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Brettell Road

Post Scaleforum part 2

Couplings

The subject of couplings tends to come up at most shows. Each have their own ideas whether manual or autocouplings are best. I’m firmly in the manual camp and within reason I like couplings to look like the thing they are supposed to represent. Yes I know the infamous ‘hand of god’ grates to some but, to me, I like to suspend my belief for a second or 2 while an operator couples up rather than something looking wrong 100% of the time due to some weird design of autocoupling. On Brettell Road I have kind of the best and worst case scenario at the same time for the hand of god problem. Best case because its dark and its easier to hide it. Worst case because if the operators have any hope of seeing what they are doing you need a light! I can appreciate that this might well be the ultimate per peeve for some. Bit like my own of tipped from the box road vehicles or magnificently modelled signals with a flat etch for the ladder, so is there another way? Well there might be!The couplings on this wagon have been modified do that they can be seen in the dark.  in the light there are no derogatory side effects but in the dark……and under a UV light coupling hook they are clearly visible. Potentially easier to see than inter the normal pen torch. The UV torch I have does still give out visible light so the next mission is to find a truly black light source. By marking the coupling link, the wagon hook and the end of the coupling probe with a UV marker I might have a reasonably invisible manual coupling method.

Cassettes

Of the 5 layouts I have regularly helped to exhibit 3 have used a cassette system and this always seems to generate interest at shows. Cassettes are one of those weird things in model railways that everyone seems to be aware of but no one ever really explains to anyone. I have to hold my hands up and say I am not really a fan of them but for Brettell Road I didn’t really have a lot of options.  This is how my cassette system works (other methods are available).The baseboards were designed with a recess for the cassettes. The connecting end of the cassette itself. this is the third revision.   The track is only actually stuck to the cassette at this end via the copper clad. the rest is merely clamped between the cassette and the inner piece that runs down it’s length.

I say third revision because the way it connect to the layout has been a tad problematic. initially I had extra rails outside of the running rails that transferred power to the copperclad sleepers by sitting over the top. This worked for the vertical alignment and at the test session at Phil’s seemed to be fine for horizontal too. However in terms of transmitting the power it wasn’t 100% and as Simon (one of the operators) pointed out – it was likely to wear through the copperclad at some point.

For Scaleforum I retained the extra rails for alignment but added phosphor bronze strips for electrical connection. these were better but fragile. Also oddly we had horizontal alignment problems that hadn’t shown up before.  This is my revised arrangement that I am happy with so far. It seems reliable in tests but until the layout goes to its next show we wont be absolutely sure. It does look a little bit more complicated than it needs to be due to 2 tracks feeding in from the layout. The basic idea is that a piece of flatbottom rail mounted sideways and into the web of the running rail does all the alignment and power transmission. you might have noticed that the rail in the cassette picture wasn’t attached to the first sleeper. this is because it’s slightly tweaked outwards and is held in line by the flatbottom rail. The advantage of this is that its robust but easily adjustable if needed. So far in tests the derailment problem hasn’t re-occured. The cassette in place. I also have some half length ones too.


Uh-oh – hes got distracted again!

Well sort of! When I was a kid my mum and dad took me and my brother to Matlock for the day. I might have been one of those family away day rail tours BR did back then. I can’t remember why we were there but I do remember wandering down the platform waiting for the train home and finding a little loco shed. Inside was this! (picture © Philip Wheldale and used with permission).

I can’t remember if it was exactly the same and I seem to recall some sort of tarpaulin on the roof but I had absolutely no idea what it was. I could only see the front and it looked kind of sad sitting there.  On getting home and checking my early loco numbers book I found out it was the last surviving co-bo and ever since they have always held a certain appeal.  definitely weird and pretty much hopeless from the very start they were like the runt of the early diesels litter, whats not to like?

Anyway given that Brettell Road is a what if and none to serious. What if one made it to there in the late 50’s?  Remember I have set it to be more midland railway than it should be so it’s not a leap of imagination to presume that Derby might have sent one to the area to see if they could find a use for it. So, just as Hatton’s stocks of the Heljan model were dwindling I ordered one. They only had the full yellow end version left by then.

