Have a Brake? Have a Ki…. Pipe Wagon

While the hordes flock to Warley this weekend to froth and dribble over the latest releases, I decided to focus on the workbench.

I picked up a Bachmann Pipe and Tube wagon earlier in the year, before I knew whether I could actually use them. Thankfully, after discussing this matter with an ex railwayman who worked the Blaenau Branch, the answer was most definitely yes. Pipe/Tube and bolsters of all sorts were in use while the construction of Trawsfynydd Power Station was under way in the late 50s.

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I’m still deciding as to what load to add to the pipe. I’ve a Duha large pipe, but I’m wondering if it’s a bit big….. I can muse over that later.

It’s somewhat ironic that my attention turned to Brake Vans this weekend. Primarily I had decided to remove Springside lamps that I’d fitted to my Bachmann BR 20T Van and replace with Modelu lamps. It was worth the effort as the lamps really look the part.

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It was with ‘Brake Vans’ in mind that I realised I had a part finished van on my shelf. One of the newer Hornby examples I picked up at York Show 2015. I had added Masokit lamp irons, instanter couplings and the correct earlier type buffers (an error on Hornby’s part). However for some reason I had stopped and moved onto something else.

Last night I began by adding the underslung Vac type variant, before giving the model several washes. This morning I did some final work with the airbrush, before some final weathering detail on the roof and under frame.

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As a model, I think the Hornby one has the edge over the Bachmann model. It should also be noted that when I bought the Hornby Model, the RRP was around £13.50-£14.00, where as the Bachmann model is double the price!

This gives me another Brake Van for Cwm Prysor, while I also have a Frogmore AA3 kit that I’m horse trading construction to Tony Wright. There was one allocated to Bala for specific use on the Blaenau Branch.  I also have an LMS one in the RTR box, which can certainly be used (I’ve a photo of one on a train at Corwen).

Now I purposefully said ‘ironically’ regarding working on Brake Vans this weekend. The irony being that Hornby have announced this weekend they are to produce an all new AA15 Toad #punchtheair (apologies, I do sound like exactly the clientele I referenced at the beginning of this article). What this does mean is my Bachmann Toad, (and all on the workbench) will be retired from service. The current expected date is Autumn 2017, so this means although I wont have one for my first show (Hartlepool), I should have one for the first show of 2018.

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Enjoying the Hobby

Apologies for the rather ‘basic’ title of this blog, but it sums up how I’m feeling at the point.

I have now finished the landscaping on the other board that runs behind the railway. I’m rather pleased with the results from this, which was probably the hardest task landscape wise.

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The landscaping in front of the layout will be catered for once the electrics are done, the priority with the rear being finished was because of the painting of the backscene.

Today I was demonstrating wagon building and weathering at ‘Thirsk Model Railway Exhibition’. It was an enjoyable day meeting new people and seeing friends. Good banter was had all around with Ian Fleming, Ken Gibbons and Jonathan Wealleans, who was showing his beautiful LNER coaches and wagons.

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Jonathan also had a couple of items for me, two corridor Collett Coaches he had built and painted for me as a part of some ‘horse trading’. One is an E152 Brake Composite which will be permanently coupled to a Hornby all 3rd. I’ve a photo of these two seen at Trawsfynydd and Blaenau Ffestiniog in 1951, with the all 3rd still in Chocolate and Cream, a nice contrast!

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The E128 will be run on it’s own, as a mixed train or possibly joined to another Hornby all 3rd (in crimson and cream).

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In the meantime, I really better look into making a start on wiring the layout, just so I can run something up and down. Once happy with this, I will complete the points and get those wired too. I also have the fiddle yard boards on the way, so hopefully in the not to distant future (by late October I hope) I will be able to run the layout properly.

 

Mineral Wagons – Part 3 ‘Planked ex POs’

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So from the 16T, I have moved onto the planked ex Private Owner. The RCH design is most familiar to ex railwaymen and modellers a like. When we tend to think of POs, it’s easy for our mind to only think of the brightly coloured wagons supplied by model railway manufacturers.  I think we have all been to several shows where their bright liveries have been seen festooned on many a  BR period layout. The truth of the matter is that, yes at one time the POs were relatively well maintained by their owning companies, however the degradation had set in during the Second World War and come the Nationalisation of the Railways in 1948, they were all inherited by the newly formed BRITISH RAILWAYS. Like they had in the war, BR were relatively happy to continue to patch them up where possible and simply add new P prefix numbers.

