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Brettell Road

Local Flavour

This post can best be described as a taste of local flavour if not the full meal itself.

Anyone familiar with railways in the Stourbridge area will be aware of the Parry People Movers that operate between Stourbridge Junction and Stourbridge Town. Little 4 wheeled railbuses that spend their days shuffling along the UK’s shortest passenger branch line. The line itself is still jointed track meaning the ride is somewhat best described as lively! While famous now for these little vehicles Stourbridge didn’t really embrace the railbus idea the first time around, The line begin operated by autotrains and GWR design railcars at the time railbuses were being tried elsewhere.

However as Brettell Road is a loose interpretation I have gotten hold of a Heljan one as a nod to the little people movers. This was always going to be a nice to have rather than a need so having kept my eye on eBay for a cheap one, just on the off chance, this AC version popped up as a non runner with a dodgy motor for less than half the price the runners were going for.

The motor was replaced with a small Mashima I already had. One of the drive shafts was bent out of shape too but as these little models are very heavy for their size I binned that and now its just powered on one axle. For what it needs to do that seems absolutely fine.

I’ve fitted a Zimo MX634D decoder in the space in the roof linked to a TCS KA2 stay alive hidden behind the door and weathered it, The wheels are Branchlines 3ft using the original gears and bushes. You do need to grind a little bit of the chassis away to get them to fit. A couple of passengers and its good to go.

Same idea – different generations!

Another bit of local flavour. The yard crane at the real Brettell Lane was a bit of a chunky affair. In line with my upcoming demo at Scaleforum on making the most out of older models, I’ve come up with this representation using the Airfix dockside crane as a start point. The jib is scratchbuilt from plasticard. I’ve only seen a few distant pictures of the real thing so this is very much a loose interpretation.


J94 Project – Done!

When I picked up my nearly finished J94 kit it came with an already assembled Branchlines Gearbox. Try as I might I just couldn’t get on with it. For some reason it seemed to have very little torque but this wasn’t sacrificed for speed as it didn’t really have much of that either (perhaps the energy was being used up by the noise it generated?). So admitting defeat I swapped it for a High Level Road Runner +. What a difference that made!

Another little problem I came across was the lack of space between the inside motion and the springs I fitted on the front 2 axles. I had used a short handrail knob in the same way that the advocates of CSB systems use but it was all just a little bit too tight for comfort. So I ditched that and just soldered a couple of springs to the inside of the chassis – Number 10 guitar springs for the center axle and number 12 for the front bearing on the top of the axles. Anyone with any kind of knowledge of how things should be done are probably reading the rest of this post from behind a sofa but it works so that’s fine in my eyes!

Anyway its done so here’s a few pictures.

Here’s a very short video of the inside motion at work

Below are a few evening images.

Another little video – this time a spot of shunting. There’s a few stutters which I am hoping a little more running in will iron out.

Finally one of those unplanned shots you sometimes get when you are focussing on something else and they just catch your eye. A simple line up of coal wagons.


J94 project – something a little different.

Several years ago now DJ models appeared with much fanfare (Although only in one place if we are being completely honest) and announced a brand new J94 model. This was of interest to me as 2 of them were used by the NCB in the local area. While it would have been a nice to have I was never going to go for the RTR effort but i did hope that if it was good enough it might see a few unstarted Brassmasters kits appear which would be a little more up my street.
In the end this didn’t really happen so the idea was kind of abandoned until the good folk at Brassmasters mentioned they had a unfinished test build of their kit somewhere. Money changed hands and a slightly different style of project was formed to what I’ve done in the past. 

So this is what i was presented with (albeit with a Giesel chimney that i replaces with a RT models casting) and a little box of spare parts. I’ve never finished a half started loco kit before and with no instructions and not knowing what bits I didn’t have it was going to be a bit of an adventure.

The easy route would be to just add the body detailing and finished what I had but the chassis was missing most of its representation of valve gear and I didn’t have any of these bits in my little box of spares.

The chassis as supplied.

My friend Les supplied me with a copy of the original instructions (which sort of helped a little) and members of the Scalefour Society forum kindly provided pictures of the etches, some finished models and some prototype pictures so I set to work.

