Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Decision time for Winkford.. all finished?

Haven't had as much time for doing or posting lately. However, Winkford has reached a point where it is pretty much 'finished'.

I now have a dilemma. I am quite pleased with the layout as a picture. I've even managed to fettle and tweak so that the odd de-railments are less frequent. (Back to back on the wheelsets provided in the kits seemed to be the root of that issue). But..

I don't enjoy playing with it. 

I don't know if it's a 'OO9' thing.. maybe I just don't like the feel of it (had a similar experience with N gauge a little while ago).. maybe the track plan is just too simple for any interesting. I'm thinking it's the former. It's all lacking a bit of weight and momentum that I've found that I prefer from model railways.

So, what to do?

One option is to tear up the track, bring the time forward a few years to when the company is bought up, and a standard gauge line laid. I could lay a small 'yard'.. basically a fork or small inglenook. Maybe hand-laying track to keep it interesting.. I think long term it'll struggle to hold interest too, but as a 'project' it has promise..

Another option is to take apart the whole thing. Salvage what I can and sell off the stock.

Or, try to sell the whole lot.. layout, stock etc. 

Not sure. Anyway, some pictures to record the current state of build..

Sunday, April 1, 2012

sticky stuff.. decals

Here's something I've never done before.. making your own decals (or transfers.. ?) . I knew it was possible but never really looked into it properly, so this week I thought I'd take the plunge and give it  a go.

Two reasons..First up, I still have a hankering to play with my American HO trains at some point, and liked the idea of re-badging some of my engines for the Yellow Pine RR, my own fictitious shortline. Secondly, On Winkford I felt that the side wall of that pub really needed some advertising on it. I felt that a local brewery was apt and might help to set the scene too.

There are two choices in inkjet transfer paper, clear or white. After some rather pointless head-scratching, I ordered a sheet of White inkjet transfer paper from ebay and printed off my designs..(this took a lot longer to do than to say - I chopped my A4 sheet into 4 almost 6x4 photo paper sized bits and had to convince the printer that it was okay to print!)

At this point I needed to spray the sheet with a clear varnish to seal the ink. I had a can of 'water based' clear sealant which I hoped would do the job. A couple of light coverings left a yellowish sheen, but otherwise everything seemed okay, so I left the sheet to dry overnight.

This morning, with much trepidation, I cut out the Home Ales decal for the side of my pub and dunked it in a saucer of clean water. At this point I expected to see all the ink run and / or the decal screw up into an unusable lump.

Actually, This is the result! I am pleased. Next up, applying the Yellow Pine decals to my engines..

By the way, the Home Ales brewery in Daybrook, Nottingham, was my local brewery. I remember the smell of hops filling the air on a foggy morning. Despite local loyalties, their bitter was generally pretty bad, although preferable to Shippos (Shipstones)!