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Update Pages - January to April 2011




40 118 is shown with the fitting of a Shawplan / Extreme Etchings fan and grill in progress. The addition of these superb scale etchings has given a good improvement to the look of the Lima bodyshell on this model, and stable-mate 40 129.

After seeing the improvement to roof appearance on the Lima class 40 and 20, the recent Wigan show gave a chance to buy some Extreme Etchings class 47 fan & grill parts. 47 218 (based on a Hornby/Lima combination) is shown with the fan assemblies ready for fitting. The underframe tanks on the Lima tray moulding have also had extra items added, using black and white plasticard, to better match the typical arrangement found on the type in the mid-1970s.

Another view of 47 218 showing the fans and grills. The two-part grills (mesh + rim) were slightly curved before fitting, and then fixed with a careful application of super-glue. Each of the fans is assembled with solder from a set of seven pieces, with a piece of brass wire added to allow easy attachment to the bodyshell.

Class-mate 47 088 ‘Samson’, showing the freshly fitted grills still requiring weathering to match the roof. The nameplates on this model are also recently released Shawplan products.

47 367 is also getting the same enhancements. During the re-works the boiler exhaust port arrangements have also been improved/corrected…..which in the case of a ‘no boiler’ 47/3 means a blanking plate cut from 5 thou plasticard.

A close up of the roof grills as fitted on 47 367……the fineness of the mesh – at 4mm scale – is a tribute to the skill and dedication of Brian and the Extreme Etchings team.

Also making progress on the bench is the Alexander Models North British Class 16. The bodyshell is shown with most of the detailing items now fitted. All being well this model will be completed in time for Canada Road’s first appearance in 2011…..

The chassis mechanism for the Class 16 is also nearing completion, with just final connection of pick-up wires required. This sub-frame arrangement is a change from the Alexander Models suggestion, but allows easier testing of the mechanism as a complete unit. The view shows well the extremely short wheelbase of these locos, which was probably the shortest of any BR Bo-Bo type.

LNER J72 69016 has also recently seen progress, having now received basic paint and markings. It now joins the queue for a weathering paint session sometime soon.

Finally….on a seasonal theme….LNER J27 65819 complete with snowplough! This model has progressed to basic paint and markings, and has been fitted with a scratchbuilt plough made from thin brass sheet. Happy New Year to all OMWB followers!



A London Transport AEC Merlin (Britbus single-deck model) has been populated with a few passengers, and joins the existing DMS models (EFE double deck) which were detailed and weathered previously. Once the mirrors and details are added, the bodywork and wheels will be toned down with the airbrush.

The interior has been painted in subdued colours, and the people are a mix of Prieser and Airfix figures, cut to suit and painted.




Paul James' Trans-Pennine class 124 DMU project now totals 4 vehicles, and this shows the cab with the domino headcode modelled circa 1977. Further details of this conversion can be found on RMweb by clicking here.

The other end showing 0000 headcode display, and after a light weathering job by Greg Brookes.



The area around the entrance to the motive power depot, with a brace of Brush type 2 awaiting their next turn of duty. The trackwork has been ballasted with Chinchilla dust (a very fine grit), and weathered in the typical depot style with lots of oily deposits. The street lamps were originally used on a previous layout Holmeworth.... I knew they would come in handy again one day!

Retaining walls, railings and fencing have been constructed and blended in to suit the area, and the signage produced on the computer. A few repainted Merit/Scalescene oildrums, a Kibri gantry, and a modified Bachmann Scenecraft building complete the scene.




With the Class 16 ready for paint, attention has turned to the Tramway Class 04 with a view to also having it ready for Canada Road’s next show appearance in April. This broadside view of the model as it takes shape has me hoping it won’t de-rail too often, as re-railing it with all the wheels hidden could be a challenge.

This rear three-quarters view shows the unusual shaped buffer heads, filed down from turned brass items. The etched cowcatchers are from an old, mostly whitemetal, ‘Vulcan’ kit of the type, which I must have bought back in the early 1980s. The model is to be finished as D2212 in a late-1960s appearance. This loco had a long association with the Great Yarmouth tramway system, and was the last of the tram engines to be withdrawn during 1970.

Another view of the 04 after fitting of the front cowcatcher. The motion guards are made from 60 thou plasticard, with details added in 5 thou and microstrip of various gauges. Some of the access panels within these have been fitted as separate pieces to allow slight mismatches of the surfaces, as shown by photographs of the type.

In this view the basic bodyshell is shown during trial fitting of the previously completed mechanism. The shell makes use of adapted Airfix kit parts. For the early sub-type of the 04 a surprising amount of modification is needed to the footplate, cab roof profile, cab windows, bonnet doors and bonnet top.

