2017 – Cwm Prysor’s Time!

Firstly, a belated Happy New Year to everyone.

You may have noted things have been rather quiet around these parts. I have decided to cut down my online presence as I felt I was saturating my work by posting on the FB page, modelling forums and here. It seems best to focus on one place, and those that are interested will find me here, on the blog. I also needed the Christmas period to rid myself of some demons, so it’s fair to say 2017 feels like a real fresh start.

So, to kick things off…. those of you that read the model railway magazines may have seen I had an article in this months Railway Modeller on the goods stock for Cwm Prysor. It was an interesting article to write and I can’t thank Steve Flint and Railway Modeller enough for giving me the opportunity to share my ramblings. What is nice is that this article, and the subsequent two I’ve written, are all gearing up for the big one…’Cwm Prysor’ which will be appearing in the Modeller (probably next year).

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As for Cwm Prysor, I took a break from the layout over Christmas, but since the New Year progress has been coming on well. The platform is now in place, the landscape is fully formed around it and we even have the shelter in place (courtesy of Geoff Taylor). The station area has had plasticard added so there is a nice flat base for the station building, plus a seamless join into the level crossing.

Recent work though has seen the dilapidated snow defences put into place. I’ve seen a photo from around 1910 where these sleeper defences are all standing in place, neat and proper. By the 1950s though, they were really uncared for and that is how they are represented on the layout. Special thank to Tim Horn for supplying the laser cut sleepers.

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Finally, I’ve begun work on the over bridge at the Blaenau end of the layout. Tim kindly laser cut the MDF pieces for the buttresses to my specifications. The bridge itself I have no photos of it, so I’ve based it on the one further down the line at Capel Celyn. The girders are by plaststruct with 20 thou plasticard on top. The railings are from Geoff Taylor’s etched range of building accessories. These need shortening which will be done tomorrow, before I primer the girder/railings and spray satin black. The buttresses will be coated in Das modelling clay, and then a few weeks later the stone work will be scribed.

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Everything is coming together nicely, I’ve ordered the scenic bits to do the lake and stream and all the grass work is here for when it’s needed. So there is lots going on at the moment!

2017 is Cwm Prysor’s year!

‘Dad and Lass’ courtesy of Modelu – forever on my layouts….

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Operating the full layout….properly!

Today has been an eventful one!

This afternoon I took delivery of the Cwm Prysor Fiddleyards from Tim Horn. Things didn’t go as smooth as hoped initially, regarding mating the boards to the main layout…..eventually though, we got there.

Here is how things look now!

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Blaenau Ffestiniog/Trawsfynydd Fiddleyard below. The cassettes are split into loco, single coach passenger and two coach passenger/goods trains. They are clipped together with bulldog clips and the beauty of this, is it allows locos to be taken off and turned without actually handling them. However, do not touch both sides of the cassette at the same time when connected to the layout! 😉

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Bala Fiddleyard below. The cassettes are connected to a transition piece which draws it’s power off the main board tracks temporarily. However for shows it will have it’s own connectors off the main bus wires.

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Some extra items from Tim, the frontage to the platform made from laser cut MDF (sadly the brick work isn’t going to be visible to the public, because it looks very nice!)

The platform itself will be made up from polystyrene which will then blend into the hillside as the real thing did. Also can be seen is the entry culvert for the stream that ran into Llyn Tryweryn. This will be covered in Das modelling clay, before being carved to represent the stone work.

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It’s been very enjoyable to actually run trains over the full length of the layout tonight. The only thing, is I must not get too distracted running trains, or I’ll never get the layout finished!

Thanks for your patience today Tim! It was well worth the effort!

 

 

Enjoying the Hobby

Apologies for the rather ‘basic’ title of this blog, but it sums up how I’m feeling at the point.

I have now finished the landscaping on the other board that runs behind the railway. I’m rather pleased with the results from this, which was probably the hardest task landscape wise.

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The landscaping in front of the layout will be catered for once the electrics are done, the priority with the rear being finished was because of the painting of the backscene.

Today I was demonstrating wagon building and weathering at ‘Thirsk Model Railway Exhibition’. It was an enjoyable day meeting new people and seeing friends. Good banter was had all around with Ian Fleming, Ken Gibbons and Jonathan Wealleans, who was showing his beautiful LNER coaches and wagons.

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Jonathan also had a couple of items for me, two corridor Collett Coaches he had built and painted for me as a part of some ‘horse trading’. One is an E152 Brake Composite which will be permanently coupled to a Hornby all 3rd. I’ve a photo of these two seen at Trawsfynydd and Blaenau Ffestiniog in 1951, with the all 3rd still in Chocolate and Cream, a nice contrast!

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The E128 will be run on it’s own, as a mixed train or possibly joined to another Hornby all 3rd (in crimson and cream).

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In the meantime, I really better look into making a start on wiring the layout, just so I can run something up and down. Once happy with this, I will complete the points and get those wired too. I also have the fiddle yard boards on the way, so hopefully in the not to distant future (by late October I hope) I will be able to run the layout properly.

