Neil's HO workbench - C'mon feel the Moyse ...

Discussion in 'Area 51' started by Neil, 12 December 2016.

  1. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    Little work has happened on Vischkaai since the summer but I've rediscovered this rather splendid photo of street running in Turnhout, in the north of Belgium. It's from the Modelspoor magazine forum. When I first conceived Vischkaai the rails through the street were a dubious extrapolation from the tram network in Ghent, since then I've found other examples such as the lines to the riverside quays in Antwerp but this example from Turnhout is a smaller scale affair more in keeping with what I envisage Vishkaai to be.
    ColPeake, unklian, chrisb and 3 others like this.
  2. Alan

    Alan Western Thunderer

    That appears to be rather a tight fit.
  3. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    Another year and another small area of pavement nears completion. Because I lay paving slabs in strips and then nick or emboss the joints before applying an adjoining strip it does take a while. The saving grace is that I build on a sub base which is then stuck down onto the layout, this means I can work in comfort at the bench.

    plan 005.jpg

    This bit has taken five or six sessions spread out over the last week. Though I weight the piece of paving down after each spell it takes on a bow, however it's still flexible and easily conforms to the contours of the baseboard when stuck down. At the moment this section of paving is under weights on the layout while the PVA sets hard.

    Also seen on the workbench is this NMBS class 81, ex Prussian G8. I hadn't intended to have one of these but I picked up an old Fleischmann model in Swedish livery for not much money at last years Corris Railway exhibition in Machynlleth. I can't resist a bargain; I'm from Yorkshire you know. However the loco just about squeezes into my time frame, the class being some of the last to work in Belgium. There are even some photos of 81407 on shed at Ghent Merelbeke, not far from where I imagine Vischkaai to be. Unfortunately the Fleischmann model had the weird flat topped box on the cab roof like this image of the full sized jobbie here. These days I'm more selective about which deficiencies I'll tackle in a base model, I feel it pays to pick ones battles, but I couldn't overlook the roof, so out with files, emery paper and the abrasive drum in the pendant drill.

    plan 003.jpg

    plan 004.jpg
    At the same time the incorrectly placed safety vales were pruned from the boiler, they got in the way too. The trickiest bit was reinstating the lip at the front of the cab roof. Microstrip to the rescue here, though I will have to chamfer the bottom edge back a touch to make it look a little thinner than it really is.
  4. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    I trust it still runs well?

    Seeing the US origin 0-6-0T in the Ghent Merelbeke collection of photos in your link.... with a bit of plastikard and some details you could probably convert one of these from Bachmann into 58.001.

    Neil and unklian like this.
  5. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    Oh yes it still runs well. I now have four Fleischmann locos, a pair of the O&K MV9 diesels, the class 81 and a Prussian T9 (to become an NMBS class 93) all of which run very well. I like the suggestion of the class 58 but it would have to take its place in the queue as I have plans for a Moyse and Renault diesel shunters next.
    Yorkshire Dave likes this.
  6. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    Sometimes a project seems to have that extra bit of momentum, when the work goes well and progress seems easy. The 81 seems to have hit its stride which has spurred me on to do a little more than I had anticipated. I had thought that I'd just attend to the cab roof and call it a day at that, but I've spent quite some time squinting at photos and have decided to tackle some other key features which stood out.

    plan 007.jpg
    First up was the front end, the face of the loco. The chimney extension has been filed back into a representation of the curved plate fixed above the cap. From what I can tell from photos the shape and size of these wasn't totally consistent across the class. Whilst at the front of the loco the smokebox mounted headlight was cut off and the hole plugged and sanded smooth. Also removed was the moulded on numberplate, Belgian locos having the characteristic large painted numbers on the smokebox door.

    plan 008.jpg
    Slightly further back the large air reservoir alongside the boiler was prised away from its mountings, the easy bit, then the mountings pared and sanded away, the hard bit.

