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mick last won the day on October 23

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  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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!?
  5. 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.
  6. Although my collection of coal hoppers and mineral wagons do not fit in with either of my layouts, constructing a rake of weathered and aged wagons of various types has been something I've always wanted to do ever since I became interested in model railways. I already have a short rake of loaded 16t mineral wagons which I've previously weathered and fitted with scale couplings but for the past few years I've also collected a number of hopper wagons and I feel now is the time to do something with them. The following photo shows where things currently stand, eight wagons that can be coupled and run together. There are a few more 16t minerals that need reattaching to their chassis but I have to sort them out first. E270706 still requires its chassis weathering And E306626 is also in need of its chassis weathering B411781 is in slightly better condition but also requires chassis weathering E270706 has seen better days E306626 (duplicate one) has only just received its first coat of enamel both inside and out. I keep altering my technique as I go along and discover what works best for me. I stil prefer using the short piece of sponge with enamel paints to create rust effects but here I've been using pieces of kitchen paper to remove excess paint and tomorrow I'll be giving this one some additional coats. Although individually they may leave a lot to be desired, as a rake of wagons I'm quite pleased with how it's all turning out but there's a long way and a lot more wagons to go yet. I have no idea where I'll be running these when they're finished or whether they'll be loaded or empty. I do prefer loaded coal wagons but there's also a case for a long rake of empties. I'm also undecided about couplings but on this occasion I may stick with the tension locks rather than fiddling about with scale couplings. It would be nice to see them on the garden layout but if they're empty they might just need some additional weight to get through the spring points.
  7. There's been no messing around with sound chips and loco's today, in fact it was late evening before I even ventured up into the attic and so rather than add to my frustrations from the past couple of days I returned to doing what I enjoy doing, and that's distressing some more coal wagons. I've only had an hour or so this evening but armed with a new supply of enamels I have made a bit more progress on the 21t hoppers. However, rather than use the Skew Bridge thread to record future progress I'll start a new thread in the Workbench section.
  8. So I've had a swap about and 60090 Quinag now has one of the TTS sound decoders installed along with the standard speaker and yes, it is relatively straight forward to fit. 60077 has a TTS decoder but with a modified 8ohm mega-bass speaker positioned on the underside of the roof immediately above the interior detailing and with the top part of the detailing removed. 60014 has reverted to the non-sound decoder previously in Quinag. My initial reactions are one of disappointment with the TTS sound. Both of those I have fitted tend to 'hiss' quite a bit and I've tried varying the sound levels to no avail. Both TTS fitted loco's also do a little surge or jump when starting off whereas 60014 moves off very smoothly. I'm not sure why that is or how to overcome it. I am seriously, very seriously, considering what to do about sound fitted locos because I just can't seem to get it how I feel it should be. Only a very few of my sound-fitted models are pleasing to the ear and sound anything like I remember them. I don't expect deep booming bass but there shouldn't be any annoying background hissing or distortion either. I supose I shouldn't expect too much from budget sound decoders though I've had similar experiences in the past with high end sound decoders. Is it worth it I ask myself?
  9. You're correct Barry, Quinag is different from my earlier class 60s. It's had a small cut out to the chassis underneath the exhaust area making room for the standard TTS speaker. There's also the addition of holes in the roof moulding to allow the sound out I imagine. Looking at my class 60 in the lower half of that photo with the standrad speaker taped in position, albeit slightly cut down from its original size, you would think the body would fit back on easily. I've also checked Clic Sargent, my Colas liveried 60, and it also has the chassis mods so I'm not sure now what problems I had with that one. Maybe I was trying an alternative speaker at the time?
  10. That's interesting because I've got Quinag too. Will have to check that one when I go up in the attic.
  11. I'll have to take a look in one of my later 60s and see if there's a difference. The ones in question above, when you first open them up there appears to be plenty of room for a speaker, a nice open space above one of the bogies, but the moulding beneath the exhaust protrudes too far down for that space to be used with the supplied speaker. I am sure that I had the same problem with my Colas 60 which is a pretty recent model (intended for a forthcoming log train!) but would have to double check.
