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Friday, 18 August 2017

Project 17 - Lighting Improvement

I mentioned in an earlier post that the dull autumn day scene I was trying to create was a bit too dull at the engine shed end of the layout. A fix was needed.

I have a LED strip light about 10 inches long (used for another layout) and experimented placing that. Well of course that was very bright and the effort required to fit it so that it can be removed for use on the other layout coupled with having to accommodate its wiring I decided not to proceed.

I toyed with the idea of a totally transparent module roof using one of those honeycombed roofing panels but saw that it would not lend itself to the 'jigsaw' fixing arrangement required.

What I decided to do was cut a hole in the existing roof panel and fix a transparent acrylic sheet that I already had to hand. Its purpose is to allow the ambient room lighting to seep into the scene. Its location and size is deliberate. In this position (see photo) it gives the engine shed and turntable area a bit more light. It does not stretch full length because the existing LED lighting at the bridge end of the layout is perfectly adequate there.

Top photo below - Ambient room lighting before.
Bottom photo - After.

It brightens the back scene, brings out colour in the trees and highlights the shed and turntable.

If necessary I could lighten the scene further by placing a lamp above the roof skylight. Something to experiment with perhaps. For a night scene with engine shed lights switched on. I can cover the skylight using the cut out roof panel.

By the way I decided not to glue the entire roof panel to the module. I can see occasions when it would be useful to remove it for servicing.

To Part 1.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Project 17 - 3 more cassettes and a conundrum

Three more fiddle yard cassettes have been made for the station end of the loco yard. All now working. But here is the rub. I must have spent an hour trying to understand an electrical fault.

As I drove an engine off the scenic module onto one of the cassette roads it ground to a halt. A short circuit was quickly realised but the cause was proving difficult to trace. No visual signs of a short and the wiring looked correct. I disconnected the wiring to the offending section and to my amazement the meter still showed an electrical connection. How can this be with no wires connected and no other signs of a short circuit?

After much faffing around I happened to put the meter probes between the isolated rail and the track ballast and the meter showed a connection! What seems to have happened is the ballast was touching a live rail and the copper clad sleeper of the isolated section  Scrapping away the ballast from the copper clad sleeper cured the problem. Something in the ballast was conductive!

The ballast comprises a mix of Woodland Scenics grey ballast, ground up coal and ground up cork all fixed in place with a weak mix of PVA glue (dried). My thoughts turned to the coal being the culprit since it contains carbon but I read carbon in coal exists in hydrocarbon compounds that don’t conduct electricity.

So, there is the conundrum.

To explain the photo:

Left cassette - Temporarily connected to Scenic Module; represents the road to Swanage Goods Yard.

Middle Cassette - Parked; connects to the Loco Yard.

Right Cassette - Parked; represents No.1 and No 2. roads to Swanage Station.

These cassettes are not interchangeable because the tracks exiting the scenic module are not all parallel with each other.

To Part 26

To Part 1.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Project 17 - Storage Cassette

This storage cassette/fiddle yard is made from 5mm foam board. This time I built in ample supports to avoid sagging of the track bed that was evident on the scenic module.

Being portable the cassette can simply be turned around to reverse trains and/or slid left and right  for track selection.

The left hand track is the single track line from Worgret Junction and the right hand track a head shunt for the extensive goods yard at Swanage.

There are a number of options for track electrical continuity. I could use plug and sockets. I could use flat copper strips soldered to the copper clad end sleepers and bent over the ends on both the scenic module and cassettes . When the cassette and scenic module are brought together the strips touch giving electrical continuity. Both these methods require additional cassette alignment and locking mechanics.
The method I opted for is rod in tube as this provides electrical continuity, alignment and locking all in one device. At first I thought about buying some brass rod and tube. Thinking about a cheaper alternative I had a brain wave that I could roll up some brass strip, found in my spares box, into a tube and use mains copper wire for the rod. The tube was formed by holding the wire against the brass strip in a vice, bending the brass around around the wire and then repositioning to bend a bit more and so on until the tube was formed. A tag was retained for soldering to the copper clad sleepers.

In use the rods are out and the cassette manually aligned. The rods are then inserted in the tubes and are a tight enough fit to hold the cassette firm during operations.

