Saturday, 27 December 2014

Class 25 All Done!

As my last post mentioned, I've not completed much this year. However, this is the main result of my modelling for the year! All the other posts about the model can be found here.

I did finish one other loco this year, a model of 'Devious Diesel' for Thomas - I think he was pleased with it!

Friday, 26 December 2014

How to be a Good Son in Law

My attempt to ensure I remain the number one son in law!

As both a Christmas present and as a thank you for all the work which my Mother in Law's partner has been doing on our house, this is seemed ideal. His layout is Cornish with china clay workings, 8702 was a St Blazey engine, and matched the Bachmann varient of the 57xx, so seemed to be an ideal choice.

It's a detailed Bachmann 57XX - the model itself is very good. The tooling for the body dates back to Mainline days, although Bachmann have updated the tools to allow for different cab variants to be produced around the main moulding. The shape and proportions are very good indeed. Only the chunky handrails date the body, and even these aren't too bad.

The work centred around new handrails, which do make a huge difference. This combined with thinning the visible edges of the cab really take the body to the next level. Mainly Trains' etch for the rear windows was very useful and improved the rear of the cab no end with very little effort. I removed the moulded coal which allowed me to use the cast eight within the bunker as the base for the replacement coal. I also thinned the edges of the bunker as much as I could to help the appearance. New lamp irons all round complemented the handrails and along with new Gibson couplings and buffers, with larger MJT heads, the result is much better than out of the box. I also added RT Models' rather nice etch for the sandbox operating linkage, and moved the sandbox lids back to their correct position. I used Gibson 'shoulderless' handrail knobs and 0,45mm wire for smoke box door handles. Gibson include them in the s/box dart sets, so the real cost in the main turning. If you can save the circular boss on the smoke door when you remove any handles, this works really well.

The chassis had its brake rods replaced with new parts cut from 10 thou brass sheet, with Plastikard bolt detail but this concluded the detailing. A few changes result is a huge change to the finesse of the model. The 247 Development numberplates finished the repainting and the model was weathered using photos of locos working in the St Blazey and Fowey area using techniques stolen from various other modellers, mainly Martyn Welch and Tim Shackleton.

I hope the result is pleasing - it's certainly gone to a good home. This is only the third loco I've completed this year for various reasons and it's been a very satisfying and enjoyable project which I hope has enthused me for a bit more modelling in 2015.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Happy Christmas!

I'd like to wish you all a great Christmas and a happy new year! May the day bring you all many train shaped gifts!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Still Here, Still Alive

The title says a lot - and it's not a flippant one in the slightest. Over the last year (maybe longer?) I've not been well. And it's not something people talk about enough - it's not a physical condition, which makes it harder for many to understand. Depression and anxiety are subjects which many people feel embarrassed talking about, either as someone who is going through it or those who are around sufferers. Many people dismiss them, either through ignorance or small mindedness. Of course if you've never experienced these yourself, or haven't (knowingly) known someone who has experienced them, it's something which may be difficult to comprehend.

Some friends and family have turned out to be even more supportive and amazing than I could have hoped for! However some have been less impressive... You have thought I was contagious!

Hopefully there will be a few updates on here soon - I've done very little modelling over the last year really. I've had very little enthusiasm for many things sadly, but hopefully these things, as well as my own health, are improving.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Over the Ouse

Refurbished class 60, 60001, passes over the River Ouse via Goole Bridge.

There haven't been many updates recently, but normal service should resume soon.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

A Morning in East Yorkshire

This is a nice civilised way to spend a morning - in good company, sat out int he sun by a railway line waiting for trains to go by!

I went out with my friend James for a few hours on Monday morning waiting in the sun for freight trains! Very civilised!

Click on the images to see the full size versions over on Flickr!

Saturday, 26 April 2014

York MRS 2014

Over Easter we visited the York Model Railway Show - it's very much an institution in the hobby I feel - if you're in Yorkshire and the North and you don't visit, you really are missing out.

