Category Archives: 2013

2nd half 2013

We left the layout with construction just starting up again in May. Here are Doug and Gordon working on the new staging yard baseboards – plywood top and softwood bracing. I’m helping by taking photographs. We used ‘EM-gauge society’ baseboard locators – metal pin and holes that screw to the ends of baseboards; These are visible in the third picture where we are weighing down the cork with anything to hand. The fourth picture shows an unusually summery set of modellers and below that are some shots of the layout in July.

Also in July, we completed purchase of the clubhouse from our local council and that meant that the plans to move into the main hall, with more room for our extension, became possible.

As some of you will know, we were very sad to lose Chris Bennett at the end of August – he had prostate cancer and had been in hospital and then a nursing home since the spring. His modelling prowess is evident in so many of the structures on our model of Mauch Chunk, as well as in the overall construction. He is sadly missed.

Over the Autumn (= the Fall) we finished the baseboards while one of the other groups modified the new annex building that we had acquired on the site. This would mean they could move there out of the main hall making room for us. After the end-October exhibition, which their layout attended, they duly moved into the annex. We cleared the space left and in January moved Mauch Chunk through into the main hall. We were delighted that even with inexperienced modellers we dismantled it in a couple of hours and then re-erected it (see photos above) in another couple. At the end of this we had stock running! A testament to Chris and Paul’s construction and wiring.

2013 weathering

Much of the activity so far in 2013 has been in sorting out rolling stock. Removable coal loads have been prepared for all the hoppers using real coal, sieved down into different size ranges and glued to foam shapers. Photos show the basic process and a variety of the results.

All the hoppers have also been weathered inside and out for consistency using acrylics, weathering powders, Tamiya weathering pads (& make-up applicators – see first photo below), Tensocrom liquids to simulate oil and water spilss, and astonishing Rust effect liquid. ..also an airbrush. The techniques are all described in the UK ‘Model Rail’ DVD by George Dent – ‘The Weathering Expert’ – quite outstanding and worth purchasing even from across the Atlantic, if you can be sure it will work in a US DVD player. These are the main products and implements used .

I have also weathered most of the boxcars (some shown below), some tank cars and some switchers. Weathering is hard to photograph, but hopefully some of the photos will give some idea.

Chris and I have also each started to modify a BLI Mikado to an M3a CNJ Mikado. It is still fairly early days but the photos show the steps in producing the classic Wooton firebox. Many more photos to come but it won’t be quick!