The Alexander Models North British Class 16 is now waiting the application of the livery. Initial test running on Hartburn suggests this will be another useful addition to the trip shunting fleet on Canada Road. The model is on course to be completed in time for the layout’s first appearance of 2011 at the Trainwest show in Melksham.

Another view of the Class 16, showing some of the roof features. The walkway past the main cooling fan is a best guess, using diamond-pattern etched mesh, as no good roof photograph has yet come to light. To judge by a cut-away plan in the recent Locomotives Illustrated article, the walkway and nose end ladder rungs were probably to gain access to the fuel filler cap for the main diesel tank…..not the most convenient arrangement on a dark rainy night!

The bodyshell of the new centre headcode Class 40 is shown after glazing and basic livery have been applied. Running number 40 179 has been chosen for the double large badge livery and frost grills which it retained well into 1976.

A close-up view of one of the Class 20s, showing the Shawplan / Extreme Etchings fan and grill after fitting. These superb scale details have really enhanced the look of these two models.

47 088 ‘Samson’ ,a Hornby/Lima hybrid, is pictured after completion of its recent roof fan and underframe re-works.

A model that hasn’t been pictured in a studio setting before is Class 46 46 014. Based on the excellent Bachmann model of the type, it is finished to a 1976 appearance, and was working the Wibdenshaw freightliner train for much of the Southampton show.

This waste oil tank, modelled using the old Airfix kit, dates from Canada Road’s earliest days. The livery is based on ones seen during the late 70s, when they had been cascaded to secondary duties after the arrival of higher capacity tanks for the main traffic flows. Etched brass ladders have been used in place of the plastic ones supplied, but otherwise it is largely unaltered.

Two-tone green 47 367, with the completed fan and underframe enhancements, is shown running on Wibdenshaw during the recent show appearance.

A prototype for everything! A genuine low relief half-house spotted close to Paragon station during Easington Lane’s visit to Hull in November…



With the excellent glazing now seen in the Bachmann Mk1 and Mk2 coaches, I wanted to see if it would be possible to improve the old Airfix Mk2ds, however the thought of individually cutting all those windows from some clear plastic sheet didn't exactly fill me with joy. Enter stage left, Brian Hanson and his new Extreme Etchings laser-glaze kits. Seeing Shawplan at the recent Stafford exhibition, I decided to give one of the kits a try. The kit for the TSO includes 8 main windows plus those for the vestbules and toilets.

The main windows are quite thick. These come with peel-off protective plastic coverings on both sides. The vestibule and toilet windows only have the covering on one side. Fortunately I remembered in time not to remove them from the toilet windows as this represents the privacy covering.

The coach with the existing glazing removed. This also shows the laser-glaze main windows with the protective covering removed.

Vestibule and toilet windows alongside two of the main windows. The vestibule windows come in three sizes - two small, one medium and one large. I was a little baffled by this, as looking at the bodyshell, the apertures all seemed the same size. However, a brief conversation with Brian confirmed that there are indeed differences, albeit very small, between the windows in the bodyshell. I found the two small windows fitted on the side with the toilets.

All windows are tapered and are a precision fit. They fit from the outside with the tapered end innermost. You'll soon know when you've attempted to put one in the wrong way round. Taking one glazing panel, I tried it in each aperture in turn until it fitted snugly, then moved onto the next panel. If a panel is tight when the correct way round, simply running the panel lightly over some fine wet and dry should be sufficient to achieve that snug fit.

Comparison between original and converted vehicles. Gone is the heavy "window-sill" look that can be seen on the rear coach, and IMHO the improvement is quite marked. At £8 for the TSO, I think the kit is very good value for money - I can't even begin to think how long it would take to hand-cut 22 windows. The Mk2ds can be picked up quite cheaply, and even adding on the extra cost of the glazing kits, it still only brings it up to the cost of a Bachmann Mk1 or Mk2.

With the bodyshell removed, I have taken the opportunity of painting the interior and will fully populate it. Whether this will be seen through the tinted windows remains to be seen. All in all, I was very impressed with the kit and the fit of the panels. If I had a gripe, it would be that the toilet windows don't seem to fit as well as the others, but this could have been down to bodyshell I used. They were a bit loose and I had to secure with some Krystal Klear. I have yet to apply non-smoking labels and it will be interesting to see whether these look recessed given the thickness of the glazing.



Demolition sites were aplenty in the post-war decades, and slum clearances were still underway in the 1970s in towns and cities all over Britain. This row of part-demolished shops occupies an area alongside the motive power depot at Hornsey Road, and was featured in the Model Railway Journal number 203.