I picked up this Tir Pentwys Pontypool PO a few weeks ago for a good price (I’ll go onto cost comparisons later) and it felt somewhat appropriate. The first stage was the use of a fibre glass brush, to just distress the lettering slightly, but to also give the paint something to key too. The next stage was the adding of replacement planks and further washes followed. The interior was also painted and given several dirty washes. Transfers added were from Model Master, and further washes to finish. The chassis as to represent wood, was painted with a mix of Matt Black and Humbrol 98 ‘Chocolate’ (another method picked up from Ian Fleming). Final touches was the addition of a little bit of powder work on areas of the chassis.

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Another cliche that you see on layouts is to the other extreme, exPOs all in unfitted grey. From what I have read, when BR decided upon it’s wagon liveries, it wasn’t automatically transferred over to the older POs, rather being concentrated on new wagons being built. It wasn’t until around 1958 that someone high up at BR instigated the painting of the ex POs, and at that stage it was only ever going to be a smaller number that received the livery, as scrapping of older pre war wagons was somewhat imminent.

Photographs too can be deceptive. It’s quite easy for what can appear to be an unfitted painted wagon, to actually be bare timber. However I have seen a couple of photos on the Blaenau Branch of grey exPOs, and I do like the livery. Now some may say I am being hypocritical in my time period of operation (1953-1959), so periods are somewhat mixed regarding stock. However along as I get the balance right, I don’t believe this to be too much of an issue.

My exPO was a Bachmann Grey model I bought a year or so ago, however my views on this are well known to my blog readers, and it’s been repainted with Revell 76. With this one, I wanted this to be in relatively good condition, with just a small amount of weathering (slight rust on the iron work) to take the edge off it.

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As can be seen in the first photograph, both wagons have been fitted with my removable coal (based on the Geoff Kent method, but with a twist) more information of which can be found on my thread on Modellers United here. Both wagons have been fitted with Ambis hooks and links.

I touched on cost earlier. Now the Tir Pentwys PO, I purchased last week brand new for £7.45. I have picked up a pack of three limited edition Bachmann POs (theres a nice Cambrian branded one in there) and individually they worked out at under a tenner each. I had considered purchasing the new Oxford Rail PO, but once I saw the work required to bring it up to the same standard as the Bachmann model and as I could obtain Bachmann models for the same/lower price, I couldn’t see the point and would prefer to focus my modelling skills elsewhere, but each to their own. 🙂

To bring this to a close, it’s been a rewarding project. The Tir Pentwys although wasn’t timed, must have taken in the range of 3-4 hours, but it’s been very enjoyable. Once again, like I mentioned in my 16T article, the most important aspect as been preparation and research. Instrumental again has been the works of Geoff Kent and John Hayes.

Finally, I’d like to wish my followers a very Happy Easter, and for those going to York Show, see you on Sunday. 🙂

Tom

Mineral Wagons – Part 2 ‘BR 16T’

Over the past week, my hobby time has been spent working on the Bachmann BR 16T I repainted in my last update. This was a project I had initially been dreading, as steel bodied 16Ts have a particular look, and many models I’ve seen just do not look right.

When it came to adding the ‘rust effect’ I did keep going back to  Ian (windcutter) Fleming to see what he thought, who offered suggestions and advice which I appreciate. On something like this, I think it’s always good to have another set of eyes on the project.

Several days later, and here are the results.

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The chassis was treated with a mix of Revell 84 and Matt Black (another tip picked up from Ian’s blog). Further treatment with powders made the finishing touches to the chassis. The interior was painted with the same paint mix as the chassis, before being finished with powders which has given a rather pleasing effect. I didn’t feel the need for the airbrush and I feel it’s always good to broaden ones techniques.

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I am aware that the Brake push rods have been fitted the wrong way around, something Bachmann seem to have a habit of doing. It’s not the only Bachmann model I’ve seen in my fleet that has also been fitted the wrong way around. I had looked to swopping them around, but sadly they are only detailed on one side. For the moment they will stay and will be possibly be replaced at a later date.

