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Update Pages - September to December 2010




06 002 was scratch-built in the early 1980s, mostly in plasticard but with brass frames and details. It models the loco in mid-70s condition when it was the first of the type I ever saw on a day excursion from Manchester to Edinburgh, followed by a DMU to Dunfirmline, and the long walk to Townhill depot. We were seen-off by a very unfriendly foreman, but luckily ‘002, and dumped stablemate 06 009, were parked in full view, and my interest in the small BR shunter classes was firmly established.

D2444 uses the second Class 06 bodyshell of the batch-built pair from the early 80s. This time the loco is finished in a mid-sixties appearance, complete with nose-end ladder for access to the bonnet top. Just a single example of the class survived to preservation, and that only by fortune of working as Reading signal works pilot for several years, after all others had been reduced to scrap north of the border.

Another view of D2444 showing the pair of badges carried on one side of the bonnet. The access door positions were interchangeable and several photos show class members with up to three badges side-by-side – plain doors must have been swopped onto engines going to works for blue paint, allowing the surviving green locos to collect extra badges!

D2954 is the smaller Barclay 0-4-0 type, tagged Class 01 under the BR TOPS system. From a class of four service locos and one similar departmental example, two were to adopt TOPS numbering at the isolated Holyhead Breakwater railway. Both locos at Holyhead were scrapped in-situ in 1981, but the other two service locos are now preserved thanks to periods in industrial use. D2954 became 01 001 but was never to run with this number, instead providing parts for sister 01 002. The model shows the loco in 1961 condition, and it was the photograph that inspired this livery which also lead to ‘Canada Road’ being built to showcase various shunter types.

A portrait shot of another of the original Canada Road locos, 02 003 is again scratch-built mostly in polystyrene. Just three of this small dock-shunting type lasted long enough to carry TOPS numbers, and were unusual for having no badges applied on the green livery after renumbering. I was fortunate to catch all three on Allerton depot shortly after operation ended (see prototype photos area) but have only ever seen one picture of a TOPS numbered example shunting wagons. If any reader knows where there may be more photos of the type at work from that era please let me know.

Another model that has been pictured in progress OMWB, but not in finished condition, is 37 046. Based on the Bachmann product, the livery and weathering is to a photograph from 1977 when ‘046 was beginning to be unusual for retaining frost grills protecting the main radiators.

A close up of nose-end detail on 37 046 showing the reworked windscreens, headcodes, and buffers to good effect.

B477182 is a Dia 1/034 ‘Highfit’ modelled to a Paul Bartlett photograph. Originally built without vacuum brake, this wagon would most likely have been delivered new with unpainted timbers except for the black patches for the number. When converted to fitted brakes, the largely unpainted finish has remained, with only patch painting of bauxite on the upper planks. After some 30 years in service the timber had weathered to a grey appearance and the model attempts to reproduce this look. The stencil style numbers are shown in close-up and are from a Fox sheet intended for air-braked wagons.

The finish / look of weathered wooden bodied wagons is about the most difficult to achieve! All paint is Humbrol (or Revell) matt enamels, mixed and applied with a brush. The plank colour would have started as pale grey (Humbrol 13?) which I often use for unfitted wagons. This is then darkened with a little black (33) and tinted with a little dark earth (29) to give just a slight suggestion of brown. These colours are mixed on the lid of an empty paint tinlet such that the amount of black can be varied slightly into the final colour applied.

The planks were painted in a general grey from this mix, and with this still wet I carefully overpainted some planks with a fractionally darker (or lighter) version of the colour - carefully painting within the limits of the single plank. Finally some attempt at knots and grain was made using a fractional darker version of the colour applied by a dry-brushing sort of method with an old stiff brush that could give very fine lines (for the grain). Getting the slight shade variations between different planks is probably the most important element to suggesting bare wood planking.

The (rusty) metal framing was then carefully picked-out in a mixture of Revell matt No. 84 and matt black. After the finish had dried (for several days), I would have lightly applied a 33 + 29 grime mix on top, either as a paint which is then mostly removed with white spirit and kitchen paper, or as a thinly applied tinted matt varnish. This gives the dark shading of the grooves between planks and grime into the corners of the metal framing. The interior or floor of almost all BR open wagons was wood planked and I use a similar method for those.