A quick win would be to stick some P4 wheels in, weather it and jobs a good-un but that would be a bit too simple really so I set to with files and opened the cab windows out to their original sizes. A bit of wire restored the framing. The actual windows were cut from the packaging the model came in to get the curves edges. The cab front was re-sprayed back to green (Precision locomotive green being a very close match) and then it was weathered. Ok A quick win-ish!The other side (yes I know it’s not the right headcode arrangement for a passenger train) I know this shot is rapidly becoming a Cliché but I am not bored with it yet!

For more of Philips photos click here.


Back to the bridges

As mentioned in the last post, I did get the bridges in place for Scaleforum but they weren’t as bedded in as I would have liked. Well now, they are! Going right to left for a change, these are the bridges over the canal.Closer view of the main branchline bridge. one of the 2 bridges for the sidings (both are the same design)The overbridges at the left hand (or Stourbridge) end. another view of the same bridges. The final view along the alleyway.And a night-time view, after all that is the point of the layout!


Post scaleforum, part 1

Brettell road seemed well received at Scaleforum and for a first show I was very pleased with how it went.  That’s not to say there isn’t a list of things that need looking at for the future though.

One of the things I did before the show that I didn’t really have time to post about was this derby lightweight from a Bachmann model. I have long-term plan for a DMU but this was a quick win to have something for the show. I wired the 2 cars together and disconnected the red tail lights. A swap of the destination blinds, a few passengers and some weathering and it was good to go.  I still need to redo the gangway at some point. I found at Scaleforum I had more wagons than I needed. this meant withdrawing ones that played up wasn’t a problem and to be fair my cripple train is reassuringly short. The class 20 didn’t have enough rotation in the bogies so that’s been fixed too.

I’ve toned down the streetlights as well as several people remarked that they were too bright. finally a quick shot of the Deeley parked up under the bridges (well why not?). I still need to finish the bedding in of the bridges so that will be a future post of its own.


Testing times and building bridges.

Been a bit quiet around here recently as I’ve been busy on the run up to Scaleforum in 2 weeks time.

A few weeks ago Phil kindly let me set up the layout at his house for a pre-show shakedown. I have to be honest it all went very well indeed with some great feedback and suggestions from the guys who will be helping at scaleforum. The main thing I wanted to decide on, and the operators were pivotal to this decision was if the layout was going to have a roof or not. I think we all decided it should so a roof is currently under construction. Another thing changed for the show is the point motors. Although the ones I had didn’t give any trouble I decided to switch them over to tortoises for reliability. There are an awful lot on Calcutta siding 2 (there was an awful lot on Calcutta sidings 1 as well!) and they have never given any trouble. I’ve also set up routes (no laptop required, you can do it with digitrax) so hopefully we will at least create the impression that we know what we are doing!

What about building bridges?  Well that’s what I have been doing. The bridges on the layout are perhaps the ultimate example of how far away from the original idea Brettell road has come. I could have just used a pile of wills verigirders and got on with it but I really wanted to get back to etching things after several years so I drew up 4 different designs.

Starting from the left hand end, this is going to be the road over bridge. Next is the footbridge. These 2 bridges and their locations take inspiration (and measurements) from the bridges at Moor Street Sidings. moving to the canal. this will be the bridge that carries the branchline over the canal. Its based on one close to home that’s the other side of where the real Brettell Lane station used to be. Finally the bridges for the sidings themselves. This is based on one at round oak.


The not so dirty dozen

I’ve nearly finished of another batch of a dozen wagons. Some are repeats of types that have gone before, some are variations and some are typed I’ve not done before.

