The Post Before Christmas………..

My workbench is somewhat cluttered at the moment due to numerous projects being held up as I await various bits and pieces to arrive in the post. So I am taking each project as far as I can to keep my modelling momentum going. I first turned my attention to the water tower which had been waiting for its stonework to be carved for almost twelve months.

The building had previously been covered in DAS modelling clay, and sprayed in acrylic primer. So I started off by pencilling some horizontal and vertical guidelines as it is very easy to wander of course when carving stones. The stonework was carved with an old gramophone needle held in a pin vice, the resulting DAS powder being brushed off the surface every few stones so I could see what I was doing. I find that the pin vice and needle gives me better control, as well as being more comfortable to hold than a scriber. But frequent breaks were still needed to prevent my fingers and thumb from seizing up!

The water tower in situ on the layout, the window frame is a laser cut component from the ‘LCUTS’ range, once the stonework has been painted it will be fitted in place along with a scratch built door. An etched ladder giving access to the tank, and some pipework will complete the model. This area of the layout is currently being developed scenically, then the water column will be painted and fitted in place. The yard hut nearest the camera will be of wooden construction, the other will be clad in corrugated iron sheets.

I have removed the buffer stop at the end of the engine release and intend stabling a condemned goods van there. A couple of old sleepers laid across, and chained to the track will also be added. The GWR filled some old iron mink bodies with concrete, added a buffer beam across one end and anchored them directly to the rails, so that is another option. If I went down that route then I would scratch build an iron mink body out of styrene sheet.

Clumps of Silflor / MiniNatur late autumn grass are now taking root around the platform. Other scenic materials such as Woodland Scenics burnt grass coarse turf, and various Greenscene static grasses are also being added as I go along. Some ‘bosky’ trees will be planted to the left of the goods van to blend in with the trees on the backscene. The GWR spear fencing is a Peco product and just being tried in place for the moment.

At the other end of the layout I have come up with the final design for the lime kilns, and have started to detail the bridge. The bridge abutments and kiln have been constructed from 3mm ‘Palight’ foamboard, and will be covered in DAS modelling clay once I can get my hands on fresh supplies.

The siding is now being reclaimed by nature, or in this case homemade grass tufts. They were planted as ballasting was taking place rather than being plonked on top of it. There is still plenty of work to be done on the track work in this area, such as painting the rails and chairs, not to mention weathering the ballast. The buffer stop originally protected the end of the engine release and is a modified Peco kit. I thought it would be easier to detail if the parts were reassembled on a separate subbase. The wooden buffer beam is simply two ply sleepers glued together, and drilled to fit the same locating pegs as the kit components. The modifications to the kit can be seen below………………..

I have also returned to the Slater’s RCH 7 plank wagon which had been patiently waiting to be painted and weathered for what seems an age. To recap I fitted interior detailing etches from the D.J Parkins range to this model, along the body top strapping and securing brackets. Then I sprayed the whole model in grey acrylic primer and set it aside to dry whilst I continued with more urgent projects. Six months later I started to weather the wagon using some techniques by Martyn Welch that can be found in his book on the subject, and in his article on painting unpainted wagons that appeared in MRJ No.262.

Lettering is from the superb Railtec range, an end door version of this wagon is currently under construction, but when it will be completed is anyone’s guess.

The same wagon under different lighting conditions, I started off by painting the chassis in chocolate and then dry brushed light earth around the springs, ‘W’ irons and brake gear. Gunmetal metacote was dry brushed down the axle boxes to represent oil and grease streaks, the brake lever being treated in the same manner. Moving onto the body, natural wood was dry brushed along the planks, and the strapping was picked out in a mix of dark earth and gunmetal metacote. The interior was painted in Precision paints weathered wood and dry brushed with natural wood, all paints are Humbrol matt enamels unless otherwise stated. At the moment the wagon is waiting for a wash of Precision paints dirty black, but until I can get my hands on some thinners that job will have to wait.

So to keep things moving I picked up the goods shed and made a start on adding some Slater’s corrugated iron sheeting. But even this job is being held up due to the current unavailability of moulded nuts, bolts and washers, which should be arriving from the USA early in the New Year. The remaining section of roof will be added once the doors have been fitted. Fortunately there is a enough work on this model to keep me busy until Christmas. The canopy supports have been made from some Basswood strip that I had left over from one of my aero modelling projects. It is a lovely material to work, cutting cleanly and is easy to carve should the need arise.

In case you are wondering there is plenty of clearance between the canopy support and the roof of the van. It looks rather tight because I have not put the goods shed in its correct position. So there we are, I doubt there will be another update this year, but you never know. Thank you for following my modelling exploits, and for your comments over the last twelve months.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone.


7 thoughts on “The Post Before Christmas………..

  1. Nice to see some really good progress Geoff, the layout is coming along very nicely!

    Merry Christmas and a hopefully much happier New Year to you and yours


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Prompt fulfilment of orders is a bit of a problem right now, for fairly obvious reasons which I am sure we all understand and accept.
    It’s been my personal experience, shared by a friend in North America, that communication from suppliers isn’t good: just let us know, that’s all I am asking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. On the whole I am not complaining given the current situation, in many cases it is my poor stock keeping that has let me down:-) But I do agree with you about poor communications, certain suppliers just don’t give two hoots once they have taken your money, and one of these days I’m going to publish my blacklist 🙂


      1. I have had no dealings with POW Sides but agree with you about Slater’s, and I will happily add the following….. DJ Parkins, H&A Models, MSE / Wizard Models, Invertrains, Minerva Models, Model Scenery Supplies, Greenscene, Modelu and anyone else who is mentioned in my posts:-)



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