Sunday, 22 May 2022

Yellow Pelican Mining Co. - A New Locomotive part seven


Prior to starting this latest engine, I had watched a YouTube tutorial on Weathering From Dark to Light which showed step-by-step instructions on how to weather a logging cab and trailer by Warren Judge. For full details go to this link.

The YouTube tutorial was instrumental in convincing me to go ahead with this 'critter' and in particular, how I plan to paint it.

I'll be adding some paint very soon.


Friday, 20 May 2022

Yellow Pelican Mining Co. - A New Locomotive part six

Super detailing

Today's post shows how I added even more small details to this narrow gauge, vertical boilered engine. Most of the additions were constructed from plastic card, but there are a few bits from my 'spares box'.

This is the stage of model building that I enjoy most, adding rivets, small details and widgets to 'busy up' the model prior to painting. With a free lance model you can go as far as you like.....

Prior to painting, I washed the whole model in warm soapy water to remove any bits of grease or unwanted dust. 

At this stage the cab is still not glued in place - this should make painting a little easier.


Thursday, 19 May 2022

Yellow Pelican Mining Co. - A New Locomotive part five

Construction of the newest narrow gauge engine for The Yellow Pelican Mining Co. has continued with me adding more and more detailing. 

The large loco lamp to the front was copied from an illustration I found in an American railway magazine and includes an interior and a clear plastic card front. The felt roof was made from blue masking tape but was glued down with superglue and the rear grab handles or cab handles were bent from some wire before being superglued in place.

I still need to add some detailing to the lower chassis but am pleased with the work so far. You can 'click' on any of the images to show more detail.


Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Yellow Pelican Mining Co. - A New Locomotive part four

The cab has been built from plastic card layered-up to show cab bracing and framing. I have opted for a rear entry design/configuration. At this moment, the cab is still removable so I can add detail to the interior and to ease painting.

Detailing has been inspired by the images found on the internet and featured in earlier posts. As you can see I am not following any one prototype or design, but mixing-and-matching as I go to produce a 'busy' model with features from many different sources.

So far modelling has been pretty straight forward with no real issues, this is why I enjoy building 'free-lance' steam engines rather than trying to copy an original or following a detailed plan.


Monday, 16 May 2022

Yellow Pelican Mining Co. - A New Locomotive part three


My 1:27.7 scale engines are based on the simple and readily available Hornby 0-4-0 mechanism or 'Smokey Joe' model. In this case the chassis was shortened and the Hornby hook couplings were removed, this is a simple procedure as the plastic is easily cut with a modelling knife. I have added small sections of plastic card to the slide cylinders and crammed any openings with sections of lead which is held in place with superglue.

Other than that, the chassis is an untouched Made In China Hornby 0-4-0 model.

The new body was constructed from plastic card, some scrap wood (the buffers) and odd pieces from my 'spares box'.

I kept checking back to ensure that the loading gauge was the same as my earlier engines and that the model would fit into the tunnel entrances on the layout.

The free-lance, vertical boilered engine is 95mm long x 54mm wide and 92mm tall to the top of the spark arresting chimney (which was cut from a toy train).


Saturday, 14 May 2022

The White Church - Miniature Wargames issue 470

Issue 470 of Miniature Wargames (June 2022) has the first part of a two part series showing how I built and painted this Greek inspired White Church. Part one shows how the model was constructed from cardboard, blue foam and DAS modelling clay and next months article will give details of how it was finished and painted.

The partially finished White Chirch has sat patiently on my work bench for some years, but was completed and painted to be used in a Silver Bayonet scenario.

For more information, see the latest issue of MW.


Friday, 13 May 2022

Yellow Pelican Mining Co. - A New Locomotive part two


An internet search soon found these images of a vertical boiler-ed steam engine. I think the first was an On30 on a 0-4-0 mechanism and the second an On18 on 0-6-0. Both had the compact characteristics I was looking for in my new locomotive.

A series of simple pencil sketches helped me to define the main dimensions and gave me the opportunity to play around with the layout of the boiler and cab arrangement.

None are based on actual locomotives (although I have used historical images of vertical boiler-ed engines for reference) and this gave me the freedom to scratch build a completely freelance steam 'critter' design. The only restrictions I had was keeping the same loading gauge as the earlier two locomotives and making sure that this new engine would fit into the tunnel and loading bay entrances on the layout.


Thursday, 12 May 2022

Yellow Pelican Mining Co. - A New Locomotive

My Yellow Pelican Mining Co. layout is a modelling project that has already taken over twelve months to get to this stage and although I've been able to progress landscaping and detailing work over the Easter holidays, I am still not sure how long it will be before it is fully finished.

For anyone new to this project - The Yellow Pelican layout, engines and wagons are built to the unusual scale of 1:27.7 or 11mm = 1 foot. The reason for this combination is to do with the scale/gauge dictated by the HO-OO standard track gauge of 16.5mm and modelling a mining railroad of 18 inch gauge. Hence the 16.5mm track when modelled at 11mm = 1 foot equals 18 inch gauge, an actual railway track gauge used in some industrial or mining settings.

