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Newton Regis, it'll never be finished, hopefully! - Members Personal Layouts. - Model Railway Layouts. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Thu Apr 23rd, 2020 02:36 pm
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Longchap
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Thank you kindly John and Peter, although I find it too tiring being at the pc screen for very long, but today was pleased to have secured an electrician, via email, to come visit next Tuesday to quote to reinstate the electrics in the pool room, lost in the fire. Unfortunately my phone is out of credit and the holiday cottages don't have land lines, but fortunately good wifi!

At 4mm scale Peter, I'm no longer convinced of the effectiveness of a black undercoat for figures, although I've seen good results in the larger scales. A dark grey wash seems to be far more effective and so much easier and quicker.

Back to being sensible now, as today is the first time since my two week confinement, that I've not needed a nap in the afternoon, but I'm now ready to rest and probably fall asleep with BBC Radio 4 Extra. Meanwhile in the real world, the bride is just starting her on-line teaching from the barn and will no doubt get the latest goss from her NHS mature learners.

Best wishes,

Bill




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At 6'4'', Bill is a tall chap, then again, when horizontal he is rather long and people often used to trip over him! . . . and so a nickname was born :)

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 Posted: Thu Apr 23rd, 2020 03:47 pm
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Petermac
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I completely missed your mention of a fire Bill so went back through your thread until I found it.

Was it an electrical fault or something else ?  Fires, it seems, are incredibly common in rural France, perhaps due to old and badly altered wiring installations. Owners over the years just tended to tag another wire on here or there with little knowledge of what they were doing regarding power loading etc.  As, in most cases, there were neither property sales nor mortgages for donkey's years, nothing was ever checked or renewed.  When we moved to France we discovered nearly half of our old house circuitry had no earth and was not fuse protected !!!

I hope the damage wasn't too severe and that your sparky is true to his word and turns up.




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 Posted: Fri Apr 24th, 2020 05:24 am
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Longchap
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Most definitely something else Peter.

Quick version: This building forms part of a boundary with a neighbour, who cleared some garden debris, built a fire with it against our building, right below a projecting timber roof support and went to bed without checking it was out, then had to call the Fire Service early next morning and told them our building was on fire and no, he had no idea how it could have happened! Fortunately, our insurance expert was no fool and the neighbour’s insurance will be going up at renewal.

Unfortunately, the loss is severe and we’ll just have to see how much the insurance company will offer, but I had a charming email from Didier the electrician this morning, confirming our appointment next Tuesday.

Be good,

Bill



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At 6'4'', Bill is a tall chap, then again, when horizontal he is rather long and people often used to trip over him! . . . and so a nickname was born :)

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 Posted: Sat May 9th, 2020 06:02 pm
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Longchap
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These last two weeks seem to have taken a very long time to pass, but now I'm pleased to say that I really do feel much healthier and happier now. Tonight was the first time in over four weeks that Mrs and myself sat down to dinner together with our little cat also in attendance to make a jolly little gathering. Tomorrow I fully move back from this pleasent enough holiday cottage to the barn and on Monday, the French lockdown restrictions ease a little and we can take some tentative steps to seeing our village friends once more.

I still have a workbench set up downstairs in the gite and will keep it there for the foreseable future and clear the decks to some fresh projects. I’ve enjoyed life with little people and am content with the results.






These are a couple of different angle views of some familiar ModelU figures, slightly larger than actual size.

Lessons learned include that the new grey 3D print media takes acrylic paint much easier than the old red resin; that although it seemed a good idea at the time, I must not buy the really cheap acrylic paint sets from local bazzar type shops, as they rub off very easily; that my Vallejo matt varnish, no matter how much you shake it, dries to a satin finish as above, which is particularly annoying. I need to buy a different matt varnish for brushing. Any suggestions?

Take care everyone,

Bill




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At 6'4'', Bill is a tall chap, then again, when horizontal he is rather long and people often used to trip over him! . . . and so a nickname was born :)

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 Posted: Sat May 9th, 2020 08:18 pm
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Marty
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Hello Bill, so glad you’ve made through and are almost back to normality. Don’t push yourself, take the time to recover. The people look good and the satin finish may not be so noticeable on the layout, close up camera shots can be cruel.
Carry on that man!