    Moving to the back of the engine, the short cab roof rain strips have been pared away and replaced by longer strips which span the full length of the roof; again these vary from loco to loco. Finally the tender has had the moulded on lumps, which I presume were meant to represent builders or owners plates, scraped away. I'll have to replace missing rivets here.

    plan 009.jpg
    Yesterday I was going to post something along the lines of being in a dilemma over whether to repaint or not. I even went so far as to take a photo of the loco in its Swedish green amongst my Belgian green fleet to see if the solution became clearer.

    plan 006.jpg
    While the 81's green is a more sludgy colour than the other three, I thought I may get away with patch painting as it will end up very heavily weathered to represent a loco on its last legs. Belgian steam finished in 1966. Finding good colour photos of working NMBS/SNCB steam engines is remarkably hard work; film and photos seem to not have aged well and filth seemed to be the colour of the day. In the end my hand has been forced by the amount of changes I've made to the model, I need a decent witness coat, so at the moment the loco and tender bodies sport a light coat of Halfords primer. I'll be using the same green I applied to the O&K shunter in the above snap. I doubt that much of it will ultimately show but it'll make a good base for what will go on top.

    Looking at my photos I think I'll have to do something about the handrails too.
  7. steve1

    steve1 Western Thunderer

  8. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    Thank you Steve, yes I have. At first I found them to be a huge disappointment as they would very easily part company with the model particularly if I tried to apply two strips in close proximity. However I found that a quick wash with solvent (on a plastic model) locks them into place nicely allowing subsequent strips to be added or the model to be handled before
    Jordan likes this.
  9. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    The handrails have now been attended to. Though the Fleischmann ones look horrific in the photos they didn't look as bad to the naked eye. I was a bit worried that I wouldn't get a tidy result when it came to trimming off the plastic stanchions, however once I'd started the job went pretty well.

    plan 010.jpg
    I didn't have any handrail knobs to hand but I did have plenty of the split pins that come with three link couplings. Some work with pliers turned them into a reasonable facsimile of Belgian handrail knobs.

    plan 011.jpg

    I have made a compromise at the cab end. The real handrails were supported by the cab front, on the model it looked as though they would end up in the glass of the front windows so I've terminated them just short of the cab front and supported them with an extra splitpin/knob at the rear of the firebox. Under the footplate I've rearranged the pipework to look more like the NMBS locos; like the handrail it's not 100% accurate but close enough for my purposes.

    You should also have noticed by now that grey primer has been applied, what you cant see is that after carving all the unwanted stuff off the smokebox door I've rebuilt the straps and hinges to the correct pattern with microstrip and plastic rod. Not long to go now before I can start applying green paint.

    Finally I should say that it's been huge fun so far. Having only spent thirty quid on the loco there was little to intimidate or inhibit the carving and altering process. It's also been pleasant to work on a model that doesn't fall apart or shed bits as soon as you look at it.
    jonte, Rob R, steve1 and 6 others like this.
  10. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    Very little to report I'm afraid though the 81 now sports a coat of green. In the end I chose the same green I resprayed the O&K shunter in; it's not quite right but I think it will adjust during the weathering process.

    plan 012.jpg

    Part of the reason for the lack of progress is explained by this photo.


    We've managed to acquire a clothes moth infestation upstairs. The little buggers have managed to eat a couple of rugs in the guest bedroom though fortunately my playroom seems to be more dormitory than dining room. The upshot is that Both rooms have had had to be tidied, stuff moved off the floor so it can be sprayed and the rugs and other damaged textiles tripped twenty miles to the nearest tip. The pest control man has just started his work this morning. After steaming the remaining rug the upstairs will be fumigated so no playing at the workbench till tomorrow.

    Viskaai has been moved down into the office so that it doesn't suffer any ill effects from the fumigation process.
  11. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    Over the last week I've managed to return my playroom to a functioning state and I'm pleased to report that the class 81 has been painted, had it's transfers applied and is now reassembled awaiting the weathering process. Here are a couple of snaps of it dragging a couple of wagons through the streets of Vischkaai.

