Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Here's a link to a album of the photographs taken by Paul Martin (EDM Models).

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Some progress on 'The Baby Tal'

A few months ago, I had a trainee stoker turn, the driver on Blanche was Paul Martin of EDM models.
He mentioned that he designs and takes comissions to build kits for his 7mm Blanche, Linda, Charles and a Taliesin kit. I asked him if he takes commissions for 009 kits and we started to discuss the possibility of constructing my Backwoods Taliesin kit, he kindly agreed and the kit was handed over.
I had a update off him earlier and some progress has been made. There is a small problem with a Crosshead slipper / guide, but he will sort that out with Backwoods Miniatures.
Most readers will be confused about the title ‘Baby Tal’ It’s the name of the page which Paul’s uploaded onto his website, as it's a 'baby' compared to his 7mm models! Once there is some photographs uploaded, I will ask Paul if it is ok to copy them onto this blog.

So, a very nice Christmas surprise, and on that note I would like to wish all of the readers Merry Christmas, a happy new year and would like to thank all of the readers for taking interest in what I do, the blog just passed 12'000 page views earlier on today (a figure I never thought I would achieve). Before anyone asks, the photograph is from the Earl being used as a plough and point defroster at Tan Y Bwlch last year.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The P.W train

Over the last week, steady progress has been made to make a reasonable P.W train. The list of stock now includes;
Mess Coach
B wagon
Hudson bogie wagons (2)
Brake van (FR number 6)
I've made a chassis to hold a cherry-picker / crane wagon and a companion wagon.
Finally, the motive power!
I have a Kato 4 wheel tram chassis i use to rest track, and i decided since it is a fairly small chassis, it would fit nicely under a rail mounted truck. So a trip to Porthmadog Models resulted in some paint, brushes and an Airfix kit for a Bedford QLD + QLT trucks. The QLD was used as it was the cargo carrying version of the Bedford, rather than the troop carrying variety (QLT)
This weekend was a quite busy weekend and as a result, there was no modelling. However I did manage to pass out as a Ffestiniog Railway fireman, happy days!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Nice little evening project

Earlier on, I decided to have a go at a Wills Signal Cabin kit I bought at the FRs shop a few weeks back.
It is a pretty simple construction, 4 walls, 3 windows, a door, floor (with base of lever frame) and the levers. It was all put together in a matter of 40 minutes. Since I want to be able to run (and photograph) the layout in darkness, lights are going to be placed in some of the buildings, this signal cabin was the first to be built.
It has two grain of wheat bulb lights, a white one is glued 'hanging' from the roof and another is a outdoor light on the door end of the building. When a light is lit inside a building, all of the bare walls and empty floors are shown. so I cut a few pieces of plasticard and made a stove (which it's chimney hides the wires for the lights) a instrument shelf and a large token machine (similar to the Ffestiniog Railway's Minffordd-Rhiw Goch or Rhiw Goch-Tan Y Bwlch token machines).
This was all glued together, painted, and a garden added on a cardboard base, which will be glued on to the baseboard before scenic work. The body shell is removable from the base for now; it will be glued down once the base is secured to the baseboard.
These are the photos of the finished Signal cabin and garden.
Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Warley 2011

This year’s show, in my opinion was great. It had good quality layouts in various gauges and sizes. After all of the trouble I went to go, it was well worth it.
I think there where some good layout there this year. Two of these are;
1) Crumley and Little Wickhill - Hull MRC
2) Q Dump - Nigel Tansley
A few items were bought for the layout, a few scenic things and tree making materials. I also ordered a 'Static Grass' system, which after seeing a demo of the product; the results where quite impressive.
Also, just out of curiosity, has anyone used a Kato N gauge chassis under any of they're 009 models? At Warley, I noticed that Gaugemaster had a 0-4-0 steam 'starter set' on sale, made by Kato and after a look on they're website, I found that they make various types of steam chassis, including a 2-4-2 (ALCo), 2-4-4 (Baldwin), 0-4-0 (George Englands, Hunslets, Fairlies etc)
So has anyone used these? Are they any good? Please comment.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

More Progress!

