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Update Pages - September to December 2013




NBL type 1 (class 16) D8402 is seen at Hornsey Road depot awaiting its next turn of duty. Some of the handrails were removed from the nose ends of this class later in life.

As with most of the Hornsey Broadway fleet of locomotives, the wheel flanges have been reprofiled to something a little less chunky for more reliable running through EM trackwork. The original Heljan wheels have been pushed out on the existing axles, and although they will just fit, the bogie frames have been packed out with shims made from 0.5mm plasticard for better clearance.

The resistor boxes (next to the cab on the running board) have lost their grills on the side only as per the modification carried out on all the class, and a crew fitted into the cab before painting the dummy cover black.

D8402 heads an inter-regional freight from Temple Mills Yard across North London.

Peak (class 46) 166 heads a rake of sleeping cars through Hornsey. Bachmann have recently released both the SLSTP (2nd class) & SLF (1st class) vehicles, although the latter has an incorrect roof fitted with the longer ducting.

The roof on SLF E2121 has been modified to a correct short version ducting, and removal of 2 roof pod ventilators and repositioning one as shown above. The longer duct roof can be seen on the SLSTP behind for comparison.

Also with the shorter roof ducting is SLC E2435.... an easy conversion by removing part of the yellow band and '1' symbol from the door, as these vehicles are externally identical to the SLF.

I'm not in a position to cut off my nose to spite my face, but some of the recent releases from Bachmann leave a lot to be desired, and I'm disappointed that this neccesary work is required to get the blue / grey SLF correct. Apparently the first releases of the maroon version SLF have the shorter roof ducting (correct), as does the maroon SLSTP (incorrect), so if you're investing in a mix of maroon & blue / grey coaches, swapping the roof over can solve this problem to correct Bachmann's oversight. In a statement from Bachmann Europe PLC, they admit the roof configurations are wrong for the blue / grey SLF & maroon SLSTP, and that the correct roof will be fitted on all future production runs of the mark 1 sleeping cars, and that they do not stock the coach roof as a spare item. :(

That aside, it is a lovely model of the mark 1 sleeping car, and something that would have been regularly spotted around the King's Cross area. This view sees a Brush type 2 hauling a rake of sleepers over the flyover and on towards the carriage sidings.

SLSTP E2560 represents a BR Doncaster built vehicle originally built with BR1 bogies, and this earlier batch of sleeping cars (2500 - 2573) were fitted with the B5 type in the late 1960s. The model is actually fitted with Bachmann's B4 bogie which is very similar in appearance, and acceptable enough for my liking.

SLSTP E2668 is a later BR Wolverton built example (2579 - 2691) which were fitted with Commonwealth bogies from the begining to the end of their lives. There were 5 other sleeping cars (2574 - 2578) built by Metropolitan Cammell which have a different rainstrip arrangement to the one on the model.

SLF E2059 is an all first class vehicle with 11 single compartments, also one of the earlier Doncaster built examples (2000 - 2104) with their later B5 bogies. Kadee number 5 buckeye couplings are used between the coaches, mounted on the end of the body, and happily negotiate 30" radius curves with the buffers in their retracted position.

SLC E2435 with 5 first class compartments, and sleeping for 12 second class passengers in the 6 remaining compartments bunk bed style. Black folded paper is glued to one coach whilst the adjacent coach has a blank buffing plate, and this arrangement closes the gap between the carriages and provides a reasonable representation of a working gangway.

There were many variations of sleeping car rakes and it was fairly common to see 1 full brake near the front, and 2 tagged on the rear of the Anglo-Scottish formations.... as well as a couple of GUVs behind the loco.

The rear of a sleeper train can be seen heading north whilst Deltic 9012 CREPELLO brings the Up Yorkshire Pullman towards the end of its journey. The BTH type 1 locos are heading back to Stratford and pass a class 501 EMU in the siding.




There are some big changes planned for Morfa Bank after a house move, and this will involve partial dismantling and rearranging certain scenes to fit the space available. There are also plans to create a tidal riverside scene with the adjacent railway being host to regular spoil traffic. Some of my recent wagon projects are seen above.

With this future project in mind, around 25 new wagons are on the work bench including a Ling converted from a Chivers Tunny kit, as well as the usual Grampus and other ex-revenue wagons, Bachmann tippler et al. The loads have yet to be weathered to represent mixed spoil & rubble.

