Thursday, 30 September 2010

Leatherhead 2010

Home at last after having a few days away which included a visit to Scaleforum at Leatherhead. Only my second visit to Scaleforum and I managed to spend all day Saturday some of Sunday around the show thoroughly enjoying the experience. Excellent layouts, very informative demonstrations and a focused P4 trade support. I probably made one or two too many purchases but they are all needed in the grand scheme of things..........honest! What was also enjoyable was meeting a few gents that I've only conversed with via blogs or email, really good putting faces to names. The more I do with my meagre layout the more I appreciate what is involved to create a layout. Then add to that the P4 discipline and I was in awe of all the layouts on show at Leatherhead.

Best in show for me, and I know I'm very biased in my selection because of the subject matter, has to be St. Merryn. I think the overall feel and consistent standard of modelling across the layout from the South London Group is excellent. They also seem a down to earth friendly bunch and with the publication of their book they are sharing the trials and tribulations during the layout's construction.

St. Merryn

St. Merryn is closely followed by Wheel Elizabeth, Horsley Bank and Portchullin as my favourite exhibits. What can I say that has not been said about Wheel Elizabeth....... not a lot apart from "superb".

Wheel Elizabeth

Horsley Bank is a compact essay set depicting a Yorkshire woollen mill town. Nice detail, plenty to look at and very informative well presented display boards.

Horsley Bank

Initially I wasn't sure about Portchullin but the more I looked the more I liked. It has a openness / remoteness about it which, though I have not been to the area, placed me up there in Scotland.


After purchasing up a copy of MRJ 201 on the Saturday and reading an article during the evening I was disappointed to only get a brief look at the Barrow Road Engine shed exhibit on the Sunday morning. Sunday morning was just a quick blast around the show with my partner, who took all the photos, before we travelled up to the Lakes for a few days.

Finally I have to mention Bank Hall Sidings which was at the show as a 'Guest Gauge of the year' layout. This was the first S gauge layout that I've seen for a while and certainly the first that was this complete. A very high standard of modelling with everything scratch built.......!

Bank Hall Sidings

This is only a selection from the ten layouts at the show and takes nothing away from the other fine layouts but the above were the ones that rocked my boat that little bit more.

My thanks must go to the organisers of the show who organised and ran a fine show. My pass-out is already signed for next year when I might try and spend two full days there.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Buffer stops

Last night I spent a most enjoyable evening with one of the local areas Scalefour guys (Clive) discussing a buffer stop for Tredethy Wharf. Up until a few days a go I was going to use an old Mikes Models LSWR kit for a buffer stop. That was until I discovered, in my collection of photographs, a three quarter side view of the buffer stop at Dunmere Wharf. I remembered Clive offering me some jigs he'd made for building buffer stops on his layout so I'd asked to borrow them. But it's never that easy, on close inspection of the photo, we discovered the Dunmere stop has some seemingly unique features. More research is needed and Clive has asked for a scale drawing as a new jig might be needed..... Hmmmm.....but hopefully, with his help, I'll be able to build a reasonable representation for Tredethy Wharf.

I am quite excited by this little project..... more updates to follow...............

Monday, 20 September 2010

New 1961 NCR timetable!!

I've recently started to make use of some of my lunch breaks to put some thought into the hub of my Grogley Junction project. The whole project evolves around the creation of a junction station at Grogley and how its creation would effect rail operations. My thoughts have wandered towards its track plan and also my interpretation of Boscarne Junction. I'm currently not sure that my first attempts at track plans for these two junctions will fit the bill. I want to check whether my they would be adequate for traffic running though both the junctions and the only way I could see to do this was to create the timetables.

The aim is to dovetail my fictitious timetable into a 1961/2 timetable with as little alteration as possible from the actual workings of the North Cornwall Railway. It will also need to fit into the historical timetables of the Western Region for Bodmin General and the Newquay branch. As the project has altered slightly to my previous attempt, I've spent time creating these new timetables for the North Cornwall Line as shown below:

References used have been a SR British Railways' timetable for 1961; timetables published in "An Illustrated History of the North Cornwall Railway" (Irwell Press); engine diagrams and timetables in "The Bodmin & Wadebridge Railway" (CFD Whetmath, Forge Books).

I am also hoping that the timetables will help to curtail random purchases, and enable me to work towards a stock list that is relevant for the whole project. Since creating the images for posting I've discovered photographs showing a couple of different train make-ups that will alter the entries slightly within the above timetable headings. These are still a work in progress...........

Timetables for all the local workings between Padstow, Bodmin, Wenford plus the fictitious workings to Mawgan Porth and Par are also being worked on. This is being a more difficult task than the above and will take a number of lunch breaks over the next couple of months before it's in a readable state. Once done I'll be able to work on and justify track plans for any proposed station/junction in my alternative universe.

Friday, 10 September 2010

RCH 7 Plank wagon (Part 5)

It's been a while ...... and track laying on Tredethy Wharf is progressing slowly. I'm beginning to realise what I've started by using individual LSWR chairs........... and this is just a small/test plank layout!

As a slight distraction and with the encouragement of a recent article in the MRJ 200, I've picked up the RCH PO wagon again. A few months ago I'd put this wagon to one side after becoming dissatisfied with my attempt at painting the internal planking. It has been a long time since I've used enamels as all my wargaming painting has been with acrylics. The other barrier has been a mental one about painting a weathered wood effect. In my OO/EM days I'd made a few attempts at this and tried to represent replaced planks, and I never really captured the effect I was after.

Mulling things over I'd started to consider using acrylics when MRJ 200 arrived with the excellent article by Craig Welsh. This lead to a quick purchase of paints followed a couple of hours work, and I'm starting to feel I'm getting somewhere.

It's early days yet........ the planking needs toning down a little with grey washes; the metal work needs rust applying; the whole wagon needs weathering; need to apply running numbers...... but over all I am now feeling more confident about painting wooden wagons. Thanks Craig.