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About this blog

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

Entries in this blog

 

A Small Parcel Arrives

A very long time ago, in my teens, I tried to build a layout. It was my first diesel layout and it was definitely modern image : not only was it BR Blue , it was contemporary. For some reason I decided I wanted some parcels vans and I duly bought a pair of Lima BGs and a pair of Lima CCTs. These things have been lurking in boxes ever since the half built layout was abandoned and dismantled (Several years in Australia, followed by university , didn't exactly help progress)   Several decades la

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Set 1 - Under False Colours - Pt.1 - Overview

Having rashly flung down the gauntlet and declared I'm thinking of running a third , not terribly authentic, period on Blacklade to give an airing to the bits of steam era /green diesel stock I seem to have acquired, I've actually made a start in the form of a pair of Ratio kits: two of the LNWR kits to be precise. The twist is that these will actually constitute the ER's contribution on the coaching side, until I lay my hand on some Kirk kits.   I've rather fancied the Ratio LNWR coaches sin

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Set 2 - MR suburbans : Part 1

For my next trick, as they say, I have a pair of Ratio MR suburbans. These are intended to form the second set of steam age coaches on Blacklade   The reason for selecting these is simple. In my early teens, before discovering modern image modelling , I perpetrated several Ratio MR coach kits . The best of them, replacing my first attempt at a kit , was this gruesome object . It's also pretty well the only one to have survived . I remember I was quite pleased with this at the time     The

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NRX Van

Next cab off the rank is yet another project that was supposed to be a quick win - and hasn't been.   In a moment of weakness at Peterborough show a few years ago I bought a Replica Mk1 BG in Transpennine livery . They were being discounted to a tenner at the show, and it seemed too good a bargain to pass up. After all a Mk1 BG is the archetypal modern image parcels vehicle , and I didn't have one for Blacklade.   After I got home I decided that it was a bargain I might have been better miss

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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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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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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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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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A Decent 31 - Finishing Off

31 415 is now finished - I've done rather more modelling than blog-posting in recent months.     Much of the finishing seemed to be a question of paint   I made a serious mistake with the noses and used Railmatch pre1984 yellow acrylic for the first coats. Nothing wrong with the shade , but I got a dreadful tar-brush result. Much careful/desperate rubbing down resulted , with fine emery boards and a little nail block someone directed me to , that has 4 different surfaces on a block and reta

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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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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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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

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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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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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A Decent 31 - The Basics

Having decided on a target loco (31 415 , MR then BS) http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blog/296/entry-14486-a-decent-31-prototypes-and-problems/ and with an Airfix body in hand , what needs doing?   Firstly, remove the numbers and symbol with surgical spirit and a cotton bud. Next , a swift appraisal.   The Airfix model was state of the art in it's day, but that was 35 years ago. Still, many competent judges seem to rate the moulding highly in terms of basic shape   The body sid

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The End is Nigh

Despite the silence I have in fact been doing some modelling over the last couple of months - I just haven't written it up . However this is to record that I have finally finished construction of the Ratio Van B . It still needs lettering , spot painting and weathering, and there's plenty of scope for things to go wrong in all of that, but the last tiny scrap of etched brass has been stuck in place . At least the last one that I'm sticking on - there are still a small number of tiny bits on the

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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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Set 3 - Grouping Non-Gangwayed

Despite having two sets of coaches on the go already , I seem to have drifted into starting a third. Admittedly the LNWR set is almost done - just a bit of weathering still to do , and the new project is supposed to be a quick win....   When, early this year, I decided to use various steam era kits and bits I had accumulated to operate a steam period on Blacklade I quickly found I was very short of brake coaches. As money was tight at the time , I looked for the cheapest options to plug the ga

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Baby Deltic 1

I'm conscious that the blog has been inactive for a long time , and it certainly feels as if I've been inactive too   However a certain amount of modelling has been done - I just haven't written it up.   One project that has been making intermittant progress is the Baby Deltic referred to in an earlier post here http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blog/296/entry-12459-baby-needs-some-new-paint/   Much of the progress has been painting - however despite seeing this as a "quick win"

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Set Two: Finishing Off

In the absence of better information, I reworked the underframe as proposed, sawing the Comet LMS battery box castings in half in then X-Acto mitre box, and plating the cut ends with 20 thou plasticard. The Comet vacuum cylinders were also installed , though possibly they could have been filed down to sit a bit lower. The completed bogies were fixed onto the composite and I had two completed coaches. They've come in at 110g all up: slightly more than the intended 100g (25g x 4 axles) , but a sat

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Set 2 - We're Getting There....

I haven't posted much recently in my blogs - but some modelling has been going on in dribs and drabs over recent months   The two Ratio ex MR suburban coaches which are to form Set 2 have made intermittant progress and have now reached the stage shown:     and     The second being the recycled and rebuilt kit I originally made in my teens and which completely dismantled itself when I applied ModelStrip to it   This is now a composite, with 4 first/3 third . Passengers have been pai

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Finishing Off - Set 1 and the Met Bo-Bo

Just to round off a couple of projects - and prove that I do occasionally finish things as well as starting them, here are some hasty shots of the Met Bo-Bo and the Set 1 coaches at the DOGA AGT . Two coaches proved a little too much for the card loco , though one was easy enough - at 100g+ each this is not too surprising             This one was taken in it's working environment before weathering and lettering - also before I fitted gangways to the inner ends :     Somewhere

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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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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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The Worst Diesel Locos in the World? - Part 2 "Paint Your Wagon"

The Worst Diesel Locos in the World? - Part 2 "Paint Your Wagon"

After a brisk start , this project seems to have gone to sleep again.    Not quite true - in the last 10 days I've actually managed to paint the bodyshell, and matters now stand thus:     I see I have managed to capture the corner where one of the window pillars became damaged and had to be repaired. It looks much worse blown up to around 7mm scale. I also haven't removed the Maskol from the handrails   Transfers are Modelmaster (someone said he's droppin

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