Friday, April 28, 2017

Removing a Heljan AC railcar body

John asks: I need to get access to my Heljan O Gauge AC Cars Railbus chassis to service the electrical pickups that failed at a recent Show. Any thoughts?

I had to go away and look this one up. It didn't get mentioned in the August 2015 issue of BRM when I covered detailing the model and quite frankly, I'd forgotten.

Fortunately, Howard mentioned disassembly in his review a couple of months earlier.

First, remove the handrails either side of the door. I don't think they are glued in place. Put them somewhere safe as they are easy to lose.

Then slide something under the door. Inside there is a clip and if you pull both doors out slightly, they should release the top half of the body. Of course, this weighs a ton so a couple of slivers of plastic sheet stuffed behind each door might be a good idea unless you have 3 hands.

After that, you in uncharted territory for me. I guess there will be much work with small screwdrivers to take the chassis apart. Good luck!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Bridges, shunters, baseboard builders and a photo shoot in BRM

May's BRM has been a busy one for me. A quick run down of my bits'n'pieces:

I've taken Heljan's 1361 tank and added a bit of personality to the RTR model. There are a few modifications, number plates, coal, pipes and quite a lot of new paint and dirt.  

In 7mm scale, how about a signal box? This kit from Polak isn't quick to build, but it goes together well, the result looks good and it is pretty sizeable. If you can glue a plastic kit together, this laser-cut model won't cause you too much of a problem.

 Rather faster, think an hour from opening the bag to finishing painting, is this laser-cut MDF bow girder bridge from ScaleModelScenery. Loads of bridge and so quick and easy to assemble.  

I had to brave a trip around part of the M25 to visit Modula Layouts in Billericay to collect some bespoke baseboards for a future project. No laser cutting here, just proper craftsmanship and some really useful ideas. As I say in the article, I meet at least two couples a year who would benefit from the services of someone able to give then a leg up towards building a layout.

My first layout photo shoot, the O9 model "Buttermere Mining Company" was carried out at the Small & Delightful show a few months ago. 7mm scale running on 9mm track is an unusual combination, but Bill Flude has made a lovely job of it. I'd really like to have a go myself... 

On the DVD, I'm demonstraiting hill-making skills with polystyrene. Having spent hours talking about this at various shows, it seemed sensible to put this on the disk so people can replay them at will. 

I'm also talking to Steve Purves from Bachmann about thier new 009 models as we watch the first Baldwin tank circle Owen's Bridge. 

And if all this isn't enough, here's Andy York and I standing on a level crossing talking about the contents:

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Warehouse Wednesday: Terrys factory

Terrys Factory

As I sat eating my cake (morning) or tiramsu (afternoon, how decedant is that in Yorkshire), the view out of the racecourse window was of the old Terrys chcolate factory. 

Sadly no longer making choccy products (the future wasn't Orange. Sorry) as it was the first few years of the model railway exhibitions tenure at the site, the building stood vacant for a while and has now been converted into apartments. 

Looking at the balconies, I wondered how easy they would be to add to a Metcalfe warehouse building?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Wooden seats

If it's O gauge, wooden bits can be made of close-grained wood. In this case I've used (I think) basswood, or as we call it, lime.

At 1mm thick, it's easy to work with a sharp knife, being careful when cutting across the grain. A light sand and the bits are ready to superglue in place. The only tricky one was the backs for the middle seats. After much faffing, I glued one end in place and then pushed the other where it should be (the wood fits between the poles) before the glue fully set and still had a little flexibility. 

The lengths of balsa signify that the wooden bogie's guage has been reduced to 21mm for the 3ft track that I don't own. I've a few ideas about this but they can wait for a bit.