Friday, 13 May 2016

LNWR D26 Special Cattle Van

Prior to Christmas, I was given the opportunity to buy-in on some 2mmFS limited-run wagon etches.  They were of LNWR origin, but as I’m always on the lookout for rolling stock variety, I grabbed the chance to get some less common cattle vans.  In particular, the D26 Special Cattle van, not quite a horsebox, but something in which you could put your prized bull!
- Initial build, sides done.
While not an expert, my soldering skills have come a long way in the past 8 years.  Back then I wouldn’t even contemplate building a brass etch kit, but now I’m all in.  In this case it wasn’t brass, but nickel, but same concept.  To add to the difficulty, there were no instructions. After discussions with Sithlord, the build was quite simple, just imagine an IKEA flatpack, but instead of the Allen key, it a dab of solder and a hot iron.
- Van 1
The side walls themselves consist of 3 layers, to get the detail.  The outer fret actually has locating holes in which to insert some brass top hat bearings to line up the layers.  I didn’t do this the first wagon I built, but did on the second, and it shows.  A surf of the interwebby found some other 2mm bloggers who were all building this van, and there were some handy hints.

If I had my own way in designing such a kit, I’d rather see the main body be one etch, with walls, ends and floor able to be folded-up.  And then the panel details added. But this is only minor.
- 1st build on left, 2nd built on right

Now for the finishing, firstly finding some wheels, appropriate decals and a coat of paint.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

House Move

Excuses are plentiful and everyone uses them.  Mine, for the lack of posts over the past four months is house ownership.  The Noswal’s finally started along the good old Australian dream, owning your own home.  So we’ve got it all now, two kids, a dog and a mortgage!
 - the new shed, room for 2 cars, but really its for the layout, workshop and potential mancave.
Sturminster now has a new home, in a 6m x6m garage.  This is a nice fit, as you can now walk around the layout on three sides, and still have room to swing a cat.  There is a distinct lack voltage to the shed, but it’s only a matter of running a 30m power lead from the house to add some spark.
- the inside, still requires some work, especially more dropsheets to prevent the gecko dropping.
Our local N gauge/2mm group celebrated our 50th meeting yesterday, Sat 12 Mar 16.  I haven’t been to all the meetings, distance and work have prevented that, but I’ve found them to be very informative and much useful knowledge has been shared and gained.  It’s also been very helpful for making collective purchases from the likes of 2mm society and shapeways etc, as it reduces the postage fees.

As mentioned last year, we were set a diorama challenge, to be completed by Dec.  Life got in the way for some of us, and deadline was pushed back the 50th meeting.  The results were very impressive.
 - Don's Poyle for Stanwell Moor Halt
- Poyle
 - Kevin's Nuclear flask loading
- Nuclear, with home made 3d printed bits!

- Barb's Cirencester
 - My somewhere in England dio.
- Most happy with this piece of kit.

Now that this challenge is over, I'm now been tasked with coming up with the next challenge and its associated rules.  This time I erring towards a scratch-built wagon, but I still need to investigate further.
- Maybe something like this?

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Continuing Diorama - 2

So after a brief trip away for work, it was back to work on the diorama.  
- Tracks rumbling through Sturminster
The final batch of decals have arrived while I was away , so now all three tanks, the Scammell and the Bofor’s are correctly marked for the 7th Armoured Division.
- Positioned
They have received a coat of dullcoat and now just need some weathering.  And the barrel needs to be fitted to the Churchill!
- Wheres the grass?
Back to the diorama board itself, it was a matter of building up some layers of base textures and then commence adding the scenic materials.  First up was the ground texture, especially around the ramp area and the Bofor’s gun position.  Next will be some static grass and finally the ballasting of the track.

- Wagons please
Researching some picture of anti-aircraft positions, the guns had some form of protection.  In most cases, the humble sand-bag.  So sand-bag making commenced.  These are just strips of air-dried clay, cut to shape and then glued into position.  Once dry they will get painted a nice shade of hessian/dirt. 
- Sandbag production.
At some stage, I will need to get on with finishing the wagons.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Diorama continuing

Work continues in the diorama and some other new projects.
- Ready for scenicing
Whilst looking for the hot glue for Mrs Noswal, I came across a ½ open roll of medical plaster bandage, so I was able to finish of the surface texturing.  Once the plaster was laid I applied some randomly cut-up sheets of tissue paper.  This was then run-over by an old matchbox ½-track, which left some suitable wheels ruts.  This was followed by a base colour of paint, and left to dry

- Time for weathering

I’m quite happy with the Scammell, and now just need to weather it.  I’m still a bit undecided as to whether I will deploy the 40mm Bofors on the high ground, that will have to wait and see.

