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Perry Barr Blues

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PaternosterRow

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More pictures. Note Steve Jones's fabulous shot of the station in 1978 with a Class 312 bound for Walsall. I am currently working on a Southern Pride Class 304 - this seems to be the only available WCML EMU kit available at the moment. Work is slow and I am awaiting parts that did not arrive with the kit - such is life, eh?

 

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Fabulous shot taken by Steve Jones in 1978.

 

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Class 86 'Planet' in early Executive livery pulls an eight coach train - made up of 7 Lima MK3s and 1 Bachmann MK1 full brake. The Class 86/87 pulled these rakes whilst BR awaited the arrival of the Class 90. It was usual to see 9 MK3s with accompanying MK1 Brake, but I figured 8 was a fair compromise for an 00 gauge layout.

 

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The brilliant Lima Class 101 - this little DMU must be Lima's finest hour with its flush glazed windows. Great little runner too.

 

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Class 86 pulling an early Freightliner train. The Freightliner containers are from Scalescenes and look quite good for a humble card kit.

 

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A ViTrains Class 37. Great runner but growls a bit (just like the real thing).

 

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No WCML scheme would be complete without a 'Hoover'. This is an upgraded Lima Class 50 - I should have renumbered it, but liked the D400 preTOPS number. A new motor has been installed for more power - now to try and resolve the pick up issue - any advice on this would be most welcome.

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At this period - early 80s, I can recall WCML trains made up of Mk 2d/e/f FO and TSOs with a Mk 3 buffet and Mk 1 BG - but this was in the Lune valley so possibly going via the Trent Valley rather than Brum. In the late 80s the Bournemouth-Manchester trains were Mk 1 BG / Mk 2d/e/f FO / Mk 1 RB / 3 or 4? x Mk 2d/e/f TSO / Mk 2d/e/f BSO. I used to aim for the Sussex Scot from Oxford to Brum - taking care to sit in the Edinburgh portion, which tended to be more salubrious. I can't recall how these were made up or whether there was first class accommodation in both portions. 47s south of Brum of course, though some may have changed engines at Coventry?

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Mike, comparing your shots to Dave Jones' leaves me impressed as usual. You've always been a master at creating atmosphere but now you're also doing exact location modelling.

 

I've just had a look at your various layouts over the years and the breadth of subjects is quite something! What do you do with the former layouts, keep them or... ?

 

I know what you mean about waiting for missing parts. It can be frustrating when it holds up a particular modelling project. But probably a healthy reminder that we are getting used to obtain everything immediately with a few clicks!

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Absolutely superb Mike!

 

Thanks for posting more great pictures...oozing atmosphere :yes:

 

Do you have a long FY each end, is it roundy roundy or more a static long diorama? Whatever it is...it looks fab.

 

Keep em coming :good:

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At this period - early 80s, I can recall WCML trains made up of Mk 2d/e/f FO and TSOs with a Mk 3 buffet and Mk 1 BG - but this was in the Lune valley so possibly going via the Trent Valley rather than Brum. In the late 80s the Bournemouth-Manchester trains were Mk 1 BG / Mk 2d/e/f FO / Mk 1 RB / 3 or 4? x Mk 2d/e/f TSO / Mk 2d/e/f BSO. I used to aim for the Sussex Scot from Oxford to Brum - taking care to sit in the Edinburgh portion, which tended to be more salubrious. I can't recall how these were made up or whether there was first class accommodation in both portions. 47s south of Brum of course, though some may have changed engines at Coventry?

Hi Compound, thanks for the comments.  I'm one of those modellers that's forever caught in that twilight zone between accuracy and fantasy and am always hungry for facts on coach formations etc because I simply haven't a clue beyond the basics.  I grew up in Perry Barr and would spend hours along the fence peering at trains, however, it was my friend, Brendon, who was the spotter and not me.  He'd spend hours telling me about the different classes and the passenger and freight formations they were designed for, but I have to regretfully admit that none of this information ever sank in.   I have got some Mk2a coaches so am going to have a go at mixing it up a little.  Thanks again for the info, it's always most welcome.

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Mike, comparing your shots to Dave Jones' leaves me impressed as usual. You've always been a master at creating atmosphere but now you're also doing exact location modelling.

 

I've just had a look at your various layouts over the years and the breadth of subjects is quite something! What do you do with the former layouts, keep them or... ?

 

I know what you mean about waiting for missing parts. It can be frustrating when it holds up a particular modelling project. But probably a healthy reminder that we are getting used to obtain everything immediately with a few clicks!

