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About this blog

Diary detailing layout construction

Entries in this blog

I’ll have a pint please, Bachmann’s Oakhill Brewery

I think Bachmann’s Oakhill Brewery collection is one of those iconic models, similar to their original Blue Pullman.  My Oakhill Brewery buildings are mostly date stamped 2009, with the boiler house chimney marked 2010.  My records show that I purchased my buildings from a variety of retailers in the period 19th to 30th May 2011, almost exactly 13 years ago to the writing of this Post. Bachmann Malthouse and Brewery as arrivedm - Note the extension piece to the loading bay platform

Fixing a leaky vacuum pipe? (Fettling Hornby’s ex LMS non-corridor coaches.)

It was April 2019, almost five years ago to today’s date that I purchased a set of Hornby’s ex LMS non-corridor coaches.  They were finished in BR Maroon livery, Hornby numbers R4689/90/91/91A.  I like the detail, some nice wire handrails, individual roof ventilators and various steps.  They have occasionally come out and trundled around the layout, often in the company of a Bachmann 2-6-4T or ex LMS Crab.  They ran smoothly if somewhat noisily. Hornby ex LMS non-corridor coaches i

The Long Haul

It would be January 2021 when Bachmann introduced their 94xx models.  I bought the basic version.  It had a lovely copper cap to its chimney and it ran perfectly without any trace of a wobble.  Three years later and I have just purchased a sound fitted version. Bachmann 9479 – 32-27SF   I have titled this Post ‘The Long Haul’ in recognition of the time that I have spent in recent weeks changing CVs to enable the engine to run on analogue.  It would help if I knew what I w

The Little People

For years my wife has been pointing out that my layout lacks people.  Enter my son-in-law Martin.  He likes his technology and he has invested in a 3D printer.  After making some War Game figures for his son he would turn his attention to some little figures for the railway.  Not only did he print the figures but he also painted them – that is skilful. Some of Martin’s 3D Printed and Painted Figures   Problem is that printer files for suitable little people are in short s

GWR - the Great Way Round – the construction

Recapping from my last Post, some fifteen years ago when the layout was conceived there was a Mainline Terminus and a high level Branch Terminus, both constructed up against the plasterboard enclosure housing the Aga flue.  It was not long before the Mainline Terminus was converted to a through station with the running lines skirting the outside of the plasterboard enclosure.  This provided for a dumbbell shaped layout with reversing loops and storage sidings at both ends.  Most importantly it a

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No. 168 GWR - the Great Way Round – the concept.

The past couple of years have seen a number of exciting modifications to the railway that have so far passed unrecorded.   I was first alerted to the misuse of the initials GWR by George Behrend (Ref 1) in his 1966 book Gone With Regret.  In his recollections of the Great Western Railway he extols the virtues of God’s Wonderful Railway and notes that opponents of GW methods would dismiss the company as the Great Way Round.  (Something about Brunel’s original route to Bath and Bristol via

No. 167 ‘D’ for Downhill and for Fruit ‘D’

The summer weather has disappeared so an incentive to spend time on railway matters.   This Post was initiated by the purchase of a Dapol Fruit D van.   One of Mr Dapol’s Fruit D vans   Over the last twelve months I have been imagining a Welsh themed layout.  What better for inspiration but to follow Katerfelto’s pictures on Flickr https://flic.kr/ps/SokUv.   I was fascinated by one particular picture which featured an ex GWR Fruit D in the process of

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No. 166 A tale of two Hornby Super Detail ‘Britannias’, plus a Clan (Postscript)

This Post brings a closure to my last two Posts.  Those of you who have read my accounts of rebadging a Hornby Clan and Britannia will know that there was some unfinished business.  Hornby ‘Britannia’ alias ‘Morning Star’ still needed cut outs around its lubricators.  Hornby ‘Clan McLeod’ alias ‘Clan Stewart’ needed its top lamp iron repositioning.     A reminder, as received TMC Morning Star alias Hornby Britannia R2562     Completed – my 1959 version o

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A tale of two Hornby Super Detail ‘Britannias’, plus a Clan (Part 2)

