Thursday, 23 February 2012

Jim's Wagons

Some weeks ago I saw a few photos of Jim Watt's build of some 2mm scale wagons, one of which was in the Fence Houses Foundry livery! I've wondered for some time what that would be if I ever got round to doing it, but Jim has beaten me to it. Interesting load Jim, they certainly look like foundry castings.
 This next shot shows the same wagon as part of a rake of Jim's further output. It would be nice to welcome the wagons on to the layout one day, and as we were asked last year to attend the 2014 Glasgow show (to be confirmed), then maybe we can see them on Jim's home territory, even further 'up north' than we are!

Monday, 20 February 2012

Tom Harland - Sad News

Those of you who know of the work of Tom Harland and his masterpiece 'Bramblewick' (NER 4mm), may not know that Tom died this morning (20th February) after fighting cancer for some time.
Tom was a great inspiration to many modellers, me included, especially with regard to the finish of Victoria's stonework. Anyone who saw Bramblewick in MRJ or on the circuit, will remember Tom's artistry in creating all that stonework, and of course his 'day job' as a professional artist always shone through. More than that, he was a gentleman, always willing to help.
Thank you Tom.
I never met Tom's family, but I wish them all the best at this sad time.


Friday, 17 February 2012


Alan Pearson, our chief arboretum chappie, has been rather busy over the last few months. Here are a few photos of Alan's work on Victoria's board (apologies for the garage lighting and background). He's also 'planted' a lot more trees and bushes etc. on the rest of the layout, so if you have only seen Fence Houses at Oxford in 2010, you are well behind!
No more prattle. I'll just let Alan's photos and inspirational work speak for themselves.

More prattle........ Alan's techniques will be explained in an article he is planning for one of the major magazines. I'll report here when it appears in print.

See all this for real at Nottingham!


Sunday, 12 February 2012

More of Victoria

Team member John Robson and his wife Rita recently made their first trip to view Victoria viaduct close up. John sent me this photo, which struck me as showing how enormous the bases are for this listed structure. John's glamorous assistant here poses by one of the north side piers, where some of the scribbling of the local idiots does not detract from Victoria's (and Rita's) magnificence.

John's photo reminded me of a rather primitive drawing I'd been sent when researching the project, from the publication 'Fordyce - A History of Durham'. This shows Victoria under construction (1836-8), with the timber staging required to support the masonry above, a couple of derrick's for moving stone blocks around, and what may be a temporary contractors railway in place for supplying the stonework to the site.
Less than 4 weeks to Nottingham now, better get a move on!


Saturday, 4 February 2012

Lambton 'D' Pit Headgear Etch

I made a posting here dated 29th March 2011, ending with the words "back down the pit" or something like that. Well here's what I'd started back then, after looking on and off at the 'Wrightscale' etched brass kit in a drawer for the previous 3 years (you may remember the kit being advertised in the 2mm Scale Association Magazine). Mr Wright also did the kit in 4mm scale, and I think they are still available.

Like many kits, there are quirks and 'incomplete' parts to the instructions. Even having to drill holes for some of the handrails in the floors (not lining up with the post centres) and some missing words on a page, I am still delighted with the kit and the efforts it took to (nearly) complete the model as seen here.
When I bought the kit I also availed myself of the additional etch that was on offer for a spare set of sheaves (wheels). These can be left lying around representing a spare set at the pit.
A long time afterwards I was looking at the kit etches and noticed that the main kit sheaves are about 2.5mm bigger in diameter than the additional etch! The axle bearings on both etches are exactly the same size, so it's not a case of the sheave only etch being 'shrunk' to a different scale. Weird, but as the sheaves are cosmetic only, it will not matter in my case.

The finished headgear will be situated on top of the roof of the colliery building next to the winding house on my little representation of Lambton 'D' pit on Fence Houses.

I'm now awaiting the latest test sheet back from the etchers any day now, and with various walkways, stairs and lots of wall and roof windows for the colliery buildings, I should be able to finish all the buildings in time for the Nottingham show in 5 weeks time...... hopefully!