p4newstreet logo


Dapol GWR Railcar, finished off

I can draw a line under my Dapol GWR railcar project as its now weathered and finished. The new numbers came from Steve at Railtec transfers (click here). Here are some pictures of the end result.

More on bananas, couplings and a short time lineside.

With the motor sorted out I cut away the molded hump (as well as the seats) and added a new floor from 20thou plasticard.  The replacement seats were from DC kits (I think).  The interior was then sprayed a reddish colour as that’s what pictures seemed to show. I added some curtains (drawn up in photoshop and printed) along with 3 passengers – Brettell road being very sparsely used by the public.

Although I will be keeping the railcar as no14, I removed the numbers in preparation for adding the later off white version at the other end to the way Dapol had them.  The numbers came of very easily with a spot of turps substitute on a cotton bud.  Be very careful around the lining as that comes off almost as soon as you look at it!

Returning to the coupling conundrum

If you remember I was toying with the idea of using a UV torch for my coupling pole but the one I had gave out a lot of visible light. I’ve upgraded to a much better UV laser torch and since photographing it is quite difficult I did a video instead.  I did try adding a filter to block the visible light completely but it made it extremely hard to use.

On the subject of videos, may I invite you to get a comfy chair and a mince-pie and spend a while line side watching a bit of shunting. (this one is all diesel)

The Dapol flying banana – part 2

As mentioned last time I planned to use a Brassmasters 7ft bogie for the none powered end of my GRW railcar. The Brassmasters bogie is longer overall than the Dapol one – you can see the adjusted one at the top of the picture. Here is the bogie in position with pick ups on the far side. The near side picks up through the bogie itself.   If all you want it a p4 railcar then you can stop here. I tested mine at this point and all seemed fine but its worth noting that the pickups  are wired the opposite way round at each end. The red wire at this end goes to the opposite rail at the other.   A bit odd!

Naturally I didn’t stop there. This is the interior without the body. That huge moulded lump has to go. The culprit is this huge motor. No idea why its this big, the thing only has to move itself and you can’t couple it to anything anyway!  The Mashima sitting on top is a 1020.The good news is the motor and its mounts simply unscrew from the underframe.  I mounted my 1020 on a  bit of 80thou plasticard and on the floor. By moving the motor back from its original position you can mount the flywheel lower too. A bit of 1.5mm ID/ 2mm OD tube meant I could use the original flywheel which contains the universal joint. The drive shaft was cut in half and lengthened with a bit of tube. There’s a small lip in its channel at the motor end that needed to be ground away. While I was hacking the chassis about I cut a hole to allow me to represent the engine. Spares from the Heljan class 128 underframe sprue did the job. Next, the interior and finishing.

A brief return to the 101

You may remember the discussion on improving the Lima 101 turned to the windscreen problem as this is the only area (at least in the body) where the Bachmann model scores over the Lima one. Well a kind-hearted soul sent me some window frames to fix the Lima model and the results are presented below.
improved lima 101 windscreens
I was never that put out by the Lima windscreens but side by side it’s quite a difference.

It’s alive!

With the track finished and wiring done the first train has had a run round the layout. Surprisingly for a first running session, nothing fell off! In the absence of suitable stock 08610 and a short rake of modern wagons did the honours!
I think my fascination with chopping up hornby class 110 DMUs is turning into a bit of an obsession! A quick browse on EBay saw another victim picked up cheaply (althoug this is the first time ive ever had a complete one). Question is what to do with it. Looking at some early ’60s pictures there’s a couple of options and I present the case for each below.

Class 100

Seemed to be quite common in the area.
I’ve done one before so I know what to do
It appeals to my function over form tendencies.

I’ve done one before!

Class 103

Quite an attactive looking unit
I haven’t done one before

Less common than the class 100s

Perhaps I need to ask my audience what they would prefer to see?

Room for a 101?

