Thursday, 28 November 2013

Surprisingly enjoyable

I'm rather enjoying this lining lark.  This is the progress on the Coffee Pot, using a Bob Moore lining pen.

The black base coat is in cellulose, and the lining is in enamel.  This has proved to be a superb combination.  It's possible to allow the lining to harden slightly, then tidy it up with a very fine brush loaded with turps.

I'm sure that it was in the book by Ian Rathbone that I read this first, but it does make life very easy.

I'll look at the model again in the morning with a fresh set of eyes to see if there is anything else that needs correcting.  And maybe add in the brass of the window surrounds, to set off the red lining.


Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Colouring the Coffee Pot

Have also recently had the opportunity to take the progress on the little GER Coffee Pot forward a step or two.  After the test assembly, related a post or two ago, it was time to set up the spray booth and put some colour on.

As I don't have a permanent workshop or working area, other than my modelling bureau, this has to wait until the house is clear and I can drag out compressors, airbrushes, spray booths, and all the other assorted paraphernalia of spraying models. 

The little tank engine was first broken back down into its constituent parts.  This shows just how many of them there are:

And of course many of them are quite small enough to be blown to the back of the spray booth by the airbrush if you aren't very careful!

However the loco body has a nice heavy weight to it, which helps keep it in position.  Wherever possible, I mount items to be sprayed in a way so that I don't just spray from the top or side, but can spray from below as well without touching or moving the model.  This takes place on an improvised mount that I rigged up from an offcut of timber and a few pieces of stiff wire cut from an old coathanger.  There are a varied of holes and a variety of length wires, so I can usually find a secure way of positioning the model.

The discolouration of the model is due to the use of some Carrs Surface Conditioner to prepare it for painting.  This was followed by a good wash in running water, and a careful blast with the hairdryer to remove any traces of damp.

The first coat to be applied was Comet Models etch primer, after which it was left to harden off in an airtight box for a few days...


Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Blast from the past...

Last weekend I visited my parents.  They are a handy place to stay for a weekend at the Warley Show and it's good to catch up with how they are getting on.

As I was leaving, my father thrust a couple of boxes of railway stuff in hands, with words that he was clearing clutter out of the loft :-)

Much of it is pretty ancient Tri-ang and Hornby, and will be heading straight to Ebay as a job lot just as soon as I've photographed it and typed up the listing.  However two items caught my eye, and I'll be hanging on to:

On the left is the very first whitemetal kit that I built.  I think that I was about ten or eleven years old at the time, and had received it for Christmas from my cousin Robert Chester-Lamb, who was (and still is) running Bearwood Models.  In those days he actually had a physical shop in Bearwood, which was quite distinctive as it had a full-size GWR signal outside the shop on the pavement!  Sadly I can't find a picture of it online :-(

I recall that the wagon was an ABS kit.  It was a standard GWR five-plank wagon.  I clearly had pre-Grouping pretensions then, as I lettered it using the 1900s style of livery.  Actually, I recall that the livery was chosen because it was not hidden by the tarpaulin.  And the reason for the tarpaulin?  This being the first whitemetal kit that I'd ever put together, I had put the soldering iron bit straight through the side of the wagon whilst soldering the corners together, and needed something to hide the hole!

I clearly had as much grasp of engineering principles then as I do now, as the (supplied) pinpoint axles were running in the holes in the backs of the axleboxes, with no brass bearings.  It's a good job that it was in OO, as the axles won't stay square for long!

The wagon on the right is a Mainline hopper wagon.  I remember what a step forward these models (and Airfix/GMR) were in detail compared to the rest of the Hornby models that I had on my layout.  So what do you do with the best wagon that you own?  You weather it, of course...

Actually considering that I had no idea, apart from the fact that it must be rusty, it's not too bad with splodges of Humbrol "Rust" splodged on and worked in.

I'm not getting rid of either of these models.  They're going to be safely tucked away in a box.   I don't think that they will find a place running in P4 in a GER setting in 1911, but some things you just don't want to see go... 


Friday, 8 November 2013

A small crisis of identity

As well as painting the main parts of the Coffee Pot, I also need to finalise an identity for it, and finish the appropriate number plates.

In the High Level kit, there are actually etched brass plates for all of the locomotives in the class that were built: the original four by Neilson, and the later four by the GER itself. Due to the choices that I made whilst building it, mine is not one of the Neilson engines.

This gives me a choice of four possible numbers that fit the body style. I have painted up the plates for locomotives 227 and 230.


Number 230 is the more famous one of the two, becoming famous as the Stratford Works shunter, and often displayed by the LNER at public open days. It was fitted with various accoutrements for the role, such as a Westinghouse reservoir, from 1916. As I'm setting mine in 1911, then it would still match the model as I've built it.

However I'm tempted towards numbering it as 227, just because it's less in the public eye :-)

The number plates have been filled in with a couple of thin coats of Precision vermillion paint, and left to harden for three or four days. Then the plates were separated from the etch, the tabs filed off, and the surface polished to bring up the brass finish.

This is done on a very fine sanding pad. I picked up a set of these at last year's Warley Show, and they really are quite nifty. They range from 1500 grade to the one that I'm using here, which is 4000 grade. It produces an almost mirror-like finish.

The pads are backed with a soft foam, which means that you can use them easily on curved surfaces, and also rinse them out after use under a tap, which brings them back to life. A very worthwhile acquisition for just a few quid.


Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Time for a test build

Now, where was I? Ah yes, putting it all together.

Chris's instructions recommend that before you start painting, you do a test-build of the main groups of components to ensure that they all fit together properly. It makes a lot of sense, as my experience proved. And so to the lesson learned...

When I came to bolt the chassis to the body, everything lined up perfectly. The only trouble was that I couldn't seat the M2 fixing bolt properly because the head wouldn't fit past the protruding end of the compensation beam:


So (you can guess what is coming next...) the solution was to reach for the trusty Dremel with the "angle grinder" disc in it. I'm afraid that there is only a blurry photo of this, but a little discretion is probably best for the nerves of some:

IMG_7304.JPG I

After this, the way was clear. There were only a couple of small nicks on the inner faces of the mainframes. Nothing structural was damaged, nor even anything visible:


In the previous picture, you may have noticed a trace of blu-tack in the slot of the bolt head. This is my standard trick to ensure that they are held by the screwdriver and placed in the right location. It also reduces the cost of modelling by cutting down on the number of replacement purchases necessary to cover those sacrificed to the Carpet God. I literally smear a small amount of blu-tack sideways across the head of the screw or bolt and it fills the slot up nicely, enabling this to be done:


And as you would expect from a High Level Kit, it all came nicely together. Here are a couple of pictures of the finished thing after the test assembly. All of the major parts are together, except the cosmetic ones like the backhead detail and brake rigging:



And so on to the paint shop...