Tag Archives: 16T

Expo time

This weekend brings ExpoEM North and for the second year, I have the pleasure of being amongst the range of demonstrators there, along with my good friends Brian Sunman and Ken Gibbons.  Anyone who’s been to an Expo will know the unique atmosphere they have, and we’re very much looking forward to being there and seeing what else Derek Evans has lined up.  Demoing is probably less tiring than showing a layout, but that said, it can be even more difficult to see the rest of the show!

The overall theme of our little bit will be BR period modelling, and Ken will be taking an eclectic mix of projects which echo back to the spirit of Modelling the British Rail Era. Steam, diesel and very probably electric, from the ’60s to the ’90s all have a chance of making an appearance.  Brian’s main focus will be on buildings for our under-construction Waverley route layout, but he will also have with him some of the Carflats that he’s been working on for the same project. This pic isn’t my best effort and the wagon needs some finishing work, but it should show the effectiveness of what is essentially a simple conversion – based on an LMS Period 1 coach underframe as so many of the prototypes were:

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I shall be presiding over my usual random mix of modified RTR and kitbuilds, and will also be taking my paintbox.  One particular project I’ll be giving a coat of looking at is my small fleet of grain wagons based on the Trix/Lilliput model.

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The methods we use are not specific to any particular prototype or period, but that said, we recognise it’s a finescale show and will obviously slant things that way.  We all have some experience in regauging locos and stock so if you’re curious about easy steps into EM, ask away. And the same goes for anything that’s on show, or even that isn’t.  We’re there to talk, and don’t be put off if we look ‘busy’ or already have somebody at the table – it’s usually a case of the more the merrier 🙂

More details on ExpoEM North can be found on the Society’s own website.

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Filed under Brakevans, Heritage diesels, Mineral wagons, Off the beaten track, Scottish railways, Uncategorized, Wagon kits, Wagon loads, Wagon weathering

Only the crumbliest, flakiest, erm, lump of plastic…

Well hello, you’ve found the first post on the blog.  It’s probably a pathetically obvious thing to do –  and I don’t really want to perpetuate the notion that the real ‘Windcutters’ were only composed of 16 ton mineral wagons –  but in all honesty, there was probably no better wagon type with which to start things rolling here.

The example in question is based on a Bachmann RTR model; nothing exceptional in that, as I’ve got far more of them than is strictly good for me. This one though is quite topical, in that it uses the first credible factory weathered issue (catalogue number 37 377F) as a basis.  The rust on this is actually quite convincing in shade and shape, and the flakes are evidently applied through a mask, rather than previous efforts which have essentially been little more than a waft of earth coloured paint over the lower quarters.

As is my usual practice, I overpainted the base livery with a lighter grey as the one that Bachmann use is quite dark.  It’s not necessarily wrong – the shades used by BR did vary widely and I’m not that well qualified to comment on matters that were developing whilst I was a toddler – but I think the darker shade is probably more appropriate for 1950s applications and even then, it wouldn’t have been applied anything like universally.  Anyhoo, finding a more typical grey isn’t actually that easy and after some experimentation I’ve settled on Revell #76. It’s light enough, darkens slightly with a wash and also has a pleasing bluey tinge in some light, and it’s also a fairly close match for the plastic that most of the Airfix 16T kits are moulded in.

Obviously in this case the #76 had to be applied pretty carefully, trying to preserve the best bits of the factory flakes.  If you happen to have an out-of-the-box one to hand, you’ll be able to recognise which they are.  The additions consist of assorted flecks, scrapes and smears, applied with a fine brush and/or worked with cotton buds, and blended into the  existing patches.  A limited amount of work was done with gouache, notably the scabby patch to the side of the number and the streaks from the right hand top corner.  The model has also been renumbered in a hybrid style typical of the mid/late 1960s, it could still do with the lettering toning down slightly as well as the odd bit of touching in here and there.

Was it a worthwhile exercise, and would I buy more?  Yes, and probably a qualified no; it’s always satisfying improving something, and it was a challenge thinking how best to build on the better parts of the factory finish, but had this model not existed, I could easily have produced those larger flakes myself.  All in all though, it’s a model that will either happily stand alone or conversely, one that won’t stand out in a rake, and that basically is the object of the exercise.

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Filed under Mineral wagons, Rust effects, Wagon weathering