This Post is a continuation of my recent foray into Hornby Super Detail Britannias https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blogs/entry/25039-a-tale-of-two-Hornby-super-detail-‘britannias’-plus-a-clan-part-1/.   Back in 2014 Hornby sold off a lot of Diamond Jubilee boxed sets.  These included 70000 Britannia in ‘Special Duties’ livery.  This was Britannia’s preserved livery as featured in 2012 when Prince Charles was a passenger and included an Early Emblem and the original ‘danger

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A tale of two Hornby Super Detail ‘Britannias’, plus a Clan (Part 1)

I have a fascination for Hornby’s super detail Britannia and Clan models.  This Post looks at some variations that Hornby have not produced.   Firstly I am also rather partial to things ‘Great Western’.  When I spotted Hornby super detail Morning Star rebadged by The Model Centre (TMC) I would make a bid for it.  It was a big bid and Morning Star duly arrived.     Morning Star   I am generally not bothered about details such as counting the number of rive

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Hornby’s new A2/2 and A2/3

Coming from the North East of England I couldn’t let these new Hornby models pass me by.   Thane of Fife had already disappeared from my 1960 ABC books and I never got to see Cock o’ the North. There is a big red line through the number in my book, confirming its imminent withdrawal.  I did see the two A2/3s, Steady Aim being a York engine whilst around the beginning of the sixties Sun Castle was based at New England and then Doncaster.     Thane of Fife after some adjustmen

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Black Friday Black Five - Hornby's Super Detail 5MTs

I have lost count of how many Black Fridays there are in November but I used each Friday (and some of the other days) to stock up on more of Hornby’s Super Detail Black Fives.     One of Hornby’s newer models with Combined Top Feed, 45190 aka R2904   I bought 45190 my first super detail Black Five back in 2011.  I was underwhelmed by how lightweight the engine was and how little it could haul.  As a result it spent the next few years resting at the end of the engin

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Wet Day Play – etched plates and Jubilees

A conversation with a friend about changing names and numbers on old Bachmann or Mainline Jubilees prompted me to dig out some etched plates I bought perhaps two years ago, and get on and fit them!   Mainline Orion with 247 Developments etched plates and newer Bachmann split chassis   One of my all time favourite models was the Mainline Jubilee ‘Orion’.  I think ‘Royal Scot’ was my first Mainline model but Orion followed soon after in June 1981.  Pallitoy must have made

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Desert Sand , Dettol and some Extreme Plates

Heljan to my knowledge have produced three models of D1000 Western Enterprise painted in its experimental Desert Sand livery.  Heljan model number 5204 represented the prototype when it first emerged from Swindon Works in 1961 with no warning panels.  Heljan 5213 had small yellow warning panels as applied in November 1962.  Both 5204 and 5213 had a satin varnish finish.  Heljan 5221 also had small yellow panels but it had a gloss coated ‘ex works’ finish.   When the opportunity present

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Train Reporting Numbers – Heljan – Western issues

I am returning to one of my favourite subjects, Heljan Westerns.  My sixties layout is shall we say ‘stuck in time’.  Rather than purchase the latest model shop offerings I have been backfilling some gaps in my ‘stock book’ from eBay.  Whether it is a sign of the times or just an ‘age thing’ but I have picked up a number of excellent ‘unused’ models, and in one case unopened from around ten years back. Heljan is a particularly interesting manufacturer in that their models seem to be designe

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Ex LMS Jubilees – updating Mainline and early Bachmann split chassis models

One of my all time favourite models is Mainline locomotive Mars.  I kept my original purchase from 1983 and a couple of years ago I upgraded the model with a Bachmann mechanism.  I think it is still an attractive engine with its Fowler Tender.  The Mainline model of Mars was relatively expensive, I am guessing to cover the cost of the ‘new’ improved Fowler Tender which I think was all new tooling – that despite Mainline getting access to the older Airfix 4F / 2P designs.   45698

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Keeping the wheels turning – Bachmann’s B1s

The starting point for this Post is B1 61018 named Gnu.  In1960 I used to collect engine numbers.  One of the better places with an easy cycle ride was Stockton Station.  “Oh there’s a B1! Oh no – its Gnu - again!”  My records show that in 1959 Gnu was allocated to Haverton Hill.  This was located just across the Transporter Bridge from Middlesbrough.  I am guessing the shed would have serviced the large ICI Billingham chemical factory.  From its frequent appearance through Stockton I am imagini

