The First Tranche, Pt 2.

Two more wagons have emerged into the sunlight as winter starts it’s transition into spring in the Border Lands.

First up is a 13 ton Medfit, built from a Parkside kit and intended for engineers’ use. In reality the Medfits had but a short service life as traffic loss and operational changes rendered them increasingly redundant and by the mid 1960s many had been snapped up by the engineers department. This model portrays one of those and is set up as carrying a load for a bridge or retainer repair. The mixer is a kit by Langley models, the water barrel by Bachmann and the cement bags by EFE.
Buffers are by Dave Franks/LMS.

The next wagon again comes from the Parkside kit and portray an ex-LNER 21 Ton Plate wagon. Again built as standard but with Dave’s buffers and drawhooks. A hefty steel plate has been added and serves a dual function as load and ballast for the model.

Both models have been weathered using Tamiya acrylics, Mig Washes and pigment.







And now for something completely different…








A few years back I bought a kit-built loco from a gent I know with the intention of bringing it up to more current standards. This model an ex-Caledonian 72 Class 4-4-0 was built from an old NuCast kit about 35 years ago. The old chassis beneath it was very much old school and had given up any pretence to running but as I intended to replace it this wasn’t an issue.

How I was going to do so was, however; my initial thoughts were based around using the generic 4-4-0 chassis by GEM . Meantime the model was stripped of paint then languished under the bench for the better part of four years – until last Thursday when a trip to my local emporium revealed a second hand Hornby T9 in the display case and the memory of something I heard some time ago stirred. Both types of loco share a common pedigree going back to Dugald Drummond’s famous Dunalastair Class and a classic big-wheeled 4-4-0 configuration, popularly know as ‘the Scottish 4-4-0’ arrangement.

The result of this is that the chassis has been liberated from the T9 and looks like the 72’s body will accommodate the chassis fairly painlessly. 

One complication that will require some thought will be the re-use of the tender pick-up system and decoder. This is because with Hornby’s T9 there is a plug-in electrical connection between loco and tender without which the loco doesn’t operate. The fact that the tender is one of the eight-wheel ‘Watercart’ variety adds some further awkwardness. There are probably work-arounds for this sort of thing but I have a very limited understanding of electrics so I’m going to try and make that aspect as uncomplicated as possible.

It has to be said though, the chassis seems to be a near natural fit on the ’72’s body and it looks just right in the photos below. This model, given some further 21st Century refinements, will look rather nice in circa 1956 lined black.





The First Tranche

The first three wagons are now as good as ready for service. I thought I’d photograph them before spoiling them with Kadees’😉
I actually decided to have a bit of extra fun with the Vanwide and she has additionally been fitted with some Frogmore grab rails on the doors and some suitable Carr’s Biscuits labels, seeing as the factory is only about a mile from here! This load will spend it’s life on an unending journey to the tearooms of Princes Street!
The two fish vans represent different periods with the LMS vehicle being finished in crimson and probably destined to be tail traffic on a stopping passenger service.
The Ex-LNER type is probably incorrectly liveried as it’s a non-roller bearing type though I only really thought about this too late. A lesson learned about getting research right before you get started. Still, it shouldn’t jar too much when hanging on the back of a 1968 Edinburgh-Carlisle Class 2.

Some more wagons will reach completion over the weekend but not tomorrow as I’ll be in Glasgow, manning the WRHA stand.
Come along and give us some cheek if you’re about!




For Sale

I have for sale a rather nice station building with separate toilet block which is now surplus to requirements. It was built from a Townstreet kit and painted by its previous owner, Larry Goddard and it bears both his signature and stamped mark.
I’m looking for £50 for this model but it is very nice as the photos show. Please contact me if interested.




Odds and Sods.

Having had a couple of days off I’ve been tinkering in the workshop, mainly on the wagons. There’s a bit of a story behind some of them but I’ll spare the details to protect my friend’s dignity although I suspect his ears were burning a bit on Wednesday evening!😆
Still, no long-term harm done and the wagons have now progressed to the painting stage; main colour for now, detailed work to follow. The 6 ton fish van is in crimson livery and stands alongside the Vanwide for comparison. Both started from a base of Halfords red primer and I think the fish van is still a bit too brown. Crimson is actually a very translucent colour and probably needed a darker undercoat.
The 12 ton fish van is in 1964 Ice Blue livery. I rather like this colour and it fits nicely into my 1965 layout period.