Hi Mikkel, you know I never cease to be flattered by your interest and comments on my models.  You are a master at finescale, but not in the dry 'rivet counter' style you often run accross - instead you manage to combine accuracy and atmosphere in your scenes and I only wish I had a thousandth of your patience to go to those lengths.  Your layouts are museum quality and remind me of the cameos I used to spend hours pouring over in the old science museum we had in Birmingham.  Unfortunately, I always seem to be in a hurry and am caught up in that impossible venture of dreaming up and constructing that perfect, but ever elusive, layout. 

 

This is my first attempt at copying a real location and it seems fitting that it's a place were I spent many hours as a boy - who knows where it'll lead me next.  Most of the old schemes are just gathering dust in the loft - althought I have linked Perry Barr to my Up The Junction layout. Cheslyn Station was donated to the Lartigue Railway Museum in Listowel (they've got it mounted on the wall) and I might give them a few more.  I'd gladly give them away to good homes, but people would have to collect - bit of a problem as I live out in the sticks in SW Ireland.  One was given to my neighbours young lad but, alas, it eventually ended up in the skip all torn apart and bashed up.  Which neatly leads me on to your last point.  You are absolutely right about the modern world of instant gratification - building models is too much like hard work when you can go out and buy the lastest gizmo. This endless cyle of consumerism is getting to become a massive burden and is leading us into an environmental disaster.  Most people miss the point of what we do and have no idea what joy and release a hobby like ours can offer.  When you are engrossed in those frustrations and problems that constructing layouts throw up, the world, and all its day to day cares, disappears.  That's what I get out of it most - wonderful release.  There is also no feeling quite like it when you step back at the finish of something and say to yourself 'gosh, look what I've made out of bits of card and wire'.  

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Absolutely superb Mike!

 

Thanks for posting more great pictures...oozing atmosphere :yes:

 

Do you have a long FY each end, is it roundy roundy or more a static long diorama? Whatever it is...it looks fab.

 

Keep em coming :good:

Cheers, Pete.

 

As I've mentioned to Mikkel, I am always flattered by your interest and comments.  Your layouts are so professional that you'd swear they'd been made in a factory on precise machine tools. Mind boggling to think you've done it in 2mm finescale.  In fact, if scaled up to one to one the tolerances would probably be the same!  Museum quality stuff with artful atmosphere and careful research.   Mine are good, but never as accurate as yours.  That's no false modesty either - put your eye along my schemes and you'll see plenty of wobbly bits and a lot of fudging.  I do try to get things square at least and think that is where my stuff works okay.

 

I've linked Perry Barr to my last layout to give the trains a bit of a run up.  I've used a return loop at the station end so the trains can return down the opposite track - all on a single track controller.  It's frustrating all the same and I get a lot of uncoupling and stalling even though I've employed a third radius circle.   

 

More piccies soon.

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Thanks Mike for the kind comments. Your loft must be a bit of a treasure trove. I can just picture the scene in a film, someone stepping into your loft, turning on the light and a magical world appears. I remember you mentioned the Lartigue museum earlier, sounds like a good idea to give them some more of the layouts - but do they know what they are letting themselves in for: They'll have to build an extension to house all your past and future layouts :-)

 

Regarding the future of the planet and other trifles, I was fantasizing with someone yesterday that maybe our growing preoccupation with cyberspace are the first baby steps towards  detaching ourselves from an interest in the material world. It doesn't seem far fetched to imagine a future world where everything we value is virtual, and all relationships are online (like this conversation). Environmentally that might actually have certain benefits (e.g. interest and status might move from real consumer items to virtual ones), but what it would do to our happiness and relationships with people and nature is more worrying. Not to mention railway modelling!

 

Ahem, and now back to reality :-)

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Thanks also Mike for the kind comments - this blog is all about you though and your fab modelling :good:

 

Plenty of wobbling and fudged bits on my stuff too you know ;)

 

Look forward to see more pics.

 

Just looking again at your first photo and wondering if there is scope to increase the size of the big 60’s building behind...it looks pretty imposing on the real thing...or perhaps you were keen to play it down?

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Thanks Mike for the kind comments. Your loft must be a bit of a treasure trove. I can just picture the scene in a film, someone stepping into your loft, turning on the light and a magical world appears. I remember you mentioned the Lartigue museum earlier, sounds like a good idea to give them some more of the layouts - but do they know what they are letting themselves in for: They'll have to build an extension to house all your past and future layouts :-)

 

Regarding the future of the planet and other trifles, I was fantasizing with someone yesterday that maybe our growing preoccupation with cyberspace are the first baby steps towards  detaching ourselves from an interest in the material world. It doesn't seem far fetched to imagine a future world where everything we value is virtual, and all relationships are online (like this conversation). Environmentally that might actually have certain benefits (e.g. interest and status might move from real consumer items to virtual ones), but what it would do to our happiness and relationships with people and nature is more worrying. Not to mention railway modelling!

