Sunday, November 11, 2012

LFX Progress

Since last week, I didn't get as much done on the doggies as I would have liked mainly due to some action at the salt mine which prevented me from venturing out to the train cave. But I did manage to get to the point in the build process where I start on the bogies for the elliptical roof LFX and nearly to that point for a Mansard roof car. I also have cleaned up and drilled all the commode handle holes and the door handle holes for a third.
So it's been a painless build so far. All things fit and match where they're supposed to except the ends which needed a small amount of filing to make them butt against the roof line correctly. This is also suggested in the instructions as being possibly necessary. One thing I've learnt with these kits is to be more patient and use a lighter touch than usual. This can't be a bad thing for a modeller to learn and will help me with all the other kits I have filling my cupboards. 
The footsteps on the ends of the cars look fantastic with half etch detail of the bracket on the underside so, if you happen to have a derailment, you'll see them when the car is on it side! The point is though, you know the detail is there! Love it. The light switch handle on the other end is especially fine and takes some careful filing with the aid of a jig that's provided with the kit. This allows you to get the piece finished correctly without bending it. It's a half etch that needs to be folded over and soldered and it looks impressive once cleaned up. I'm also impressed with the interior detail which went together easily and helps makes sure the car is square and true. There is no warping or bending in any of the urethane parts so you end up with a completely straight car, so unlike many urethane kits I've built before. It's not hard to remedy a warped side but it's annoying. So here's a piccy of the current progress

Doggy 1 and Doggy 2

So this week the doggies will go into the kennel while I do some bench work and track work. The plan is to do 1 week on each project that way I don't get bored with either of them.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

2 Posts in One Night

Yes, loyal punters, there's 2 posts for the price of one tonight! I know I said I'd get back to the bench work but that will be during the week. I was fortunate enough to get some time in the train cave today and old habits being hard to break, I decided to start on some of my Mike McCormac Models, LFX's. I've been dying to get started and I thought now is as good a time as any so today I managed to put most of the car body together of one together. And here it is

The roof is still loose

It took me roughly 3 hours to get to this point and this is because there's no need to make things fit. Everything matches perfectly with the only requirements being to remove the gloss to the castings so the glue adheres and remove the moulding cusps. Nothing really.

Now I've been making kits for a long time, I remember trying to put together a Freidmont BS and I think I've got a LLV and K wagon lurking somewhere and when you compare these with Mike's Models, you can see how far the kit manufacturer has come. I don't want to get into a debate about kits versus RTR, but I just don't see how a RTR model will have the level of fidelity and detail that one of Mike's models has. These are truly beautifully designed and made models and if you follow the instructions accordingly, you will have an outstanding, museum quality model for your layout. I love detail on kits and where it's lacking, I put it in. My belief is if you can see it, then it should be modelled. All of my models have some extra detail but I'm afraid that won't be necessary with the LFX's. It's all there.....nothing to add.

Anyway, I'll be building a batch of 3 so it may be sometime before I finish especially as I'll be doing some bench work as well...but there is the holidays coming up

17 Years but Who's Counting

I was trying to work out how long ago I started putting the NIB set together and I added it up and I reckon it was about 17 years ago. Not a bad gestation period hey? Since I started to put them together they've had the under floor detail built twice, painted an awful strawberry red and cream then stripped and had the bogies rebuilt to take 23.8mm axles. Oh, and removed the cast on diaphragms and replaced them with working ones so I could have the diaphragms touching but still go round corners. Anyway, they're finished now except for attaching the roofs on the HFN's. I'm toying with idea of putting LED marker lights in but we'll wait and see. To be honest, I'm sick of the sight of them as it took me over 2 weeks to attach all the windows....just about every one had to have some filing done to make them fit properly, very poorly designed in my opinion. Here's how they turned out

HFN 2198

End detail showing Diaphragm



I also managed to finish off all the other carriages I'd been working on. It's a good feeling to finish off these models that I've had in storage. There's still a bunch to go but not for now. Here's how they turned out.





KB 1105


So, that's it for now. I think it's time to release the Navvies again. I saw the wonderful work Linton was doing with his bench work so he's inspired me to start again and get the bench work finished for my Picton and lay some track. It's about time I get something running but I can't help myself from build rolling stock so I'll split my time between bench work and the carriage works.

That's the plan anyway and we all know how plans end up.......