Peco Announce a Highland Signal Cabin

This is a very welcome development and I hope that this, along with Hornby’s J36 and Rails’812 are heralds of a growing interest by the industry’s big names in Scotland’s rich indigenous railway heritage.

highland miscellany

I had not expected to ever say this, but I can write a post on Highland Miscellany about a forthcoming Highland Railway product from one of the mainstream manufacturers!

In this case this is going to be from Peco and it is based on the cabin at Helmsdale (Helmsdale South).  This is still existent and has been out of use for some time but has been recently refurbished.  It is in 4mm only at present (but who knows about the future?) and seems to represent its present condition.  As I understand it, it is going to be a laser cut kit and is due to be released later this year.

When it comes out, I will certainly buy one and review it here but in the meantime here are some photographs of the initial prototype courtesy of Paul Marshall Potter.

And here are a few pictures of the real thing…

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Is it just me..?


…or is it becoming impossible to sell your surplus model items without going through a certain rip-off auction house?

Ten years ago; like so much else, it was so much easier; you just wapped it in the classifieds in RMweb and job done; you’d get a decent, mutually agreed price, sometimes within minutes!

That option went after the Warner’s takeover.

These days there are a few Facebook groups but not one of them has been any use whatsoever and their utility in my experience is utterly eclipsed by that of a chocolate teapot.

Therefore, the only options open appear to be the traditional ads in the Modeller and similar or as a last resort sticking it up on here in the hope that some of the blog’s limited audience might find something of interest!

I recently had another of my periodic appraisals of my modelling stocks and I feel that there’s an enormous stock of kits, RTR and built stock that will probably never be used. At the same time, I need to invest in some household projects in order to get this place in a saleable condition.

As such, selling a host of items will sort out a few projects that can be undertaken quickly including the last sections of the garden fence started last summer.

Meantime; I offer a couple of things in the fleeting hope that someone out there might find them of interest.

Firstly, here’s my spare Bachmann Fairburn 2-6-4 tank.

The side tank rivet pattern was less common in Scotland so I have less need of this one.

It has all its detail parts in the bag and has seen very little, if any use.

I’m looking for circa £65 for this one.

Next up is this project which I’m unlikely ever to get on with is GT3.

This bundle comprises the Golden Arrow resin body shell combined with the excellent High Level Models etched chassis kit.

This includes a bespoke gearbox and Mashima can motor.

a set of Gibson driving wheels is included along with a full set of decals prepared specifically for the model by Cambridge Custom Transfers.

The only things you need to add are bogie and tender wheels but because of that I’ll be happy with £135 for this one.



Also, again by High Level Kits; this kit for a J72 chassis.

All you need for a running chassis is here including Gibson wheels and motor.

I’m looking for £60 but will include a Bachmann J72 body in this, making another complete project.

Although I’ve not put a photo up yet, I also have the set of loco etches Mike Edge has done for the LMS Princess Royal in 4mm.

Again, I’m after £60 for these etched which are excellent although probably for the experienced modeller.

If anyone’s genuinely interested just ask and I’ll take a photo or two.





The Bumper Book of British Brexit

Wickedly humorous summary of Brexit so far from the Wee Ginger Dug!

Wee Ginger Dug



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GINGER2croppedGaelic maps of Scotland are available for £15 each, plus £7 P&P within the UK for up…

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The Zero Makers.

City                                      Zero Makers



Today,  I read a truly wonderful piece of straight-from-the-heart prose, penned by a Social Media friend, Bruce Biddulph.

In this piece, Bruce managed to articulate every bit of thought, feeling and gut instinct that has reverberated in my heart and head through most of my adult life.

As a survivor of the Thatcher Years, the betrayal of Blairism and the storm of awakening that preceded and followed Scotland’s Independence Referendum, the barely describable insanity of Brexit and the Maelstrom of trigger happy “Free Market” Fascism that ravages our world today, these words chime powerfully with me as a statement of intent and a rallying call.

Please read Bruce’s words and ponder the sentiments therein.

In my opinion, these words would be worthy  of the great John MacLean.

I’ll allow Bruce’s words to speak for themselves now for although my perspective is Scottish, they transcend borders, just as that great man’s did.


“…Let me tell you where I come from. My interest in heritage and history has deep roots in my political and social standpoint. I watched as our centuries of work, the work of hands and great minds, were destroyed by the hands and minds of people who never broke sweat in their lives. They are my enemy.

