Tuesday 26 December 2023

New coaches and people

 Christmas has brought a couple of new coaches...

A Festiniog Railway "bug box" and a freelance Glyn Valley style brake van. There were a few other model railway related presents with some scenic items and some 3D printed figures...

These are from Finescale Figures (actually ordered in a sale some time ago), the selection includes some seated figures destined for coaches, a variety of animals, and some modern dress figures. These are resin printed and although the detail is not as sharp as Model-U, they are realistic in proportion and pose and I'm sure will benefit Hexworthy. 

I trust Santa brought you nice goodies too!

Sunday 24 December 2023

Life for Hexworthy

The work seen in this post has happened over several months. I was actually painting figures back in the summer, it's a task that takes time and was spread out over a few weeks of occasional evenings, while other details have been prepared alongside painting the coaches recently. It's only in the last few days I've added the details to the layout. Usually I keep figures to a minimum on my layouts to suggest life, but as Hexworthy is a preserved railway station and I will be running lots of passenger trains, it will need to look like a reasonably popular tourist destination. 

Figures come from a variety of suppliers. I was particularly looking for children for the playground, in modern dress rather than looking like they stepped out of a "Just William" story. At the top we have a Faller set in playing poses, HO scale of course but children come in all sizes. Next we have some from Langley (which look like TT scale adults) and Pete Goss (rather chubbier). Then there are teenagers and adults from Monty's Models. The bottom two rows are loco crews from Faller, Dapol, and ModelU, some have already been assigned locos and some await fitting. The animals and fire buckets are from Dart Castings. Whitemetal figures later had their legs drilled and a length of wire superglued in to help secure them in place on the layout. 

These benches and picnic tables are a Metcalf Models laser-cut kit, and look just right for a modern era preserved railway. Although cut from a brown cardstock that is a reasonable representation of natural wood, they received several coats of grey and brown washes to give a more weathered finish. 

I also got some 3D printed station signs from Model Railway Scenes, rather easier than sticking separate letters on although painting the letters was tricky. The signs and posts are nicely printed with no visible lines, my only suggestion is that the length could do with shortening for shorter names. The pack has 4 signs with posts, but I only really have room for one standing on the platform and one on the wall of the goods shed. The benches have been added to the platform, and the picnic tables situated outside the goods shed café. 

A close-up of the café entrance shows the teenagers hanging around outside, while inside customers can be seen at the tables. Actually there is one table and a few chairs, more fine 3D prints by Model Railway Scenes, plus a couple of Faller seated people. The people were destined for coach passengers but these two appear to be holding drinks, so were allocated to the café. Although there is just one table, two customers and four chairs, it's enough to give an impression of a café interior since even with the light on, it's not possible to see further in. 

At the other end of the station the fire buckets have found a home outside the gents, while a father and son wait on the platform. The lone gent on the left is either trying to get a signal on his mobile or taking a selfie. 

The playground has had the most figures added to really bring it to life, in fact the playground is busier than the station, which might need a few more potential passengers. The Faller kids are ideal for the swing, see-saw, roundabout and climbing frame, with the whitemetal figures dotted around. In the far corner grandparents wait on the bench while in the gateway a mum is distracted on her phone. Meanwhile, another mum and boy are buying ice creams. 

The animals have also been added. Here a couple of rabbits are in danger from a fox. 

Another of the Model Railway Scenery chairs is see outside the old caravan. Look carefully and you can see a squirrel near the caravan, a hedgehog near the tracks on the left and a rabbit lower right. 

Being Dartmoor there had to be sheep too, one of which seems to have got itself the wrong side of the tracks. A hare can be seen in the field too. There's also two squirrels in this shot (one of them an unlikely red squirrel), plus the rabbit seen in the last shot. In total there are 4 sheep, 3 rabbits, 3 squirrels, 2 foxes, 2 hedgehogs, and 2 stoats on the layout. That should keep the kids busy.

Wishing all readers a happy Christmas!