Saturday, 8 December 2007

Layout update

No major updates but I've assembled my coal stage loading chute thing from the ratio kit. Mostly very high quality mouldings but some parts were way too thin and relied on a lot of creative use of clamps to hold together edges... not quite as well thought out as the last kit I built (the kibri church). In particular the ladder was way to thin and snapped when I was trimming sprue so mine has a shorter upright ladder rather than the conventional angled ladder specified in the kit. I also replaced the handrails on the ladder with Nbrassloco handrail wire as it's straight and stiff (for some reason Ratio seem to think it's a good idea to supply handrail wire as a coil of fairly soft stuff in a tiny packet in the instructions... bizarre as the box is more than big enough to fit straight lengths of decent stuff). Anyhow, the Mrs wants me to have it painted black as per everything else in our apartment (grown up goths) but I'm not sure what would be best... suggestions welcome as ever.

Pics of assembled (minorly kitbashed) coal loader...

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Friday, 23 November 2007

Rail Zeppelin Update

Fantastic article on the Schienenzeppelinhere courtesy of I couldn't fin any contact details for the author so hopefully he wont me linking... the rest of the site's stuff on unusual vehicles is fascinating also.

Wiki image of the Schienenzeppelin or rail-zeppelin as it is sometimes known:

N gauge model of the Schienenzeppelin and it's derivative model the SVT 13715 are available from MGSharp here


Thursday, 22 November 2007

Kato GG1

The mumblings are out there... apparently we can expect a new N scale version of the Loewy's iconic GG1 at some point in the new year... no official confirmation from Kato (and I did ask very directly!) and no pictures anywhere up online but it's enough to make me hold my horses on buying an old Arnold one... got to love that Japanese quality!


Friday, 16 November 2007

Layout Update

Updates on some bits and pieces...

The Nn3 streamlined shunter is well underway and has basic body and wiring for the headlamp (GOW bulb) sorted, it runs a treat on the Z scale flex track I got from MG sharp - one of my favourite online shops for railway bits and pieces. I'm waiting on some detailing parts from Nbrassloco and some kind donations from a fellow Nn3 modeller to finish it off. I'm using a nameplate of "The Great Bear" from Fox decals and the whole thing will be nice matt black.

As it stands it looks like this:

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Paint job's on the freighter, though I'm still having trouble getting the wood right... I need some custom transfers really to fit with the rest of the layout...

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Friday, 9 November 2007

My Church

Built, kitbashed and painted Kibri church for my layout.... more gothic than deco but I love it.

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Thursday, 8 November 2007

At last a N scale PRR T1

The fantastically weird and gorgeous PRR T1 has in fact been modelled in N scale by someone.... albeit not a manufacturer.

The evidently fantastically patient Max Magliaro over at Max Cow Online scratchbuilt (or extreme kitbashed perhaps?) it from Con-Cor/Kato Hudson chassis with handmade styrene and brass bodywork. More info available here but for the full information a visit to the NTrak Steam Locomotive Information Book is in order.

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Thanks to Max for the images:

Max has also got a rather lovely version of the NYC Hudson again with Con-Cor/Kato Hudson chassis using a brass and styrene scratchbuilt body and tender...

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Applause in order I think!

Now if only he could be persuaded to make a cast of them...

Anyone else who's found any Loewy designs in N scale please let me know!


Saturday, 3 November 2007

Station interior.

Had some ideas about the interior of the station, which is for the moment known as Glenstowe Cross.

The upstairs airport area has passport control desks, a central flower bed, waiting seats and a welcome desk for incoming passengers.

The downstairs station has a couple of shops, toilets, tickets and an information booth.

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Friday, 2 November 2007

Glenstowe Station

I just finished my mockup of the Glenstowe station/airport to serve until I can build the real thing. It doesn't have the domed back or much of the detailing but it gives a better idea of scale next to my A4 (still can only fit in two coaches :( ). Mocking it up this way has helped resolved a few consturction issues and plans will be tweaked accordingly before I get the final thing laser cut!

Pics of station prototype:

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Port Rosea Freighter

Hello all,

T minus about 3 weeks til I can afford track and start baseboard building!

In the meantime I've set about kitbashing the bulk carrier for my dock using a 1/130 oil tanker kit I stumbeld upon in Modelzone - saving myself about £70 from the cheapest N scale freighter kit I could find (made by Sylvan). The kit I got is made by "Eastern Express" and whilst it's nice and cheap, it is quite frankly the worst tooling I've ever seen. Almost every piece had misaligned halves (sometimes by up to 1mm), missing bits or corners lost in blobs of plastic! So as well as rebuilding the main deck to look like a bulk carrier not a tanker (complete with 1950s wooden hatch covers) I've had to fill loads of the gaping holes with plasticard...argh...

