December 1900

RAILWAY SMASH NEAR BERWICK. ————— TRAFFIC DISORGANISED. ————— MAIL TRAINS DELAYED. —————    Early yesterday morning, when a goods train on the North-…

December 1900

The railways of Scotland have always been dangerous places and remain so. Random Scottish History has been publishing a fascinating series of summaries gathered from press reports in 1900, showing just how so that was! They are worth studying, if occasionally colourful and explicitly gory!

Lovely, lovely models!

Dapol’s long awaited NBL/BR Class 29 Diesel loco.

It’s been almost ten years since Dapol announced their NBL type 2s and although it’s been an incredibly long gestation, here they finally are. For a long time there was scepticism on the part of many, me included about what the quality of the end product was going to be like but in the intervening years, many changes have taken place at Dapol, resulting in some incredibly good models emerging from that manufacturer. When the CAF Type 5 or Class 68 as it’s generally known appeared, its quality of execution and performance gave me utmost confidence that the NBL Type 2 project was in safe hands.

The stunning Dapol Class 68

In December 2019, the first NBLs, the original build (Class 21*) machines arrived and this one subsequently joined my fleet. As an Eastfield loco, circa 1965, she fitted perfectly with my Central Belt interests.

D6116, modelled prior to 1966 Class 29 rebuild

Following on in January came the first pair of four Class 29 rebuilds. These were the ones that really had me excited as I’m pretty sure I have a memory of one of these up against the buffers in Glasgow Queen St as a wee boy in 1968-9. The rebuild programme, tested in 1963-65 with D6123 was technically successful and produced a much more useful and reliable machine but with only twenty machines converted to Class 29 before BR re-appraised its traction needs in 1968, the small, non-standard Class was doomed to early withdrawal with the last examples retiring at the end of 1971. Shame. 🙁 There’s something about the face of these NBLs that seems familiar from my early days. My mother certainly took me through GQS going to visit relatives in the late 60s so I’m pretty sure I saw at least one. It’s the same reason I have early memories of what I know now to be Glasgow Corporation PD2 buses and AM3/ 303 electric units on the north suburban services.

Preserved PD2 of the kind that I rode across Glasgow in as a tot!

The last of the three NBLs to arrive so far is the small panel two tone green version and like the blue Class 29 in the header, the livery in perfectly executed.

1965 two-tone green livery

Once thing that really stands out with these models is the level of detail in the underframe of these models; probably the most detailed I’ve seen.

I’ve yet to give the two 29s a proper run but the 21 has been tested and runs very smoothly. The whole model has a reassuringly solid feel to it and running qualities that would probably have saved the originals from an early grave! This class of locos has long been a favourite of mine and with the release of this model, every class of BR main line diesel has now been properly represented in model form.

In terms of quality models, if not the full-size, it seems the best has been left to last!

Not been idle

adult art black and white group

Photo by Mike on

The blog has been quiet lately partly due to some difficulties with publishing posts and also because there has been so much else to occupy my headspace. It ranges from political mess around us; so appalling that I have decided (in a U.K. context) to disengage from the madness and concentrate on developments in my own country.

On the domestic front I am fully engaged in the drive to get the house ready for sale.
New flooring is ready to go down in the hall and kitchen, the fence and garden are complete and a new boiler has been installed and commissioned.
The lion’s share of what remains is decluttering and cleaning.
This of course means a lot of modelling stuff is going to need packing away soon but meantime I’ve taken advantage of some slightly slacker time to have a play with the new Accurascale HUO hoppers and PCV cement tanks.
This has given me the opportunity to try and develop some new weathering techniques, the results of which you can view below.

Also seen in the rather lovely Dapol Bogie Bolster E which scrubs up exceptionally well with the new technique.

I have another nine each of the Hoppers and Cemflos to do so I’ll see if I can improve the speed of production without compromising the quality of finish.

In short, my new techniques involve a preparation layer of varnish and white oxide.

Next, the first layers of acrylic paint then oils, followed or preceded by another coat of matt varnish depending on type of vehicle with enamel washes, further acrylics, powders, fixers and more Matt varnish.

The order of application is type specific and will probably vary as techniques develop with with experience.

The oils add a new dimension to a rusty appearance or a streaky, dusty one. Once I’m happy I’ve mastered the technical factors


Batch Cooking!


Having completed the major external work to the fence and garden at last, I have a bit more time for modelling and other creative pursuits again (although it has to be said that Scubaidh’s walks absorb a fair chunk of the day!) for the first time in a good while.

This activity started gently a couple of weeks back with a handful of wagon kits currently ongoing – more on those in a future post.

This last week has seen me work on some 1980s era Scottish diesels for a friend, plus one for myself.

I really do increasingly enjoy working on models from this era.

This batch, with the exception of 37 192 are already back with Eddie and a follow-on quartet of locos from this period are just about to be completed and weather permitting I’ll show you those tomorrow!



Hi Jack. What’s in a name?

One self-serving individual who has done no service to his constituents or the wider realm of Scotland.
Hopefully our last Vichy Governor.

Yes Annandale

alistair jack

Dear Alistair

You, in theory, now represent the people of Scotland in the UK government. You could say you have hit the jackpot in being in the right place at the right time.  You and everybody else know that the people of the County of Dumfries and Galloway voted democratically against your implementation of Brexit.  You also know that all 32 areas of Scotland voted against Brexit.  And this was before a No Deal Brexit was ever heard of.  Now that’s not even a  pretence of democracy. You apparently just don’t care about that.

We could ask you to jack it in before you destroy our country. You won’t do that. You are obviously a Union Jack and if that was all then it would be OK. We respect the right of people to support the Union if that is their belief. We actually believe in democracy and the…

View original post 244 more words

Upgrading pickups on the Bachman 08

If you’ve ever had issues with the non-standard pickup arrangement on your Bachmann 08, Chris and Oly May well have the answer here.

The Model Railways of Oly Turner and Chris Matthews

Due to a bit of an oversight in the design process, early Bachman 08’s have always had issues with pickups that bear on the tread of the wheel, rather than the rear face as is more conventional. However, I’ve never actually had too many issues with this and the example we ran on Stoating Bank covered a couple of exhibitions with no problems.

However since moving on to SQ, we had found the trusty 08 had become a bit unreliable and it therefore spent most of the Canterbury show in the stock box. After the show I cleaned the pickups and the wheels and all seemed well again on BWS in the build up to Railex.

However, as anyone who has done a show knows, it’s impossible to replicate the conditions of a show in advance, and I was disappointed at Railex when after a couple of runs down the…

View original post 365 more words