Pickersgill update No1



Finally the details such as lamp irons have been fitted to the Pickersgill. Priming and basic painting has taken place now and the model is being made ready for lining. In the second photo I have added the red of the buffer beams and the cream for the cab interior.
It’s surprising just how much difference that splash of red on the ends makes.

Wandering Willie is also making tentative progress. I am making modifications to the rear tender rails and the safety valve housing which was altered to the box type in the 1940s. Cowlairs Works seemed to be quite fond of this modification as it can be found on a number of locos of NBR and LNER origin.


Further 4-4-0 Fun






The Gresley Composite coach has taken a back seat  while the paint hardens and the decals settle so today I returned to the Pickersgill 4-4-0 project. After a bit of head scratching about the best way to progress with the pick-up arrangements, last night I decided to rip out all the curcuit board/DCC stuff and rig the model for conventional wiring. Hornby thoughtfully coded all the pick up wiring in standard red and black, so it was easy to determine what went where. I then combined all the loose positive wires, soldered them to a fresh piece of  the appropriate colour then, protected the joint with heat-shrink tube. 

A basic pick-up rig was created for the tender with pick up on the aft four wheels and a pair of bus bars connecting these with the front of the tender. The connection has been tested then separated again after being found to function correctly. I will connect the loco and tender permanently when detailing and painting has been completed but this is now essentially a working loco.




Encouraged by progress with the Pickersgill, I dug out the part-built ‘Scott’ 4-4-0 that’s been lurking on the bench for two years, seeing sporadic work. I then fitted it with a similar rig on the tender and noticed that the tender itself was sitting lower than it should. Some mounting pads have been fabricated from plasticard but suddenly, it seems that there will be two ‘Scottish’ 4-4-0s heading into the finishing shops shortly!

I apologise for the poor photography tonight; I used the iPod to take these as opposed to the phone! 





Bachmann’s 2013-14 Programme

At the Stafford Kennel, the new releases from Bachmann are currently being pondered. Bachmann have gained a reputation for intelligent choices coupled with some real boldness in some of their new items. 

In terms of steam releases, the selections for this year are not machines of relevance to the Waverley Route, but being small tank engine classes with preserved examples, they will cater well for those on smaller budgets and those who see the full-size articles at the heritage lines where the locos exist. That should also with luck have a beneficial spin-off for the operating lines, I hope.

Probably Bachmann’s boldest venture this year is the SECR 60′ ‘Birdcage’ stock, to my knowledge the first true RTR coaching stock of pre-grouping origin. My friend Dave at Locoyard will no doubt be very pleased with this and the Brighton E4. Both items can be seen full size at the Bluebell Railway in Sussex.

Whilst the steam releases have avoided the Waverley this year, one very welcome diesel release is announced in the form of the BR/Sulzer Class 24/1. Mostly associated with the Highland/Great North section, these machines became common on the Waverley in Summer 1968 when new operating diagrams were prepared for the Inverness fleet. This came about due to the closure of the Buchan lines where the machines were regularly deployed until May that year. As such the 24/1s are very much a signature of the Waverley’s pre-hibernation swansong.

Another interesting addition to the range is the Whickham Trolley; an early example of On Track Plant, designed to move PWay workers and tools quickly along their sections. These were used on the Waverley from the 1950s so one will be acquired!   

Bachmann have also taken the opportunity to revamp their Thompson mainline stock. This was something originally planned for ten years ago when an upgrade to the original tooling was mooted but found to be an over-complex technical task due to the design of the original tooling.

This time, we are receiving a brand new set of tooling. Good news for East Coast modellers and Waverley Route modellers to a lesser extent.  

Modellers of more recent eras will be pleased with the new BR Mk 2 Air Conditioned stock announced including the DBSO Control Cars, familiar to those who used Glasgow-Edinburgh services in the 1980s. 

An addition to the Mk1 Postal fleet is the POS sorting van also announced.

Freight stock is also varied and interesting this year and includes BR Grain hoppers, Long Wheelbase Pipe Wagons, a new 20 ton tank wagon and a WD/MoD Warflat wagon.

These are all types regularly seen transiting through the Borders in our chosen era. 

Lastly from my point of view but no less interesting is a three plank open wagon of LMS origin. This type rapidly moved from traffic into Engineers’ Department use in the 1950s and ’60s and therefore will find similar use within my own fleet.

This list isn’t exhaustive but it’s a snapshot of a once again innovative and bold release policy from Bachmann.

Not a trace of fads like ‘Design Clever’ (low tech at high price) or ‘Talking a good job’ (if someone else does the research because we can’t be arsed) here!

Bachmann appear to be showing the other UK-based big guys how to do it properly! 



Pearl Diver? No, 84p!

In between the antics with the Gresley TK, I’ve been tarting up a nice new Bachmann A2. I recently traded in some stuff at my local pusher, C&M Models which left me a healthy exchange credit and allowing me to acquire a pair of A2s. This particular model took the total cost 84p beyond what I had in the pot! Nevertheless, as the proud owner of a new 60533 Happy Knight and 60534 Irish Elegance I set about adapting them to my needs. Thus tender swapping tool place (this did not involve throwing regulator handles into a crate in the centre of the enginemens’ mess-room…
The result of this is that 60534 now has a late crest tender to place her in the 1960 period whilst the early crest tender went to the double chimney loco which underwent some identity reassignment surgery to become 60529 Pearl Diver as she looked in 1956 whilst based at Haymarket.
The only major work was in relation to adding the new plates and renumbering. Removing the numbers in this case was quite easy. I gave the lightest of surface rubbing with a fibreglass pen, finished by rubbing away with a cocktail stick, some buffing with T-Cut and finally a coat or two of Klear to provide the high gloss necessary to accept decals.
I’ll add some proper daylight images shortly but I couldn’t wait to share 60529 with you as I tried out some new effects which I think have really helped to create the famous ‘Haymarket Look’.


Gresley hack latest.

Some progress has been made on the Gresley 61′ TK over the last few days. I hadn’t been overly happy with the gutter area which I threw a lot of filler at before I was satisfied. I also restored the continuity of the gutters with Microstrip and although still a bit off perfect, it looked quite reasonable in primer. I have now painted the basic livery elements of BR crimson and cream (I’m not getting involved in verbal punch-ups over the correct term for the red component!). I used Railmatch enamel for this. These days although I’m a prolific user of acrylic for most tasks, I do prefer enamels for certain tasks. A good durable base coat on a locomotive or coach is exactly the thing I have in mind. The acrylics can be used for the fun effects later!
Anyway, the flat surface has been treated to a couple of coats of Klear in preparation for applying the lining and number decals. Once I’m happy with those I’ll apply the door handles and grab rails.
Sometime in the near future I’ll take care of the interior. I’ll take my cue from the Comet interior diagram.