So far Bachmann have done quite well with their first generation DMUs. OK the mould lines on the 108 cab were not ideal and the oversize metal chassis block is a poor design decision but they fill a much needed gap in the RTR market place. Not so their latest offering offering as the 101 is already available and given its Lima origins isn’t bad at all. Of all their DMUs the 101 is the the one that Bachmann could least afford to drop the ball on but sadly it seems they have. Given that this is the first DMU thats a victim of the new price structure it’s a bit of a double clanger!
I feel I must take some responsibility for some of the online fuss as I may have been the first to point out that the bottom of the main windows and the door windows all line up on the model when they shouldn’t. One online commentator went to great lengths to draw lines on photos of the model and the prototype that show the error very nicely (although in a bizarre piece of manufacturer brown nosing he then try’s to convince us that the model is right)!
On its own the window error isnt much but it’s one of those relative errors that just screams out at you. Lima themselves seemed to have a good understanding of this and while literally everything on thier earlier 117 is wrong it all works together so it looks ok. Correct one thing and suddenly it looks worse than when you started!
A few years ago the obvious thing to do would be to combine the strong points of both models to produce something accurate. Lima body on the bachmann chassis and while that’s fine for something like a class 25 where your outlay can be less than £50 do we really want to be forking out close to 3 times that for a DMU?
So given that fixing the bachmann 101 is going to be quite difficult, the easy route this time is just to fix the Lima under frame. People have remarked for years that it’s bad because it’s just a box with surface detail but lets think about this for a second. What is depicted is about right it’s just that the holes are filled in (you can see where this is going can’t you?)
Option 1 the quick fix
Ok this is a total bodge but all I did was weather the chassis and repaint the ‘holes’ in matt black. It was only ever meant to be a temporary fix but it’s stayed like this for a good few years now. I have also replaced the undernourished Lima bogies with spares from the Hornby 110.
Option 220140707-194641.jpg
It’s not actually much more effort to just drill out the holes and tidy them up with a scalpel or circular saw in a mini drill. I’ve re-added the tanks from bits of plasticard. With hindsight I was never going to replace my Lima 101s anyway but if I were to buy another I’d definitely be looking at buying a cheap second hand Lima model than feeling the need to have the latest thing.

10th April 2014

Class 114

Those who follow the workbench section of the site will know that I have been converting a Hornby class 110 into a class 114.  Well its nearly done now (just a few tweaks to do) and a new page has been set up for it in the units section.

There are also new pictures in the coaches section and a new page for steel wagons (admittedly with only two to look at so far).

13th March 2014

model rail LEVIts been a good while since I wrote anything for Model Rail Magazine but this months issue has a short article on my model of LEV1 for those who like buses!

Another DMU Diversion (part 4)

Moving on to the DMBS like the DTS the easy option would to be to use the Lima 117 chassis as is and like the DTS most people will be none the wiser.  However hacking DMU underframes about a bit it quite a good way to spend an evening.  So first stage is to look at prototype pictures and decide what can be kept and what needs to be removed.  The best tool for this is a metal cutting disk in a minidrill.

class-114-DMBS-underframe-hThe above picture shows what I kept – again the battery boxes were in the right place but too small so they were removed.

class-114-new-UFSome parts are repositioned while others are made from bits of plasticard, microstrip or brass pharmacy rod. The radiators are quite distinctive and I do believe unique to the class. These were made with a bit of an old Shawplan class 56 grill for the mesh.  Given the position of the filler and the odd curved tops I wonder if these were standard items from a bus?  That brings the fabrication part of the project to an end – the gangway will be another Masokits one as shown here before and it’s just a painting and weathering exercise from here.  No need to show that so the workbench will move on to the next project, I will add a gallery for this unit to the stock page when its done.


Another DMU Diversion (part 3)

Moving on to the underframes, the obvious thing to do is mount the DMBS on a lima 117 DMBS chassis and to mount the DTS on  lima 117 TS chassis.  To be honest for most people that would do as provided they can see that the DTS hasn’t got an engine they proberly wont have clue if the chassis matches the real thing or not.  (I’m half expecting a high proportion of people to just think that the model is a Bachmann 108 anyway!).  However where’s the fun in that?