The two tracks at this end of the layout are parallel but at the other end there are four tracks and two of these are at odd angles. I'll need to make another double track cassette like this one and one or two single track cassettes for that end. More cassettes could be made to hold a range of fully formed trains. I'll wait until operations start to see if that is worth while.

Finally, a portable buffer stop is simply made from foam board with two stiff, galvanised wire pieces inserted. These locate in holes in the track bed.

To Part 25.

To Part 1.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

August Website Cover

Thoughts of summer holidays and a journey on The Atlantic Coast Express to Devon or Cornwall seaside resorts in the 1960s.

View the cover here.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

History of The Swanage Railway video

One for Swanage Railway scholars.

Got 2 hrs to spare?

There is some wonderful vintage colour film included in this documentary.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Project 17 - Support Frame

Not quite what I had in mind. I wanted a lightweight folding frame that is open beneath the scenic module with lightweight boards at each end to support storage cassette fiddle yards. What I ended up with is essentially a fully blown baseboard upon which a full length model railway could be built! Whilst it could be supported on legs or trestles, I intend to simply lay it across a table for running sessions.

To save on expenditure I was determined to use up some of my spare stock of wood. The softwood frame is as planned, hinged with two butt hinges so it can be folded for storage. The two end boards are quarter inch plywood and therein lies the problem. They are too heavy causing the frame to bend at the hinges when placed on a short table. To spread the load I also boarded the middle open frame. It now bends less but needs long, loose beams under the length to keep it flat.

The scenic module is a slice of railway line not a dead end and therefore requires fiddle yards at each end. Each end board is long enough to hold a train of two MK1 passenger coaches with tender locomotive, ample for the two coach push pull train with M7 tank locomotive common at Swanage in the early 1960s. It turns this 00 gauge micro layout into a model railway nearly 3 metres long, which kind of defeats the object of a compact model railway!

To Part 24.

To Part 1.  

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Project 17 - Rodding Completed

The finishing touch was to paint the rods and cranks with Humbrol metallic aluminium (56) followed by dry brushing a rust colour here and there. The tops of the stools were painted satin black as were the cranks to represent greasing for free movement of the parts.

A sprinkling of static grass in the narrow strip at the front of the layout completes all the scenic items.

Now attention turns to fiddle yard construction. I am thinking of a folding frame work as a removable base to hold the the scenic module and two fiddle yards level. The fiddle yards themselves  being a cassette storage system.

To Part 23.

To Part 1

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Bodmin & Wenford (and Wadebridge)

Whilst on holiday in North Cornwall a visit to Bodmin General Station (GWR) was scheduled.

On duty was GWR '8750' Class 0-6-0PT no. 4612. I am not particularly interested in GWR, being a LSWR/Southern fan, but any excuse to see a steam locomotive is taken with pleasure.
In this part of Cornwall the LSWR had a strong foothold with its own station in Bodmin connected to Wadebridge. The GWR had permission to run trains from Bodmin General to Wadebridge over the LSWR line but I believe LSWR trains did not run into Bodmin General (no reason to do so as they had their own station,  Bodmin North). But, look what I found to my surprise lurking in the shed at Bodmin General.
LSWR T9 class 30120 on loan from the National Railway Museum. It is here having been restored and returned to running order in 2010 by the Bodmin and Wenford Railway Trust.

By the way, the railway shop had a small selection of Bachmann locomotives and rolling stock for sale, some at discounted prices but no more favourable than you would find at other discounters.

Talking of Wadebridge I stumbled upon the LSWR station building, marooned in a plantation of new housing. It is now a community centre that serves Cappuccino for £1 - a bargain. There is also a small, permanent exhibition of Sir John Betjeman (Poet Laureate) memorabilia inside. He was also a notable railway enthusiast.
Wadebridge was quite a large station complex in its heyday but it is impossible to visualise its railway environs today. Here is the Goods Shed, modified and now occupied by a mental health charity amongst others. The cars sit on what was once the station platform and railway line.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Project 17 - Rodding Continues

I forgot to break the sleeper ties for the rods to run straight through beneath the rails. What you see instead is truncated lengths each side of the rails. If you can run roding straight through then it is easier but sections of insulating sleeves will need to be fitted to the wire rods to stop electrical shorting where they lie beneath the metal rails.

