Alex W's workbench

Discussion in 'Workbenches, including workshop techniques.' started by Alex W, 14 June 2019.

  1. Alex W

    Alex W Active Member

    I’m starting a workbench thread in which to describe construction of some of the models for my Diddington/Upwell Drove and Yelverton projects. It will mainly cover locomotives, rolling stock and buildings I expect, but once layout construction is under way other things, like trees, may appear, and I’ll describe my approach to them when they arise.

    First up is the construction of some locos for the Yelverton project. The first is a class 8750 pannier, which will become 4658 of Laira shed.

    I’ve started with the Bachmann rtr model, which is a nice model, and runs well, but is a bit lacking in some details, which I have added.

    I studies the model, and photographs of the real thing, and read various accounts of improvements to the model, before deciding on the things I wanted to add/change:

    · Add new lamp irons to the front and LH footplate from 1mm wide brass strip.

    · Replace the moulded on lamp irons on the bunker back with GWR style cranked brackets from the Mainly Trains/Wizard models etch.

    · Replace the partially moulded on smokebox door dart. I used a Markits one, but other makes are available.

    · Add the handrail on the footplate above the front steps.

    · Add the sandbox operating levers. I used the RT models etch.

    · Replace the moulded on grilles over the cab rear widows using the Mainly Trains/Wizard models etch.
    7.6.19 threequarter rear.jpg
    The model was them painted and weathered. I am trying to get the look of locomotives that are in use. They aren’t pristine specimins, but neither are they in the terminal state of grubbiness that signifies their declining years. I want them to look like they are being used, and that you would get your hands dirty if you picked them up.

    Weathering techniques are quite personal, and there is no single way of doing things. My preferred technique is to use a mix of Airbrush and powder weathering, with some of the powders applied wet. I have seen others use just dry powders, with no airbrushing or liquid, with great effect. I do like reading about how others approach the task, as there is always something to learn.

    Once the detailing was done to 4658, I gave the body a light spray of Halford grey primer, to blend the plastic and metal parts together. The body was then sprayed with Games Workshop Chaos Black, which gives a pleasing semi matt dirty black finish. I like to vary the shades of black on a model, so some of the areas are picked out in different shades, an idea I first came across in one of Iain Rice’s books. The cab roof was sprayed with a mix of MIG matt black and Model Air anthracite grey. The footplate was sprayed with a similar mix, with some MIG “dark tracks” colour added to it. The chassis, and the lower part of the body were sprayed with a mixture of MIG matt black and ochre bown– about 40% black and 60% ochre. The top of the chimney was sprayed with pure matt black.

    The red buffer beams are painted matt red. Once dry, this is painted with a wash of Humbrol Smoke and Dark Earth weathering powders, mixed with a drop of water and Decalfix. Once dry, most of this is removed with a cotton bud soaked in make up remover, which leaves traces of dirt in crannies and around buffer bases and rivets.

    Coupling rods are brush painted with Humbrol enamels, a mix of gloss tan and metalcote gunmetal.

    Buffer heads are painted Tamiya Matt brown, with a dab of metalcote gunmetal in the centre to represent dried on grease.

    Areas where the paint has worn away, such as handrails and foot steps, ar rubbed with a soft (7B) pencil to leave a slight metallic sheen.

    Powders were applied, mainly Humbrol “Smoke” and “Dark Earth”, lightly brushed on. Patches of oil were added to the coupling rods and wheels centres using MIG “Engine Oil” – brushed on.
    13.6.19 LHS rear.jpg

    The model currently awaits transfers and numberplates, and a little more weathering will be applied when these are fitted.
    Last edited: 19 August 2019
  2. Alex W

    Alex W Active Member

    Next on the workbench is 4588. I started with a Bachmann 4575 in late BR green. I didn’t do a lot of modification on this one. I replaced the smokebox dart with a Markits item and removed the moulded part line on the safety valve cover and boiler sides, by gently scraping with a scalpel, and finishing with 1200 grade wet and dry paper.

    Basic weathering was similar to 4658 above, bur before weathering commenced, I worked over the tank cab and bunker sides with some T-cut on a cotton bud, to give the paintwork a slight sheen. I also repainted the safety valve cover with Humbrol brass. Paint and powders were then applied. I then removed some of the weathering from the tank, cab sides and bunker rear with a cotton bud soaked in make up remover.