4326531684_fa11774b34_oThe above image (© John Turner/53A Models of Hull Collection and used with kind permission) shows that there is quite a substantial beam running down the middle of the DTC and that there are prominent heating vents under some of the doors.  With this is mind I set about seeing what I could keep and reuse from the lima TC chassis.  The only part that is in the right place is the battery boxes so you could leave them where they are but as I found when researching class 116’s, the lima battery box is too small. In the end all of the underfloor detail was removed as were all of the footsteps.

class-114-DTS-underframesAbove the rebuilt chassis.  the new Battery boxes are from Replica Railways as are the vac cylinders.  the V hangers are from Southern Pride and some of the original lima parts have been repositioned.  the rest is just from Evergreen strip.  The bogies are spares from the Hornby 110 and the steps are my own etches. The sideframes are mounted on my own design of bogie available from Brassmasters.  I tend to use Branchlines wheels on the leading bogies of my DMUs and Gibsons on the others I also mount the non rocking bogie at the gangway end so that any track deviations are not so obviously transmitted to the body. Weather this makes any real world difference I don’t really know.

a few links

John Turner/53A Models of Hull Collection  Replica Railways   Southern Pride Models   Brassmasters

Another DMU Diversion (part 2)

With the bodies assembled they were washed and then given a quick coat of primer to see where any joints needed further work before detailing could begin.


The DMBS requires the most work but common to both vehicles I added the door hinges that had been lost in the cut and shut process or the reshaping of the tumblehome (it’s easier to remove the hinges and add them back in later than to try to work around them).  Hornby’s moulding of the door lines is far to delicate so these were scribed back in and new roof vents added (from MJT).  On the DMBS a hole was cut for the grill on the side and a cut down grill from Hurst models added.  The frame is 10×30 thou microstrip glued in place, left to harden and then sanded down to about half its thickness. The surround was then carefully cut to about half its width and the excess removed. The guards doors are the wrong way round for this side only so the details were removed, the window filled in and a new one cut.


The other side is easier with just 2 fillers to add. These were drilled as a 2mm hole and files square. The surrounds are the same as the grill on the other side this time cut down to about 1 third of their width.  The DTS is a lot simpler although some (not all) have the same grill as the DMBS in the same place. As always a picture of the actual vehicle you want to do in the time frame you want to do it is essential.

class-114-endsThe cabs had a new rainstrip added (the dc kits one is too fine) and destination box fronts from my own etches.  The headlights are drilled out as I think this looks better.  Trick here is to drill a fine hole first as near as you can to the center then open up with a 2mm drill.  No work is needed on the inner end of the DMBS but the DTS needed the (somewhat elaborate) toilet fillers added.

Another DMU Diversion

One of the projects I really enjoyed last year was chopping up a Hornby class 110 body shell to convert it into a class 100 (see here and here).  Theres something nice if not a little old-fashioned about taking a razor saw to an old body shell and making something new.

From an RTR point of view Hornby’s 110 was always a bit of an odd choice due to its sphere of operation being so limited. Theres a lot more logic in Bachmanns approach of doing a 108 however to those of us who like fiddling with models the 110 is quite a hidden gem of potential.  Due to its profile (which Hornby kind of messed up a bit) and the position of the door windows relative to the main ones its far more versatile than the 108.  Some classes of DMU that are possible from the 110 starting point are

  • Class 100 (see above)
  • Class 103 – ok with a fair bit of work but see here
  • Class 104 – the obvious conversion, and the one you tend to see most
  • Class 107 – I know this had been done as a limited edition but that was just a reliveried 108, the profile and window positions are wrong so if you want something a bit more accurate, then the 110 is where to start
  • Class 114 – For the same reasons as above, stretching a 110 is going to give you a better result than stretching a 108.

Of those it was the 114 that appealed and by good fortune Tysley inherited some in 1987.  Thus a 114 is a good candidate for either a Brum-Nottingham or a Brum-Cambridge service.

