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  • Recent Posts

    • Just a brief update today as I've not done too much again but I thought it might be of interest to show how the two wagons pictured above turned out after having their second coats this evening. I wonderred which would turn out better, one painted with dark colour first and then rust on top and the other painted in a rust undercoat with darker colour on top. The following 2 photos show how the darker one turned out after having a top coat of rust colour applied It doesn't look too bad, just a bit too brown overall for my liking, so I'll be adding another coat of dirt colour tomorrow when it has dried. The one first painted rust I think has turned out much better with a layer of dirt added I really like that one so in future it's going to be rust colours underneath, which I suppose is prototypical, and dirt on top. I'll post these next 3 photos to show the method I've used on the next 2 wagons bearing in mind that it's rust colour as the base coat. Firstly the rusty brown colour is roughly painted on to the panels and stippled with a piece of sponge when tacky to give it some texture. Small pieces of sponge will b reak away and adhere to the enamel but that just adds to the effect in my opinion. Then I drop on some neat white spirit with a paintbrush and dab it off gently with some kitchen roll to leave some of the original wagon colour showing surrounded by ther remaining rust. And here's a close up of a panel that I have stippled with the sponge to create the rust texture. I might even leave this entire panel this way for a bit of variety  
    • I was up in the attic again earlier doing some more weathering to the hoppers and just before I came down I took some photos of my latest attempts, only to find that they look very much like the ones I posted above yesterday. I would like to point out that I'm not exclusively into heavy distressing and that some of those I've done look in pretty good condition like the one below. The interior still needs seeing to, the chassis as well needs doing, but it makes a change from some of the others I've been doing. In the next two photos, both are very similar but I'm just trying this out to see which colour is best to begin with. I add several coats of enamels to the heavily weathered ones and this is how I normally begin. Firstly a rusty coloured one.... ...followed by a darker coloured one   Both the above wagons wil have another couple of coats This next one was originally started in rust colour before layers of dirt were added on top. Initially it didn't look quite right but I've gone over the bits of remaining grey paint with some white spirit to clean them off a bit and make them stand out more. One of the benefits with using a piece of sponge on tacky enamel paint is that pieces of sponge break away and stick to the paint which I think resembles rust as seen above. Doing the rusty wagons is immensely satisfying. I don't think a few like this will look out of place but it does need balancing with some better condition ones. I suppose it all depends on what era I'm trying to portray but I'l have to get back to you on that one as I have no idea just yet.
    • Again, here's just a small selection of some of the photos I've managed to take while out and about walking, and in some cases while at home. Many of these things we would normally just pass by without noticing but if you take your time to look there's an endless amount of subjects to photograph. A wild orchid. Found along a pathway we regularly walk along, and there were lots of them, but we've never stopped to look closely before. Since we started noticing, there are literally hundreds of them, especially along the Leeds & Liverpool Canal towpath. Taken in the back garden. So small you wouldn't have even noticed it but this little fly is, I think, a member of the Sapromyza family. I hadn't found it easy to get a really good photo of these at the time. There always seemed to be part of it out of focus, but this is a Common Blue Damselfly. And this was back-breaking work, much like building a garden railway. but I did manage to get this nice photo of a Grasshopper
    • The lighting does give it an atmosphere, lots more lighting needed though. To a certain extent it hides the unfinsihed bits too 😂. My Dad had his original 3-rail Hornby layout from when he was a boy, we had an 8x4' layout when I was a boy and I had presents of various trains and locos during my childhood which I still have. Dad worked for BREL through my childhood, first at Springburn Works in Glasgow and then moved to BREL's Head Office in Derby before a spell at York Works. He moved on from ABB as it was then when it was rapidly contracting out of the rail industry. I call it Dad's layout because it is in his garage and I'm not there much of the time. Most of my current fleet stays at Dad's until I have somewhere to run it properly at home. Home has mostly been a workshop up until now. The two fleets mostly overlap, I have a bit more blue-grey stuff where Dad sticks to sectorisation era. The blue-grey stuff tends to come home with me though.
    • The lighting looks really good Barry, it gives the layout a whole new perspective. I know you keep referring to this as your Dad's layout but it's clearly something you spend a lot of time on yourself too. How did the layout come about? Was it a mutual interest? We've also seen a lot of your stock running on the layout - does your Dad have similar interests or does he quickly remove your stock once you've left!?
    • So, just to prove that the work I've been doing at on my Dad's layout is real. Here are a couple of photos with the main lights in the garage off and just the lights on the railway on. First is a view of the Western end of the station, both pictures were taken on my phone which makes the scene brighter than it looks to the naked eye, I think that the real light intensity is more natural than it shows in the pictures. The transformer for the lights is set at 9v rather than the 12v the lights are intended to run at so even with higher value resistors they are still coming across bright in the pictures. I've posted pictures of the 158 in Platform 1 before and behind it is my blue-grey HST set. Second picture is a view from the Eastern end and shows more of the platform lights and the concrete footbridge built from two ratio kits and some odd bits and bobs. There is still some detailing and lighting to be put on the bridge and it will need weathered. A retaining wall needs to go behind Platform 4 along the back wall and a backscene behind that. I'm encouraging my Dad to do the retaining wall soon so I can finish the station lighting with a row of single lights along it the same design as the doubles I've used on Platform 1 around the station building and between platforms 2 and 3 in the centre.  
    • Lockdown taught me there's much to be admired even in your own back yard though it took me some time to get the following two photos The bee photos required a lot of patience, especially capturing them in flight, but the next ones were quite a bit easier. Even in flight, hoverflies were a doddle compared to bees.  
  • Image Comments

    • Hi Mate, Many thanks for the advise. I'll do some investigating when I have some time. Cheers,  Marcus
    • Athearn are a reliable brand. It sounds like your points may be too small a radius.
      I would try to open it up and see if you can re-gauge the wheels you speak of.
      Ideally an NMRA gauge is your best friend, but I've found turning the loco upside down and sliding a piece of set track, or identical kind of point over the wheels will show you what is going on.
      No fun having a new loco fail on the layout. 
    • Hi Mate, thanks for the feedback. This is an SD751. I'll take a good look at the bogies/wheel axles when I have some time. It seems like one of the middle wheel axles doesn't have any lateral movement. It could be a lemon loco, or just a design fault. Having been used to European locos (Trix, Brawa, Roco etc.) and Bachmann Branchline UK stock which are mostly great runners,  I was expecting something better out of the box. Maybe 3 axle bogies aren't really suited to tighter radius curves.
  • Recent Status Updates

    • Marcus

      Hi all, though you might like my video of my Blue Pullman set. It's vintage Triang Hornby (Couldn't afford the Bachmann one!). Runs really well. I just love the blue and white livery!
      · 0 replies
    • John Barnacle

      Hi all
      I know this has probably been asked before but what is the best track for garden use?
      · 2 replies
    • 40027

      Garden railway novice ,railway in planning stage
      footpaths to cross/dive under and a planned pool for kids to navigate around
      · 1 reply
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