Over the weekend, a few things were crossed off the 'To Do' list for the Works board. Mainly, 90% of the wiring has been done, the control panel for that board is done, and all it needs is the power feeds to be wired up.
On the other side of the board, the track was painted, ballast weathered, and construction on an engine shed was started, pictures will follow shortly.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Couldn't resist!

Today, I spent an hour tinkering and answering the door to kids wrapped in bandages or draped in bed sheets. I started off by painting the plywood black, then did some scenic work. Instead of explaining it all... here’s a picture.

I’ve included;
a) Ballast
b) Pit ‘supports’
c) Slate ‘surround’ for the pit.
d) A water tower (still under construction)

Some weathering still needs to be done; this will be done over the next few days.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Today was a very productive day, on many fronts (after trying to figure out what time it was). I first spent two hours doing a ‘foreigner’ for another layout. There is a Model Railway group (not formally a club) in Blaenau Ffestiniog. They have a 00 gauge layout which is about 15ft x 10ft and it includes two mainlines, a branch line, two testing loops, a village, industrial ar
ea, main station and a yard. The layout has many functioning lights on it (which looks great in the dark) but the loco sheds needed some floodlights.
Another member had found some Eckon floodlights and colour light signals in a bag at the Chester swap meet, which he bought for the layout. They needed to be re-wired and touched up, so I said I’d have a go. Some of the maintenance ladders had fallen off and one platform was missing. These where re-attached and a platform made.
Then I turned my attention to Traeth Mawr.
I had been looking at the track plan for the Boston lodge board, and wasn’t happy with how close the carriage shed needed to be to the mainline, so I started by pulling up the track pins to move the shed away slightly. After temporary holding the track down and looking at it, it didn’t look rite, so I went back to the original plan for that area, a locomotive shed and ashing out pit. The idea then developed into having two pits, one similar to Boston Lodge’s ‘long shed’ pit and the ashing out pit.
The area of the pit was marked out, and holed drilled in each corner, the holes was then cut out using a jigsaw. A piece of 5mm plywood was then screwed underneath the holes
Track was then laid over, sleepers removed, copper clad sleepers added to prevent the track from bowing when a locomotive was overhead.
All in all a very productive day over the next week the wiring can be finished.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Good news, bad news and some developing thoughts

Let’s start at the beginning, if needed to change the oil in my car, (read on, railway stuff will follow) and since North Wales isn't known for its gloriously sunny days, I decided to do it in the garage in the dry and relative ease. So the layout was moved to a corner. Yesterday I went into the garage just to remind myself on things that need doing to the layout and I’m glad that I did. On the corner of one of the station boards had some mould on it. The good news is that it has only affected the one corner.
Hopefully, some new windows, painting, sealing etc (and possibly insulating) will result in a nice (and safe) place to put up the layout. I was thinking about what I was going to do about the back-board(the board with the 'sky' on it at the back), after looking at quite a few layout, I noticed that some have ones a few inches high, some had ones two foot high, but others had none.
This got me thinking, backboard or no backboard? I was thinking of a backboard about 5-6 inches high, just to 'protect' the layout. But then saw this picture. It's one of (in my opinion) best 009 layouts on the exhibition circuit, County Gate. I thought the layout looked good with the photographs printed on the backboard, but in my opinion (no offence to John de Frayssinet, whose modelling skills are outstanding) the layout looks much better without a backboard at the rear. I know it is needed to hide the fiddle yard at the back of County Gate, but my fiddle yard isn't at the rear, so it's ideal for me.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Not much to report, but 'In other news'

