Friday, 3 June 2011

Making a start

Well it's been a long time coming, but yesterday I made a start on the rolling stock. I picked up this van at the local market in Machynlleth earlier this year. Last night I pulled off the continental couplings and treated it to some mild weathering.

There's more work to be done; fitting three link couplings will be a bit of a fiddle and I need to do something with the aggressively textured roof, but all told I'm very happy with my ten minutes spoldging paint around.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Well it's French

I used to a be quite a disciplined model maker, following one theme or project through to completion. As I become older whim has deposed order as I ricochet from one model to the next. Fortunately I've enough space to be able to do this, in fact it may be this space that has freed me up to create at will. The latest model to take a turn on the workbench has little to do with the inner city shunting scene in HO that I'd been planning to do. It started as a result of buying some cheap German promotional trams to chop into a range of four wheel carriages and wondering what I could do with the left over end bits. Nothing, is the answer, but it did spark off memories of the similarly shaped, rather gorgeous Crochat railcar. Cutting one tram in half gives the raw material for two Crochat-ish railcars. The first model that I'm going to hang onto for myself involves lots of cutting and sticking together of the body panels, then next three to trundle out of the workshops will have a far simpler method of construction resulting in a slightly different window arrangement but nevertheless retaining all the character of the real thing. Enough words, here's where the first proving models at.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Oh Dear

I'd hoped to put my Francophile leanings on hold for a few months while I worked the narrow gauge bug out of my system, unfortunately I stumbled across this piece in the Industrial Railway Society archives that's causing all sorts of thoughts to bubble to the surface again.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010


I'm afraid that there's little to report as I've been concentrating on other interests. No physical progress doesn't mean that the French confection has been ignored. One of my other interests is a book of layout designs that I'm slowly putting together; a Parisian micro layout features. The latest Continental Modeller  has also fired up my thought processes, In particular Ian Jowett's marvelous byway 'Aversac'. I have an idea that thought rather than deeds will be the trend this year.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010


It's been some time since I've added anything here, but I've not been idle. Much thinking has been done, and a lot of time goggling at information available on the net. I'm spurred on to backdate my proposals by the recent discovery of this site There are links to photos of the gorgeous 'bicyclettes' and intriguing single wheelers from close to the dawn of time. Wagons fare even better with outline drawings. I'm getting close to the point where I can start, once i make my mind up about what scale to use.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009


Up till now I've been all talk and no action, and though it's not a bad idea to take time while ideas gestate there comes a time to get out the knives. As I already have a number of layouts on the go at the same time I thought it best to start small and fettle up some stock. The first victim is the stupifyingly cheap Joueff locotracteur featured in the title header. In it's raw rather crude state it has charm which I didn't want to loose with an overly obsessive finescale tart up. I determined that I'd try to keep what I could, use only hand tools and simple materials that I had to hand. It's a 'just enough' philosophy that I'll be following for the whole project. Here's where I'm at with the locotracteur.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

At last, an update.

Oh dear, it's been rather a while since I last felt fit to dispense my pearls of wisdom, and apart from some further thinking and a gradual accumulation of information, nothing much has been done. This doesn't mean that it won't happen but it does show how many other projects I have on the go; too many perhaps. I thought I'd share some of my research by way of compensation.

These splendid views come by kind permission of the owners of Paris en Images , click on the link to be taken to the english languge version of the site.

Following the writings of the late and very great Denis Allenden, I've become particularly interested in the transport of wine by rail. Entering 'Bercy' into the search box on the above site will bring up a huge number of inspiring photos. Enjoy.