Sunday 31 October 2010

Thanks Barking Bill!

48660 prepares to depart Combwich Station with a mid afternoon service to Templecombe on the 10th of October 1965.

This afternoon I finally finished off the 8F with a good dose of dry-brushing using creams, leather, earth, pale grey and finally black (just to take the edges off) in front of the computer looking at Barking Bill's FLICKR website for inspiration. I will replace the pony wheels next time I get to a good show with such suppliers. I have to say that this loco runs and absolute dream.

Photographically I just used the natural window light with a long exposure, and this is just what the eye sees too including the backscene. The only trickery is the fake clag.
  •  W I D E S C R E E N wallpaper version HERE!
  • See this layout and the 8F for real at WYCRAIL!

Saturday 30 October 2010

Faded Elegance

Going through some of the famous Bath based photographer *Ivan Locksmith's old prints, I decided that this one was worth slapping under the scanner for today's load of old baloney and venture into a past parallel universe that never was.....

40564 was one of the very last elegant LMS 2P 4-4-0s left running on the Somerset & Dorset, and is captured here rolling into Combwich with the 10 am Templecombe service on the 21 August 1961. By this stage the Western Region has been in charge of the northern section of the former S&DJR network for sometime and its influence could be seen with the ex GWR Pannier tank No. 4691. Had the photo had been taken in colour you'd be able to spot the WR brown and cream paint on the old oil lamp mounted on an old piece of rail to the right, these colours replacing the previous green and cream.

Back to reality, the loco is Hornby with a repaint and a few extra bits and bobs, it will get a proper Comet chassis in due course once I've saved up some pennies to get it properly done by a pro (I'm a disaster with such wizardry). The signal on the right is a designed to upset the purists in the form of a Ratio LNER plastic kit with a few mods and some MSE finials to make it look sort of 'LSWR'.

  • W i d e s c r e e n wallpaper HERE!
  • See this layout for real at WYCRAIL on Saturday 6 November '10.  
*Ivan Locksmith of course is fiction like much of this post, he is a character based on the actual celebrated photographers Messrs Ivo Peters and Norman Lockett who between them recorded much of the SDJR.

    Friday 29 October 2010

    The 4.30pm service to Templecombe

    Ex GWR Collett 0-6-0 No. 3206 prepares to depart Combwich with the 4.30pm service to Templecombe on the 30th of September 1963. The narrow gauge trucks in the foreground are used on part of the narrow gauge quayside tramway.

    The natural daylight reflecting off the LMS subs (repainted and detailed Airfix) highlights the minor failings of Flushglaze with the rounded edges. Yes, that is me riding the cushions.
    • CLICK HERE for a 1280 x 800 pixel version which is ideal for widescreen wallpaper.
    • See this layout for real at WYCRAIL on Saturday 6 November '10.  

    Thursday 28 October 2010

    Postman Penguin

    Here's Postman Penguin snapped at Ankle Bend Crossing near Combwich Station!

    My wife collects miniature penguins, with this one from Murano Glass being one of the cutest and smallest of all at a mere 20mm tall. This little fellow was found on Ebay and is one of around a 100 in her collection of these beaky, slippery, black & white creatures! I'm really tempted to do some more silly shots with a few more of these penguinesque fellas because they're far more fun than badly moulded and painted white metal figures that look like they've escaped from Quatermass or Doctor Who.

    Perspective Dilemma

    Bath shed's Class 4 Ivatt 2-6-0 has just arrived at Combwich with the mid morning working from Templecombe formed of a brace of LMS subs and an LNER Pigeon Brake Van. Note the trucks on the narrow gauge 2ft 3inch gauge wharf tramway. For a bigger version of the above snap CLICK HERE .

    It's all the rage these days to photograph model railways from a worm's eye view in an attempt to make them look more 'real', occasionally though, it's nice to get up a little higher to show off more of the layout. But, photographically if too elevated the backscene can start to take on an odd perspective spoiling any realism, so it's probably not the best approach if you're trying to pass off your pride and joy for the real thing. A similar problem occurs with low relief buildings if not perpendicular with the camera, with my pet hate being half low-relief houses which look very odd when the ends are not hidden by a tree or some other tall structure to hide that fact that the rear of the roof is missing.

