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)

 

More photos of 10000

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As promised during the week, some more photos of 10000. I haven’t checked the model out dimensionally so far, but Bachmann seem to have researched the model well and the detail on this version sees to correspond with the period (August 1956-July 1957) when 10000 ran in traffic in this particular livery.
The distinctive yellow roof has a story all of its own which is best quoted directly from David Hunt’s profile of the LMS Mainline Diesel Electrics, No.9 in the Wild Swan Profile series;

“…towards the end of their stay in the [Derby] Works, the CME, J.F. Harrison, rang Freddie Simpson, who was the works manager, to ask why the locomotives were still not in traffic. It had been decided when they entered the works that they would be painted in BR express passenger green but the question of roof colour hadn’t been settled, so Simpson, who was known as something of a jester, replied that the hold-up was due to this indecision.
‘Freddie’, said Harrison, ‘You can paint them yellow for all I care, just get them back in service.’
In typical fashion, Simpson promptly had the roofs painted primrose yellow.
Harrison’s reaction is not recorded but within a year the roofs were grey.”

Professional wind-up as it may have been, I can’t help thinking that in conjunction with the orange and black lining, it actually works pretty well.
I’m not going to pass judgement on the overall accuracy, there being no full-size example to compare it with – for now- but examination of photographs leads me to believe that it’s a nuanced and accurate recreation of the full size beast. One thing that does impress my own eyes though is the ‘sit’ of the model which gives a pretty much prototypical small gap between the bogie top and the lower edge of the body. This is something that visually grates with me in other models such as Bachmann’s production series Deltic (happily addressed with the NRM prototype model) and can throw the look of a model badly.
I can’t honestly find anything glaringly wrong with this model on this fairly casual inspection and if you are considering the acquisition of one I would say go for it.
It’s certainly very attractive and I’m looking forward to the arrival of a pair in 1955 black livery next year from a certain South Yorkshire emporium next year!