Getting down to business at last

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I’ve been off work this week which has allowed me to finally get properly to grips with the long procession of models requiring enhancement.
This week that has meant some top-end 1960s-era mainline power. First pair out the door into today’s early spring daylight were A2s No 60530 and 60535, both in 1965 condition.’535 is for a friend and is essentially straight from the box Bachmann.
Every other loco you’ll see today has been upgraded with LMS cast buffers and vacuum pipes in the case of 60530.

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Next was a Class 40, again in mid ’60s garb (EE Type 4, more properly in that era, I suppose), in a typical condition for that era when diesels were beginning to dominate and with their own dedicated depots, cleaning and maintenance was less problematic than earlier in the decade. D369 has had the benefit of LMS buffers replacing the factory item. This in fact was done back in late 2014 but she had then languished awaiting the call to EM conversion that ultimately never came, but we know that story now, don’t we..?

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Last but not least for today was my current favourite ‘big engine’ of the pack. Hornby’s latest take on the LMS ‘Duchess’, No 46256, Sir William Stanier FRS. In spite of dark mutterings from some quarters about the fixed rear truck, this is certainly the finest yet take on these, the finest examples of UK ‘Big Steam’ and worthy of the prototype.

Once again I have traded the original buffers for more substantial castings from LMS. They really do enhance the front end in my opinion and if you can summon up the minerals to do the surgery it’s worth the effort.

I’d like to fit a shorter drawbar for a closer loco-tender coupling and add a crew but, otherwise I’m pleased with the model as it comes. I’ve portrayed the loco during her last 3-4 years of service and she has a work-stained but still cared-for appearance.

This one provided the most enjoyment this week and I really must find a layout somewhere in the area to run it on!

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All in all, there’s been a bit of interesting stuff going on here this week. I have a couple of smaller models to be getting on with next, more typical of bread and butter Scottish operations in the 1960s. Tomorrow, however I’m going to consider some of the very positive developments this year offers for the Scottish modelling scene.

Musically, there’s a rich crop of new, interesting material passing my way at the moment including new-to-me Australian band, Lowtide.  Their latest album Southern Mind has been on repeat this week. Theirs is a rich, layered soundscape that reminds me a bit of the Cocteau Twins. Being a sucker for bass, the fact they use two bass players has sold me considerably!

Alibi is my current stand out track, with that marvellous bass line that takes me back to my ‘goth phase’ thirty years ago!

LOWTIDE – SOUTHERN MIND (Opposite Number release OPPONO6CD)

 

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Comrie Pug (Pt1)

Whilst I wait for a replacement chassis etch for the Barclay (long story) I’ve decided to make a start on the second NCB loco for Project77.

Due to some confusion and overthinking on my part concerning the compensation on the Barclay, I feel that I need to start afresh with this loco and I’m doing it as a rigid just to keep things relatively simple and make proper progress.

I’ve used the RT Models chassis etch for the Austerity.  This will go under an old Dapol ‘Warrington’ which I obtained for a fairly reasonable price over the summer.

Power is by a can motor through a High Level 108:1 gearbox which should mean a fair bit of grunt.

No need for speed here. Strong and steady is the standard requirement and it’s likely the motor will have a flywheel.

Anyway, two evenings’ work has seen the frames assembled, using my faithful Hobby Holidays masterchassis jig with various details applied tonight and the gearbox frame assembled.

Now, if I can get myself a 14BA drill and tap, this would be running by the weekend!

More 2P sub assemblies

Before work today, I grabbed a couple of hours at the bench and surprised myself with the progress made. Cab splashers applied, firebox and boiler/smokebox fabricated. Whilst these are relatively simple shapes in terms of the Fowler design, I suspect the real challenge will be mounting the sub assemblies squarely in relation to one another.

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Possible new Reid Atlantic kit from 52F

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(Image courtesy of WRHA Archive.)

Whilst a number of kits exist for models of the Caledonian and Highland Railways’ larger locomotives, there is nothing similar for the NBR (sorry, I just don’t like the full title!) 🙂 equivalent, WP Reid’s impressive Atlantic Class locomotives.
Built in the early 1900s to handle crack East Coast services north of Edinburgh and also the Midland Expresses north of Carlisle over the Waverley Route, these big 4-4-2s were unique to the best of my knowledge as being the only tender locomotives in Scotland with that wheel arrangement.

During the 1970s, a cast kit was available from GEM, but this is now very difficult to find so Peter Stanger, founder of 52F Models has intimated that if sufficient interest is forthcoming he will produce an etched kit in 2015.

It’s certainly a kit I would love to see produced so if you like me share that desire, please leave a comment to that effect and I’ll make sure word gets back to Pete.

Having made his mark on the NER modelling world with a rather nice series of kits, Pete has begun to tackle gaps in the NB’s fleet such as the C16 I reviewed last year and the useful N15 tank loco. Currently he is working on a J83 tank, famous in the later steam era as the Waverley station shunt pilots and whilst nothing is as yet finalised, future projects under consideration include J88 dock tanks and ‘Intermediate’ 4-4-0s.

You can visit Pete’s website and see the NE and NB items he has already produced by following this link. http://52fmodels.sharepoint.com/