The second photo shows rods and cranks down the centre of the sleepers. These are for the dual acting facing point locks of the two turnouts there.

There are three more rods to lay alongside the track almost the full length of the layout module. About 20 more stools need to be made to support these. That's going to take quite some effort.

In practice there was more mechanical fittings than modelled, some of which I don't know the purpose, but what I am installing gives a fair impression of this highly visible track side furniture.

To Part 22.

To Part 1.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Project 17 - Rodding Commences

Now for one of the more tricky parts, not only in model construction but also for prototype technical understanding. I confess to being no expert and have spent ages reading up on technicalities and reviewing photographs of the location to identify turnout rod runs and cranks. The cranks can have one of two orientations and I don't know if my guess is correct as I cannot determine it from the photographs I have.

The stools (rod rollers) in this first section beneath the railway bridge in the photo are my last stock of the defunct Colin Waite brass etchings. All others will be the Brassmasters version. The cranks are a mix of both ranges. I have used round copper wire for the rods, whilst round rods were used on the network I believe at Swanage they were square channel, the other option. The spacing of stools for round rods is eight feet.

The installation is purely cosmetic and will be painted when all is finished. Needless to say this lot is quite fiddly/frustrating to assemble but I get a weird sense of enjoyment threading the rods through the finished  stools.

Six rods control two catch points and three turnouts. All together that is five turnouts so why six rods? Each rod is associated with a lever in the Signal Box and they were allocated as follows:

Lever 10: Shed road catch point
Lever 9: Goods turnout
Lever 8: Facing Point Locks of  No2 road and Goods turnouts
Lever 7: Siding catch point (off stage) 
Lever 6: Two Facing turnouts on No 1 and No 2 roads
Lever 5: Facing Point Lock for No 1 road turnout

To Part 21.

To Part 1.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Project 17 - Ground Signals

Hitherto I made ground signals from matchstick, hole punched plastic and bent wire. For something so small this is fine but for Swanage Loco Yard where attention to detail is more acute, being a very small layout, I opted for the more accurate MSE GS002 kit from Wizard Models.

Only two ground signals are necessary in the modelled scene and fortuitously the Wizard Models kit includes two signals. Whilst of few parts they are extremely small and fiddly to assemble. There is potential to make them operable "if you are brave enough to have a go", says the instructions and as I felt brave I did, except two broken drills later and much fiddling I gave up! The disc does rotate by finger push so can be placed in on or off position but is not linked to its operating lever.

The one on the left is for the shed road catch point and the one on the right for shed road turnout on the station approach road.

To Part 20.

To Part 1.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Project 17 - 6 Month Review

This is one of three micro layouts I had in mind to build, thinking they would be quite quick to create. After all I had read of such layouts being created in a weekend or even 24 hours.

6 months later of 2 or 3 hours per week and whilst Swanage Loco Yard looks finished there is still more to do!

The reason a micro layout can take so long to build is down to the method one decides to follow. I daresay a fictitious railway using all proprietary materials could be knocked up in a weekend. To base a layout on a real location needs time for research and considerably more effort where much of the scene has to be scratch built, as in my case.

What's left to add to the scene is some track side furniture, a bit of landscape in the foreground and completion of track ballasting.

The more significant items to build are the fiddle yards at each end. I was unsure what method to use for these. On a recent visit to the EM South exhibition I paid particular interest in fiddle yard designs used on the layouts there and came away with ideas that should help me construct them.

To operate the layout with some authenticity I'll need to acquire an M7 tank locomotive and perhaps a class 3MT as well since these were used for local services on the line in my period.

I wish I could say that the build has all gone swimmingly but I'm afraid there are significant issues that almost caused me to abandon the project, which I'll allude to now.

Turntable Drive

The turntable is motor driven. I mentioned in an earlier posting that it is a noisy mechanism and with that big void beneath the baseboard the sound is amplified (as are the locomotive motors). More of a worry is the weakness of the turntable drive. Even though the motor is purported to be high torque it does not cope well with a bit of friction in turntable movement. If this becomes unbearable I'll convert it to manual control via a turning handle at the front of the layout module.

