Cancellation Scalefourum 2019

Regrettably due to unforeseen and unavoidable family circumstances we’ve had to withdraw from Scalefourum 2019, where we’d been invited as guest layout. We extend apologies to Terry and the Scalefourum team, and readers who were hoping to see us there.

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Throwback Thursday , Standing Back

It is interesting sometimes doing that arty ‘stand back’ and look at what you’ve done. I’m doing this a lot at the moment, getting the layout ready to go out for the second time. This picture was taken early January and if you looked at the layout now, you wouldn’t see any big changes, it’d look less complete in fact.

More trees have been blocked in, but the whole ‘presentation’ element has been removed, and it’s a green asteroid on stands! This week the new material for the final backscene arrives, (hopefully!) and then a new lighting rig. I’m not expecting any significant structural changes, but I thought that with both Albion Yard and Shelfie, only to be surprised and finding further improvements very late on.

In the meantime I’ve got the new walkabout panel to wire up, and I hate wiring, some potty mouthed moments to come from the man cave later!

Posted in 2019, accurascale, autumn, Bachmann, blogger, Branch Line, British Rail, Cameo, Cameo layout, dapol, DCC, dcc sound, dingham, Eastern Region, Exhibition, finescale, Hattons, heljan, HO, hobbies, Hobby, Hornby, justdoit, Layout, LED Lighting, life, man cave, mancave, model, model photography, Model Railroad, Model Railway, modeling, Modelling, Modelu, n gauge, Narrow Gauge, O Gauge, o scale, OO, OO Gauge, Oxford rail, railway, Rapido Trains, scale, scale modelling, shelfie, shelfie1, shelfie2, throwback thursday, toy train, Toy trains, toytrainset, train set, train show, trainset, Uncategorized, woodland scenics | 2 Comments

Wordless Wednesday 9/11

Posted in 2019, america, blog, Friends, history, life, news, remember, usa, wordless wednesday | Leave a comment

Man Cave Makeover

This weekend amongst night shifts and a quick visit to Expo EM North, I’ve been completing the final elements of Shelfie2. Like most man caves mine has too much ‘stuff’, particularly ‘stuff’ that gets in the way. I have two desks one primary desk for construction, and a secondary desk for painting. The second desk is an area that needed rationalising, and at Expo I invested in some paint racks and a paint stand from ebma to make the paint desk ‘work’ better. I use quite a bit of Vallejo and decided to try Ebma’s PR004 vertical paint storage rack for so I invested in four of them, and here’s a quick overview of the kit.

The kit is simply and effectively packaged with no plastic, the box can be reused my first thought was that’s about right for a 4mm coach or locomotive.

The components are laser cut and require very little preparation.

One or two sections needed holes cleared but these pieces just fell out with a little pressure placed on them.

There are online instructions on their website, but as it’s a man cave project, those obviously weren’t consulted! The kit is pretty much shake the box and it goes together, there’s two section to take note of if winging it like I did. The top shelf has oval cut outs in (see above). These allow access to screw the finished paint rack to the wall, and make sure the rear section has the screw mounting plates fixed at the top.

I fitted the horizontal shelves first followed by the vertical struts. Make sure you alternate the shelf types so the paint tubes will fit correctly. The fit is excellent and I used very small amounts of PVA adhesive to fix the components together.

The laser process leaves scorch marks and you can build the stand with the majority of the scorching hidden.

Each kit took about twenty minutes to assemble and it was pleasant to make a piece of ‘furniture’ from a flat pack kit that didn’t involve copious amounts of foul language. The fit of the paint tubes is close, tight enough to hold them securely, but not an interference fit.

The second item I bought was the weathering and painting stand RPS-4 for 4mm Scale stock.

Again the kit took a short amount of time to put together, it includes self adhesive foam backing for the rear of the support and base. It will comfortably accommodate the length of a 4mm class 40, large steam locomotive, or Mk3 coaching stock with no problems. I’ve tried it weathering an Accurascale hopper today, and I quite like it, though it’s not grabbing me as an intuitive piece of ‘tooling’. I suspect I’ll really see the benefits when doing stock such as HO freight cars, and cylindrical tank vehicles.