There are other ways of course, a complete kit from DC kits or a conversion kit for the Lima 117 from Craftsman but I picked up a cheap set of 110 bodies and thought id go this way.

class-110-choppedThe above image shows the way that the DMBS was cut up to convert it to a 114.  The cab and one set of doors are scrap while the new section comes from the TS and the cab is DC kits.  The profile of the cab needs adjusting on a bit of sandpaper to match the class 114 profile.

class-114-DMBS-cutting class-114-DTC-cuttingDMBS top and DTC below reassembled. Sections marked as A are new, sections marked as B are original and C are orignal but reversed.  Next stage will be to remove the roof vents, fill the joins that need filling and adjust the profile.


New year, same old same old!

HSTs-at-BNSjan2014I do promise that I will get bored with taking pictures under the roof at some point but a few more that I am quite pleased with.45115atBNSjan2014

Using the Brassmasters Bogie with Sprinters

Although I didn’t design my bogie with sprinters in mind they can be made to work with them.  It’s simply a case of cutting off the outer end level with the bearing holder and using the inner brake shoes instead of the outer ones to control the bogie.

sprinter-bogie-1If I were to design a sprinter specific version I would move the fame down to be hidden by the main bogie frame (and adjust the brakes for the smaller wheels) but a spot of Matt black paint will help hide the frame.  Below is the view of the underside.sprinter-bogie-2


17th February 2013

This update sees some new pictures of DMU’s for you to look at, there’s a new image in the class 108 gallery and for those who have been following my workbench page there’s a new gallery for my class 100/105 hybrid.

To see the multiple unit galleries click here


Oddball DMU, Final part

class 100 DMU, class 105 DMUHi All

Just to draw a line under my oddball DMU project, heres the pair complete bar the weathering.  As the weathering will essentially be a repeat of the entry for the class 108 DMU theres no real reason to repeat it here but I will add pictures to the DMU galleries when they are done.  The windows on the class 100 are a combination of Hornby’s 110 and the Replica flush glazing for their Mk1 coaches. The plain windows being cut from acetate sheet and everything being secured in place with Klear.

The tail lamp is a bachmann one with a new handle from 0.35mm wire.

Gangways for DMU’s

Hi All

I’ll get back to the oddball DMU in the next entry but this time (and still related) I have been looking at gangways.  The ones Bachmann supply with their first gen’ DMU’s are quite nice and correctly feature the double scissors that most DMU’s carry.  However it doesnt really matter how nice they are if there is still a gap between them.

The easiest way to fix this is to use something like these (or make your own) and while not super accurate, lets face it no one is going to notice anyway!  However I have for a long time been a fan of the Masokits gangway (see here for Masokits) which while perhaps a bit OTT and a bit tricky to build are well worth having a go at.

Basically it still works the same way, essentially folded paper but surrounded by etched ends and that all important scissors framework.  The etchy bits when assembled look like this.

There are some extra brackets in the kit (which i left off) and it also caters for different types (GWR or LMS).  You can even lock them together as per the prototype if you want too!  I pretty much followed the instructions with one deviation.  The instructions suggest soldering the backs of the pins with a oiled Rizzla (other makes are avialable) paper acting as a barrier.  I chose to solder the pin to the outer arm and crimp it when assembled to old it all together.  In reality the paper pushes the arms outwards keeping everything in place anyway.

One painted (carefully!) the paper is folded up and popped into place and a small peice of crepe paper (supplied in the kit) is glued over the top to represent the tarpauling.  (you could easily add this to the ones mentioned earlier to improve them if you wanted too.)

The finished result on a class 108 DMU.  I only fit one as the exhausts tend to interfere with them working.  A light dusting of weathering is all thats needed.   As I said at the start, no one is going to notice anyway but thats not the point!



Oddball DMU part 2

The comment in part 1 about the 105 being a tip from the box job wasnt 100% accurate. The 105 I got had headcodes but my prototype doesn’t so out with the filler and sandpaper!