Foam Board Module

5mm foam board is an inexpensive and a very light weight material from which to make the layout module. I knew it might have strength issues but the finished unit seemed sufficiently rigid. However, the baseboard soon sagged in places indicating that I should have put in more bracing. It was too late to do this retrospectively as some scenic items were already fixed in place so, the deviation had to be packed out beneath the railway track to ensure a flat plane. A sheet of thin plywood on top of the foam board base or making the baseboard from a thick piece of insulation foam board may have helped matters.

During the photo session today I noticed that the sides of the module are showing bowing tendencies. This does not bode well for the long term future of the layout, which is a worry as the scene itself is very well done and a delight to view, if I say so myself. If only I could lift it off and fit it to a more solid structure for longevity. I'm afraid it does not lend itself to that.


I wanted  limited lighting to be representative of a dull autumn day It was the first thing built into the module and seemed adequate although I knew the reflection from white walls and baseboard might be giving a false impression. Having built the landscape much of the light is absorbed by it making for very dull light at the engine shed end of the layout. On the face of it with the shed lights switched on it would be beneficial but it's too dark for my liking. I don't want to add more theatrical lights at that end as the intention was to have light from one source as though the sun was shining through thin cloud. Fortunately, I had not stuck the opaque roof panel in place so I'm now toying with the idea of making the module roof out of translucent material to allow more ambient light across the scene.

To Part 19.

To Part 1.

Oh, and what of the other two micro layouts I had in mind - probably non starters after the time it is taking for this one.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Project 17 - People

I thought about flooding the scene with people but in the end felt it would be unrealistic for this small loco yard. First photo shows a man (Airfix) watching yard activity from Northbrook Road railway bridge. This is becoming a bit of a trade mark for me since a similar scene appears on my Misterton layout.

I am surprised how well the bridge stone texture appears considering it is flat stone paper decoration.

Next photo depicts the shed foreman (Airfix) at night surveying his empire from a vantage point at the top of the staff room steps.

The sloping building walls are less noticeable on the model itself.

I tend to use people that are in a natural, static pose but I could not resist this action scene of the loco fireman shovelling coal as he is nearly identical to this photograph of the prototype.

The fireman is actually a 'Marine Worker' by Montys Models, lent over and probably meant to be pulling a chain or rope. I gave him a shovel instead. From this angle he passes very well as a loco fireman.

I'd like to include a couple of loco men standing near the turntable. Had I been more alert I could have picked up suitable models from Modelu and Montys Models on my recent visit to EM spring expo. That will have to wait for another day.

To Part 18.

To Part 1

Friday, 19 May 2017

Project 17 - Ash Heap

There was a substantial ash heap in Swanage loco yard circa 1960. What to use to model it? Coal ash of course, with a little ground up clinker mixed in.

The modelled heap is shaped polystyrene packaging with the ash PVA glued over it.

Something else you'll see alongside the heap in photographs of the period is a forlorn white wheel barrow. Either painted white or white from ash.

ToPart 17.

To Part 1.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Expo EM Spring 2017 Review

If you are a scratch builder seeking some obscure and rare component then this is the place you are likely to find it because small, specialist traders out number the model railway layouts on display. I have not been to any other exhibition where such a number of specialist traders can be found. I for one picked up all the components I needed for my current modelling project.

For the novice scratch builder there are many stands giving demonstrations of modelling techniques from which you can learn.

And so to the layouts, all of which are modelled to finescale standards, which basically means accurate to prototype, where modelled as such, and attention to detail. The ones that stood out for me were London Road, for the nicely decorated Edwardian people and Sandford and Banwell, where I spied operating ground disc signals (I believe). Swaynton struck a cord as it depicted an LSWR line - my territory.

My best in show goes to Pwllheli. Its soft lighting, well modelled buildings in unusual architectural styles that run into the backscene were of note.

