Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Heljan L&B locomotive models on show

This weekend was the Warley Model railway exhibition and always a highlight of the year for me. I took some pictures of the Heljan Lynton locomotive model stock at the NEC and I had a chance to speak to the helpful  Heljan team . They say the locomotive models will be in the shops in February 2017 . The first models are of 2 in Southern Livery and one in late period pre Southern independent livery. Heljan are planning to release further variants if the sales go well such that all locomotives will be available in each of the 2 liveries that were on show. Discussion was also had on the original variants and again , don't quote me , but could be a possibility. I asked about Lew and there is a tentative plan to also bring out this version. As regards the  loading gauge, comments have been made as to whether these models might be slightly over scale? Noticeable when posed next to Peco coaches. However I notice my Backwoods models also stand a little proud of the Peco coaches  when these locomotive models were posed next to the Peco L&B coaches . Although we can't measure these models in an exhibition setting, for me I'm convinced the Peco coaches are sitting slightly too low. 
I share here a few of the photographs I took. The finish of these examples was very high. The paint finish is not high gloss but a very appealing satin finish . I was also very impressed by the lining, especially on Yeo in the mid-period L&B colour scheme. The dome also looks " right " and much better than the squeezed Backwoods version which I always cringe slightly at when looking at my own models . Well done Heljan and with DCC on board and at an affordable price I'm sure these will sell well. As an aside, if these models do sell well Heljan were saying other 4mm scale models of narrow gauge  could be on the plans ! 
I was told Peco will be doing a full review in the Railway Modeller January edition.

Friday, 28 October 2016

The one with electricals, doors , spiders and thinking

It's been a long while since I provided any updates and I'm now pleased to share some modelling on the engine shed. The Summer came and went and my modelling enthusiasm did the same . Anyway, with modelling Mojo restored I can share a little modest progress.
The doors have now been fixed along with very tiny hinges made of paper. The electrical connections to the North side of the engine shed as well as the roof batons ( that are just visible just below the corrugated roofing have been added. The jury is out as to whether these electrical connections were for telephone connection. The batons however still need  painting green . The area still requires ballasting , weathering and some enamel adverts applied as well as simple interior details like oil drums, cans , spiders and general accumulation of typical engine shed detritus.
In an effort to allow the module to be removable you can clearly see the holes for the screws that will enable me to remove the whole structure for any transportation or safe keeping. However I did not allow sufficient space for the door stops in doing so. So these are a little too close for comfort but it will have to be. The roof is just loose at the moment ( hence the scale 6 inch gaps) while I think over how to make this roof removable in case of any derailment inside ( caused by wandering spiders etc. ) . Now that thinking requires over with a) a beer and b ) another beer. Isn't thinking great ?

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Round the bend.

Well sorting out the changes from Picassa to google pictures nearly succeeded in driving ME round the bend . Here are a few pictures of how the layout looks as a train enters the station . Much to do but the impression I hope is that the scene is beginning to take shape.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Baseboards build up

Here are  a few photographs of my model of Lynton showing progress on the south station board. I've had limited access to the layout ( in the loft) lately so I decided to take apart the 3 sections and bring this South section down into the garage . Whilst the weather was nice I was able to do some more work on this section outside . The loft is unbearably hot in the Summer. I've made progress on the engine shed and located it in position so that it is removable. The whole of the section needs the landscape forming and the track ballasting etc. However crude as it looks now, I'm beginning to see how it will turn out. I've purchased a static grass applicator and looking forward to using it soon. This is a new technique for me so will try it out first on my new little module of Ashover Butts station that I've also been busy making lately. Although not shown in these photographs the engine shed doors have now been painted and hinges added etc. Once this section is progressed a little more I hope to share some more pictures. I do hope that what you see is beginning to look something like the real location. He hopes! 
If you follow my progress on the blog I also apologise for lack of progress mainly due to lack of time lately. I can see some windows of modelling opportunity opening up in the coming weeks ! I guess this is a problem we all share as well.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Coaling stage

I've made the coaling stage using Plastikard and a plaster casting of a coaling stage. The model still needs painting and weathering

 but here it is posed with the engine shed. The engine shed is not as yet finished and is also posed. I received a very helpful comment on the previous post that would suggest the cowlings were not conical but perhaps a pyramid shape.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Screw - fix

The cowling on the engine shed vents has caused me a little thinking. Until I saw on my workbench a small screw sitting base up. Now if I could just have the top part of the screw this might do. So armed with table vice and hacksaw the end result wasn't too bad. In the pictures below I've only posed the vent cover on the model. Since then I've inserted a small plastic rod into the Philips head of the screw driver and pushed this into the cut off biro I used as the actual pipe out of the engine roof shed. Some super glue made all good. So please ignore the general wonkiness of the cowling in the picture as the finished item(s) do look straight . Maybe a little oversized to be honest but one can count rivets too much.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Stoned .....again

Well it has been a long time since the last post ( and that's not a euphemism ). I've been thinking about the station building and its  finish , considering I have now covered the engine shed in stone paper.
 The Station building was hand painted , way back in what seems like another century. I had wished that the finish of all the buildings would look of the same "style " of build, but having had no success in the finish of the engine shed by hand painting I had resorted to stone paper which is seen in a previous post. Now this was not going to match in with the style of my other buildings. Doh!
  I could have used the stone paper in the Outback model kit again but decided to keep this for when I eventually build their kit . The Outback kit is of the extended version and one which I do eventually hope to get around to building and Iam told , uses photograph images of the stone work.
 I contemplated driving to Lynton to take pictures of the station itself to produce digitally my own stone paper, and then ... An idea. Google Earth. Now then , it occurred to me that if I could get some screen shots of the station building from Google Earth how would that look? Well .. Not bad actually. So after some judicious cut and paste using my iPad and re - sizing in pages I was able , after some trial and error , to produce some usable sheets of stone paper which are after all, the actual stone used on Lynton station. It took some time to cut and "wallpaper"using watered down PVA but the end result I feel looks much better than the painted Plastikard . Here are the results of my efforts.
Lots more to do yet....