The detailed up body, using prototype pictures as a guide.

The Chassis. I used a Brassmasters inside motion kit, shortened by 3mm and simplified. The prototype locos seeming to have a much more rudimentary arrangement than the LMS locos the Brassmasters kit is intended for. I also couldn’t use the original central pivoted rocking beam compensation so I have sprung the front two axles from a central pivot on either side instead.


What ever happened to…

Way back towards the start of this project I posted the above image. The little black tank wagon at the far end was a Peco wonderful wagon kit and avid follows of this little adventure might notice nothing has really been said of it since.

It was pretty quickly joined with a companion and the pair have been lurking near my workbench ever since. Well now they are finally done and ready to go. Modifications to the original kit were to replace the w-irons with Bill Bedford ones. New ladders from Stenson models and new handbrakes from Ambis. I didn’t really like the mounting rods as supplied so these were replaced with 0.6mm brass tube. The ends being flattened with pliers. The walkways came from my spares box.

The crane has its runner from a Cambrian kit. Its a little freelance is based loosely on an image of a similar but steel wagon I found on Paul Bartletts site at Bescot. The steps are spares from a Bachmann class 25.

Before i settled on the Cambrian route for the crane runner I found an image of a diagram 1/001 lowfit that caught my eye. Built by BR they had a LNER style body on an LMS style chassis. Bachmann do this RTR but the chassis is completely wrong so its been replaced with a Parkside one. The mineral is diagram 1/119 21 tonner from The Chivers kit. (Tim had some lying around when I last went over). This wagon would be very new in the Brettell road period. This is also the upper end of my build it rigid approach to wagon building. Any longer wheelbase than this and I tend to go for springing.

Speaking of Tim we have been working on a curved version of his display shelves with a few design tweaks such as the more solid locking of the ends and little clear ‘buffer stops’ for the ends. The 4mm scale versions are ready to go, see Tims website.

Finally a co-bo on a parcels train for no other reason than why not?


Old ‘uns and a possible change to how the layout is presented

So to draw a line under the last post. The Lima CCT is finished off and ready for service.

So is the crane. It rides very high as supplied so I ground the bearing slots down and removed a bit of material from under the axleboxes (its still a smidge to high). Seems strange that Hornby raised the ride height on all their models to accommodate their tension lock coupling. Why not just make that smaller instead?

The end shackles are from Roxey and the cables are the heavier e-z line. Transfers are from Cambridge Custom Transfers. The single plank wagon is just standing in at the moment.

One of the issues with Brettell road is the height it sits at. The subject of layout height is a thorny one but I take the view that operator comfort trumps everything else. After all we will be working on the layout for a couple of days . Currently its a bit low which I’ve got round by asking show organisers to provide chairs. From a sitting position its just about the right height.

However I’ve been thinking of doing a more traditional style, separate roof and here it is mocked up. Its designed so that it all slots together and no screws or bolts will be required. It will still have a material roof to shield the ambient light but it should make the layout itself a little lighter too. The plan is for the original pelmet to be removed.


A couple of old ‘uns in progress

Recent attention had been on a couple of older RTR efforts. Starting with…

…a Lima CCT. Yes I know there’s a Bachmann one now but the Lima one isn’t all that bad given its age. It suffers from the sometimes common Lima trait of getting most of it about right but then blowing it on something obvious for no apparent reason. In this case the W-irons are just too far from where they should be.

This can be addressed with replacement from ABS (or at least it used to be!). New roof vents and underframe bits and bobs plus filing off the, freelance, window frames and we’re about there.

Next the old Hornby hand crane. This one uses rollers and a counterweight from Jon Hall. I’ve widened the jib and added extra details.


The mopping up of wagons continues

For DEMU I figured that my usual method for the round oak trains appearing on scene – i.e. an open wagon with a shunter look out and an industrial diesel pushing from the back was probably just a bit too archaic. So I figured the guys at Round Oak got themselves and ancient brake van in a somewhat token effort to appear to obey the rules!

So here we have a very tired brake van from the recently re-introduced Slaters kit. I returned to the crackle paints I had used on the signal box for this one.