The loco is an old Bachmann Ivatt 2MT which used to belong to me until sold to Tom Foster of Leaman Road fame. It returned to me about three weeks ago and is undergoing some work on the finish to bring it to my latest standards.
The loco doesn’t really fit into my current scenario so may still have a future ID change. For now she remains a Darlington loco in the condition she would have appeared in during her Stainmore Route days in the early 1950s. She may ultimately receive a guise suitable for a Tweedmouth machine circa 1962.

Wagon Interlude

Since I’ve been about fourteen, I’ve enjoyed building wagon kits and when the opportunity came to swap some items with a friend of mine, it was too good to pass up. As a result, a large number of half built and unbuilt kits came into my possession last week.
I’ve been finishing off the part- builds first and some are shown here. I have added Lanarkshire Model Supplies ( and drawhooks to them. There is still plenty to be done to them and I’ll return to one or two in more detail later.




You can see that the Medfit is intended to be in engineers’ service as most were by the mid-1960s, having a very short service career.
I’ll add more tonight but I have a real railway to attend to today at Whitrope!





Further to the earlier entry, I’ve added
Some more images.
The Vanwide has received rain strips on the roof; something that adds greatly to the appearance of a model. In reality it was not a sophisticated item, merely a strip of thin timber clump nailed to the roof. I’ve got one above the door of my shed!
Among the other wagons are an un-fitted 21ton plate wagon and a 12ton Conflat A with A-type container. I had to hunt high and low before finding three of these Cambrian container kits only for Bachmann to reveal they were producing one about a fortnight after I found mine – cest la vie!
You can also see the difference the LMS Models buffer castings make to these kits. I really can’t recommend Dave’s products enough; they’re superb.
Finally, there is an ex-LMS designed Fruit Van. Despite their notional title, they could often be seen on general goods traffic out of season and increasingly so through the 1960s as road haulage operators bit heavily into this kind of traffic.
I’m looking forward to getting these models painted up and if you’re all good I’ll outline the process on here!

Gresley Butchery

One thing I’ve become somewhat over-interested in of late is more accurate coach formations and I’m also increasingly aware of the limitations of off the shelf products in this respect.

Stopping passenger trains on the Waverley were largely composed of Gresley 61′ corridor stock until about 1960 when Mk1 stock began to dominate. Hornby’s Gresley corridor stock has some notable flaws which conversion such as I’m undertaking can address to a limited extent. Chiefly from my point of view, it’s the limited usefulness of the provided variants that are of concern here though and this has necessitated using the Gresley models as conversion platforms. One of the glaring omissions is a corridor composite coach and I have used the Comet sides to graft on to a suitable donor, in this case, a sleeper third. Coach conversions are new territory for me so I apologise if my techniques are a little rudimentary – Larry Goddard I sure as hell ain’t!


The coach sides were unceremoniously removed using a razor saw and scribing tool. This task was undertaken with less finesse than was perhaps required but as it’s the first in a selection of models, I’m sure the techniques will refine with experience. Some stub ends were retained for basic mounting of the sides. The sides themselves had been prefabricated prior to this. You’ll notice that I have added a reinforcing strip of brass on the lower side as there isn’t a great deal of rigidity in the basic etching. Prior to doing this and after joining the upper and lower halves of the coach side (it comes in two parts) I rolled the sides to an approximation of tumblehome.


The Gresley coaches initially produced by Hornby have some rather odd issues with the end profile and tumblehome. This has been partly addressed with the more recent BG which I used as a guide to a more correct profile. In fact the raised vertical strips on the end on the outermost pretty much conform with the improved profile so I used these as a template and filed the outer profile to match. The result looks a lot better.



With the sides in place, it becomes obvious that more support is required at the top where the roof meets the sides. My method is somewhat agricultural but effective. The crude cutting away will also mean I need to do a bit of filling underneath the gutters but a lesson learned.

It’s at this time you realise that you’ll need to create new internal partitions and compartments so, using the sleeper’s internal arrangement moulding is used to create a new floor template from plasticard. I’ll show this later when some progress has been made.Image

So, the basic superstructure is now complete. I’ll add the doorhandles and the like once paint has been applied. The underframe equipment will also require modification as that under the CK was arranged differently from the SLT.

These are jobs for another day though; we’ll pause here with a couple of images of the basic bodyshell temporarily mounted on the chassis and looking better than I truly anticipated at this point.