NEWS and UPDATES
WEDNESDAY April 11th
Despite some 'indifferent' weather, in between showers I managed to photograph the latest task - a superb Lee Marsh 517. One of several I have sitting in the queue that are awaiting some gentle tarnishing, this very attractive small tank locomotive is posed on the embankment awaiting its next turn of duty.
Images taken just now in the sun are in Gallery 2.
THURSDAY March 22nd
Been enjoying a little sunshine abroad but now returned to the pleasures of the Britsih climate once more.
Back to the work schedule again, I've just completed the painting and weathering of a BR liveried plain black Manor (Mitchell kit built by Tony Geary) and I've posted an image of it in Gallery 1 for your interest. Photographed outside in rather cold and overcast conditions but the natural light does help the illusion of reality. Client collecting it tomorrow so I'll be pressing on with other commissions shortly.
FRIDAY February 2nd
I've not previously tackled a small industrial steam loco for a customer (done many of my own over the years) and the result is the completed Ixion Hudswell Clarke model that I've popped in Gallery 1.
I posed a Modelu figure in the cab for effect.
TUESDAY January 30th
Thought the show was excellent again although I only had a chance for a quick squizz at everything in between demonstrating and chatting. As usual, lost my voice for a while.
It was good to meet a number of regular visitors and to put faces to some of my customers' names! I think it's one of the best shows in an excellent venue.
Time to get back to my workbench once more.
THURSDAY January 25th
Looking forward to the Bristol show this coming weekend.
I'll be doing my usual weathering demonstrations so please do pop along to my table and stop for a natter. I'll have a few items on display that we can discuss in greater detail if you like.
Hope to see some of you Sunday.
THURSDAY January 18th
I've updated the photo of the Prairie as I decided the rods needed further attention, attempting to obtain a similar effect seen in the prototype image alongside it. After some further work with the airbrush I created a more yellow/orange rusting effect on them.
I also spent the last two days working on another Dapol tank wagon - a Berry Wiggins liveried version and a shot of it is in Gallery 3 now.
This and the Prairie are now shown together at the head of the wagons gallery.
WEDNESDAY January 17th
In Gallery 2 there's a shot of a Masterpiece Prairie that I completed today.
Based upon a photograph of the original, showing it in a pretty grubby state in late BR days, I tried to achieve a similar, but not identical result. I've added a shot of the original alongside just to illustrate roughly what was intended.
THURSDAY January 11th
The Castle I mentioned is now posted in Gallery 2.
WEDNESDAY January 10th
Finally a break in the weather bringing a little sunlight into the workshop, enabling me to more clearly see what I'm doing in natural daylight. Artificial daylight lamps are good but can't compare with proper light.
I've just finished a Masterpiece Castle and its pair of tenders, which is why I've posted two images in Gallery 2 showing the loco with each one attached.
I'm now weathering a kitbuilt Castle and I'll pop a photo of this in the same gallery when it's done.
SATURDAY January 6th 2018
A new year and the first task was a pair of Lionheart open wagons that needed to be finished in unpainted wood. A photo of the completed duo is in Gallery 3 - FREIGHT STOCK.
A feature article describing how I obtained the wood finish will appear some time soon in the Model Railway Journal.
Now for another loco this time, with a Masterpiece early period Prairie tank that was to be lightly weathered in typical condition of the period. It's in Gallery 2.
At first glance it may appear I've not done that much to it, being photographed indoors on my developing layout and in artificial light, and I agree that in the photo it doesn't look too different from the out-of-the-box model. However a lot of work's been done with the underframe areas and tops of tanks, footplate etc where shoes would have left their scuffs and marks.
The bulled up handrails, being stainless steel, required a lot of effort using stainless steel blackening fluids and subsequent reburnishing to create a more natural polished steel result than the original chrome-like finish it came with. Similarly, the painted handrail knobs needed their paint removing and burnishing to match. Had the weather played ball, I would have photographed it outdoors on my diorama but the gods weren't eager to please, hence the indoors shot, which may appear slightly soft focus?
In reality, it looks more like I've been doing my job and it's just digital photos don't always manage to show the subtleties so well. I delivered it today and of course now the sun's come out after it's back with its owner. Such is life . . .
More locos to follow in the next couple of weeks.
THURSDAY November 30th
Sorted the autotrailer and an image now sits in Gallery 5, with B set shot alongside but couldn't get the pair of coaches to fit in one shot so the image just shows a section of each coach.
In Gallery 1 I've also posted a photo of 'LA FRANCE' along with a closer view of its coal load that I added. Finished weathering this lovely loco in early livery that was built by Kevin Wilson. In Russell's book, there's a black & white view of it when it was in this shiny and well kept condition. Making a model look spick & span with evidence of the cleaners' work can take longer than producing a grubby version.