On the subject of old vehicles, an old ratio kit for a GWR open c. These were a bit odd as they had the sides and underframe as one piece. I separated them and made up new underframes with bits from Bill Bedford, Ambis Engineering and Model Railway developments.

Sticking with the GWR a Mink A to diagram V12. This uses a much more modern kit from Parkside with more Model Railway development parts.


Invisible fixes and a simple little project

Sometimes you can be busy but really not have anything to show. As im on the final run in to the DEMU show next weekend I’ve been looking at a few things that fit into this bracket. Starting with…

My loading gauge. Originally from the Smiths kit, its white metal construction for the main post was just too susceptible to knocks and getting bent out of shape during an exhibition. I hade used brass wire for the wires and after a few times bending it back to shame it was all starting to look a bit of a mess.

So i rebuilt it from brass instead. The wires this time are easy-line. I did keep the original bow mind you

Moving on to, perhaps, a more literal interpretation of the post title

The baseboard join is just a bit too obvious for my liking so I’ve revisited this too.

I found some soft rubber sheeting in my local hobbycraft. Its smooth on one side and has this texture on the other. I cut it into strips and blended the top edge into the existing scenery with static grass, ballast and paint. The result can be seen below.

Finally a simple little project using a left over base toys trailer.

This is what I started with. which is, lets face it, a bit naff

Using the Langley models kingwheel kit you can turn it into something half decent. The kit caters for single and twin wheels so that’s all to need for both axles. In reality you could knock up the tailer bed from bits of plasticard in a leisurely 10 minutes!

The finished trailer after a spot of weathering. The reason for posting such a simple little project is to demonstrate that anyone can have a go at something like this for very little money. There’s no need to attack your latest RTR loco as a first attempt as this can teach a lot with ultimately very little to loose. We have the modification of the plastic bed. Use of white metal components (Have a crack at low melt soldering) adapting kits for your own uses and weathering. Sure its tempting to go for a headline loco if you are new to the hobby but something this simple will also teach a lot of skills. Plus if it all goes horribly wrong you can just throw it away, the lessons learned never follow it into the bin!


Classes 03 and 30 – done!

Before I get onto those some more wagons are done too.

Another couple of mineral wagons. Airfix and a fitted one from Parkside. Its a bit of a thing to make all mineral wagons rusty so I decided to model the latter in nearly new condition. The SR brake van is an older Cambrian kit and needed a fair bit of modification to look like the real thing. I can take no credit for working out what as its all outlined here.

On to the ‘headline acts’ so to speak. My class 03 and 30 are now done and ready for service. Some pictures follow.


All 3’s and 0’s

This post has a bit of a common theme about it. Its all about 3’s and 0’s! With DEMU show coming up at the start of June I plan to show Brettell road with a bit more of a diesel bias than usual. While I have a lot of blue stock I could use I want ot keep it late 50’s very early 60’s so my blue stuff is a none starter (although I might consider a fully blue show one day). Figuring that a few more green diesels wouldn’t go amis I’ve been busy.

New Street has a lot of class 31’s and I’ve always liked them. In the early days (when they were class 30’s) they weren’t all that common in the midlands being more of an eastern region machine. However a cheap Lima one was found in green and I set to work on a quickie conversion. As the longest train on Brettell road is less than 4 feet there was really no reason to abandon the lima pancake motor for this one so i just fitted extra pickups and more weight. Incidentally the builders plaque is one of the Railtec 3D transfers and very nice they are too! Just a bit of weathering required.

Funny how doing something subtly different leads to moments of realisation! I’ve never quite thought that the Lima none plated headcode class 31’s looked quite right somehow. It wasn’t until i looked at the green one that I realised it because its too small. Someone in lima must have realised this as well as the printing for the headcode box is much bigger than the molding. So while i was fixing the headcode on the green one I did the 2 blue ones i have as well (using a rudimentary jig). The original size is on the left and the revised one on the right.

Switching the 3 and 0 around I’ve also been working on a class 03 shunter using an old mainline body and a high level chassis. As with all High level chassis kits I’ve tried so far they just work from the box. Everything is worked out already and its all just a bit, well. easy!