    plan 013.jpg

    plan 014.jpg

    It's a bit beefy for the shunting jobs on offer, but there's something attractive about a large loco and short train.
    Focalplane, unklian, chrisb and 6 others like this.
  12. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    There is!! :cool: :thumbs:
  13. steve1

    steve1 Western Thunderer

    Especially if the big loco looks like this

    Neil likes this.
  14. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    Since my last post I've made good progress with a further area of quayside on the small 2' board at the right hand end of Vischkaai. My research via google streetview into the dockside areas of Ghent reveal that cobbles are typical but that tarmac is seen in a few places. Given that most of the main board sports cobbles I plumped for tarmac infill.

    vis 03.jpg

    It's a mixture of foamboard and Das clay and whilst it might seem as though it should take less time than cobbles, the time saving wasn't as great as I had expected. Like the quayside surface I used a different material for the dock walls, concrete, represented by laminating plain plasticard with the top edge rounded and the face distressed. The surface texture won't be properly revealed until the weathering stage when I hope that the artfully gouged surface imperfections will stand out.

    Whilst air drying clay and paint were drying up on the workbench another building has been taking shape.

    vis 04.jpg
    It employs one of the painted low relief facades that Yorkshire Dave kindly passed onto me a couple of years ago. They're lovely characterful Artitec resin mouldings. To turn them into a full 3-D structure requires me to construct the rest of the building with a dummy front wall that I can stick the resin facade to. This means that all the other joints can be made by solvent welding, simplifying the build.

    vis 06.jpg

    vis 05.jpg
  15. jonte

    jonte Western Thunderer

  16. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    Over the last few weeks I've finished painting the quayside walls, moved on to colouring in the river and then applying many coats of gloss varnish. Here's a shot of the newer, concrete section of quayside.

    vis 07.jpg
    jonte, Tappa, unklian and 6 others like this.
  17. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    Update on the water; I'm now on version four. After taking the photo above of version two I decided that it wasn't quite right. Version three had spot on colouring but the varnishing process went wrong and instead of darkening the paint started to lighten it in patches. This morning the paint came back out and I have version four drying as I type. Actually it's pretty much dry as I use acrylics but I'm going to give it some hardening off time. I've also painted up a test board which I can try different varnishes on. Not sure how much use this will be as I tried this for the last varnish used which seemed OK on the test piece but went wrong on the layout.
  18. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    Hi Neil

    When I built my since decommissioned Dutch layout like yourself I firstly painted the base colour of the water.

    After the paint had dried hard I applied a layer of the waterproof PVA as this dries clear. Whist the PVA was setting i.e. when it is a bit tacky I used a 1'' paintbrush to slightly ripple the surface and repeated the process before it set completely hard.

    These are about the only two photos I have of the effect.

    The rippling can be seen in the reflection.

    This one shows it better at the bottom right.
    BR Tony, NHY 581, ColPeake and 7 others like this.
  19. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    Thanks for the suggestion Dave, I'll give it a go on my test board.
  20. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    Since my last post I've been mostly working on a top secret project which I won't be able to share until the autumn. However it's not been the sole focus of my efforts. Last week I went shopping on e-bay and bought a cheapo promotional Mercedes Benz L322 lorry and trailer. On prising it out of the packaging it was obviously in need of tarting up, the stand out problem being the rear wheel hubs being the same as the front ones, so it was quickly pulled apart. The rear hubs were pushed out from the wheel mouldings, thinned, cut back to the ring with the bolt marks and glued into the centre of the wheels and hubs created from short lengths of 2mm plastic rod. Looking at photos on the net it was clear that the load bed was positioned too high above the chassis. I preferred the stance of this example where the rear mudguards tuck under the load bed. To do this I cut and filed away the tops of the mudguards and also altered the fixing points where the load bed was attached to the chassis by round pegs. Here you can see the mods to the hubs and the reduced gap between bed and chassis.

    plan 017.jpg

    The die cast cab was tossed into some paint stripper as I would be wanting to change the colour and the lettering on the drop sides of the load bed abraded away where possible. This is what the component bits look like this morning.

    plan 016.jpg

    I need to get the cab fitting better and reset the axle height so that the wheels tuck up further into the arches both front and rear.

    I've also had success at the fourth attempt with the water on the layout at the fourth attempt.

    plan 018.jpg

    plan 019.jpg

    plan 020.jpg

    It's Humbrol Glosscote over artists acrylics.