All change

Mixture of feelings today.

After much consideration, I have decided that for the foreseeable, Cwm Prysor will be a home layout. To put this bluntly, as well as trying to make a living I am the carer for my terminally ill father. He is housebound and on 24hour oxygen and although there was the plan for someone to be with him when I was to be away at shows, I ultimately do not want to leave him. One day he wont be here and I can do what I wish, but at the moment he needs me and I need him.

My whole enthusiasm for the layout has taken a knock recently, but the decision not to exhibit has given me a bit of a boost today, so the plan to finish the layout in the coming months is still on target for the summer and a photo shoot with Railway Modeller.

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I have now finished the bridge and the lake frontage, so my next stage is to texture the road surface, adding the dry stone walls before grass work will begin.

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Meanwhile, I’ve started planning the next layout, which will be a home layout. It will fit nicely alongside the opposite wall and to quite Monty Python, it will be a case of ‘ and now for something completely different’. I don’t want to say much more at the moment, but they do say variety is the spice of life! 🙂

Activity will probably be slowing down on here now, but I hope to post some more content in a month or so.

All the best

Tom

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Stafford Show

I’ve just returned home from an enjoyable day at Stafford Model Railway Exhibition. I was helping out on Phil Greave’s lovely Ellesmere, and after some morning hiccups, settled down nicely. I have to say shunting is becoming the thing I really enjoy, and on Ellesmere it was no exception (especially with a 57XX at the front)!

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I also had chance to look at Phil’s new Hatton’s 14XX….

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I have to say it looks exceptional, a really fine piece of locomotive. Sadly it didn’t run too happy, but this appears to be down to the Ellesmere controllers rather than the loco. As mine will be DCC it should be ok.

Oh and before I forget, I picked this little chap up today from Mister Wright. More on this when it’s weathered.

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The highlight of course, was to catch up with friends and discuss our current projects…that’s what makes the hobby for me.

 

 

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.

 

Back on Track

‘Schools out for summer!’ the lyrics go, and my start to the Summer has been a nasty stomach bug. One week on, and I’m still not quite over it, but I’m getting there. It’s funny the psychological effect something like this can have on you. Last weekend I felt like giving up the whole hobby, and seriously wondered how I could possibly feel positive about the layout again. Thankfully, those feelings have passed and today I began fixing the landscape to the boards.

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Insulation polystyrene two pieces thick glued with PVA, was shaped with a woodlands scenics polystyrene cutter. Some work with a bread knife was required to cut out the area of the moorland road.

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I will now need to do some work in the foreground, but it’s the area along the back scene I wish to get done before Tony Wright comes up to paint the back scene. The polystyrene will covered with modrock before scenic work.

9793 approaches Cwm Prysor with a Bala bound pick up goods.

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She’s home!

With the weather finally dry last night, and with the help of a friend, Cwm Prysor was transported from my workroom, along a narrow landing and down a narrow flight of stairs. I’d forgotten how light the boards are, even at 5ft each so the moving through the house wasn’t as bad as I had envisioned.

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I tried to explain the branch goods workings to two onlookers. I don’t think they were very interested though.

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Next task will be to begin wiring (I’m hanging off finishing the points) just so I can have something running up and down and get use to working the Lenz system.

Only 16 months until it’s first show….. I better crack on! 🙂

Mineral Wagons – Part 1

Keeping with the rolling stock theme in mind, I’ve moved my attention to mineral wagons. I don’t need a mass of them, but I certainly need a few (one/two per pick up goods). To be honest, I’ve been putting off working on a 16T, as I knew I would be venturing into new ground….certainly not a case of a few washes down the body work. I’ve seen various methods of 16T Mineral weathering, the current fad seems to be involve maskol painted over. For me, the result doesn’t cut the mustard (from what I’ve seen). I’ve mentioned Ian’s work before, but the results on 16Ts just look right to me and it’s along similar methods I shall be following. (check out some of Ian’s examples here).

First stage, (as I do with all my unfitted stock) is a repaint with Revell 76.IMG_1944

Bachmann’s grey has always seemed too dark too me, and originally I had intended to retain some of my stock in the original colour for variation, but in the end I couldn’t live with it so now all stock is repainted. The nice thing is that due to weathering, and varying plastic colours, although painted in Revell 76, not one item of unfitted rolling stock is the same colour as the next.

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For a point of reference, where you are looking at now is precisely where Cwm Prysor Station will be. Next to the 16T, is a Bachmann wooden bodied mineral (LMS design I think) which I too have repainted into Revel 76. The wooden bodied wagon has had replacement Romford wheels fitted as the Bachmann wheels were incredibly wobbly (anyone else finding this?)

Both wagons are being a left for a week to allow the paint to harden.

Meanwhile… Cwm Prysor’s home is getting that bit closer….

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That’s all for now folks! 😉