4mm Life in a Northern Town - Population Explosion

Discussion in 'Area 51' started by Neil, 18 August 2016.

  1. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    Strictly speaking now that Morfa has gone, everything is a distraction, viz. a subject for Area 51 rather than something Western or large scale; I thought it might be a good idea to separate out the different strands of distraction, so here goes.

    Though I can't see myself building any more EM gauge stock, I can't yet contemplate a wholesale conversion of my existing toys back to OO. Efforts of late have involved a mix of retail therapy and trawling through boxes of unfinished projects to see what I can muster. Big (for me) ticket retail therapy came in the shape of an 8F, a loco I've always liked and one which I'd never contemplated in EM as the thought of conversion put me off. I posted an out of the box photo in 'distractions' but to retain some modelling credibility, here it is part way through the weathering process..

    ts 01.jpg

    That was going to be that as far as shopping was concerned until I was offered a 9F for twenty five quid. Unused and as new I just couldn't resist. Yesterday I took of the printed 'Cock of the North' nameplates that Hornby applied; today it's been running in on my circle of set track. It too will need weathering.

    ts 02.jpg

    Meanwhile on a more wallet friendly tack I'm a reasonable way through tarting up one of my stash of Hornby 25s. Work done on the body so far includes removal of the paint guide lines on the cab front and corners, similar surgery on the cab nose handrails, extending the nose doors upwards so that they finish in the right place in relation to the windows, reinstating the detail lost in that process and finally attending to the exhaust arrangements on the roof.

    ts 03.jpg

    ts 04.jpg

    I've also lowered the chassis on the bogies, which improves the 'sit' of the model. I spent quite a long time engineering out a lean to one side when the model was assembled. Eventually I tracked it down to the un-powered bogie which had one axle slot at one corner less deep than the other three causing the whole thing to cant over. Five minutes with a file to cure but a couple of hours to diagnose.
    Terrysvr, Geoff, steve1 and 8 others like this.
  2. Waveydavey

    Waveydavey Member

    One of the other issues with the Hornby 25 is that the centre windscreen is a bit shallow. I have measured the visible glass height as 346mm.
    I've also measured the 'nose' as 1560mm tall.

    A combination of deepening the centre window and raising the nose should do the trick. Both James Wells and Jim Smith Wright have done this with excellent results. I think a bit of extra depth to the cab front and sides helps too.
  3. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    Thanks for the observations WD, the centre windscreen height isn't something that I've noticed or had brought to my attention before. I'll compare model to books when I next head upstairs to the playroom/workshop. I'm not sure that I'll end up deepening the centre window though as it's one of those jobs that's made more challenging by the need to match one's work with the pleasantly restrained Hornby moulding. Over time I've become more inclined to leave stuff out if I can't make a subtle job of it. Ideally I'd like the model to look more like the real thing but without it being obvious that I've done anything to it. It's not a dissimilar ambition to the composer, writer or film maker who would like the audience to get caught up in the emotion of their work without all the clever mechanisms and devices which enable that being obvious. Quite obviously I'm setting myself up to fail, in public too but I might as well have a stab at it.
    PMP, y6tram and steve1 like this.
  4. Threadmark: BR ferry van

    Neil Western Thunderer

    The latest project to occupy my workbench has been a pair of BR ferry vans. Over at the other place there is a long running thread 'Hornby's Best Ever Models' which seemed like it might show some promise as a discussion piece at the outset but which quickly wandered off at a less fruitful tangent. I'll admit to not really seeing the worth in the Triang Hornby ferry vans until relatively recently, being put off by the swivelling wheel sets and toy like sliding doors. Having seen Karl Crowther's lovely rebuild of the basic rtr model, I thought that I'd have a go myself but to a more basic standard. Here's my starting point ....

    ferryvan 2.jpg

    .... and something close to the finished thing.


