Finished at last

Finally after a rather stop-start process over the summer, the BT(L) is finally complete.
I’m pleased with how this model has turned out and though there are certainly imperfections it’s the first of probably half a dozen vehicles to come via a similar route. One thing’s sure; those Shawplan windows really lift things beyond any other type of previously available glazing.
I’ve given the coach a notional ScR prefix to the number but as these lavatory vehicles were few in number it’s unlikely any saw service over the border and I may try some cheeky cut and shut methods to produce non-lavatory variants in future.
Meantime I’m just going to bask in this model’s reflected glory while I await the new etched coupling rods that will allow me to move the Jumbo finally onward to completion!
I’ve also been re-wheeling a number of pre-existing vehicles including a re-bogied and detailed ex-Lima LMS 40′ CCT (that one, Jamie!) and a ‘Hornby Magazine’ Stove R, known in this neck of the woods as a Stove (a)R(se) on account of the less than wonderful chassis provided with the model.
It would be unfair to let this overshadow the model above the solebar which is, in fact rather good. The undercrackers were sorted out using a Brassmasters ‘Cleminson’ underframe which seems to work OK on a continuous run when fitted with OO wheels. How it will fare now it’s EM-ed and likely to negotiate pointwork may be another matter!





Diagram 1790 further.



Feeling a bit more motivated to sit in the workshops now things have cooled down a little in the north, I was keen to make a little more progress with the 1790 so on Friday night, I got the airbrush out and gave the model a good coating of Railmatch BR crimson.
This is actually a rather lovely, vibrant colour and it’s a shame BR chose to replace it with a rather sombre shade of maroon after 1956.
It has actually gone on with a rather nice sheen that shouldn’t require too much glossing up before the application of decals. I also ran a paint marker on the inside of the window frames – this makes a big difference to the appearance and will enhance the look of glazing when it’s fitted.
I’ll allow it to settle and cure a day or two before I visit that and meantime I have busied myself painting up the interior. I’ve no idea if these colours are truly authentic but I actually used Lifecolor brake dust (acrylic) for the interior cream as I’m pretty sure that the interior finish would have discoloured to the kind of dirty yellow seen here pretty quickly not only on account of the environment of the steam railway but also due to the universality of the smoking habit in the 1950s!
The interior finish isn’t at all sophisticated but it should suffice given the limited interior visibility.
I also took the opportunity to fit Frogmore grab rails to the doors. What I wasn’t prepared for was the sheer ease with which they went into place. One thing I would suggest to Frogmore though is that they could maybe produce some 8 and 9mm versions as I still had to make the extended guards’ door handrails myself; a task which you probably understand by now ain’t a personal favourite!
A cursory lick of paint on the rails finished the evening’s work.
I’m pleased with the look of the model so far and this project really seems to be bringing out the best in what’s now a vintage model.

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!