Modelling again: whisky casks this time.

May 30, 2017

Some high-speed painting…got about 100 casks to paint and weather for my tiny Loch Dhu Distillery layout scheme…

Phew! Nearly done!
All the colours are by ‘Lifecolour’. There’s no doubt, the Italians have done a great job with modelling paints over the years.


Peckett appreciation…Loch Dhu’s newest locomotive.

January 3, 2017

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Despite my best intentions, the new Hornby ‘Peckett’ 0-4-0ST locomotive proved to be totally irresistible! I chose the plainest one offered by Hornby for Loch Dhu Distillery which was supplied by Crafty Hobbies of Barrow-in-Furness – my thanks to Shelagh for her help in securing the model. It will be simple to add etched nameplates and new works plates to transform the loco into ‘Loch Dhu No.2’.

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Whilst I organise some new etched plates for the model, it has been undergoing a little testing on my OO gauge Loch Dhu layout and after a short running-in period, it told me of some over enthusiastic grasses on the siding and a slightly misaligned rail joiner. otherwise, running was impeccable.

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Track weeds were trimmed back a little to clear the low slung chassis of the loco. It is a beautifully built model with smooth valve gear action and good shunting capability. When a decoder is fitted, it will be adjusted for a low maximum speed appropriate to an industrial loco.

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Fun with some Bachmann wagons. I am in agreement with many that this loco could turn out to be a big seller for Hornby.

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A lovely little model and the second 0-4-0ST to be acquired by Loch Dhu Distillery (from the Manchester Ship Canal Co. and Esso Petroleum) for shunting duties. It will work alongside an Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST once its identity has been changed. Apparently, negotiations are underway to acquire a third locomotive for the distillery: another Andrew Barclay – this time a smaller 9-inch version in late pre-war condition. Rumour has it that the distillery has its eyes on Dailuaine No. 1…

Dailuaine No.1: disgracefully stuffed and mounted at a distillery it never worked and with which it has no association. Time it was removed and restored in fully working condition. This loco is an important part of Speyside line history. It was allowed to work the main line between Carron and the Dailuaine Siding to serve the Imperial Distillery as well as Dailuaine itself.

Dailuaine No.1, an Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST. it is disgracefully stuffed and mounted at a distillery it never worked and with which it has no association. Time it was removed and restored in fully working condition. This loco is an important part of Speyside line history. It was allowed to work the main line between Carron and the Dailuaine Siding to serve the Imperial Distillery as well as Dailuaine itself.


Loch Dhu Distillery progress pictures

September 14, 2016

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Landscaping, scenery and detailing of the Loch Dhu Siding side of my double-sided OO gauge micro-layout (the distillery is on the opposite side of the backdrop) has been completed (more or less) in recent weeks. A few things remain to be added at this time including the addition of a handful of small details, a road vehicle and a tidying up of the back drop area. Some grass tufts remain to be planted in one or two areas.

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Whilst working on this scene, I have managed to get my hands on another ARC Models kit, this time for the smaller version of the Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST locomotive and in pre-war condition. No need to do any back-dating as was done to the larger version I built previously as a freelance distillery pug, named Loch Dhu No.1. This second distillery ‘Pug’ loco will be modelled as Dailuaine No.1 in 1968 condition.

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The layout is operational, but only has the two locos so far: the Bachmann Class 20 and the Pug as seen above. The layout awaits the Bachmann Class 24/1 model which is some time away as yet. A Class 27 is a possibility as is one of the Heljan rail buses – maybe – perhaps. Also, I plan to build a Ruston 48DS for the distillery branch – just for the hell of it! It will be a challenge to fit it out for DCC. – the Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST was interesting enough. Hard to believe that there is a TCS decoder together with a TCS ‘Keep Alive’ device in the saddle tank of that loco!


Order emerges from work bench chaos in the form of distillery buildings

June 17, 2016

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Distillery buildings for Loch Dhu Distillery are slowly taking shape, constructed from 80- and 100-thou styrene card and faced with embossed card  by South Eastern Finescale. Cutting, filing and shaping of the flat styrene sheets caused quite a mess on my work bench, which has now been cleared up for the time being to allow modelling of finer details such as windows, external equipment such as hoists, rain water goods and some sort of finial for the kiln house pagoda.

Four large structures so far, with three to go. One is an engine shed for the distillery ‘pug’. The other two will be building ‘flats’ to represent the still/spirit house and another building associated with the maltings. The buildings will provide shunting spots for various wagons to be positioned for unloading or loading including malt, grain and coal. Outbound wagons will carry away the byproducts of the process and spirits.

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Loch Dhu Distillery is a OO gauge (4mm scale) micro-layout, with a scenic area just under four-feet in length and two in width; double-sided with an interchange and a small staging yard at the end. As you can imagine, squeezing a large industry such as a Speyside whisky distillery into such a small area tested my layout planning skills to the limit: fitting in enough track for interesting operations whilst having enough of the key buildings to make sense of the location. In the end, I have settled for the kiln house, part of the malt store, the mash house and an office building for the dreaded revenue. The still house will be fitted in along the back-scene as a building flat with a link from the mash house. The maltings will go at the end, with a hint of the boiler house. There might be room for a water tank too but none of the bonded warehouses, unfortunately. That’s all that can be squeezed into such a compact area and leave room for some trains! For such a small layout, it is taking up an extraordinary amount of workbench time and consequently, this will be the last portable layout I will be constructing for some time – I have to get back to working on the longer term Folkestone East and the Montana Rail Link projects.


Organised chaos!

June 15, 2016

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My work bench during the construction of the distillery buildings for my current micro-layout project: Loch Dhu Distillery.

Strangely enough, I can usually find all my tools…