Stafford Show

I’ve just returned home from an enjoyable day at Stafford Model Railway Exhibition. I was helping out on Phil Greave’s lovely Ellesmere, and after some morning hiccups, settled down nicely. I have to say shunting is becoming the thing I really enjoy, and on Ellesmere it was no exception (especially with a 57XX at the front)!

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I also had chance to look at Phil’s new Hatton’s 14XX….

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I have to say it looks exceptional, a really fine piece of locomotive. Sadly it didn’t run too happy, but this appears to be down to the Ellesmere controllers rather than the loco. As mine will be DCC it should be ok.

Oh and before I forget, I picked this little chap up today from Mister Wright. More on this when it’s weathered.

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The highlight of course, was to catch up with friends and discuss our current projects…that’s what makes the hobby for me.

 

 

The Finishing Touches

With a great deal of time off during the Summer, I’ve thrown myself in to more goods stock for Cwm Prysor. The LMS vans I built several months ago, are now in Bauxite and two of them are now finished. I focussed on D1978 first, which was built from a Ratio body, Parkside under frame, with Lanarkshire Buffers, Vents and Vac Pipes. Screwlinks were made up from the Masokits etch.

As well as this van, another 16T has been through the works this week. I wanted to take it a little further than the last one, working from a photo from Trawsfynydd in 1959.

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The more I have been looking through prototype photographs, the more I have felt my Van stock has been lacking that final little detail…. chalk markings. Just looking through the superb prototype section of Geoff Kent’s 4mm Wagon Volume 2, you can see a variety of scribbles all over the vans.

I’ve seen various methods for producing chalk markings, some more successful than others. It was on a google search I came across some convincing scribblings, and to my (not so much) surprise, it was the work of Ian Fleming. Ian had used a mapping pen with white ink which gave a rather nice result. A mapping pen and white ink were duly ordered via Amazon and arrived this morning. I practiced on some spare Van sides, before trying it out on D1978. I tried to pick locations local….and not so local seen as Vans are common user.

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This older LMS van (D1676) you may remember from a previous blog post. I had worked from a photo in Geoff’s Book (Vol 2 again) and have based one side on the chalk markings (page 38). The other side I went for something a bit more local to the branch… 😉

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Finally, and the latest van off the workbench is this, a BR Dia 1/204. The design of this is very much the last of LMS family, but was produced by BRITISH RAILWAYS. The model was produced from the old airfix body (now available by Dapol), a Parkside under frame, and again Lanarkshire Models for the detailing bits.

I wanted it to look different than D1976, so went for a far lighter approach. In my mind as a new build in 1950, it had been overhauled around 1956…so my model is probably 6 months-12 months after overhaul. Again I tried to give the chalk markings a local flavour as well as touch more distant.

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So what is next? Well I would like to add the odd poster to some of these… not on everyone of them, but just enough to give a touch of variety and individualism. Overall this as been an enjoyable process once again, and hopefully will just add that little bit extra realism to the layout when it’s done. 🙂

 

Vintage LMS

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I’ve said it before, but I do have a thing for LMS Vans. The high sides and shallow roof profile make for a distinctive looking van. These two are both kits from  Cambrian Models.

Both of these van’s represent slightly older variants of rolling stock, than the more common ratio van diagram.

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First up is a D1676. These vans were built from 1924-1928, with 2956 examples being built. The vans were built as fitted and unfitted, but after finding a nice early 50’s photo in Geoff Kent’s 4mm Wagon Book 2, I went with unfitted. As I mentioned at the beginning, this is a good example of an older van, but it’s heritage is undeniable.

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The second van is a D1832A which are from a slightly later period than the previous van, batches being being built in 1929-1930 and 1930-1931. The actual sides (other than the corrugation) are pretty similar to D1676 and the same as unventilated D1663, which makes commercial sense as production models (I’ve a D1676 to also finish, but in bauxite).

Both caused a little bit of a headache after building, with both developing a wobble. Thankfully I found out it wasn’t something I had done, but down to a case of a poor batch of markits wheels. The vans suffered from roofs too short for the model (they only just reached the ends) so I added microstrip to give the vans their overhang.

They have been finished with Lanarkshire Models buffers and torpedo vents. The coupling hook and links are from AMBIS Engineering.

Regarding painting, I took a different route after talking to Geoff Kent at Scale Four North. A number of Geoff’s unfitted wagons are painted a lighter shade of grey which I found  to be Railmatch’s ‘late grey’. I did discover however that the grey came off with white spirits very easily, even with a coat of Klear on top and after 3 weeks drying time, therefore both vans had two spray coats of Gameworkshop ‘purity seal’ once the transfers were in place.

Prior to weathering I painted over a couple of planks with the same grey, but it has given a nice change of tone on several of the planks. Weathering was done in my usual way, several washes over the body, building up and taking away in places. The chassis is a mix of Matt Black and Revell 84 which was finished off with a touch of powder work. Roofs were painted a mix of Matt Black, Metalcote Gunmetal and a touch of Revell 76 Grey. They were finished with powders to give a good textural finish.

My attention now turns to a couple of Parkside exLNER  vans to finish, which with the two LMS vans will form part of my demonstration at Thirsk Model Railway Exhibition at Thirsk Town Hall, 31st July.

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Blast form the Past

Something from my previous modelling life, an ex LNER Gresley Rebuild, B16/2.

This was a commission, which has had a number of tweaks and has been lined out by Tony Wright followed by weathering by yours truly. The original intention was to sell it, however since weathering it, I’ve had second thoughts.

61437 in the late 1950s was a 50D (Starbeck), somewhat ironic when I work in Harrogate!

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I think it’s best I keep hold of it, you never know when you might need a B16!

exLNER Open Wagon

I’ve been working on this wagon for the last month or so. Picking it up, doing some work on it, and then leaving it while I worked on the latest Pannier.

This wagon was built by David Scott, and was finished in Pre 1936 LNER unfitted dark Grey.

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I began by removing the presfix transfers, via my usual method of microsol and a cotton bud. The sticky residue was a touch stubborn to remove, so I used some wet and dry to smooth things off. Once I was happy with the finish, I sprayed the whole wagon with revell 75 (as recommended by Ian Fleming) which I think gives a great representation of a faded BR unfitted grey. Once dry, I began repainting a number of planks to represent bare wood using a mix of Tamiya XF55 and XF20. Once dry I weathered the wood panels (before weathering the entire wagon). My reason for this, was my general weathering of the wagon would very much in a vertical fashion, I wanted the wooden panels to be weathered following the grain which would be horizontal. Once the planking was weathered, and the transfers were added, I gave it a couple of coats of Klear, and a spray of purity seal satin varnish.

Here are the results now it is finished.

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I’m pleased with the results. I think the key with this one is I’ve taken my time, working on it between other projects. To give a comparison, here is the wagon alongside the other two unfitted wagons I have weathered. It’s worth noting that both this wagon, and the SR Van have both been painted with Revell 75, however due to different colour undercoats, they do not look the same.

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On a different note, I’m very much looking forward to York Show this weekend as it’s the first Show I have been to this year. I’m helping out stewarding, so will be on the door selling tickets from 10. I’ll be looking out for a 64XX, for a 74XX conversion too, plus other bits and bobs.