I apologise for the lack of updates, weekends have been taken up by a lot of things the last few weeks. I've been underground in a local mine, learning to drive (which is a good excuse really), trainee firing and most importantly.... rebuilding slate wagons.
This Saturday the 17th, some of you may know that the Cob (which is in the layout) is 200 years old and the Ffestiniog railway is celebrating this by running a special (hopefully, but close to will be fine) 50 wagon gravity train. It would be the longest gravity train since the 1940s.
I, Tim, Bruno, Theo, Katie, Rhys, Islay and Tomos are some of many 'youths' that have been restoring some slate wagons, sorry for missing so many out, but I can only remember a certain amount of people from the last working party. Will (Bruno) and Theo have been employed over the summer for this purpose, with myself and others been there on weekends and whenever we are available. And we are proud to announce that we are not far away from the golden number.
I hope that many of the readers will be able to make it to the weekend, as it is promising to be a good one. Please whilst your there, could you donate some loose change to the 'Wagon Tracks Project' details are on this website. but the summary is to rip up the track at Minffordd station, make a shed for the gravity train in Minffordd yard using old Minffordd station track and replace Minffordd station with chaired track.
Hopefully, after the Cob 200 and Vintage weekends are over, some work will be done on the layout.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Panels, points and fiddle yards!

Since I have a weekend of no trainee firing and no more work needs to be done to the garage, modelling can re-commence!
For the Works board, I didn't want to run the line from the works, straight to the mainline, but I didn't want a head shunt, so I had a look for some 009 Catch points, apparently they are in the same isle as the flying pigs. So there was no choice, but to have a go myself.
I read a book about scratch built track, had a look at a few websites and studied my great uncles' gift (some 00 gauge scratch built points)

And here is the result. I know the tie bar is at a odd angle, but it is required to allow adiquate space for the point motor underneath. The blade is off a broken point I had kept, and the rest is simply some flexi track bent and cut to shape.
I don’t think it looks too bad, considering it’s my first attempt at doing anything of the sort.
So the plan for tomorrow is to fix the track down at the works and hopefully start work on a fiddle yard. Kindly Peco's TAB team (Technical Advice Bureau) has kindly replied to my email asking for some plans of they're 009 points, as only 00 and some N gauge are on they’re website. So I can experiment with the track positioning at the fiddle yard with a bit more accuracy.
For control of the layout, I have decided to build a control panel for each board, instead of one for the entire layout. This allows each board to be operated separately to all of the others, less wiring in the panel (avoids frying of the brain whilst fault finding) and minimises the wiring needed between two boards. There are only 4 sets of wires running between boards, which are a 9V DC supply, 12V DC supply, 16V AC supply and the track. The 'supply' wires feed power to the control panels, where it is then sent to the specific item.
Each panel will also include a socket for a controller which will control the different combinations of boards. Which are as follows;
1) Harbour
2) Harbour + Cob
3) Works
4) Works + Cob
5) Works + Cob + Fiddle Yard
6) Works + Fiddle Yard
7) Fiddle Yard
On each panel there will be a switch which will allow the controller plugged into the panel to power the mainline through the entire layout which will be a certain road in the fiddle yard, the works mainline, cob and the platform road at the station. It sounds complicated, but electrical drawings have already been drawn up.
One panel has already been built, it's for the end of the station. It still requires push to make switches and some odds and ends from squires to be finished. But it's mostly done.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Well.. it isn't really a 'update'

Firstly I apologise for the lack of updates, too be honest not much has happened since the last update; I've been attempting to scratch build some wagons and building some un-built kits I have. So, now I’ve got a B wagons 'representation' I.e. it's the rite size and wheelbase, but instead of angular strengthening pieces on the side, I have used some 15x100 thou plastic card. Also I now have a 15 wagon gravity train and dandy wagon. Once I’ve gathered enough money I think a Kato Portram chassis might be used to build a powered slate wagon and the 'other end' a RT models Lister Autotruck, but nothings definite yet. Meanwhile the layout is in the garage, ready to be worked on.
Hopefully soon some ‘proper’ pictures of the layout will be put up.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Here we are, the TMR blog's 100th post! So we'll have a mega update!!!
First, apologies for the lack of posts, the past few weekends have been spent sorting out the damp in the garage and firing the freshly overhauled Linda.
1) Taliesin's wheels arrived Wednesday, and now once I find some time, I will carry on with Tal's power bogie.

