December 19, 2008

"Winter Wonderland"

I thought I'd try my hands at scratchbuilding some buildings for a temporary winter set. They are not great, but for a first attempt, its all about learning the do's and don'ts of scratchbuilding! The shed is made out of plasticard, with brick paper attached, the backscene of the Copley Hill carriage works is the wrong colour (should be whitewashed!) but the brick comes out better in the photographs. These are made from plywood, cut to shape and painted carefully on the roof, and not so carefully where the roof meets the front facade.

The snow is soap powder, stuck down with a very diluted PVA glue, and the track was then laid on top. This was done so that, while it looks less realistic, it enables the trains to run without problems, and with several little cousins visiting at christmas, a decent running train set for them to play on was a must!

Merry Christmas everyone - last blog before christmas!

December 13, 2008

"60163, Tornado..."

Seen above is my completed model of 60163, Tornado, depicted as she will look in 2011.

Here's how I built mine, for those of you who may want to build your own:


You will need:

1. Bachmann Peppercorn A1 donor model (mine was Aberdonian - which needed some modifying)
2. Fox transfers nameplates and express passenger blue transfer lining
3. Black undercoat, Express Passenger Blue paint, Railmatch bufferbeam red paint, and a few other acrylic colours
4. Clear varnish sealant for paint and transfers

The model was taken apart to remove rivet detail (like Kestrel before her, the model of Tornado actually needs to be a darlington variant which requires a little alteration), rubbing down and a black primer being applied:

The cabside had its rivets removed and paint stripped.

To me, Bachmann's backhead is excellent for detail, but it only really comes out when painted - here, I have handpainted the backhead myself. Some further modifications will be made to the cab in the shape of cabinets under the driver's seat.

The tender tank needing rebuilding to better represent 60163's larger tender tank, and if you look carefully on the finished pictures, you'll see I modelled the cabinet of dials on the right hand side of the tender footplate as well!

The boiler had minor alterations - chimney shortened, dome lengthened - this is hardly noticeable on the model, but it's there! Tornado's safety valves, cab roof, dome and chimney were reprofiled to meet Network Rail's 13ft above rail height stipulation, and so has my model.

The model was then sprayed black using Gamesmaster's "Chaos Black" - I swear by this stuff, never had a problem with it. It forms a perfect undercoat for certain shades of blue (especially my specially mixed Express Passenger blue paint!), and dries evenly.

The nameplates were dealt with separately, the fantastic Fox transfer etched plates being attached:

After the undercoat was completed...

...the first coat of blue paint was applied. I have never liked either Hornby or Bachmann's shade of Express Passenger blue, and the railmatch equivalent doesn't float my boat either. I opted for mixing my own paint from various off-the-shelf acrylics, and came up with this shade, as shown on the tender body:

Be careful, however! This was my first attempt with a spray gun, and in retrospect while the coat is even, it is also too thick. I'll be more careful next time!

Next came the adding of always helps to have another model around to check where the lining goes - you'll notice in the later photographs that my model is missing the lining on the footplate - there is a good reason for this. I forgot!

Here, my earlier model of 60130 helps with the lining:

Here is Tornado, halfway though finishing the lining:

The transfers are Fox Transfers - use lots of water, soak up the excess with a cloth or tissue, and use a cocktail stick to position it carefully!

Here's the finished article, I'm delighted with the colour and how the whole project has turned out:

There's more to do which shall be covered in a future post - adding the roller bearing axleboxes on the tender and cartazzi truck is the major one, and another aesthetic piece is the adding of spoked wheels on the tender (as on the real Tornado).

I'll also cover how I added the A4 chime whistle to the right hand deflector.

Until next time!