There’s always one. Or two. Or three…

I don’t know anybody in the hobby who hasn’t had an occasion when things didn’t go quite as expected. Yes, when this happens it can be infuriating, sometimes possibly temporarily soul destroying. However, we tend to become inventive to find a solution that works for us. Sometimes these can be incredibly simply and obvious we later wonder why it took so long to address.

The big board has the most point motors.  Going against conventional wisdom, the baseboard was built without any strengthening cross-members. The idea being they would be added later, after the point motors and wiring were installed to avoid the situation of either having a tiebar above a cross-member, or a crossmember where a point motor needed to go. This has, so far, been remarkably successful. The ply used for the frames and surface hasn’t warped.

There were a couple of tiebars that got a wee bit close though1A682FDA-FB35-48C0-BAB6-65C8A8D7970B

A bit of lateral thinking, and the light bulb goes on! A minor change to the operating bar, relocating the tiebar wire to the end, instead of between the two guides, solves the problem



One material I’ve very rarely seen modelled well is concrete. It has incredibly subtle original colouring and weathering which is far, far too easy to loose at the painting stage. It’s something I need to get right for the platform coping stones and the carriage cleaning platforms and support.

Some time ago, I bought one of the dark grey acrylic washes used by military  modellers. The idea looks quite promising, and needs more experimenting and then to get a better colour matchF473B8A9-4025-41E1-BC02-21357FAC5F91

You do have to make sure you apply the wash in one go, and don’t stop for a coffee. Otherwise you’ll be cleaning it off and starting again,  unless you want puddle outlines!646054D0-B6C4-47FC-8DD8-F2E47432BFF1

Take care and stay safe


Author: Ian Norman

Modelling railways for nearly 50 years. Currently modelling part of a forgotten Edinburgh railway terminus in the late 1950s, early 60s.

3 thoughts on “There’s always one. Or two. Or three…”

  1. I bought a couple of those washes, but can’t help but feel I’ve been “done” – it subsequently dawned on me that I could have bought the ‘full strength’ paint and just diluted it myself, unless I’m missing something.


    1. Hi Jamie
      You’re right, you can make it yourself, and I expect I’ll need to do that to get the exact colour I want.

      The mainstream stuff does offer consistency of product, important imo while learning how to use it as that’s something I’d not achieve making my own batches, an indication of how diluted it needs to be, much much more than I would have expected, and how much it covers. The latter more important when using on large single areas than an item of rolling stock where you want each one different.

      Donkeys years ago, before Precision Paints came in the small tinlet size, they produced a tin for weathering. Acrylic paints for modellers didn’t exist then, so I expect it was some form of enamel.
      It looked clear and didn’t have a smell of thinners but on close inspection after drying left a light coloured trace around the edge of where it had been applied. It would qualify as a wash, but with practically no pigment. IIRC, it also removed its previous layer if given a second coat.


      1. I think I had initially thought they were perhaps a tinted varnish, or something. I hadn’t considered consistency but that’s a good point. I feel less bad about the fiver or so I must have spent 🙂


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