TUESDAY May 19th

Dropping in scale back to 7mm again, a trio of wagons has been added to Gallery 3 - Freight today. They're part of a batch of such vehicles I'm working on, the rest of which will be added to the gallery after completion. Another 9F and a Princess will follow these.


I trust everyone's keeping well and bug free. 


FRIDAY May 8th

Making a change from all the 9Fs, I've just finished titivating an ex-Midland Kirtley Gauge 1 loco (Slaters kit) whose owner (and builder) wanted it in typical condition for his period of modelling.

My task was to paint it black, add his supplied slightly overscale transfers and weather it afterwards. I've popped a vew of it in Gallery 2 for you to peer at.


MONDAY April 20th

Posed on my refreshed diorama is the latest 9F to be abused, two views of which are in Gallery 1 for inspection.

The first image was taken in bright sunshine this afternoon, the second an hour or so later after the sky changed to a slightly hazier shade. I mention this purely to explain the difference in visual vibrance from direct sunlight to a somewhat shaded situation, which is something I have to take into account when studying prototype images. Lighting and its warmth or coolness can notably change the appearance of a model.

Note also how this Tyne Dock version, although still quite grubby, deoesn't have such pronounced streaks and stains running down the loco body sides as was evident in the last example I completed. Each model I weather is based upon specific instructions from its owner, often helped by reference to colour photos in books or private collections. Makes my life more straightforward if I have detailed reference images to work from. I have an extensive library of images within my own photo collection and colour books too, so there's usually plenty of material to work from.


WEDNESDAY April 15th

Another 9F has been completed today, fresh images of which are in Gallery 1 for your perusal. The continuing sunshine allows me to photograph models outside in good conditions and I'm also in the process of refurbishing my diorama - thought it was looking like me - a bit bald in places!

Fresh coverings of grass and shrubs plus a non-descript buffer stop are a work in progress and if my schedule permits, maybe a new look diorama/backdrop could be a good idea just to ring the changes. We'll see how it goes. 

Hope you're keeping safe and well.



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. 



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.




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