In summary both these products are well worth considering. Components are excellent quality, and importantly fit together accurately with no problems. The paint racks work as standalone racks or can be wall mounted easily. The weathering and painting stand I think has good potential, the reason why it’s not immediately lit any fires is likely because it needs adapting to, and a subtle change in my work processes, I’ll see if it becomes a ‘must use’ tool, or just an occasional user item.

I’ll let you know.

Posted in accurascale, Airfix, Bachmann, blog, dapol, EM, Exhibition, finescale, Hattons, heljan, HO, hobbies, Hornby, man cave, mancave, model, model photography, Model Railroad, Model Railway, modeling, Modelling, n gauge, Narrow Gauge, new year, O Gauge, o scale, OO, OO Gauge, Oxford rail, paint, peco, product news, Railway Modeller, Rapido Trains, revell, review, scale, scale modelling, toy train, Toy trains, toytrainset, train set, train show, trainset, Uncategorized, wagon | 3 Comments

Woodland Development

Back at the beginning of the year, the woodlands along the rear of the layout were being blocked in. Most of it was acceptable, but in cliche corner with my over bridge scenic break, getting the trees and overhang right was getting awkward.

I did try out a ‘tunnel’ of trees, with no bridge, but due to the short length of the cutting, I couldn’t get a long enough run under cover of the trees to show that canopy effectively before running through the backscene. So it was back to building a see through Autumn feel for the tree diffuser line.

The layout lighting is relatively bright, see above, and could do with a little toning down, to this end I’ve dismantled the rear lighting rig and will raise the rear light bar by about 10-20cm. This will still give adequate flood lighting, rear downwash on the trees and backscene, and not affect the sky density with shadows in the curves at the ends. The final amount will be determined by experimenting with different heights and the light bar held by clamps.

The maximum height of the layout is likely to be around 76inches, track height 56 inches so that the proscenium arch and end pelmets work to give a few forced viewpoints like the image above. There were a couple on Albion Yard and were popular with viewers, I hope to push that a little further with either this project or the next one.

Returning to cliche corner earlier this week I had blocked in the section adjacent to the bridge, and it looked ok, but that was it, just ok.

Whilst the upper limbs of the trees were good the bottom branches and the join close to the bridge just looked wrong, and I couldn’t work out why. It took a good few days to ‘see’ the problem, but the clues were there a good way beforehand!

As you can see here in the initial build the density of the lower foliage next to the bridge was far too great. However I’d put some coverage of leaves and paint across it which masked the problem due to it looking ‘completed’. After a few days it was annoying me so much that I removed all the foliage to have another go leaving a pretty bare look, something like this.

Whilst the tree line was stripped down I decided to remove a smaller sapling at the base of the embankment. This was the key moment. The baseline opened up visually but not so that it looked artificial. Knowing now that the infill needed to be much less dense it was a quick and easy job to remodel the base of the tree branches and replace the scrub and low bushes around the foot of the trees.

Doing this also gave a more natural flow to the base of the tree line, allowing a partial view underneath the furthest arch with more light emphasising the lack of foliage, rather than the previous emphasis of an impenetrable dark mass.

So Shelfie2 has taken another good step forward, the next Woodland tasks will be to rebuild the right hand end coppice, with left and right hand foreground diffuser trees. This will then mean I can attach the backscene in a semi permanent manner, and progress to completion of the ‘customer facing’ fascia. Once the fascia is completed it’s on to final detailing and further stock before it’s first show in September. Are we nearly there yet?..

.

Posted in 2019, accurascale, autumn, Bachmann, blogger, Branch Line, British Rail, Cameo, Cameo layout, DCC, dcc sound, dingham, Eastern Region, Exhibition, finescale, heljan, HO, hobbies, Hornby, Industrial, iphoneography, justdoit, Kalmbach, Layout, LED, LED Lighting, man cave, mancave, Midland Region, model, model photography, Model Railroad, Model Railway, modeling, Modelling, n gauge, Narrow Gauge, O Gauge, o scale, OO, OO Gauge, Oxford rail, peco, railway, Rapido Trains, scale, scale modelling, Scottish Region, shelfie, shelfie2, social media, Southern Region, throwback thursday, toy train, Toy trains, toytrainset, train set, train show, trainset, tree, trees, Uncategorized, Wales, Western Region, woodland, woodland scenics, woods | Leave a comment

Transformation Tuesday, Kings Cross & The Heljan 25 and 86

Heljan OO Class 25

Heljan OO Class 86

One of the nice things about this hobby is the social element to it. Last night in ye olde London towne a group, nine, later ten, of us met up. In two different pubs we were asked what’s the occasion? Erm, it’s Monday, was the answer given.

