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

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Sturminster Newton - Landscaping - part 7

So, it’s only two weeks until Sturminster is exhibited for the first time.  So much to do and so little time.  As usual work has again interrupted my modelling time! With a majority of the big ticket items done, it’s now down to all the fiddly bits. 

- Getting there, slowly

The surface within the yards area was always a concern.  All reference photos indicated that the surface was at rail level.  My initial plan was to use clay, but after my experiments with the roads, I was concerned that the large area to be covered will be susceptible to damage during transit.  Some further thought and discussions led to me using some 2mm thick card, cut to fit and ballasted along the edges.  Once in place I gave it a couple of coats Tamiya surface paint. 
- Yards road surface
Fencing has continued, on the down platform, around the creamery, and the station road.  Further trees have been added, with still more required.  Some signals have been added (non-working – sorry to disappoint) and I’m awaiting a visit from a signalling expert to give me some corrections.
Construction of the main goods shed and feed store are still underway, so a temporary fix of a ready-to-plonk Lyddle End goods shed and a Ratio timber merchants will be gap filers for the time being.
- Night and day
With the weather permitting, I got around to painting the PVC pipe holding the LED lights and also the front fascia.  While I’m happy with the LEDs, I did jump in to  them pretty quickly.  Further research would of told me that a variety of brightness and colours are available.  I tend think that mine are a bit too white.  Now that I’ve painted the tubing, I can see a blue tinge.  A future upgrade may see me replace them with a more “yellowish” shade.

 -  View from Butts Pond

- Stationside


Sunday, 12 April 2015

Sturminster Newton - Landscaping - part 6

Well, one week of work down (admittedly it was only 4 days), and output has certainly dropped off!  I was expecting this, but after the massive progress of the past several months, it is a bit deflating!  This week I’ve managed UFO night, hold the monthly meeting (at short notice) and get in some fencing and gardening.
I decided to use UFO night to work on the layout, in particular fencing.  I initially started the fencing all way back in 2010, using Peco post and rail, mainly due to its accessibility here down under.  I have a limited quantity of etched fencing, but not enough, and the cost of getting it from the UK is a bit prohibitive at present.  Postage is getting out of control.  I was recently going to be charged £12 to send out a 35mm slide!  But let’s not get me started on that ………..
- fencing now on both sides of the mainline
As reported on Sithlords blog, I hosted the April meeting of the SEQ area group meeting for the NGS and 2mm scale association.  While Mrs Noswal tried to outdo herself with the catering, it was a good turnout.  It was great to receive some rewarding observations about Sturminster.  Several of the attendees had not seen the layout for several years so their comments were both pleasing and poignant.  While most of us build layouts for our self-enjoyment, well I know I do at least, it’s great to receive feedback from fellow modellers that is encouraging.
For what remaining time I had left of the weekend, excluding household chores, playing lego and watching my aussie rules team get smashed, I made an attempt on the greenery growing on/in/around the fencing on the down platform.  I had one good colour photo to work from.
- not long before closing, Sturminster in the summer of 65
- my attempt
From there it was the matter of teasing out small clumps to make up the flowers/hedge/ivy/weeds.  I used a variety of products; Mininatur, Noch and some cheap stuff I got from China, via eBay (pink and yellow flowers).  They have been glued with a variety of superglue and diluted PVA.  I just need to let them set and then get the vacuum cleaning in to clean-up.
- from the other end
Plans for this week are unknown, but I think the signal box needs to be finished.  The stairs have been built, the building undercoated and the signal levers painted.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Sturminster NEwton - Landscaping - part 5

Work has been progressing, the updates have just been poor due to my laziness!  My long service leave is just about at an end, so my modelling time will now be reduced to after work, 1900 - 2200H and weekends, but this will also vary due to family and work commitments (away all of May) and level of enthusiasm.
- overall layout, 4m in length
As mentioned previously, the new LED lights have been installed.  I've now tidied up the wiring and now just need to remove them again, number for assembly, and paint.  It turns out they are not the brightest available, but also now the dimmest.  But at the same time, I should never be running the layout using these lights alone.
 - view from Butts pond
- view into the yards
A tip for those young players at home.  When conducting the scenic-ing of your layout, start at the back and work forwards!  It’s a mistake I’ve made, but remember in time to pause on the front, remove all the fragile items and commence on the rear.  It also doesn’t help to have a 3-4 year pause between applications of scenic grass, ballast etc.  The older stuff has sufficient time to “weather” and fad, and whereas and the new applications still appear a bit “shiny”!

