Penlowry

Chronicling the development of my Cambrian and Narrow Gauge 4mm scale model railway


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Rolling the wicket

Difficult to keep away from the cricket especially as we’ve a cracking test series on at present. So imagine it’s between innings and the groundsmen have gone out to roll the wicket. A tractor drives round the ground driven by Mini-me…

Yes we’re back on the tractor again. Actually I’ve finished. I have the trailer still to do but I’ve done as much as I want to on the tractor. I hope Mini-me likes it at the back end of July when he gets it.

I finished it off with a characteristic yellow stripe and logos, and a few suggestions in the engine bay of the gubbins. A few pictures below. 

   
       


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Royal visitor

My cousin (the youngest of the mob) is into his railways too. Actually he knows far more than anybody should know about railways. The chance of him doing anything but working on the railways when he leaves his schooling behind is pretty much nil. 

His latest acquisition came visiting this afternoon to my healing desk. 

He had had two incidents with it, firstly stripping the thread from the screw holding the tender drawbar to the tender. The Elder Statesman had taken the offending screw home because, being a model engineer, buying a new screw is out of the question when you can knock one up in half an hour. 

The loco came to me for repair of its draincock pipe work which had broken when the loco suffered an earth fault on the Ebor model railway group’s layout recently, and it’s cab steps which had also had an attachment problem. 

  
Superglue on the end of a pin solved both those issues while the loco snugly rested in my homemade cradle. 

Examining the model afterwards, the detail is superb. Things have certainly moved on a pace from when I was younger and compromise was the norm. An excellent model. 

  


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Silly mid on

The pavilion continues. I have decided that the pavilion will be hosting a wedding. This may be because the day t’missus and I tied the knot we had the reception in a pavilion. Posher one than this model – it was at a school. It was also in Australia so it could be outside as well as in the pavilion. Not so common in the UK! 

  
I have therefore ordered 100 standing people and a wedding scene. They’ll be a couple of mm too small because they’re HO but to be quite frank I don’t think you’ll notice with them being inside. After all the main role is for them to hide the very empty interior. 


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Camouflage 

I was waiting for my train home from work the other day and saw another part of normal railway “furniture” as people like to call it. 

  
You don’t often see this modelled but earth bonding is an essential part of the railway. This bonding ensures the girder bridge and the rails are at the same potential- critical with any line, but particularly electrified lines, to prevent electric shocks. 

It occurred to me that use of earth bonding would make a really good camouflage for the power feed for a model railway. You could, in this case, even run the cables down the bridge parapet to under the baseboard. 


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Tea interval

While I continue to contemplate the interior of the pavilion, I have not been idle. 

T’missus is expecting Mini-me2 at the end of July. T’missus has become a bit of a whizz at getting bargains from FB groups recently and came up trumps again. To ensure Mini-me doesn’t feel left out at the arrival of Mini-me2, Mini-me2 has got Mini-me a present; a tractor to be precise.

It arrived some time ago and looked well used. The stickers had suffered and were peeling all over. A quick scan on eBay got me some new logos and some lengths of vinyl normally used by boy racers to try and make their cars look like they go faster than they can actually afford. 

It is a slow process as it can only be worked on when Mini-me is not in attendance but earlier this week I got a good couple of hours in and it starting to look the part. 

  

I’m taking the opportunity to update the image so it will look less like this (which it did):

 And more like this: 

   
It works on the railways so why not on tractors?! <phew, back on topic>

 


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Chinaman

I managed to snatch an hour tonight so continued the pavilion. 

The new laser cut parts (without which this kit wouldn’t be possible) are crisp but need a little cutting out of the fret. To clean up the corners, I used a 5 sided cutting broach. Not really what they’re designed for but a file is too rough for the work. 

 
The new precision glue bottles from Metcalfe are a good investment. I admit I was a little hesitant when I first saw them thinking the end of a pin would do just as well but I’ve been converted. They are excellent for this fine work. 

  

For the final assembly of the steps I used superglue. For fiddly things it can be the best option but you do need to do a dry run first and then take a brave pill since there’s no second chance – I use the gel which is quick setting but doesn’t run which is ideal for this. 

 
Finally  I built the porch which was a dream to fit, fixed the steps on using the superglue on the end of a pin technique to join the step handrails to the porch uprights, and then built the start of the dormer roof with clock set to five to four. 
  
A trial run with the roof does show I need to fit some kind of interior. I’m thinking some cricketers and spectators in the windows to draw the eye away from the bare background. 


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Googly

Continuing the pavilion construction…

 
Construction is straightforward and it’s worth clamping everything as it sets to get rid of any gaps. Black straight lines don’t look real in any setting. 

Note in the view above I have used some scrap card to glue the infills to the door windows in place so my doors are bereft of windows. I generally do something like this on every kit somewhere to make sure mine isn’t “factory default”. 

The cotton wool buds are used to clear any glue out of the window frames or any other unwanted areas. It’s always worth doing that while the glue is wet, and remember to wipe the glue from the cotton bud before using it a second time. 

 
Often with Metcalfe kits, you need to run the glue on two edges on different components to stick them together. Only being blessed with two hands, here’s my top tip of using two bulldog clips to form handy legs to hold the first piece upright while I run the glue into the second piece. 

  
This picture demonstrates I need to get the felt tip pen out again and tidy up those corners. 

Next up I need to think what to do about that very obvious interior and also print out a scoreboard better than the one with the kit (they supply 4 clocks with different times, but only one scoreboard). 


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Doosra

  
I mentioned the other day in my post on flashing, that is try and dig out some pictures of what I meant. 

Instead I thought I’d build a Metcalfe kit and show you how I do it. 

The kit in question is the Pavilion – a Midi kit. I saw it when it came out and decided I must have it even though at present there are no plans for a cricket pitch on Penlowry, so it’s a bit of a wrong ‘un. 

The picture at the top shows you pretty much everything I use. A slightly blunt scalpel, bulldog clips and pegs, felt tip pens, cotton wool buds, a file, and copydex. Metcalfe suggest UHU but I’ve used copydex for card kits for years and it does the job. It also is incredibly easy to remove from everything model related apart from the jeans you’re wearing. For many years when I was growing up I had one of those life size card kits of an osprey hanging from my ceiling, and when it finally got binned it was still rock solid (when I was 28 and my parents were moving house- my bedroom had been left intact despite me moving out 10 years previously). 

The file is used to clean the corners of the windows which tend to get left with a “pip” from the scoring process. 

  
I use the felt tip pens to colour round the edges of the windows and the external corners of the building. Nothing I know (apart from some strange grasses in Australia) is the colour of cardboard apart from cardboard. I use orange and brown for wooden buildings and a graphite pencil to simulate mortar with brick and stone buildings. Next I’ll start the construction. 


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Choices

  
I think in model railways you need to make a choice on what you spend your money on. Somethings are worth it and some really aren’t. 

Today I knocked up a short track on which to run in locos using a rolling road. I have the DCC concepts one and it really is worth the money. Easy to use, well made, worth every penny. 

I used it today to run in the replacement chassis I got for the 43xx Mogul. 

  
For lubricating it and attaching it to the body, I put it in a cradle. You can buy proper cradles for locos but I really don’t see the point. I use a sponge that cost 50p from a local supermarket with a slot cut into it with a scalpel. Even the cheap one from Peco costs in the region of eight quid. 

  
It must be pretty a pretty awesome type of sponge to be 16 times the price of mine.