2) The layout has been separated, ready to be re assembled in the garage. It's going back in the garage after the damp problem will be cured.

3) I've always wanted to scratch build a carriage of some sort. So i was delighted to see a FR bug box made from plastic card in the 009 News. With this and Robert Waller's 'Carriage Building Guide' I had a go at it, with no drawings at all! Only with measurements from a Parkside Dundas bug box and a Peco wagon chassis. So here's the (unfinished) picture of Quarryman’s Carriage number 12 or the 'Zoo Car'

4) When clearing out the garage (prior to sorting out the damp) dad told me to sort out all of the pieces of wood I had gathered in a pile. So I did, and built another layout!! (well, a micro layout) it's 10 1/2 inches by 2ft, based on the idea that a load is dropped from a hopper, into a wagon, then shunted to a building where it is emptied into a pot under the baseboard. I'm still not sure what the load is going to be.

Green- Processing plant + hopper
Blue- Load transfer yard (to road)
Yellow- Transfer Building
Dark Gray- Standard gauge line
Orange- locomotive shed.

And at last The Cob. But not the model! Some may know that it was the 200th ‘birthday’ of the cob this week, and on Wednesday, the local knitters where out in force! Check this out!!!

Yep, your eyes aren’t tricking you, that is a knitted scarf. It stretches from the arch at the Minffordd side and ends up on the other side of the arch, after being to Porthmadog and back of course! It’s (so I’ve been told) 2 ½ miles long! Jokes of the day included ‘I wonder how many cold sheep are there in Porthmadog’ and ‘that would keep you warm in the winter’ these photos where taken from Boston Lodge (not on the mainline before anyone asks!)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ale On The Rail

Today I made more progress on the Harbour Station area. I firstly laid the track on the Harbour Station Entrance board, and as I was approaching the bridge, I realised I had quite a lot of space between the tracks and the back board, so I had a quick think, and decided a brewery would look very nice there, with its own siding. And luckily enough there is a brewery in Porthmadog, not too far from the Welsh Highland’s cross town link, Purple Moose.
So this gives me more scope of rolling stock that can be ran on the railway and a new meaning to the F&WHRs specials ‘Ale on the Rail’.

The track work was all soldered up, holes drilled for the point motor arms and it was then glued into place using Araldite 2 part epoxy resin.

A majority of the wiring underneath the Brewery board was then connected up, with only a few things needing finishing. Hopefully, it should be done in the next few days ready for testing and finally some scenic work.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

More wires than the Thunderbirds!

Today, I’ve spent all day working on the Harbour Station Boards. Firstly I secured the 9mm plywood, which the tracks will be sat on, to the frame. I then made the section which will become a bridge, undecided on what type yet, it could be either a Britannia Bridge, with no roadway, or similar to the road bridge close to Tan y Bwlch on the Porthmadog end. As the track will be entering the cob closer to the rear of the layout, it will have to be modified in due time.
By this time, it was about noon, so I mounted two point motors (all the other I had done previously) and wired them in. Whilst I had the soldering iron hot, I thought I could make a start at wiring the board. I connected up the 5 point motors, 5 uncouplers, 5 point indicators, and ran wires ready to carry power to the Harbour Station entrance board. I stopped (7 hours later) when I almost finished the board.

Hopefully, when some points arrive from Hattons I can start wiring up the Harbour Station Entrance Board.

To connect each board to the next, I am using these neat little terminal block-like things. This should save time when setting up at exhibitions. Athough very handy, they are expensive, £4 for 1 (with 12 terminals) they should be great for connecting up the boards to each other, but too expensive to connect up the control panel to the layout.