Monday, 21 March 2016


Well... It has been a while since the last post on this blog. I've been thinking.......

 I was not very happy with my efforts to reproduce the look of the engine shed stone walls through the use of acrylics and enamels. I was beginning to loose momentum and dreading the thought of trying to replicate the same effect on all my model buildings. How long would this take me to just paint a few buildings whose finished look would be, well, less than desired? A new , quick and more realistic effect was required. Life is too short.
      Only a few years ago modellers " brick paper " was not of a very high quality. These days however the paper effect is much better. Photo-realism can be achieved by taking pictures of real prototypes and using the computer whole sheets of suitable stone or brick paper, doors windows etc. can be created with results far superior to my eye.
In my case the engine shed does not exist to take such pictures but I had recently bought the Outback Lynton  Station kits which, on closer inspection, included some very nice printed stone walls for the engine shed. Of course they were exactly the right size as well. Bonus !
So without too much trouble the engine shed walls were pasted with a very thin dilute wash of PVA glue and the stone print from the Outback kits pasted on. The external detailing had to be re done but a small price for the benefit gained I think. The new look can be compared here below against the acrylic painted original.
The rusty corrugated iron roof is not yet finished as this still requires the roof vents and the capping but was created in this case using Scale Scenes paper. Scales scenes can be downloaded from the website and reprinted as many times as you like once purchased .

Monday, 8 February 2016

Pots of paint to paint a shed.

Well normally painting a shed would mean I  would be in the Garden and a pot of B&Q's finest green. It would be Summer and a beer in hand. Here ,on the other hand , yes , a beer in hand but indoors , whilst Britians longest downpour in memory continues unabated. Time to ponder about how do I try and recreate the look of the stone finish to this shed?
    Many years ago I managed to persuade the family that a summer holiday in North Devon would be a good idea. A certain railway station was visited and a close photograph of the stone wall construction at Woody Bay was taken ( the trip also enabled me to study Barnstaple Town by the way).

 I've started the painting by an under cost of Halfords plastic grey Primer. After this a quick wash with acrylic white ,which was quickly then rubbed off leaving only white in the mortar coarse. Using various acrylics I've tried to copy the colours of the walling. Surprising to me is the high level of reds and Browns. I started the painting on the unseen side of the shed ( North) in case of drastic alterations.
Now , to be honest the jury is out on the finish I've managed and I'm looking over what has been achieved . To me it still looks too bright and fussy?  Perhaps more subtle use of the acrylics is in order and also a weathering afterwards.....let's see what more beer and pondering will deliver.

Engine shed progress

A little more work and the engine shed begins to take shape. For the benefits of the picture the shed is held together here with good old Blu Tac . Compared to my previous model of the shed this now looks correct and with the right proportions.
The next job will be to add the poster rails that hung vertically on the station side. The whole construction sits on a plywood base so that it can be a stand alone diorama.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Running in board

The running in board was made with a photograph of the actual board and here it is shown in-situ on the platform. Please ignore the unfinished ballast and the water pipe not yet bedded in. All the ballast was ripped up during the recent modifications , which gave me the opportunity to do some repacking under the sleepers. The reason for this was that unfortunately , as I built the layout using Sundeala, it tends  to warp a little. So this means a little bit of TLC to the track work is required on occasion, "just like the real thing" as they say. 

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Putting the scene together

I had a few idle moments positioning the signal cabin , lamp hut and running in board in their approximate locations the other night. Most of my modelling at present is focused on the buildings meaning modelling at a desk, and not much activity on the actual layout. In fact this was perhaps my first venture up to the layout in several months .
When looking at these pictures you need to disregard the loosely laid look of the layout and the abundance of torn up scenics laid in ruin since modifying the track layout into the station. There is so much work yet to put right. For example, the exposed rock faces are still in native plaster and the ballasting is half removed due to track relaying. At the front of the layout , the hillside is still bare plaster. The track was also not aligned properly at the baseboard joins either!

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Taw repaint complete

Thanks indeed to Brian again for another superb job completed. The pictures say it all.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Glazing over .....literally.

Yes indeed .... Glazing over making windows. My least favourite job.
 A little modest progress for the engine shed by making the 4 windows. I tried a new system this time whereby I positioned a scale 4 mm drawing of the windows behind some clear acetate and then built up the window frames following the drawing underneath. I don't know why I never tried this before as it was a much simpler and quicker way to get the job done. Within the hour four windows were released from their sellotape confines. Now all I need to do is just a little trimming and put them in place . Success , and hopefully I need not be daunted by glazing again.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Taw repaint

My model of Taw , purchased on eBay , is in for a repaint. She will be repainted in a prototypical colour scheme of the Lynton and Barnstaple private era period 1903 - 1913. When purchased the model was in a Holly green colour and red colour which was not a livery carried at any period of the lines history. Here she is being repainted.