WEDNESDAY April 1st
I've added a couple of shots of the latest 9F to Gallery 2. This one is in a medium state of typical weathering, so not as abused as some have been. I have quite a large collection of 9F photographs to work from and they really varied quite notably in their appearance, but anyone who's seen the preserved 9F Black Prince must have spotted its extremely clean and smart appearance and to me it just looks wrong, if that makes any sense. Almost like a very large shiny model!
Maybe I need to get out more - but then again, at the moment . . . doh!
MONDAY March 23rd
With most folk's attention being directed toward the virus and possibly some of you experiencing financial priority changes, unless I'm advised otherwise, I shall continue the weathering work on your models I have here as normal - or at least as normal as it gets under the circumstances. I work from home so there's no real change for me regarding social distancing and I shall keep everyone informed as to progress on their items as usual.
If anyone's concerned about their commissions, for whatever reason, let me know. Plainly I can't now deliver or collect models to or from you at shows as they're all cancelled or postponed for the time being but we can always discuss alternative methods of doing so if you wish. Carriers are still working so I'm sure we can sort things out to suit all concerned.
Back to specific work matters and I switched locos around and tackled the Castle first as its weathering was a lot simpler and quicker to achieve than the 9Fs I have awating attention. Fewer wheels and a smarter bodywork condition requested allowed it to be completed somewhat faster than, say, the 9Fs. I've popped an image in Gallery 1 - once again photographed indoors in LED lighting.
Now I'm turning my attention back to the 9Fs, one of which is at its early weathering stages at the moment. With each of these types there's lots of steel motion that requires clearing of its protective coating so that I can both chemically blacken/brown it and employ permanent marker pens to create the oil stained finish I'm generally asked to provide. All my own photographic research shows examples invariably in this oil stained and generally heavily gunked condition - in fact I've not found any colour views of their motion in anything other than this state. In preservation, locos invariably have their rods and motion cleaned and oiled in a nice shiny steel finish, but I've seen no evidence of this treatment back in BR days, other than maybe for Royal trains or similar.
Roughly speaking, reproducing this takes a full working day of continuous cleaning, staining, polishing, weathering, staining, further weathering and so on until I think I've got it looking right. Lots of metalwork on these large locomotives and this has to be tackled before I even touch the bodywork. I'll add images of these here when they're completed.
WEDNESDAY March 17th
With the virus dominating the news and no doubt worrying a lot of folk, I'm back in the workshop concentrating my thoughts and efforts instead on yet another of Lee Marsh's superb 9Fs. This example was requested in a somewhat less grubby condition than most I've tackled so far and it made an interesting change to understate the weathering.
I've added two images of it in Gallery 2 and with the dull and damp conditions that pervade the Devon countryside at the moment, I photographed it in the workshop under LED 'daylight' lighting. If the weather improves and we get some sun, maybe I'll take fresh images outdoors and add these later.
Next up is - you guessed it - yet another 9F, with a nicely polished BR(WR) Castle class shortly afterwards to ring the changes.
WEDNESDAY March 4th
Just returned from a trip abroad but couldn't say here beforehand that we would be out of the country for a month as that would possibly be an open invitation to the criminal fraternity to come and have a look around. Back in circulation now and if anyone's been trying to contact me during the past month I apologise if all they found was an ansafone message but hopefully you will understand my reasons for not explaining in more detail my absence during this time.
As soon as I've got my head back into work mode, I'll get stuck into weathering again, progress in which will be listed and illustrated here as soon as possible.
MONDAY February 3rd
The Bristol show, as always, went extremely well and I apologise if any of you tried to see me and found me knee deep in onlookers. I was kept busy throughout the day with hardly a break to see any of the show myself but I gathered from comments made that folk were impressed with the layouts and varieties of traders present.
The workshop will be closed until March 5th and I won't be able to respond if you make contact during this period, but I shall hopefully be back at the workbench soon thereafter.
WEDNESDAY January 22nd
As mentioned last week, I've now finished the Lee Marsh coach that had to be in a more distressed condition than the early period GWR liveried ones I've tackled previously. An image is at the head of Gallery 5 - Coaches, with two more views in the main body of shots. These coaches looked quite different with their heavily weathered black roofs, drawing the eye downward to the more interesting coach sides.
With the 1927 simpler livery (but later post-war finish), it's easier to highlight the door seams and mutiple beading layers that otherwise are less obvious in a clean and fully lined livery of an earlier type. Light touches with a fine brush allow diluted washes of dark black/brown enamel to become trapped in all the recesses of the cream colour or be drawn to the edges of the panelling by capillary action, creating false shadows and emphasizing the cleaner cream parts. These effects are almost wasted on a clean and fully lined version as the eye isn't going to notice them so easily.