It is not easy to merge 3 dimensional foreground to 2 dimensional backscene, especially where buildings and roads pass between. What we see on Pwllheli is the best one can expect to achieve in my view.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Project 17 - Embankment

Layers of polystyrene foam packaging was used to create the embankment behind the water tower. These were shaped with a hot wire cutter before fixing in place with PVA glue.

Wickes medium wood filler was spread over to fill cracks and holes in and around the polystyrene and to give a firm base upon which to grow grass and trees. The medium wood filler comes in a useful brown earth colour.

An imposing line of trees existed on the embankment  at Swanage around 1960. I used sprigs of dead Sedum to represent these. Sedum has a great texture that almost emulates leaves obviating the need for overlaying with flock or scatter. The 'leaves' were very lightly sprayed green and dabs of yellow and orange acrylic paint applied on top to give an early autumn colour.

The sprigs mostly have an undesirable flattish dome shape. For a free standing tree an array of sprigs need to be glued together to form the tree shape. This cannot be the solution for this installation where the trees and shrubs form a contiguous line and their branches touch the ground.

For the lower branches the sprigs were glued individually flat to the ground, as shown in the photo. Another layer was laid onto these and as the height increases individual sprigs planted vertically. It is quite a lengthy process as time must be given to carefully select suitable sprigs to fit the scene and to allow time for the glue to set as each group is placed.

I wanted the grass embankment to represent tall dry grass of early autumn. Whilst the top is a straw colour lower down near the ground should be green.

Old carpet underlay, being a jute/hair/wool/string mix, was used. First I cut a piece to fit and sprayed one side grass green. This side was PVA glued to the embankment and when dry pulled away to leave a hairy, straw colour surface with green base. Further plucking was done to get the desired effect. Next, the hairs were lifted and straightened by combing with a nail brush and finally long strands cut to size with scissors. The grass looks windswept in the photo. I may reposition the blades with the brush to be more vertical.

A few bare areas where the mat did not stick properly were covered in Woodland Scenics flock to give the impression of other plants.

This tranquil, rural scene of 1960 is very different today where the trees have been replaced by an upper coal yard, the area cluttered with mechanical plant and machinery and an austere water tower replaces the original.

To Part 16.

To Part 1

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Project 17 - Exit Stage Right

The bridge forms an effective scenic break where trains exit the layout into a non-scenic fiddle yard. This photo shows the best viewing angle from which to appreciate this. The truncated bridge end is an eyesore of course and could have been hidden by extending the right hand 'window frame' to cover it (only just thought of that).

Move further along and the gaping hole beneath the bridge in the side wall of the layout module  is revealed.

The back scene is a photograph of the actual location with a bit of editing to merge it as seamlessly as possible with the foreground model and then recolouring for Autumn colours.

To Part 15.

To Part 1.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Project 17 - Bridge

Northbrook Road railway bridge is the final building to be made for the layout. The main structure is 5mm foam board (a lovely material to work with) covered in decorative paper. The repeating pattern of stones in the decorative paper is evident on the left hand pillar of the bridge but this will be less obvious once the embankment is installed.

To Part 14.

To Part 1.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Project 17 - Water Tower

The water tower is a fairly close representation of the Swanage loco yard tower as it existed about 1958. Sometime after and before 1962 the gable end was modified or replaced and the ladder turned 90 degrees with a standing platform added at its top. The tower was demolished after the last steam engine service ran in 1967.

The tower model is made from card with decorative paper overlays. The filler hose is a paper tube, the ladder is DIY 3D printed and the LED lamp sourced from China. The hut alongside is corrugated styrene with a door reclaimed from an old Airfix signal box.

The tower is fixed to the base with 1mm wire glued into two corners. These pass through the baseboard and are bent over in an arc at the rear to hold the tower tight to the baseboard. If I need to remove the tower I just bend the wires straight again. The coaling platform and corrugated hut are glued to the baseboard.

There is quite a bit of detail added to this side of the tower, as the prototype, and I am particularly pleased with the water tap model that I made.

The end of the pipe (copper wire) was bent over to form the spout. Thinner wire was then wrapped around to make the tap body and the two ends of it bent upright and 90 degrees to form the handle. Solder was then applied to the 'body' to smooth over the thin wire wrap and bulk it up.

