March 28, 2011

"Hornby Clerestory Conversions - Part 5"

The first of the Hornby Clerestory conversions is nearing completion.

The roof has had very little done to it, apart from removing the beading and other related pieces, and carefully reworking the clerestory ends to look squarer and more GCR looking.

The torpedo vents were then added, and the roof finished off in Railmatch's [i]Roof Grey[/i]. The result is as follows:

The next job will be adding glazing - I may, for ease of build, just refit the older plastic panels, but I have seen an idea on a another forum that I may give a go with a scrap coach or two, as practise, before moving onto these if all goes well...!

Until next time, when I hope to have the three coaches physically complete, save for transfers and final varnishing.

March 27, 2011

"Hornby Clerestory Conversions - Part 4"

The next stage in the Clerestory build was trialing various shades of British Railways Carmine paint. I've settled on this shade, which is my own mix, making it up as I go along with various acrylics. I did try Railmatch's enamel paint, but didn't like the finish particularly.

I have, under advice from a few chaps at the Gamesworkshop in Bluewater (where I get all my acrylic paints for mixing up), undercoated the coach in Scorched Brown, on top of a base coat of Chaos Black. The result is that seen below.

My shade has been made up from a roughly 4:1:1 mix of Red Gore, Chaos Black, and Scorched Brown in that order. I'm in two minds on the shade - on the one hand, I think the evenness of this paintwork is debatable (having an off day with the airbrush), on the other hand I'm rather pleased with the shade, though I'm not sure it's quite there for a perfect shade of carmine.

The lighting hasn't helped in my overall opinion of it, though I feel this photograph best represents the shade I've created.

Until next time, when I will hopefully be tackling the roofs with some torpedo vents, and finishing the rake off with transfers and weathering.

March 25, 2011

"The Return of the Flying Scotsman"

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It's not often I gush - but wow! Ian Riley's works have done a terrific job on the boiler of 4472 Flying Scotsman. The above photograph comes from the 4472 Twitter account.

Seeing it looking so complete is truly a joy to see. The last time I saw this engine in the flesh, it looked a very tired steam locomotive.

Reborn from the ashes, some might say. Here's to the NRM and all who've worked on 4472 - job's a good 'un!

Until next time!

March 23, 2011

"Hornby Clerestory Conversions - Part 3"

The first of two packages I was waiting for, arrived today. They contained a few packs of Bachmann's standard round headed sprung buffers, and a pack of Hornby's standard disc wheels for coaches. Both were extremely cheap (a pound a pack!!!), and as this is being done on a budget, gratefully received.

The buffers are not correct by any means. The reason for my thinking here is thus. These coaches are going to be used as background coaches in my films, and will be bashed around a bit. I therefore went for a set of buffers I knew were durable enough to survive a few rounds of filming with me! They don't look too bad actually, and when compared to the original style Hornby buffers :blink: They look magnificent by comparison! :lol: They work very well too, nicely sprung and simply fitted into the existing holes without massive amounts of filing and drilling.

So this is the state of play with the first coach as it stands. I'm waiting on my second package, from Dart Castings, containing the necessary torpedo vents to fit to the roofs. Still in two minds on the roofs, am thinking it through and working out the cost of making new ones, if that's the route I feel I need to go down to make them look better.

Until next time, thanks for reading.

March 22, 2011

"Hornby Clerestory Conversions - Part 2"

The next stage to the GCR Clerestory story, has been removing the curved Great Western style grab handles, on the outside of the doors. That was done with a scalpel, and some wet'n'dry paper, followed by some light brush strokes of black primer to check the smoothness of each area before progressing.

The roofs have also been filed down on each of the three coaches I am working on, and after a fairly abortive attempt at building it up to make the GCR curved profile, I'm back to square one and currently open to discussions on how best to do it.

The bogies have been shorn of their tension lock couplings, and look much better. The Hornby buffers have been removed off both ends of each coach, and overall, while they are looking very drab at present, they are starting to look a little more GCR and a little less GWR!

Final pic for the evening, my little production line of three coaches - the fourth is being held up as a "before and after" style piece, before being converted in the same manner as the current three.

For four coaches I bought from the Loughborough Model Centre, two and a half years ago now, for a ridiculous £15 the four, they are proving to be useful acquisitions, and certainly helping me build a little confidence towards modelling once more.

Until next time!