Because of this gauge/scale combination, all of the buildings, rolling stock and even the figures need to be scratch built, however due to the use of HO-OO or 16.5mm gauge track, I am able to use proprietary or readily available 'Smoky Joe' 0-4-0 mechanisms and standard wagon under frames as well as narrow gauge 'crazy track' produced by PECO.

The image above shows my two scratch built steam locomotives. Engine No. 5 a single piston four-wheeled horizontal Shay type and Engine No. 3 a slightly larger, double piston engine. Both are completely freelance engines which were inspired by images found on the internet and engines used on On18 narrow gauge engines (7mm = 1 foot) running on 9mm gauge or N Gauge track.

For more information and posts, please use the 1:27.7 or Narrow Gauge labels to the right.

My intention is to build a third narrow gauge steam locomotive also running on a HO-OO 'Smoky Joe' Hornby Chassis to use alongside these two - as you can never have too many engines!

Over the next couple of weeks, my intention is to show how I planned, built and painted this 'new engine'. So check back to see how work is progressing.


Sunday, 8 May 2022

Vernacular Architecture by R. W. Brunskill

The Illustrated Handbook of Vernacular Architecture by R. W. Brunskill and published by Faber and Faber was a real find at just £2.00 and I am confident it will be both an interesting read and of use when modelling wargame structures.

The book is full of illustrations and photographs of features and buildings from the UK. It has many details showing construction and materials that I am sure will be of use to me.

It was picked up from a second hand book shop in Droitwich earlier this week.


Friday, 6 May 2022

Yellow Pelican Mining Co. May update part two

Taking inspiration from an image I found on the internet, I modelled this refuelling station from a couple of resin oil barrels (sculpted by me and then cast in resin) and some scrap stripwood cut and sanded to shape.

Painting was done with various acrylic paints and washes, with some weathering powders dusted over the rusty barrel. the fuel pump and pie were built from plastic scraps and some wire.

I'll be building more of these small vignettes to place around The Yellow Pelican layout.


Wednesday, 4 May 2022

Yellow pelican Mining Co. May Day update.

Work on the narrow gauge layout has continued over the May Day Bank Holiday. The rocky outcrops have been finished and I have started to texture the groundwork. The rocks have been modelled from various foam off cuts and blended-in with both DAS and Modelling Compound. The groundwork texturing is a mix of sieved stones, sand and cat litter applied over PVA glue and then 'flooded' with 'wet water' - water to which I have added a drop of washing up liquid. 

Throughout the work, I have been careful to avoid clogging up any inside track areas or crossings.

The rear has been further detailed with more off cuts of plywood and any gaps filled with DAS.

My next job will be to fill any screw holes in the fascia before adding some paint to the scenery.


Tuesday, 3 May 2022

Railway Magazine Haul

Here are the secondhand magazines I picked up at the Gloucester and Warwickshire Steam Railway, Toddington on Bank Holiday Monday. The recent work on The Yellow Pelican has meant that I have been looking for more inspiration to build another small engine and wagons. The visit to GWSR was the perfect opportunity to search through the secondhand shed/charity stall and pick up some magazines. I could have picked up many more, but throught that this was enough to be going on with.


Friday, 29 April 2022

Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy issue 119 - Building Hedges

Issue 119 (April/May 2022) of Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy has the third of a three part series on how to build linear structures for the wargame table. The first article,  Building Stone Walls, appeared in issue 117 while part two Building Wooden Fences appeared in issue 118. This time it's Hedges constructed from scouring pads. In the images below you can see and example of the stone walls, the wooden fences and the scouring pad hedges.

None of the techniques are groundbreaking, but they have been fun to put together and write about - I would hope that the simple examples would inspire others to build their own wargame terrain. For more information, see the magazine.


Monday, 25 April 2022

Yellow Pelican Mining Co. - Easter update - part four

No layout updates today, but I have been busy building this rustic water tank to be used on the layout. It was constructed from a couple of rockets, the larger rocket for the main tank and a smaller one for the filler. The wooden legs were built from scrap wood - fruit packing cases and both detailed with plastic card scraps.

I used this black and white image as inspiration, but followed my own haphazard plans and using materials I had to hand. The model was painted with acrylics and enamel washes.


Friday, 22 April 2022

Yellow Pelican Mining Co. - Easter 2022 update - part three

In this update I have included images of the rear of the layout and how I have included my ancient controller into the panel. I've had the H & M Clipper controller for years - in fact I think it was part of my grandfathers layout/set-up. The plywood was given to me for free and the stripwood uprights are scrap wood from the local DIY store, glued and screwed in place.

You can also see how I have constructed the turnout levers/actuators - all of which are operational from the rear.

I still have some work to do on the rock profiles and filling-in, but I'm pleased with how much work I have been able to do over this Easter break.


Wednesday, 20 April 2022

Yellow Pelican Mining Co. - Easter 2022 update -part two

As the good weather continues and I'm able to get into the back garden, I have been doing more work on the narrow gauge railway layout. As well as more definition to the rock outcrops, I have added a plywood and MDF fascia to the sides and front, this fascia was both glued and screwed in place and then filled and sanded. 