SATURDAY November 25th
Had a busy couple of weeks working on various items of rolling stock for delivery to customers at the forthcoming Reading show. Interrupted by a nasty cold and sore throat that wouldn't go away, I wasn't able to go anywhere near the airbrush, paints and thinners with their assorted fumes during this time (such things always happen when least convenient!), but happily all's well once more and I've been making up for lost time.
I'm just adding the final touches to a Lionheart Autotrailer and matching B Set, images of which I'll post once they're sorted, but also completed work on a Dapol (ex-Lionheart) tank wagon plus a couple of private owner coal wagons. Photos of these are in Gallery 3 - Freight Stock.
MONDAY October 30th
I just completed weathering a BR black liveried Masterpiece 45xx Prairie, images of which I've just added to Gallery 1.
FRIDAY October 27th
Latest task was a light weathering of another Dapol Terrier, an image of which I've just posted in Gallery 1 for you to look at. Makes an interesting comparison with Barry Norman's Scaleseven version featured in MRJ and also to be found in Gallery 1.
SUNDAY October 8th
Latest task involved trying to rescue the paint finish on a GER loco, whose tank sides had become blemished probably from having bubblewrap in long term close contact with the paint. It's quite a frequent occurrence when models are stored in varying ambient temperatures and I've found the best way to restore the paint is with a blend of Brasso wool, T-Cut and meths each of the last two applied with a cotton bud and then polished using a soft nylon brush in the modelling drill.
I couldn't completely eliminate the tiny scratches that also accompanied the patchy blemishes but fortunately they were considerably reduced or minimised by the polishing processes so that any that were still visible when the light was correctly angled, looked quite realistic. Serendipity, I think it's called!
I've popped a shot of it in Gallery 1 and after a very light weathering of the completed model, any marks have all but disappeared - they certainly aren't visible in the very bright afternoon sun on my little diorama.
FRIDAY September 15th
Telford was excellent again and I enjoyed meeting up with so many friends and customers.
Been having a sort out of the workshop and taking a short break away from trains and paint fumes. I'll get stuck into the new weathering book soon and hope to report progress on this in the near future.
THURSDAY August 31st
Just by the skin of my teeth I've managed to complete the weathering of a Lionheart 16T steel open and a Dapol corrugated end 5-plank open. Had a few issues with my air compressors and I feared I'd not finish them in time for customer collection at Telford on Saturday. However, luck was on my side and everything's working properly once more so a quick photo of the pair posed on my layout is now in Gallery 3 for your edification.
The 16T is a favourite prototype and I enjoy trying to make each one I weather look different. The Dapol wagon is interesting since it is issued in unpainted natural wood livery, albeit the planks and interior are very cream in colour. I know new planks can be a bit creamy beige freshly sawn but they'd not stay like that for long once in use on the railway. Made a nice challenge to replicate a more used look.
Hope to see some of you at Telford at the weekend.
TUESDAY August 29th
Couple of Lionheart PO wagons added to Gallery 3 today. Aimed for a reasonably smart look but plainly showing signs of wear with paint starting to fade and chip at plank edges.
I'll be visiting Telford both days so give me a nudge if you see me wandering about peering at potential purchases . . .
WEDNESDAY August 23rd
Today I finally completed some extremely delicate weathering on a superb LMS liveried ten coach royal train. That's a lot of coaches and information regarding their typical condition is scant to say the least. There are a few black & white images of such trains but they reveal little of their condition and I've had to guesstimate how well cared for they would have been.
In Gallery 5 - Coaches, I've placed a couple of images showing a pair parked on my diorama in today's bright sunshine but it's really tricky trying to show the subtle nature of their treatment and you may be fogiven for thinking I've not done much to them. The sides we know were kept spotlessly clean in use and even the easily seen underframe components and bogies were cleaned and tarted up prior to their royal duties. The roofs, being canvas on wood, attracted soot and grime that embedded itself in their textured surfaces but even these areas apparently kept the cleaners busy as they did their best to disguise their slightly tarnished state.
The entire rake disappears off each end of my layout, thus making them awkward to photograph, which is why I opted to just park a couple on the diorama outside instead. Suffice to say each coach is similarly treated given the train ran as a fixed rake and we have to assume their weathering was universally matching.
Some wagons are next on my bench for abuse so look out for these appearing here fairly soon.
SATURDAY August 5th
I've added a shot of the rake of four Lee Marsh clerestories, that I finished weathering yesterday, in Gallery 5 - Coaches. Beautiful models that required a lot of work to generate the slightly tired condition required by my client.
The roofs were the hardest to get right - the brief was to suggest how they might have looked about four years after their last repaint so the sides are relatively clean but weathering has highlighted the recesses and door apertures with false shadows, whilst the underframes, roofs and ends are looking a tad less well cared for.