This one is going to be D2387 which is one of, I believe, 3 that were allocated to Monument Lane shed and worked as station pilot for New Street as well as occasional forays further afield (Harbourne branch being an example). It was a doncaster example and didn.t last long enough to receive a tops number, being stored in 1972 and scrapped the following year.


Getting the most from older models.

In September I will be doing a demo at Scaleforum entitled getting the most from older models. Regular readers will know I have a bit of a thing for starting with old models that many will have long ago consigned to the bin. To this end I thought id look at a couple of old building kits too. Namely Airfix.

The Airfix Signal box is based on the one at Oakham which is a Midland Railway type 2a box from the early 1900’s I liked the look of the platform mounted version at Kings Heath (which is a type 3a) so set to work

The kit as supplied is too wide. I used some etched windows from Phoenix models and reduced the ends to fit. I binned the roof and knocked up a new end platform from microstrip. I wanted to use this model to try out a few new (to me) painting ideas.

First step was to paint it in an aged wood colour. The wood effect is pretty easy and quick if you work more like a painter and less like a modeller

I use these 4 Revell enamel colours as they are nice and matt. They are numbers 47 (mouse grey), 88 (ochre brown) , 84 (leather brown) and 9 (anthracite grey). The actual colours aren’t that critical. I use a dunk and dip technique and work on a base of Halfords grey primer. I dunk the brush into the mouse grey and ochre brown and lightly dip the tip into the leather and anthracite. All at the same time so that the brush is loaded with layers of colours. Then is just a simple case of drawing the brush across the model and letting the colours mix themselves. You don’t want them to mix too well so try and do one stroke per plank and work in the direction of the wood. The trick is to let the brush do the random work for you and not to fight it too much. My end result was a smidge dark so when dry, i drybrushed more mouse grey lightly over the model.

This is what ended up with. I then gave it a couple of coats of matt varnish.

This is the bit that’s new to me. Ranger distress paints. The large scale guys have been using these for a while with good results but the method for smaller scales seems a bit different. The pain is intended to be dabbed on quite think and left so that it starts to crackle and flake on it own. For our scale i found it better to brush it on on 2 coats. This doesn’t do any ‘magic though so the next stage is with a fine sanding stick to give it a little help. Again working in the direction of the wood.

Here’s the result. Distressed but not weathered. Another coat of Matt varnish and then back to enamels, used this time as a thin wash. I added an interior from Ratio and a signaller from Modelu. The finished result can be seen below


Just a few pictures.

Just decided to do a few images, including a view of the canal which I’ve never gotten round to and a few experiments.


Pondering…


Hornby Hacks 2 – The NBL class 21, part 2

My class 21 project is now finished. Above is a before and after comparison. Not a lot more to add really so here are a selection of images.


Hornby Hacks 2 – The NBL class 21, part 1

I’ve mentioned before that Brettell road is a ‘what if’ layout and that extends to the stock as well. So what if the NBL class 21s were trialed in the Midlands? It’s not a huge leap to make from reality really and its reported that they did appear on the Condor’s occasionally (anyone got any pictures of this?). I’ve always had a passing interest in the Hornby class 29 as its melancholy look seemed to stand out from the other diesels in their catalogue as a kid. I never had one though so why not get one now?
I prefer the original look of the class 21 to the re-engined class 29 so that’s the plan. The Hornby model has bits of both. (I know about the upcoming Dapol model but I figured going this way would be more fun!)

The Prototype

©53A models of Hull Collection, used with kind permission. Click here to go to the original.

Although the class 21 and class 22 became something of an irrelevance in the history of British locomotives their story does hold a bit of interest.  NBL could have been said to be at least as experienced in British loco production as anyone else at the time with their LMS commissioned prototype 10800 and the class 16s which shared a strong resemblance. Both were powered by Paxman engines and both were somewhat problematic.

When it came to type 2 units (or type B at the time) they abandoned the Paxman power unit turning to their own built MAN units, built under licence from Germany.  It’s not clear if NBL actually had any real experience in building these engines at the time and to say they were somewhat disastrous wouldn’t be far from the truth. NBL would return to Paxman to repower some of the class 21s and they would be class 29.  Truth is they were little better. Poor cooling and badly laid out equipment only made matters worse for the class.