Shown here during the construction stage, with the addition of the chimneys. The entire structure is built from styrene sheet and section. Inspiration for the model comes from a photograph in a colour bus album, and shows a similar scene taken in London in 1976 with the chimney stacks reaching skywards without the roof.

All the valuable metals (roofing lead, cast iron guttering, copper pipes, etc) have been stripped out long ago, and it's been a long process by the look of things. The shops furthest away have been empty and boarded up for a number of years, whilst the nearest shop has only recently been vacated.

At the rear of the properties, the bulldozers are gradually making their way down the terrace, the roof timbers having already been removed and presumed sold on. Small fires around the site take care of internal painted wood and other rubbish, whilst the rubble can be used elsewhere as hardcore.

Another scenic project is this back street garage, just nicely filling a section of land around a baseboard join. Better think about getting some gates on that entrance way, otherwise those oil barrels might go missing one night!

A gloomy backlit view of the garage in its surroundings. I find that a low level photograph can highlight any obvious errors, much better than just looking at a scale scene.




Bachmann class 105 DMBS, showing the backdated exhaust pipes on the roof. The external pipes on the inner-ends didn't appear until the units were mini-refurbished in the late 1970s / early 1980s. The seat sides have been re-profiled in the same way as the previous update pages show, and the pronounced chrome edging has been painted on (and then dulled down with the rest of the interior).

A view showing the front ends. The addition of a 2-character headcode, destination changes, and drivers in cabs are just some of the enhancements made. The unit to the right has acquired a black sooty roof, as this seemed to be the norm' on the Great Northern units.

A, - 00 wheels fitted as per 'out of the box'. B, - Same wheels but spread out to EM gauge on the metal stub axles (ideal on SMP track, but may ride the chairs on C&L). C, - Replacement Gibson EM wheels with brass wire pickups as I had previously fitted to a Bachmann class 108. There are also replacement drop-in wheelsets available for those wishing the easy but more costly route into EM or P4.

DTS with some front end improvements. These units were declassified for the suburban services out of Kings Cross, but still retained their first class seating.

Work has also been progressing around the back of Hornsey Road depot, showing the headshunt (nearest), and the stores siding alongside the depot building.

Here's a couple of views showing the stores siding being laid. The alignment was made using a section of flexi-track and the sleeper spacing drawn onto the balsawood base.

After a couple of days and happy that the solvent had secured the rail chairs in place, the rail sides were painted ready for the next stage.



The South Wales PTA tippler wagon project has been on the shelf a long time, so finally got around to completing the rake. They are finished in a mid to late 1970s livery, the bodies are heavily modified from the Lima base model, and replacement bogies fitted.

The orange band at one end of the wagon was to show which end the rotary coupling was fitted.

56013 thunders through Shenston Road with a rake of PTA tippler wagons in tow.

As well as rolling stock projects, additional detail work around the station includes signage and bespoke yardlamps made by Paul James. A class 40 on a cement train whistles away in the background, whilst a Brush 4 gets ready to leave the station.



A class 125 DMU starts to take shape, and this view shows some of the splicing taking place to get the right bodyside configuration, using the old Lima high-density model as a basis of the conversion.

Showing the front end modifications, with reprofiled and filled destination box, and a 2-character headcode display. It will portray one of the Kings Cross suburban hydraulic units, and will no doubt look very comfortable in a Hornsey Road setting!

Rather than splicing different sections together, a different approach was carried out with the trailer vehicle. This has been modified by cutting windows out, and adding pillars as required.



Class 120 DMBC is well underway. Based on the DC Kits model with added detail and powered by one of the new generation Hornby motor bogies (available from Abigails).

DMS at the same stage, glazing and finishing off to complete, and is destined to be a regular visitor to Morfa Mawr.

Trailer Buffet to finish the three car set.



March saw six new locomotives completed making for a busy feature this month. First up is D2212, the tramway Class 04 shown underway last month. Here it is pictured in finished condition, weathered as it appeared around 1968/69.

Another view of the finished model. Livery details and weathering were based on a 1970 photo in the 53A models gallery and a black & white print from 1968 bought at a show. D2212 had a long association with the Great Yarmouth tramway system, and was the last of the tram engines to be withdrawn during November 1970.

The following sequence of views show the model at various stages towards completion. Here it is shown ready for paint, with the final small details such as the motion guard panel hinges added.

Another pre-paint view, this time showing the back of the cab. The Airfix mouldings have fine lines for the wasp stripe pattern front and back which give a useful guide for the paint. The flatter cab roof profile of the early class members can be seen, as can the use of brass parts for many of the detailing items.