- To keep or lose the Bofors?

On new project front, I came across some S&DJR 5 plank wagons bodies on Shapeways.  They are in 2mm (1/152) and will suit me fine and add bit more variety to the rolling stock at Sturminster.  They printed quite well and just need a through clean-up.  They require a 2FS chassis, which can be knocked-up fairly quickly.

- Nice little rake

Meanwhile, junior modeller turned the big 1 on Saturday.  Take note of her reading material!
- Yes, it hurts when she runs over your toes!

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Catch-up - Lamps and diorama challenge

When I started this blog, I did state there would be delays and gaps, this has been one of them.

- Scratch built with the original
Work on the layout has been minimal since attending the Toowoomba show.  Admittedly it was a bit of a rush to get it to the stage it was to exhibit.  Over the course of the exhibition, we were looking at some pics of the station at Sturminster and comment was made on the uniqueness of the swan-neck lamps on the platforms.  As a part of the prep to get it ready, I had just used some Langley whitemetal lamp posts, which do the job, but are not representative of the genuine thing.  After some brain storming, and some test and evaluation, a design was found, comprising a paperclip, a sequin, a glass bead and several diameters of tubbing.  A satisfactory result. 

At the end of last year, our local N gauge/2mm FS group was set a diorama challenge.  While the rules were thrashed about, it basically boiled down to building a N/2mm scale diorama, based on UK prototype, a minimum of one wagon and a length of track (60’) and it is to fit inside a standard archive box.  Challenge accepted.

I’d recently come across a new supplier of scale WW2 military vehicles, Arrowhead Miniatures.  In particular I liked the Scammell tank transporter, and the diorama challenge gave me the reason to get one.  
- Scammell, unbuilt

- Scammell, built
As with any new project, I leapt into it over the Christmas period, gathering additional pieces of equipment and find other spares within my horde.  By late Feb a firm plan was locked in, but then the impending deadline of the Toowoomba exhibition at the end of May was approaching, so diorama work was paused.  I’ve only now, this weekend gone gotten back into it.
 - posing the vehicles
- Landscaping begins
The archive box measures 30 x 38 cm, which really is plenty of room.  I’ve cut a piece of MDF to fit within the box, and then sealed it.  From there I’ve laid some track and spent most of today shaping some foam to provide some terrain and then used the last of my medical plaster (so much better than the stuff you get from hobby/art-craft/discounts stores – and cheaper)

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Sturminster - Toowoomba Model TrainShow

Well, the 1st exhibition is done and dusted.  A 300km round trip, 2 compete days of running, good friends, great atmosphere and some cleansing ales.  Was it worth it?  Of course it was.

 - The layouts joined, over 10m of frontage
I won’t say it was a panic to get it finished, but as the deadline for departure approach, more and more of the minor things were not crossed off the list.  These can now be competed at a more leisurely manner.
 - Stur frontage
A majority of the feedback was very positive with many wanting info on the techniques used and type of materials and products used.  What little negativity I did get was either about the layout height, 1.2m to baseboard, of that the station and yards were hidden by the trees.  I’m sorry if your child can’t see, but you’ve got tow arms, pick them up.  It’s my layout, built for my enjoyment and comfort.  As for the foliage, I’m trying to depict a particular place and there are trees there.
 - Looking into the yards
 - More yards
- Away from yards
Running wise, we didn’t stick to a set schedule.  We had a selection over 30 made up trains and they ran as we saw fit.  The odd wagon or three continued to de-rail or uncouple, so it was 3 strikes and they were off!  For locos, my new Black 5’s continue to throw traction tyres.  We discovered this last year, and I was advised to get some bullfrog snot, which I did.  It just that I haven’t applied it yet!
 - Behind the scenes
 - Round the back
Will I do it again?  Most likely, we even got an invitation to attend the Gold Coast exhibition in July (just need to discuss with Mrs Noswal).
 - Raising steam 
 - Busy
- Whoops

Monday, 25 May 2015

Sturminster Newton - 1st Exhibition

Sturminster Newtons debut is only days away.  While never finished, it’s come along away in past couple of months.  After tonite I’m putting a halt to fiddling and scenicing and the next few nights will be cleaning tracks and prepping rolling stock.

 - Market Day
- Now to set the scene