Fill Me Up With Contrasting Colours

Ever wonder why model filler comes in different colours?

Its the same stuff just in different colours.


The theory is this. You should use a filler of a contrasting colour to the job you are filling.

As you can see on the back  of this loco it has been primed with white acrylic primer and then green filler and left to dry.

The next example is a side on view of some filler that has been rubbed down with some 1000 grade wet and dry paper used wet.



The contrasting colour lets you see when you have feathered the edge of the filler into the body.

In this case its left filler just in the groove in the tank side. The groove shouldn’t have been there in the first place but the 3D printer had a little wobble and I am using up development prints to experiment with.

The next stage is to add either undercoat or the final body colour. Having sprayed both bodies with white primer to better show any blemishes the cabs were masked off as the upper parts of the interior will be cream so the white is the ideal first layer.

The green engine has body colour added straight on to the white. The green I had is a bit darker than I wanted and adding it to the white lightens it a bit.

Alternatively the red engine has had a coat of brown primer on top of the white. This is a bit of opposite logic to above. Adding the red body colour straight on to the white would have made the red look more pink so the brown layer better preps for the red.

The red hasn’t been applied yet as just as I was getting to it the weather went scorchio and the paints were going off before they could be sprayed.

That’s it for this little interlude. More of these locos as they develop.


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Well, I certainly chose a corker of a week to drive trains. I can recall a few hot ones in the past and to some extent forewarned is forearmed with regards to dehydration and heat stroke having had a bad experience in the past.

I was very fortunate that my roster on each of the four days was just one lap. It was enough. Day 1 was on Blanche on the 12:25 Mountain Prince service. Blanche is quite enclosed but you can stand away from the hot bits. With the number of bottles of water on the footplate, some for drinking and some for wearing a trip to Wilco for a wine rack would have been handy.

It was pretty hot on the engine but that was a taster for what was to come.

Day 2 was one lap on the 10:00 driving Merddin Emrys. In most ways Merddin is the worst for a hot day with its more enclosed cab but in a surprise way DLG is worse, but more of that later.

The train service this week was the Mountain Prince which is a version of the railways Covid secure service. The up steam service runs to Tan-y-Bwlch where a diesel is attached to the rear. The up train also crosses a down train here. We then run up to Barn Cutting, just above Dduallt, where we pause for a scenic interlude. The diesel then guides the train back down to TyB where the passengers get around an hour to use the cafe, toilets and explore the woodland walks. The diesel is uncoupled ready to go on the end of the next up train and the steam loco moves up to close to the water tower. Ingenious train crew have set up a staff seating area in the shade. Trouble is the engine sits in the sun getting hotter for this 45 min. I ended up tipping bottled water over the steam brake handle to be able to use it! Once the next up train has gone with the diesel on the back the steam loco runs round and takes its train back to Porthmadog.

What does a steam loco driver do on his day off?

Goes and looks at steam engines of course!

Actually, it was a bit of a tour taking in Barmouth and then visiting friends at Fairbourne. They made us have a ride – honest! The tour did continue with a scenic interlude and some light refreshment.

Day 3 was another day with Blanche.

The heat was getting very silly now. The track had been suffering in the heat and we had a blanket 15mph speed limit on but there were a number of places with emergency lower speeds on them because of it.

This was an interesting trip as Blanche was loaded with a trial of an imported coal as our current source is due to close next year. The only slight worry was that this was the engines second day on it and there wasn’t much left on the engine.

The temperature resulted in further engine crew ingenuity.

As well as our shady picnic spot we now had a drinks cooler. The water tower always has a bit of a dribble and is ice cold so be delaying its trip to the drain with a bucket the bottles of water get chilled.

Drinking two or three 2 Litre bottles of water in a round trip is not out of the ordinary. Also much to the pain of the railways medical staff they recommend salty crisps and rehydration salts.

In olden days it would have been a pint of mild!

Day 4 and its the other double engine, David Lloyd George, for a lap.

This is perhaps where you’d think the more open cab would make it a bit cooler but in this heat it was a losing battle.

The surprising difference was that on the more enclosed Merddin the Vacuum brake handle is in line with the window and therefore gets a cooling airflow. DLG’s is set lower down and doesn’t line up with the window. It gets very hot when stood and isn’t cooled by a draught. As the down trip is all about vacuum braking I ended up driving with a glove just on my left hand.

Well, that was a scorcher but I am off to do it again in a weeks time and this time we get to go to Blaenau for the first time since October and one of my protégés should qualify as a driver.

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