B276453 is a re-bodied standard 16 ton mineral wagon such as produced in large numbers by the Horwich wagon works, and elsewhere, during the 1970s. The model is based on the Airfix kit with a bit of tweaking to remove the upper doors and adjust the framing pattern accordingly.

B579316 is a well rusted Coal 16VB typical of the fleet in the late 1970s when the elimination of non-vacuum braked examples was well underway. The model again makes use of the Airfix kit with transfers from an old MTK sheet.

A rarely seen loco in the fleet is Warship number 821 ‘Greyhound’. Based around the Mainline bodyshell, a Lima motor bogie is fitted, but stretching the wheelbase of this unit 2mm, to the correct 10’ 6”, has had a bad effect on the running qualities. It is planned to replace this bogie with a smooth running kit-built product allowing the model to see more use on the layout.

Another of the rarely seen Canada Road locos from the 1980s is GWR pannier tank 8779. This made use of the Perseverance chassis kit with a Portescap motor, and a much adapted Hornby bodyshell – including cutting it down the centreline to correct the width! (amongst other improvements). Although more true scale r-t-r models of the type are now available, 8779 still gets the odd trip out on the layout, and may see more use now the new green 03 is available as a running mate.



A recent 'big' birthday resulted in a boost to the locomotive fleet for Hornsey Road, in the shape of the Heljan class 15 model. The first job involved removing the cab, so that the glaringly bright coloured plastic bulkhead could be painted a darker colour, and driver / second man fitted in place. There is an issue regarding the sandboxes as supplied in the detailing pack, as they do not fit without fouling the bufferbeam. I have cut the bogie sideframes back to the small rivet (about 3mm), so that they can be fitted and allow the bogie to swing and pivot.

D8204 and D8242 are seen at Hornsey Road MPD holding sidings awaiting their next turn of duty. These Heljan locos are basically out of the box, with the detail parts fitted, and converted to EM gauge using the original wheels by turning 0.010" off the back face. It is interesting to note that in the majority of cases, the headcode discs were folded up when closed, and this involves drilling a hole in the half-discs supplied with the model. Livery notes and details have been compiled on the class 15s when in service with BR - please see the prototype section of this website.

Another Heljan model has recently been on the work bench, this time a class 33 - number 6572. Again, it is basically an 'out of the box' model with the detail parts fitted and finished off with weathering. This class of loco were all allocated to the southern region of BR, but could often be found north of the river on inter-regional workings.




Here are some recent projects for the ever expanding Shenston Road loco fleet. This Bachmann class 25 has received additional detail and is finished off with some careful weathering. It is seen here at Hornsey Road depot awaiting the next turn of duty.

This pair of Heljan class 47s typify the early 1970s, with them both wearing two-tone green livery with full yellow ends (GFYE).

47091 'Thor' was a particular favourite, as it hauled a mystery trip (ending up at Margate), sometime during the mid '70s, and was in a filthy external condition.

1665 'Titan' is another Western Region favourite, and weathered to a photograph of it C1971. The bogies had undergone a recent fracture inspection by the look of things, quite a common feature on the class 47s at the time.



Here's another building for Hornsey Road starting to take shape, and is based on a London prototype with a flat roof. It is primarily scratchbuilt using 'South Eastern' embossed plastic brick sheet, with additional parts and windows coming from some obsolete Scenerama plastic building kits. The remainder of the parts will come in handy for some low relief houses backing onto the railway.

The basic shell is seen here completed, and ready for additional brickwork detail to be added. Due to the unusual boundary position and close proximity to the milk depot, the rear upper rooms will have skylights.

The basic structure is now complete, with enamel colours applied by brush and allowed to dry. The next stage will be the weathering, introducing different colours and highlights. A advert hoarding board will be made and affixed to the side of the building, and a replacement advert printed.

A view looking along Hornsey Road towards the loco depot, showing the Merchants house on the left. The upper part of the blue-brick tunnel abutments can be seen beyond the van, and is at the limit of the 'cut and cover' section of railway beneath the road. Beyond that (and 50 feet below the depot), the tracks head towards Finsbury Park in a deep bore tunnel.

There's always a few extra details to add, but the scene is just about complete.



