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Update Pages - Summary of 2008




A fresh start to 2008 has resulted in a new covering for the work bench, along with a weathering project for the Wibdenshaw rake of Seacow ballast hoppers.

There are errors on the old Lima Seacow, but I'm happy to overlook them. With all my modelling projects, I can forsake some acuracy on certain models in order to recreate something realistic.

A pair of Lima motor bogies have just had extra electrical pickups fitted, and are for a current class 47 project (see below). Further details regarding the electrical pickups, can be found on the conversions page.

47465 is almost finished in this view, and just requires weathering. Modifications include a different arrangement on the roof with the boiler port blanking plate.

This brace of Hornby class 56s, have just been through the Wibdenshaw workshops. The bufferbeam detailing kit has been fitted, and the pipe cocks have been painted the correct colours, white above yellow on both sides, and red on one side (too many red ones in the Hornby pack). The headlight should also have a black surround on these early machines.

Both have been converted to EM gauge, using the existing wheelsets by re-profiling them on the lathe. The chassis has been heavily weathered, and the pipework and bogies steps picked out.




47162 is an old Hornby model that had been regauged to EM many years ago, using the original Hornby chassis and motor with home made wheelsets. It ran for many years on EIC, but suffered a major chassis failure. The detailed body still held it's own with the later offerings and I had a bit of a soft spot for it. The roof grey is painted with a sample of the actual paint that Stratford depot were using at the time, so you can see how long ago that was.

A Lima 47 chassis was acquired and it was found that with a little bit of trimming to accommodate the front end body additions, it was possible to unite the body to the new chassis. It is such a snug fit that it does not need any fixing bolts or clips to hold the two parts together, although some bearing pieces have been added inside the body to ensure the ride height stays correct, (see also the bit on 31272 below). It has additional electrical pick-ups and weight added to ensure better running, the weight being concentrated at the motor end to ensure adequate adhesion.

31272 is an old Airfix class 31 that also had been converted to EM many years ago, but this loco was not a success and remained on the shelf for many years in an unfinished state. It ran okay but was very slow, its top speed being more akin to an class 08 shunter.

Again, as in the case of 47162, a replacement Lima chassis was acquired so that the project could be resurrected. The body had already been detailed, the central skirt lengthened and the buffer beam cowling improved, so thought it worthy of further attention.

A bit more hacking to the chassis was required compared to the class 47, but in the end it proved successful. Bearing plates have been added to ensure the correct ride height, and to help transfer the additional weight which has been added inside the body.

As much weight as possible has also been added to the chassis as can be seen in this picture. Bodyside clips have been added, which engage into the slots in the Lima chassis, due to the fact that it is not as snug a fit as the class 47 is.

With the introduction of an air braked wagon load train on Wibdenshaw, prototype AB wagon conversions were looked at on Paul Bartletts wagons website, and further research in David Larkin's 'Working Wagons' books. The Western Region of BR had converted a number of wagons to air brake, these being the 12 ton box vans of the BR planked and plywood variety, BR Palvans, all steel highfits (LNER & BR), tube and plate wagons. A quick study of photo's confirmed that some of the wagon types are readily available in the Parkside Dundas range, and that the VEA vanwide chassis (from kit PC76) comes in handy for a lot of uses.

The VEA floors were used for both the palvan and the vanfit, but the floor for the highfit was kept on that wagon as it had the planking detail on it. All three wagons had oil axleboxes so the roller bearing boxes from the VEA chassis were removed for re-use on other projects.

The brake cylinder, distributor and air cylinder from the VEA were used on all three wagons but the clasp brake shoes were only used on the vans. The rest of the VEA brake rigging from the kits was not used because it is not accurate. The complicated air brake rigging that appears on the brake cylinder side of the chassis was scratchbuilt, and the handbrake levers were left-overs from some unfitted tippler chassis kits.

The LNER style highfits required a little more thought, because it is so light, and the chassis too crowded to be able to fit extra weight. This problems was overcome by using as much whitemetal detailing parts as possible, mainly ABS products such as clasp brakes and rigging which hopefully be enough to weight the wagon. This has been interesting to produce something different that lasted for a good few years in revenue service, and latterly in departmental use, and as they were vacuum piped. Watch this space for more wagon conversions, as a quick look at various photos has revealed that some palvans received the VEA type of suspension modifications but retained vacuum brake - another variation to consider.



Although Shenston Road is firmly set in the early 1970s, Greg brookes also has a fleet of locomotives and stock for the TOPS 1980s era, and 56019 is one of the latest locos to join the fleet.

Now back to the pre-TOPS era - D1039 Western King in scruffy maroon livery, a Heljan product with replacement wheels and added brake detail.

Another Heljan loco, this time a class 27 in two tone green livery with full yellow ends and numbered 5380. The loco is pictured here before weathering, and will be based on a photograph taken in 1971. Note the experimental modification plate fitted to the drivers door and the D letters painted out.

A view of the same loco after weathering, using a mixture of both airbrush and paintbrush techniques.

Another of Gregs Heljan class 27s, number 5409 in work stained condition.

A brace of BR type 2s, numbered 5176 and 5201 run around their train at the steelworks exchange sidings.

A bit of detailing has been carried out in the corner of the BRS lorry depot, and features general clutter and the remains of a bonfire.

AL6 number E3173 is seen being dragged through Shenston Road with a Derby test train in tow. This was the first loco of its class to be fitted with Flexicoil suspension.

A class 87 being hauled on a diverted WCML express by a class 50.

Class 128 DPU stands at platform 3 awaiting its next turn of duty.




This is the start of what will become a 'Steptoes' type of junk yard at Morfa Bank Sidings, and nicely fills a vacant corner of the layout. As with a lot of the structures at Morfa Bank, it is built in a modular format to allow easy dismantling, should the layout ever need to be moved to another location.

Further details and pictures of the progress will be posted on these pages, so watch this space for developments.

Some detail has now been added to the yard as it starts to take shape. It's surprising how much clutter can be fitted in a small space.



The HAA (HOP 32 AB) rake has recently been completed, and added detail includes the horizontal struts which were fitted to the earlier build of wagon. On the prototype these struts became bent and damaged, and this effect has been reproduced on some of the rake. The insides of the hopper body have been sprayed a galvanised colour and supplemented by a coal dust finish.

All wagons have been individually numbered, some with HOP AB and others with the TOPS code HAA. Buffer shanks have been painted silver to represent the hydraulic type, and maintenance points picked out in white paint. Reference to Paul Bartletts wagon website has proved invaluable in detailing most of the wagons for Wibdenshaw - see links page for details of his website.

Other work carried out on this rake includes the suspension modification as previously featured in the archive OMWB pages. One suspension unit is fixed solid, whilst the other is allowed to rock, but not pivot. All wagons have been fitted with the correct pattern wheels (disc braked on only one wheel per axle), using Gibson 14mm disc brake sets.

Current Update Page
  January to April 2009