As we approach the end of 2019, its time for the annual recap of the years modelling (and a look forward to 2020), annoyingly the tags don’t seem to work any more which limits the ability to link to the respective pages.
First up was the completion (hopefully….) of a very long term project, building a decent model of a Manor. It took a fair bit of research to find a record of a Manor through Brent in ’47 but eventually settled on 7804. The Mitchell body and Comet chassis took some work to get together, but I am very pleased with the result (particularly given this was my second ever attempt at forming a Belpaire firebox and my first rolled boiler. Eventually it will still need a motor / gearbox fitting, but for the mean time it can either fill in for a Bulldog as an assisting engine (or get assistance itself). It still needs to be fitted with handrails, which were accidently omitted during the build.
Next up a bit of coach building, adding a much needed J12 sleeper to the fleet. A simple build of a BSL body with 247 developments bogies and ‘working’ gangways. As with a lot of stock it is still awaiting couplings. While painting the sleeper the opportunity was taken to get my toplights painted into chocolate and cream. Before completing the lining on the first batch of coaches (covering the whole of the Cornish Rivera Express Centenaries, and the sleeper
There wasn’t a great deal of other rolling stock worked on, but my Syphon J has shown progress (getting a new roof and underframe), and now just needs final detailing / bogies.
This was followed by another loco project, in a spares box I had a Bachmann 64xx (that had been sourced as a bodyshell) that was awaiting a High Level chassis kit. Spotting a Bachmann 64xx chassis at a bargain price something needed to be done with it. A conversion to a 74xx followed as 7427.
Another “quick” conversion was to redo my already renumbered Hornby 38xx as an oil burner 4855, making use of a 3d printed oil tank along with various bits from the scrap box to convert the loco’s cab. A nice easy conversion which results in something a bit different. I think eventually either an oil burning Hall or Castle will also be added.
A start has been made on building a SE Finecast kit for an LNER A4 as Mallard in loco exchange condition, however I need to buy some components in order to finish it off and just haven’t got round to it. At present the body is built along with the chassis frames, the Tender needs a heavy rebuild to match its loco exchange condition and some missing motion parts must be sourced. The chassis is currently binding under test, so that needs to be rectified as well. Still a very long way to go
The next complete loco (a GWR Bird) was sourced second hand in a sorry condition with the aim of reusing its boiler on a Bachmann Dukedog to make a Bulldog. Upon stripping off the bizarre hybrid paintjob (G W R logos with hand painted red frames), it uncovered a very well put together (but rather basic) scratch built model of a Great Western Bird. There were a fair few repairs needed where the frames had become damaged in transit, so they needed soldering back into place. The body needed work to round off the front of the firebox (a lot more difficult when its soldered into position!) Along with soldering on the beading to the cabside cutouts / cab rear handrails and fitting of castings for the mud doors / boiler washout plugs and the application of a number of Archer’s river transfers, before respraying into GWR green. It was certainly very satisfying taking this old model and giving it a new lease of life, and hopefully many more years of running ahead of it.
While getting ready to paint the Bird, my Mitchell 73xx was dug out of its box. This was another eBay rescue (already built) and needed the crude paint stripping off, some minor soldering repairs, new handrails and a new coat of paint. It has a badly built P4 chassis which is being rebuilt into OO this year. The body has now been sprayed GWR green, transfers applied and just needs its new chassis to enter service. I am determined to get it running before the Dapol RTR example hits the shelves. The body does need one more bit of work (it is missing cab side number plates and outside steam pipes.
Another “complete” loco without a chassis is a Finney 2251, again a second hand kit from eBay that was missing its chassis. The body has been assembled (containing my first Belpaire firebox and my second attempt at rolling a boiler). This has been finished as one of the early wartime built locos 2213, with no cab side windows. It has been sprayed into GWR green with shirtbutton logo (working from a photo of 2211 in Russell) using a resprayed Bachmann 3500gl Collett tender. Once 7316’s chassis is built, 2213 is next in the list using a modified High Level chassis clad in the Finney frame overlays.
There was not a great deal of progress on Brent through the year, not nearly as much as I had hoped. The real priority for 2020 is to get the layout much more complete (or at the very least get it running again!) Highlights have been building a new double slip for the Exeter end which works (although currently the pointmotor is not correctly alligned at one end.) The backscene was fitted, however it has not faired too well and has lifted from the wall in a few places. The track has now all been painted brown ready for ballasting
The first of the signals has been installed, in turn this highlighted an issue with the terrorforming at the Plymouth end of the layout (requiring a lot of rework to sort out clearances.
Building wise, there has been some progress with the water tower and Up platform now built, along with the first side of the vicarage road bridge.
So what about 2020?
The work in progress pile currently contains:
The Syphon J (details / bogies), should be a fairly quick job with the body just needing steps adding to one end + hinges, while the chassis is in need of trussing / battery boxes (along with the installation of the bogies. It has been in the works far too long and needs to be finished ASAP.
A4 (tender, chassis, minor repairs to body)
4707/County of Somerset – both have issues with pickups which need ripping out and replacing.
Chassis building: There are 3 chassis pending a trip through the works, the rebuild of the P4 chassis under 7316 to OO, a Highlevel chassis for 2213 and a Perseverance for Saint Dunstan (which also will need handrails). In addition the chassis for Mallard needs finishing.
In the untouched kits pile, there is a Sunshine Stock First (for my other Rivera rake), a Siphon G and of course the TPO rake. In addition to the usual handful of plastic wagon kits, (a handful of incomplete Coopercraft cattle vans being top of the list which are missing most of their chassis).
I will also be continuing to look out for bargain part built / un-started kits, I fancy a Finney Aberdare and still need at least one more Bulldog.
Probably the biggest priority is to get the workshop (aka Bedroom 4) tidied. I never finished the job last time, leaving redundant furniture throughout the room and a lack of organisation in the work in progress projects. The problem is finding the time…..
On Brent the key aims are to complete ballasting, install the vicarage road bridge and the down platform along with getting the point motor working on the slip.
Secondary aims are to draw up and build the down waiting room, platform canopys and ideally the signal box. Finally I have a sample pack of rollers from ModelU to test out before I start adding point rodding.