The end loading dock as seen from the operators side of the layout. Built on a frame of 3mm card from a local art shop, it utilises embosed plastic sheet for the sides. The coping stones are scribed 40 thou plasticard. The corners are filled then filed to profile. The buffer stop is a piece of balsa strip, suitably distressed and painted with Precision 'weathered wood' with a bit of Humbrol 29 added. The surface is a combination of Busch grey quartz sand and some yard dirt from Bewdley on the Severn Valley Railway. In the jar this has a nice brownish grey appearance, but unfortunately a spray of matt varnish to seal it has darkened the colour. This will be addressed prior to it's appearance at Cheltenham.

Here are the supports for the cattle crossing bridge. Measurements were taken of a surviving example on the Border Counties line just north of Bellingham and this is being used as a basis for a similar bridge on Hartburn. The hut is by Wills, well actually two kits combined to produce a taller chimney. Microstrip has been added to the sides to match the standard pattern on the Borders lines.

The other loading dock on the layout. Construction follows the same pattern as for the end dock. The cattle wagon is a Bachmann example which still has to undergo the conversion to EM gauge. The bare board in the foreground is where the main platform will go.

The station building for Hartburn is nearing completion, and is being constructed by Pete Johnson - it makes a change to model something without wheels! In this view the second chimney is being prepared for fitting. The building is based on North British Railway stations from the borders region, in particular the structures that were at Brinkburn and Ewesley. These were built mainly of wood, with the vertical plank joints weatherproofed by external battens.

Another view at the same stage showing the slate roof, modelled using Slaters moulded plasticard, cut and assembled in strips. A few of the slates have been distressed slightly to give character to the building.

An internal view showing the basic arrangement of 60 thou plasticard used for the walls, with additional 80 thou pieces added as roof stiffeners. The battens were added using 10 x 20 microstrip, with 10 x 40 microstrip used for the window surrounds. Slaters brick plasticard overlays have been used for the foundations and chimneys.

A ground level view of the finished building prior to painting. One door has been modelled slightly open to bring life to the station. The window frames were adapted from a Walthers HO factory kit, and the chimney pots were turned from 3mm diameter sprue offcuts from the scrap box. After shaping to a taper, the top of the plastic rod was then pressed against a hot knife blade to create the lip at the top of the pot.

Another view of the completed building showing the narrow window, and chimney brickwork incorporated into the end wall. The lead flashing for the chimneys was cut from 5 thou plastic sheet, and the same material was used for the framing on the two doors.

This lever frame cabin for Hartburn is also being built by Peter Johnson, and is shown here nearing completion. These small square buildings with a pyramid-style slate roof were another characteristic feature of stations in Northumbria. This model is based on the one at Brinkburn, which featured timber construction on a brick plinth.

Another view of the frame cabin. The slate roof uses the same Slaters sheet as per the station, with 5 thou strip and 35 thou rod used for the lead flashing. The walls are 80 thou plastic, with vertical planking engraved into the surface. The window frames are again from the HO factory kit, but with the framing adjusted to match the pattern shown in photographs of Brinkburn and Angerton. At Brinkburn, by the 1960s, the view from both windows was completely blocked by adjacent buildings.

The goods shed for Hartburn is shown ready for painting. This model is again based on the one at Brinkburn, which had corrugated metal construction with wooden sliding doors. 80 thou sheet was used for the basic shape, before being covered with Slaters corrugated sheet. The door and gutter fittings were added using a variety of plastic sections and thicknesses.

These two views show the completed station building group before painting. The arrangement planned for Hartburn is similar to that at Brinkburn at the time the line was closed. All these buildings had been demolished by the early 1970s, although the nearby station-masters house still survives today.




Progress on the interface baseboard for Hornsey Broadway, with the retaining walls in place and ready for construction of the flyover. The track needed to be ballasted, and the area under the bridge weathered before the next stage.

This view shows the alignment of the double track main line below, and the down-slow line crossing at near ground level. It's constructed from plywood with added styrene profile sections, to represent the steel and concrete structure.

A drivers-eye view of our train about to enter Hornsey Tunnel (525 yds) on the last leg of our Journey from Leeds, whilst a Peak heads north on a Doncaster Division bound train. The inset picture was taken by Paul James, and shows a similar structure re-built in the 1970s to accomodate the catenary.



