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Update Pages - January to April 2009




The last 5 coke hopper chassis have been assembled with scratchbuilt bodies, to represent the later build of wagon. This will take the total to 22 wagons.

Balsawood formers are fitted into the hopper body, to allow the load to be fitted, which consists of crushed coal soaked with diluted PVA glue, then painted and washed to look like coke.

This view shows one of the wagons nearing completion, the body having been painted and weathered. Just a few finishing touches and number panel to be added.

The Lima GUVs are passing through the Wibdenshaw workshops for upgrading and bogie replacement, utilising the Bachmann B1 bogies and correct pattern 14mm disc wheels by Gibson. The bogie pivot hole can be seen bushed (press fit plastic tube with plasti-weld), and the new bearing plate fitted to the chassis to give the correct ride height. Other work will include flush glazing and light weathering to the body.



A recent convert to double motor, 37109 undergoes tests at Wibdenshaw with a 32 wagon train. half of the Eastwell Lima class 37 fleet have been treated this way, whilst the remaining locos are being fitted with the Vi-Trains chassis.

The chassis of another class 37, showing how the Lima chassis parts are spliced together with plastic strip section. With 8 wheel drive and electrical pickups, this method of conversion provides a powerful and reliable combination.

Another Lima class 37 with a Vi-Trains chassis, undergoes testing. The original motor bogie and part chassis have been donated to 37109 pictured above.




Two more Hornby class 110 Calder Valley DMUs have been through the workshops lately, and both are 3 car units. One is in all over blue livery, and the other in refurbished white with blue stripe.

As well as the usual Craftsman detailing parts for the bufferbeam, the chassis parts have been picked out (silver paint for engine block and heater), and then weathered over with the air brush.

A 'long overdue' method of storage and carrying stock to exhibitions has been occupying my time recently. This new hinged stock box accomodates the wagons which are not usually transported within the layout storage yard. The backing material is made from some old velour curtains, with just enough cushioning depth to hold the stock in place.

Velour covered hardboard sheets are located in place, before the case is hinged shut, and secured by a pair of over-centre clips. The gaffer tape holding the boards in place at the top will be replaced with something more permanent when time permits. The handles are made from some old nylon webbing, folded over and bolted to the case. These flexible handles make for a strong and comfortable carrying arrangement, rather than using rigid handles.



26038 is the latest addition to Paul James Eastwell fleet. The loco is a particular favourite, as it appeared at the Hereford Rail Day during the 1990s. Detailed and weather by Greg Brookes.

A Lima class 47 chassis undergoing conversion to double motor. This view shows the 2 parts of chassis spliced together and re-inforced with pieces of plasticard.



Progress on Roath is shown here after ballasting and grassing of the embankments.

Hanging basket liner has been used, complimented with the use of Woodland Scenics foliage.

More rolling stock storage has been provided for Roath, with these stock trays by Steve Nicholls. The internal dividers still need to be added.




Here is the rather cluttered workt bench, with the four chassis awaiting more brakegear bits. Plenty of reference material but not much space. All are former Slab wagons with three to be 1966-converted Coil K and one a 1971-converted Coil T.

Here is a Coil K, right way up, with the first details sprouting for the body. Bogies are Cambrian. Lots of rivets!

As the wagons will be hooded there was no need to model the interior of the cradle so the bracing panels were made full-width for some strength. These are all set to different spacings so this example became the prototype to mark out the other three. The oval cut-outs tested the patience!

Some of the cut-outs are not quite straight (and I wasn't about to re-do them!) but they will be almost invisible beneath the hoods. They should be finished by next month's update, assuming they haven't driven me over the edge over the next few weeks!



After a long wait on the 'to do' shelf the three Heljan Hymeks are finally getting some attention, this view shows the shells of D7005 and 7076 nearing completion. This superb model needs very little improvement, but the glazing has been re-set more flush, nose-end handrails replaced with 0,31mm wire, and the cab roof dome-shape reduced in height by about 0,6mm after much studying of photographs.

Roof fan detail has been added using Scalelink 0,75mm fine square mesh and cooling fans made from plasticard.

7076 was unusual in carrying vinyl numbers at one corner after severe crash damage in 1967. That cabside must have been jinxed as web photos show more scrape marks at the same corner several years later with the loco in rail blue, this damage has been added on the model.

A couple of Ratio BR diagram 1/051 Clay Hoods are being reworked after being bought 2nd hand in part-built condition.

And now for something completely different........An LNER J27 0-6-0 (from the Dave Alexander kit) is nearing completion, this loco is for Ian Manderson's steam/diesel transition era layout 'Hartburn', where do the air-horns fit??

From a similar mid-sixties period, here is Class 26 D5328.

....and a Class 27 stablemate 'D5410' in typical neglected sixties condition. Originally used on the London Midland region, this loco retained this livery into 1968/69 after transfer to Scotland.

Some wagons from the same era have also recently been completed:- BR diagram 1/001 'Lowfit' with a tractor delivery as a load. One morning spent surfing the web turned me into a minor tractor expert, so I now know this is a 1960 Fordson Power Major in standard factory colours, and a superb replica of the original too, once the wheel width spacing is reduced a little (available from Oxford Di-cast / Hornby Skaledale).

....and an ex-GWR 'Conflat A' of 1947 with an insulated container. This wagon design continued in production almost unchanged under BR, so makes for an easy conversion from the Parkside kit. The main visual change is the chain shackle points as BR added more positions down each side.