Where they do hold an interest is in that the class 21’s were diesel electric while the class 22’s were diesel hydraulic. If they hadn’t have been so problematic then a reasonable comparison of the 2 propulsion types would have resulted.  This was the only opportunity for main line locos in the UK. The 2 classes look very similar with the class 21s being just a smidge under 5 feet longer and at least to my eye, looking more ‘designed’

D6109 the odd one out.

D6109 became the odd one out of the true class 21s having received most of the body modifications for conversion to a class 29 but not the Paxman engine (reportedly down to problems discovered in the frames). So D6109 became the only class 21 to get a headcode box.  Interestingly there was one class 29 that didn’t but got all the other modifications.

The Model as it comes.

Being reasonably unfamiliar with the real thing some time has been spent comparing the model to pictures of the real loco and I’ve drawn up a (quite long) list of things I think are off.
So here we go then

A – I think the peak of the roof is wrong – it looks flatter on the real locos. Also the rib behind it doesn’t seem as prominent as it is on the model.

B – The water fillers seem the wrong shape and are missing from one side completely/ the handrail next to it is too long.

C – The bodyside steps seem a bit too round and are too shallow.

D – Ignoring the moulded fan/etch thing for a moment. the whole panel with the radiator fan on is in the wrong place. It should like up with the bodyside grills.

E – There’s a lot of rivet detail on the model. It’s too heavy and I am not convinced it’s all really there on the prototype.

F – As with all Hornby diesels from this era there are moulded on paint guidelines.

G – I think the lower faring tucks under the loco more than it does on the model.

H – Wheels are too small and should be spoked not solid.

I – Central part of the lower bodyside faring looks a lot deeper than the prototype. It looks more like a class 31! I wonder if this was deliberate to compensate for the body being mounted too high as was the norm for Hornby models of the time?

J – Battery box detail is kind of suggested at best.

K – Bodyside door windows aren’t deep enough – they should line up with the bottom of the other bodyside windows. The lower bodyside rib goes across the door on the model – it doesn’t on the real loco.

L – Bodyside grills arent deep enough, they too should line up with the bottom of the bodyside windows.

M – Bogies look a bit filled in to me. Brake shoes don’t line up with the wheels (again common with Hornby diesels from the era. )

N – Steps under the doors are a bit freelance.

O – Bufferbeams blend into the lower bodyside – there’s a distinctive shape to these visible on the prototype.

P – Buffers and bufferbeam are too high.

Q – lower cab front isn’t deep enough

R – Horn covers are a bit basic

S – Cab end lights are very basic too! the upper ones are too near the cab edges.

T – More moulded on paint lines. the lines for the doors stand out. they should be grooves.

U – Headcode box – not on a class 21 (except D6109 as mentioned above.

V – Its well-known that the cab windows are not wide enough. I don’t think they are right vertically either. The prototype seems a pretty even height all the way along. Hornby’s are taller in the middle.

In addition the exhaust port is the wrong shape and somewhat freelance.

So, to work

Side views compared. Woking down from the roof I’ve replaced the exhaust and flattened the cabs a bit.  The radiator grill was cut out as an offset before turning it around and sticking it back in so that it now lines up.

The bodyside steps have been drilled out and the handhold replaced (not really worth the effort with hindsight) and the bottom of the grill frames carved off to be replaced with microstrip. The bottom faring has been reduced (the white strip is where I took a bit too much off).

Power wise the model uses a Bachmann class 25 chassis with the bogie centers spaced out by about a mm each end. I kept the original Bachmann brakes and overlaid the Hornby sideframes after opening them up a bit. The original battery box was shortened and mounted in a new plasticard frame.

The cab fronts have been detailed with Extreme Etches window frames and headcode disks. The bottom of the can being extended and the original detail filed off.  I scored the inside of the tumblehome and bent it in further to match the prototype pictures. The bufferbeams being cut off first and rebuilt.  Hopefully a bit warmer weather and i can get it painted.


Some thoughts on wagon loads.