 

Ahem, and now back to reality :-)

 

Like that, a world of perfect happiness of our own making. Remember talking to a friend about how a perfect Marxist socialist world could only come about when machines do all the work for us. Without burden we might achieve the perfect, equal society. Never thought about virtual reality being a component of that. Mind you lovely dream worlds could certainly turn into nightmares in a gilded cage - like in the film Vanilla Sky. I’d miss the modelling too much myself!!

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Thanks also Mike for the kind comments - this blog is all about you though and your fab modelling :good:

Plenty of wobbling and fudged bits on my stuff too you know ;)

Look forward to see more pics.

Just looking again at your first photo and wondering if there is scope to increase the size of the big 60’s building behind...it looks pretty imposing on the real thing...or perhaps you were keen to play it down?

 

Cheers, Pete.

 

I’ve been working on that and have increased the size on the Printer. The new pics, some shortly, are much better. The trouble, as I’m sure you’re aware, is that increasing photos up also distorts them slightly. The pic is taken from the Steve Jones photo so it’s also a bit grainy - it works okay though. Didn’t fancy having to try and build the thing!!

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Mike,

 

Just seen this thread; Re coach formations if you use the following link [email protected]  Robert's group of this parish has the info that you require.

 

Alan

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As I think I mentioned in your previous thread I do really like your layout, I was a student at the Polytechnic across the road between 1983 and 1987 (but not in the building shown in the photo, the Faculty of the Built Environment was in the brown brick block opposite the dog track) so can appreciate the work as I used to stay with relatives in Walsall and catch the train every day to Perry Barr.

In terms of train formations, the majority of stock on the London-Birmingham-Wolverhampton (LBW) services at this time would have been Mk2f with Mk1 RBR and BGs.  It wasn't really until the early 1990s and the introduction of "modular catering" that the RFM Mk3 restaurants became the norm.  By 1987 you would have seen mixed blue/grey and Executive liveried rakes.  For a period in 1982-3 there was a lunchtime Shrewsbury to London service which had a rake of mixed Mk3 and Mk2f coaches in blue/grey, I remember catching it a few times as it was a rarity to see loco hauled Mk3 stock on the Wolverhampton circuit at the time.

Cross country services were largely made up of Mk2d and e stock although there was a Portsmouth-Liverpool service which was made up of early Mk2 stock and a couple of Mk1s, it often included a demoted Mk1 FO which I would often make for if I was catching the service (I spent a year in Wolverhampton so got a year's travelling between Wolverhampton and BNS).  In 1986 BR launched the Cross London service to the south coast, many of which went down the Trent Valley but some of which went via Birmingham, and which got allocated a refurbished rake of Mk2d coaches in Executive livery, with specially converted Mk2d TSOs with two bay mini-buffets.  Other cross-countries used a rag bag mix of Mk2b/c mini-buffets, Mk1 RMB and Mk1 RBR catering vehicles.

The Anglo Scottish services from the Midlands were long caravans comprising two portions which split at Carstairs.  Usually, there would be a brake first and four or five TSOs, usually, but not always Mk2d-f.  The two portions were usually separated by an RMB or RBR.  Sometimes in the mid-80s one of these "half sets" would turn up on a Birmingham-Manchester run, providing the perfect model railway length Intercity for any layout!

By about 1991 Intercity began to standardise loco hauled cross country sets on seven car rakes using newly converted Mk2F RFBs, five TSOs and a BSO.

There were also from 1983 onwards some cross country HST services to Manchester, so there is always an excuse for an HST.

In addition to the electric units (and the class 304 were the more usual stock for the daytime services, with in my experience 310 and 312 units turning up more at peak times although not exclusively so) there was a period in if I recall 1984 when a Class 116 dmu was regularly rostered for one of the peak hour diagrams.  Again I caught it on numerous occasions and I think it corresponded with a shortage of EMUs, I think the 304/1s were away having their motor coaches opened up from compartment stock, and a number of Birmingham-Northampton-London diagrams had been turned over for loco haulage.  So a DMU working a Walsall all shacks isn't out of the question!

There are a number of Flickr groups covering the area which can be a goldmine for reference pictures, such as the Sour Valley group, the West Midlands railways group, and the West Midlands railways in the 1980s group which are brilliant.

 

Sorry for the long ramble, and of course there were always exceptions to the general rule, which is what made the area so interesting at the time! 

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