The last photo shows a night scene with the lamp lit. The starry sky is a stitched image that is not part of the model layout. There is a lot of landscape scenery to add around this installation in due course.

To Part 13.

To Part 1.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Project 17 - Coaling Platform

The platform is made from 18mm thick soft wood covered in decorative stone paper and the surface painted with black emulsion.

The coal stack is real coal PVA glued over an epoxy putty heap. The coal is applied in three layers. The first layer is dust followed by 1mm grains and then hand selected chunks a few millimetres across.

At this end of the platform the grey surface (granite dust) is where the coal has not reached.

The ash pit is a free card kit by Scalescenes.

To Part 12.

To Part 1.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Project 17 - More Trees

More trees in autumn colours have been planted behind the engine shed completing this corner of the layout. The furthest tree and closest are made from spigs of dead yarrow glued together to form a tree like structure and covered in painted sawdust. The brown trees in between are untreated sprigs of dead sedum. They have a better representation of tree leaves so don't need the sawdust enhancement.

To Part 11.

To Part 1.  

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Lima Class 117 DMBS to DMS - Pt 4

The reason I have a Western Region Class 117 is because I thought it ran on the LSWR main line when the Western took over Southern services west of Salisbury from 1963. This is further supported by a photograph in the book 'Yeovil to Exeter' (isbn 0-906520-91-6) that shows an unidentified unit at Broad Clyst in 1964 on a Yeovil Junction to Exeter Central service. Further evidence is its head code of 2C50, which has been independently reported as also being seen on the Plymouth - Exeter LSWR route in 1963.

There is just one problem. It might have been a Class 118 because these were more prevalent in the West than 117s. The only physical difference between the two classes at this time are the car number allocations and the headcode box roof, which is more curved on the 118. With such small differences I am content to run the 117 as a representative DMU on my model of the main line.

Apparently there are many other details on the Lima Class 117 that are incorrect to prototype, a list of which appears here

Apart from the DMBS body panel conversion and the flush glazing the only other items I have enhanced are set out below.

Cab  Front

A new head code, 2C50 printed from computer. This code means Western Region, Exeter Plymouth District, Train Number 50. The closest true type font to that of the prototype offered by the Windows operating system is 'Century Gothic'.

The destination blind behind the centre window shows Yeovil Junction. At the other end of the train it shows Exeter Central. Probably not correct to have two different destinations but on the model railway it is convenient for travelling each direction.

Window wipers have been installed made up from thin plastic sprue.

DMS Number

The numbers on the 3 car set I purchased whilst individually correct do not form a known set of the prototype. The existing DMBS has the number W51342. The DMS conversion needs a new number so I choose W51384 from the same set as the DMBS. The TC (trailer composite) has the number W59518, which is not of this set. It should be W59494 but I don't intend to change that. Further more, these cars were allocated to Southall shed so probably never ran on my modelled line. It is most likely that sets from Plymouth Laira shed would have been used.

On one side of the DMS (ex DMBS) the existing number near the drivers door needed the last two numbers changed. I found it was easy to remove these using a piece of masking tape pressed over and then peeled away, which lifted the numbers without damage to the paintwork. HMRS Pressfix numbers were then applied but their colour was much brighter than the remaining Lima numbers. I toned them down with grains from a black pastel crayon embedded in the matte varnish that was wiped over the numbers to fix them.

On the other side the numbers were on the body panel that was removed during conversion. Therefore, a complete number sequence had to be applied below the largest window near the rear end. These were treated the same as the other side to tone down the colour.


The gap between cars set by Lima is wider than the prototype to allow the train to negotiate toy track curves without fouling but, what is worse is the chasm between the dummy gangways. All my trains have full gangways fitted and this one is no exception. They are made from paper stuck to a piece of eighth inch cork that is held in the dumy gangway of the model.

The End.

To Part 1.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Lima Class 117 DMBS to DMS - Pt 3

This is about flush glazing the DMS windows using vacuum formed transparent plastic.

There are several video tutorials on YouTube that describe how to make a vacuum forming machine. It is quite a simple process so I decided to try it even though I had doubts about the outcome, which proved to be true. A couple of hours work using scrap materials resulted in a neat machine made from an ice cream container and MDF wood.