Morfa Mawr has been brought out of store in preparation for exhibiting in 2011, and Trevor Hale took the opportunity to take some photographs of the motive power for the layout. Heljan Hymek 7070 poses by the road bridge in its 1968-1970 guise.

Here's 5080 in early 1970s blue livery, a Midland Region loco which can be seen from time to time, having worked down the coast from Aberystwyth. I wasn't happy with the roof profile of this Bachmann model, so this was a bit of a test to see if anything could be done to improve the appearance of the front end. Other work carried out, included correcting the panels on the roof, and removing part of the valances around the tanks. This feature was common at the time with a lot of Crewe allocated locos.

There's a good selection of English Electric type 3 power to be seen in the area, as shown here by 6886 circa 1971 fitted with Heljan snowploughs. These 3 bachmann models were done a while back, and the main work carried out was to try and improve the nose ends, along with adjusting the lamp brackets to suit each loco, and fitting handrails to the nose and cab doorways.

This is 6889 circa 1971 with 'Cararama' Mini headlamps fitted. 'Craftsman' etched cab windows and 'Shawplan' fan and grills are fitted to all 3 locos.

6999 will probably be renumbered at sometime at it is a bit too late for the period I'm modelling. Since doing the detail conversions, Steve Nicholls produced some cast resin ends to make the job a lot easier, and Brian Hanson has brought out the 'Extreme Etchings' range of parts.

Metro-Cammell class 101 DMU M51196 (paired with M56354 circa 1968-1972), The Newquay and Aberaeron passenger services were operated and supplied by units from Aberystwyth, although the Aberaeron trains later gave way to Western Region allocated sets. This is an old Lima model I detailed a few years ago, and detailing work includes fitting 'Craftsman' parts to the bufferbeam, cutting away excess chassis sections from the DMBC, and removing cantrail sections. It has the standard Lima pancake motor which gives excellent control and slow steady running, albeit a bit growly. Who needs DCC-sound, when it comes as standard on Lima models and sounds propotionate to the load!

Back to the remaining Hymeks now, and saving my favourite locos for last. Heljan made a lovely job of this, but there's always some detailing and customising to do on any model. Replacement buffers have been fitted, as have etched cooling fans and grills, and numbers / worksplates by 'Shawplan'. The cab windows have also been flushglazed to improve the front end appearance. This picture shows 7027 circa 1969.

Where appropriate, the fitting of lower cab door handles has been carried out, as shown here on D7007 circa 1970.

D7092 as seen fitted with ploughs circa 1969.

The West Highland based layout hasn't been forgotten, and a recent session resulted with the fleet of class 26 and class 27 locos through the workshops. Here's D5307 circa 1969-1971, a Heljan model with additional detailing work to include replacement oval buffers, and modification of the bogie steps to incorporate the pronounced angle (by just cutting and gluing back together). Other work involved fitting leaf springs, filling the tablet catcher recess, and adding extra cantrail grilles (as carried by the first twenty locos in this class).



A steam dredger has been scratchbuilt from plastic and card, to complement the Gloucester Docks scene on the Llanthony Road layout. The buckets have been made using a 3D printing process from a CAD drawing, and this view shows the model with some of the detail work already started.

Further prototype details and information on the dredger, and the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal can be found by, clicking here.



The arrival of the Bachmann class 105 DMU was eagerly awaited, and although I'm impressed with the overall quality of the model, I was unhappy with the shape of the 2nd class seating, especially those adjacent to the windows. A few minutes with the sanding stick, and it soon improves the look as shown here.

I believe the 1st class seats are not as rounded as the 2nd class, so have left alone. Further work is required on the interior such as new seat / partition colours but that is for the future along with other detailing work.

DTC M56475. Having bought a class 105, the challenge was how to prototypically run it on Wibdenshaw, as the units were not common in the Leeds & Bradford area. I do remember travelling on '105s in the North West around Manchester, and these could have worked across to Wibdenshaw. Those were power-twin sets allocated to Newton Heath, some originally starting out as 3 car sets. The Bachmann model is a power-trailer set, so a bit of research revealed that Newton Heath had a couple of Driver Trailer Composites as replacements for Driving Motor Composites that had gone to Tyseley in the mid 1970s.