As a conclusion, I think the most important aspect of this weathering project was preparation. I’d spent some time thinking how I was going to approach this wagon, consulted modelling friends, prototype photographs and Geoff Kent’s excellent volumes on 4mm wagons.

I also took the opportunity of good sun light (yes I know…don’t fall off your chair at that prospect) to photograph 7428 outdoors, still very pleased with the finish on her.

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I’m near to finishing work for Easter, so I’m looking forward to starting work on a 1950’s ex PO. York Show next weekend where I will be stewarding and a trip down to the Llangollen for their Spring Gala. Plenty to look forward to!

Cheers for now!

Mineral Wagons – Part 1

Keeping with the rolling stock theme in mind, I’ve moved my attention to mineral wagons. I don’t need a mass of them, but I certainly need a few (one/two per pick up goods). To be honest, I’ve been putting off working on a 16T, as I knew I would be venturing into new ground….certainly not a case of a few washes down the body work. I’ve seen various methods of 16T Mineral weathering, the current fad seems to be involve maskol painted over. For me, the result doesn’t cut the mustard (from what I’ve seen). I’ve mentioned Ian’s work before, but the results on 16Ts just look right to me and it’s along similar methods I shall be following. (check out some of Ian’s examples here).

First stage, (as I do with all my unfitted stock) is a repaint with Revell 76.IMG_1944

Bachmann’s grey has always seemed too dark too me, and originally I had intended to retain some of my stock in the original colour for variation, but in the end I couldn’t live with it so now all stock is repainted. The nice thing is that due to weathering, and varying plastic colours, although painted in Revell 76, not one item of unfitted rolling stock is the same colour as the next.

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For a point of reference, where you are looking at now is precisely where Cwm Prysor Station will be. Next to the 16T, is a Bachmann wooden bodied mineral (LMS design I think) which I too have repainted into Revel 76. The wooden bodied wagon has had replacement Romford wheels fitted as the Bachmann wheels were incredibly wobbly (anyone else finding this?)

Both wagons are being a left for a week to allow the paint to harden.

Meanwhile… Cwm Prysor’s home is getting that bit closer….

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That’s all for now folks! 😉

Prysor for Christmas

Good tidings to all at this festive time of year. In the last couple of days I’ve been preparing the work room for the arrival of the layout. Tim Horn has worked exceptionally hard to bring my rough ideas into reality. From here, the real work can begin on turing this into an operational layout, with the eventual goal of having the layout on the exhibition circuit, however I intend to take my time with this, I see no need to rush this project.

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In the meantime, I’ve been working on another 74XX. This one is somewhat special in that 7428 retained her GWR livery until withdrawal on the 31/10/1962. Although she retained the livery, the photos I have show her in typical Croes Newydd condition (filthy), although the Great Western Railway initials are still very prominent (I read that shed staff highlighted it with chalk over the years).  As this started life as a Bachmann GWR 64XX, it didn’t have a smokebox numberplate, so I made one from some 10thou plasticard.

Weathering was done using several reference colour photographs, and the effect I feel works well, with the green livery slightly hinted at ‘just’ under the grime.

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To finish the scene, Modelu‘s figures bring the whole thing to life. You may notice the lamp missing from along the running plate, the reason for this is I will testing some prototypes of Modelu’s 3D printed lamps in the next few weeks.

Those that follow this blog and are interested in these Pannier tanks, may like to know that the Railway Modeller article on the subject of my 74XX conversion, will be in (I believe) the February issue.

Finally I’d just like to wish the followers of tfmodelling, a Very Merry Christmas, and all the best for the New Year.

Best Wishes

Tom

Picturing the scene….and another 74

Short blog update tonight. A modelling friend and fellow blogger suggested a pose my E147 paired with a Pannier. How could I refuse! 😉

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The Coach is pretty much finished minus painting. I’ve ordered paints for the interior, which is what I’ll address first.

In the meantime work is underway on another 74XX, this one will be 7428….quite a distinctive loco on the branch.

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At some point I will do the blog post I promised after my last Wales trip, on the Cwm Prysor extension. It can be one for next weekend.