Anyhow here's my tanker in its current unpainted state:

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And the part I'm particularly pleased with - the wooden hatch covers:

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Tuesday, 30 October 2007


I'm starting to be won over a little by the dark side of the force..... modern trains.... generally I don't think their aerodynamics match up in any way, shape or form to the wonderful curves of yesteryear but I've developed a bit of a soft spot for the 500 series Shinkansen -I guess part of it is loving Japanese design, but mostly it's just very elegant....

Luckily Kato do a lovely model! Cheapest price I can find so far is at MG Sharp where you can find it looking like this:

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Layout Update

After much help from Southernboy here is where the layout stands!

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City Station/Airport is now incorporated into one two level transport hub inspired by Embankement Place. Current model looks like this:

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My ebay stuff has finally started to arrive after the postal strike! First to do anything with is my Z gauge Marklin 88051 chassis (unbelievably tiny) to turn in to my Nn3 shunter. I've taken all the measurements and built a sketchup model to see what I can fit around the mechanics. This is what the design is looking like at the moment:

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Also my Del Prado SNCB Class 12 Belgian Streamline Locomotive model arrived. I'm having a chassis built by the fantastic Bob at BRlines, so hopefully this static kit will soon become a runner! Making the static loco into a runner has thus involved the following....

The original model:

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Locomotive removed from base plate:

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Remove the screws from the loco and (sorry I missed the pics of the labourious process of doing this) remove the lead weight inside the loco. For me this involved using a heated dental tool and scalpel:

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That's how far I am so far with the SNCB...update as soon as I can

I also just received a Langley Models LMS Coronation Streamlined Loco Kit. As soon as I get a Minitrix chassis to fit I'll be posting the results of this - watch this space.


Saturday, 20 October 2007

Layout update

New track plan for the layout!

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-The second loop is now slightly large and the turns are constant radius all the way round

-Port Rosea now has only one platform and one through line. Didn't seem to make sense to be building two platforms and it compressed everything.

-Right hand turn is more constant radius.

-Flex track used for all the long straights to minimize joints.

-Glenstowe side track reworked to remove roundhouse (none of the kits I can find fit with the art deco kitbashing plans), and add a shunting/fiddle yard type area. More fun to operate and it makes better use of the uber expensive 3 way point I wanted to have somewhere in the layout.

oh and the airport runway is slightly longer. I'm still modelling a steam catapult into the surface to account for how it's too short for scale takeoff though!

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Today's streamliner pick

More streamlined lovelies here...

N scale supply has a gorgeous variant on the DRG class 0110 being used as a US Transportation Corps Train here.

Over in America, Con-cor are doing some fantastic streamline models, although some have been retired (snap them up whilst you can) browse their list here. Some of their choice beauties include:

GS-4 Wartime Version 4-8-4

Adaptations of the "N" Scale 4-8-4 "Northern" type Steam Loco

J3a 4-6-4 Hudson Steam Locomotives Shovel Noses

Over at the rather wonderfully named, there are some nice models to. Including several colour variants on the DL-109 Diesel Locomotive and a nice informative page on the Kato version of the Super Chief F-7

Over at Garth & Dora Hamilton's site WWW.VE3HO.CA there are some lovely models in the steam train section. Of particular note to streamline fans are their:

Microace P7

Microace C55

Microace C53

There are also some great images and info on ConCor Streamliner's on the Hamilton's page here, I especially like their Hudson Shovel Nose:

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Coronation Class

For those of us that lament the availability of the LMS Princess Coronation Class and subsequent Duchess versions as only un-streamlined models there is a solution!

Langley Models sell a body kit to convert a minitrix britannia chassis and tender (main shop entrance>N scale kits>Locomotive Body kits...), or with a bit of adapatation (apparently) a Farish Duchess chassis into a streamlined Coronation Class... happy filing...

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Glenstowe Express Poster

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My fiancee made me post this

she claims everyone will love this video of us at Thames Ditton Miniature railway as much as she does *wince*...

Monday, 15 October 2007

Layout naming!

Ok, the layout has beed named!

It will have two, one for the city end, and one for the village bit (boundary line will notionally be the viaduct line). The city will be called...

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From the Gaelic "gleann" meaning narrow valley and the Anglo-Saxon "stow" meaning meeting place.

