Thursday, 30 June 2022

A book about scenery worth buying

This title does exactly what claims, it is a blow by blow account of how to create vegetation that will stand close scrutiny. Lots of colour illustrations that show how it is done.

This book is for those modellers who wanted to try themselves in this part of modeling but either did not felt the courage to do it from scratch or found the ready-made elements too expensive. The author, László Adóba builds with the simpliest tools and cheapest materials, ensuring that you can experiment with them without worrying. More than 250 pictures lead you step-by-step through the different phases of making scenery and vegetation from weeds to trees.  There are hints about what do you have to take special care at the different steps, how to avoid possible traps. 

Try and find a copy from SBS books

Details for the garden.....

With a diorama it is important to not over do the details but equally all the details that you expect to see should be there, I try to use the real thing as inspiration.

Grass is essential in a rural garden, whether the gardener wants it or not, a grass mat may be the best idea for a carefully attended lawn. This was a cheap offcut of 'summer grass' mat though it must have been a rather wet summer.

And this is static grass as the 'unwanted' grass that seems to be everywhere.

Amongst the long grass at the bottom of the garden and as far as possible from the cottage, some beehives. In reality, no more than half a dozen if selling honey is more than a pastime.

Finally, a cliche that is rarely done well, a scarecrow that has been very carefully fashioned.

Wednesday, 29 June 2022

Moving the cottage - 2


A bit of an apology, I am no longer able to construct anything that needs precision, so I limit myself to scenery and the occasional building, for anything that moves, I rely on the kindness and patience of others.
However, in order to maintain the blog, unless told otherwise, I will post whatever I can manage and the current 'mini project' of West Country cottage and garden is keeping my remaining skillsets functioning.
Thanks for being patient
This is the cottage, it has been weathered, it is inspired by properties within a few miles of the workshop.

More to follow.......

Bare ground

It might seem odd to post an image of Chris Nevard's superb work but his rendition of bare ground is outstanding, there is a subtlety of textures that is simply breathtaking.

The platforms were my handiwork and are sand coloured Acrylmasse sold by Stangel, this image below better illustrates the texture.

The stuff is sold in 250g tubs and is best applied with a stiff bristle 25mm brush that is occasionally dipped in water to ease application and stop the bristles from clogging. Allow a day to completely dry.

The brown mix will be used around the cottage as ground cover.

Tuesday, 28 June 2022

An apple tree

 What cottage garden does not have an apple tree?

This will look rather good at the side of the cottage.

Monday, 27 June 2022

Corrugated wonders and blunders

 Corrugated iron was a very popular choice for temporary structures from full size homes to pig shelters, the cottage has two rather iconic buildings, a '30s garage and from the '40s, an Anderson shelter and finally a Southern all purpose storage building. 


 The garage is tiny and is just big enough for a small Austin.

The shelter will be surrounded by an earthen bank of soil and turf to serve as some protection from blast, such was the fear of air raids in WW2

Sunday, 26 June 2022

Moving the cottage - 1

The arrival of the brick villa near to the station is the reason why the rather nice thatched cottage is being relocated in the hilltop by the road.

Rather than plonk the cottage on bare ground, a small diorama base has been sourced from the hardboard back of an old picture frame. 

And this is the cottage etc. on the diorama base, don't worry about the colour of the base, it is merely a textured finished that has been toned down before the vegetation is applied. Once the grass is down, the apple trees and the vegetable garden in place, it will be totally different. Unfortunately that will only half way through the build, there are lots of micro-scenes to create..

The hen-house is far as possible from the cottage, they maybe be productive but the smell can be overwhelming.

Between the outbuildings and the cottage there will be a very productive vegetable garden, the time frame of '48-52 was still during rationing, every garden was used to its full potential.

These will certainly emphasis the ‘cottage garden’ look to the diorama.

Saturday, 18 June 2022

Beyond the Dorchester and Exeter Extension

The proposed Dorchester and Exeter Extension would have run between Dorchester South and near to what was the junction with the Yeovil Extention line just east of Axminster with a further junction to the Chard-Taunton line.

One of many proposed routes of the D&E

But what of the traffic both on and off the line, presumably not all the trains would have terminated at either Dorchester or Exeter? The line would have been an extremely useful alternative diversionary and direct route albeit it single and the Plymouth-Portsmouth-Brighton service would have been better served by the D&E as it would have enjoyed a trailing connection at Dorchester South for traffic from Portland's naval base via Weymouth.