Below are the repeats A LMS 5 plank open from the Cambrian kit.  2 shockvans and a 9 plank private open from Parkside kits. A couple of standard 12t vans from Parkside kits. The plywood one (furthest) is built as per kit with my usual mods to detail the underframe a little. The nearer planked example with plywood doors runs on the Red Panda 10 ft clasp brake chassis. This one is a mix of old and new Parkside. The body is one of their old kits mounted on their newer LMS clasp brake underframe to produce a diagram 1927 vac fitted 12 ton goods wagon. Nearest is a diagram 1379 Southern railways 8 plank open from the Cambrian kit. Furthest a 6ton LMS fish van  from Parkside. 2 palvans from the Parkside kit. Furthest as supplied and nearest converted to a clasp brake variant using parts from the red panda underframe. Not quite as simple as the 12 ton van shown earlier as I needed to retain the palvans slightly odd springing and solebars. Finally a diagram 2111 LMS banana van. The body is from the ratio kit and the underframe is a little bit weird. It is basically the standard LMS clasp brake design but with a shorter 9 ft wheelbase rather than the usual 10 ft. I think it gives quite a nicely proportioned vehicle . Above shows how I did it. I’ve been finishing the bodies first for a while now and adding the underframe later as, provided the underframe is supplied in black plastic, it saves some time painting, especially the visible bits on the insides.  This one uses spare bits left over from other wagon kits. The solebar is from Cambrian and the handbrakes are from Parkside. W irons are Bill Bedford with Wizard models brakes and Rumney Models axleboxes and springs.  Question is, will anyone ever notice?

Some thoughts on Parkside Dundas

I’ve mentioned parkside a lot in this entry. In fact the first wagon kit I ever built was a Parkside Grampus (the unfitted one). Well the people behind Parkside have decided to retire and the range of kits has passed to another supplier. I will no doubt continue building Parkside kits for as long as they are available and i’ve built an awful lot so far. They were always accommodating and it was always a pleasure to stop by for  a chat at shows. So to the guys behind Parkside Dundas, I thank you and I wish you all a happy retirement.


Bring on the rejects!

When a magazine want images I usually take a load of new ones and send them over for selection. Invariably they don’t pick them all so here we find a selection of rejects!


the end of the green stuff

Well I’ve reached the end of adding green stuff to the layout with the slim strip of it at the front. There’s only really the bridges, some more road vehicles and some industrial clutter still to do on the scenic side now.This is the view of the Stourbridge end. there are 2 metal over bridges still to build for this end. a view from inside the yard showing the new retaining wall on the left. The Dudley end. there are 3 under bridges to build for this end. I decided to revisit an older picture i quite liked, well why not?


Basically just an excuse for pictures!

Brettel road now has its final front and backscenes added. More work to do on the fronts yet but its starting to look like a proper layout!Here is a view of the warehouse with the new backscene in the distance.   Ive decided to take some pictures of trains too. (sorry this post isn’t a bit more, erm, informative!) Railcar 22 trundles past towards DudleyPannier tank arrives with the sausage train. Kirtley shuffles some ballast wagons aroundClass 20 descends the bank.Jinty waits for something to do. Deeley takes its turn at some wagon worrying. The railcar climbs back up the back towards Stourbridge.Yeah I know this looks a bit wierd but there is a prototype practice for it.


A visit to the woodworking shop

I spent the early part of this week visiting my friend Tim to get the extra bits of wood cut for Brettell Road. With Scaleforum looking at the end of September I needed to turn it from a plaything to something that could survive on the exhibition circuit. My list was as follows:

  • 2 fiddleyards
  • Cassettes for the fiddleyards
  • New sides and ends for the layout itself
  • Fronts for the layout
  • Legs for the layout

The reason for the new sides and ends were that when I built Brettell Road it wasn’t supposed to be taken out. I used 3mm MDF for the backscenes and it was too weak The entire construction was MDF and while this is absolutely fine for small, simply shaped boards the design of Brettell Road was a little too ambitious for the material. So the 3mm MDF has been replaced with 6mm ply instead.Pictured above is the right hand side (as the viewer will look at it) fiddleyard. Quality control dog Earl doesn’t seem all that impressed!

Laser cutters can be quite hypnotic to watch. Here is the large cutter cutting out a test piece for the layout logos.

The logo test. the scratches on the acrylic were not caused by the laser but by yours truly cleaning the dust off with something a tad too abrasive!

As always, thanks to Tim for allowing me to take over his machines for a couple of days.


Light, dark and the bigger picture.

The last actual building for Brettell road is now finished which means I can now give you a reasonable overview of how the layout will look. There is still more to do and more clutter to add yet. I want to add a couple of cranes to this scene too.  Here’s how the area looks at night. The courtyard for the building shown last time and below at nightA couple of overviews from the left side …and from the right side.Probably should include a couple of trains really!

