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.



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.


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!


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).


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.



Back on Track

‘Schools out for summer!’ the lyrics go, and my start to the Summer has been a nasty stomach bug. One week on, and I’m still not quite over it, but I’m getting there. It’s funny the psychological effect something like this can have on you. Last weekend I felt like giving up the whole hobby, and seriously wondered how I could possibly feel positive about the layout again. Thankfully, those feelings have passed and today I began fixing the landscape to the boards.


Insulation polystyrene two pieces thick glued with PVA, was shaped with a woodlands scenics polystyrene cutter. Some work with a bread knife was required to cut out the area of the moorland road.


I will now need to do some work in the foreground, but it’s the area along the back scene I wish to get done before Tony Wright comes up to paint the back scene. The polystyrene will covered with modrock before scenic work.

9793 approaches Cwm Prysor with a Bala bound pick up goods.



She’s home!

With the weather finally dry last night, and with the help of a friend, Cwm Prysor was transported from my workroom, along a narrow landing and down a narrow flight of stairs. I’d forgotten how light the boards are, even at 5ft each so the moving through the house wasn’t as bad as I had envisioned.



I tried to explain the branch goods workings to two onlookers. I don’t think they were very interested though.


Next task will be to begin wiring (I’m hanging off finishing the points) just so I can have something running up and down and get use to working the Lenz system.

Only 16 months until it’s first show….. I better crack on! 🙂

First Train of the Day

Ok, the bleak whiteness does make it look like it’s still been snowing up their since Christmas!

The bufferstop has now been made, and the siding partially laid.

At 7.17am, 4645 passes the former loop, now siding….with the 6.45am off Bala, due at Blaenau Ffestiniog, 8.36am.


Cwm Prysor – Track Laying

Today I finished the laying of the track on the Main Line. It generally went well, although a touch of fettling was required on the track that crosses the baseboard join.

As some of you may know, the loop at Cwm Prysor was taken out in 1951, leaving a dead end siding. It had niggled me I was modelling the 1950s and retaining the loop.
From a practical route I’ve decided to model it as a siding. This makes no need for a control panel, a cobalt lever will suffice, and trying to find a time for a friend to come up to finish the points was looking difficult. The point that needs to stay only needs switch blades and check rails to finish, the other had hardly been done so easy enough to remove the timber sleepers. So it’s a big enough job I feel comfortable with taking on.
This is my first proper layout, I’ve never wired before so on this one, I wanted it be as simple as possible. I can still shunt on down trains and still run all the existing stock as planned, and it’s more accurate for 1950s Cwm Prysor.



I’m rather pleased with how the timber sleepers now match up to the SMP track work. In the next day or so I’m going to make the Lanarkshire Models GWR Buffer stop up, and then begin laying the siding, making the trap points and finally finishing the point.


A friend I hadn’t seen for some time came over today to drop back my Noch Grassmaster. I brought him to see the layout and the first thing he said was ‘is it P4 or EM’, it just shows the effect making your own points and fine scale track can have, even in OO.

All Railways Great and Small

Last weekend, I spent an enjoyable time in that wonderful country, Wales. The two days were spent admiring railways in 4mm and Standard Gauge. The plan had initially been made for me to also make a visit up to Cwm Prysor but the weather showed snow….so plans were changed!

Saturday, Alan Buttler and I headed over to Geoff Taylor’s for some banter and chin wagging. Geoff kindly programmed two of my panniers, 4645 and 9793. 7428 was also taken along for some posing. Many thanks again to Geoff, for letting me run and pose my stock on the layout. Also thanks to Alan for allowing me to share his photos, the guy really does have an eye for photography.

4645 with a pick up goods passes the Mawddach Estuary.


7428 passes the George Hotel at Penmaenpool 


My 16T and the ex Pontypool PO trundle by



Sunday saw Alan and I heading off for a lovely day on the Llangollen Railway and their Spring Gala. The whole thing had a Cambrian theme which was simply perfection! Seeing two Manor’s in BR Black, on their former stomping ground was something that wasn’t too be missed. The highlight for me though, was a return journey in a Toad Brake Van. It’s something I had always fancied, but never had the opportunity to do before. Once again, thanks to Alan for allowing me to share his photos.

7820 at Llangollen Station….to think where the railway has come in 40 years.

Double headed Manor’s….a pure spectacle! 


The Cambrian Coast Express arrives at Carrog Station.


A timeless scene at Carrog, time travel is possible!


Special thanks to Matt Davies, and his colleagues for creating a truly wonderfully themed Gala. Was a cracking day and weekend all round.

On that note, better head off ready for tomorrow’s visit to Scale Four North.

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.



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.


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.


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!