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Update Pages - September to December 2009




Some Parkside 16ton mineral wagons carrying scrap metal loads have suffered with the sides bowing in, instead of the usual bowing out associated with rough industrial use! Most of the scrap load has been removed from each wagon, and a spacer fitted in place to correct the distortion.

Here the wagons are seen refilled with scrap and secured in place with diluted glue. There is some weathering needed to the load, and the wagons will also need rectification of loose items and dodgy buffers.

This view shows the wagons in service as part of a mixed freight. I shall have to back-date the wagon data panels to make them more suitable for the 1970s, as the MXV code wasn't introduced until the 1980s.

An existing set of four ex London Transport '1938TS' vehicles have been seen on Wibdenshaw for some time now, being dragged on their way to a scrapyard. Having obtained a few EFE tube vehicles at a 'bargain' price several years ago, I decided it was time to do something with the remaining silver 1959 cars still sat on the shelf.

Two of the 1959 trailer cars have been converted into red 1938 cars, to join the existing scrap rake on Wibdenshaw. Although I doubt many ex LT tube vehicles ever ventured as far north as Bradford, it is assumed the rake is destined for a rail served scrapyard in the Shipley area.

The 1959 bodies are almost identical to the 1938 bodies, so repainting into red and adding some detail is fairly straightforward. There is some detail that needs removing from the chassis, and technically the bogies are different, but because they're difficult to see, I've left them as they are. This view shows a 1938 bogie with a set of freshly prepared wheels, the pinpoints being removed from the axle ends to allow fitting into the bogie frame (inside bearings).

The 3 remaining 1959 cars will form part of a diorama, which will eventually become part of the Hornsey Broadway project. The 1959 tube stock was used extensively on the Piccadilly Line in the early 1970s, whilst the Northern Line was still running 1938 tube stock. It wasn't long before the 1959 stock was transferred to the Northern, resulting in the start of 1938 stock withdrawals.

A comparison view of the 1959 and 1938 tube stock, and a 1959 TS bogie.

Converter wagons are needed when moving LT stock on BR metals, as the couplings are different. This view shows such a wagon, along with brakevan. The EFE tube stock is coupled together (and to the converter wagon), using rigid bar couplings.

Back to the diorama project.... The stock detailing is going to be fairly minimal, as the 3 cars are not going to be in full view. The handrails will definately need replacing, and a very light weathering on the bodies will finish them off. Two of the vehicles are going to be sat at a platform with the doors open. This involves cutting the doors from their apertures, and placing inside in the open position. Some interior detail needs cutting out, to allow the doors to fit.

The unit with the doors open, consists of 2 vehicles, and will be partially hidden by a road over bridge next to the station. It is hoped the diorama will enhance the scenic break of the layout, and confirm its north London location. The unit to the left has its moulded handrails removed, whilst the one on the right has handrails made from 0.45mm brass wire.



Progress has continued on the two new projects pictured last month, and a further project has been started and made rapid progress….! Study of pre-TOPS Class 03 photos showed that the cab-back stripe pattern was not quite as on the model. This view shows some careful overpainting, with thinned matt white enamel, to set out the new positions for the yellow stripes. The black stripes have then been adjusted to have the correct width. At the nose end the shape of the yellow stripes as they wrap around the corner has been improved slightly. The two steps each side have been cut off with a sharp knife and then re-positioned to the correct locations on the yellow stripes.

The yellow has now been painted in, and almost all of the handrail and grab handle parts are on. Most of the cab glazing has also been cut and fitted, fixed in position with slightly thinned gloss varnish run into the join lines.

A general view of the near complete bonnet section. The nose end lamps, lamp brackets, and conduit have been added. The Western Region style lamp brackets have been folded from brass strip, while the grab handle stubs by the front steps are adapted handrail knobs with solder filling the cross drilling.

Another view of the same stage as above - the shed plate holder has been carefully shaped from 5 thou plasticard.

The 33/0 conversion is nearing completion as shown in the following views. Here the handrails have been fitted, bent from 0,45mm nickel silver wire and filed flat on the outside surface to reproduce the look of the flat section SR style. The Heljan windscreens and wipers have been refitted, with the screens trimmed to give a good flush fit.

A first coat of yellow has now been applied and it is beginning to look the part. One further thin top coat should do it. Just the headcode and glazing still need to be fitted.

For an accurate 1970s Class 33 rectangular recesses in the main fuel tank have had to be added to the underframe. (I believe Heljan may also produce this version out of the box, but as this project is using the underframe from a 1990s ‘Network SouthEast’ model, a bit of conversion work has been needed).