    The underframe has been lowered onto the pivoting wheel assemblies which have been rigidly fixed in place. The sliding door was fixed in place and the supports for its lower edge removed from the underframe. The circular moulded bump in the centre of the roof filed flush and the small square holes in the body side just to the left of the door filled in. I swapped the large Triang tension locks for the smaller and neater Bachmann examples and arranged for them to pivot. Paint is from rattle cans, Halfords grey primer for the roof and a cheapo, generic red oxide for the body. Transfers are from Railtec and were fixed with a waft of Dulcote once dry. Still to do are to pick out the anchor points in yellow and some tasteful weathering.
    Geoff, allegheny1600, Simon and 6 others like this.
  5. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    Nice work on a prototype not often modelled. Let alone seen on exhibition layouts along with their DB, SNCB, FS counterparts.
    allegheny1600 likes this.
  6. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    It looks as though I'm not quite as near finishing the ferry vans as I first thought.

    ferryvan 3.jpg

    This afternoon I started to apply paint to the anchor points on the underframe and out of habit (presumably because we read and write that way) I started at the left. After the third one the penny dropped that the last one on the right hand side was missing. My first thought was that I had inadvertently carved the blighter off while I was removing the door supports at this quarter of the underframe. I checked the other side and the other van; all missing, surely I can't have been so consistently stupid. A quick check for photos of pristine Hornby vans on the internet showed the omision was Hornby's and not mine. My next job will be to fabricate four anchor points to the same style and dimensions of the Hornby ones. No big deal but a slight disappointment as I was enjoying the instant lift to the model that picking out the anchor points in pale yellow gave.
    Geoff likes this.
  7. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    Yesterday I attended to the missing anchor points, first by marking out, drilling and cutting these strips from 20 thou black plasticard.

    ferryvan 4.jpg

    I used the long tail of each strip to form the part of the bracket on the front face of the solebar and its angle out over the bottom lip. Once set I cut the anchor point itself a little over length and fixed it in place. Once that was set I trimmed it back and painted it to match the other three on each side.

    ferryvan 5.jpg

    During this process I was more concerned with it matching those moulded onto the van rather than it being the most accurate representation. Here's the finished van, the second of the pair, with an earlier style of markings. Transfers again from Railtec.

    ferryvan 6.jpg

    I think that I'm more taken with this earlier style than the 'flying crate' branding; perhaps it's because it's markedly different from the familiar forms released by Triang Hornby or perhaps it's because it appears to be very much a diesel era van but with a graphics that hark back to the fifties and the age of steam. There are a good few vans worth of transfers left on the sheet, I could be tempted to add another when I next spot a Triang model at a good price.
  8. steve1

    steve1 Western Thunderer

    Have you rewheeled them?

  9. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    Yes I have, they both run on current spec Hornby wheels; a straightforward drop in replacement.
  10. Threadmark: SR Night Ferry brake van

    Neil Western Thunderer

    After the ferry vans something equally international in nature.

    ferry brake 01.jpg

    For the last few years I've had a bit of a thing for the Night Ferry, and in particular for the last Night Ferry. I believe that these vans were taken out of international service in 1960 but applying the 'my railway' rule I'm happy to bend time in order to suit my desires. In my estimation I'm in good company as anyone who has read the late Denis Allenden's piece in Model Railways on the transportation of wine will realise.

    ferry brake 03.jpg
    The sides should be an easy bash from the Parkside SECR van kit, cut away the two centre panels, open out windows on the blank sides of the door and scratchbuild the guards compartment to match. The ends call for a decision which I have yet to make. Ideally the roof shape will be a bit flatter and so will the profile of the ends, However with the more rounded ends as moulded the birdcage will still project a sensible amount. The question is do I accept the incorrect curvature of the roof and ends, which will probably be neater than any alternative I can come up with or do I accept a less well crafted but correct shape?

    ferry brake 02.jpg
  11. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    I've always had a fascination about this ever since travelling on one of the Night Ferry boats to from Dover to Dunkirque in the late 1960's as a kid when my father manage to wangle a visit to the train ferry deck to see the Wagon Lits.

    A few years ago I managed to secure a copy of the book Night Ferry by George Behrend and Gary Buchanan giving the history of the train from 1936 to 1980. If you haven't seen it already there is a BTF film titled Link Span about the BR continental ferry services. It's in the BTF collection volume five Off The Beaten Track.

