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A selection of locos for Morfa Mawr, and other Western Region motive power. Photos and content by Trevor Hale.

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 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.

7070 poses by the road bridge in its 1968-1970 guise.