March 21, 2011

"Hornby Clerestory Conversions"

After a little prompting from a few friends on the LNER Encyclopedia forum, I've started work on modifying some Hornby Clerestories I got on the cheap into some pseudo Great Central Stock, to eventually go into carmine livery.

So here is one of the coaches before:

And here it is after its been stripped back, tension lock couplings removed, and the roof filed down to the correct style:

I'm currently scouring the net for a source of roof vents suitable to fit onto the roof, but as yet haven't found anything. The next photo shows the difference in the roofs: I filed down the plastic vents and edging to smooth it out, Great Central style.

Have ordered some paint - these will be going carmine (according to a chap on the forum, the last ones were condemned in 1958, so a few most have had it), and will be painted, weathered and fitted with three link couplings, as an exercise and overall guinea pig in some techniques for future models.

Until next time - hopefully with a matching set!

March 16, 2011

"Charity Auction Piece Arrives!"

I was delighted to hear from the winner of The British Railway Series Charity auction this week - including a photograph and note to show the canvas print (complete with my signature) had arrived safely.

Hi Simon,

Thanks very much for the chance to win this one of a kind canvas. I'm delighted to own a collectors item, and help two worthy charities. This will always have special place in my room, and will be even more meaningful when I get my own layout started!

I was very touched to get such a lovely thank you note from our top bidder, whose high bid for the canvas print helped myself and Ryan Hagan of the Sodor Island Forums donate some money to the Corris Railway Falcon Appeal, and The Railway Children Charity.

Who knows, that canvas print might be worth something one day...!

Until next time!

March 11, 2011

"Codename: Industrial Saddletank - Update"

Sean's done a little more work on the front end - sadly we've both been busy with various other projects, but Sean is quietly confident we'll have a pre-production sample for tinkering with very soon. Note, the smokebox surround, reworked smokebox door, handrail and the running plate, all much improved from my original concept model.

Until next time!

March 08, 2011

"End of the line"

Every so often, my father will climb the stairs to the loft, where Copley Hill lies, and ask me to put on "his engine".

He does in fact own a lot of models, mostly stored away from the house on a shared layout, but there's one we keep here because it's been his favourite since he was a boy.

Triang-Hornby, no.4472, Flying Scotsman. You know the one I mean - red sticker nameplates, thick pizza cutter wheels, a glowing firebox, and moulded handrails everywhere.

We'll run it for about ten minutes in admiration, as the old model pulls away with a trainload of coaches. No running in, no checks, it just gets put on and runs away with it all. Standard affair, the only model we've ever really relied on to do the job without fuss.

However, yesterday was its last day. Groaning to a halt, it gave up the ghost and that was that. Brushes worn beyond belief. Wheels worn, and valve gear rickety. Yet, working it out in my head, this model had been pushed beyond its original design remit and then some for nearly fifty years.

Fifty years. You will be lucky to get a modern equivalent I reckon. Fifty years.
Never quite seen my dad so choked up. "Fifty years...and no more" he said, before picking it up gently and putting it away in its drawer.

It was a good thing then, I had been stocking up on parts to use on the model, and...well...I've started fixing it. First was the replacement valve gear, which, even though its the older design, still looks the part overall:

Let's just say his father's day present this year is going to be a breeze.

Until next time!

March 06, 2011

"Thank You South Eastern Trains"

This blog post is dedicated to the hard working, and often, beleaguered workers of South Eastern Trains, who, as yesterday proves, are not all jobsworths that the media often portray them as.

I picked up my girlfriend Charlotte at about 5.25pm yesterday from Sidcup Station, and we made our way to the cinema with a few friends. On arrival at the cinema, Charlie was distraught to find she had left her handbag on the train, containing all the usual essentials.

One phone call to my mother - who was in the vicinity of the railway station in question - and it put into motion a frankly impressive turn of events. Firstly, Sidcup station staff searched the platforms and related car park of Sidcup station, whilst also phoning ahead to Gravesend Station - the train Charlie had been on, was now heading for Gravesend, where it was promptly searched by members of Gravesend Station staff, a South Eastern Trains guard, and several members of the British Transport Police.

The handbag was found, and held at Gravesend while my mother and sister raced down there to collect it.

I on the other hand, was consoling a fairly distraught Charlie, and was much relieved to hear the bag had been found - complete, with all her various items still in it.

It just goes to show you, that although the trains may on occasion be late, South Eastern Trains do care about their customers, and the swiftness of the action they took is not only very gratefully received, but much appreciated too.

In short, thank you South Eastern Trains, from myself and Charlie.

Until next time!