Saturday 31 March 2018

Happy Easter

A very Happy Easter to all my followers and readers.


Wednesday 28 March 2018

An Industrial Narrow Gauge Adventure - the layout part thirty-one

In this update I have added the roof and barge boards plus some small detailing to the tar paper and supporting strips of wood. The next step will be painting.....

The last two images show the low relief back scene against the office wall - which gives an idea of the effect I am looking for.


Monday 26 March 2018

Airfix Beam Engine - part two

Following on from this earlier post I have added a 1/27.7 (or 11mm = 1 foot) workman to the Airfix Beam Engine model and think it works better than the 1/56th or wargame scale figure shown in the original post.

The original model was sold as either a 1/32nd scale or 1/45th scale model so seeing it alongside a 1/27.7th scale figure seems to work. The workman is a heavily modified 1/24th scale figure and is available to purchase as a resin figure from me - see this link for details.


Saturday 24 March 2018

An Industrial Narrow Gauge Adventure - the layout part thirty

The next stage in reproducing the low-relief back scene building was to add the wooden retaining strips that hold the tar paper in place. These were constructed from thin strips of scrap wood about 2 - 3mm wide and glued in place with superglue. Prior to fixing them in place I used coarse sandpaper to add some wood grain texture along the lengths.

The two short ends were modelled in a similar manner.


Friday 23 March 2018

March 22nd 2018

Yesterday Sue and I attended a wedding at Craig-Y-Nos in the Swansea Valley, The building complex was very impressive with loads of memorabilia of  Adelina Patti. For more details see this link.

March 22nd is my birthday and this was a double celebration. The above image shows some of the gifts that I received as birthday presents. Thank you for all of the presents as well as the money and vouchers.


Wednesday 21 March 2018

Book Treasures and where to find them - part two Oxfam Book Shops

In this second Bookworms feature I am highlighting not one but a group of Oxfam charity book shops - but in particular the Oxfam bookstore in Harbourne, Birmingham.

I have featured this shop in an earlier post but yesterday Sue and I drove up to Harbourne so I could drop off some spare model making books and magazines and browse the shelves to see if there was anything I wanted as a birthday present. I think this is one of the better run charity book stores, well stocked, efficiently run and very well laid out. On this occasion I purchased a boxed set of Dan Brown's Inferno CD talking book but there were other books that caught my attention, particularly military history and as featured in the earlier post a wide range of Role Playing Game guides and books.

The shop can be found on the High Street in Harbourne the full address is;

Oxfam Book Store
171 High Street
B17 9QE

I should also mention two other Oxfam stores that I regularly visit;

Oxfam Book Store
74 Hertford Street

Which has a great selection of transport books and the widest selection of fantasy books and fantasy art books of any charity store I have ever visited.

Next we have the Oxfam Book Store in Cirencester where I found my White Dwarf issue No. 2.

Oxfam Book Store
7 W Market Place

Obviously there are more, but I find these are a few of the best. The stock is always changing and I would recommend popping in when ever you are in the area. Should you have any others that you would like to recommend. please include them in the comments section.


Tuesday 20 March 2018

An Industrial Narrow Gauge Adventure - the layout part twenty-nine

I have used a cheap sketch book (bought from The Works for just 99p) for the tar paper cladding. The paper is quite thick and takes PVA glue well. I have cut the paper into scale widths and torn the edges to simulate the wear and tear seen on the original (see earlier post). Once the paper was in place, I painted on another watered-down layer of PVA glue and acrylic texturing paste to ensure it would not peal off and add some additional surface texture.

The image below, shows this in greater detail.


Monday 19 March 2018

West Midlands Military Show, Alumwell

Both Sue and I attended the West Midlands Military Show - Alumwell Wargamers show in Wolverhampton yesterday.

At the outset we were aware that there was an Amber Weather Warning and as we drove up the M5, I can confirm that we had our doubts as to whether we were doing the right thing and discussed turning around and heading back home a number of times. However once we were off the motorways and on the clearing A roads the traffic and conditions improved.

We arrived well in time for the opening to the sight of many volunteers clearing the snow from the main carparks. By opening time I had with the help of Ryan set up the display - actually taking an extra table as you can see from the image above.

As you would expect there were a number of exhibitors and trade stands that did not make it and the adverse weather had a similar effect on the number of visitors, but as usual, the Alumwell Wargames Group made everyone feel welcome and with the one condition that it did seem a little quiet I felt the show was a great success.

On the exit to the show, I took this image to show that even at 3.30 PM the weather was still having a negative effect.

The following (limited) images show some of the exhibitions and model displays that took my interest.

I would like to thank everyone who helped to get this show up and running and would hope that all of the visitors had a good time and got home safe. I'm sorry to say that I did not spend that much, coming away with only second-hand magazines and some modelling supplies, but I look forward to next year when I would hope the weather and numbers of visitors will be better.


Saturday 17 March 2018

WMMS Alumwell

Both Sue and I have been watching the weather forecasts for tomorrow checking if the Amber Weather Warning will have any effect on our trip to The West Midlands Military Show, Alumwell. I can confirm that the car is packed and the majority of the food is bought, but there is still a doubt as to whether the planned Beast from the East will spread across to the Wolverhampton area. At this moment, I can confirm that it is trying to snow, the odd light flake passing across my computer room window.

See you there (hopefully).