  12. I was using the speaker that came with the decoder Dave. It's quite a low profile but nevertheless, still too deep to fit in the vacant space beneath the exhaust. I've actually seen several Yotube videos with people having the same problem only I didn't realise exactly what their problem had been until I came across it myself. There's the possibility of fitting the speaker at the opposite end but that requires removal of much of the engine room mouldings. The instruction sheet that comes with the decoder mentions something along the lines of "modifications will be required to fit a speaker in a locomotive that has not been designed for TTS sound" so I assume the 60's are included there. I don't believe there have been any factory-fitted TTS class 60's which perhaps says it all. Unfortunately if we wish to have sound in older models like these we have to be prepared to start carving and cutting to make room for a speaker. It's not quite so bad when you paid a reasonable price for the models a few years ago but these days they retail at around £170-£180.
  13. I'm not sure if I've posted photos of these two class 60's before but I've been fitting TTS chips to them today so here's a couple of photos taken shortly after the chips were installed. 60014 'Alexander Fleming' with the EWS 'beastie' logo and 60077 'Canisp' with Mainline branding Now all that might make things sound as if it was much easier than it actually turned out to be but to be perfectly honest it's been another absolute pain. For starters I thought the first decoder was faulty as there was sound but no movement. I tried the second decoder with exactly same outcome. So I tried the decoders in the second loco but encountered the same problem - sound but no movement. However, this time I did notice that the loco leaned over slightly to one side when power was applied so it was actually trying to move. And then realisation hit home - just like the class 56s some time back both these class 60s had siezed due to hardening of the grease on the top worm bearing above each bogie. Neither of these loco's has ever been used - they have been stored from new. There must be thousands of loco's out there, perhaps of all classes and types, that have been purchased new and put away either in storage or on display. It's going to come as quite a shock when people realise just what can happen to them if they aren't put to use. So after dismantling the offending parts, cleaning them off and adding some clean lubricant I was able to install the decoders only to discover that with the speaker installed you can't get the body back on as it catches on the underneath of the exhaust moulding. I've trimmed the speaker housing back as far as I can but it's still just a little bit too big for the body to fit back on so I need some replacement speakers. The TTS class 60 sound isn't particularly exciting but it is about a third of the cost of some other sound decoders. I need to install decoders in order to run the locos on Skew Bridge and a standard non-sound decoder costs only a little bit less than the TTS version so I'm happy to go with these.
  14. Thanks Andrew. Not the best video I've ever done but it was just to show the TEA's in action after initial weathering. I'm more concerned with recording progress on and around the layout rather than creating hit videos. The scenery, especialy the backdrop of trees and shrubs, is actually being added to at frequent intervals but even a dozen little bushes makes very little additional impact. It takes a lot of filling and still looks rather bare in places. I maybe should have gone about it differently but you live and learn.
  15. I suppose this can be looked upon as progress in a way. I have 56003 and 60007 both in the black and orange Loadhaul livery already running on the layout but beneath the boards I also have duplicates of both loco's, purchased some time ago with the intention of renaming them. At one point it seemed I might never get round to doing it and I even considered selling them both not too long ago but today I've finally made a start. I attempted to contact 'Shawplan' by email to place an order for nameplates but I've since discovered that it's nigh on impossible and it appears he doesn't reply to any requests, not even from traders who stock(ed) his products! Apparently he's a one man business and a very busy man, which I can appreciate, but I think customer service should be any businesses main priority. If it's too much trouble then employ someone. Anyway, Fox Transfers were willing and able to help and within a couple of days I had received my order. 56003 is destined to become 56006 'Ferrybridge Power Station' while 60007 will change to 60008 'Gypsum Queen II'. Here's 56 00(6) 'Ferrybridge Power Station', awaiting the numeral 6 on the down loop alongside 56 003 And here's 60 00(8) 'Gypsum Queen II' alongside 60 007. 60 008 requires a decoder hence why it's standing on the ballast rather than on track. I've had a bit of a clean out over the past week or two, trying to get all the railway things in order, and I've renewed my interest in older coal wagons. The 16t minerals in the photo below were from the time I weathered my 16 tonners a number of years ago. They'd been left just as you see them here, 'chassis-less' in the main, and only partly weathered in most cases. I've used some weathering powders on the insides where they had already been painted (trio in the centre top), and used enamel paints on the unpainted inners (quartet to the right) to provide a base for weathering powders later. There's also a trio of 21t hoppers, two that I had already weathered externally so I've now given them a coat of enamels on the inners, and the other one is a previously untouched wagon but I had some paint left over so sploshed it on the inside to give that a key for weathering. Hopefully I'll be able to keep doing some work on these and get them finished sooner rather than later.
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