad, Model Railway, modeling, Modelling, n gauge, Narrow Gauge, northumberland, O Gauge, o scale, OO Gauge, Oxford rail, scale modelling, Scottish Region, shelfie2, Southern Region, throwback thursday, toy train, Toy trains, toytrainset, train set, trainset, Uncategorized, wagon, Western Region | Leave a comment

Notes from the Mancave, Dingham Delights

Today I’ve been putting together, and trial fitting Dingham electromagnetic couplers.

These are them fitted to a Bachmann 08. They’re a bit fiddly to assemble, but the instructions are clear and give good hints and tips on their use. I’ve seen a few 4mm layouts with them, and I’ve used a few previously on Bawdsey for coaching stock. Shelfie2 will be an eye level style presentation similar to Shelfie1, and as it’s a bit bigger I’d like to do the stand back at a distance thing. The operation will be quite straightforward, so I want to try and make the scenic section hands free and a good autocoupler will help with this.

So I’m giving the Dingham system a try, I like it as it’s quite discreet and looks a bit like a prototype coupling, certainly closer than most others. It is compatible with three link couplings so if it fails at a show, it’s not the end of the world, and it’s relatively inexpensive. To get the best from them the vehicles are handed, on this layout that won’t be a problem, and I’m looking forward to being able to sit either end of the layout at a show, and not be in the way of the viewers. Later today I’ll be trying the Hornby hoppers for the fitting as well as a couple of brake vans. If these first few work well enough I’ll do another two locos and a few more types of wagons.

Right, off to burn some more fingers!

Posted in Bachmann, blog, Branch Line, brassmasters, British Rail, Cameo, Cameo layout, DCC, dcc sound, dingham, Eastern Region, Eighties, Exhibition, finescale, hobbies, Hornby, Industrial, Layout, life, LMS, LNER, man cave, mancave, media, Midland Region, Model Railroad, Model Railway, Model Railway Journal, modeling, Modelling, Narrow Gauge, O Gauge, o scale, OO Gauge, Oxford rail, peco, scale, scale modelling, Scottish Region, shelfie, shelfie2, toy train, Toy trains, toytrainset, train set, trainset, Uncategorized, wagon, Western Region | 3 Comments

Wordless Wednesday (visitors)

Posted in 3f, Bachmann, Branch Line, brassmasters, British Rail, Cameo, Cameo layout, DCC, dcc sound, djm, Eastern Region, finescale, Forest of Dean, Great Western, HO, hobbies, Hornby, iphoneography, Layout, LMS, LNER, Midland Region, model, model photography, Model Railroad, Model Railway, Model Railway Journal, modeling, Modelling, n gauge, O Gauge, o scale, OO Gauge, Oxford rail, peco, scale, scale modelling, Scottish Region, shelfie2, Southern Region, toy train, Toy trains, toytrainset, train set, trainset, waterslide, Western Region, wordless wednesday | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Letter from the ManCave

This evening I’ve had Shelfie2 out on scaffolding trestles in the main room of the mancave. Normally this is occupied by a car, I know, weirdo eh? Still, having the space clear for a while has allowed me to put the layout up with a bit of breathing room around it. This works really well for me as you get that artist stand back and look opportunity, which sometimes shows an area for change or improvements.

The easiest change today was to block colour the baseboard leading edge, this shade of green may change, I’ll let it dry out fully first. It will also need re-sanding, the edge to scenery join is made with a flexible wall filler, which needs a few more fill/sand sessions to get it right. The green will show clearly the areas that need work, once cut back again. The painting also helps with motivation, it gives a more complete appearance, meaning pushing towards completion.

The rear tree line is also taking shape, having room to move around the layout, let’s me see angles that aren’t available in the workshop, and it’ll allow me to have an initial mess around with the back drop. For me one of the break points of this layout will be managing the join between the tree line, backscene and foreground. These trestles are height adjustable too so while I think it’s right at the moment, I can experiment a bit with them to change the viewing perspective. Then I can get the car back inside, and look for an engine builder.