DMBS M50762. Further research showed that some vehicles started to go through works in late 1976, losing their headcode boxes and appearing with modified exhausts, as depicted by the Bachmann model. A search on the net found photographs of two vehicles to model, DMBS M50762 and DTC M56475. Some careful scraping with a slightly blunt knife blade removed the existing numbers to enable renumbering.

With some pursuasion the destination blinds came apart and the original decals were removed with white spirit and a cotton bud, as were the decals in the second mans window. More detailing and finishing will be required before its outing at Wigan in December.... as well as the debut appearance of the Trans-Pennine class 124.

After a long break, work has resumed on the class 124 Trans-Pennine DMU, and it will be making its debut appearance at the Wigan model railway exhibition in December 2010. The original idea for powering the 6-car rake was to use a pair of Tenshodo motor bogies, one mounted in each of the MBS vehicles, and weight added accordingly. Experience with the new generation Hornby motor bogie has proved its worth in previous DMU projects, so this idea has been adopted due to ease of removal and ruggedness.

The required hole for the motor bogie could just be cut in the Bachmann chassis without compromising the sides, and a new bogie mounting bracket was added. The low profile allows weight to be positioned directly above the bogie. The coach interiors add to the rigidity of the model, so removal of internal parts needs its compensations by means of additional strength, especially as sections and trussing have been removed.

This coach interior started life as part of a corridor 2nd, but two compartments to the left have been given up for the brake section, and the toilet areas have been moved to suit the configuration of a class 124 MBS. The lead weight situated in the vestibule is to compensate for the weight at the motor end of the coach, so it doesn't tippytoes at one end.

Now turning to the underframe detail. On the class 123 I had used a lot of parts from a Lima class 117 chassis, and a study of photographs showed that the Trans-Pennine underframe was very similar in layout. Another Lima chassis was sliced up and the parts positioned as shown.

The four main things that determine the position of components on the chassis are the engines (DC Kits whitemetal), and the fuel tanks which are modified 'Southern Pride' battery boxes. The radiators and other components have been salvaged from Lima chassis. There are still the final pieces to fit, such as exhaust pipes and wiring conduit.



Hartburn made its debut appearance at the Cheltenham exhibition in October 2010, and here are a few photographs of the completed station buildings by Pete Johnson.

A general view of the station building group with painting completed. This view can be compared with the unpainted condition shown on last month’s update.

The lever frame cabin is again based on Brinkburn, and looks to have had all-over brown paint, from the BR brown and cream finish of the 1950s. Matt white has been blended into the brown to reproduce the fading and neglect appropriate for the mid 1960s.

The finish on the small goods shed has been based on photographs of Brinkburn station soon after closure. Rust is beginning to get a hold on the roof, but the walls and door remain in better condition.

The station building for Hartburn is shown after painting. The layout models the final years before closure of a Northumbrian branch line, so a neglected appearance with faded paint has been created using matt enamels.

This and the following 3 photographs were taken at the recent Cheltenham exhibition, showing the station buildings in place.

Regular Canada Road motive power type 2 passes through on a short freight.

A member of the Young Farmers Club waits patiently on his tractor at the crossing gates.

Apologies for showing a kettle within these pages, but it was a nice shot with the sunlight streaming down on the scene.



B903658 is the completed Trestle-AA, shown here after final weathering. The wagon has been modelled with a typical load of sheet steel, similar to those shown in some of Paul Bartlett’s photographs of the type. Several pieces of 10 and 15 thou plasticard were bonded together, with the edges not quite lined up, before weathering the black plastic with a colour mix suggesting fresh rust.

Another view of the finished Trestle-AA, this time showing the chain tightening shackles at the back of the wagon. These make use of the excellent Roxey etched product.

W123971 is a GWR ‘Mogo’ van, built using the Ratio kit, completed as it appeared in 1964. BR retained the GWR wagon code for the type, and the loader has helpfully chalked the suggested end for unloading to judge by ‘OUT’ and the arrow!

B914007 is the Single Bolster to Dia 1/402. It has been finished to a late 1960s appearance, when still in revenue traffic.