 


Buildings and the march of progress

Work continues on buildings for Brettell Road
The big warehouse now has a roof (thanks to Mr Horn for his laser cut tiles.  Just the bridges and front/backscenes to do on this board and I can call it done. Looking the other way, I knocked up a very low relief building to go behind the pub.  Across the alley way is this small building based on a local one I found in Brierley Hill.  Work in progress on its neighbour. Again local influences but nothing specific.  I don’t know if I will need a small outbuilding here to fill up the space or if ill just leave it open for clutter. The other side – I’ve a vague idea that this will be some sort of woodworking industry or perhaps a commercial vehicle repair shop.

 

If you have explored the site you might have come across this picture before,  I brought this loco years ago just because I like class 27s but thoughts have turned to doing something useful with it.  This loco has become a bit of a clone of Brettell road itself in a way as it started out with the simple idea of just fitting a chip and sorting out the bogies and that would do. nothing to serious but like Brettell Road it’s all gone a bit wrong! moving the bogie springs in a bit and fitting the decoder was easy enough but the roof fan looked horrible. unfortunately the hole is too big for Brian’s nicely etched replacement so that ended up being a bit more of a faff than I hoped!  Then there were the nose end doors.  They needed adding along with the details. I renumbered it to an example I found at Saltley (Class 27s were quite regular visitors to the midlands in their early lives) and re-weathered it.   Also while I remember the yellow panels were too wide so a spot of Pheonix BR loco green sorted that out. On the mention of roof fans this is one of Brian’s for the class 20.  I always quite liked them.  I think it stems from a pair sitting outside my bedroom window one Sunday as a kid while the down North Warwickshire line was being relayed.  I quite like the idea of them working on their own so I decided to get  a green one.  The grill is made up of 4 parts. A plain ring that goes onto the roof first. The ring with with the bracing and then the mesh, finally the last ring goes on. Zap pink is ideal for this and make sure you get the mesh the right way up!

On the loco itself I replaced the bogie sideframes with Heljan Baby Deltic ones as first suggested by my friend Shane. I had done this on my Lima ones and, this being my first Bachmann example, I was surprised to find the supplied bogies were quite poor too. I filled the lower beam on the bogie ans sanded it smooth as I was doing one of the first batch. Buffers were from Lanarkshire models.


Just a spot of finishing off

Recently attention has returned to the main warehouse with the top floor being finished off and the ceiling added. I decided on a sort of rest room that wasn’t lit. I quite liked the idea of light from deeper in the building coming through the internal windows and bouncing off the tables and chairs. On the main floor, again just a hint of activity.

After much experimentation and having tried different materials (thanks to those who made suggestions) I have settled on black latex from a surgical glove for the Kirtley weather hood. After some good, constructive feedback I’ve made a few tweaks to the 94xx tank. The chimney cap has been swapped back to the original lima one which was mounted in my mini-drill and ‘improved’ with a sanding stick. The whistles have been replaced with a shielded set from Modelu and the toolboxes have been made 20 thou deeper. The 2 latest loco’s together. Is it me or does the pannier look like it dwarfs the Kirtley?  Finally below another mood shot!


Haven’t had a loads of finished things post for a while.

So lets start with a buildings and a request,  When I posted the image of the pub at night I was asked for a picture of the area in the light so here it isThis also shows the water tower I was working on too, speaking of which…Remember the lower part of the Hornby water tower I was fiddling with and how I didn’t worry too much about details?  This is the reason why – you can just about see it, if you know where to look! Moving on to some wagons. This is the Chivers kit for a Dia1674 LMS Bolster wagon.  A nice simple kit to build although given the long wheelbase I did opt for Bill Bedford springing.This was supposed to be a quick win. I liked the local livery and thought that it would break up the sea of grey and bauxite wagons. Its a Bachmann product but an older one that was stretched to fit their 10ft wheelbase steel chassis. Some careful cutting in 4 places lost some of the extra length and while it is still too long it does now fit the longer Cambrian wooden chassis. I’ve finished off the vans I was working on too. Not a lot more to add about them really but here’s the pictures.  LMS 6 wheel fish van – Chivers Kit.LMS GUV Palethorpes 6 wheel vanAnd the larger bogie version – Transfers are from Cambridge custom transfers. Sheet BL153 covers the 6 wheel vans while sheet BL154 covers the bogie vans.

