7mm On Heather's Workbench - Prairie ago-go


Western Thunderer
Hi Heather , firstly congrats on the upcoming nuptials. Ref the airbrush can you try a bit of thin phos bronze wire and poke it down the hole , it should pop out the other end . I had to do this once with a customers airbrush but he had been spraying tar , well thats what it looked like when he came in and complained his airbrush wasn't working .
Cheers Paul

Heather Kay

Western Thunderer
Hello everyone! We made it through Christmas.

First, a domestic update. We are still not married - officially. The week before the wedding, we heard from the register office to let us know it was still going ahead as scheduled. We managed to organise a pair of likely herberts to act as witnesses. Then everything went pear-shaped again. With the wedding due on 6 January, we finally heard from the register office that things had been postponed due to the pandemic and government lackadaisicallity. So it’s all off until gawd knows when.

Still, we only had to tell the witnesses. It’s not like we had to rearrange accommodation and dozens of guests. We aren’t angry or upset. In fact, we pretty much expected it to happen. Nothing we can do, so just roll with it. Best Beloved and I have decided we are actually wed, it’s just the officialdom and paperwork hasn’t caught up yet!


We did get a lot of cards and gifts, though. This card was made by my Mum. She’s a clever old stick. Both my parents are, so I guess that’s where my creative streak comes from. Mum wants the card back so she can amend the date - when we know the date!

And so, back to the bench. I had a good clear out and tidy up over the break. Realising I wasn’t likely to even start them at the current rate, a couple of commissions were returned to the clients. All amicable. I have the most understanding of clients. Those that remain are part-started and large bodies of work that I hope to get to before the summer.

The airbrush was finally diagnosed with a faulty air inlet valve. Of course, it would conk out right before the Christmas break, but I have ordered spares, including needle and nozzle. I hope that will mend it. There are plans to acquire another airbrush, a gravity feed model with the cup on the top of the barrel, so if the situation arises again I will at least have a backup.


There is no real reason not to complete the prairie, apart from the varnish "repair" pending airbrush bits. This morning, I got the paints out and daubed stuff over the Modelu crew accoutrements. I will fit the couplings and buffer heads, the pony trucks and sanding pipes, and then it’s as close to done as I can get for now.

I'd like to say it’s good to be back. I think that’s a bit premature, but I am feeling a bit more optimistic about life at the moment. Perhaps the mojo will return fully as I get back into a general swing of things.

Phil O

Western Thunderer
Let's hope that the frustration of continuing postponements and cancellations, will soon be a thing of the past now that the vaccination programme is being ramped up. Let's hope that the manufacturers can supply the demand.

Best wishes for your rescheduled nuptials.

Heather Kay

Western Thunderer
The lock down could produce a baby boom

Ha! not much likelihood of that round here. We are both way past that point in our lives. :confused:


Just to prove I fitted buffers and couplings to the front end as well.


This morning's task was to fit the ponys. It seems to roll through my tight S-bend - ooer, missus! - without problems, so that leaves sanding pipes as the last major detail to fit, besides number plates.

In other news, the spare parts for the airbrush have arrived. I think I should check to see if they fix the problem.

Heather Kay

Western Thunderer

That wasn’t quite how the day was supposed to go. I had the chassis out to adjust for ride height, and the rear pony disassembled itself. The top casting had come adrift. So, out it came, and I have spent a while carefully cleaning the joining surfaces and making sure new soldering doesn’t make the rest of the thing fall apart. At least it proved the soldering iron still works. It's the first time it’s been used this year!

Heather Kay

Western Thunderer
The pony truck went back together well enough. I have fitted the rear sand pipes, as they’re quite prominent. I’ve elected not to bother with the front pipes, mainly because there’s nowhere sensible to attach them and they’re not particularly obviously missing.

Simple running trials have shown nothing out of the ordinary, but like all new models it really needs a gentle running in period to bed down nicely.



Various oddments have been distributed about the cab. The driver and fireman, plus shovel, will go in after the final varnish.

My airbrush is still waiting on parts, which is now getting frustrating. Still, it’s not like I’ve got a million other projects yelling my name. Once this major dose of Imposter Syndrome passes I shall try and get on their cases.

Heather Kay

Western Thunderer
An airbrush update. I finally managed to get all the spare parts to replace the air inlet valve.

It still doesn’t work properly. There is air getting through to the nozzle, but it’s at such a low pressure it won’t operate properly. I am now out of pocket and at a loss as to what else can be wrong.

I can send the Iwata off for service and repair, which is the same price as the parts I’ve just shelled out for. My second option is move the "spare" airbrush purchase up so I have a working unit. Then I can decide when to send the broken one off for repair.

To say I am ticked off is understatement. Normal service will be resumed when my blood pressure comes back down.


Western Thunderer
First my old compressor packed in so I bought a Sparmax. But it couldn't keep up with the old DeVilbis spraygun which was leaking air. So I bought a Sparmax GP-850 spraygun last month (less than £100). Best thing I ever did. I work it at a higher pressure than with the old gun and have had to let dilute the cellulose a bit more. But it has a narrower fan of spray which hits the model with a lot less going off into the atmosphere. Great paint-saver. The securely screwed on pot on top of the gun holds more paint than I will ever use even on a O gauge coach...
WEB Spray equipment 7 jpg..jpg WEB Spraygun GP-850.jpg

Heather Kay

Western Thunderer
Probably overkill for my needs! I’m looking at a slightly more upmarket Iwata model that looks like it ticks all the right boxes for me. When the bank account is a bit more healthy, I’ll get the busted one repaired.