Now for something completely different….

Work in progress…more over the coming weeks.




Operating the full layout….properly!

Today has been an eventful one!

This afternoon I took delivery of the Cwm Prysor Fiddleyards from Tim Horn. Things didn’t go as smooth as hoped initially, regarding mating the boards to the main layout…..eventually though, we got there.

Here is how things look now!


Blaenau Ffestiniog/Trawsfynydd Fiddleyard below. The cassettes are split into loco, single coach passenger and two coach passenger/goods trains. They are clipped together with bulldog clips and the beauty of this, is it allows locos to be taken off and turned without actually handling them. However, do not touch both sides of the cassette at the same time when connected to the layout! 😉


Bala Fiddleyard below. The cassettes are connected to a transition piece which draws it’s power off the main board tracks temporarily. However for shows it will have it’s own connectors off the main bus wires.


Some extra items from Tim, the frontage to the platform made from laser cut MDF (sadly the brick work isn’t going to be visible to the public, because it looks very nice!)

The platform itself will be made up from polystyrene which will then blend into the hillside as the real thing did. Also can be seen is the entry culvert for the stream that ran into Llyn Tryweryn. This will be covered in Das modelling clay, before being carved to represent the stone work.



It’s been very enjoyable to actually run trains over the full length of the layout tonight. The only thing, is I must not get too distracted running trains, or I’ll never get the layout finished!

Thanks for your patience today Tim! It was well worth the effort!



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.


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.



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… 😉



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.



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. 🙂


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.


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.

_MG_8031 _MG_8032 _MG_8033 _MG_8035

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.


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.