    The low relief end-on warehouses seen top right in the snap above very much highlight this problem, with them looking rather odd from most angles unless viewed head on. In hindsight I'd have been better off with a bank of trees, but it wouldn't have given that mildly industrial look I was after at the time and only having 1/2 an inch depth to play with.

    Wednesday 27 October 2010

    Drunken Railway Cat and other things....

    47276 arrives at Combwich with a Sunday engineering train. See a bigger version of this photo HERE!

    I must apologise for maybe getting a bit tardy with all these Combwich snaps, it's just that I haven't had the layout set up in the house for years! Here's another grab under the available room lighting, this time of the little 'Bagnall' arriving at Combwich with a Sunday engineering train formed of a rake of repainted Heljan Dogfish and a LNER Dia 120 4W BY Pigeon Brake Van built from a Chivers Finelines kit. Whether they ever acted as a brake on such a train I have no idea, but it was on the layout at the time and I quickly snapped and processed this shot just before going to bed last night.

    The cat on the ganger's hut was bought at Pendon many years ago and looks rather more like a fox that had a spell with the local chimney sweep, or at least inbibed in too much local cider judging by the angle. The SR concrete hut could be treated better now, I'm much better and doing concrete (you'll have to wait for my feature on the printed page) these days. This angle shows off the refresh with the Noch Gras Master, a fabulous tool that allows one to place hairy grass on almost any existing surface in a matter of seconds.

    Monday 25 October 2010

    A Balmy Day in '62

    Bath Green Park's 48660 is captured shunting the sidings at Combwich in September 1962. Black 5 No. 45440 can also been seen on shed - quite what it was doing here is uknown, but it's though to have hauled a 'special' working to do with the nuclear power programme at nearby Hinkley Point. See a bigger version of the photo here!

    Of course the above is just aload of old rubbish - all just a bit of fun.

    Like with previous shots of Combwich being tidied up for Wycrail on the 6th Nov (and also Railex in May '11) this one was taken under the single 60w domestic bulb in the ceiling with a long exposure. 5 identical images focussed on key spots were combined using software to increase the depth of field. The sky; the lower section is the the actual rather badly painted backscene, the area above a little wash with Photoshop to hide the walls and windows the layout is currently residing in.

    Sunday 24 October 2010

    Photo of the Day

    Bull: Gently simmering away, Radstock's '*Bagnall' No. 47276 is captured resting between shunting moves at Combwich on 2 October 1965.

    Reality: simply taken with daylight coming through the window, the only messing about is the bit of fake clag. Combwich is currently set up in preparation for Wycrail on Sat 6 November. Work on the layout today involved a few tweaks to point blades and a little refresh of the scenery using a Noch Grasmaster.

    *A 'Bagnall' (what S&D men called a Jinty) is just a renumbered and weathered Bachmann.

    Friday 22 October 2010

    Countdown to Wycrail (aka pulling my thumb out)

    nevard_101022_combwich_4f_IMG_8152_web, originally uploaded by nevardmedia.

    Baloney caption: Under a stunning clear blue summer sky, a nicely buffed up 44417 poses next to the photographer's Morris Traveller at Combwich Station in July 1962.

    I woke up at 04:00 this morning in a restless state realising that Wycrail is only 2 weeks away; "so what", you say "you finished this layout years ago so there's nothing to worry about". All quite true, but the problem is that Combwich hasn't been run since 2004 at the Farnham Model Railway Exhibition. Model railways, like old cars don't like to be forgotten and ignored because they break down or at least refuse to work properly. What's more, Combwich is 30 this year, so whilst not a classic is at least an old heap with all the associated problems apart from rust.

    With permission from the domestic authorities I've taken over the extension and set the layout up in there. The cats are rather amused by the goings on especially seeing it's where they normally hang out at bed time.

    One of the first jobs was to set up the layout on Cement Quay's trestles, these are a little higher than Combwich's old ones which are now firewood. That bit worked out OK, but does mean I'll need to sort out a longer drape to mask the trestles (I'll pinch Cement Quay's and add another section). Next job was to power it all up, this bit took me by surprise in that everything works - amazing really since it has spent 5 of the last 6 years in a slightly damp garage. The last 9 months however has been in a warm house.

    The backscene and fascia was a little scuffed, so a slap of paint has sorted out that, matching the blue sky was a little tricky but feathering the new paint hopefully has worked to blend it in.  Then the lighting rig was erected and the big nameboard displaying 'Combwich' in finest Gill Sans fixed with the aid of a hot glue gun.