    I look forward to your conversion of the SEC utility van.
    Neil likes this.
  12. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    I know that the title says 'workbench' and not 'shopping cart' but I thought I'd show two gifts and an indulgence as they look set to slightly alter part of the London layout.

    brew 01.jpg

    Dodo arrived on Christmas eve and the pair of wagons were presents from friends. I had been wondering how Dodo would fit into the scheme of things, the grain hopper in particular points the way to having a brewery as a lineside industry. It would explain the splendid lined livery rather than the grime and grot more often seen in other industries.

    The last couple of days haven't just been about unwrapping presents and recovering from gluttony. The utility brake van for the night ferry has been started.

    ferry brake 04.jpg

    Filler was applied to the planking where the new window frames were to go and sanded flat when dry. The frames have been built up from lengths of microstrip. Holes have been drilled in the centre of the framed area, a piercing saw used to rough cut the bulk of the material away before finishing with craft knife and file.

    ferry brake 05.jpg
  13. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    Many thanks for the suggestion Dave. I've managed to find 'Link Span' here on you-tube; it's the second of the two films and starts at 28:50. The railway interest kicks in part way through but it's all well worth watching. There are some lovely segments of loading freight onto the Ostend - Harwich ferry and their unloading in London before getting into the section about the Night Ferry itself. Right at the end there are some beautiful street scenes of a warm and sunny Paris; make me want to dust off the passport and see what bargains Eurostar have on offer.
  14. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    Back from day dreaming about Paris to the realities of plastic bashing. I've now cut up the kit sides and spent some time scribing 40 thou plasticard for the guards compartment sides.

    ferry brake 06.jpg

    I've set out to make the single guards compartment window the same way as I made the extra ones each side of the doors, with a microstrip frame enclosing an area which I'll open out later.
  15. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    Another day of pottering about has brought the project to a pleasing state where I can see a SR night ferry brake emerging from the collection of hacked and handmade pieces. Here's how it's come together this morning.

    ferry brake 07.jpg

    ferry brake 08.jpg

    ferry brake 09.jpg

    In the background of the above shot can be seen the battered and warped van which set off the thought processes. It's also already given up its roof and is on standby for further organ donation should the necessity arise.

    ferry brake 10.jpg

    ferry brake 11.jpg
    It's a slightly weird coincidence that both Simon and I are tackling brake vans in plastic and though of different types and in different scales we seem to be making similar progress.
    Geoff, Pencarrow, Peter Cross and 7 others like this.
  16. Simon

    Simon Flying Squad

    I do like that, very satisfyingly "different" to the starting point and a very nice prototype to be aiming for too.

    I've had to put my brake van down to catch up with a few tasks in the "real world" but thought I'd just take a quick look in here with my coffee, glad I did now...

    Happy New Brake Van Year:)

  17. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    ... and why not? It's the 4mm - sorry, it's the OO way, I believe ;) I hope you had an exciting time Opening The Boxes. :drool::))
  18. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    Now for the roof. Having achieved a nice smooth surface all over I marked out the area of the birdcage and roughly hacked it out with a cutting disk, filing out to the final size. I found a section of 40 thou plasticard which I had already formed into a not dissimilar radius to that of the lookout so it was trimmed to fit into the hole in the roof; trial and error played its part here. Further 40 though was shaped and cut to suit the ends of the birdcage section and stuck into place and all the bits where the bits didn't fit clagged up with filler. I used a lot of filler.

    ferry brake 12.jpg

    Some sanding and tidying up later and the roof doesn't look too bad from the outside. The inside isn't pretty at all but no one will get to see that once the model is painted and assembled.

    ferry brake 13.jpg
    Terrysvr, Geoff, Peter Cross and 10 others like this.
  19. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    A very neat job there Neil :thumbs:.

    It really needs to be finished in CIWL blue and joined by a SNCF Fourgon and a half dozen type F Wagon Lits. Not forgetting the L1 and Battle of Britain ;).
  20. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    Thank you Dave, I intend to finish it in Wagon Lits blue. The transfers are on order but while I think I have some Humbrol or Revel enamel of the correct shade I'd really prefer to find a decent rattle can match. Upstairs in my playroom I've dug out a pair of type F sleepers but they're the HO Playcraft items.