Other wagons include this Shock Open conversion of a steel highfit which was featured on a previous Update Page. More in the pipeline to follow when I get around to pointing the camera at them.



After a bit of a summer break work has resumed on ‘Canada Street’. This has seen the removal of various scenic items from Canada Road for re-use on the new project. The chance was taken for a few final photographs before they were lifted.

As luck would have it both the small buildings came away from the boards with no trouble – the evo-stik used 30 years ago having lost most of its strength!

The old layout was built in quite a rush, and I never imagined it would last so long, so both the weighbridge hut and the engineman’s cabin had no internal detail – in fact they weren’t even painted inside! The chance has been taken to improve matters before they are fixed in position on Canada Street.

The new location for the weighbridge hut, modelled to a (now demolished) example at Wapping Wharf in Bristol. The Cooper Craft kit deck has been used, with a much improved level of detail over my scratchbuilt effort on the old layout.

The dock wall from Canada Road is another of the re-used elements, and is shown here after fixing on the new layout. A larger hardstanding of granite sets surrounds the old gateway, the scene being loosely based on the Princes Dock in Liverpool.

From the gateway on Canada Street the now disused dock access crosses the sidings on a level crossing constructed from sleepers.

A basic toilet block for the dock workers has been made by adapting the Wills kit.

A second view of the concrete roofed toilets. These are loosely based on a semi-derelict structure in Birkenhead Docks.

The final building for the new layout shows the back of the Canada Street newsagents. To check the size and proportions of this building in relation to other features a quick cardboard mock-up was made.

Having fixed the basic layout of the building a frame was made in 2,0mm black plasticard, leaving an allowance for the 0,5mm brick surface layer.

The building begins to get textures added, Slater’s brick sheet for the walls, and Wills slates on the roof.

Livery and weathering has been completed on the two wagons pictured a few months ago. B907113 is a 40 ton ARM EL, in the livery it would have carried in the middle years of the 1960s. Due to the lack of bodywork, the grey livery and markings were applied on the solebars.

P283953K is an ex-Private owner Coal 21, finished as it appeared around 1972. Bodywork patching and a fresh slash marking indicate a recent visit to the repair shops.



D1033 Western Trooper - A Dapol product with its quirky bogie pivot arrangement has been on running-in tests at Hornsey Broadway, and more recently with the cab footsteps fitted. There are a few add on detail parts supplied with the model which can cause problems on uneven and sharp curved trackwork, so after certain parts have been fitted it is given another run in each direction to make sure nothing clogs or obstructs.

Precision Labels (size 4mm) headcodes have been fitted in place of the underscale and inaccurate digits as supplied with the model. The cab glazing has also been removed at this stage of the 'customising process' so that prototypical weathering can be applied without affecting the clear plastic.

Name, number and works plates are by Shawplan, and a start has been made on removing the OHLE flashes from the front, so that more accurate decals can be affixed in the correct place for a Crewe built locomotive. The yellow highlighted Talisman clips on the side valences will be modified / backdated to represent '33 Trooper as she was in 1970.

Gateshead's 40150 (formerly allocated to Heally Mills) trundles through Hornsey Broadway after receiving attention to its electrical equipment at the motive power depot. This Lima model was detailed and converted by the late Steve Chambers, and put in a good performance at the recent Railex NE exhibition on Wibdenshaw.



After a long period of working on my other layout projects (Australian HO), a welcome return has been made to Lesney Park. I've just commissioned the first 2 points and here 6591 is seen negotiating them during testing.

This has now spurned me on to get the other points wired and working, using the tried and trusted method of slide switches providing the frog polarity.

The switches are linked to lengths of wooden dowling which can be accessed from the operating side of the layout.

Showing the end of the dowel where it connects to the point tie bar via a rocker linkage.




The layout is a nostalgia trip back to 1970s Halifax, an interest in the area and period reawakened initially by Kier’s atmospheric Wibdenshaw. Then, it was Pete Johnson, Ian Manderson and Tony Wood’s “The Brewery” that led to the idea of a small shunting layout based very loosely on the area around North Bridge Station on the former GNR route via Queensbury to Bradford. Commenced in 2008 and still under construction this image gives a good overall impression of the scene being created.