    That's pretty well it, so the above snap was taken at tea time under a single 60 watt bulb in the ceiling which gives a good representation of midday sun with it being to overhead. In case anyone thinks we have nice blue walls then of course that it not the case, that bit is just a bit of cgi....

    Tuesday 19 October 2010

    Return of The Titfield Thunderbolt!

    It's a little known fact that 1451 and its GWR autocoach made a trip along the old S&D between Highbridge and Evercreech one Tuesday in 1964. Here the little ensemble is captured by Hungarian photographer Draven Rehpotsirhc after a chase from Evercreech Junction. Some say it was run to shoot footage for the failed cinema release 'Return of The Titfield Thunderbolt'.

    Of course, this is just a load of old tosh and a chance to wind up the purists;-)

    Friday 15 October 2010

    "Chim chiminey Chim chiminey Chim chim cher-oo!"

    With the near completion of the long-winded cornish pump for Mendip Colliery, last night a chimney was built up from plastic sheet and earlier today a little paint splashed onto it. Read more about it in Model Rail Magazine in due course.

    Tuesday 12 October 2010

    Cornish Pump Engine: Update 11 Oct 2010

    Cornish Pump Engine: Update 11 Oct 2010.

    Today's work included making up the beam from plastic sheet, wooden shutters and additional paintwork. Ignore the gap around the base, that will be filled when the structure is set into the ground. There is still quite a bit of detail to be added to the area below the beam. I'll post a snap in due course.

    Thursday 7 October 2010

    Voie Libre No. 62

    It's always a joy when from across the Channel the French railway modelling mag VOIE LIBRE pops through the letter box.

    Talented editor-in-chief François Fontana has the uncanny knack of tracking down, photographing and reporting on some of the finest narrow gauge modelling from around the globe and then presenting it in a most wonderfully stylish package.

    The inpirational content makes me realise just how far behind many of us Brits are with this all encompassing hobby when it comes to scenics, presentation, imagination, ingenuity and above all having fun.

    And now the contents of No.62.......

    Layout Features
    The marvellous island of Thomas Schmid
    The sawmill of Michel Lecoursonais

    Show Reports
    RailExpo 2010

    Layout Idea
    Beet network in Picardy (00e)

    Rolling Stock
    The engines Resisted (0 16,5)
    30 T the Meuse Victor' S Scale Models

    Weekend in Ardèche Miniatures

    To build a network for your trams, continuation (H09)

    Trams of Jorat (continuation)
    What is nine?

    Book Review
    Van Decauville Tarn and the Garonne (1/43,5)
    Rolling stock of the TW of Jorat (1/87, 1/43,5)
    • Visit VOIE LIBRE online and to download your ENGLISH translation!

    Wednesday 6 October 2010

    Disheveled Looking Cornish Pump

    Mendip Colliery - Cornish Pump: after the result of basic painting, windows, beam etc still to add along with local colouring. This will form part of Mendip Collery 3 (working title) in Model Rail Mag in due course....

    Tuesday 5 October 2010

    Model Rail 149

    Those top chaps over at Bauer Towers have been rather busy again, for Model Rail 149 is just hitting the shelves with 3 really classy railway layouts, quality reviews, a DVD(!) and of course more leading 'how doos' to take some of the mystery out of the hobby. Oh yes, and a few snaps by me..

    • News: First pictures of the first engineering prototype of the MR/Dapol Sentinel. Still lots of small detail and rivets to add.
    • CAD outline of Olivia's Class 76
    • Reviews: Hornby 28xx and Hawksworth coaches, Bachmann Class 03, Farish Mk1 coaches, Scenecraft depot structures, Bachmann Blue Class 105, Hornby watercart 'Arthur'
    • East Dean - Hillingdon O gauge layout
    • Static grass
    • Run it like a real railway - Goods yards
    • Diesel detailing
    • Hellingly Hospital Railway - OO layout by Phil Parker
    • Supertest - weathering products
    • 5 ways to weather without an airbrush
    • George Dent tweaks a Class 14
    • Hendre Lane.
    • 28xxs at work
    • Not a'N'other DCC feature!
    • Masterplan: Craven Arms
    • Darren builds a JLTRT Class 20
    • Plus all the regulars including Model Mail, Q&A and Backscene.