New Bryford

One layout which was always a favourite of mine from its appearance in ModelRAIL, the old supplements, was New Bryford. So it was lovely to finally see it at the show! It's evolved and is still very much current - oddly it was much smaller than I was expecting, the photos on the original article made it appear much larger than it is. It's only 16' x 8', which is a size that many people could accommodate at home. Just the sort of layout which should be at a show!

Foston Mills

There was a great variety of exhibits at the show, the inclusion of a sub-exhibition of minimum gauge modelling was a lovely extra! There was also a good selction of larger scale modelling - Thomas loved a scenic G scale narrow gauge layout! There were a few good 7mm scale offerings too - I may have spent too much time with these. More on this another time...

Monday, 31 March 2014

Grid Farewell

Grid Farewell

York Station on 31st March 2004, the class 56 farewell tour - was it really ten years ago today?

Photo Call

Monday, 24 March 2014

In The Balance

Just a little bit of progress this afternoon with my class 08 - Brassmasters' balance weights have been added and infilled with Milliput. One of those satisfying sessions where you actually feel like you've achieved something by then end of it!

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Two Days, Three Class 37s

A couple of days at Gilberdyke this week brought a total of three class 37s! Both were working track recording trains. Direct Rail Services 37607 and 37609 worked 1Q13, Derby RTC - Derby RTC via Hull and the following day 97301, formerly 37100, worked 1Q14 Neville Hill - Derby RTC via Hull. They sounded lovely!

A closer view of the class 97 passing - if you're modelling the contemporary scene, then I think they'd make a lovely subject for a model - Bachmann loco, Shawplan bits and glazing and PenBits bogies. Sorted!

Friday, 14 March 2014

The Statesman

On day one of a tour from Hull to Fort William, West Coast class 57s, 57314 and 57315 are top and tail of 1Z24 as it passes Crabley Creek Signal Box on the Hull - Selby line. It will take thirteen hours to complete the journey!

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Class 08 Improvements

Being spare at work today I managed a bit of modelling time - the longest session I've had in a long time too. Quite a nice bit of progress too with this one. New steps have been added using Crownline components recovered from a teenage effort, fitted with new handrails and a cross piece from brass strip. I have also fitted new springs as the Bachmann original are rather flat. These are from Tim Horn and are laser cut card. They are fitted over the existing spring and add a nice bit of depth to things. And they're only a couple of quid too! A big impact for little outlay in either time or money - highly recommended!

You can find them here.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Bob Crow 1961 - 2014

Yesterday brought a shock for RMT members with nes of the death of the RMT General Secretary Bob Crow at the age of just 52 years of age.

Enthusiasts, which I presume most readers here are, often don't see this side of the railway but it is just as relevant as any details about what livery a certain loco carried at a particular time. Whether you liked him or not, Bob Crow was someone who support and fought tirelessly for the benefit of the RMT membership - the next General Secretary will have a very tough act to follow.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

On Borrowed Time

Destined for storage within days, DBS' 60071, 'Ribblehead Viaduct', passes Crabley Creek Signal Box with 6J94, bound for Rotherham from Hull Docks.

I arrived for the late turn just as this was approaching so I managed a shot from the ground instead of the box for once!

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Euro Shed

GB Railfreight's euro-spec 66747 is seen here passing Broomfleet Signal Box with the 6C72 Hull Coal Terminal - Eggborough Power Station service. What makes it unusual is the use of JNA and KEA scrap wagons for coal traffic; GBRf have been using these for a good few months now however only in the last couple of weeks have they been seen in day light! Previously they ran empty to Hull Docks in late evening and came out full at around six o'clock in the morning.

However they are now running two return trips a day so the the first loaded working and second empty journey can be be seen at less unsociable times!