Ok, it seems a little odd to start a post on wagonloads with a couple of vans but they do give away subtle signs that they are actually earning money and not just trundling around.  Chalk markings and labels are the give-away here.  The chalk markings are done with a sharp chinagraph pencil which allows you to smudge them and rub them out. Much as could be found on the real thing. The labels are from Hollar Models and can be distressed with a scalpel or fibreglass brush before applying. The easiest loads are the loose ones such as coal, ore, ballast etc. This is real coal glued to a foam former (the dark foam in RTR loco packing is ideal). Remember to weather the inside of the wagon first though. One loose load I struggled a little with was coke. In the end I used larger lumps of coal but when set sprayed it with gunmetal to give the dull look coke has. Sheeted loads tend to come in 2 forms. Above the load is sheeted as a stand alone item.  This was a cheap load i found on ebay. The second form is that the load is added to the wagon and then the load and the wagon itself is sheeted over. These are more cheap loads from Ebay which were quite crude. The sheeting is black latex cut from a surgical glove. Sometimes the load is just open to the elements. This is a drawbar converter from Langley Models.Finally, sometimes the load is a wagon itself. An RT Models molten slag wagon loaded onto a Lowmac and ARM-E


More mopping up wagons

As I’ve mentioned in the past I am trying to not add to the wagon roster for Brettell Road, rather just trying to finish off the un-started and partially started kits I already have. Although one or 2 new ones have snuck in to the to-do pile somehow. Heres the latest to find their way off my workbench.

2 such culprits – a Diagram 1828 van from the Cambrian kit and a Bachmann 7 plank wagon. The 7 plank wagon was introduced a few Warley’s ago as the clubs special wagon. Being a Brierley Hill wagon and. according to the info that comes with it, based at Moor lane Wharf (where Brettell Road is very loosely based), it seemed rude not to.

3 Tunnys from the old Colin Ashby Kits with Parkside underframes. I uses some Rumney Models Grampus bits to add the steps and door bangers. The furthest one (in green) is an older model that i built years ago for New Street which I upgraded at the same time.

LMS built (for the LNER) ARM E wagon from the Cambrian Salmon bogies and half of the floor. The rest is plastic strip with some Rumney Models and Colin Criag detailing bits thrown in.

A couple of steel wagons. Bogie bolster E from Lima, Rumney and Cambrian. Made sense to finish this off at the same time as the Turbots (see the New Street workbench). The Plate is from Parkside.
Finally, below, is the completed engineers train.


Return to the back scenes

I’ll admit I wasn’t planning on the back scene post being a 2 parter but thanks to some helpful feedback I’ve had another look at what I did before. Changes are to add detail to the windows and make them more yellow/darker. Ive taken some magenta out of the prints and added some blur to various buildings to knock them back a little and give a better sense of depth. Ive also added a few extra details. Ive also left the roofs gloss while the rest of the prints are matt in an attempt to emphasise the wet effect I’m after. You can judge for yourselves the results below.


Back to Back scenes

Although no one has said anything I’ve never been that happy with the back scenes on Brettell Road. Back scenes are a bit of a quandary as you dont want them to be naff but then you dont really want the viewers of a layout to notice them either. They kind of need to be there but not there at the same time. Initially I used a combination of brush painting and car aerosols to do them but with hindsight and a sprinkling of self reflection I probably didn’t put in the time and effort I should have. Below is the first incarnation.

Above is my revised version.  I downloaded some textures from scalescenes and set to work on photoshop.  I could have rendered my own textures but given what scalescenes charge it really not worth anyones time to do this in my opinion.   Below are some more images before and after.  Below are a few images of hw it all looks in the intended light. 


Project 1F Part 2

Moving on to the body of my 1F i removed the plumbing on the right side as my chosen prototype didn’t have vacuum brakes. I also replaced the splashers with scale sized ones from Brassmasters.   I decided that the lamp irons were a bit too chunky so replaced those too.

The Brassmasters kit includes new coal rails.  I thought the tool box on the the RTR model was too small so I uses a spare left over from my Kirtley build.   I also removed the cab doors which due to the Bachmann design was dead easy to do.  The moulded rear window bars were very crude and hadn’t been moulded properly anyway so those too were replaced.  After these pictures were taken I replaced the buffers with Lanarkshire models examples.   Below are a few images of the finished loco.