Some scrap pieces of bodywork from the donor DMBS served as the moulds.

The plastic for forming needs to be made for the process so I cut a flat piece from plastic packaging that had already been through a vac forming process.

This next photo shows the result. The formed glazing is definitely flush but it is more like bubble glass than flat plate glass. It shows that this DIY process is best suited for objects that have generous curves and not sharp corners.

I decided not to experiment further. Instead I purchased from Peters Spares the Flushglaze product SE-12 by SE Finecast. I like this product because there is spare glazing in the pack in case some get damaged or lost during fitting.

There is also another product called Laserglaze by Shawplan that has sharper corners than Flushglaze but the price is about three times more than Flushglaze.

Final photo shows the installed Flushglaze product.

Next job is finishing touches.

To Part 4.

To Part 1.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

2 Expos in 2 Weeks


Last weekend was my pilgrimage to Pendon. I first visited Pendon when The Dartmore Scene was housed in an old RAF hut nicknamed Marilyn. A purpose built building has long since replaced the hut and I have visited several times to see development of  The Vale Scene (1st photo).

Pendon is not so much an exhibition in the usual sense of club events. It is in fact a museum of miniature landscape with the flagship layout depicting in very fine detail the Vale of White Horse, as it was in the 1930s.

With only four model railway layouts on display one could complete a viewing within a very short time. However, the correct way to appreciate the exhibits, particularly the massive Vale Scene, is to dawdle at each viewing point to fully absorb the fine details. This proved a little difficult with a fidgety seven year old in tow. I have to commend the volunteer museum guides who were very tolerant of this and one gentlemen in particular who developed a rapport with our Grandson helping him to focus on aspects of the exhibits.

Visit Pendon Museum.


This weekend saw my annual visit to The Basingstoke & North Hants Model Railway Show, one of the biggest exhibitions in the south. I could only attend on the Saturday and for a limited time due to other commitments. This, plus it being a crowded event meant I could not fully appreciate the exhibits or find much of what I needed from the trade. On the plus side I did meet friends whom one rarely sees outside such exhibitions and bumped into Chris Nevard who I first met at the Guildford show this year when he stopped by our Thornycroft Sidings exhibit. Chris was at Basingstoke as the guest judge for Best in Show. I don't know which layout he choose but those that stood out for me were:

Watercress Line (N)

A cleverly designed layout that packed in all four stations from the line in a tiered structure to save on space.

Bath Green Park (00)

A truly magnificent recreation to scale of the Midland / Somerset & Dorset terminus station.

Navigation Road (EM)

My personal favourite. British Railways blue diesel era depicting a N.E. London industrial scene (2nd photo). The whole scene looked authentic helped by finescale standards of modelling. There is very little on the web about this layout and a description of it was missing from the show brochure. All I can say is it belongs to the Sarum Finescale Group.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Lima Class 117 DMBS to DMS - Pt 2

There are good interior drawings of the 3 car set here that show the seating and partition arrangements.

Two panels of seating were cut from the donor DMBS, and the rear end of the running model seating cut away.

The two new panels were glued in place at the arrow marks shown in the photo. A recess at the rear between seats was cut for body retaining clip clearance.

There is very little photo evidence of the original interior colour scheme for the green liveried cars on the web and heritage 117 photos show blue seating throughout, which I believe should only apply to first class.

What I deduced from published data is this:

Ceiling and driver cab walls: white
Passenger compartment walls and partitions: yellow patterned with grey triangular darts.
1st class seating: patterned dark blue
1st class floor: light blue
2nd class seat cover and backrest: patterned maroon
2nd class seat headrest: tan
2nd class seat sides: tan
2nd class floor: green
Drivers seats: green
Dashboard: black

I used acrylic paints applied with brush, which required many coatings to hide the manufacturers colours. Patterns were not replicated as it would not be noticeable through the windows of the model. If this was required I would use printed paper overlays instead of paint.

It was nigh on impossible to stop the yellow paint leeching into the window frames. After each coat of paint a damp cotton wool bud easily removed the overspill from the window frames.

Next job, flush glazing.

To Part 3.

To Part 1.
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