Response to Austrains' announcement of a C30 tank and C30T
An Announcement from Austrains - SDS acquisition
Connecting loco and tender - Hornby Top Tips
Trainorama 830 class 847 review
Under the Portuguese Sun - Tree planting
Bachmann new GWR Earl Class review
Reconnecting with a childhood hobby
James May urges nation to 'save Hornby' as shares plunge 62%
Hornby boss quits after third profit warning in five months
Statement from Ixion Model Railways Ltd
The weather has been appalling since my last Progress Report, but despite three named storms passing through, I did manage to finish off the landscaping at Bulkeley. The weather has given me a good reason to spend a fair bit of time in the workshop and so I have been able to tick off a few items on my extended to do list - I've eventually gotten around to constructing an IP Engineering open cattle truck kit which has been sitting in my Project Box for at least five years (maybe longer), and I completed the construction of some PLR logoed station benches which I had laser cut two years ago. Now the recently painted seated figures have somewhere to sit! I also finished off the coal cart and harnessed a horse to pull it. I believe that kit is at least four years old!
So, plenty to report, even though it is still very much winter time!
LandscapeRaised bed at Bulkeley After changing the track layout at Bulkeley to add another siding at the rear of the station (see How I changed the track layout at Bulkeley), the siding at the front of the layout was quite precariously at the very edge of the raised bed, which meant there was little or no room for any additional detailing. I therefore decided to widen the raised bed, which entailed erecting a new retaining wall ......
..... and cladding it in sandstone blocks (see How I widened the raised bed at Bulkeley)
This provided plenty of additional space to extend the siding and put in some additional detailing. I intend to re-instate the loading bank which served the original siding for the transshipment of soft fruit from the local nurseries (see How I cast a loading bank in concrete).
After a couple of weeks (mainly due to wet weather), I cast a new trackbed for the siding, so it could be moved to align more neatly with the mainline. I used a concrete mix of one part cement to three parts sand and three parts gravel.
Once this had set, I realigned and extended the siding ......
...... fixing the track in place with screws and rawlplugs. The siding was then ballasted using my usual mix of three parts horticultural potting grit to one part cement, applied dry ....
.... and then brushed into place with an old paintbrush.
The ballast was then doused in water using a watering can with a fine rose.
NOTE: I positioned the loading bank loosely to guide the laying of the ballast. It will be fixed into place more permanently when the ballast has dried.
Rolling stockIP Engineering open cattle truckFor several years, I have had an IP Engineering kit for an open topped cattle truck sitting on the shelf. After buying a Tralee and Dingle open-topped cattle truck and some sheep at the Llanfair Show last autumn, I decided the time had come for the kit to be assembled (see How I constructed an IP Engineering open cattle truck).
Whilst it was in the paintshop, the Tralee and Dingle wagon was also repainted in PLR goods stock colours (Halford's grey primer with black metal work and underframes)
The two wagons have now entered service as sheep wagons. They have been given loads of 3D printed and resin cast sheep, but I am not satisfied with them (see below)
Tralee & Dingle cattle truckAs indicated above, the was a bargain, impulse buy at the Llanfair Show last year. It was originally 32mm gauge and the stall-holder felt it was therefore 10mm scale, hence he was offering it at a bargain price. I regauged it to 45mm with Bachmann 24.5mm diameter wheels. It certainly seemed to partially eclipse one of my Welshpool style wagons, but consultation with scale drawings for the T&D prototypes shows it it spot-on for 16mm scale.
I am not sure of its origins but I assume, given the quality of its finish and its whitemetal fittings, that it was constructed from a kit. As indicated above, it has been repainted in PLR good livery, given some light weathering and fitted with my wire LGB compatible hook and loop couplings.
Sheep loadsAs indicated above, I bought six resin cast sheep at Llanfair from Motley Miniatures. I also bought another half dozen 3D printed sheep from DesignScanPrint3D.
These were painted and duly loaded into the two wagons.
However, it was quite rightly pointed out to me that, in reality, when sheep were transported by train, they were tightly bunched together to help prevent them from falling over and getting crushed by their compatriots. This created a financially inspired dilemma for me. I calculated that, to fill each wagon with sheep would cost in excess of £90 per wagon. Considering the two wagons cost me only £55 in total, spending nearly £200 on filling them seemed somewhat excessive.
My first solution was to create a mould in PlayDoh using the backs of the sheep I'd purchased to create impressions. However, the resulting plaster cast was not entirely successful.
So, I experimented a little more. Eventually, I came up with an arrangement and approach which was somewhat more successful (see How I cast some sheep loads in plaster - pending)
In the meantime, a fellow modeller kindly offered to 3D print me some clusters of sheep. I needed to send him 50 photos of the tightly clustered sheep taken from a range of different angles and heights. He then stitched these photos together to form a 3D image.
From this image, he was able to print three copies ....
....which were then painted and slotted into the wagon, together with a couple of the original sheep.
LinesidePlatform benchesA couple of years ago I came across a post on the Garden Railway Trading Group's Facebook page offering to laser cut station benches to any design for a very modest fee.
I created a PLR monogram and sent off for a dozen. After painting and varnishing the parts, I made up a couple of seats and then promptly forgot about the rest.
After painting 50 figures recently, (see Progress Report 78 and Progress Report 80) I realised I needed somewhere for the seated figures to sit, and so dusted off the seat kits and assembled the remaining ten seats and glued passengers to most of them.
These have now been stored in a two-tier container ready for deployment during operating sessions.
Coal cartAnother project which had been languishing on the shelf was a horse drawn coal cart built from a Hobby's 'kit'.
I had largely finished it but it needed final assembly and some light weathering.
This was duly done and a few details such as the driver and coal sacks were added.
A few more details need to be added: the lettering on the nameboards and a bucket and nosebag for the horse's refreshment. See How I constructed a horse drawn coal cart for more information.
Horse harnessThere were no details as to how the horse should be harnessed and so I set about doing some background research. Fortunately, Hobby's provide a well detailed plan and so after purchasing this, I tracked down a suitable horse model from Schleich ......
..... and set about making a harness for it.
For more information see How I harnessed a horse to pull my coal cart.
WorkshopReorganisationAlthough I finished the workshop last Autumn (see How I constructed my workshop), I have steadily been organising and reorganising the way stuff is stored inside it ever since - see Progress Report 78 and Progress Report 79.
The most recent innovation has been to erect a wide shelf under the workbench, ......
........ buying a couple of large plastic storage containers to store large tools and large offcuts of wood and to place the smaller storage containers holding things needed for running sessions (ie figures, station detailing bits and loco transmitters) near the door.
The weather is beginning to improve and spring is in the air. I am beginning to scan the weather forecasts for two successive days of decent dry weather when I might be able to set up the railway for the coming season and have a decent full operating session. After all, I now have a couple more goods wagons waiting to enter service and some new trackwork to test.
This article first appeared on riksrailway.blogspot.com
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