The fireman (modelu) takes a breather!


Project 1F Part 1

So, I found a pretty cheap Bachmann 1f on Ebay and as usual, attracted to its somewhat out of proportion looks I snapped it up.  First stage was to see just how easy the Brassmasters Easychas actually was.   Ive used one of these before on my Kirtley but i didn’t use it as intended so this time I decided to do things properly.

For those that don’t know the easychas is designed to fit around the RTR chassis and provide springing.  Its designed to be used in 2 distinct ways.  The super easy way that uses the original Bachmann coupling rods and brake rigging and the not quite as easy etched version.  Naturally I went for the latter.  If you decide to go for the former however you can get a sprung P4 (or EM) loco without even having to fire up the soldering iron!  As it was the full monty approach only took an enjoyable afternoon to put together anyway.  To coin an advertising slogan it does indeed do exactly what it says on the tin!


Bubble part 2

I was kind of hoping to avoid a repaint on the bubble car even thought the lining was closer to a class 121 than a 122, but when  tried to remove the number and the roundels (which were off register) the underlying paint came with it so a repaint it was.

I toyed with doing 55012 as it has a local significance.  Being one of a few bubble cars that on the Stourbridge Town shuttle had a bit of a problem and ended up hanging over the road (see https://www.flickr.com/photos/69498057@N03/6353358089) but ironically I had already done it for New Street.  I don’t recall selecting it specially so 55018 it was instead.


Bubble part 1

I’ve always liked bubble cars (let’s be honest, who doesn’t?) and i recently stumbled across a cheap Lima class 121 so Brettell Road will get a class 122 to play with.  Here it is ready for paint.

The roof has had the grooves filled (not sure why lima did this when the retooled the 117 as the roof was the only bit of that model they got right ) with new vents from MJT.  The cab domes are spares from the DC Kits 304 kit with my own etched fronts.  The exhausts are spares from Dapol (with thanks to Geoff of Western Thunder for pointing out they were available as spares.) and the headcode boxes are microstrip.  Buffers are from 51L and the bogies are Hornby class 110 as per most of my DMU’s. Buffer steps are my own etch and the underframe had has some strategic holes drilled in it to open it up a bit.


Tweaks

Afraid there’s nothing new in this post, just tweaks of things already seen. Ok so you can’t see this one really but in testing the parcels stock shown last time, this point wasn’t as reliable as I liked.   I have a view that all stock should go everywhere and while the parcels stuff probably wont run over this point at shows. it did show up the problem. To be honest its always been not quite right so having tracked down the problem to the nearest point blade the old one was removed and a new one filed up and put in its place.   The old one and a few dead chairs can be seen in the ballast and I thought why not let the layout have a bit of its own history, so they are now firmly glued there.Looking the other way nothing more than a bit of oily track.  After the initial coats of track grime and gunmetal I treated it with AK interactive wet effect and engine oil.   At the recent Derby Show (where we were showing Moor Street) my friend and fellow layout operator Paul pointed out that railcar 14 had lamp irons on the nose. I dunno how I missed this.  So given that I hadn’t sorted the horns either (should be 4 not 2) I have set to work.  I also found that there were cab end handrails and Dapol had missed the double door handrails as well.  Another small tweak that I’ve been meaning to do is to sort out the cab side windows on the class 20.  The original Bachmann ones slid open and like most RTR gimmicks were a bit naff.  So using a spare pair of window frames from Extreme Etches that I had lying around I’ve fixed this little bug bear. My Derby lightweight was always a bit of a rush job for Scaleforum.  The gap between the vehicles being much too big was the main eyesore! Closed up and a masokits gangway fitted. Another problem was that the on board lights lit up the cab.  Some simple blinds from black paper resolved that. Moving on to the warehouse. I’ve finished the guttering and added a low handrail along the top of the wall.  Although Brettell Road is set well before the health and safety culture we have now there was still a reasonable chance of a driver falling off the wall! A bit of the gutter has fallen off at some point.  So some water stains and higher weeds below are the results.