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Update Pages - May to August 2013




The Downing building for Canada Street is still at the basic detailing stage, although the brickwork is making good progress. This detail view shows one of the loading doors in the old original section of the works.

A low angle shot begins to capture the canyons of brick that were brought to many British cities by Victorian industry, and that this section of the new layout seeks to recreate.

With the brickwork nearing completion, attention has turned to the roof. This view shows the appearance after the first few rows of slates had been added.

It’s rather fitting that Slater’s plasticard has been used for the slates! A photocopied sheet of CAD generated guidelines is used to assist scribing the widths of the slates into the 10 thou plastic. A similar sheet, with slightly wider line spacing, is then used to guide cutting the scribed sheet into strips.

On the roof more scribed guidelines assist in spacing the rows of slates at an even overlap. They are then fixed in position with a little Humbrol Liquid Poly solvent.

Helping on Hartburn at the York show, and a visit to the NRM, has inspired some more early 1960s wagon projects. B192574 is a Dia 1/112 16T Mineral with ‘cupboard door’ style bodywork made using the Parkside kit. Never a very common variant of the type, what is probably the sole survivor was seen waiting maintenance within the NRM.

A second gunpowder van is being added to the fleet, based on an unpainted bodyshell from the Dapol shop in Chirk, and a Red Panda clasp brake underframe kit. Although the Dapol shell has some nice detailing, it is both overlength and overwidth to scale by several millimetres….to make an accurate model the shell had to be cut-and-shut into 10 separate pieces!

A view of the finished result, Dia 1/261 B887158 of 1959 was one of the final 25 gunpowder vans built by BR. These saw the introduction of the clasp brake 10 foot wheelbase, however the bodywork remained virtually unchanged from the RCH format adopted by the big four back in the 1930s.

E260869 is an ex-LNER Lowmac EP based on a nicely lettered Hornby model picked-up off a second hand stall.

The last new wagon is B410107 a Dia 1/141 rivetted 21T Hopper. BR continued to build the final LNER variant of the type under this diagram number, complete with the one-side-only brake gear, and unusual high brake lever style. The model uses the excellent Parkside kit of the type as a basis.

Ex-GWR Bogie Bolster A ‘W107364’ has been pictured on the website before, but is now earning its keep with a load of telegraph poles (= kebab sticks from the kitchen drawer) for rural Northumberland. Maybe bringing the telephone to a few more isolated farms, or making good the damage done by the winter of ’63?



The tunnel portal for the 3rd rail electric branch has been constructed and weathered, although there is still much to add around the walled area such as drainage pipes, electrical cabling and other details, plus objects placed to hide any joins.

I have built the retaining wall alongside the yard and far enough back to where a warehouse and factory buildings will be located, along with grass landscaping the hill area above it.

This was my first attempt at using the old fluffy type of carpet underlay, which I was fortunate enough to have been given a quantity of, then bleached and dyed to represent a summer growth. The grassed area still needs to be toned for more colour variations, with the planting of weeds and some bracken to finish it off.



D1047 Western Lord which was featured last month fresh from the paint shop, has now accumulated a few weeks worth of grime and is seen departing with a Birmingham bound service.

D9535 is captured at BSC Shenston Road between duties.

D1000 Western Enterprise heads a tanker train through the station.

D1047 passing D1000

All the above snaps of Shenston Road were taken by Paul James, including these two showing the rainstrip modification above the cab side windows which he has been busying himself with.

Before and after examples. There is still the issue of filling in the NEM coupling hole on the bufferbeam, so will hopefully have a pic of the finished loco soon, and these class 14 details will be added to the gallery section of the website in due course.



D5909 & D5905 on departmental duties at Hornsey Broadway.

A spot of ballasting having just been completed at the station throat, with some stone left-over for the next job just up the track.

Prior to ballasting, cosmetic fishplates are fitted to all the rail joints, etched brass for conductive gaps (Colin Waite) and plastic for insulated gaps (C&L). It's worth noting that electrical supply to the track does not rely on rail joiners or fishplates...... each separate piece of rail having a dropper soldered to it for reliability.

The main reason for this flurry of Civil Engineering activity was to construct a portal for the locomotives heading for the depot.

D826 JUPITER with the depot track disappearing behind under the bridge.

Rail reflections on the approaches to the station.




D1028 Western Hussar is seen at BSC Shenston Road exchange sidings, alongside D6320.

A view of the other side of this Dapol product - the 3rd Western recently into service.

A selection of motive power at the holding sidings awaiting their next turn of duty. Peak D1 Scafell Pike alongside a line up of NBL type 2 locos.

Another view of the sidings set in a typical West Midlands urban scene.

A close up view of D6327.

Fast forward to 1976 with Paul James' D1023 Western Fusilier heading through the station at the head of the Western Finale railtour. This is a Heljan model ex-Shenston Road fleet and now transferred to the Eastwell Ironstone pool.



English Electric type 4 number 233 Empress of England emerges from the depot building at Hornsey Road motive power depot.

This section of the layout appeared at the Newport Neon model railway exhibition on the 1st & 2nd of June, and this view shows a selection of Eastern Region motive power on shed.

A class 501 EMU departs the bay platform at Hornsey Broadway station on its way to Broad Street, as a Brush type 2 passes by on the down slow line. Recent work on the layout has been concentrated in this area with construction of the retaining wall and associated detail. The cables on the wall are made from ribon cable, and gently eased apart to represent sagging and the occasional broken clip.