So what has been done:
·         All 21 electromagnet uncouplers have been made (300 turn each), installed, wired and are now operating within the Sturminster yards,
·         Ballast all remaining track within the yards.
·         As result of the ballasting, the cattle platform needed some alteration in width (valve gear clearances.  Fortunately I had not secured this yet, so both sides got hit with the sander, removing about 2mm and then reapplying some brickpaper,
·         Installed retaining wall leading off the bridge.  This then lead to working on the main road heading out of town towards the creamery and Butts Pond,
·         Finalise dairy/creamery complex, install and adding fencing,

·         Adding managers/foreman’s and workers cottages for the creamery, pub and garage on the road heading north out of town,
·         Fencing off the allotments,
·         Applying more scenic material,
·         Applying static grass on new areas and conducting maintenance on old areas,
·         Fiddling with pointwork within the yards to ensure the work after all the ballasting etc.  (This did have a gremlin last Saturday, when I couldn’t get one of the double slips to work for 2hrs.  I cleaned, rubbed, wiped, scratched, vacuumed, jiggled etc etc all to no avail.  I walked away for 2 min to gripe to Mrs Noswal and then returned and it’s all working again),
·         Running in new 4F locos (so when does running in cease and running out begin?),
·         Repaint the shop,
·         Build Wickham trolley shed,
·         Add some water to Butts ponds,
What’s left to be done?
- Station rose's need some work
·         Layouts are never finished!  But seriously,
·         More trees
·         More fences
·         Telegraph poles
·         Road top
·         Weathering
·         And the list goes on, and on and …………………………………..
- Signal box, yet to be completed.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Mail call

After much delay, they are finally here!  The Farish 4F 0-6-0 all purpose do anything loco.  I've been a bit selfish and have four, including one spilt form a box set.  You can read the numerous reviews in the mags and blogs, and I agree it is the best so far in RTR steam locos, even better than the recently released Farish Duchess (and I've got two of them)!
- Team Fowler shunt team
Why so many, so ask?  Because there was so many, 574 built between 1924-41!  The S&DJR had more than few and were often seen double heading with another 4F, a 2P, a BoB, or a black/Std 5 to name a few.  I've only run one of them so far, only because I got it back in January from the box split.  Haulage wise, it can manage 20 or so wagons or 4-6 coaches, which is more than enough for my requirements. The other three, which arrived today will have to wait as my 5yo son is have a sleep over tonite and we are making pizza and watching Star Wars and sleeping in the tent in the backyard this evening!
- lots of included detail 

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Sturminster Newton - Landscaping - part 4

Just a quick update.  Got lights, comprising:

  • 25mm PVC pipe with T-pieces and 90° angle elbows,
  • 4m of LED strip and associated powerpack, and
  • Trial and error.
All need to do now is tidy it up, add some connectors, paint and make it ease of use for transport.
- view from Butts pond.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Sturminster Newton - Landscaping - part 3

A bit late with this post, but work is continuing, and it is occurring both above and below the baseboards!  The work on the village scene moved ahead with the siting of the buildings (finally), and laying down of the road and the associated boxing and applying of the cobblestone roller.
 - Buildings and roads in place
- Road into station forecourt.
On the building side, I’ve use some old SD mouldings plaster cast buildings I had lying around.  They fit the scene and resemble the building that were found in the area.  I’ve use 1 ready to plonk Hornby Lyddle End building, which will serve as the post office, a scratch built card shop building and also a Severn models etch-brass shop kit. 
 - shop in progress
 - finished and ready for painting
- 50% good, but blue acrylic didn't quite work, so strip and start again.
This was a Kickstarter project from last year which got-up.  They are quite simple to build and the detail is great.  I’ve also built the stables which I intend to use within the station yard complex. 
- completed stable
I’m still pondering as to what the shops will be, but research has indicated a bike shop, butcher, drapery and general merchandise stores where at that end of town.
The paving was painstaking!  After laying the timber boxing and getting it level, I picked a nice 33°C day to lay the clay.  I did it in small sections, on a diluted PVA base to give it some adhesion.  I’m still a bit concerned how it will withstand movement. 
 - 1st section
 - drying and cracking commence
 - a village appears.
Time will tell, and the guys have tentatively booked me into the Toowoomba show at the end of May; that is a round trip journey of 145km.  As the clay dried I kept spraying with a small mist bottle and using a damp finger or paint brush filled in some of the minor cracks.  I learnt early on that to properly use the cobblestone roller that use must let the clay being to dry.  Rolling it too early, while still damp, cause the roller to slip and spin and the area turning into off-road adventure park.  Once finally dry, I applied some grey paint, in this case Tamiya grey texture paint, which gives the rougher surface.  The roads are not perfect, but what road would be in Dorset during the 1930-50’s?
On a past Turs UFO night the question of lighting was discussed.  This lead to the use of LED strips.  A quick visit to eBay and 5m of lights were purchased with associated electrical connections, all for a very reasonable price.  They arrived with a week and we had a play with them on the Thurs just past.  I now need to assemble some 25mm PVC pipe to mount them in.
- 5m roll of LEDs.
And then we went under the baseboard!  Uncouplers!  Homemade electromagnets, using Peco uncoupler arms.  So far I’ve made 12, and installed 6, and will most likely require at least another dozen.  With current deadline in mind, Peco will have to suffice, but it does limit what I can and can’ shunt.  Our group meeting on sat we were discussing DG’s, so will need to follow that up some more.
- 10 down, how many to go?