Thursday 15 March 2018

An Industrial Narrow Gauge Adventure - the layout part twenty-eight

Following on from the earlier posts here you can see my initial blanking-in and first attempts at modelling the low-relief back scene building that is based on The Lion Works, Cheshire.

The black area are 3mm thick plastic card (ex-advertising material) or thick card while the wooden areas are scratch-built from balsawood, coffee stirrers or scrap wood which was first textured with the teeth of a razorsaw or by rubbing rough sandpaper along the grain.

In the image below you can also see one of my main modifications to the pizza foam brick wall. I have added a metal clad door which was build from plastic card. I felt the plain brick wall needed something to break up the uniformity of plain red bricks and in truth it was to hide the join in the pizza foam. The metal clad door was copied from an image I found on the Internet.

The small white marks on the impressed brick work are painted on acrylic texture medium used to clean up some of the impressed bricks and the areas on the corners of the building have been further defined with DAS modelling clay.

At this moment there is still a great deal of work to do on the surface texturing, but for now, I am happy with the progress. For larger images just 'click; on the main photos.


Tuesday 13 March 2018

An Industrial Narrow Gauge Adventure - the layout part twenty-seven

This is an image of the effect that I am trying to model on the larger end-on, low relief building at the back of the layout. As you can see it is very run down.


Sunday 11 March 2018

WMMS just one week to go

Just one week to go until the West Midlands Military Show, for full details see this link.


Saturday 10 March 2018

An Industrial Narrow Gauge Adventure - the layout part twenty-six

Following on from the earlier post, I have completed the impressed brick wall. In these two images you can see the fully modelled wall. I have washed the bricks with a Vallejo Dark Wash as the plain white pizza foam does not show up too well when photographed. The metal Policeman stands 66mm tall.

I have purposely added damaged and crumbling bricks to the wall as I want this section to look run down. This was done by pressing a sculpting tool onto the foam or using a scalpel to remove sections of brick. In addition I have carried the brick courses around the corners to give a more realistic effect.

For larger views just 'click' on the images.


Thursday 8 March 2018

Airfix Beam Engine as featured in WS&S issue 95

Wargames Soldiers and Strategy issue 95 - April/May 2018 features another 'how-to' article written by me showing how I modelled and re-purposed a veteran Airfix Beam Engine into this piece of 28mm or 1/56th scale Steam Punk terrain. Far from being a straight-forward build the 51 year old kit fought with me all the way. However I am very pleased with the finished model and it gave me a great deal of satisfaction to see how I made a plastic kit look like aged and oily metal.

For more details of the contents of the magazine see this link.

I have included two additional images showing the finished Beam Engine on a scratch-built plastic card base.

The model was constructed with both normal plastic cement and superglue. The painting was done with brushes and sections of broken sponge and the weathering was carried out with washes and watercolour pencils.

The Airfix Beam Engine was originally sold as a working model and included a small electric motor and battery compartment which was used to turn the main fly wheel. This later kit does away with the engine but I can confirm that it is still a working model - the rocker arm, main fly wheel and piston all work as intended.


Monday 5 March 2018

An Industrial Narrow Gauge Adventure - the layout part twenty-five

I decided not to use individual brick slips (as seen in the earlier posts and when building the brick base for the salt pan). Instead I have used 3mm thick expanded foam (the foam base from a frozen pizza) which was glued in place with both PVA and superglue.

The brick shapes were pressed into the plain foam using a modified paintbrush bezel which I had re-shaped with a pair of modelling pliers. The brick sizes are slightly over scale being 8mm x 2.5mm. There are many tutorials on the internet showing similar techniques for examples see this link.

You can see the effect in the image above and the customised tool in the image below. I found it best to add a sharp cutting edge to the impressing tool - this was done by using a rat-tailed file.

Once you get used to the technique, you can produce an impressed brick wall in double-quick time, easier than adding individual brick slips and also allowing you to add damaged or imperfect bricks. I mistakenly started from the top of the wall. If you are looking to copy this technique I would suggest that you start at the bottom layer or in this case ground level.

More to follow.


An Industrial Narrow Gauge Adventure - the layout part twenty-four

In this image, taken from the internet you can see the canal-side view of The Lion Salt Works, Cheshire. My small shelf layout uses these buildings as inspiration for the low relief structures that run along the back of the 1;27.7 or 11mm = 1 foot layout.

The brick based salt pan has already been built and now I am starting on the larger (end on) building shown to the right.

I have started by building a blank or core in cardboard. This was done by laminating layers of corrugated cardboard together with my hot glue gun and sealing the edges with brown wrapping paper applied over PVA glue. This technique produces strong but light structures onto which I can glue detail.

I have used this technique to build many pieces of wargame terrain and even a full gaming tile so I know it works.

The cardboard blank is 260mm wide x 240mm tall and 40mm deep.


Sunday 4 March 2018

WMMS just two weeks to go

The West Midlands Military Show, Alumwell Wargames is now just two weeks away. For full details see this link.

I have been given a table to exhibit my scratch-built and resin cast model terrain, so if you are going to be there, come along and have a chat.



Friday 2 March 2018

An Industrial Narrow Gauge Adventure - the layout part twenty-three

The next step is to attempt the larger side-on building (marked with a Y). The building is closely based on The Lion Salt Works, Cheshire at a time before the end wall was renovated and the building was re-purposed as a modern salt museum. My plan is to build it as a low-profile, low-relief structure as seen in the image above.