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Ex GWR 43xx nostalgia – was it Mainline or Bachmann? Resolving some issues

The ex GWR 43xx engines were one of my all time favourite locomotive types.  They were disappearing fast when I was collecting engine numbers in 1959 / 1960 but for me they seemed to epitomise trains in rural central Wales – somewhere ‘magical’ that we visited for holidays!  When Mainline introduced their 43xx models in the early 1980s it became one of my must have engines.   37-091 Mainline 5328 43xx on my Bracken Ridge Layout around 1982   I bought my first Mainline 4

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Enterprising Plates –Heljan Westerns

I am minded of Pam Ayres and her words: “Infallible, articulate, self-confident... and wrong.” From her monologue ‘They should have asked my Husband’   https://monologues.co.uk/Pam_Ayres/Ask_My_Husband.htm   Heljan D1000 Western Enterprise and D1010 Western Campaigner fitted with etched plates   When the opportunity presents itself I will buy etched plates.  Lately I came across a set of C.G.W nameplates for D1000 Western Enterprise.  These were followed by a

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The ex LMS Fowler 2P – an update

Back in 2015 I wrote a Post for my Blog detailing an improvement to the old Mainline / Dapol model of the ex LMS Fowler 2P.     Mainline Ex LMS 2P from 1984   Crucially the work required access to Hornby spare part X6475, the front bogie from their latest engine drive 2P (R3028).  Sadly as said in my previous Post about remotoring the Hornby Q6, Hornby seem to have given up on providing useful spare parts.  Front bogie X6475 continues to be out of stock.  

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Remotoring a Hornby Q6

With all the rain outside putting a stop to gardening I have been grounded and have used the opportunity to tackle some longstanding issues.  Hornby first released their Q6 models in June 2016.  Having being raised in Middlesbrough I had to take delivery of two versions, an Early Emblem and one with a Late Crest.  They were tested and given a run around the layout before being stored away to make room for some BR (WR) trains.   Q6 63443 Hornby R3425   February 2018 and

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Class 37 or Class 55? Bachmann Bogies

I am now the proud owner of two BR Green Bachmann Class 37s.   Two Bachmann Class 37s produced around 2004   According to Mick Parker’s splendid new Class 37 web site https://www.class37.co.uk/fleet.aspx?strnumber=37676 my D6707 was outshopped in 1961 and spent its early life allocated to March.  D6826 was a later design without gangway end doors and was outshopped in 1963.  It was first allocated to Cardiff Canton.  Although outside of my layout period it was reported

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Lowering the ride height of the Bachmann Deltic

My last Post https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blog/880/entry-21774-a-deltic-dalliance/ reviewed past ready-to-run Deltic models. The message was that the prototype was large, lengthy (and noisy) and that a scale model was not compatible with train set curves. In an attempt to solve the issue Bachmann appeared to have adopted a ‘Belt and Braces’ approach. The Bachmann model has a narrower profile for the leading bogie wheels while at the same time thinning the bodywork with ‘cutouts’

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A Deltic Dalliance

The English Electric Deltic has long been popular with railway enthusiasts. It was a hugely powerful locomotive with a particularly evocative exhaust note, characteristic of its 18 cylinder two – stroke diesel engines. Production units began to appear in 1961 and ran initially in two tone green livery without names or yellow warning panels. D9002 – without name and warning panels 1961 It was about this time that I was ceasing to collect engine numbers. Notes inside the rear cover of my Ian

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On a winning streak – The Rails Rapido Dynamometer Car

It has just been announced that the Rails Rapido Dynamometer Car has won the 2018 first ever Hornby Best OO Scale Wagon or Carriage Awards. Deservedly I would say. My model was purchased long before the awards were announced. The model is highly detailed and very well made. I think more a scale model than an item of model railway rolling stock.   Ex LNER Dynamometer Car - complete with magic wand (to turn on the lighting)   Over the course of a year I buy the odd item from Rails of Sheffiel

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