One end of the layout is dominated by a set of coal drops inspired by those of similar pattern from Halifax (Town) and Sowerby Bridge stations. The entrance gate to the coal yard is from Halifax and of note is the woodwork still in ‘steam era’ colours. The stonework has been created using Wills sheets and painted with Humbrol enamels. Further detailing of the ground – coal dust, vegetation and general detritus is to follow, but this hopefully gives some idea of where it’s heading.

Dominating the centre front of the layout is this impressive set of steps leading to a pedestrian overbridge (with an almost equally steep ramp the other side). This is pure North Bridge and is a scene I’ve harboured a desire to create in model form since being a teenager. There is still much small detail to add – lamp posts, bus stops, street signage, weeds etc. but I’m really pleased with the overall appearance of the stonework.

The footbridge was constructed using Wills Vari-girder sections. Individual units were first assembled back to back in pairs. After checking all the edges were square, the main spans were then joined together onto a sheet of plate glass and once complete the full span was capped with styrene strip. A very strong bridge structure was the outcome.

The coal drop piers were made using Wills stone sheet for the sides, with the facing end made up from individual pieces to match the original. After the adhesive had fully hardened, further shape was given to the stones by scribing with a scraper-board knife. The top deck has planking which has been shaped to follow the rounded back walls of the coal cells. Once the wooden hoppers have been inserted, I doubt if the rear walls will actually be visible, but as least I know they are correctly curved as in the prototype!

This GNR rail-built buffer stop was constructed following drawings given in an article by Steve Hall in MRJ 48. The rails were annealed using a mini-gas torch before bending to shape. The actual beam is styrene, as is the bolt head detail.



D1033 Western Trooper hauls an inter-regional freight through Hornsey Broadway. This Dapol loco project is now finished, although I've just noticed it's lacking data panels below the number plate!

Heading back from Temple Mills Yard towards the Western Region later in the day.

As well as a few rolling stock projects, some of the buildings for the layout are starting to take shape. The inset shows the framework of this building made from Tri-ang Arkitex sections a few months back, and has now been clad with brickwork and printed shop fronts.

A view looking up Bridge Street towards the Crown Street one way intersection, with a selection of street furniture planted around the scene.



This month sees something old, something new, something blue.... and maybe a few borrowed ideas too! This new wall and gateway for the S&W works has been made for Canada Street. A combination of Wills and Slaters plastic has been used, with details based around an original in Birkenhead.

The back of the newsagents has also made progress, with window sills and arches now added.

The toilet block has been painted and weathered – here is the ladies entrance...

... and this is the gents – rather more exposed to the weather!

On the layout itself ballasting has begun on boards 2 and 3. This view shows the dock branch curve on board 3, with the remains of the now lifted second track in the foreground. The ash ballast was collected from the Llangollen Rly steam sheds, and is fixed using diluted Resin W with a dash of washing-up liquid.

With the weathering paint already out, a wagon from the early days of Canada Road was given the treatment. I was never very satisfied with the idea of just a few of these Esso Class B tanks modelled ex-works on the layout, as they tended to be used in block formations when new. Seeing a picture of one in a mixed train crossing the Menai Bridge in the early 1970s gave inspiration for reworking one of the old models.

While the recent Dapol release has created much interest, I have finally got round to finishing the second of my Heljan-based Westerns. 1010 Western Campaigner has been lightly weathered to an appearance typical of its final years in service.

The crew seem to be deep in discussion in this cabside detail view of the finished model.



Our roving photographer Paul James has been out and about taking a few snaps at Shenston Road, spotting some of the latest rolling stock projects (as well as a few of his own on running-in tests). A brace of Brush type 4 locos are seen during a busy moment at the station.

A pair of BR Sulzer type 2 (class 24) are seen passing by on the freight loop, heading for BSC Shenston Road with freight in tow.

Ex-GWR 6000 King George V has been cleaned up specially for an excursion service, and is about to leave the stabling point with a full head of pressure.

Another view showing the King, although in the guise of another member of the class until its nameplates are obtained and fitted.

Some detailing of mark 2 coaching stock has been carried out.....

..... showing what can be done to enhance the rear of a train.

47091 Thor is a Heljan model, suitably detailed to represent the loco as it was in the early 1970s.

D838 Rapid waits for the road ahead - a detailed and weathered Bachmann model.

Also from the Bachmann stable is Paul James' repainted Pullman.... awaiting multiple working equipment to be fitted to the front ends.