H2 32421 on a Bournemouth-Brighton crosses the Avon at Christchurch
The train would have exchanged locos at Bournemouth with a Brighton loco for the remained of the journey, Bournemouth or Exmouth Junction would have shared the supply of suitable motive power between Exeter and Bournemouth. The latter had an allocation of D15s in '48 whilst Exmouth had both S11s and T9s both capable over the hills between Exeter and Dorchester.
 Very capable 4-4-0s

Thursday, 9 June 2022

Vernacular buildings

This rather tumbledown shed looks interesting and definitely worth modelling, it is in a garden centre that was once a goods yard.

Vernacular buildings have a charm all of their own, especially if made from corrugated iron and/or bits of wood. They seem to proliferate in quiet corners of yards, often in the company of rusty oil drums and brambles, this one seems to have attracted some pallets.

Monday, 23 May 2022

T9 completed

 Progress and completion 

The cab interior has turned out well.

The tender brake was broken and the clacks are Markits as are the buffers and cross-drilled whistle. All coming along very nicely thanks to Steven.

Monday, 25 April 2022

An oddity


An oddity of history, this is exLSWR Adams 0395 number 28 that was sold to the British Government for overseas duties. Seen here in Palestine, it lasted until the late ‘20s before being scrapped, it never returned home.

It was built by Neilsons of Glasgow in 1885 Works number 3545, it was a short frame version. 

Sunday, 24 April 2022

GER van from Oxford Rail

 Sunday morning, a new wagon from Oxford Rail. It is simply rather good and more than capable of putting others to shame.

This example was weathered and upgraded by Adam C on the Western Thunder forum 

The most amazing feature is the cost, just £14.00, less than half of less impressive recent releases. 

The van could be found in goods yards far from East Anglia until the ‘60s, well worth adding to the wagon park. 

Friday, 8 April 2022

Locos of Beaminster Road -2

Rather than prototype images, a few images of the model locomotives of Beaminster Road. At the moment, one or two unseen locos are still 'in build'

Keeping with a theme of 'tall chimney, big domes and low boilers', the candidates are not obvious and certainly not from the same source.

exLSWR D15 30466 4-4-0 BEC+OOWorks tender

exLSWR T9 30304 4-4-0 Wills+Hornby tender

exLSWR K10 30382 4-4-0 OOWorks+Hornby tender

exLSWR M7 s58 0-4-4T Jidenco

SR BoB class 4-6-2 s21C159 Hornby


exSECR N Class 1406 2-6-0 Bachmann

exLSWR 0395 30581 0-6-0 DJH kit with Comet chassis 
All are DCC equipped whilst the N and K10 have a stay-alive. 
Most are of metal construction and modified to some extent. Only the N and the BoB models were ready to run, the remainder were originally kits.

Friday, 1 April 2022

The push+pull for Bridport

The town of Bridport is on the D&E, it was at one time the second largest community in Dorset sending rope and fishing nets to Canada and beyond. Its importance is problematic as the roads in South West Dorset are both narrow and steep, making it somewhat difficult to access, the rail connection is vital and there is a regular service between Bridport and Dorchester of just under 15miles. The train is a shuttle comprising a push+pull set suitably powered until the '60s by an M7.  

 Some months ago I acquired a nice Jidenco M7, in SR livery, it was basically sound but needed a great deal of TLC, a DCC upgrade and there were some missing items. The plus side was its running qualities, after a tiny Zimo was fitted, it performed faultlessly thanks to the flywheel-fitted DS10.

Move forward a few months and the livery has been removed ready for painting to represent M7 s58 as seen at Yeovil Town in the late '40s.

And a suitable P+P train is planned, a Gate Set would be appropriate as they were was used at Yeovil and Weymouth.

A brand new EFE gate set just appeared on eBay with a 33% discount, it will do nicely.

Tuesday, 25 January 2022

Southern Ground Frame

D15 30466 Swanwick 15th Mar '50 with a nice SR ground frame

This looks interesting 😊

It is Bachmann Scenecraft LSWR Ground Frame Hut - Boscarne Jnc, exclusive to KMRC. Unfortunately, the nameboard is not removable, some ingenuity is needed but it'll do.