B910420 is the Dia 1/400 bolster, again finished to a typical 1960s rusted condition. Both these bolster wagons went on to become internal user stock on dock railway systems in Scotland and South Wales, and were photographed in that condition.




These first 4 locos featured are not directly involved with 'Morfa Mawr', but they are South Wales based and lend themselves as locos that would have been seen at Ebbw Junction, Newport. The depot always interested me, and although I would never do it, I'm sure It would make an ideal modelling project. D1669 'Python' (circa 1969/70).A Bachmann model, work included removing rivet detail around front windows, changing boiler port for this particular prototype, removing excess detail from bogie sideframes as this wasn't to be a class 57 and finally doing some detail work to backdate the tanks, which I was lucky to have a spare one from a Heljan model, so was just a case of swapping over. Name and works plates are from the excellent Shawplan range.

D1056 'Western Sultan' (c 1969). Although the Heljan model has been heavily criticized, it is still by far the best model to start detailing and although it still has a few issues hopefully It'll pass a Western to most modellers. Work carried out included removing horn cowls with a razor saw, once done the cab roof and the offending peak could be filed to a more pleasing curvature, before the horn cowls were refitted. The fan grilles were replaced with etched replacements from Shawplan, but the original Heljan walkways were retained, the front valances were modified using the whitemetal replacements from Shawplan, whilst the buffers are from Craftsman Models. The brake gear used the brake shoes from the Heljan kit, but using brass for the brake linkages, this has given more turning circle than standard and although It wouldn't go around the tightest of radius's, It's more than ample for my needs, I do have a set of Brassmaster etching's which I may look at using part of for the next loco. Wheels are from Black Beetle with the four holes drilled out in each wheel, although the Ultrascale conversion would be a much easier route, but these were to hand at the time and have done the job just as well. Name and numberplates are again from Shawplan.

1200 'Falcon' (circa 1973/4). A Hejan model with additional detail work, such as removing mould lines, fitting handrails on roof panels, moving placement of hole just below exhaust ports slightly, fitting front valances directly to body and fitting angled chassis members from valance to just below the cab doors, this also involved fileing some of the chassis away to allow clearance for the body to still be fitted. Other work included subtle changes to the cab fronts and flush glazing the front windows, fitting a grill on one side where the middle engine room window once was, a modification done when the loco received it's BR blue livery at Swindon Works. Finally the tanks were cut up and modified with bits of plasticard too make them look more prototypical. Falcon crests and works plates were from Fox Transfers and Romford 14mm wheels were used to regauge the loco to EM.

D9508 (circa 1968). Heljan/Hattons model, a reasonable amount of work was carried out on this loco, but well worth the work I feel. The cut out on the buffer beam where the coupling came through was filled with plasticard and filler, but whilst I did this the buffer beam protrudes to far forward. So I have cut them off first and moved them and the front of the footplate back to a more prototypical position, this does mean you loose those ghastly working lights, but this was not a problem to me personally, I also filled the gap between the buffer beam and steps with a piece of plasticard, which seemed to be missing at one end. Other work carried out included moving up the rainstrip on the cab roof, smoothing the rivet detail around the cab windows to be less prominent and filling the indent on the engine room door, a modification not carried to all the class. Numbers were supplied by Cambridge Custom Transfers and the EM wheelset Is the Ultrascale conversion.

Here's a trio of shunting locos under construction by Trevor Hale, the etched brass kits being produced by 'Judith Edge', and will be fitted with 'High Level Kits' gearbox units and Mashima motors.

This North British loco was introduced in 1953, and the class (D2703 - D2707) were fitted with Paxman 200BHP engines and hydraulic transmission.

Andrew Barclay 204BHP 0-4-0 diesel-mechanical shunter introduced in 1958 (D2410 - D2424), later to become BR class 06.

Another North British diesel hydraulic shunter (D2745 - D2780). This type of loco was fitted with a M.A.N. 225BHP engine, and introduced in 1957.



Update on the class 124 project by Paul James, showing progress at the end of November 2010. Final assembly just required and fitting of the already-prepared glazing, should see this 4 car unit in service on Wibdenshaw at the Wigan Finescale exhibition on the 11th & 12th of December.

The interior detail has been constructed and is ready for assembly, and then the underframe will be lightly weathered.

May to August 2010
  January to April 2011