A BTH type 1 trundles through the station with a short freight bound for Temple Mills, whilst a Deltic is seen heading off to the depot. There is some highlighting still required on the retaining wall and it will be finished off with small clumps of foliage to hide the grotty bits.

The midday Yorkshire Pullman speeds through on the down main line, as class 501 EMUs await the evening rush hour.



With the new wagons finished in time for Hartburn’s showing at the recent Expo EM, the buildings for Canada Street have moved forward again. This general view shows the main Downing building as detail items are added.

The sliding door and sheeted over opening beneath the wooden bridge.

The blocked-up doorways into the old toilets, and a slatted window made using a grill cut from an old Mainline ‘Peak’ bodyshell.

The ventilated roof on the old part of the works.

The Victorian cast-iron supports for the hoist outhouse have been made from pieces of brass ‘T’ section and strip, bent to shape and soldered in a jig made from plasticard offcuts.

The Burton’s building has also made progress again with the flue and vents added on the back wall.

The flue from the two biscuit ovens is made from 11,1mm diameter Evergreen plastic tube, cut using a razor saw. It is fastened to the building using strips of aluminium cut from an old drinks can using a sharp knife.




The basic shell of the Burton’s building is now about finished. Painting the main wall colour will be the next step, before fitting the window frames. A lucky break with the research for this model was the recent update of Google ‘Street View’ which showed the ground floor loading bays without any parked cars blocking the view – unlike the posted images for the last few years (so much easier than a special trip to Ipswich!)

The frames are bespoke etches from Geoff Taylor, but have been further adapted to better match the framing patterns and opening lights of the real building. The modified parts are shown here ready for painting.

What must have been one of the shortest bogie wagons on BR was the 40 ton armour plate wagon to Dia 2/001. The ‘ARM E.L.’ as it was coded was only 24 feet over headstocks, and of 34 built some remained in service until the 1980s – although by then most survivors had been modified for specific special loads.

Having read somewhere that the Cambrian Models LMS BBP kit (Cat No. C47) could provide a starting point for an ARM, I bought their kit at the recent Expo EM. The main elements of the model are converted from these parts, which is fitting as the Cambrian Wagon Company built the majority of the real wagons. The load shackles and brake handwheels are etched items from the 51L range.

An unpainted moulding from the Dapol shop forms the basis for another variation in the Coal 21 fleet – this time an ex-private owner wagon built in 1939. The chassis makes use of Parkside and Airfix parts, with added details in nickel-silver offcuts and plastic. The model will be finished to a 1972 photograph from the David Larkin ‘Working Wagons’ series.



A range of background buildings are being developed at Hornsey and this example occupies a tapered section of land alongside the railway. Built to represent a reinforced concrete bulk storage facility, it is constructed as a hardboard shell and then clad with scored styrene sheet. The plastic windows are left-overs from a previous project and the boundary made from Ratio fencing. The contrast of different colours at this stage is a bit stark, but once highlighting and toning down have been done, it represents subtle variations of casting and weathering.

The embankment in the foreground is made from slabs of 4mm hardboard off-cuts, with hanging basket liner glued to the surface. Once left for a few hours, the top layer of the basket is peeled off and makes for good ground cover to add other shrubery and grasses to.

Other buildings are starting to take shape and these examples will also occupy land beyond the railway boundary. On the left is a building made from DPM sections, and the building on the right from the Walthers Cornerstone range, both being 3.5mm scale and well suited for the area adjacent to the backscene. The structure in the foreground is constructed from Tri-ang Arkitex components and Plastruct sections, and will form a row of 1960s style shopswith offices above.

A twice-over with the paintbrush and plonked roughly in place.

I've just converted a Dapol Western to EM gauge using the original wheels. The flanges have been reprofiled to give better running through pointwork, and are simply pressed back on to the centre boss to gauge. Peco 1/16th fibre washers have been used on the outer 2 axles of each bogie, and I found 5 on each side (plus Dapol's plastic washer) worked well with minimal sideplay. The centre axle uses 3 fibre washers on each side allowing more sideplay for traversing curves.

It's always worth considering articulation of the bogie in relation to the body (the pivot point is not central on bogie), so the dummy loadbearing points have been chamfered slightly on the inside edge of the body and bogie frame to avoid snagging on something less flat than a billiard table. I've chosen to remove the brake rigging on the centre axle, and stick it back on a little further out to allow sideplay.




D9509 at BSC Shenston Road, and ready for transfer back to the Eastwell Ironstone loco fleet after weathering by Greg Brookes. One additional thing to note as well as altering the cab rainstrips (previously featured on the Update Pages), studying a few photos of the prototypes modelled, they both had to have the bonnet door recess filled in just in front of the cab. Also the holes in the wheel centers left by opening out the wheels to EM will be filled by plastic rod of the right size.

The other class 14 loco allocated to my fleet is D9519, which has also received the same treatment. With regards to the door recess, it appears from what photos I can find that it was the first 20 that didn't have them (D9500-19). This is what the photos of them in BR days suggests. However there may well have been a bit of door swapping as those that went into preservation seem to have the recess, even the early ones. One of those "I wish I had more photos" moments, but 14s were elusive and you've got to have the right side as well.



Another background building constructed from styrene sheet - this time a cold store which will adjoin a lorry loading dock alongside the railway boundary.

Peak D166 heads past the industrial area at Hornsey Broadway with a rake of mark 1 coaches. The cold store is now in place between the concrete bulk store and lorry loading dock, and a start has been made on painting and detailing the building.

January to April 2013
  September to December 2013