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.


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.


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.



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.





Pannier Prevails

Evening all!
Well, 4645 is now finished.




I have weathered her, using the Brian Jones photograph from the cover of Book Law/Foxline’s ‘Bala Junction to Blaenau Ffestiniog’ as my guide. The front numberplate was supplied by ‘Pacifc Models‘ and the rear tools were from ‘247 Developments’ (the bucket is a springside fire bucket). The lamp is temporary, Adam (AJC on Modellers United) is working on adding some thinner handles on a couple for me.

4645 is a somewhat special tank engine, as well as being a regular on the Branch in the late 1950’s, she along with sister loco 8791, worked the ‘Stephenson Society Special’ on Sunday 22nd January 1961, the last passenger train on the Bala-Blaenau Branch.

_MG_7963 _MG_7965

This has been a very rewarding project and has made me realise how much I like the 57XX tank engine, something I think that has always been at the back of my mind (probably the Rev W Awdry’s influence). They really do have so much character about them. The adding of the tools and bucket certainly adds to this and it’s easy to think it’s a bit cliche, but it’s all there in the prototype photographs.

This is hopefully the first of several Pannier’s for Trawsfynydd, 8727 will be next sometime in the spring. In the meantime, I’m currently working on adding some detail to a Bachmann unfitted BR 20T Brake Van….as well as researching GWR Toads (will be having a couple of those, of different diagrams).