A rather unexpected development this month, a Bachmann Deltic has come under the knife! I have long admired the general look of this model and wondered how one would respond to a bit of detailing……with thanks to Ian Manderson I am now set to find out…. This shows the initial strip-down of 55 020 ‘Nimbus’ on the way to becoming a model of 55 011 in 1975/76 condition. For further details of this Deltic detailing project, please click on the 'projects' link to the left of the page.




The new fiddle yard at the Rothbury end of the layout. Rather than have a second traverser, a sector plate has been installed. It will be interesting to see which is the more reliable and easier to use during operating sessions.

The temporary control panel. This will be replaced by a more substantial panel in due course. This makeshift version has allowed me to play with the positioning of the various switches before deciding on the final layout of the panel.

The first train runs on Hartburn, from one fiddle yard to the other. This also allowed me to test out the various section switches and the cab control between A & B controllers. Note the track has been prepainted to a weathered grey so as to achieve a colour variation between ballast and sleeper.

And returning. All sections and point motors worked satisfactorily. Work has now started on the ballasting.



55 011 close to completion. The ride height of the bodyshell has been reduced by about 0,6mm compared to the basic model and this brings it closer to scale. The reduction involves skimming the plastic rubbing pads near the top of the bogie mouldings, but does cause a very slight loss of bogie swivel angle as the wheel rims contact the bottom edge of the bodyshell a bit sooner. As shown, the loco just needs some light weathering to finish. It made its debut at the Manchester 2009 exhibition.

The 33/0 bodyshell at an advanced stage, now numbered as 33 028 and with roof weathering completed.

33 028 complete except for some final light weathering. During the mid-1970s the Southern Region always seemed to turn out their locomotives in good condition, perhaps due to lower route miles run and their own dedicated locomotive works at Eastleigh. This model will be running at Canada Road’s Beckenham show.

By way of contrast Hymek D7005 has been finished with heavy grime typical of the late1960s. D7005 was one of the small number of Hymeks which carried the 'green-with-small-yellow-panel' livery to the scrapyard, and was also one of the last examples in the fleet wearing this scheme.

Four more British Railways unfitted Bogie Bolster Cs have recently been completed, based on the Bachmann model of the GWR design. This view shows the work in progress, with the wagons stripped to basic parts. The moulded bolsters have been removed using a minidrill and milling cutter to make room for the taller BR pattern units. The bogie sideframes have also had the holes filled and single springs added to model the BR pattern bogie used on many of the type.

A detail view showing two of the replacement bolsters. These are made from pieces of polystyrene section and sheet. Holes have been drilled for the optional stanchion positions and some lines filed into the top face to represent damage marks in the wood caused by the loading of steel.

A completed Diagram 1/475 wagon – B944243 – modelled to a photograph of the prototype taken not long after a workshop re-paint in standard BR grey.

Another of the completed models – B945105 branded ‘C – Bolster’ – in a more typical state of rusting for the type in the 1970s. Thanks must go again to Paul Bartlett for inspirational colour photographs of the type on his website.



In between various wagon projects and electrical work on Wibdenshaw, some areas of scenic deficiency have been attended to. The recently planted yard lamps and shunters cabin has brought an extra dimension to the area.

Extra clutter around the recently re-painted Pudsey Junction signal box has been added, which includes a coal bunker, privy, fire buckets and a scratchbuilt asbestos type lamp hut.



Paul Jame's class 124 Trans-Pennine unit was on view at the Manchester 2009 exhibition, showing progress so far.

Watch this space for updates.




This photo shows some of the plans and sketches for the Hornsey Broadway layout project. It is set between Highgate and Finsbury Park in north London, during the 1970/1971 period, where a good cross-section of inter-regional workings, mix with the suburban environments of the line out of Kings Cross. Construction has started on the baseboard frames, each one having been cut to allow the mainline trackbed to fall below ground level. The loco shed will is located at the east end of the layout, above the tunnels.

Each baseboard has alignment dowels on the ends, and the stretcher beams will be of the same dimensions, at 1ft centres. Additional strength will be given to the baseboards by the trackbed, and some of the scenic structures which are being developed on their own sub frames.

The station and road structure form the scenic break at the west end of the layout.

A view showing the progress so far looking in the direction of Kings Cross. Further information on the history of the line, and the background to the project can be found on the layouts page.

I have previously found that closely spaced stretcher beams at the baseboard ends, can still give an unacceptable amount of 'sag' after a period of settling in. This problem causes rolling stock to pivot on the baseboard joins, and can be irritating unless constant adjustments are made. The new baseboards will have the trackbed strengthened underneath throughout the length of the layout, rather than relying on frequently placed stretcher beams.

