Tuesday, 11 November 2008


Welcome to my new blogspot address. I'll be tagging all the narrow gauge stuff I post with NG and all the standard gauge stuff with SG. Anything that isn't gauge specific will be tagged with both so that it will show up in both the SG Feed and the NG feed.

I've been fairly busy at work recently so I've not had much time for modelling. However I have run my new standard gauge locomotives (a Freighliner 57 and Mainline 09) on the dining room table on some set-track and was fairly impressed. On Sunday night I connected up 4 lengths of flexitrack and ran the class 57 up and down it and was very impressed. Even with slightly dirty track and my old Lima controller it ran very nicely. I'm looking forward to seeing what it does with my new gaugemaster controller and some nice clean track!

I'm not going to abandon the narrow gauge either - when I get back from a week away with work I intend to get some more done on my pizza.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Flickr Groups

As a follow up to my recent post here's some more Flickr goodness. Here's some more inspirational Flickr pools but this time there are no pictures of trains. Plenty of pictures to inspire sceneary and weathering though.

Picture by just.Luc licensed under CC by-nc-sa 2.0

The groups:

Tracks Without Trains
Weathered Wood
Any Derelict Building
Rural Decay
Urban and Rural Decay UK
Urban Decay
Walls only Walls!

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

The Welsh Highland Railway on Flickr

I was browsing the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways photo pool on Flickr and found some great photos taken by Flickr user mattbuck4950. They are all licensed under Attribution-Share Alike Attribution-Share Alike which means I can reproduce them here. Here are some of my favorites of Castell Caernarfon at Caernarfon station. I particularly like the angles these photos were taken from. The first few are taken at the sort of elevation which model railways are often viewed from and the final picture higlights the bulk of the Funkey against the wall.

The last photo has got me imagining an O14 micro shelf layout, not much more than a senic display stand, with a model of Castell Caernarfon or one of the Garratts sitting on it. I can only dream of being able to afford a O14 Garratt or having the skill, time and patience to scratch build an O14 Funkey that I would be happy with! I'll keep focused on 4mm scale for now.

Monday, 27 October 2008


A week or so ago ago finally got round to spending some Christmas and birthday money and bought some standard gauge locomotives, wagons and track. At some point I'll build a standard gauge layout in the loft.

However this isn't entirly unrelated to my narrow gauge modelling as I also bought a gaugemaster controller, which I'll use for both narrow gauge and standard gauge, and a couple of intermodal containers. In theory I know how big the containers would be but having a couple of 20' containers to play with will make it much easier to visulaise what an 2' gauge intermodal train might look like. I think intermodal wagons which could hold a 30' (avaliable from C-Rail) or a 20' container could work but one that could hold two 20' containers would be longer than the the 13m WHR(C) coaches which are 160mm long in OO9.

The question that thinking about a standard gauge layout raises (other than - I don't do much modlling as it is, is starting in another gauge really a good idea) is should I blog about it? If so should it be here or on another blog? I had been thinking of blogging somewhere else, in fact I already have another blog with draft posts containing some of my research. However as this post shows there is often overlap between standard gauge an narrow gauge, particularly if I end up doing a Chris Nevard and having a narrow gauge line sneaking into my standard gauge layout. A standard gauge to narrow gauge intermodal terminal is also a tempting prospect though I would have to find a way to keep it small. I think that I'll merge my draft blog and this one to create one blog with all my model making, and I'm cyber-squating a blogspot domain for that purpose. Blogger has tag based RSS feeds so any of you only interested in narrow gauge can get only the narrow gauge posts in your feed readers.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Clay and Jalapeños

It's been far too long since I last blogged about doing any modelling so I've decided that I'd better post something. The pizza layout has been left on top of an old chest of draws in our spare room for a while. I dug it out the other day and found something that I'd forgotten that I'd done. I had been thinking about making a base which the layout would site on which would allow it to be rotated. I decided to use a stereo and jack in the centre of the layout to supply power and act as the axis of rotation. I used the lid from a jar of jalapeños to attach the plug to. The layout does rotate but it's rather wobbly as I expected. I'll build a base with some runners about two thirds of the way out to take most of the layouts weight. I've not worked out exactly how that will work yet bu I have an idea after reading Nigel Burkin's article on building a fiddle yard. He made the sector plate part of the yard slide on plasicard - the same thing would probably work for rotating the pizza.

I also made some progress with the scenery over the weekend. A trip to Hobby Craft to get picture frames also allowed me to get some Das modelling clay. I tried out building a wall and some steps and then decided to do the level crossing and the area around the pond too. We'll have to see if I can paint the wall to look like flint and building the cottage will be more of a challenge! I've taken a couple of photos but my camera doesn't want to talk to my computer tonight so I'll try again tomorrow.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Rheilffordd Talyllyn

It's about time I posted some photos of the Talyllyn Railway. It scored 71% on Colin Lea's heritage railway scoring system. We travelled on the scenic Cambrian Coast line from Pwllheli to Twywn which was a bargain at £6. Travelling there by train also meant that we got a 20% discount on the Talyllyn!

The Talyllyn railway seemed familiar despite having never been there before. This was partly due the the Talyllyn being a popular prototype to model (for example Quarry Sidings and Rheilffordd Cilcewydd on NGRM Online) and partly due to reading Rev. W. Awdry's books, in particular The Little Old Engine which has an illustration of Dolgoch Viaduct which stuck in my head.

For more information on the Talyllyn take a look at their website or it's article on Wikipedia which is a featured article.

Here's the thumbnails of my photos:

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Thursday, 28 August 2008



Here's a quick challenge. What is the building and what is it's connection with narrow gauge railways?

No prizes for the first correct guess I'm afraid!

Monday, 18 August 2008

WHR (Porthmadog)

Gelert at the WHR(P)

On our recent holiday in North Wales we visited the WHR(P) which scored 52% on Colin Lea's heritage railway scoring system. The leaflet had said that it would be a diesel operated day but we were pleasantly surprised to discover Gelert in steam. We had a nice (if a little short) ride up to Pen-y-Mount and back, stopping of at Gelert's Farm to explore the sheds and ride on the miniature railway and spot a family of swans. I'd have liked to have seen on of the massive Lyd2 diesels in action or see Russell but he is being restored for 2009 so I expect that this visit wont be my last. There's some more of my photos on flickr.

Pen-y-Mount station got me thinking that it would make a good basis for a model to show off a collection of WHR(P) and WHR(C) stock. I doubt I'll build a model of it as I have too many other ideas and I'm unlikely to have the time to build an accurate model of anywhere so far from home. However it did make me realise something that a lot of the layouts I consider building have in common - junctions.

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