Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Multimedia Modelling

The foul weather over the last day or two has driven me indoors to do some bench work for the new layout "Steam on the Cambrian" in particular the Penmaenpool MPD module.

Why Multimedia?
Well, the diversity of materials available for railway modellers to use is quite amazing from solid timber through to today's Hi Tech stuff like 3D printing.

The last few days has seen me using wood, Plasticard and brass, to name just three materials in use at Dukedog Towers.

First of all wood.

This is the coal stage for Penmaenpool MPD.

Built to photographs this coal stage is made from Balsa and chopped down coffee stirrers, glued together with PVA.
Looking at pictures the stage was two sleeper lengths wide by two sleepers deep. estimating that a scale sleeper would be about 36mm long gave me the rough size for the model.
Looking again at photographs I could not see any access steps anywhere so have not included any.
The model was painted with Humbrol enamels mostly Grey, brown, black and light grey.I have never seen any pure brown sleepers so the usual "sleeper grime" colour was not used.

Next up, the water tank, also for Penmaenpool MPD built from Slaters Plasticard.

This is attempt No2 at modelling this tank!
I was quite surprised to lean how small this tank was.
The original tank was made from wood and the size was 12ft 6ins long. This tank must have been replaced before the grouping though by this,  a standard Cambrian item. I eventually found the correct dimensions from CC Green's book Coast lines of the Cambrian railways Vol2.
At 13ft 6 long by 5ft wid and 4ft 6in high it is very small for a shed tank holding about 2000gallons of water. Hardly enough to fill a GWR tender loco!

There is also a distinct lack of a water crane at the shed so, I assume that this tank only supplied the sinks and toilets and washing out the ash pans and boilers.
As I said the model is built from Plasticard with coffee stirrer planks for a cover (stops dead seagulls getting in!) Painted with Humbrol enamels. Job Done!

Finaly for today!
The third modelling material to be used Brass!

A start has been made on the down advanced starter signal that stood in front of the shed a Penmaenpool

 Although not finished I have included this job as part of this posting just to illustrate another modelling media.

The signal is being built from a mix of Ratio, MSE and home made parts and will be fully working when finished.

So, that's the state of play as at 19:00 hrs today!
If the weather is grotty over the next day or so more progress will be possible I hope.
I will keep things updated as and when.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The Pedant & Odour repellent

Last weekend saw us take my layout Pen Y Bont to the 45th Redditch MRC exhibition at their usual venue Trinity High School.
All I can say is thank the lord for Satnavs! without my Tom Tom I would have never have found the place, Redditch town centre is like a maze to me, I thought Telford was bad but this place is something else.
It was also a good job that I use our car to transport the layout because one bridge I had to pass under only has a 8ft clearance! You can actually see the skid marks on the underside of the bridge where people have only just made it!

Anyway as usual I digress, so back to the exhibition.
The Redditch club are a friendly bunch of chaps and the exhibition itself was quite good having some layouts that I had not seen before. Abbey Road, a London UG layout won the prize for best in show and deservedly  so. it is a super layout and also for anyone living outside of London an unusual subject for a layout.

Pen Y Bont on the whole ran quite well, there was a slight problem with one of the points on the cross over not changing over but that was soon sorted. ( The point motor actuating pin had caught on some wiring).

The biggest problem we had was with some of the punters!
We only saw one of the "Great unwashed/rucksack" brigade and I had come prepared for this...

I just knew that some of the cheap deodorant that you always seem to get from the scrooge type relatives  for Christmas would come in handy some time!

Unfortunately I can not say the same for the Pedants that seemed to be out in force over this weekend!
The first one to be encountered was the same guy who criticised my well wagon at Midland Railex.
We made a point of shunting that particular wagon right under his nose, he couldn't miss it!

Mid afternoon on the Sunday we are now faced by the "persistent pedant!"
I had just this past week built up a couple of Dapol Stanier non corridor coaches. Because I needed them for this show I just built them to Dapol's instruction apart from metal wheels.
Enter the "Pesistent Pedant"
"Of course the roof is all wrong"  pause, " the bogies have the wrong steps"  "The battery boxes are wrong"
"The windows in the brake end are wrong"  All this over the period of about 45mins!
Maybe these are valid points but I can improve these things as I go along.
So, after all that I am now adding some of this to my exhibition packing list!


Monday, 3 September 2012

Psst! Wanna Sea my weed dude?

Work continues on my new Cambrian layout "Steam on the Cambrian" and on the Morfa Bach module in particular.

Some more scenic work has been carried out over the last few days. Not least the addition of some sea weed on the banks of the estuary.
Most layouts I have seen always seem to have the rivers and so on at full level and almost "Lake" like with not much life in the water. In fact a lot of modelled water looks like varnished hardboard because that is exactly what it is!

Being a bit different I have modelled Morfa Bach with the tide OUT so needed something that would identify the high water level. To this end I came up with adding some sea weed as shown below.

(Click picture for larger image)

The material used (believe it or not) is hand rolling tobacco! mixed with diluted PVA and stuck down in the usual way and moved into position with a cocktail stick. Simple really, all you need to do is accost 
your friendly local smoker and beg a few roll ups worth of his baccy! 

More soon

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Diesel power OLD style!

If you read my profile (top right of this page) you may notice this...." Posting mostly about Railways and models, but you may be lucky to find a post about something else!"

Well, this is definitely "something else!

Whilst we were at the MRC Midland Railex a couple of weeks ago I took the opportunity to go walk about and look at some of the sites own offerings. One such exhibit was the "Static engine house" although some of the machines and engines could hardly be described as "static" as the pictures below will testify.

(Click pictures for larger images)

This Fielding engine was really going some! and appeared to be driving some sort of pump or compressor I'm not sure which but looking at it I think it was a water pump.

This impressive twin cylinder engine was driving an alternator  The control panel in the background showing that power was actually being generated.

This mercury arc rectifier was connected to the generating set above.
You can just see the belt drive an pulley of the alternator on the bottom right of this picture.
It was a shame that the rectifier was not delivering any power into a load as the arc would be much more spectacular.

I remember as an apprentice electrician being awe inspired by these things actually working under load.

looking like something out of Frankenstein's Laboratory  it's the sort of thing that sticks in your memory.

Again I thank you for reading my waffle and hope to post again soon.