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!

Here’s one I prepared earlier.

Seeing as we are still struggling manfully on with the Jumbo, I thought I’d show you some of the wagons it will ultimately haul.
Apart from the open, the construction of which we followed a few months back, all these kit-based wagons were built a few years back and have just been converted for EM operation. I’m still rather proud of the finish though.
The only exception to this is the brake which is Hornby’s 2011 release.
For what it’s worth, this to me is the best representation of the BR standard brake yet produced and whilst the Bachmann brake is still great, there’s a real subtlety about this one that gives it the edge. I’ve fitted mine with LMS Models Dowty buffers and given it a lived in look. It really looks the part. If Hornby were to produce it with oil axle boxes I’d seriously consider making it the standard (I know !) brake in my fleet of stock.

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Bits and bobs for sale

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I’m currently having a clear out of surplus items to gather some funds for EM track and wheel sets so I’ll be putting a few more bits and pieces up over time.
First up are these 4mm road vehicles from EFE, Oxford and Base Toys.
A useful selection covering the 1955-70 period. I’ll accept £45 for the lot.
Also available are fifteen Bachmann Presflo wagons in Blue Circle yellow livery. £100 secures these.
I also have a Bachmann A1 in original BR apple green livery as 60114, WP Allen, tested only and yours for £75.
If any of you are aircraft modellers, I also have a decent quantity of 1/72 aircraft kits for sale. Mainly British prototypes though there are a couple of US and Canadian types, all of the 1930-60 period.
As always, please reply if there’s anything of interest.
More railway-related items will appear in due course! 😊

The Coo’s ither tail!

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Modelling has been a wee bit slow of late due to being off work on leave. The fact I’m not on shifts means I have more energy and coupled with the extraordinarily good July weather in these parts this results on my getting a lot of necessary jobs in and outside the house done that I’d normally feel a bit worn out and apathetic to do!
Nevertheless, last week I did get this model to more-or-less completion.
Another of the part-builds I acquired from my friend. I completed this Parkside ex-LMS, Fowler era brake, finished in unfitted early-mid 1950s er grey she will be a temporary stand by until the Stanier is ready.
The worst part of the whole job was making the handrails. I absolutely hate this job as however hard you try with measuring and bending the wire, there is invariably a discrepancy that means the rail is either slightly long or short sufficient to provide just enough visually jarring distortion in the rails and generating a generous amount of industrial language from this builder.
Nevertheless, I managed to survive the handrail phase in this one although some weird primer-related clumsiness on my part led to a hint of re-planking as viewed here.
It’s not too bad though, I hope you’ll agree! As standard with my builds this one has LMS Models buffers and EM wheels.

Diagram 1/044 Part 2.

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As promised, I continued construction of the wagon tonight.
First task was to fit the buffers and to assist with accurate fitting of the replacements, I first bored down the existing shank, thereafter widening the hole to accommodate the broader mounting spigot of the new cast buffers.
Next task was to fit the drawhooks (Exactoscale) and the label boards on the ends.
I then tackled the underframe and brake gear, replacing the plastic shaft with brass wire and adding brass L section to replace the moulded tie bars as I mentioned yesterday.
The last stage of work involved attaching the door bumpers, brake levers and finally some cast vac bags on the ends. Again these, like the buffers are excellent castings by Dave Franks at Lanarkshire Model Supplies (www.lanarkshiremodels.com).

The model is now ready for painting. One notable aspect of this kit is the thin-ness of the sides and the good internal detail of the body mouldings.
Some imaginative paintwork will bring out the full potential of these details!

A little help for my friends…

I’ve completed some models today for a couple of friends who wanted weathering jobs done. I’ve got to say the new generation Farish 37 really has its beauty brought out by some thoughtfully-applied techniques.
In both scales, the techniques are roughly the same with over sprays of acrylic, oil washes and dry-brushed enamels. With the Claytons I used TCut to remove the heaviest paint deposit and create depth to the overall appearance of the loco sides.
If you really want a rough appearance on a diesel you can even use a fibreglass pen to remove sprayed weathering. This is definitely a more advanced technique all the same.
Perhaps best reserved for late 1960s Western Region modellers!