Another loco on the work bench is this recent release from Bachmann. Peak number 77 'Royal Irish Fusilier' will represent a vacuum only braked loco, and will be seen working inter-regional freights. Other projects will include the Derby suburban class 125 DMUs, Cravens Power and trailer DMU sets, and 3rd rail class 501 units for the Watford to Broad Street direct service




With the new 33/0 and 73/0 both finished in time for the recent Beckenham show, the shunter to work with them (scratchbuilt Class 07 ’07 010’) also got some attention. Finer handrail knobs were fitted all round, and the running numbers were re-applied using Fox markings. On the bonnet top an access panel was also remade to the correct size and shape – the original incorrect one being based on a very limited selection of photographs within the single reference book I had back in 1981 when the model was built.

A further two Class 25/1 models based on the Hornby shell / Bachmann chassis are now in progress. This is the combination used previously for TOPS ’25 242’ which is a Canada Road and Wibdenshaw regular. This time both models will be finished in pre-TOPS condition, one in blue, and one in green with SYP. The Hornby shell requires a fair amount of attention to cab fronts, roof, and bodysides, but remains my personal choice as a place to start.

In this second view the bodyside and roof re-works have been touched-in with blue, and roof weathering applied. Flush glazing of the cabs is being added. The adaptations involved have previously been the subject of a feature within Rail Express magazine.

The chassis for the green pre-TOPS Class 03 continues to make slow progress. The basic frames are shown here with wheels and pickups fitted, but still with much to do.

A new wagon type for Canada Road is this 3-plank 'Medfit' to BR diagram 1/017 - B457257. A small number of the type were built following LMS practice, before the switch to a new steel-sided design under diagram 1/019. The model is based on a Mainline ready-to-run bodyshell combined with Parkside and MJT chassis parts. In this view it is about ready for final painting.

A second view, showing the completed model. Some additional details have been added to the bodysides in response to photographs posted by Paul Bartlett, after an enquiry for information. (Thanks Paul). The type were mostly assigned to departmental tasks by the early 70s, so the revenue livery carried is typical for 1960s running after the addition of vacuum brake.

Based on a £1 bargain wagon bought at a show, this model of ex-GWR ‘Bolster-A’ W107364 is again suitable for 1960s running on Canada Road. A good quick project, new EM wheelsets and 3-link couplings have been fitted, before underframe painting and weathering.



Fed up with seeing these buses on the shelf half-finished, I decided to complete them, and give a bit more thinking time for the final trackplan on the layout. A little bit of extra detailing has been added to the EFE Daimlers (LT type DMS).

Inside the model, passengers have been fitted upstairs and down, as well as a driver. On the outside, wing mirrors and new adverts have been added. The nearest bus has been detailed even further, to represent the earlier style front end.

A start has been made on the trackwork, this being the double junction just south of the station. Having previously built a large layout using C&L track components, I've decided to revert to the old method of copper-clad point construction this time around.

The Heljan model of Kestrel, with a bit of extra detailing - and ready for service. It depicts the loco as it was in the last days of BR service, hauling mainly MGR coal trains, and will probably earn its keep on the layout as motive power for the regular freightliner service to and from Stratford. Extra details such as the later style grill (above the cantrail) have been added, instead of the earlier style duct as produced by Heljan. The cab has a driver and secondman fitted, different headcodes, and finished off with a bit of weathering. EM gauge 14mm Jackson coach wheels are fitted using the existing gears, which are a nice fit on the axles..... the conversion taking about 10 minutes.

The Dapol track cleaning vehicle, in a livery much more pleasing to the eye. It's been converted to EM gauge using the original wheels and axles, by moving the bogie side frames out (pin point, split axle pick-ups... Doh!!). New bufferbeams and 3 link couplings have been added, a quick re-spray into BR blue with some 'Service' vehicle weathering to complete.

A mock-up photo, showing a suburban service heading towards Finsbury Park and Kings Cross......

..... whilst a English Electric type 4 and a Brush type 2 can be seen on the adjacent tracks.

A Stratford allocated class 03 emerges from the smokey gloom of the loco shed, whilst a Brush type 2 undergoes maintenance - probably something to do with the missing screwlink coupling! Had the line been completed, this would have been the GN area motive power depot, instead of Finsbury Park. The 4 road shed was built a few years ago on a whim, so it's good to be able to incorporate it into a project at last.



A Chivers MDV mineral wagon kit which is getting a few bits added, and the chassis compensated.

A built and weathered 16 ton mineral wagon, consisting of a Bachmann body and brakegear, with Bedford W irons. Just some decals and couplings to finish.

May to August 2009
  January to April 2010