December 2, 2017
All manner of models pass through my studio – the latest pair are the most unlikely to come together, even as models, never mind the full-size locos. I guess anyone enjoying more than one area of railway modelling can boast a few unlikely pairings in their layout room.
DJ Models lovely Class 71 (foreground) is a BR Southern Region electric locomotive intended to take its power from a conductor rail. They were famous for operating named trains to the Channel ports and turned in many a good performance elsewhere too. As a third rail loco with no auxiliary engine such as that fitted to the Class 73, they relied on current collection using a simple pantograph from overhead tram wires in yards and berthing sidings where there was no conductor rail.
The second model is a TRAXX Class CE 119 ac locomotive – contemporary traction used on heavy freight traffic – very powerful machine indeed. The model is by Brawa which offers it in several electrical configurations. Not cheap!
November 26, 2017
The station is not a quiet as you might think – local passengers are waiting for the north bound Caledonian Sleeper to use it as a convenient early morning service for Inverness.
Class 67s are back on the Sleepers and have been for a while on the Highland line. With all respect to the plucky Class 73s, they were never built for this sort of railway.
No. 67 012 – one of the locos allocated to Wrexham & Shropshire services and latterly Chiltern Railways. Now lost its nameplates.
New stock for the sleepers is due soon…
If you wish to photograph the last remaining Mark 2 air-con stock on sleeper services, you don’t have much time left.
LED lighting has improved low light photography on many Scottish stations – so much better balanced.
Dawn at last…the signal box at Kingussie. Like mark 2 and 3 stock on the sleepers, you do not have much time to photograph this sort of infrastructure on the Highland line.
Images taken of the north bound 1S25 Euston-Inverness Caledonian Sleeper service on the morning of Saturday 25th November 2017. In the snow!
November 19, 2017
I did say that I wished to make some significant progress on Loch Dhu Distillery – the aim is to complete the layout to exhibition standard by the end of the year (2017). I have other projects to progress and the reality is that Loch Dhu is really becoming a bit of a log jam in the studio. So, the Lifecolour paints came out to create stone colours and to weather the yard pavement and the buildings prior to fitting windows and other details.
It’s a fun little layout with some nooks and crannies in the track plan to make the scenes appear larger than they really are. The colour blending work with rust colours, grime, dirty black and various other shades from the Lifecolour range has been interesting to do. The Lifecolour paints are durable and quite subtle when thinned around 4:1 with thinner and applied with an airbrush.
The over bridge located in the distillery yard was built up of individual stone blocks cut from South Eastern Finecast embossed random stone sheet and laid in courses varying slightly in width. Some blocks were smoothed over with a little Squadron Putty before being rubbed down and painted. The iron oxide staining of some of the stone is from the Lifecolour ‘Rust and Dust’ set which is a very useful set of layout finishing colours. It looks far better than the Wills material used in the exchange siding scene.
The stone work in the exchange siding scene was built up from Wills materials which at the time looked fine. Having experimented with making my own dressed stone courses in the yard over bridge, I am considering reworking the walls in this part of the layout – but not for some time. There’s too much detailing and scenery to complete including wagon weathering (those Bachmann 12t/13t opens in the front of this view are far too clean!) and detailing the distillery yard. This little layout has certainly taken on a life of its own!
November 12, 2017
Layout work has been in hibernation during the summer and Autumn of this year – a little burn-out perhaps? Or plenty of outdoor stuff to do. Whatever the reason, I have been busy (distracted) with other stuff until recently when I restarted work in a determined effort to complete Loch Dhu Distillery; both the siding scene and the distillery yard itself. Last year, the yard looked something like this:
Progress on buildings over the course of last winter saw this:
Recent activity in the distillery yard scene has seen this emerge – the usual and fun layout building activity – organised, tidy and very well defined and planned activity:
The engine shed together with a low relief building representing a second kiln house have appeared among the pieces of styrene off-cuts – the model is based on the one at Dailuaine Distillery which still exists today.
The front of the yard scene is tidied up with a retaining wall and culvert. The kiln house pagoda top was reworked too.
Buildings are currently being painted and detailed with more doors, windows, ventilators, chimney pots and other fittings. Missing details are added such as rain water goods. The yard surface is concrete with wooden boarding together with cobbles in places. That had to be painted and finished at the time this picture was taken. So, even though the layout is considered to be a micro or diorama layout which would comfortably travel on the back seat of my classic Mini Cooper, there is a huge amount of work to do to finish it – the level of detail required to create the scene is quite surprising!