Monday 18 March 2013

Larking Around in Haywards Heath

Saturday saw the Sussex Downs 009 group host their Biennial "member's day" exhibition in Haywards Heath. The club's own layout, the Upsan Downs & Everleight Railway, was assembled for the first (and quite probably the last) time as a 50ft x 10ft L-shape, achieved with the modular format of the layout and arranging the "universal" fiddle-yard in the centre. Parts of this layout are 30 years old, but it is superbly detailed. I spent most of the day operating the Upsan Quay end, seen here.

There were plenty of other layouts, some by members, some by previous members, and some by friends - some even in scales other than 009! John Thorne's Purbeck was voted favourite by the public ("Best Unfinished Layout" - because no layout ever is!). The show went well, plenty of visitors (much better than 2 years ago, perhaps due to a better venue and date), excellent catering, and a good atmosphere.

Chris Ford had his excellent Tal Coed layout on display - recently featured in Railway Modeller, and the first time I had seen it, I can say it is a superb scene but much smaller in reality than it looks in the pictures! Chris had suggested a double-header to compare Skylarks, so having bodged a suitable coupling onto the rear of mine we gave it a go. The Kato and Fleishmann chassis ran at very different speeds, and that train doesn't really warrant a double-header, but they look pretty good together I think!

I also couldn't resist posing my Skylark and the Egger-bash coached on Tal Coed for a photo of them in the countryside. This is a fake though, although these are not large coaches they are too big for the clearances of Tal Coed!

Anyway, for the rest of the photos and the other layouts, click on the link below:

Haywards Heath Sussex Downs 009 Group 2013

Thursday 14 March 2013

Skylark and Egger Coaches Completed

So here are some pictures of the completed Skylark loco and coaches. Well, I need to add some passengers at some point, and maybe one day I'll get some transfers to add lettering. I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out - the modifications made to the Eggerbahn coaches have made a big difference to their look, the tram skirts on the Skylark look convincing, and by my standards the painting and weathering has come out well. Most of all both the loco and the coaches look right at home on Awngate, together or with my other stock, and fit in with the tramway theme.
Don't forget the Sussex Downs 009 group exhibition this Saturday in Haywards Heath. I'll be there helping out on the club layout or one of the other member's layouts, so do say hi. More details here.
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Monday 11 March 2013

Painting, Windows and Finishing

I'm not great at the painting, but being a mug I decided a two-tone livery would look best on the coaches, and brush-painting that took me a while! That was followed by a little weathering with dirty washes and weathering powders. The windows are the original Eggerbahn mouldings which have a ridge round each window, the only way that was going to look right was to paint it to look life a frame. More fiddly work with a brush, especially with the bars on the end door windows!

At Brighton I had picked up a bottle of "Micro Kristal Klear", which is a PVA-like glue that dries clear and does not mist plastic glazing. This was ideal for sticking the windows in, once in place the seat backs were stuck in place that hides the bottom of the glazing. The other feature of the glue is that it can be drawn across small openings to form the glazing, which I have tried with the Skylark spectacle plates, it can be seen drying in the picture above. If it works well I've got quite a few locos with unglazed spectacles...

Despite my best efforts keeping all the bits together I found I'd lost the glazing for the guard's compartment doors. I cut new glazing from clear plastic - set in an part open position, as all the other opening windows are open, so it would look odd if they were closed. A piece of microstrip finishes the frame.

Having added coal to the bunker and a driver figure inside it was time to stick the roof on the Skylark. The curvature of the plastic roof is slightly too much, so here it is being held in place while the epoxy dries!
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Monday 4 March 2013

Sussex Downs Members' Day Exhibition

The Sussex Downs 009 Group will be holding a "Members' day" exhibition in Haywards Heath on Saturday the 16th March, from 11am until 4:30pm. See the full poster here.

The club's layout, the "Everleight Light Railway", featuring several stations, a brickworks and quarry, can be assembled in different combinations for exhibition. However for the Member's Day it will be featured as a 50-ft long arrangement for the first - and probably only - time!

Other attractions include at least 9 other layouts in 009 and other scales (some well known, others not!), the 009 society sales stand, and specialist traders. I won't have one of my layouts there this year but no doubt I'll be behind the club layout, one of the other member's layouts, or even on the door. So please do drop in if you can, it promises to be a good show.

Saturday 2 March 2013

The Wealden group's Arundel show

The Wealden Railway Group's annual show in Arundel is at the opposite end of the exhibition spectrum to Brighton! The smallest of shows in a scout hall, and featuring modest layouts mostly built by the group's members, it is a friendly and informal show that is always worth a visit.

I didn't get the names or builders of the layouts but here's a couple that caught my eye. The photo above is of a simple German-based layout in H0, now I know nothing of German railways but clearly it was set pre-WW1 and featured some lovely stock, such as this fascinating steam railcar. The scenery and detailing was superb, and proved that a German layout doesn't have to look like a Faller catalogue!

This 0-16.5 layout (Felsham) showed that an interesting layout with a nice setting can be built in a compact space in this scale - I reckon about 4' x 1'. The locos and some of the stock looked scratch built too, or at least adapted to make a unique and convincing freelance line.

There were about 10 layouts and a diorama so at £3 (including a drink) this show is a bargain! However if you missed it you can see my photos here - though I may have missed one or two layouts.