Monday, 3 February 2014

More Brake Vans

West Halton will need a couple of brake vans - I've posted about them previously here and here. I think I just like brake vans - much like signal boxes, there's something intriguing about what lies within! I found a lovely photo of a brake van at Frodingham depot on 8th June 1992, taken by John Dedman, click here to see it.

The date is absolutely perfect for my chosen time frame for West Halton so this is a must I think!

The basis will be a further Airfix brake van and a Dave Bradwell underframe kit. The underframe is exquisite! The results so far are very encouraging and despite the small size of components, once assembled they are stong and clearly a good deal of thought has gone into the design of the kit so it's not only very good in appearance but will last when actually used on a layout. And it's sprung too!

AT some point I'll write up what I've done with the brake van bodies in detail but if you buy the Dave Bradwell underframe, there's a section which covers modifications to the Airfix kit, which is well worth following. The only thing I haven't done is to mover the duckets upwards. I haven't done this on the previous one, so I wanted consistency, even if it's not strictly correct!

The brake van I'm modelling has had its end planking removed and replaced with, presumably, plywood sheeting. To replicate this I've used 5 thou brass sheet. Evergreen do 5 thou plastic but it's very flimsy so plastic isn't really suitable here if, like me, you've removed the planking to give the right appearance inside. The etched cabin ends are part of the Bradwell underframe kit, which do nicely enhance the kit!

Sunday, 2 February 2014

ModelRAIL 'Aureol'

Whatever happened to Lawrence Dickinson?

In the early nineties he wrote a couple of superb articles on diesel modelling which appeared in ModelRAIL when it was still a supplement in RAIL. The first I saw was an excellent article on modelling class 47s using the Lima model as a base. Former Rail Express editor Gareth Bayer mentioned this article in a comment on a post of mine here. The other was on modelling 40012 Aureol using a Lima model as the basis - the supplement came with RAIL No. 187, 11th - 24th Novemeber, 1992.

Bearing in mind that many articles from the old ModelRAIL supplements are very much of their time in terms of parts used - it's really only the last few years when we've had Brian Hanson's high fidelity 'Exreme Etchings' range from Shawplan - the results are amazing! 'Of their time' is not a critism, but a reflection of the very small amount of diesel specific components which were then available. The class 40 in this article is very much finescale; it's EM and features an early application of Dyna-Drive. It pre-dates Formil Model Engineering's superb loco/model specific kits too, so a there's a good deal of work in the installation here!

If you were modelling class 40s, even using the new Bachmann model, there's still much of the article which is just as relevent today as it was twenty two years ago. Given the results of the finished model, I do wonder why we've not seem more from Mr Dickinson (of the Ipswich RMA) over the years - maybe I'm wrong and have just missed other articles? If you know of others, please do let me know!

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Barnetby 1996

Eighteen years ago this was me watching and photographing trains at Barnetby with my Dad! Found whilst I was goinh though some old photographs!

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

More Teenage Kicks

While looking for a few things a while back I came across these photos!

These show a teenage effort from around 1997-ish which is, sadly, the only layout I have, so far, ever got to a stage where saying it was 'complete' was believable!

It was supposed to be mid-Wales but to me now, it really doesn't look like mid-Wales! A reflection of it being built before i had actually visited Wales maybe? Regardless it gave a lot of pleasure and a huge sense of satisfaction at the time! The layout is no more but the stock is either stored at my parents or in my workshop. The little tank engine was built by Paul Windle of Hull MRS and is ready for a new lease of life having been stripped (as I had repainted and weathered it), it just needs its chassis sorting as the Bachmann gears have split, but not a big problem!

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Football Special

47810 Peter Bath MBE 1927-2006 leads a football special filled with Chelsea fans bound for Hull with 47853 Rail Express at the rear.

Class 47s with mark 2 coaching stock on the Hull line? We like that!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Hornby's New Sentinel

This is perhaps, in many ways, one of the most significant ready to run (RTR) releases we have seen for a long time. On the face of it, it may not look it but bear with me, my story gets better.