Tomorrow, I need to screw the ‘other end’ of each wire to a terminal block and label them (somehow!), buy some more of the self adhesive cable tidy clips and buy some copper tape.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Taliesin update

On Thursday the kit arrived! So Friday was spent thoroughly reading through the instructions and looking at which parts went where. When I received the kit it had a note inside saying that Peter (the maker) didn't have the driving wheel sets in stock, and he will forward them when he receives them. It's a fairly simple kit, it's the only reason Taliesin was bought and not Blanch/Linda/Charles. Whilst in Warely last year, I talked with Peter at the Backwoods stall; I said that i was interested in buying the Blanche kit. He showed me the WHR Russell kit, and after discussing what experience i had in building etched brass kits, he suggested that Blanche might be too complicated for a 'first' Backwoods kit.
So, I’ve started the construction of the body, bending the 'inner tanks', tanks and the cab side. Then I bent the running plate, to match the bend at the base of the water tanks. Hopefully more progress will be made over the next week and pictures will follow soon!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


After a few months of saving money, and a few weeks of wondering, last night a Backwoods Miniatures Taliesin was ordered. I'm confident enough to start to build the body, but the chassis is the one part which I am worrying about. I've built a Meridian Models MPD18 chassis, but it doesn't have small parts such as connecting rods, crossheads, cylinders, piston rods and the like.
I've been reassured by another 009 FR modeller which has many Backwoods kits which include a very nice NGG16, said that the instructions are simple to follow and are of exceptional detail.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Tonight I practiced a bit of airbrushing. I had some Tamiya Acrylic paint, its water soluble, so instead of using thinners, water can be used instead (or that’s what a website said). I tried it out on a test piece, which was a side section of a 00 gauge 4 wheeled open wagon. It seems ok. At first I needed to experiment with the ratios of water to paint, but I soon found that a ratio of 1 part water to 3 parts paint worked well. I had sprayed the coach with some Halfords spray primer, and after it dried, I sprayed the ends of the carriage and footsteps the Tamiya 'Lemon Yellow'. Also the bogies got a light coat of Railmatch ‘Frame dirt’.
Next, I need to find transfers for lettering and numbering, maybe even the FRs crest to go on the side of the mess carriage and Harlech.
Couplings have been added to most of the built wagons of the P.W set, and I’ve ran into problems with Harlech Castle.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

P.W Train

And here she is, the Traeth Mawr P.W train, which includes...

Harlech Castle
Running plate needs to be modified... Will explain why in future post

Mess Carriage
A Parkside Dundas kit. Intended to be a Vale of Glamorgan 3rd class carriage. Half is seating area, and the other is soon to be toilet and mess area. Needs couplings and paint.

Hudson Steel sided bogie wagon
A Parkside Dundas Kit only needs couplings and paint.

4 Wheeled open wagon
Unknown maker, but was a gift when joining the 009 Society. needs coupling and paint.

Hudson bogie wagon chassis
A Parkside Dundas kit, I have two. One will become a Tool Van (Similar to the FR's) and the other will become a Tank wagon. One needs building, Then both will need couplings and paint

Hudson W.D Type D Dropside bogie wagon (not pictured)
Same as the wagon above, but has wooden panelled sided rather than steel. Needs couplings and paint

And some pictures of the workshop I’ve been building. The eagle-eyed readers will notice there are no walls or roof. I’ve got the plans for them, but unsure of weather to build from plastic, engraved foam board or Metcalfe’s paper product. Any comments or tips? Will be much appreciated!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I've started to build the workshops for the Boston Lodge board. I've started to build them on 9mm plywood. They will simply drop into a cut-out on the layout and secured down with wither bolts or screws, making them easy-ish to move them if they are damaged.
The insides will be detailed with machinery and the usual tools and equipment and most importantly, maintenance pits.
I am usurer how to build theses pits. But I've sent an email to someone who has built workshops in a similar manor. So hopefully I will receive some advice on this subject.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Layout alterations

The layout has now been moved to the loft. I will need to modify it slightly to enable it to be ran. Here's the old trackplan.