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 Posted: Sun May 10th, 2020 02:41 am
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Bill, I have used the same stuff, a second coat was deffo. Much less shiny....

Douglas



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 Posted: Sun May 10th, 2020 03:26 am
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col.stephens
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Great figures Bill.  I always use Testors Dullcote matt varnish.  It comes in a spray can or bottle.  I prefer the latter.  It always gives a dead matt finish and dries quickly.  Of course, being from the USA it comes with all kinds of health warnings.  Basically, have good ventilation which, of course, should go without saying for any paints or varnishes.



Best wishes,



Terry

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 Posted: Sun May 10th, 2020 04:11 am
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Petermac
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Yes indeed - brilliant figures Bill.  When I'm at that stage, I'll have to look at Modelu.

From what I've read, most "matt" varnishes have problems - some peel, some yellow with age and others, as you've discovered here, are not "matt" !!

The only one I've heard of as being the "go to" is Testors Dullcote but I thought it had been banned in UK ............... :roll: :roll:

Maybe they've reformulated but last time I tried, I was told it was "unavailable".  I did discover 2 bottles in the  bottom of a "bargain box" in a shop some time ago so promptly bought it.  I have yet to open it ...........................

Also delighted to hear you've shaken off the lurgie - did you get yourself tested ?



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 Posted: Sun May 10th, 2020 10:03 am
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Barry Miltenburg
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Bill

I have been looking at the Modelu figures and now certainly will take the plunge - they look fantastic!!  Hopefully I can paint them as well as you have.  I'm not sure I would buy a car from the dodgy looking geezer smoking in the brown leather jacket though....

I have always used Games Workshop matt varnish from a can.  Its not cheap but its very good and very matt.

Barry



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 Posted: Sun May 10th, 2020 01:07 pm
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Longchap
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Thank you dear friends for your words of wisdom and encouragement.

I fully intend to take things at a modest pace Marty. The garden beckons and I’ve carried out the first couple of cuts on the sit on, so no great effort, but I need to get under the trees and arround the boundaries, so need to work with my big petrol strimmer and take a couple of three days over it, so I’ll be carrying on slowly!

Yes Dulcote is my go to matt varnish Terry and Peter, at least for all diecast road and agricultural vehicles and I stocked up with five cans of it on a UK trip last year. However, the aerosol propellant is horrid and nasty and I now use a half face two- stage filter mask against solvents and dust, as well as having the doors wide open, but it is far too wasteful for figure work. However, I never realised that it also comes in bottles, so is firmly on my to-get list for my next visit, whenever that may be!

I never thought of the Games Workshop route Barry, so will pop in there and seek their advice, as it’s right next to my favourite model railway shop in Eastleigh.

Finally some further news  Douglas, as I’ve applied another coat of Vallejo matt varnish to the little people. The civilians (bloke in brown suit and dodgy looking car salesman with Woodbine) have toned down well, however the railway staff are much the same. I think I’ll spray a small amount of Dulcote into the cap and brush it on, then be happy with the bottled version when I can get some.

Regarding testing Peter, my doctor's receptionist, sensibly, would not allow anyone presenting covid symptoms into the surgery and told me over the phone to go to a temporary test station and queue with everyone else who probably had the virus. As I was not fit to drive, there was no way I was subjecting my wife to such a risky environment from me and all the other poor souls seeking testing. In the fullness of time, I’ll attempt to get an anti-body test to know if I’m any better prepared for the next round of madness.

Anyway, we’re in full recovery mode here and planning a visit to the zoo at the end of next week,

More soon on the modelling front.

Best,

Bill



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At 6'4'', Bill is a tall chap, then again, when horizontal he is rather long and people often used to trip over him! . . . and so a nickname was born :)

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 Posted: Sun May 10th, 2020 02:58 pm
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Headmaster
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Great figures, Bill.  I have the same problem with a slightly shiny finish, especially on darker colours.... so the advice of others is most helpful.
Michael



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 Posted: Sun May 10th, 2020 09:03 pm
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John Dew
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Hi Bill
My apologies for this late reply......gardening in the shape of a load of topsoil intervened:shock:

First......I am delighted that you are beginning to feel better.....it must have been a horrendous time for you and your wife.......so glad you are on the mend.

