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About this blog

Colin's Blog describes my return to railway modelling after a long absence. The plan is to create a Blog where my grandchildren and others can explore the various activities in two main areas:


A 1930s West Country setting with both town and rural components, designed to capture the essence of the time, the trains and places rather than strictly adhere to prototypical metrics. I call this place "Westown - Heathfield" very loosely based on Weston-super-Mare (my home town) and a Quantocks village.  Presently the time and date is Winter 1936





My second project is the rolling stock of the Weston Clevedon & Portishead Railway. This will have no dedicated layout, it is an exercise in kit building which has proved most timely as it's seen me thru the recent shutdowns and recovery from a broken foot.

Entries in this blog

#17 - More Cut and Shut

First step - a plan. Following in others' footsteps is a great help especially when they share their resources. So I have Diagrams of the LSWR saloon (1869- remodelled 1889) and a 4 compartment coach both in the 24' 6" length of #17. Ratio 612 (a Diag. U4; 26' 10" composite) is a suitable starting point, the main issues being to shed the extra width of the First Compartments and create the central saloon. Unlike #15 where saloon had its own entrance and no thoroughfare, #17 had access from

#15 - Completion; #16 - an update

The balance of the #15 build project was adding the various roof and piping accessories and the access steps. WC&PR having mostly railside stops these were an essential.   Moving on to #16, a five compartment all Second also ex LSWR. The dimensions of the Parkside/Ratio GWR Kit 610 differ slightly but are near enough for my needs, hence the build was nothing remarkable. Here it is shown with the seating and the typical "open window" settings as usually seen when in operation.

Detailing the Hornby WC&PR Terrier – Part 3 Completion

Just a couple of minor detailing jobs and a tidy up of the underside electrical contacts were all that remained to be done.   Westinghouse and vacuum braking pipes has been added to the buffer beams and Steam heating. The grossly oversized Hornby exterior brake rodding has been removed and replaced. The finished product:       The phosphor bronze wheel wipers were tidied up to improve positioning and operation, replacement of brake rods was in progress a

#15 - Construction continued - Detailing the Chassis

Originally I'd thought no further than using the under floor detail parts from the Ratio Kit. However a visit to Dart Models for some detailing parts which I did need, pipes, ventilators, lamps etc. set me off in another direction altogether. #15 is documented as having a dynamo and it can be clearly seen on the left side to the left of the middle door. However no battery box is visible from either side so I haven't bothered to add one! The Dart dynamo is a neat 3 part white-metal kit

#15 - Construction continued - The Sides and Interior

Completing the two sides required the shaping of the large saloon windows followed by the usual steps of filling and sanding back the multitude of joins. With hindsight I should have carved off the molded handrails and door handles earlier but as a first time effort I was happy with the overall outcome. Finally some 0.5mm PS strip was cut to shape and scored to make up the missing ventilators.   This shows the sides after painting and transfers.   The Second Saloon has

WC&PR #15 built from Ratio GWR 4 Wheel Coach Kits

WC&PR #15 and #17 both being 24' Saloons present similar challenges, requiring resizing and mixing / matching parts from suitable kits as well as creating the larger Saloon windows.  For the novice tackling projects of this sort there's a lot of useful information about the kits, prototypes and construction in an article by Mikkel at http://www.gwr.org.uk/proratio.html and MikeOxon on RMWeb Backdating GWR Coaches With a good photo of #15 to hand, suitable parts from Ratio 612

The Coaches - some Background

WC&PR had a diverse range of Coaches during its forty-three years of operations but the best known are #15-17 which were the main operating stock in the final years. These were originally built for the LSWR by Metropolitan Carriage and Wagon. Two (#15, #17) were 24' 6" Saloons, #15 being a Brake Saloon, dating from 1869 (Beattie) and I have a suitable diagram for these. The last #16 was a LSWR 30' Five Compartment all Third from 1879-85 of standard MCW design. For those interested in mo

