Tag Archives: modelmaker

Catching up

Hello. It’s been a while, hasn’t it. Sorry about that, but I’ve been busy. Larking about updating blogs has been fairly low on the agenda. I have been updating the social media stuff, but this blog needs a little more time and thinking about.

So, what have I been up to?

NBL Type 2

Well, Just Like The Real Thing asked me if I’d like to demonstrate building their kits at one of the biggest O Gauge shows in the country. With all expenses paid, who could refuse an offer like that? At the same time, they were to reveal a new diesel loco kit, and I got to build the show stand version, which you can see above.

The weekend was quite successful. I think I picked up a couple of new clients—which was part of the exercise—and had a good old chat with friends old and new. I think we may do it again.

WD tender

I set about this tender, which matches an Austerity 2-8-0 which I have yet to begin. This build was an exercise in refreshing my head after some tussles with the coach kit lurking behind it. There are still unresolved issues with that build, but I think I can see a way forward.

BG van

Fun and games have also ensued with a GWR broad gauge passenger luggage van build. This is proper old school modelling, as it used to be back in the 1970s and 1980s. The basic body shell is provided by the Broad Gauge Society, but the underframe, suspension, door handles, couplings and plenty more, have to be sourced from various suppliers. The underframe has been built, dismantled and rebuilt several times, and I think I’m almost happy with it now. I’ve finally got the body parts soldered together, and some thoughts are forming about how to tackle the roof. The client is happy, and seems intent on sending some more kits my way—so I think it’s time I set up a dedicated broad gauge test track to make sure things are running nicely.

On a similar tack, and a similar vintage to the broad gauge vehicles, I was commissioned to “breathe my magic” on three Slater’s GWR 4-wheeled coaches. They had been acquired second-hand, and came in various stages of completion. One was unbuilt, one was mostly built, and one was, quite frankly, a basket case.

Deans (1 of 4)

Deans (2 of 4)

This is the unbuilt kit, or rather was the unbuilt kit. I’ve made up the underframe and begun the body work. It’s helped me understand how the kits go together so I can disassemble the basket case and make it properly.

Deans (4 of 4) Deans (3 of 4)

This is various parts of the basket case. I’ve stripped the model down, stripped some frankly appalling paint off the body, and retrieved most of the underframe components for cleaning up and repairing. The plan is to get all three models to more or less the same state of build so they can be painted as a batch.

That’s just some of the work I’ve been up to lately. I haven’t mentioned the diesel and electric locos being worked on, or the ready-to-run diesels waiting for the client to source detailing parts, or the steadily growing waiting list of commissions that should see me busy well into 2015!

In the meanwhile I’ve found time to revamp the web site, although it needs some work to make it play properly with mobile devices. You can keep up with me on Twitter (@snaptophobic) and Facebook (search for Heather Kay Modelmaker), and I am a regular poster on the Western Thunder forum.

Variety is the spice of life

20140419-211132.jpg

Long-time readers of my waffle will probably recognise the bits of model in the photo. It’s the TSR2, destined one fine day for a diorama depicting preflight checks of the first prototype in the 1960s. As we are blessed with a four-day weekend over Easter, I decided it was time to take a break from making models for other people for a day or two.

This aircraft model has been sitting in my display cabinet, almost complete, for ages. I thought all I needed to do was tidy things up, get the wings to fit properly, and apply the decals. How hard could it be?

Quite hard, as it turned out.

While I was working at the wing problem, I managed to dislodge a couple of components. In for a penny, I disassembled the other parts while I worked, so as to avoid further accidents. It was about now I noticed the white paint was taking on a definite yellowish tinge.

The real aircraft was finished in a matt white. For whatever reason, white enamel paint ages with a yellow tinge, something that afflicted railway coach liveries in the 1900s as well. The recommended course of action is to add a dash of blue to the white. I had done this, but it still faded. It wasn’t a consistent fade either. On thinking about it, I reckon it was the varnish that was off. Something had to be done.

I mixed a fresh batch of bluish white, and decided the best way to sort things out would be to airbrush it. I repaired the earlier mishaps, fitted some masking, and I have been applying a couple of thin coats of the new paint. Hopefully it’ll dry nice and hard overnight, and I can get a good coat of gloss varnish on things in the morning.

The plan is to try and get this model properly finished to my satisfaction. Then all I need to do is work on the diorama. That might take a while longer!