It was my first trip on an Azuma, which are a brilliant looking unit from the outside.

Lined up next to an HST it was nice to see just how well the older unit looks, and has lasted since large scale introductions in 1976. It will undoubtedly be recognised as one of Britain’s greatest trains in the future.

Starting at Kings Cross the transformation of the Northern approaches is astounding, back in the 80’s when I worked there the area was very run down, what a difference the last few years have made!

The use of the gas holder structure for new buildings is just genius!

Later in the day we got the opportunity to make adenoidal noises, assorted bleeps and squeaky sounds as Heljan’s Class 25 and 86 arrived for us to paw over.

Heljan Class 25 & 86

Heljan Class 25

Heljan Class 25

Heljan Class 25

Heljan Class 25

Heljan Class 25

Heljan Class 86

Heljan Class 86

Heljan Class 86

Heljan Class 86

Heljan Class 86

Of the ten of us that looked at the EP’s nine thought they were good, with one abstention. Of the ten of us that went out, all ten seemed to have a good time, talking shite, drinking beer and just enjoying the craic!

And, we didn’t ask about the pantograph for the 86. Weirdo’s eh?

Posted in 2019, accurascale, Airfix, Bachmann, blog, British Rail, DCC, dcc sound, Eighties, Exhibition, finescale, Hattons, heljan, HO, hobbies, Hornby, Inspiration, Layout, life, LNER, Midland Region, model photography, Model Railroad, Model Railway, Model Railway Journal, modeling, Modelling, n gauge, Nevard, new release, news, O Gauge, o scale, OO, OO Gauge, Oxford rail, peco, product news, Rapido Trains, scale, scale modelling, Scottish Region, toy train, Toy trains, toytrainset, train set, train show, trainset, transformation tuesday, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Essential Witness and Transition

Essential Witness and Transition are two books that do that rare thing of capturing the railway in an engaging and artistic way. Each book contains the work of one photographer, Jim Shaughnessy for Essential Witness, and Colin Gifford for Transition.

Essential Witness edges it as my favourite between the two, not only are the images superb, the page design just works for me.

The simple discrete caption, and at the back of the book thumbnail images with extended notes.

Transition, has a similar layout, though not quite so ‘clean’, frustratingly whilst it has simple numbered captions, there’s no extension to them. The images are like those of Witness, brilliant and interesting and I feel the book misses a trick without better captions.

Print quality is brilliant, on good quality paper, blacks are deep blacks, and whites like crisp fresh snow, with all the tonal values between. Both are entirely monochrome, the subject matter really suiting the style of both artists. All weathers are included adding to the atmosphere the images convey, New York State winters really look cold, Manchester, looks wet. There’s very few platform 3/4 shots, the photographers capture both intimate portraits, and trains in the landscape equally well adding to the value of the images. The books will suit modellers, there’s plenty of line side details to study, both in terms of railway equipment, and era specific items like vehicles and clothing. Both volumes cover the change over era’s between the Steam and Diesel era’s, more so with Colin Giffords’s Transition. If you’re after a good book to just kick back and enjoy, both of these definitely fit the bill.

If you take your time you’ll find real value in either book for prototype information, more importantly though you’re likely to just have a really relaxing and enjoyable few hours. Just immerse yourself in the skills and artistry of the images, rare quality in such an accessible format. Printed media is not dead yet!

Essential Witness

Jim Shaughnessy

ISBN 978-0-500-54486-0

Transition

Colin Gifford

ISBN 978-1-9164001-08

Posted in b&w, black and white, blog, blogging, book, book review, Branch Line, British Rail, canada, copyright, history, hobbies, Inspiration, Layout, library, life, man cave, mancave, media, Model Railroad, Model Railway, modeling, Modelling, monochrome, O Gauge, o scale, OO, OO Gauge, Photography, product news, railway, research, review, scale, scale modelling, seasons, skill, skillset, toy train, Toy trains, toytrainset, train set, trainset, travel, Uncategorized, usa | 1 Comment