The village and dock area will be named...

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The port bit because I like Port as a prefix and there's a dock, and the rest from the Welsh "Rhos" meaning moorland and the Anglo-saxon "Ea" meaning water or river. So a generally quite damp place!

Streamlined update

Some more links for all to enjoy...

Rather lovely high res prints of London Midland & Scottish Railway 'Princess Coronation Class' Streamlined Pacifics No. 6220 Coronation and No. 6225 Duchess of Gloucester Designed by W.A. Stanier are available here

A nice timeline of the history of streamliners development in the US here.

GHQ models do a 1942 Hiawatha passenger car conversion kit for wagons, but their real standout products are the gorgeous 30s/40s/50s N scale cars they stock. Great for keeping your layout matching the locos. List of their N gauge vehicles is here

My layout

Hello all... here's my layout thus far in its development stages, these have all been documented on various web forums, mostly at New Railway Modellers.

It's based on a board of 42 by 185cm to fit on top of my ikea expedit bookcase. The layout is a loose and entirely freelance combination of things I'm passionate about, including Art Deco buildings, Narrow Gauge (Nn3), viaducts, and of course streamliners.

The buildings I've designed for the left hand side are meant to be a kind of Art Deco Airport/Station transport hub. This is primarily to give me an excuse to have a weird mixture of zeppelin and cool luftwaffe aircraft in the layout (I've purchased a 1/144 scale Horten IX and a He 111 for this purpose, doubtless more will come!)

The airport building (formed from PVC hemisphere section and laminations of 3mm styrene profiles):

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Youtube flyround of the Airport:

The main city railway station just below the airport on the diagram. It will be a kitbash using a Faller 222128 Overall Station Roof. If you can't already tell I have a bit a love affair with the faller range of kits!

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First draft of the layout:

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Second draft was improved by giving the left hand curve a longer run to get up the viaduct level gradient. The Z gauge/Nn3 track (the red one) has been changed totally (partially to avoid spending £100 on points). It will now serve to deliver freight to the dock side, and to go through to the town/village - at some point this will be running on little trestles to take it high enough to pass over the secondary/village shuttle track. (See the dockside railway at Morwellham Quay for my original motivation for building a narrow gauge railway and the trestles - though mine will be heavier duty - gallery of images courtesy of the BBC at ). The secondary track running around the village/town area now has a loop as well as a siding that will run in to the Iron Foundry model area. It uses almost entirely Tomix track which allows very tight radii, but only short locos will be running on it. It now joins the main track in a much neater joint inside a mountain tunnel (with side access panels). The village/town will now have a church, a less formal platform/station area, and a definite "town square" area with roman cobbling. The main express loop will run below the town level to allow the secondary track to run round without the cobbled together multiple crosses. The section coloured dark grey will be a visible cutting.

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Third Draft....

Changes after chat with some chaps on the Mac DCC yahoo mailing list (amazing find for dedicated apple-lites like myself) include:

-Secondary loop pretty much totally reworked and another join to the primary track added. The village platform can now be access on both sides by the express track to allow passing by.

- there's now a story (ish) to go with the narrow gauge and the brewery (iron foundry faller building kit with a bit of kit bashing for no other reason than I like beer and the overhead gantry thing remind me of the guiness storehouse in dublin). There will be two type of freight on the line (now to be shunted with my streamline tank!), tipper wagons to deliver an unspecified ore material and some kind of barrel or beer material carrying wagons that will give me an excuse to run the Nn3 line into the village over the trestles etc in homage to Morwellham Quay! The idea being the dock also serves for internation beer haulage when it's not home to the ship collecting mining ore. The secondary line (which may or may not be served by the Rail-Zeppelin if I can get it to take those turns) will have a siding into the brewery to deliver workers at the beginning of the work day.

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Comments and suggestions all welcome!


Product links aplenty

The lovely and (According to Spookshow) 'greatest steam locomotive ever to grace N scale' is available at the bargain price of £89 from Hattons. Click here for the page...

They also have available a really interesting HO scale model of the Chinese Streamline Tank Loco manufactured by Kawasaki in the 1930s.

This would make a gorgeous N scale model if anyone had the time. I'm personally planning an Nn3 shunter based on this for my layout. Only at the sketch stage at the moment but comments would be welcome:

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Osborn are also doing a fantastic set of streamline coaches here. They're meant to go with a GG1 or soemthing I think, but I reckon they'd look great behind any streamliner.

And finally the model that got me started, the Farish/Bachmann A4 Classis available here