The final chapter of a long running OMWB story! An ex-private owner Iron Ore hopper from 1938, as indicated by the 'P' prefix to the running number, now weathered to a typical mid-sixties rust-spotted condition. Wagons such as these lasted into the mid-1970s on limestone traffic around the Peak district and elsewhere.

Shown here and below are another couple of rusty ore hoppers, this time to the BR diagram 1/162. This design was a direct carry-over from the private owner fleets built before 1948, and again lasted into the 1970s, rivets and all.

One of very few survivors is now on display (with several other unusual BR wagons) at the NRM Shildon out-station, still in true-to-life rusted condition!

Class 25/2 Hornby conversion D7629 has recently been treated to new flush-glazing and a Hornby 5-pole mechanism, and looks set to become a 'Canada Road' regular at shows.

Finished Heljan Hymek 7018 in early 1970s condition. The Shawplan etched loco numbers are a useful finishing touch, fixed using gloss varnish they are a real challenge to position and line up accurately! These numbers allow the authentic over-painting of the 'D' in blue, as became common after late 1968 when the use of the D prefix on the BR diesel fleet was officially dropped.



Further scenic work has been carried out on Roath, as shown in this view. The buildings in the background enhance the scene of this South Wales based layout.

As well as building up the rolling stock fleet on Roath, a slight digression has occured with the appearance of a 12ton van kit in gauge 3. Although out of the remit of this website, it does offer an interesting comparison against a 4mm version.




Initial work on the turnout that bridges the baseboard join. A first for me but having seen it done on Wibdenshaw I know itís possible and doesnít have to be the problem it is often made out to be.

The bridging turnout clearly showing the copperclad sleepers either side of the baseboard join.

One of the new locos done for Hartburn stands on the site of the level crossing. The pictures shows the checkrails in place as featured on the actual crossing at Angerton on the Wansbeck. In the background can be seen the templates for the pointwork at the end of the passing loop.



Here are a few photographs of Canada Road rolling stock - some items have recently been completed, whilst others have been in use a few years and are passing through for maintenance, touching up or photographing.

Brush Class 30 D5500 in original livery. When first introduced these locos had a steam-era approach of numbers on both cabsides at the 'A' end only, quite quickly this was replaced by numbers at all four corners, before becoming numbers at opposite corners during the TOPS era. The Mirlees engined Class 30s were all later modified to Class 31 by re-engining. The model is a modified Airfix bodyshell on a Lima chassis, and is in 1960/61 livery.

Lancashire & Yorkshire Rly 0-4-0ST 'Pug' 51237 also in a late fifties/early sixties livery. This model perhaps gives away my age! When I first got interested in the hobby - in the early 1970s - motorising the Airfix kit of this loco type was an often reported project in the modelling magazines. At that time motors and gearsets compact enough to make it work were hard to come by! By the time I scratchbuilt the chassis for this model in the early 1980s things were becoming easier and the Portescap 1216 motor/gearbox was perfect for the job. Just a few years later there was a ready-to-run model, and much of the novelty value was lost... The prototype was a nicely proportioned design, and several of the class used to work in the Liverpool docks, and regularly pass the Prince's Dock wall which was the inspiration for the back wall on Canada Road.

M178129 ex-LMS metal-side van from 1930, vans lacking vacuum brakes such as this were eliminated by BR during the early-sixties. This model was based on a photograph from 1962, and the design was unusual for having metal sides as well as ends. One of this type is now preserved on the GCR at Loughborough.

E224320 ex-LNER wood-sided coal wagon from 1938, typical of many which BR inherited in 1948, and then set about replacing with the all-steel 16 ton mineral wagon during the 1950s. This wagon, in very dirty bare wood, was modelled to a photograph from 1964 when it was probably awaiting scrapping.

P38290 ex-private owner wood sided coal wagon, some of the inherited wooden bodied wagons did receive re-paints into standard BR grey, as modelled here. These were the exception rather than the rule however, as the imminent replacement by new steel wagons caused maintenance to be minimised.

P99335 is perhaps more typical of how the ex-private owner wagons were looking by 1960. Most were hastily re-marked by BR, with the number, load, and tare weight presented in the standard BR manner on roughly applied black patches.

The original bold colour schemes of the previous owners were normally retained, but not maintained, so gradually became very scruffy, most had been withdrawn and scrapped by 1965.

P75748 is an ex-Vauxhall wood-sided coal wagon. The once striking red, white, and black markings are a dull shadow of their former self. Wagons of this appearance were common fare during the later BR steam years, but it is still surprising how rarely they appear on layouts of that period. More often the continued use of colourful well kept private owner fleets is portrayed within the nationalised railway, not truly authentic, but maybe more eye-catching than the reality!

Van B752654 to BR diagram 1/202 is an example of how BR adopted existing wagon building programmes in the first couple of years after nationalisation. This filled the vacuum while new 'standard' designs were being formulated. This design, from Ashford works in 1949, is to the basic Southern Railway ply-sided pattern, but with some early BR influences on the underframe. It is modelled in post-1964 condition with the new 'datablock' style markings applied on patches of fresh paint, and would have probably survived in traffic until the early seventies.

Highfit B481774 to BR diagram 1/041 was a similar situation, this time with an LNER steel-bodied design. BR never came to an early decision on a 'standard' design for open goods wagons however (unlike vans) and instead continued building wagons based on LNER, LMS, and SR practice, although with some changes to the underframes. The tarpauline is modelled using the printed paper sheets available from traders....suitably crumpled and distressed before gluing in position.

Summary of 2008
  May to August 2009