Finally aside from the crew and some coal (plus a slight warping of the footplate) the 94xx tank is done too. Here’s a few images.


94xx tank – thoughts on the footplate

With the chassis complete and test fitted thoughts turn to the footplate. Left hand side. One little point to mention, I mounted the valve gear rivet backwards on the coupling rods as the hollow appearance seemed to match prototype pictures better.

I tend to carry forward things from one project to the next and stuff I’ve worked on before seems much more obvious in the future. In this case the splashers are too big and the rear one is in the wrong place. so these will need changing. Somewhere in the history of owning the model the forward footstep has broken off and been long lost. The lower part of the firebox is much wider than the upper part – no doubt to accommodate the RTR mechanism. So this will need looking at. It also means that the details on it are all a bit flat. And after!  I filed up new forward tank supports from a bit of H section. The forward steps are from a mainly trains etch, I replaced the steps under the cab too and the rear-most steps are knocked up from a bit of brass. The splashers were cut off about a mm from their base and remounted. the ones behind the toolboxes coming from a scrap chassis I carefully cut away the lower firebox sides – leaving the front bracket in place and made new sides from plasticard. The injectors were an enjoyable little project, soldered  up from bits of brass and tube.   Below is a close up of either side.


Return to the 94xx

A while ago I started work on a Lima 94xx tank I’ve had from my childhood. The idea was to match it to a high level pannier or Collett chassis as a quick project. However after speaking to Chris at High Level he decided that the 94xx wasn’t really like either and said he would be interested in doing a specific kit for the loco – the , at the time, recent announcement from Bachmann that they intend to look at the class too might have helped.Top view of the chassis before fitting the wheels – at this stage I decided to give it a basic coat of paint.   Below is the underside. High Level Kits website


One thing leads to another

On a couple of forums people asked for more details on the Lowmac compensation shown last time so…
This is the underside. It’s best to set everything up with normal bearings first so that the rise height is correct. Then a  simple case of adding a bit of scrap etch for the axle to rest on.Once happy you can replace the bearing with ones that have been filed into a slot. This means the ends of the axle can move up and down, it really is that simple! On the subject of track holding…This is the Chivers kit for the LMS fish van (diagram 2115) of course ive done plenty of 6 wheeled bogies before but never a 6 wheeled wagon.  Brassmasters do a clemenson chassis for 6 wheeled vehicles but as the fish van has stretcher bars I didn’t think it would work. To the right of the picture is a Bill Bedford pedestal suspension unit converted to inside bearings, the outer axles use normal suspension units. The plan is to join them all with wire so that the center axle can slide side to side.  Speaking of 6 wheeled vans and clemenson chassis…A black country icon, the Palethorpes sausage van.  this uses the ancient Hornby model (well 2 of them) and chivers sideframes.  You can see from the picture where the 2 vans have been cut up to correct the length of the van as supplied.  Note also the strange backwards brake lever.Where the fish van is quite open underneath these vans are not. They were fitted with onboard lighting and internal fans thus the dynamo and battery boxes. It’s all a bit cramped really!! Speaking of palethorpes…The 6 wheeled vans bigger brother. Surprisingly you only need 2 vans to do one of these too!  the underframe is from the comet kit.  And finally on the subject of bogie vans…the good old Lima GUV, fitted with new bogies and underframe details.


Kirtley finished (well nearly)

First up a short video of the inside motion doing its thing.

There’s still a bit of work to do on the Kirtley – add a crew and the weather sheet, some coal and the wet weather effect but its pretty much done. Below are a few pictures.