Another view of Paul's Pullman passing the goods loop.

D8303 & 8074 are seen leaving the Up goods loop now that the Pullman has passed by.

One of Paul's latest projects - something black & steamy passes through Shenston Road on test, after being converted to EM gauge using the existing wheelsets moved out on the axles.




Adapting a 'Walthers HO' flat roof building with the use of some Wills roof sheet, and a some 'South Eastern' embossed plasticard for the end wall, cut and ready to stick on. The darker coloured building behind has been assembled from a few left-over 'DPM' components.

Showing the brickwork toned down and the buildings placed next to each other. The windows now require some attention to take away the glare.

Chimney stacks are made up from strips of brick plasticard, with styrene tube cut to length for the pots.

Other pots can be bought as cast items or using left-overs from building kits. Also showing a dormer under construction for added roofline variety.

Some scrunched up aluminium foil is stuck down to represent roofing felt, and 0.010" plasticard strips fused in to look like flashing.

The end of Long Row showing a selection of buildings, some ocupied by office based practices in Bed-sit Land. There's a few more buildings required before the row is complete, so their order has yet to be decided before final placement and sticking down.

Heljan Hymek D7098 on the work bench, having just had its cabside numbers secured in place with superglue (Extreme Etchings by Shawplan in nickel silver). After the demise of steam on BR in 1968, many diesels had the D prefix removed or painted out, but there were still a few examples with D numbers around just prior to TOPS renumbering in 1972/3.

A rake of Presflo wagons pass through the station, with class 501 EMUs and a Western Region visitor beyond.

A Southern Region Crompton disappears into Hornsey Tunnel with Presflos in tow.

The ex-LMS departmental brake van may be 1970s, but Paul James latest acquision is far from it - a 'REALTRACK' class 144 which has just been converted to EM gauge and is seen on running tests at Hornsey. Although it's not for me, the running qualities and high level of detail are excellent.



From Hornsey Broadway arrives D1033 Western Trooper at Shenston Road with a train of MDV wagons.

Built from the Chivers kit, with fine coal load using Heljan black foam packing from their loco boxes.

In the goods loop awaiting the road ahead.

D836 Powerful - running light engine from the stabling point to the station.



Ballasting of boards 1, 2 and 3 has progressed over the last few weeks. In this view the limestone ballast of the overbridge track is being glued down. The overbridge itself has now been painted and fixed in position.

The loop-end crossovers on Board 2, now ballasted, but with point levers still to add.

A sea of ash ballast is seen at the mid-point of the sidings on Board 2. In the background the switch cabinet for the yard lamps - still to be added – is visible. Next for these boards will be the addition of weeds and moss around the edges of the trackwork.

The eight large sash windows for the back of the newsagents have also been put together this month. These use slightly modified parts from the Brassmasters etch.



Re-working a Hornby CCT has occupied quite a bit of modelling time this month, involving much refinement of the underframe. The Bill Bedford sprung axleguards had to be reprofiled in outline to match those of the prototype. Other details came from a variety of sources including Comet, ABS and Masokits. I didn’t like the raised surrounds to the windows so these were all carefully scraped away and the affected areas patch-painted to match the original as closely as possible. Hopefully I’ll have it completed in time for the New Year update.

The Class 31 is straight Hornby, apart from some backdating of front end features and weathering using a mix of enamels and powders. Further detail in the form of Extreme Etchings components will follow at some point. 417 is a loco I recall seeing a lot of and thus a natural choice to model. A future job is to construct the wooden hoppers that should occupy the coal cells – it all looks a bit empty in that area at present, but the rest is starting to look something like….

The Scania Metropolitan is a Britbus model and straight from the box, so much in need of some weathering. Nonetheless, it hopefully gives a flavour of what the layout is trying to recreate. No 76 in particular is a service I used a lot as we lived in Queensbury on the Halifax-Bradford route (now 576 I believe). However, why it’s passing through Hebble Vale is a complete mystery!

An early view from track level showing the effect of the footbridge, and arrangement of retaining walls. A road overbridge will form the scenic break at the far end of the layout (a card mock-up at present).

This early view shows just about the entire track layout. The siding with copperclad sleepers on the right is the road into the goods warehouse and beyond, the area that will form the cassette deck hidden within. The three roads at the far end converge onto a sector plate.

May to August 2013
  January to April 2014

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