I watched as a society of engineers and do-ers were cast onto a sacrificial fire that was no sacrifice at all to the financiers and the admin crews of pen-pushers. I watched as once cohesive communities and long-term bonds of social and democratic balances were ruthlessly torn to shreds and people with true grit and integrity hit the bottle, threw the towel in, emigrated or plain died of broken hearts.

I watched as our towns were torn up, our way of life made a mockery of in television shows designed by utter freakshow people who rose to the ascendant and corrupted life to the max. I watched a sure and promised land became a wilderness overnight.

That process was not done by the men and women I knew, it was done by men and women I never met. Yet the men and women I knew, went to their graves sadly, as surely as the sad remains of their centuries of work and learning were to be and still are, reposed in the graves they welcomed.

Today I dont see junkies, alkies, wasted youth, detritus, I see humans devoid of opportunity to use their hands and minds in full productive and pride-inducing activities. I see people told they are lost, they are nothings, they are nobodies and its all their fault.

They are told that riches alone define your worth, and those riches must be a number of zeros, that how you get those zeros matters nothing so long as you attain them. That is the lesson they are taught and that if they cannot obtain or have obtained them, then they are nothing but animals requiring penning into slave labour or as useful idiots, if they can perform neither task to the satisfaction of the zero-makers then they may as well go the way of the real makers of the past and be done with it.

The zero makers, I despise with every fibre of my being. They alone are responsible for all the fashions of our times, the shuffling of labour pools, the very pollution and cheapening of life values to the point they would watch even the ground they hope all non-zero people would fall into, burn.

They are my enemy, and their footsoldiers my weary adversaries. I will always be a friend to the dispossessed, the disinherited, the real people who you can look in the eye and tell would take a welcome break from hopelessness and would rebuild even though they are nothing and with barely a hope left and who everyone else turns from in their safe disgust. The real people, who if you were in a forest all alone, and without bread, would rush over the hill to seek sustenance if you were too weak to move.

The zeros people would have you perish.

That’s where my moral line is drawn from. And my philosophies, hopes and fears, my dreams, my obsessions, my spraying of alternatives, flows from.

And yes, I cant survive this world of zeros. But to no grave will I go without a fight against the world financier and corruption of life… “


And now you know where Bruce stands, you also know where I stand.




British nationalism’s problem with extremism

From Wee Ginger Dug.

I try not to go too heavy on politics in the blog these days, but the disgraceful and partisan ‘reporting’  by the notionally Scottish Media of this incident obliged me to carry this commentary to a wider audience.

The insidiousness and ingenuousness of what are now little more than anti-Scottish propaganda organs truly sickens me and insults the intelligence of most viewers/readers on a daily basis.

Please follow the green link.



via British nationalism’s problem with extremism

Final touches and next steps…


At last, with the last fence panel installed and the raised bed at the rear of the garden built and filled, the final pieces of the puzzle have been put in place and the big project is complete.

My garden has been transformed over the last three months and it’s the sort of place I just want to spend my time in as much as possible. Even tonight, I spent a couple of hours redding our the soil to get rid of the stones and debris left over from the backfill and the contents of the composter which I just dumped in with another big bag of compost and another of topsoil.


I’ll spend the winter improving the soil in the bed and hopefully get some good stuff growing in it next year.

After I finished tonight’s task, I just sat out for ages with a tea, enjoying the place. I feel like I’m on holiday whenever I sit out there now!

So. What now?

Well, there’s the impending rebuild of Shed One at the side which I’ll shortly commence the groundwork for.

And also, as summer starts to fade, attention starts to turn to the inside of the house; as usual, my hand has been slightly forced by the failure of my old washing machine last week which caused a minor flood in the kitchen!

Previously, the floor had been tiled but these had their limitations as a result of being laid on a wooden floor. I’ve decided to use a different floor covering once the floor is fully dry and the old grout/ cement removed.

I’m slowly working round the whole house, improving and upgrading, room by room but I had intended leaving the kitchen until last. This incident has allowed it to jump the queue!

In spite of this, there have been stirrings of my modelling interests again, particularly after a visit to Railex NE at Blyth two weeks ago.

I thoroughly enjoyed the show which had a very strong local flavour and featured a whole host of excellent layouts including a superb recreation of South Pelaw Junction. Having had a long standing interest in operations based around the Tyne Dock-Consett ore operations, this layout fair grabbed my attention as these photos will prove.


Having also just gone back to DCC control again with the acquisition of an NCE Powercab controller, it looks like modelling is going to head off in a new direction this autumn too!

I think that’s probably worth a post of its own though. Until then; that’s yer lot! 😉