I have been doing a few wagons as an aside to the soldering iron. Another lowfit from Red Panda.  This one has a Parkside chassis and buffers from my supply. I don’t know who made them or what type they are but they matched some of the pictures on Paul Bartletts wagon site  Thanks to my friend Brendan for the lowfit transfers. The Dapol lowmac kit. Reworked with Lanarkshire models buffers, archers rivets and new axleboxes from the spares box. The brake lever is an etch and the ratchetey looking guide is from a piercing saw blade.  This wagon is really too long to be rigid and there’s not a lot of room for any sort of springing or compensation units so the solution here (which I remember from a P4 society digest sheet years ago) is to file the bearings into a slot and use a bit of scrap etch in the centre of the axle to allow it to rock.


Kirtley part 3 – ready for primer

My Kirtley project has reached the stage that its ready for primer. Buffers are from Lanarkshire models whilst the whistle and safety valves are from Markits. I’ve replaced the steps and cab roof with brass.

Rear view. Some Kirtleys had a simple weather hood to protect the crew. It stretched from the cab roof to the tender front. Anyone got any thoughts on how to replicate this? It will need to be flexible.


Kirtley part 2

wheels-comparedThe Kirtley kit came with wheels (00 obviously) I think they might be Romford. The above picture shows a comparison with a scale wheel (Gibson) and highlights a problem with 00 gauge steam loco’s  While the diameter of the wheels match the oversized flanges mean that the splashers need to be much bigger to accommodate them. They are generally too wide too and sometimes in the wrong place. Some manufactures of RTR loco’s solve this by fitting smaller wheels.

new-splashersOn the left the original splasher (and somewhat crude spring) and on the right my resized version/ I chain drilled a line of 1mm holes inside of the splasher (from the back) and added a new top from some scrap etch.

boiler-modsThe oversized splashers mean the boiler is compromised to fit around it. I modified it with some scrap whitemetal disks (from a southern Pride 310 kit – see, never throw stuff away!)  Below is the loco so far with new splashers, springs and beading along the footplate. I’ve also mounted the chassis a tad higher into the body since the first image the other day. kirtley-part-2


trying a little tenderness.

I never planned for Brettell Road to be populated with anything other than tank engines but as with most things I have planned it’s all gone a bit wrong!  So…

brassmasters-4f-chassisI present you the Brassmasters easychas for the Bachmann 4f, not that its going in one mind you. I found a picture of an interesting little loco at Saltley in one of D.J. Nortons West Midlands books and there was a ancient kit for it too. However the chassis supplied is literally 2 bits of brass with 6 holes in it. It wasn’t really going to do!

The chassis has been built kind of as intended although I needed to shorten the tender wheelbase a bit. I also added a few Alan Gibson frame spacers to the chassis and a high level gear box (smaller motor is in the post) . The p4 frame spacers were a tad wide and I wonder if the EM ones might be better if you are following a similar approach?

inside-motion-paintedHaving never built a tender loco before and figuring if you are going to do something you may as well go for the ultimate solution (or potential failure) I decided to have a go at Brassmasters working inside motion too.   It certainly ticks the fiddly details box that’s for sure but was fun to build.

inside-motionThis is what it looked like before fitting to the chassis.    But what loco is it you might wonder?

kirtley-mock-upA Kirtley goods, I was attracted to its ancient appearance. These loco’s (the 700) class were introduced in 1869 and the last one made it to BR as 58110 being withdrawn in 1951 when she had seen 71 years service!  The body and tender (shown losely mocked up) are the Keyser kit and the kit itself is nearly as old as I am.  I’ve removed the springs to be replaced with something a little more refined and shortened the footplate so that it doesn’t overhang the bufferbeam, All the rivets have been sanded off, the ones on the  smokebox were too crude and the tender of 58110 was flush riveted in the end.  I’ve also reduced the with of the tender footplate slightly to add some 0.7mm L section from Eileens (the actual prototype being very thin in this area and nothing like the chunky cast floor thee kit comes with.