The figures are exquisite.......as you know I am familiar with most of them so I can readily appreciate your skill with a paint brush...I particularly admire the way you handled and highlighted the detail.

I do agree with your comments about both paints and testors....I still have some figures painted with cheap acrylics from the local craft chain.....They are so shiny one could be forgiven for thinking that the GWR had clad their servants in silk suits!:lol:

A few years ago Mike C, a superb artist, suggested I use Chroma’s Josonja matte flow acrylic. They are brilliant....easy to apply and dry quickly to a dull matt finish. They are available online in Europe I believe.

I have a slightly unusual approach to varnishing....I dont! I had too many instances of ok paint jobs being ruined by the varnish. Generally I dont paint until I am ready to glue into place so handling is quite limited.....occasionally I have to touch up toecaps andhat brims but thats about it

Do take it easy.....slow and steady

Best wishes

John



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 Posted: Mon May 11th, 2020 11:33 am
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Longchap
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Hi John,

No need for any apology, as I’m only too aware at the moment, in the importance of keeping on top of the gardening. Unfortunately, heavy rain began here 18 hours ago and has only just reduced to drizzle, so no venturing forward with manly tools until we have had a day of warm weather. I sincerely trust that your back is being kind to you though.

I find the Vallejo acrylics pretty reliable, but will also check out some Chroma Jo Sonja matt flow and thanks for the tip. Despite having mounted all the little people on easily turnable corks, I also am having to touch up boots and hat brims, so will persist with varnishing, as I am still some time away from being able to plant them on the layout.

Slow and steady it is then and everyone take note, no rushing back into madness.

Best,

Bill



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At 6'4'', Bill is a tall chap, then again, when horizontal he is rather long and people often used to trip over him! . . . and so a nickname was born :)

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 Posted: Mon Jun 1st, 2020 08:56 am
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Longchap
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Having tamed the larger proportion of our gardens over the past weeks, I’ve spent a happy day, first understanding the assembly guide, fettling, trial fitting, fettling again, then putting together the chassis and body for the first of several white metal road vehicle kits. This one is a small GWR Morris parcels delivery van and this is where I left it on Sunday.






Construction followed my usual method of assembly on a sheet of glass, using a small engineer’s square and masking tape to help keep things in the right place while the glue dries. I’ve not fitted the front bulkhead and windscreen yet though, as I first need to hand paint the cab interior, which will be masked off before airbrush use for exterior paint.

As I’m airbrushing such a small model, I will wait until I have a few ready for the spray booth and I’ve now begun an assembly line on the workbench.




Here you see the remains of the GWR van on the right. The floor at the upper right had somehow found its way into the packet and is for another model, so if anyone is missing it, let me know! The parts on the left are for a Morris pick-up truck, which I’m thinking may belong to a local motor garage, so providing cameo opportunities for other vehicles. The reason the pick-up’s chassis is missing from the photo, is that after learning how best to assemble the parts with the van, which took an age, I managed this one in just ten minutes and it was still drying on the glass plate when I snapped the photo.

While the van body went together without hassle, the cab of the pick-up has been a battle, with several disassembly events and after abandoning the instructions, I made just one modification and a few passes with the sanding sticks and hey presto, Monday morning saw a smile on my face once more, as the cab fit was acceptable and after final gluing, will look just fine. The other cab side and roof will be added once the interior is finished.



Now it's time to get some books out to check prototype photos regarding details, so that’s this afternoon sorted then!

Best,

Bill





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At 6'4'', Bill is a tall chap, then again, when horizontal he is rather long and people often used to trip over him! . . . and so a nickname was born :)

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 Posted: Mon Jun 1st, 2020 01:37 pm
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Petermac
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I know what you mean about the garden Bill - this fine weather is most annoying for railway modellers ............. :mutley

Having said that, we have thunder rumbling around us, a very black sky to the north of us and a warning e-mail from Orange telling us to close our internet down for the duration of the storm .....................

