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A general view of the remodelled scrapyard at Morfa Bank. There are two sidings in the yard, one for overflows of either full or loaded wagons and the other runs beneath the gantry for loading, or unloading the wagons. To the left are several scrap coils, rejected by the customer after uncoiling and some old mill rolls. Alongside the siding is a small narrow gauge diesel put to one side in case it can be sold on. Still much to do but the flavour of a yard is taking shape!

As well as working around the back of the scrapyard, here's something a bit different. The Allis Chalmers as bought - the right length for 1/76 scale but almost two feet too wide. I’ve just started masking the various cuts, of which they’ll be a lot, as I try to reduce the width by 6mm. This should bring the rear wheel track to the same as the front wheels as per prototype.

The various rivets have been cut off and the back of the bowl cut away and reduced in width. This won’t be a rivet counter’s build but hopefully will give a flavour of these impressive machines. And I’d always wanted one of these since I was about four so getting one many, many years later for a few pounds at a toy fair was a bargain!

Now it gets complicated! Here I’ve removed the required amount from the centre of the apron. Next up is the more involved cut of the bowl arms. It was still a bit of a mystery at this stage if it was going to fit back together again.

Here we see the bowl with the wheel supports removed and the axle cut through to get the wheels out. Bit by bit the toy is becoming a kit of parts.

Both sides of the bowl have been cut away now. Two strips just over 2.5mm wide have also been cut from the remaining bowl structure to bring this to the right width.

Here are all the parts ready for re-assembly. The same 2.5mm width pieces have been cut off the support arms and next everything needs filing flush and square ready for reassembly using two-part epoxy resin.

And here it is, stuck back together again, right length and right width and awaiting the next stage - quite a lot of detailing and a mass of hydraulic pipes. It’ll probably also get a strip back to bare metal and probably emerge in yellow. But that’s for another day!

I needed to create a muddy track down the far side of the scrap yard area. On the last layout I’d modelled this using filler but while perusing a book on plant and machinery (looking for scraper pictures - see above!) I saw a well rutted track that looked like a pile of muddy string…so why not? And here’s the first few strings laid. The puddle was laid into the foam board surface prior to the first string going down.

And once the first rows had dried they were painted with a gritty earth texture acrylic from a war-games supplier. These products have been used extensively and are very useful for terrain modelling.

Here we see all the string stuck down and several layers of the acrylic painted over the top. The muddy track will continue around the top of the scene. The access road to the scrap yard runs off scene to the left beyond the platform. The barbed wire, by the way, has yet to be painted!

And here is the first section finished apart from some additional paint and varnish. The rest of the yard surface is also almost finished - just more weeds and scrap to go. The next section has the first pieces of string stuck down and you can also see the oblong of acrylic that will form the next puddle.



Early last month saw the layout appear at the Stafford show, one of the few on the circuit where a drive-in unload is allowed – perfect to escape the icy wind of that Friday afternoon!

Moody lighting across the Canada Dock before opening at Stafford…..the layout is out again towards the end of this month at The London Festival of Modelling at Alexandra Palace.

This VW T2 has recently been finished, with added flush glazing at the sides and back, wing mirrors, and a slightly modified paint scheme.

The Oxford Die-cast basis for the model captures the proportions of this iconic 1970s vehicle well.

The two Class 17 shells have been making steady progress. The GSYP example is pictured after re-fitting of the cab unit, but bonnet door handles and lamp brackets still need to be added.

The nose ends of the models have had improvements made to the marker lights, headcodes, roof fans and buffer shanks, as well as re-positioning of the multiple working cable to match the chosen prototype.

Some customers have finally got pictured at Dee’s Teas, I’m sure she’ll be enjoying the company – and trade!



Every now and then I put the HO scale projects to one side, and do a bit more on Lesney Park. This view shows work recently carried out at the back of the layout constructing a wall alongside the roadway, with the gates providing a convenient break midway.

The Lima class 31 bodyshell as featured previously - new exhaust ports have been constructed and a start made on drilling holes for the roof grab handles. Short and sweet for this update from Down-Under, but still plugging away.



Here is a small selection of photos taken at the Solent MRS show which was held on the 25th & 26th of February. 03371 pauses during shunting activity.

37095 arrives at Hebble Vale with another consignment of vans.

A glimpse of the recently completed backscene.

A very clean Ford Granada NHK 259M. Not sure about the size of those wheels!

Messrs. Edmondson and Cooper in charge of proceedings



With the majority of the depot trackwork complete, the time has come to build the control panel. Perhaps investing in a Hornby Zero 1 might erradicate the need for all the section switches and wires! The plan has been drawn out on a piece of A4 paper, stuck to the back of a some 4mm clear acrylic sheet, and various holes drilled in preparation for the next stage.

Using slivers of masking tape cut on a sheet of glass, they are laid onto the back of the clear panel prior to blasting it with some matt black spray paint. This shows the first coat being applied.

When the black paint has dried, the slivers of masking tape are removed to reveal a clear line, painted in a variety of colours to represent different routes or building outlines. The panel framework is fitted with 2 sliding 8mm steel bars, mounted on either the rear or front of the layout.

The panel framework is shown finished and in position at the rear of the layout - the steel rods inserted into holes which go through the baseboard frame and into wooden blocks for rigidity. The controller DIN sockets are already in place, along with a couple of slide switches for reversal of polarity for when the panel is located on the front (viewing side) of the layout. The protruding part of the switch has been cut down to about 2mm, and can be changed over using a knife blade or tweasers when required.

As with the mainline panels, the up = off with all the toggle section switches when operating from behind the layout. This would usually be under exhibition conditions and best to avoid any confusion. That of course changes when the panels are fitted to the viewing side during casual operation, so mistakes or added confusion isn't a problem!

There's still a bit of trackwork for me to finish, but that hasn't stopped Greg putting down the first sprinklings of ballast now that the trackwork has been thoroughly tested on most of the depot area.

A view looking the other way and highlighting the soldered feeds which are all on the rear side of the rail when viewed from the front.

With just a few more wires to attach, the rest have been bundled up ready for the final push. Only 1 pole of the double pole toggle switch is used for the isolation of a loco, the double pole packs by Expo strangeley being the same price as the single pole packs. The large point control switches are sprung loaded momentary contact rated at 20 amps, so worth the space constraints for longevity and reliability.

In addition to the goings on at the depot, Paul has been out with his box brownie taking snaps of Polly & Nellie, the latest additions to his Eastwell fleet.

The following pictures were also snapped, showing a selection of visiting locos from Shenston Road. Here's Swindon built diesel hydraulic D9535 with the test freight of the day.

More Western Region power in the form of Canton's D6972 at the head of a ballast train, with unidentified BRCW type 2 on a Toton to Temple Mills freight.

Another BRCW type 2 - this class of loco were commonplace in North London until around 1970.



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