Sunday, April 9, 2017

Dirty Looks

Here we see 'Before' and 'After' photographs of two of the most recent additions to our locomotive fleet - namely a Heljan Class 35 and a Bachmann Class 40.
The After photos were taken at the same location as the ones Before and, as you can see, both locos have been fairly heavily weathered and, to me, they look pretty good too; much more life-like than before.
As you may know, from previous posts, we have had most of our locos (and rolling stock) brilliantly weathered by Alex at Mikron Models in Taunton and he continued to do a few jobs for us, for a while, after the shop sadly closed in 2014 - yes we still miss that amazing shop!
However, with the need to find someone else to weather these two newly-acquired locos, we thought we would try Scott at The Weathering Works.
I had previously purchased, through e-Bay, a couple of wagons that he had weathered and was very pleased with how they looked. I then visited his website and could tell that he knew what he was doing so I sent these two locos to him on the 15 February. 
They duly returned last Saturday (1 April) and we are very pleased with the results. The turnaround time, of around 6 weeks, was a bit longer than Alex used to take and much more than the two weeks that others (like TMC) state in their advertising. 
However, he does seem to be quite a busy chap and, provided we are happy with the results (and we are), the timescales are not such an issue.
For the moment we have no more locos that need weathering but we do have several rakes of coaches that require dirtying up a bit. Therefore we may well send some of these to Scott and send some to other weathering services, such as TMC and Grimy Times, to see how they compare.
I will report back with our findings!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Spring Clean

The train is about to depart Sueston
Here it is seen passing Petersfield
A different angle of the train at Petersfield
Arrival at Gunnmere Junction.
About to depart Gunnmere for the journey to Davemoor.
Having acquired three of the Tri-ang Track Cleaning cars (R344) recently we thought we would run a track cleaning train around the layout instead of employing our more usual method of track rubbers plus lots of elbow grease.
The train was hauled by a Class 20 and consisted of the three aforementioned Track Cleaning Cars plus the Hornby Track Cleaning Coach (R296) with the Dapol Motorised Track Cleaner (B800) bringing up the rear in vacuum cleaner mode.
The first two cars behind the loco had a small amount of Goo Gone applied to each of their cleaning pads while the third track cleaning car (green) had Wahls Cutter oil applied to its pad.
Goo Gone is very good at removing anything that is stuck to the rails, while the clipper oil lubricates the track and helps to prevent any unwanted build-up on the rails. The Hornby Cleaning Coach was added to help remove any dirt softened / loosened by the Goo Gone.
Unfortunately, the Dapol Motorised Cleaning car is faulty and only works intermittently. I think the spindle that rotates the vacuum cleaner catches somewhere and, therefore, does not spin freely. It did pick up some debris so it obviously does what it is supposed to do but it clearly has a problem somewhere.
As for the track cleaning itself this all seemed to work very well although there were some problems on points, with the various pads and abrasers (on the Hornby coach) catching from time to time.
However, judging by the colour of the white pads after the cleaning was completed, I would say that the train did its job very well and the track certainly looked and felt a lot cleaner afterwards.