Tuesday 30 July 2013

The Joy the Great Outside & Analogue days

Click to enlarge
This time of year I spend as much time outside as possible, and whilst for many the hobby pauses during the summer months, the advantage of a small layout is that it can be taken outside and popped onto the garden table allowing to continue. You also have to advantage of no electronic toys sitting on the desk in front you to distract from the job in hand.

Another advantage of working outside is that you don't have to be quite as tidy as you would indoors, especially when messing about with scenic materials like static grass and coloured ground foam flocks, because a little dropped onto the lawn of not going to upset most people. Of course you don't want to drop anything that you might want to retrieve, because it will have almost certainly been swiftly thieved  by a league of marching ants. Yet another advantage of working outside is great light, which can make those fiddly jobs just a little less tiring on the ageing eyes!

The recent warm weather also has the bonus in that the chore of ballasting sets quickly, with it only taking around an hour or so for the diluted glue and ballast to go off. With this ironstone quarry project, the high summer sunlight caused the rails to get really hot, in fact too hot to touch! A good test though, and hopefully one that has given me confidence in the track will not buckle in a hot smelly exhibition hall - should I take this mini-layout out on the road that is.

The above photo shows that the ironstone quarry project is looking pretty complete, and to the sceptics that think all model railway layout photos are just 'Photoshop', in this shot there is none - the backscene being a wrap around print which runs right around the rear of the layout in a large arc.

There is still some detail and a little scenic work to do, and I also need to mess about with some suitable wagons and maybe locos. As part of the operation, the plan is to load the empty wagons via the loading hopper with real loose iron ore to add to audience interest - or more likely amusement. The lighting rig also needs to be built, for this photo I used my studio lighting, but the plan is to have the same quality and colour of light as in the photo.

Linking back to the opening paragraph, regulars will notice that I don't blog here quite as much as in the past, the reason being that I'm often too busy doing real life things rather than sitting in front of a computer which can be very unproductive. I call these computer free-periods 'Analogue Days', I enjoy these because a lot of model making can be carried out, which very much proves what slaves we all are to these useful but dreaded machines, which can be like blotting paper to spilt ink.

For this same reason these days, I keep away from model railway forums like RMweb and others apart from the occasional flying visit to one of two of the smaller ones, being careful not to dwell too long. I now just treat them like a visit to the pub when you have to drive (which as a beeroholic no fun), a quick coke sufficing rather than an oh so fun boozy all afternoon session with nothing to show for it. I mention this forum bit, because people/forum flies increasingly ask me at shows why I'm not seen on forums much these days. The same people also ask me how I get so much model making done....

Unlike hanging around on forums , I do still like to go to the pub to enjoy a few ales, without the car of course, but I certainly won't be using the 'Free Wifi'.

Tuesday 16 July 2013

Ironstone wagons

A couple of free wagons from Model Rail's Peter Marriott. These will be ideal for the ironstone project after a little work. Not all will know that the current Bachmann offering dates back to Mainline of the 1980's. The current version (brown) has much better chassis tooling. The old one will need some fettling to match. I think I have some white metal brake rigging castings that can be spliced in. Of course I could buy a new one. But that rather defeats The object.

Photos of the Ironstone Quarry Project http://www.flickr.com/photos/nevardmedia/sets/72157634128967801/ 

Previous BLOG post on this project http://nevardmedia.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/vobster-high-dykeironstone-quarry.html

Sunday 14 July 2013

Vobster - High Dyke/Ironstone Quarry

Narrow to standard gauge transhipment. Click to enlarge
A few weeks ago I posted Vobster, a little mini-layout to make use of Polbrock's old diorama case, baseboard and backscene. I possible idea was a quarry off the Highbury Railway near Frome, but after a visit to the High Dyke area of South Lincolnshire known for its now defunct rail served ironstone quarries, I have settled on a little known part of the Buckminster system off High Dyke. 

A couple of weeks ago having a good poke about in the area and  I even found some iron stone in what was Colsterworth Quarry - much of which has been smashed up and sprinkled everywhere on this little scene here. The hilly landscape south of Grantham is not too dissimilar to the backscene inherited from Polbrock (the little GWR halt that used to be here having moved into Polbrook Gurney - "confused? You will be"), though I will need to add some shrubbery to hide Cornish Engine on it!

The loading/hopper is a Wills Coal Loader that's been kicking about on my bookshelf and was in need of a home.

Usually the narrow gauge tipplers would have been tipped straight into the standard gauge wagons, but my excuse is that the occasional use of taller ex-LNER 20T hoppers required this installation. The plan at shows will be to actually load wagons with loose mineral - probably simply spoon fed from above the hopper/loader.

External link: One of the various ironstone quarries off the High Dyke systemhttp://www.nvr.org.uk/sites/default/files/d10201-001.jpg

Thursday 11 July 2013

Larkrail: 'A Light Railway and Branchline Modelling Miscellany'

Polbrook Gurney will made a rare visit to the Bath area on Saturday 20 July at Larkrail.

Larkrail will take place on Saturday the 20th July 2013 at the New Oriel Hall in Larkhall on the east side of Bath.
Opening times 10.00am to 4.30pm.
Admission fees £4.00 to everybody, accompanied under 16s free

Be sure to visit the dedicated web page http://www.titfield.co.uk/Camrail/Camindex.htm