Detailing the Hornby WC&PR Terrier – Part 2 The Pipe Work

Seeing promotional photos of the Dapol / Rails version of my loco helped me appreciate how wrong my base model was, mostly by omission but also how striking all the external “plumbing” work can be on these lovely locos. No two A1Xs appeared to have the same pipe configurations but fortunately excellent photos of the prototype No 4 gave me a suitable starting point.   The various missing parts were cut from Brass rod and as they were copper in the original, I set about some simple elect

Detailing the Hornby WC&PR Terrier – Part 1 The Bunker

The many limitations of the old Hornby Terrier model are well known and some fall beyond being worth fixing. The main problem is the model represents the much earlier (pre-1920s) A1 Class whereas both WC&PR Terriers were rebuilt and reclassified as A1X Class while still owned by the LB&SCR.   Most visual of the errors are the sandboxes of the A1 type incorporated above the front splashers, on the model these are solidly built plastic moulding in the main body and along with an 

DCC and Stay Alive Power for WC&PR #4

My default modifications for small wheel base locos is to add a suitable Stay Alive and replacement wheel wipers. The DCC fit required a small Chip, the ZIMO MX622 which can be externally wired to the SACC 16 for Stay Alive function. The Chip is a tight fit between motor and body in the old style Hornby Terrier.     The Stay alive and a decent set of Caps fit neatly on the cab floor / in the bunker once the modest bunker weight is removed.   Wipers are added as per

An Ex LB&SCR Terrier - some background

The WC&PR had no less than 17 locomotives in its 43 years of operation and it would be hard to find a more diverse range of small wheelbase traction power anywhere. Under Col. Stephens management this motley selection (which must have been an engineer's nightmare) were effectively replaced in the final years by two of his beloved Terriers which did most of the hard work up until the line's closure.   The first, acquired in 1925 was the ex- LBSCR No 43 "Gipsyhill" which became the 3

WC&PR - Goods Stock part 2 - ex-MR 5 Plank Wagons

Peter Strange lists 14 5 plank wagons all ex-MR in the WC&PR goods stock but it is clear from the available photos in his book that the sources of these were varied. At least two none MR wagons can been seen in the available photos, including #21 which is most clearly not ex-MR (H/T Compound2632).   Those confirmed to be ex-MR stock from photos include #3,#5, #6 and #7. As best I can tell #3 and at least one other ex-MR 5 plank were D299 with the later Ellis 10A axle-boxes.  

Stones and Blocks from Air Drying Clay

Nothing particularly novel in all this but I've designed a jig which suited my purpose of mass producing blocks of varying width and constant height. The original technique came from Physicsman as used for his Fell walls on Kirkby Luneside 1/2.   The materials used were: The base - a piece of laminated chipboard with a high quality relatively smooth finish. This is important because then the clay in the template mold doesn't stick and can be easily lifted out once cast but still w


BWsTrains in Workbench

WC&PR - Goods Stock part 1 - ex-MR Wagons - 3 Plank

WC&PR started out with a few ancient pre-1870s wagons of unknown origins but under the management of Col. Stephens they acquired a significant number of later better quality stock, mostly 3 and 5 plank wagons and one ex-GER covered van. Most of the later WC&PR plank wagons were old MR stock which became surplus when in newer production series they updated the initial designs with several improvements and changes. Peter Strange in his book lists 24 numbered Open plank Wagons (WC&PR #2

WC&PR - An Introduction

I know of three models of the WC&PR, one each in O and OO gauge feature on here. Both have detailed and excellent representations of Clevedon Station and yards and Ullypug's Weston Ashcombe Road teminus which I know very well was captured with great accuracy. This left me very little incentive to try and capture any part of WC&PR in a layout, the bar having being set so high already.   I decided instead to go in depth with the rolling stock from the last three years 1937 -1940

Westown-Heathfield - some background

Westown - Heathfield   Having come back to modelling after a long absence, this has been a learning experience.   I’m not aiming for perfection; I want the layout and individual settings to look plausible at a macro level. “I do enjoy making a miniature world where trains go to and fro”   I wanted to capture the sense of place and settings of my home county Somerset; set in the context of the railways I knew and loved as a child. I wanted to engage my 6 grandch


BWsTrains in Westown-Heathfield

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