Layout Build Update:
Lots have happened since the last update so let's catch up...
I had to face facts between when I wrote the first part stating "I hoped to have an operational trackbed by Christmas". This couldn't happen simply because the layout requires 2 more Bullhead LH points and 1 more RH point, plus the new Peco Code 75 Bullhead Double slip has not hit the shelves yet, and this is the most critical piece in the layout's operational design. Peco stated it was to be in production in January of 2020, so hopefully I'll be able to get the point in Mid 2020, while I focus on getting the rest of the track work. But I have been able to move my first locomotives on MEP which I have being using a brand new Gaugemaster Combi controller. I have plans set to purchase the second scenic board, alongside purchasing the wood to form the back scene. This way I can have everything together before the the first pieces of underlay and track go down.
With the Signal box, work has been steady going but it has been finished. Being the first piece of MEP complete, with the Quints shortly following. Since the last update I was able to get my hands on the LCUT Interior kit, build, paint and fit this into the box and purchase a Model U Signalman, and most importantly he has a cup of tea in his hand. (Railway's run on tea)
Carriage & Wagon Update:
The first set of two, being the LNER GE's mainstay Suburban coaches between 1935 -39, the Later LNER Gresley Quint Articulated Set has been completed, you can read the progress on my blog updates. This has given me a boost for the build as a whole and has allowed me to feel a lot better as I had fears that one base board wouldn't take the set. Combined with the recent tests at my local model club and having rectified any issues with the bogies, I can say they run very smoothly through code 100 point work and knowing how good Peco's Code 75 Bullhead is, I've become very confident in the coaches operation on the layout in future.
This photo (Left) was used in Part 7 of the Quint build. So as you can see the glue n glaze hasn't been applied yet.
This photo (Right) was before the transfers were applied but the stock was operational.
Wagons & Vans
The only major thing that has occurred is the re-numbering of all my LNER duplicate vehicles, this includes; 4 Oxford Cattle Vans - 2 Bachmann Fruit vans, 1 Bachmann Fish Van and 1 Hornby LNER Toad B Brake Van, they have now had there printed numbered replaced with new numbers allowing more accurate modelling and the ability to run a full set without having to see eg. 196152 on all my wagons in the fleet, it's just nice to see different numbers on all the vehicles. For those interested the numbers are decals which have come from 'Old Time Workshop'. In addition to this I have also slightly weathered them, and particularly for the Bachmann Fish & Fruit vans I have painted there roofs grey. Plus the White walls on the tyres of the fruit vans have been removed by painting them in mix of humbrol black & dark grey. Eventually I'll look to weather the under frames so show brake dust and other grime.
The Oxford Rail Cattle vans look no different accept the number change, I will need to weather them, but do it in such a way where it matches the weathering on the wagon. I'll be looking into how these vehicles weathered over time, to ensure the best result.
Moving to kits
Furthermore work has also progressed as I was able to get my hands on a Chivers LNER Pigeon Van, I've painted the LNER Teak effect, but focused on the grain effect which these vehicles had. As some with know this vehicle is used at the NNR combined with there LNER Quad Art Set, but this will not be carried out on MEP as this will be part of the Mail train that will be seen on the layout in future, in this photo I have applied the decals to the model, numbering the van as 6847. Also because of the recent cost of Bachmann's latest weathered LNER Fish Vans I felt I didn't want to pay £21.50 for a LNER Fish van when I could pick up the Parkside kits and complete them for less than £21.50. So with that said I picked up 2 LNER 10 ton, 12ft Fish Vans, these being slightly longer than the Bachmann model (which I assume is based on the 10ft variant) however I do think the 12ft version looks much better than the 10ft so think it's a win in that regards. These kits are awaiting there Vacuum pipes, once they have arrived I intend to fit them and the steam heating pipes. Further work is required there and will be seen in future updates with the rolling stock.
MEP Locomotive Fleet Update
LNER J15 7649 & LNER J15 7847
These two make a return to MEP after departing for weathering, 7847 has been fitted with a set of Ramsbottom Safety Valves and lightly weathered, demonstrating how it may have looked at Cambridge in 1936. Interestingly the engine remained their till 1940, so it would have likely been seen at Stratford on freight working, so more than welcome on MEP.
As for 7649, this was based a Stratford from built in 1899 till 1939 when she moved to Colchester and back to Stratford the same year. Interestingly a photo in the Yeadons Book on LNER J15's demonstrates the loco hauling a pair of Quints (10 Car set) what I have deduced as set No's 39 I, considering this was a heavy train at this point, it's quite impressive to see a J15 doing this working. She will be part of the group of engines which is designated to haul the Quints on MEP along with other LNER Passenger services. That way the layout has two J15's performing two very different roles.
So that completes the end of the blog for today. So thank you for reading!