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About this blog

Things on the workbench, or gathering dust on the bookcase....

Entries in this blog

"Here's one I made earlier"

"Here's one I made earlier"

Very many years ago, when James Callaghan was prime minister and I had not yet discovered that it was possible to make model railways without using steam engines, I had a GW/LMS joint branch line. Because those were the popular prototypes. I wasn't very old but I'd discovered the Railway Modeller, and I had a pannier tank and a Hornby GWR brake third. I wanted a longer GW train but not too long, so a plastic kit for a 4 wheel GW coach seemed a good idea.   This relic survived down the

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New Year's Resolutions, Part Umpteen...

New Year's Resolutions, Part Umpteen...

It's that time of the year when I take stock and make a plan for the year - which then ignominously fails in the next 12 months.   Twelve months ago I decided I really would finish the Tourist Brake Third. And after a lot of struggle I actually managed it - though it still needs writing up here.   The Baby Deltic was another "promise to finish" - and lo and behold it's done. And written up.   There the good news stopped.   However I have recently managed t

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The Worst Diesel Locos in the World? - Pt. 1 Concept and Body

It is fair to say that the North British Locomotive Company's attempt to move into the brave new world of modern traction was an ignominious failure. After six decades as one of the leading locomotive builders in Britain it attempted to enter the diesel era via a licencing deal with MAN of Germany; but the results of this push can be classified into two groups - failures and complete failures. NBL folded in April 1962 under the resultant weight of warranty claims and lack of new orders, its fina

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Retail Therapy

Last weekend but several was , of course, Warley. Feeling a little buoyant after completing the Baby Deltic I went with a list...   It was one of those occasions when you end up buying all sorts of things you didn't know you needed until you got to the show. And I didn't get some of the things I did know I needed.   But the result of all this is a number of new projects opening up so -   - The first cab off the rank is an attempt to follow the Baby Deltic by assembling a home-brew NBL Type

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Baby Deltic - Released to Traffic

After a good deal of last minute panic I now have a working Baby Deltic, and here is a picture of it on the rolling road to prove it:     The Mk2 stiffened chassis also developed bend, and I stiffened it with two short lengths of brass bar araldited in place. It is now rigid and more or less straight   Fortunately for me the Hornby Ringfield motor bogie I had in stock is the final Chinese-made 5 pole unit with 8 wheel pickup. Not only does this pick up better and run better, it is also no

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Baby Needs Some New Shoes

One of the "benefits" of a blog is that it records just how long certain projects have actually been stalled.   This is a case in point - behold I bring you the world's slowest quickie loco kit! http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blog/296/entry-14093-baby-deltic-1/   The Silver Fox Baby Deltic has been stalled and lying in the paint-drying box for a horrifying 4 and a bit years....   I am at least now making some progress   One issue was highlighted here http://www.rmweb.co.uk/

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Payment on Account

I haven't updated the blog for rather a long time. The truth is that I've been rather quiet on the modelling front - but a bit less quiet than it appears.   Now the prospective exhibition booking has slipped into next year, I'm suddenly feeling a bit disinhibited. All the things I couldn't really work on because they weren't relevant to a BR Blue period I can now work on again. So.…   Some progress has been made on the wretched Coopercraft Tourist Brake Third this year. Unfortunately it is

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At the Dawn of Time - Chapter the First

In which the Author discovereth a Cardboard Box in the Study which recalleth his Childhood; and subsequently journeys into the Western-most Parts of Great-Britain.....   A few years ago I saw a reissue of the Airfix kit for Trevithick's locomotive in a shop. I had one of these as a child, when I was too young to have any real understanding of how to build it: I recall some attempt was made at it, though it certainly never got as far as any paint, and one or two cogs and bits survive somewhere

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Troublesome Trucks

When I built the tea-tray in which to mount the Boxfile, I had the naïve idea that replacing the damaged track and sorting out the track joints between the two files would solve all the 'file's running problems.   Unfortunately what it actually revealed was that there were problems with the stock. A replacement Tenshodo rejuvenated the Y3, a little running in helped the Knightwing shunter - and then it became painfully obvious that all was not well with the wagon fleet.   An extensive progra

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2018 - Deja Vu ?

It's that time of the year when I survey the state of the bookcase and the cupboard and post over-optimistic ambitions for the year's modelling....   At least this year I'm sitting down to contemplate at the start of January, rather than the middle of February, which I suppose is progress. There's also the fact that I need to write up some of 2017's output for the blog.   After a pretty patchy year things took a sudden leap forward when I realised I didn't have to wait for a suitable IKEA pr

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Set 5 - Quick and Slow: Part 1 Quick (I hope)

After a long while contemplating the idea, I finally bought one of the Dapol LMS coaches in CKD form . I prefer CKD form as it's a little cheaper, and as I'm going to work on the thing I am saved the trouble of finding out how to dismantle it. The intended victim is a CK in BR Blood and Custard   The CK seems to be the pick of Dapol's ex Mainline Stanier coaches - Coachmann's expert assessment is here http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/67996-making-use-of-Dapol-lms-coach-kits/?p

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Butchering a Meat Van

I've been fairly quiet for a few months, partly because of work getting on top of me . But after finally managing 2 weeks holiday , having previously not managed more than an odd day off since I started the new job just over a year ago , I'm feeling human again , and I'm trying to resolve some of the various unfinished projects .   One small project is nearly there - an ex GW MICA meat van.   At present the main vehicle available for the cold store on the box file is a Blue Spot fish van fro

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Set 4 - Modernity on the Cheap: Part 3 - Plywood Horror