Petrol that is, not steam…

Posted in Bachmann, blog, Branch Line, British Rail, Cameo, Cameo layout, DCC, dcc sound, Eastern Region, finescale, Forest of Dean, Great Western, HO, hobbies, Hornby, Inspiration, iphoneography, Layout, life, LMS, LNER, man cave, mancave, Midland Region, model, model photography, Model Railroad, Model Railway, Model Railway Journal, modeling, Modelling, n gauge, Narrow Gauge, O Gauge, o scale, OO Gauge, Oxford rail, peco, scale, scale modelling, Scottish Region, shelfie, shelfie2, Southern Region, toy train, Toy trains, toytrainset, train set, trainset, tree, trees, Uncategorized, Western Region, woodland, woods | 1 Comment

Wordless Wednesday (sunlight)

Posted in Bachmann, blog, Branch Line, brassmasters, British Rail, Cameo, Cameo layout, dapol, DCC, dcc sound, Eastern Region, finescale, Forest of Dean, Great Western, HO, hobbies, Hornby, Industrial, iphone, iphoneography, Layout, LMS, LNER, media, Midland Region, model, model photography, Model Railroad, Model Railway, Model Railway Journal, modeling, Modelling, n gauge, Nevard, northumberland, O Gauge, o scale, OO Gauge, Oxford rail, Peckett, Photography, scale, scale modelling, Scottish Region, shelfie, shelfie2, Southern, Southern Region, sun, toy train, Toy trains, toytrainset, train set, trainset, wagon, Wales, Welsh Marches, Western Region, wordless wednesday | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Motivation Monday Shelfie2 Progression

Progression, using a phone as a camera. Rather than the image content the camera phone is probably what my late father would be surprised at. It is a very useful tool for me, keeping track of Shelfie2’s progress, not to mention writing this post, makes the smart phone almost indispensable. The header picture shows a bit of grass work from this afternoon. The base of the wall, even though it won’t be seen has had weeds and grass added using medical lint and scatter materials.

The foreground has changed too from an empty open space, (above), to more overgrown, the loading dock height has been raised to allow tipping into hoppers from road vehicles.

The water tower corner has been worked on too. The original configuration above shows no access road, which has now been added.

The tree line now reaches down to surround the water tower, the initial idea was that it would be really dense woodland, but giving the trees a bit of breathing space is working, so I’m currently running with that idea. The above shot doesn’t reflect the current build, the trees you see mid foreground will go there, but the water tower is now fixed and I’m working the trees and foliage around it.

This is now complete to a basic standard, the tower has had entry retaining walls added and the core volume of trees established around it. This is it below with dyed lint being added to the baseline.

The nearly complete scene is shown below, I’ve mocked up a backscene, part of Albion Yards test pieces and it all sits well. The detailing in this area will include fencing and gates on the lane running behind the tower.

I’ve now turned the layout through 180 degrees and am working on the area which will ‘join’ the backscene to the foreground.

The tree line will vary in density along the embankment and joins the layouts entry and exit track at a bridge seen above. The bridge is second hand and I believe the work of Geoff Taylor. Reversing the layout to work on allows me to sort the view blocks, around the bridge and structure for the backdrop and lighting.

I regularly return to the images I’ve taken of the build sequence. They show me where I’ve been, where I’ve got to, and provide motivation and inspiration to continue. Who’d have thought a phone could do that?

Posted in apple, Bachmann, blog, Branch Line, British Rail, Cameo, Cameo layout, DCC, dcc sound, Eastern Region, finescale, HO, hobbies, Hornby, Industrial, Inspiration, iphone, iphoneography, Layout, life, media, Midland Region, Model Railroad, Model Railway, Model Railway Journal, modeling, Modelling, Modelu, monday motivation, motivation monday, n gauge, Narrow Gauge, Nevard, O Gauge, o scale, OO Gauge, Photography, review, Scottish Region, shelfie, shelfie2, Southern Region, toy train, Toy trains, toytrainset, train set, trainset, tree, trees, Uncategorized, Western Region, woodland, woods | 7 Comments