Chris

Chris' workbench

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After a two week period which has been consumed by a wedding (2 weeks ago today already, wow!) and a honeymoon, today I decided to do a little bit of modelling. 

In the 'box of stuff' in the loft was a Railroad LNER closed van that I'd repainted a while ago and then forgotten about. So, using some spare water slide transfers from a Ratio GWR Toad, I decided to label it. 

Nothing too taxing, a simple job, the only issue being that, to avoid the van having a brake van number I decided to turn the number upside down. Accurate? No. Does a job? Yes. It's now been varnished and is currently drying. 

I enjoy working on stock and there are a few other wagons I've got that I want to make amendments to. Yes, Arley is my (very) long term project, but perhaps I should finally build an inglenook?

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I recently dipped my toes into the transfer market and swapped my Hornby Sentinel, Clara, for an outside crank variety. I’ve long wanted to model Betty, based at Rocks by Rail, and when I was offered a straight swap I jumped at the chance.

It was a Wabtec liveried beast but, no problem there. Once it arrived it was soon stripped and is currently sat in the state you see above: primed and ready for the crimson.

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The past week has seen me get a bit of time, here and there, on the Sentinel. Its coming along pretty well, and is now resplendant in the maroon/crimson of the Living Ironstone Museum’s very own Sentinel fleet.

This is destined to become Betty, therefore I’ve acquired the transfers from Railtec (stunning service, satisfied customer etc) and need to place the order for nameplates with Narrow Planet. Currently I’m undecided on the glazing. It’s a bit ‘bottom of a beer glass’ using the Hornby inserts, but am unsure whether I want to splash out of the Shaw plan lazer glaze.

There is a few bits that require tweaking – and I’m dreading adding the yellow on the front and back grills – but I’m pleased with how it’s come along so far.

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Thanks class 66.

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So, here's an update on the Sentinel. It's painted and I've lined both sides higher up. The yellow ends weren't as bad as I thought, using a cocktail stick to place the paint on worked well.

Still lots to do and the above is just plonked in place. It's getting there, though.

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Finally, an update on the Sentinel project! The repainting was done ages ago and so was the lining on the side panels.

However, I couldn’t fashion any lining for the side of the bonnets – and there were none on the decal sheet I bought – so I have ummed and arred about what to do for a long time.

Add in the fact I hadn’t put the windows back in, or attached the nameplates, and you can see the project was in limbo.

Not any more.

I bit the bullet and left the lining as it was, quickly added the nameplates and then wrestled the ‘bottom of the beer glass’ windows back in place. Therefore, it’s as finished as it will be for a now and I’m pretty pleased with it.

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I have a strange thing for 3 link couplings. I hate the standard tension lock and have experimented with Kadees but not particularly got on with them. Once I tried 3 links though, I’ve never looked back.

The Cory wagon above is one I’ve had for ages. A Hornby model, I weathered and then promptly forgot it. However, I’ve now dug it out and sorted the couplings so it can join my roster.

With the addition of this to the ranks, and taking delivery of the latest Gordon Edgar book yesterday (Industrial Railways of Wales), it looks like I’ll be heading over Offa’s Dyke for the location of my industrial micro.

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Another 16t wagon built with no modifications except 3 link couplings, my preferred choice. Its primed and has a painted chassis and now just needs the decals adding. Then it’s on to the weathering.

Nothing ground breaking, but good fun. And that’s what it’s all about, right?

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The Ratio coal staithes could never be considered the most in-depth or challenging modelling task but it has still been an enjoyable kit to make up over the past few evenings. The beauty of a little kit is that the odd five minutes here or there (which is all I get currently, with a five-month-old) soon leaves you with something that looks good.

I wondered about taking step-by-step photos so that I could write a step-by-step blog post about it (Michael Campbell and James Hilton are both particularly good at this) but, in a nutshell, I just glued it together, primed it, sploshed a few different shades of acrylic ‘wood’ colours and then splashed a dark wash over it. Job done.

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Wow, it’s been a while since I was able to post, what with the pressure on time an 8-month old causes. However, this weekend I’ve put together the finishing touches on one of the most enjoyable pieces of modelling I’ve ever done. 

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Using the Petite Properties Harper’s Yard kit as a base, I’ve gone far away from Britain, inspired by a photo on a Menorcan Instagram account I follow. This was mentioned in my blog post ‘A little niggle.’

The construction was fairly straightforward and makes use of Wills limewashed stone plastic sheet (sprayed in Halfords white primer which is an excellent paint) and their terracotta pantile tiling too. The doors and fittings are roughly painted to indicate wear and tear, coming from the Petite kit (with hinges made from slithers of painted paper) and the finishing touch on top of the roof was terracotta coloured air dry clay.

All that is needed is a very (very) light weathering and I’d love to add a few vivid plants, much like those seen in Binibeca.

I’ve really enjoyed this build and am looking forward to creating a layout for it but, for now, attention will turn to a 00 micro whilst I further research and plan a fantasy Menorcan line, using the excellent Rails Through Majorca book as inspiration.  

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