I’ve finally fixed up some new lighting in the form of fluorescent strips which should even out some of the dark bits and leave me less reliant on power-hungry film lighting equipment for photography. It may also make coupling up the 3-link stock a bit easier – at the moment I have to use a torch to see where to put the hook. The area under the baseboard is a no-go area thanks to the amount of junk stored under there that I find impossible to throw away. Also wouldn’t it have been a good idea if I’d sorted out the garage walls – coat of sky-blue, for instance or some boarding – before I built the layout?
What might appear in the signal box as a track plan only with a lot more signals and a few facing point locks. I’ve some actuators on order from Minx Microdrives so the rest of the signals (19 is the only one that’s up and running) stand a chance of becoming operational at some point.
I don’t like removing the coaching stock from the track as it’s difficult, with the corridor connections getting in the way, to recouple them. To that end I’ve increased the on-track storage by adding another siding in the fiddle yard as an extension of the spur that the autotrain runs in to. It means that it’s now a tighter squeeze getting the recycling bin in and out of the garage but boys’ toys come first.
I photograph the layout with a mixture of cameras. Mostly I use either an iPhone 5 or an iPad Air because that’s the simplest and laziest option. Occasionally I use a compact Canon Ixus 95 and, if I’m feeling really energetic, I’ll get the Nikon D700 DSLR out and use a tripod. To be honest, the difference in quality between the images produced, once I’ve fettled them up for the blog, is minimal. With the D700 I can get away with less lighting whereas for the Apple products I really need to turn on my two 650w Arri lamps to combat the noise inherent in their sensors and processing systems. A plan to improve the overall lighting is in hand.
Trying to get away from images of locomotives so instead some detail from the wood yard. The crane is a PECO product and the other contents of the yard are a mixture of wood I’ve cut myself and cast items from Ten Commandments.
4365 seen from the goods yard at the head of a Cheltenham local with 2743 on shed. As I have a fairly low backdrop, the sky has, as usual, been roughly filled in with Photoshop.
MR covered van outside the goods shed. The goods shed was the first building I made for Wychminster and I was much fussier about the painting of the stonework than I am now.
GWR Mogul 2-6-0, 4365, on shed, an experiment in finding new angles to photograph the layout from. Taken with an iPad which puts the lens much closer to the track than an SLR or compact camera. Must fit a hose to that water crane! (And straighten it up).
My five tender locomotives, posing unnaturally at the station end of Wychminster and demonstrating a range of colours masquerading as GWR Locomotive Green. Left to right, 4365; 3399, Ottawa; 3714, City of Gloucester; 1334; 2357. 2357 is still the only engine fitted with the Dingham coupler which I intend to fit to the locomotives primarily used on freight trains.
3714, ‘City of Gloucester’ on the shed road, 2743 on the shed loop and 1334 running back from the turntable.