Great looking kits although I'm a bit surprised you've had to do so much fettling - I thought Springside had a good reputation.  Maybe this level of work is par for the course on whitemetal kits - I've never built one but have heard they melt easily if you use solder ..............

What era are you modelling - these look like around WW1 period - solid tyres ?



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 Posted: Wed Jun 3rd, 2020 04:52 pm
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Longchap
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Hi Peter,

No rumbling here yet, but rain is forecast for tomorrow. Today, the roofers finally arrived and clad one of the gites with scaffolding and will be back at 07h30 tomorrow to strip off the time expired slates in the rain. Great, let’s hope we don’t get too much rain ingress.

The two trucks above are late 1920s vintage. The tyres are actually pneumatic and I found a lovely prototype image of the parcels truck today. I’m modelling two time periods contrasting the 20s and 30s, as so many interesting changes happened during these decades.

Right, I’m off to bed now, as I need to be up a little earlier in the morning for the roofers, one of whom lives directly opposite us, so when he says he’ll be here that early, I reckon he will!

Sleep tight,

Bill



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At 6'4'', Bill is a tall chap, then again, when horizontal he is rather long and people often used to trip over him! . . . and so a nickname was born :)

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 Posted: Wed Jun 3rd, 2020 07:02 pm
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Petermac
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Slates eh ?  We're all tiles down here.

Good luck with the roofers and I hope the rain holds off - or if not, I hope their tarpaulin is waterproof !!!



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 Posted: Fri Jun 5th, 2020 12:55 pm
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John Dew
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Hi Bill
I do admire your skill with these white metal kits. I attempted to make a couple of Springside vehicles and made a complete hash of it....I still have the half finished kits somewhere in the “maybe” box. Then Oxford came along with their relatively inexpensive models....ready to plonk. However, although Oxford are good background models, I imagine nothing can beat the satisfaction of having such a unique model as your van. A model that you have created yourself from a myriad of small ( in my case easily lost) components. I am really looking forward to seeing the van, and others, when they emerge from the paint shop.

Hope the roofing went well

Best wishes

John




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 Posted: Fri Jun 5th, 2020 05:42 pm
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Longchap
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Many thanks for the kind words John. It’s been a while since I’ve worked with white metal and had forgotten how enjoyable it can be. These two required some care with the body assembly, the instructions being just a rough guide, but as they begin to come together, I think they’ll add that touch of period charm as they help tell their part of how the railway operates.



The above is included purely for the interests of research and education and appears in Volume 1 of Philip Kelley’s ‘Road Vehicles of the Great Western Railway’. Fleet number 1122 was photographed around 1928. Note the cast iron GWR plate above the windscreen. I’ve been searching for a source of these plates for years and hope that one of the etched loco nameplate guys can do me a run. Besides the one included with this kit, they use to be found with some Coopercraft wagons, so have been a rare item for the road vehicle enthusiast.



I added some paint to the interior today and will find some items to add inside the cab before fitting the now painted driver and the front bulkhead.

The pick-up also had some interior work and some primer and the bodywork units placed on the chassis to see how it would look.



The engine cover is still in raw metal and needs mould lines removed by scrapping a blade along them, followed by fine emery paper, then a tad of filler to roof line junction and the rear of the load box. The offside cab panel will only be glued in place when the interior is fully completed and the roof probably fitted at the very end of the build, when everything is painted.
 
The roofing went well yesterday, no work today, but the chaps will be here for about three weeks yet, as they have another roof to replace and then some lead or zinc work to the workshop roof to ensure complete water tightness before I build the permanent railway room inside.

More soon,

Bill






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At 6'4'', Bill is a tall chap, then again, when horizontal he is rather long and people often used to trip over him! . . . and so a nickname was born :)

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 Posted: Sun Jun 7th, 2020 12:30 pm
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Chubber
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I LOVE them! I wonder if they would still have been around in 1950? 'Jones the Butchers' van was still around in 1945, so why not?

I will not buy any more kits, I will not buy anymore kits, I will not buy.... Oh hell, I feel faint now having typed the 'B' word three times in a row...


D



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