 

 


Containers and other things

I picked up a few Parkside container wagon kits at Scaleforum and over the last week or 2 I have been putting them together. Along the way a Bachmann example was added too as it was cheap and had the smaller container that I was after.

conflats-in-progressAbove are the Conflats themselves, the 2 on the left being the Parkside ones and the 3rd the Bachmann one.   The first one is built as intended with the usual additions of buffers and brake pipes from Lanarkshire models, safety loops from Bill Bedford and tie bar from Eileens emporium. (I’ll come back to the chains in a moment).   The second one uses the Red Panda underframes as a lot of those pictured on Paul Bartletts site (link here) seemed to match this configuration. For the Bachmann one it looked a bit of a faff to sort out the underframe as the brakes were set for 00. Strangely Bachmann had the wrong brake levers on either side meaning that the brakes wouldn’t actually work anyway as lowering the lever would pull the shoes even further away from the wheels! A Parkside chassis is the easy option and I had a spare from the second wagon. conflat-underframesAbove is a view of the different underframes. You could go much further than this if you wanted too but this is a representation of what I feel you can see in all the gloom. If you did want to go further then the obvious start point would be one of Justin Newett’s excellent etched chassis but even if you didn’t he puts his instruction on his site anyway and there’s some good references and info on how it should all look. Well worth clicking here! The wagon at the front is the BR clasp underframe. conflat-fine-detailsI mentioned earlier that I would come back to the chains and to my eye Parkside have been too delicate in the details on this kit. There’s a tendency to think that finer is better but I don’t think it works here. The chain I used is 23 links per inch from Langley models Which as supplied has quite round links with a twist to them. You can see the original shape on the container on the right. To get them to the more lozenge shape it’s simply a case of putting one end of a length of chain in a vice and pulling the other to stretch it. Nothing cleverer than that!   The lifting shackles on the roof were also too fine and were replaced with spared from Justin’s Bogie Bolster E underframe detailing kit.  In case you are wondering the wagon on the right was destined for the smaller container which is why the raised links are towards the middle. conflat-rakeThe finished wagons – Both large containers were sprayed with Halfords Rover damask red. The apparent difference being due to the weathering. I might be stating the obvious here but it pays to weather the wagons and containers separately meaning the weathering process is earlier in the build than normal. conflat-close-upThe shackles are from Roxey models and use the same Langley chain links. While a little fiddly it does mean that they can be assembled without resorting to the soldering iron! I didn’t use the supplied eyelets for the containers as I felt they didn’t really look much like the prototype pictures I was using so I just used a bit of fine wire instead.   Once the chains are in place it worth treating them to a thin coat of ZAP thin CA (the pink bottle) to set everything solid.

lowfit800I’ve been doing other wagons too. Above a Dia 1/002 Lowfit from the Red Panda kit.

lms-mineral

D2109 LMS 16t mineral wagon from the Cambrian kitbanana-vansA couple of Banana vans – Wrenn bodies on Red Panda underframes with additional details. 20t-brakevansAnd finally a couple of brake vans – on the left the Airfix kit with Bill Bedford springing and extra details. On the right Hornby RTR.

Some handy links

Parkside Dundas (also for Red Panda)

Cambrian Kits

Eileens Emporium (also for Bill Bedford)

Langley Miniature Models

Roxey Mouldings


the other half of the Hornby water tower

A while ago I posted an image of the Hornby water tower building that I had converted to a disused pump house. Well waste not want not I decided to use the water tank bit for a small industrial tank. water-tower-mock-upHere’s progress so far. The Hornby tank, like the building it came with is a tad basic so I reduced its length a bit and added more framing from microstrip. The base it sits on was made from evergreen section using a simple jig and was sprayed with plasticote suede to give a concrete texture. handrails-close-upThe handrails are some very nice turnings from Modelling Timbers who specialise in stuff for ships. they are actually 1:72 scale.

The pub and little industrial building have also been finished and planted. Below are a few images. pub-rear pub-dark


Class 11 finished off.

class-11Not a lot to say really, the class 11 is done and ready for service. Here’s a few pictures. class-11-cab-end class-11-at-night shunters-comparedOK so the irony isnt lost on this one but its a good comparison between the class 11 and class 08 shunters. Of course class 08’s never carried LMS livery in their early days while the class 11s did.   It will be interesting to see if anyone ever notices that 12049 is a bit more than a repainted 08!

m1-suburban-weatheredWhilst I had my airbrush out the Mk1 got all mucky too!

night-shunting-fxI haven’t done any photo-shopped pictures for a while but here’s a spot of shunting.