 

All Railways Great and Small

Last weekend, I spent an enjoyable time in that wonderful country, Wales. The two days were spent admiring railways in 4mm and Standard Gauge. The plan had initially been made for me to also make a visit up to Cwm Prysor but the weather showed snow….so plans were changed!

Saturday, Alan Buttler and I headed over to Geoff Taylor’s for some banter and chin wagging. Geoff kindly programmed two of my panniers, 4645 and 9793. 7428 was also taken along for some posing. Many thanks again to Geoff, for letting me run and pose my stock on the layout. Also thanks to Alan for allowing me to share his photos, the guy really does have an eye for photography.

4645 with a pick up goods passes the Mawddach Estuary.

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7428 passes the George Hotel at Penmaenpool 

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My 16T and the ex Pontypool PO trundle by

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Sunday saw Alan and I heading off for a lovely day on the Llangollen Railway and their Spring Gala. The whole thing had a Cambrian theme which was simply perfection! Seeing two Manor’s in BR Black, on their former stomping ground was something that wasn’t too be missed. The highlight for me though, was a return journey in a Toad Brake Van. It’s something I had always fancied, but never had the opportunity to do before. Once again, thanks to Alan for allowing me to share his photos.

7820 at Llangollen Station….to think where the railway has come in 40 years.
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Double headed Manor’s….a pure spectacle! 

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The Cambrian Coast Express arrives at Carrog Station.

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A timeless scene at Carrog, time travel is possible!

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Special thanks to Matt Davies, and his colleagues for creating a truly wonderfully themed Gala. Was a cracking day and weekend all round.

On that note, better head off ready for tomorrow’s visit to Scale Four North.

Mineral Wagons – Part 2 ‘BR 16T’

Over the past week, my hobby time has been spent working on the Bachmann BR 16T I repainted in my last update. This was a project I had initially been dreading, as steel bodied 16Ts have a particular look, and many models I’ve seen just do not look right.

When it came to adding the ‘rust effect’ I did keep going back to  Ian (windcutter) Fleming to see what he thought, who offered suggestions and advice which I appreciate. On something like this, I think it’s always good to have another set of eyes on the project.

Several days later, and here are the results.

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The chassis was treated with a mix of Revell 84 and Matt Black (another tip picked up from Ian’s blog). Further treatment with powders made the finishing touches to the chassis. The interior was painted with the same paint mix as the chassis, before being finished with powders which has given a rather pleasing effect. I didn’t feel the need for the airbrush and I feel it’s always good to broaden ones techniques.

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I am aware that the Brake push rods have been fitted the wrong way around, something Bachmann seem to have a habit of doing. It’s not the only Bachmann model I’ve seen in my fleet that has also been fitted the wrong way around. I had looked to swopping them around, but sadly they are only detailed on one side. For the moment they will stay and will be possibly be replaced at a later date.

As a conclusion, I think the most important aspect of this weathering project was preparation. I’d spent some time thinking how I was going to approach this wagon, consulted modelling friends, prototype photographs and Geoff Kent’s excellent volumes on 4mm wagons.

I also took the opportunity of good sun light (yes I know…don’t fall off your chair at that prospect) to photograph 7428 outdoors, still very pleased with the finish on her.

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I’m near to finishing work for Easter, so I’m looking forward to starting work on a 1950’s ex PO. York Show next weekend where I will be stewarding and a trip down to the Llangollen for their Spring Gala. Plenty to look forward to!

Cheers for now!

Merry Christmas

As a post script to yesterday’s post. Cwm Prysor arrived this morning. Very happy indeed.

A typical week day working, 5742 with a train from Blaenau Ffestiniog approaches what will be Cwm Prysor.
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7428 sits in the loop preparing to shunt.
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Merry Christmas all! 🙂

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Prysor for Christmas

Good tidings to all at this festive time of year. In the last couple of days I’ve been preparing the work room for the arrival of the layout. Tim Horn has worked exceptionally hard to bring my rough ideas into reality. From here, the real work can begin on turing this into an operational layout, with the eventual goal of having the layout on the exhibition circuit, however I intend to take my time with this, I see no need to rush this project.

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In the meantime, I’ve been working on another 74XX. This one is somewhat special in that 7428 retained her GWR livery until withdrawal on the 31/10/1962. Although she retained the livery, the photos I have show her in typical Croes Newydd condition (filthy), although the Great Western Railway initials are still very prominent (I read that shed staff highlighted it with chalk over the years).  As this started life as a Bachmann GWR 64XX, it didn’t have a smokebox numberplate, so I made one from some 10thou plasticard.

Weathering was done using several reference colour photographs, and the effect I feel works well, with the green livery slightly hinted at ‘just’ under the grime.

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To finish the scene, Modelu‘s figures bring the whole thing to life. You may notice the lamp missing from along the running plate, the reason for this is I will testing some prototypes of Modelu’s 3D printed lamps in the next few weeks.

Those that follow this blog and are interested in these Pannier tanks, may like to know that the Railway Modeller article on the subject of my 74XX conversion, will be in (I believe) the February issue.

Finally I’d just like to wish the followers of tfmodelling, a Very Merry Christmas, and all the best for the New Year.

Best Wishes

Tom