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

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Tracing the arc

So my experiment with the clear sheet for a propeller has gone well I think. It’s a bit glossy but as the idea is to give the impression of a propeller and the propeller in this case is shiny metal anyway, I think I can live with the result. Here it is test fitted to the fuselage of the Chipmunk. 

Now I know it works I can do a couple of the Rapide. 

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All of a blur

So as I described in my previous post I dusted off the technocrat drawing set and got to work. And this was what for. 

My aim is to have my planes flying above my layout. And flying planes don’t have stationary propellers (not often anyway). 

However, in my youth I tried just chopping the propeller blades off and it looks naff. So this time I decided to be a bit more sophisticated with an off cut of the sort of plastic used in modern picture frames. 

Once cut out and tidied up I then drilled out the centre hole to 1.5mm to fit the centre pin in the kit. 

Next post I’ll hopefully show what it looks like finished. 

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So assembly is underway. The Chippy wings are now in one piece and the fuselage too. 

Back in the late 80s / early 90s as I was getting into technical drawing (for fun!) I saved up my birthday money one year and bought a technocrat drawing set. 

Now here we are 25 or so years later and it sits on my modelling desk ready to assist as required. My latest project required just such old fashioned tools so I dug it out and muttering something about not being allowed to do CAD until my second year at uni, I set to. Next post will show what I set to to do. 

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Know your limits

I have had something of an epiphany these last few weeks. I have a right good clear out of model railway stuff I don’t need which was good for the bank balance (although I’m not sure Mr Hermes knew what he was letting himself in for). 

In doing so I’ve realised there have been a number of occasions where I’ve thought something along the lines of “I could that; I’ll just buy this and that and the other” and before you know it you’ve spent a fortune on bits to make a half arsed version of something you could buy for about the same price. 

This has really been noted by me when I realised I’d got all sorts of bits and bobs for my loco building but what I wanted to do was still out of my skill reach and I wouldn’t be able to learn it and therefore build the model until I retired (which is far too far off, especially after this week’s announcement – thanks a bunch Government!)

Most notable of these is my quest for a 15xx. Keyser have always done a pretty good kit for it but they are like rocking horse poo. I had decided a long time ago that I’d use an r-t-r chassis and knock up a body from a 94xx but of course when you start looking you find all the difficult little additions that means you hack more than you originally thought. At the rate I was going 1507 (which is the year and month of my second son’s birth) wouldn’t be complete until after he’d left home! 

I have therefore decided to sell all the bits I was going to use for my 15xx bar the chassis and I have just recently procured a Keyser body only kit for the 15xx off ebuygum. 

In a similar vein I had bought all sorts of odds and ends to make a turntable but again I realised it still wouldn’t be exactly what I wanted or needed. So I’ve turfed all my turntable odds onto ebuygum (well the bits that will sell anyway) and have invested in a Heljan Turntable that a good friend of mine was disposing of. 

Once all the sales have been completed I’ve promised myself I’ll erect the first bit of the railway and get a start on turning it into what I want. 

I am also excited that once the two aircraft leave the hanger, the model bench will revert to a locomotive workshop finally with the aim of getting some new GW locos off the production line. 

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Assembly line

With some painting of interiors and exteriors done, assembly of the DH Rapide and DH Chipmunk had commenced. 

The pictures below show progress so far. 

DH Dragon Rapide:

DH chipmunk 

The colour of the chipmunk is Humbrol Chrome which does seem to show off the polished surface I’m after quite well. 

The Rapide is done in Humbrol Silver which is a slightly different shade though there’s not much in it. I’m quite liking the shiny planes – makes a difference from all the camouflage planes I used to build in my youth. 

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While I had the Rust Wash out for doing the pilots, I decided to wash some of my new vehicles in it. 

I have this set of army vehicles which are just ok-ish for late 40s with a Mk1 Land Rover, an Austin Tilly, and. Tractor tug. 

They are in desert Livery so I am pretending they’ve just got back from somewhere or are about to go somewhere exotic. 

(Picture shows stilly done, and the other two not)

One of my pet hates of model railways is a nicely weathered loco with a glossy car sitting on a road nearby. Unless they’ve just come out of the showroom, cars just aren’t that glossy. Muck gets everywhere and they’re satin at best. 

These three examples then had a total wash of Rust as shown in the picture below of the Land Rover and then were wiped down leaving heavier deposits in the crevices such as between mudguard and bonnet. 

I think they look so much better. 

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Little people

My current plane obsession continues and unlike when I was a teenager and was adept at glueing the thing together but could never be arsed to paint them properly, this time I have decided to paint and then assemble as much as possible so I can get decent interiors. I am also batch building (sort of) as I am making a DH Dragon Rapide as well as the Chippie. 

The Chippie comes with 2 pilots while the Rapide has none so I borrowed one from the Chippie for the Rapide. 

Rapide pilot is in a green suit uniform with tie and a suggestion of eppaulettes on the shoulders. 

Chippie pilot is dressed as per a test pilot should be with suit and red cravat. 

Both then had a wash with Rust walk weather which brought out the highlights so much better. 

Given how much I dislike this sort of job, I’m pleased with how they turned out and also how much I enjoyed it!! 

(They are stuck on the end of a matchstick with an off cut of a 3M hook sticker btw). 

Next time, some assembly. 

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All been a bit quiet here recently. In the workshop side, the milk tanks are painted and ready for the decals to go on and I just need some time to do so. 

While on the train to London on Thursday I saw something I thought was long gone. Yes there are plenty of crossings with proper gates on the railway, but on the premier mainline of Great Britain, surely not? But yes there is. Woodcroft Road, near Etton, just north of Peterborough. Not only is it a proper old fashioned gated crossing but it spans 5 tracks (Up slow, Up fast, Down fast, followed by a 10 foot that is considerably more than 10 feet wide, Up Stamford, Down Stamford / Down slow). 

Speed limit would appear to be 110mph as measured by my phone as I returned to York. 

Here it is as I viewed it on Thursday evening. And also here are a couple of shots from Google maps. 

Now I’ve got a real hankering to go and visit it.