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The Coo’s Tail

A sufficient amount of stock has been gathered for the first EM goods train and attention now focuses on the rear of the train. Since this first train has a specific purpose in mind, (hauled by an ex-CR Jumbo of which more in future instalments), it makes some sense to have an appropriate brake bringing up the rear. Enter the Stanier 20 ton brake.
The basis for this model is the old Airfix 20t Stanier which dates from 1977-8 which is about as long as I’ve been modelling railways!
Still, it’s a testimony to the quality of these models that they still have potential to become show stoppers.
In this instance, my model is fitted with Lanarkshire Models cast buffers and drawhooks. The same manufacturer’s underfloor ballast box is used to fill the very noticeable void underneath.
The moulded on handrails have already been removed and I’m in the process of drilling out holes to accept the new brass ones,. Finally, after basic painting, I intend to fit Shawplan glazing.

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One niggling shortcoming of this 1977 model is the representation of brake shoes and it’s difficult to remove them without causing damage elsewhere.

On the other hand, EM wheelsets drop in, unopposed.

More later concerning this van.

Bang for your buck?

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Today, I spent an enjoyable day at the Wigan Model Railway exhibition. A good day was had meeting and conversing with friends, admiring the modelling of others.
Inevitably some money changed hands also as shows like this are good for getting those otherwise hard to find items.
A visit to the Shawplan stand proved somewhat expensive as a pile of much required Laserglaze packs and etchings left me £130 lighter. Mulling this over at lunch it occurred to me that this is roughly RRP for a new Hornby loco.
This got me thinking about relative values in the wider sense. Many modellers might spend that £130 on a new locomotive, take it out of the box and have it running round their layout for the rest of the evening.
In my case though, these Shawplan parts will, for the same outlay provide me with several weeks or months pleasure upgrading five locomotives and eight carriages.
It all comes down to what you want from the hobby but I think I got the better deal!

Further items to shift

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With Wigan exhibition this week, attention turns to gaining some funds to invest in new EM equipment.

Shown above is a Cowans & Sheldon 10 ton general purpose crane.
These could be found in goods and Engineers’ yards over the BR system from the late 1950s till the early 1990s.
This started life as a Hornby crane which has been fitted with Lanarkshire Models buffers, Markits 00 wheels and a selection of resin and etched parts to depict a more convincing representation of the pulley gear. It’s accompanied by an LMS single plank open wagon in the office of crane runner constructed from a Falcon etched brass kit.
I can fit the models with link couplings if required.
I’m looking for £45-50 for this one off model. I also have 57 pairs of unused Markits 12 mm 00 wheelsets bagged with bearings and six pairs of 14 mm also. Again £45 secures the lot.

Finally I can spare an as new BR black V2 locomotive in early BR black for £55.
As usual, please reply if there is anything of interest.

Useful new book

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A very useful publication has arrived today; Hugh Longworth’s BR Mark 1 & Mark 2 Coaching Stock
(ISBN 978-0-86093-650-3)
Ian Allan Publishing.

This is to my mind a companion to the excellent volumes by Parkin and Harris respectively.
Rather than try to go over the same ground as those excellent technical appraisals, this book carves a niche of its own. The first section briefly covers design and development matters with a short explanation of TOPS vehicle codes and numbering systems.
The bulk of the book then lists each vehicle by variant, running number and construction lot with a small but useful schematic at the head of each as shown below.

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This for me is so far the most useful section of the book listing as it does the original regional allocation of each vehicle along with withdrawal, conversion (where relevant) and condemnation dates. It also covers any re-numberings where for example a vehicle has been converted for departmental service.

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Again, from a personal perspective, there are listed the details of every BR Carflat conversion from 1959. This is important to me because finally it provides me with details of the converted ex-Big Four vehicles that were used in the 1960s on the Waverley Route’s legendary vehicle trains.
This alone justified the book for me as I will need to tackle these trains in model form in due course.
Useful appendices bring up the rear of the book, these covering vehicles subjected to multiple re numberings, Lot and Diagram numbers and some sample train formations, primarily from the 1970s.
At £45 RRP this is not a cheap book, but it can be found for considerably less (my example came via a well known on-line retailer for considerably less than the asking!
If coaches are your bag then you will almost certainly find this a useful title and as I say, it is best considered as complementary to the two previous tomes on the subject and it provides a useful additional tier of data.

Recommended.