This is the story of a cheap and nasty kit for a cheap and nasty coach. Actually that's a little unfair - to the prototype   In recent years Coopercraft , like the Cheshire Cat in Alice , has been slowly fading away. Two or three years ago, before matters reached the final stage of a Smile Without a Cat, I purchased a couple of kits from their stand at Ally Pally.   One, the Kirk non-gangwayed LNER 51' full brake was a decent kit, and was built some time ago.   The other was the Mailcoach

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Work in Progress

I didn't get round to my annual New Year's Resolutions posting this year - a bad sign. Thanks to a new job and various domestic renewals not a lot of modelling was done in the couple of months before New Year, and even less posting on here took place.   Nevertheless rather more modelling took place in 2016 than was written up in this blog. The trouble is, it left rather a lot of unfinished business. For the last few years I've been stating with depressing regularity that I'm not going to take

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Set 4 - Modernity on the Cheap: Part 2 - Sidetracked

The Hachette Mark 1 has now been finished, with interior painted           And here's the results. There is a problem , but it isn't obvious:       When I was weathering the underframe somehow a touch of weathering wash got onto the sides. I cleaned it off with white spirit but the panel was still discoloured. I cleaned the whole panel back to plastic and revarnished - still a marked grey discolouration. I cleaned back and rubbed down with ultrafine gritpaper and revarnished - stil

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West Yorkshire Sow's Ear 3 - Pressing On

A large part of the problem with this unit is the underframe, and the black box masquerading as a large part of it . This was fouling a point motor casting on the layout [quite possibly the one I've now resited] so it needed to go if the unit was ever to run again, quite apart from the fact it looks unrealistic and unsightly.   Fortunately I had two packs of MTK castings on hand . Not all of the castings are actually needed, since the engine blocks and a number of the boxes are already free-st

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Set 4 - Modernity on the Cheap: Part 1 (of 256 weekly magazines)

Over the last few years I've been very consciously trying to rein in my spending on the hobby, and reduce the pile of stuff in my cupboard. Money has been tight at times, and a couple of short periods of unemployment have brought home to me that I have accumulated an awful lot of unbuilt kits and bits over the years, and that I have made very limited progress with building them.   "Don't buy - build!" has been the watchword.   I'm afraid that my good intentions have not been fully realised.

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DC Kits 128 - Bodyshell

[This is my third attempt at posting this - both the previous two having been wiped and returned to an incomplete draft entry by the software correction]   Progress so far is shown below . Put simply - we have a bodyshell.   I'm not sure it's absolutely perfect but as this project boils down to a bodyshell on a Replica MLV chassis with trimmings, it's a decent start.     Bodyshell assembly has been slow . You get four half-sides, two cabs and a roof. The roof has to be cut to length , a

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DC Kits 128 - First Impressions

Well, I've actually made a start on something . When Heljan announced their 128, Charlie Petty announced an offer on his 128 kit, pairing it with the then new Replica MLV chassis to give an easy build unit. So I bought one. And it's been sitting in its box, next cab but two off the rank, ever since.   As it's now very close to the top of the to do list http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blog/296/entry-17246-new-years-resolutions-version-81/ I' ve got out the box and made a start. It s

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New Year's Resolutions (version 8.1)

It's that time of the year again when I contemplate the modelling cupboard, and mortality and start muttering bits of Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress".   Virtually nothing has been done on the modelling front since I got back from Gaydon on 11th October. Post-show exhaustion, helping on the DOGA stand at two large shows , the DOGA half-yearly, a busy time at work, minor controversies , other interests, the run up to Christmas and being away with family during it have seen to that.   The only

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West Yorkshire Sow's Ear 2 - Let Battle Commence

There are so many things to sort out with this one it's difficult to know where to begin. I began with the trailer   To my surprise and relief , when I removed the screws holding in place the Black Box on the underframe came off "just-like-that" , and it was empty . No messy sawing and cleaning up needed. Since the weight in this vehicle is all above the floor, there was no need to sort out alternative replacement weights. And if I ever feel bold enough to tackle my second 155 it should be pos

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Damage Control 3 - Into Traffic

We left matters with a part-fixed Limby DMU and a mild crisis of conscience about details, identities and my general rate of progress on things in general.   Happily the 101 does not add to the latter as it's now finished - despite all the little extras that kept crawling out.   The first little catch was when looking at various photos in Morrison's DMU book and online. Whatever the faults of the former as a piece of scholarship (The Railcar Association compiled 9 pages of errata to it, and

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West Yorkshire Sow's Ear - 1 : Diagnosis

I have two Hornby 155s sitting in the pile of stock boxes   One is in Regional Railways livery. I've had it for at least 15 years and it's never run. It was meant as material for converting into 153s to support a proposed club layout project which never happened   The other is in West Yorkshire red and white . This was acquired as a modest priced placeholder for a later club layout project (which got as far as running bare boards and some scenery before it died ). It has a decoder (a Macoder

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Damage Control 2 - Prototypes and Identities

Blacklade is in the North Midlands, with services to Birmingham, Nottingham and Sheffield via Chesterfield. The latter either extends through to Leeds or is worked by W Yorkshire units.   In the 1980s this means that 3 depots would obviously supply units - Derby Etches Park (DY), Lincoln (LN) and Tyesley (TS). Oddly South Yorkshire never had a DMU depot, despite being a fully fledged PTE - their units came either from Lincoln or Neville Hill (NL). There is a minor metaphysical issue about Etch

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Damage Control - 1

I had good intentions, but somehow a 101 didn't feature in them...   I've got a 101 - I've had it for years. A Limby 3 car 101 in blue/grey was one of the things acquired in the RTR buying spree when I started building Blacklade a few years ago. Being ex Lima and a dowdy Modernisation unit it was rather looked down on as a quick placeholder. After all Bachmann would no doubt displace the Limby model with a splendid state of the art model in a few years   Then the power car took a tumble, res

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