A RTR model to a decent standard is not, in itself, something which stands out now, but the subject matter here is! The background to this is all outlined here which is my post from just over a year ago.

First impressions of Hornby's new Sentinel diesel locomotive were very positive - it looks spot on. The shape is definitely right in my eyes. Running wise my example was excellent straight from the box; it was tested on less-than-clean Peco Code 100 Streamline, with point work on a baseboard than isn't exactly flat or level anymore. Quite a test for a rigid, short wheelbase loco but it performed very well indeed! Very controllable, the top speed is higher than it is likely to be in reality but it's not like Hornby's 0-4-0's of old - this one doesn't rival sports cars with its accelleration ability. So its operation is very good, very much within the realms of a hand built mechanism for this sort of loco. Well maybe not as smooth as I'd aim for if I was building a loco, but it's still very good for such a little RTR loco! The sheet contained within the box confirms that both the chain drive and rod driven versions will be produced - the common components between the two make it quite sensible proposition.

The body has been the cause for much debate so far it seems. The layout is one which presents problems for convention construction. The side sheets which enclose the running plates have suited Judith Edge's etched kits well but for moulded plastic, a little more involved. But Hornby have done very well in this respect and captured the metal sheet appearance very well - the insides even have the strengthening ribs! The body is self coloured plastic - this may seem like a retrograde step and maybe it is? But it will certainly help keep the price down.

For a long time in Europe, using self coloured plastic mouldings is not unusual and high quality plastics will lessen the obvious lack of paint. The red for this particular model perhaps doesn't do it any favours. The result is a little translucent but not too bad. The issue which is more important is when the side sheets join the cab. There is a real join here but it's not normally obvious on the prototype unless there's corrosion present - from 'normal viewing distances' the join, whilst not perfect, is quite acceptable. The valance, however, is very poor - the fit of the valance moulding within the cast footplate is not up to the same standard as the rest of the model. Modellers will be able to sort this but for me this is the worst aspect of the model. The buffer beams have an insert to replace the tension lock coupling and this is surprisingly effective. Looking at the glazing, this is nothing special but is no worse than what you may see elsewhere but it can easily be used to make replacements. Inside there's a nicely detailed cab with a false floor beneath which is all the mechanical gubbins which propel the loco so nicely.

Overall the standard of tooling is very good - the detail around the springs, for example, is very nicely done. The axle box covers should have their maker's name cast on the them and this is absent, but how far do we expect Hornby to go on a model which generally will cost no more than £45? Buffers are very much solid and the lifting eyes are crying out for holes to be drilled to given them their proper appearance.

The model is, despite the little issues, very good value for money. It certainly catures the look and character of the prototype very well indeed. Out of the box most people will be very happy with the result. And for modellers, there are plenty of things to tackle which will not only be satisfying but also allow them to produce a model which is genuinely unique. Mine will become one of Alkborough Steelworks shunters. I just need to work out how best to rewheel it to P4 and address the issues I've highlighted above but I would say it comes highly recommended and I personally feel that Hornby deserve this model to well - it could be the start of 'proper' industrials available for the RTR market.

You can tell who was helping me - he wanted his diesel to be in the photo too!

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Narrow Minded

This is my first 009 loco build for about ten years!

It's based on the Langley Models kit - the castings are OK. There was more flash and feed marks than I think is acceptable but with cleaning up they'll be fine. This is the basic structure erected to check for sqaureness. I'm using low melt solder so at the model it's simply tacked together but once I'm happy with everything I'll run proper seams round the joints. With care I'm hoping this will turn out nicely - the kit has plenty of potential.

Originally I thought this must be my first bit of 009 for fifteen years, but turns out it's only ten years (or there abouts!) since I last did anything narrow gauge - a Gem WD Baldwin, a nice little coincidence!

Further Reading

War Department Light Railways