The model was also a DMC when I need a DMS but luckily some careful work with fine sandpaper and the yellow stripe came off.  Thinners on a cotton bud took care of the first class stickers on the windows and the numbers.

On to the chassis – the 1o5 only needing the buffers replacing with something finer (18″ Oloes from A1 models) and the buffer beam painting red on both vehicles.  On the class 100 I ground off all of the little brackets on the solebar and added bits of microstrip to deepen the underframe.  I havent re-attached the radiators yet.

An oddball DMU

Hi All

I’ve had a throat infection meaning no modelling for nearly 2 weeks but i’m now getting back into the swing of things.   The story behind the following actually originated from a discussion about class 105’s at New Street.  While they did put in appearences they were something a bit different.  By my era though they were no longer to be found in the midlands.  Or so I thought.

Searching for class 105’s I found this picture of a class 105/100 Hybrid at Tysley.  Theres another picture of it still at Tysely in October 1986 and the unit lasted well past mid 1987 so I decided it would be something a bit different.

Pic © Andy Cole @ Andy’s Trains and used with permission.  For more of Andy’s pictures see http://www.flickr.com/photos/67444577@N02/

While the 105 is nice to have its not exactly special in model terms, being a pays your money, tip it from the box affair but the 100 is something a little more interesting.  The prototype being built by Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Company in the latter half of the 1950’s, some only lasted about a decade before withdrawals started.  This one 53355 lasted until 1988 and was the last of its class in revenue earling service.  It was also the last DMU to run on the national network that didnt have onboard tail lights.  Its class mate 56301 was the first DMU vehicle preserved.

I ordered a spare hornby 110 body for a few quid so, with not a lot to lose by having a go, I set to work on producing a drawing of both classes to see which bits I had to move and which i could keep.  The drawing is below

On Wednesday the 110 body duly arrived and was duly assaulted with a razor saw and scalpels, below shows the bits I left in place.

Above the class 100 Jigsaw showing the re-arrangement of the bodysides.  I also removed the window frames at this point.  Next to go were the roof vents and the end domes, to be replaced with spare DC kits ones.  I figured that it would be easier to remove the smaller headcode boxes from the DC kits domes than reprofile the existing roof.  The joins were filled and sanded and then a quick coat of primer to check how it all looked.  More filling and sanding was required.  I picked up a power twin class 105 and set to work making the Hornby body fit the Bachmann chassis.  The buffer beames were cut off and new ones made from a bit of microstrip.

Close up of the front showing the new buffer beam and new buffers with their mounts.


More to follow

Christmas Quickie (part 2)

Hi All

I have been continuing to work on the Bachmann 108 and due to the unusually warm (for January) weather I have managed to get the weathering done.

My thoughts on weathering are as follows, always look at the real thing, work with the techniques not against them to get the effect you want, one technique on its own is not going to do everything and aim for it all to disappear!  This last one might be a bit odd but in the real world unless something is spectacularly dirty you shouldn’t really notice the weathering.  In my opinion if you show someone a model and you are not discussing the subject, if the first thing they say is nice weathering you might have over done it! (other methods and opinions are perfectly valid of course)

Its also wise to consider how something gets dirty and the way the environment it operates in affects it.  A rally car, splashing about in the mud will look splattered and heavily streaked – Trains don’t tend to do this.  There’s some fabulous books on weathering from Military modellers (FAQ are a personal favourite) but again a Panzer tank in desert colours will weather differently to a train.  Even trains don’t weather the same.  An American locomotive will often be a lot dustier than a UK one that sits in our wet weather a lot more.

Anyway enough waffle – here’s what I did!

Stage one – finish the painting stage – I used the maskol trick on the roof so some lighter grey showed through.  I have also used a thin wash of grey/brown for the dirt that collects in the door frames etc – I don’t want it spotless but I want it to look like its been cleaned.  Note that I haven’t touched the underframe yet except for painting the silver exhaust pipe brown.

