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…

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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?

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Wordless Wednesday (Beast from the East)

Antonov AN124
Doncaster Yorkshire

Antonov AN124
Doncaster Yorkshire

Posted in blog, canon, Canon G10, flight, flying, hobbies, life, Photography, travel, wordless wednesday | Leave a comment

Throwback Thursday, When you’re digging, stop!

Shelfie2
OO Gauge

You know when you take one of those images that just nails it? This one above does it for me and it emphasises I’m well on the way to something good.  A year or so ago I’d been working on a Southern Electric scheme that wasn’t working, so I’d changed that to a Midlands based ex Great Central Railway truncated branch. Well, that hadn’t worked either.  when-youre-digging-a-hole/ it is definitely time to stop!

Shelfie2
OO Gauge
Great Central Railway

Remember this station shot? Well it’s pretty much the same viewpoint as the header image, and validates for me the decision to swap the layout drastically.

The swap into a small shunting yard for a coal drift mine reflects a good part of my off the beaten track interests. The revised location and workings partly inspired by Ben Ashworths Forest of Dean images, and time spent in Northumberland. Combine this with my late father in laws innate ability to blag me a morning shift visit underground at Whittle Colliery, Health and Safety? (different times mate), and I’ve got a heady mix to indulge in!
irishswissernie/whittle


Swing the camera through 180 degrees to look at the old station throat, and the new loading bank is now underway, based on a couple of similar installations in the Forest of Dean, Parkend, being one of them. I’m keeping my options open to possibly integrate this layout into a larger Forest of Dean project, as either a drift mine or Ballast railhead.

Shelfie2 OO gauge
Southern Region Southern Electrics

This is the same station throat ‘location’ last year, looking at it I definitely know the correct choice was made to change the layout significantly, but the Southern itch is still there to be scratched. I’m mindful of the discussions I had at the time, with a couple of good friends bouncing ideas back and forth for the design both in its Southern and ex-GC guises. Those thoughts are very much still with me, and some of the links and images taken and sent to me were and are, very much appreciated.

Something for the new Peco Bullhead points then ..

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Wordless Wednesday (Shelfie2)

Posted in Airfix, Bachmann, blog, Branch Line, British Rail, Cameo, Cameo layout, dapol, DCC, dcc sound, Eastern Region, EM, finescale, Forest of Dean, HO, hobbies, Hornby, Industrial, iphone, iphoneography, Layout, LMS, LNER, Midland Region, Model Railroad, Model Railway, Model Railway Journal, modeling, Modelling, Modelu, n gauge, Narrow Gauge, Nevard, O Gauge, o scale, OO Gauge, Oxford rail, peco, Scottish Region, shelfie, Southern Region, toy train, Toy trains, toytrainset, train set, trainset, tree, trees, wagon, Wales, waterslide, Western Region, woodland, woods, wordless wednesday | 1 Comment

Throwback Thursday Collier Street

Collier Street
N Gauge Peco Project Layout

A quick look back a few years, here’s ‘Collier Street’ an N gauge layout commissioned by Peco. The layout was a Paul Lunn design from the N gauge Set Track plan book and I built it adapting the design slightly here and there, using off the shelf products. It subsequently has been used by them for advertising photography, appeared at Warley on their stand, and in the Railway Modeller as a project layout. It was I suppose a micro/cameo layout too, with fully enclosed fascia and a wrap round back scene though at the time I didn’t consider it in cameo terms. An exercise in using set track too, never a favourite of mine. However, set track serves a purpose judging by its popularity, and it doesn’t hurt to step outside your comfort zone once in a while. The design was based on a midland region station now truncated and running parcels and DMU’s as the primary service. Operationally it worked quite well, and was a useful exercise in blending both card and plastic buildings for the scenery. The view blocking was really challenging, I remember that much!

Collier Street
N Gauge Peco Project Layout

Posted in Bachmann, blog, book, British Rail, Cameo, Cameo layout, Canon G10, dapol, DCC, dcc sound, Eastern Region, Exhibition, finescale, Friends, Great Western, HO, hobbies, Hornby, Layout, LMS, LNER, magazine, Midland Region, Model Railroad, Model Railway, Model Railway Journal, modeling, Modelling, Modelu, n gauge, O Gauge, o scale, OO Gauge, Oxford rail, peco, Scottish Region, shelfie, social media, Southern Region, throwback thursday, toy train, Toy trains, toytrainset, train set, trainset, Uncategorized, Western Region | 3 Comments