Sunday, October 31, 2010

Progress Report 33

As you can see from Progress Report 32 and from more recent posts, I have been fairly busy over the summer adding the finishing touches to various projects which had been started through the year. I like to keep more than one project on the go at any one time. Often, something I'm constructing needs to be left for a few days while the glue or paint sets, so having something else to get on with is useful. Also, when working full time, I've have had to seize moments to do a bit more modelling whenever time permits, often (as at this moment) I'll do some modelling (or blogging) while watching TV in the evening. Having a range of projects on the go means I can choose a job which is most appropriate for doing in the living room. For some reason noisy jobs (eg sawing) or smelly jobs (eg gluing or painting) don't seem to be too popular with the other half when she's trying to watch the telly. Anyway, the projects I am currently working on are:
  • Chipping, repainting and detailing the Barclay loco;
  • Finishing off the Hunslet loco kit;
  • Weathering some LGB tippler wagons.

Chipping, repainting and detailing the Barclay loco
As can be seen from Progress Report 26, the Barclay loco was in hand painted brown livery when it was bought secondhand. It therefore needed to be repainted in Brunswick green and lined in gold to bring it into line with the loco liveries for the Peckforton Railway. After rubbing down the loco I decided it wouldn't be necessary to apply undercoat. What I hadn't realised was that the solvent used in Humbrol acrylic aerosol paint acted as an effective paint stripper for the paint used originally on the loco. This meant I had to do some extensive additional rubbing down, priming and undercoating before applying three coats of Brunswick Green, rubbing down between each coat to try and achieve a half decent finish. The finish is not exactly perfect, but it is not bad considering what it was like before.

The black was repainted by hand with (water-based) acrylics. The next job is to apply gold lining with Trimline adhesive tape.

A Massoth L chip has been wired in and the loco has been programmed to DCC No. 2. Nameplates (BEESTON) and number plates have been ordered from Alan Briggs and will be added once the paintwork and lining has been finished and sealed with clear varnish.

Finishing off the Hunslet loco kit

The bodywork has been constructed (See How I constructed a Hunslet from a GRS kit) and it is now at the painting stage. I find painting the most daunting part of the kit-building process and, for me, it is the most time consuming. The Peckett was around 18 months in the paint shop as I kept trying to improve upon previous mistakes. One of the difficulties I've yet to overcome is spray-drift. When painting one side of a model or round the curve of the boiler or chimney, excess spray drifts on to previously sprayed areas and dulls them down. If I find a solution, I will be delighted (and will share this with the world at large!)

Weathering some tippler wagons

With two trains of eight tippler wagons (actually I have nineteen tipplers, but have decided that eight wagons per train plus guards' van is more manaegeable for the passing loops on the line). I have slowly been accumulating these through eBay until I've now reached the optimum number. I've always planned to weather these mainstays of the line as they have very heavy useage. So far, I've managed to weather one set (see How I weathered some LGB tippler wagons) using Scenic Rust.

I've also permanently coupled them in rakes of four wagons. As these trains are unlikely ever to be split and shunted separately it seemed wasteful of couplings to have them loose coupled. It also released loads of LGB couplings to act as spares for other stock. I decided not to permanently couple all eight together. If one wagon falls off the line on the elevated section, it would take the other seven with it - as I found from experience and, of course, sods' law prevailed - it was in the hidden section which is the least accessible. I'm wondering how long I will contine to be able to squirm into the undergrowth on my stomach commando-style.

At this stage I have decided to stick with LGB couplings as standard on the line. Although they are not realistic, they are reliable. I have several R1 points and a few curves equivalent to R1 on the line and so need something which will cope. I've decided also to add hooks to both ends of all stock. Despite my best efforts there are some dips in the trackwork (particularly at the end of the swing bridge) which means that the hooks can drop out of the adjacent loop. In addition, I have a reversing loop which could result in some stock becoming reversed, ending up with two hookless bars being presented for coupling.The release of the couplings from the tipplers has enabled me to have sufficient spare hooks for any future additions to the rolling stock.

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