    Finishing was as for 4658, and I still await number plates before final finishing.
    In Diddington yard 11.6.19.jpg
    In Diddington yard 11.6.19.jpg
    Weathered 11.6.19.jpg

    Attached Files:

  3. NHY 581

    NHY 581 Western Thunderer

    Lovely looking locos, Alex.

    I think you have acheived your aim regarding the appearance you are after.

    What's next?

  4. Alex W

    Alex W Active Member

    Thanks Rob. They are not quite done they need Numberplates and glazing, and the weathering on 4658 still needs a couple of tweaks. Perhaps something for them to pull?....but Upwell Drove is clamouring for attention.
  5. Alex W

    Alex W Active Member

    Currently on my work bench is the down platform building for my Yelverton project. It’s being built from plastic card, and I have spent some time thinking about the construction of the windows for this building. To my mind they give it some of it’s character, so it was important to get them right.

    The sides of the building are made from Slaters planked plastic card. The window apertures were marked on the card, but they were cut out some .5mm wider all round. The external framing of the sides is made from Plastruct strip. This was stuck in place in it’s correct position round the windows, which left a small rebate behind the framing and flush with the planked side.

    The outer part of the window frames, including the horizontal bar between the upper and lower parts of the windows, was cut out of 10thouh plastic sheet. This was then trimmed to fit the rebate, and glued in place with liquid solvent.

    Glazing bars were made from .4mm Plastruct rod. The positions of the glazing bars were marked out on the inside of the walls, and tacked in place with solvent. The horizontal bars were made from a single piece of rod on each wall. This ensured that the glazing bars on adjoining apertures were at the same height. This process leaves the glazing bars away from the frames by about 10 thou. This was rectified by individually cutting through each glazing bar where it passed from the wall panel to the window frame, and sticking it to the frame with solvent.

    This is what it looked like before a coat of primer:


    And after:

    I plan to glaze the windows with real glass, using microscope slide cover slips. The ones I have are square, and about 10 thou thick. I made a spacer for the sides, with the apertures behind the windows large enough for an 18mm square glazing piece to be slipped in. I then fitted inner sides to these, with packing pieces round the window apertures to ensure that when the glazing is slipped in after painting, it is held securely against the glazing bars.

    Finally, a couple of pictures of progress on the buiding so far:

    Attached Files:

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  6. Alex W

    Alex W Active Member

    Recently I've been working on a model of the down platform building at Yelverton for my Yelverton project. My previous post was about how I tackled the windows. Here's some pictures of the nearly finished building:

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  7. Alex W

    Alex W Active Member

    This post isn't so much "what's on my work bench?" but part of my work bench, but as it provides an essential part of the production process, I though it was appropriate to post about it here.
    A little while ago I built myself a spraybooth. A number of people have commented on it, so I though it might be of interest to a wider audience.
    The sprayboot started life a a tall kitched cupboard, which for many years provided storage on the garage. It was gettimng rickety, so I dismatled it, and realised I could use the material to produce a purpose built spray booth.
    The cabinet was cut down to approximately half it's height. A removable shelf it fitted, about six inches up from the bottom of the cabinet. The shelf forms the lid of a box at the bottom of the cabinet. This shelf is the working area. A row of holes are drilled at the back of the shelf, and a bathroom type extractor fan is fitted below the floor, at the side of the cabinet. This vents through the workshop wall into the garage. When switched on, the extracor draws dust and vapour out of the spraying area. The full extent of it's effectiveness was revealed to me when I removed the shelf for photography. The floor and the extractor fan cover were covered with dust and paint particles which had been extracted from the cabinet.

    Illumination of the cabinet is provided by a set of led kitchen lights fitted to the roof of the cabinet. Sitting on top of the cabinet is a plant propagator which provides a dust free environment for containing models while the paint dries.

    On the shelf, I use a cake icing turntable to put models on when I am working on them. The wooden blocks are used to support models being painted.


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  8. Sully

    Sully Member

    Alex....... I motorised my 'turntable' using an old drive from a redundant microwave oven!

    I still wear a mask as well.
    Alex W likes this.
  9. Alex W

    Alex W Active Member

    I've just been inspecting our microwave. Liz is now regarding me with extreme suspicion.
    Sully likes this.