Painful progress


This week, having received some bits that were holding the job up, I have moved the Austerity up the works line a bit. The motor/gearbox combo has been completed as has the main body of the chassis. Both have been offered up to each other successfully though testing awaits.

I can’t honestly say I enjoyed fitting the Gibson wheels as there’s a bit much chassis between the two wheels, making it very difficult to visually quarter them accurately. There was the added complication of the footplate supports which added a voodoo doll-type layer of fun to the procedure…

I’ll tackle the rods over the weekend and then have a good laugh at the appalling galactof*** that passes for quartering in this effort.

Still, it’s progress and the model is getting close to an operational state; it looks like despite the flywheel, the motor will go comfortably into the boiler and even the mahoosive tank weight will sit clear of the motor with relatively minor modification.


Lastly, I’ll be paying a little attention to these pre-group wagons which have been hanging about the desk and really could use being finished.

The van is a Highland Railway Jones 8 tonner from a resin kit marketed by the Highland Railway Society. I’ll probably need a little bit of light relaxation once the Austerity is a runner!



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Sunday Ice Breaker

Dolly Parton’s bus…


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Good news from far away.

img_6809Having spent my earliest years by the Clyde within a stone’s throw of both the docks and shipyards of Govan, Scotland’s maritime heritage is something close to my heart. I was pleased then to hear of progress with attempts to rescue the sailing vessel Falls of Clyde from Hawaii with the intent of bringing her home to her birthplace. What a guid companion she’ll make to the Queen Mary who only came home herself last year from exile on the Thames.

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Have you ever smashed a model?

Oooh, yesss! 😂😂😂


I mean really trashed it.

And not to recreate a prototype photo or to model an effect. Have you ever been soooo FRUSTRATED that something wasn’t working out the way that you wanted it to, that you just said ‘F*%K-IT‘ and smash…you destroyed it?I admit it,I have.

If by some super-human feat of self-control you have not, I bet you’ve been close and wanted to.

But here’s the thing. I don’t feel that way anymore. And I have the hobby of model railroading, in part, to thank for that.

This is a hobby for patient people.I’ve learned that projectscan’t be rushed, steps need to be followed in logical and methodical, well thought out order, or mistakes happen. First fill, then wait, then sand and wait, then prime and let dry, then paint one thin coat and let dry,then repeat…dear God can’t I get this done TONIGHT?And when I…

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The Week of the Wagons


I’ve got a week off work. I always think of this first or second week of the year as my ‘Zombie Week’. Dawn comes later in these two weeks than it actually does at the winter solstice for reasons to do with the earth’s orbit of the sun and it will only be over the next couple of days that the sun begins to rise earlier. Anyway, the fact that it’s still so dark in the mornings means I don’t surface until pretty late and once you have had your breakfast and walked the dog the daylight hours are near half done. It’s therefore a good week to take time out, do your own thing and have as lazy a time as possible.

So, this week I’ve decided I’ll tackle some Wagons as the weather is a bit Ertha Kitt for the garden tidying I initally planned. These two are variations on the LNER standard six plank open. One is the Cambrian kit and the other an old 3H kit from the 1970s/80s.

The Cambrian kit is pretty well detailed and builds like, well, a Cambrian kit; i.e. it helps to have a bit of previous experience as the parts often need a bit of dressing and fettling for perfect fit. That said, it still assembles with care into a good model.

The 3H kit was a bit of a surprise as I built one back in 1980 and remembered it as a good, well-designed kit.

Upon building this one I was a bit surprised to find the fit a little ‘wooly’ at times and the mouldings although well detailed  appeared a wee bit reluctant to accept the Plastic Weld at first.

We got there in the end though and the two wagons await attention in the paint shop, having had Lanarkshire Models Buffers and Gibson wheels fitted.

That was Tuesday.

Wednesday has been spent with something very different…


Whist the others are just for the general ‘steam era’ fleet, this one was bought with Project 77 in mind.

Justin Newitt of Rumney Models is gaining a reputation for very nice etched chassis kits, intended for EM/P4 gauges and designed to go under popular makes of plastic kit. In this case it’s for a 16 ton Mineral wagon.

This is the first of Justin’s kits I’ve done and although seeing the extent of etch was a little daunting at first, the kit is very well designed  and largely self jigging which makes it virtually assemble itself.







Assembly as mentioned was pretty straightforward; I’m currently unable to print off Justin’s extensive instructions but I selectively studied those from another of his kits and that was able to take me pretty much where I wanted to go.

In fact the only difficulty I encountered at all was self inflicted, due to using more solder than I intended to on the solebar which gummed up the slots for the body support brackets on one side  No real harm done though, I’ll know to be a bit more sparing on the next one.

So far, very good. I’ll have a crack at the brake gear next.






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Filthy, Dirty, grubby, meet the model of 2016… The Peckett is finished.

The Model Railways of Oly Turner and Chris Matthews

My modelling recently has been somewhat lazy, I have expected results from lacklustre effort and been pissed off with the outcomes, much like my recent work life. It has been a rubbish year really for most people and by about November I had really had enough of 2016.

The only upside at the end of 2016 was the installation of a garden based workshop (ED – More a shed) it is only 6 x 8 feet, but more than enough for me. I just have to wait to get out and get it fitted out with insulation et al (read Chris has to come down and do it while I look busy).

My modelling had suffered being in the spare room. Tools were always away, stock was constantly damaged, it meant I could have a layout but it meant I was lazy as items like the airbrush took considerably more effort to…

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A Growly Glesga Dug!




Whilst I psyche myself up to tackle the Gibson wheels on the Austerity and re visit the errant chassis on the Barclay, I decided I would finally make a start on one of the Judith Edge diesel shunter kits that have sat in my stash for six years now. I chose to go for the NBL diesel hydraulic, one of the later, more boxy style, seen from D2708 onward. These were further developed and the kit represents the later variant from D2745 on.

I’ve long entertained a big soft spot for these machines which although small are big in personality as the clip below ably demonstrates.

Quite possibly, the growliest, snarliest wee shunters on the system and full of character, most Scottish yards of any significance had one stashed away somewhere so as plans beyond Project 77 feature a representation of a Glasgow yard, there is a requirement for at least one of these.

The kit itself is a collection of flat etched and so far construction has generated no terrors.

Close of play last night saw the frames assembled, the running plate basic structure and front buffer beam fabricated. This latter is a laminate of five etched layers, making an extremely solid and robust assembly.



It’s just possible that the kit is slightly over-engineered but so far it’s pretty well designed and self-jigging. In any case, I don’t consider over engineering to be a remotely bad thing; it is after all the primary reason that the Forth Bridge still stands proudly beside her newer siblings!



(Image courtesy of Transport Scotland)


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