And the new....

As you see, the fiddle yard and station have 'flipped' this will allow me to work on the scenic area, run trains ands see them run through the scenery. Also the fiddle yard runs into the works via a extra board which will allow the fiddle yard to be parallel or at a square angle to the works board.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Progress at last!

Over the weekend I got plenty of work done.
A job i have been putting off for a while was wiring a control panel. Over the weekend after making the new track bed for the station out of 9mm ply. I built up a simple mimic panel type control panel, which has a schismatic that included normal and Tri-colour LEDs on a slope, with the Switches for Points, Signals, De-couplers and lights on a horizontal surface on the bottom of the slope. I am going to use two ECM Compspeed controllers, built into the Control Board and each controller has the option of plugging in a Gaugemaster handheld controller. I already have one ECM unit, and I know someone who might have one to sell.
The track has been glued down, and soon it will be wired up. Sorry, but I couldn't find any batteries for the camera, so no pictures as of now, but some will be posted soon!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Damage Report

Today, the Harbour Station, Cob and Works boards have been moved in to the house. All the boards are in the attic except for the Harbour Station board, which is in my room so I can easily work on it. In the post today came some bi-colour LEDs for the control panel point indicators.
On the Station boards I'm planning on replacing the sheets that the track is glued to as they have deformed slightly, to prevent this from happening again I will use plywood, not MDF.
After spending all morning moving the layout, the afternoon was spent wiring the control panel. I've wired them up so if the point is set to turn left, the LED on the right would glow Red, whilst the one on the left would turn Green and the opposite if it is set to the right.
Also I am waiting for the Peco PL-25 Electromagnetic Uncouplers to arrive. A total of 8 are going to be placed at strategic points across the Station board.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Oh, Dear

Because the layout is stored in the garage and the locomotives and rolling stock are in the house. So I had an idea of laying some track on a board I had that was previously used as one of the boards that formed the 'loop' behind the scenic area. It was kept in the 'attic' of our garage. As I climbed up the ladder, I put my hand against the wall, it was covered with water. After retrieving the board and inspecting the layout, the MDF has started to slightly sag.
So, in a rush to prevent more damage to the layout, it has been moved inside the house to the attic (where it can't be set up) as a result, progress on the layout will stop for a few weeks until I can cure the damp/leaks in the garage. Not a good sign considering I’m hoping to go to Warley in 2012!
Oh, and I might be buying some Ruston and Hornsby 2ft gauge locos, but that’s another post (or blog!)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Christmas Presents

Happy new year to all :)
I thought I’d write a quick post about some things I got for Christmas for the layout! Mainly I got some Rolling stock and a loco. Here are the pictures of the prototypes on the FR.

Worsley Works Obserbation Carriage 100. (Observation and 1st class)

Worsley Works Service Carriage 124 (Guard, Buffet and Toilet)

Worsley Works Carriage 103. (Buffet)
(No picture)

Baugley Drewery 0-6-0 'Harlech Castle' (Kit and chassis!!)

What i am going to do with the 'Harlech Castle' kit is build it as Cricieth Castle, the FRs 'passenger' diesel. Harlech Castle is the Permanent Way Department’s loco, plus I’ve already got the kit. Luckily the only difference cosmetically is the bonnet is flush with the side of the cab on Criceth Castle, but isn't with Harlech. So, some 'filling in' will be required. All of the above will become 'Set A' with the addition of either carriage 18 or 122. I've built the platform so it can take up to 4 FR coaches and two small locomotives. With some of my Christmas money, I’ve decided to buy some KR multiclass, I haven't decided with which type yet, any suggestions?