Here I have airbrushed the underframe with my own concoction of track dust.  Think about the angle that the dust gets onto the underframe and spray it from a similar direction (from the side and below). Also do the inner ends while you are at it.  The roof has been sprayed with a mixture of gunmetal and black and while I had that colour in the airbrush I picked out some of the darker areas of the inderframe to.

The picture on the left is how the bogie looked after the Airbrush stage was finished – prototype pictures show a build up of grease on the bogie sides (as well as other areas of the underframe) and this was added by dry brushing.  Dry Brushing is one of those throwaway terms that people use but it doesn’t really tell you what it is.  Essentially its nothing more clever than using next to no paint so that it picks up the highlights.  By working the paint that you do have you can blend it into the existing colour but you don’t want an effect that’s as smooth as an airbrush will give you. I use neat gunmetal for this stage.  You can see the very subtle streaks on the lower body side.

There are some areas that are a bit more bunged up than most and for these i use black (again dry brushed) and sometimes a bit of Klear floor polish for the bits that look wet.  You don’t want to go mad with the Klear – just enough to give a glint now and then.  While you have the paints out you can use a cotton bud to ‘blob’ a bit of Gunmetal on the buffer heads to represent grease.

The finished result.  By looking at the real thing and using techniques that do the work for you there’s nothing difficult about it.  Sure there’s a large worry factor to taking your paints to a model if you haven’t done it before but you can always use a battered second hand model, a toy car or even a plastic tub to practise on first.

By the way I also finished off the 2 47s I was talking about earlier on the workbench.  Pictures of those are in the class 47 gallery.

Christmas Quickie

Hi All

I know this wasnt on my to do list but its not 2013 yet and it was only supposed to be a quickie. The Bachmann class 108 DMU.

I brought this model when it first came out, since then the large headcode version is now available RTR but its not the end of the world to swap from the small to the large (especially when you have spare roof domes left over from DC kits EMU’s).  The plan was simple, swap the headcode boxes, add the handrails to the cabs. Fit new buffers (the originals were too big – I believe Bachmann may have sorted this) and mounts with the step, buffer beam details a spot of paint/weathering and bobs married to your auntie!   However theres a prominent moulding line down the side of the cabs which is bugging me.  Those shell ventilators look a bit puny too so  am thinking they might have to go as well.   The headcode boxes need blending in a tad and the tops need to be flattened off a bit too.

DMU details

DMU buffer mounts. Designed for the A1 models 21″ OLEO buffer.  4 Per set , with lamp iron and step – £3  With lamp iron only – £2.50

DMU small headcode box front. As found on classes 116, 122 and some 108’s – £1.50 per pair

DMU Steps. Set of 8 steps for DMU’s and some EMU’s – £5 (edit. I’m sorry but due to a price rise from the suppliers I’ve had to increase the cost of these.)

16th December 2012

Id just like to say thanks for all those that have visited or sent messages over the last year.  Thanks also to those who have signed up to follow the workbench or who have added coments.  Its all appreciated.

Theres some now piccies for you all in the class 45, 50, 85 and 155 (the unphotoshopped version of the above) galleries.

Merry Christmas everone and all the best for 2013!

9th December 2010

Been working on the walls on board 2 as well as finishing off all of the platform tops. Theres more in the scenary section.

Also been working on the little bit of wasteland near the dock at the Wolverhampton end of the station. Some more experimentation with photography in very low light can be found in the class 50 and class 310 pages in the stock section.

Finally, may I take the opportunity to wish all visitors to my little corner of the internet a Happy Christmas and best wishes for 2011!

30th July 2010

I have been busy working on buses again. I have now split the road vehicles section into 2 parts, 1 for commercial vehicles and 1 for buses. Plenty added to both sections.

A few updates to the stock section too, the main one being a new section for the class 155 DMU. Click on ‘stock’ in the main menus to have a look around.

Work has progressed well on the London end of the station and finally I have uploaded a gallery of pictures taken by visitors to the DEMU showcase in June to the shows page.