I have used even more DAS modelling clay to fill any gaps and re-contour areas where the ply or MDF meets with the groundwork. I will still need to add additional texture, but this can wait for now.

The rear tunnel portal has been further detailed with balsawood and scrap wood additions. I still need to do more, but for now, I am pleased with the initial result.

This image, shows how the rear tunnel portal has been built and finished. The cliff area above the portal, will need additional rock features added.

The next big project is to build a better rear to the layout. My plan is for most of the rear of the layout to be enclosed with just a central area giving access to the engine storage and main unloading dock.

Hopefully, I can get at least one more day of modelling later this week.


Monday, 18 April 2022

Yellow Pelican Mining Co. - Easter 2022 update

Both Sue and I had loads of plans for this Easter break but earlier this week we both tested positive for Covid and found all of our plans put on hold.....

However as the weather was so good, we spent most of our time in the garden, both gardening and just enjoying the sun - luckily Covid was not as bad as others have reported, although both of us are still weak and looking forward to two negative tests so we can once again go out into the world.

With all of this free time on my hands, and not being one to just sit around doing nothing, I brought the narrow gauge railway layout out of the garage and decided to spend some time modelling the groundwork and rocks. For anyone not familiar with this project - The Yellow Pelican Mining Co. is a long term project for my grandson's (that's what I'm telling Sue anyway) - an industrial mining railroad running on scale 18 inch gauge track and built to unusual scale of 11 mm = 1 foot or 1/27.7

The first three images, show the initial basing of the two main buildings and the start of the rocks. I have used both my hot glue gun and PVA glue to glue the buildings in place and DAS modelling clay (Stone and White varieties) to 'bed' everything in.

The next three images shows further work and even more DAS - in each set of images I have given three views of the compact layout - front on, from the left and from the right.

I have so far used two packs of DAS, dozens of sticks of hot glue and about a pint of PVA glue. The coarse ground cover (seen in some images) is a mix of cat litter, sieved stones and sand applied over PVA glue. The rock outcrops are modelled from a couple of pieces of insulation foam as I need to keep the weight down - it already requires two people to move it from the garden to the garage even thought I have done everything I could to keep the weight down.

Work has come to stop as I'll need to get more DAS prior to starting the painting. Hopefully I'll get some paint on to the model this Summer.

The layout is a simple 'tail chaser' with two spurs, the first to the front and a second around the back to store a second loco. My earlier OSO SALT layout was a simple shelf layout - basically just a motorised diorama, but it was obvious that both Finley and Charlie weren't interested as they just want to see engines running round and round rather than shunting back and forth.

I'll post updates when they become available.


Saturday, 16 April 2022

No Time to Die - a quick review

No Spoilers

Last night, Sue and I watched the latest Bond film - No Time to Die, staring Daniel Craig. We had been looking forward to seeing the film since it's delayed release back in 2021, but ultimately we were both very disappointing and would go as far as saying it was one of the worst Bond films we have watched.

I won't go into the story or plot line, but will say that I found it confusing and badly put together with a story line that was, at best amateurish and badly written. I long for simple narrative film scripts with a plot, a beginning, a middle and an end that is well acted and has a natural flow. No Time to Die has none of these and is a mismatch of storylines that fails to both entertain or captivate. In the end, I found it a chore and would not recommend it. As an aside, I have recently watched the TV series The Ipcress File and would compare these two series/films as Chalk and Cheese.

There were some good set-pieces and obviously as it is a Bond film, chases, but even these couldn't rescue this poorly put together film.

I have read that Craig has said that this will be his last Bond appearance and feel after a good series of action packed films he has let himself down with a poor performance. If this is the LAST Bond film, I think the franchise has also let down fans and film-goers with a very poor film experience.

I look forward to comments - and views of other who have watched this film.


Wednesday, 13 April 2022

White Dwarf No.2 update

It's been a while, but I have eventually got around to framing my issue of White Dwarf No.2. the magazine was bought from a charity shop in Cirencester back in 2015 and has remained in a clear protective folder, in the attic ever since. For more information, see this earlier Blog post.

I have used a George (Asda) frame and some non-sticky tape to hold the magazine in place. At this moment it has pride of place on the upstairs landing, but I don't think Sue will allow it to remain there for long.....


Tuesday, 12 April 2022

Two More Wands

Following on from my earlier post I have had more fun modelling these two new wands. The first was made from an African Ebony carved spoon with lighter wood and resin inlays in the handle. This one is more Classical with a lot of Fantastic Beasts influence. There is a wooden dowel running through all of the handle and the chrome finale is a polished nut found in my tool box. the carving on the resin infill was copied from a Harry Potter wand.

The Ebony wand is 14 inches long.


The second wand is much more rustic. It was a plain stick picked up by my grandson when we visited the local park, I started trimming the bark away with my penknife, but later used my modelling tools to get a better finish. I have left the natural bark on the handle and trimmed it at a slight angle(as seen in many Harry Potter wands). The handle was finished with acrylic varnish and the shaft and handle were later polished with natural wax.

The Natural Bark wand is 14.5 inches long.

It's difficult for me to chose a favourite between these two as they are so different but I can confirm that they were great fun to make and finish.