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

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Well with time almost run out and the usual Christmas rubbish on telly, I snatched a few hours to finish the railcar.

I spent some time making up some bodyside destination indicators to cover the injection mould indents that were visible each side of the doors.

Then I made up the ribbon glazing for each of the 4 quarters – an absolute pain to do using paper templates but worth it. For the glazing I first looked at using the back cover from an old report…

…but unfortunately it was too scratched so I used the packet that the loupe for my new Optivisor came in (Christmas present and so very fantastic).

Finally I used some more glazing for the internal driver partitions and the side windows and reused the original front windscreens. Last job was fitting the lenses into the RT models headlamps.

Given it’s taken me 6 months to do this, I’d better get started on my Earl of Merioneth if it is make its debut at Warley next year!

Thanks for your reading, comments, and encouragement this year. With over 4,500 individual visitors from 61 different countries, Penlowry is getting about a bit! It’s been fun. Roll on 2019…

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Quiet time?

Historically our company is quiet before Christmas. That’s just the industry I’m in. People don’t want jobs to start when there is then an almost guaranteed 2 week gap in it so clients delay until after Christmas.

Unusually for us, this year has been total madness. There are a number of high profile projects, in which we are involved, which has kept us very busy and will continue to do so for some time to come. For the first time in a while, when a Canadian company came knocking, I had to ask if they wouldn’t mind deferring until after Christmas. This is all good news for company expansion – when your company has a mere Baker’s dozen, highs and lows are often excessive and change rapidly.

As usual, modelling has suffered. I’m still awaiting a window to fit the glazing in the railcar (see what I did there), post a video of it, and then send my entry in to the 009 Society.

I now have 2 locos awaiting transfers and plates to call them done (43xx oil fired, and the Bulldog).

Unfortunately the beginning of this week won’t see any action as I’ve got to go to Aberdare (6h on the train from York!!)

One somewhat major decision that has been made recently is that my office will change rooms. There was always the possibility of this given I currently occupy a large bedroom in the house and one day Mini Mes 1 and 2 will agree not to share a room and then I’d have to move. So the box room for me. Frankly, it’s better to do this move earlier rather than later as it affects the Penlowry baseboard shape (and the room is currently much nicer despite being smaller!)

Whereas I’ve not been able to snatch time for physical modelling, I have had time to do the virtual work so I cracked open AnyRail and worked out how to fit the Penlowry concept into the new space available, while also leaving room for a work desk, a modelling desk, a bookshelf of railway books, modelling stock and material, lots of railway pictures, and me!

Basically it will take all my ingenuity and design engineering as I think I will have to have some clever storage solutions to get the result I want.

The basic change is the layout goes from an L to a C. I don’t think the fiddle Yard will stay as is as I think I’m going to develop a cassette system to enable space saving.

The benefit is the scenic curve with the river bridges, and halt platform by the beach will get bigger, but the downside is the shed space will be smaller. (The shed is now an almost direct copy of Salisbury – a subshed of WES/82D – but with smaller building).

One of the other benefits is that the narrow gauge station can be much bigger which allows it to become quite familiar in shape / concept to those who visit the TLC of Wales. I’m pleased about this as it adds so much operating potential.

Now I’ve got this worked out, I can drop the footprint into the room planning software and work out how everything else will fit!

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Bits and pieces

Managed to get a few bits done before the start of a hectic week.

On the 43xx front I started painting the cab shutters and fitted the new buffers to the tender – and yes, some Dean tenders did get Collett buffers before anyone says otherwise!

On the railcar front I did some detail painting, putting a bit of exhaust staining on the roof with dry-brushing.

With a couple of days off work now I’m hoping to get some more done.

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There is no way I am a pro at painting. It is my least favourite job but if you are going to hack models about to create others, you have to live with the probable consequences and do some painting.

The railcar was always intended to be LNER tourist green and cream but when I applied the LNER roof grey it looked all wrong. So I remarked the body and decorated it in BR (post 1985) grey, and much better it looked too.

I also remembered the wheeze of using some lining to hide the dodgy line between the paint colours so I used some BECC’s vinyl. This is excellent stuff and comes in strips of different thicknesses. I originally got some in black for lining where I also wanted to create the look of beading on another project, so I then went and got some in silver for this job.

I’m pretty pleased with the result and once the glazing is in and I’ve touched up a couple of areas I’ll reveal the whole model.