Painting began with thinned matt white enamel undercoat for the yellow stripes. The stripes were applied using a thin brush, following the guidelines in the moulding.

The nose end stripes in white undercoat. Thinned paint is used to avoid too much detail being lost under the final paint thickness.

The yellow top coat is then carefully applied, I use a 50:50 mix of Humbrol gloss 69 and matt 154 which seems to give a good match to the BR colour.

The stripe pattern on the cab back begins to take shape. At this stage green undercoat has also been applied to some of the white items in order to avoid them showing a different shade to the black plastic. Red oxide undercoat patches for the bonnet side weathering have also been added.

With the green, red, and black added the model has had markings applied and is shown in an ‘ex-works’ appearance prior to weathering.

As the sequence shows, I had some doubt over the correct colour for the cowcatchers, but eventually decided red based on a few black & white photos which showed a paler tone than the surrounding black items.

D2212 was probably repainted from its original black livery into green with wasp stripes around 1963/4, so had five years of working grime by the period the model depicts……this helps mute the cowcatcher appearance a lot!

At the same time as the 04 was making progress the Alexander Models Class 16 was also getting painted. This allowed each colour to be put onto both models while the brush was in use. Here the bodyshell is shown with white undercoat for the yellow and grey areas.

The model is shown with basic colours applied. White spirit was used to de-grease the whitemetal shell before painting to give the best adhesion of the enamels. I prefer not to use grey etch primers as they give another paint layer which can hide fine detail. Experience with the Alexander BTH Class 15 model completed a few years ago in this way has shown good durability of the finish.

D8405 is shown in an ex-works finish prior to weathering. Although opinions vary, I used pale grey for the cab face panels, as photographs seem to suggest grey more than pale green.

Another view of the ex-works condition showing the nose end. Unlike the Class 15, on the 16 only one face of the cab was finished in pale grey, the other being bodywork green.

A similar nose-end view of the finished model. D8405 was chosen for remaining in the green-small-yellow-panel livery right through to scrapping, so would have appeared this way from 1963/4 to final withdrawal in September 1968.

A cab side detail view of the finished model. The driver appears resigned to working the Canada Road docks trip, and is probably wondering whether the D84xx will get him home in time for tea, or fail in section yet again?!

North British Bo-Bo D8405 in finished condition. The model will run in an East London 1967/8 sequence on the layout, and is a rarely-seen type on exhibition layouts. All ten locos in the small fleet were scrapped by 1970 after a service life of barely ten years.

Finished at last! Heljan Hymek 7076 is shown after weathering…..this model had stood on the shelf for over 12 months waiting completion.

7076 again, showing the vinyl numbers carried at one corner after crash damage in the late 1960s. This corner had been scraped again in the early 70s, and is modelled in this condition to photographs taken in 1973/4. After several years of use by the BR Derby Railway Technical Centre D7076 was preserved, and is currently running on the ELR.

Three steam engines for Ian Manderson’s North-Eastern region projects have also been finished recently. 69016 has been completed to a 1963/4 appearance, when only lightly weathered.

LNER J72 0-6-0T 69016 is shown again in a bunker end view.

LNER J27 65819 was pictured in January ready for weathering. This view shows the finished loco, modelled to photographs from 1964 when she was running with a snowplough fitted. The fireman’s tools in the tender tool rack are etched items available from 247 Developments.

The J27 0-6-0 workhorses were amongst the last steam survivors in the North East despite their age. 65860 is shown modelled in a typical 1966 condition for the type, when loco cleaning was only being done by steam enthusiasts not depot staff.

A recent diversion OMWB has been this Airfix 1:72 scale kit which my young son got for Christmas. Putting it together has been a good team effort, and the all-over red finish certainly made the painting easier for him to help with. Strangely Airfix do not provide the centreline smoke oil pod used by the Red Arrows, but rather a set of bomb and rocket pod mouldings - which confused a 5-year old! With a bit of adaptation two bombs and a centreline cannon were combined to made a passable representation of the smoke pod.

Aircraft kits were how my modelling began, but it must be over 30 years since I last did an aviation subject. The Hawk T1 came together well and we had a lot of fun finishing it over a couple of weeks. It was a nice change too to be doing a high gloss shiny finish rather than neglected railway grunge…..

The finished model is mounted on a piece of curved wire wrapped in cotton wool to give his very own air display in his bedroom.

Smoke on, smoke on, GO! Red Arrow XX266 pulling hard round the bottom of a loop……

September to December 2010
  May to August 2011