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Just before Christmas , Mallard60022 started a thread on "The first models I am going to build in 2010 are.., which you can find here: 2010 model promises


As I said in there, I seem to have posted rather a lot of implicit promises - or at least pointed memos to self - just below in this blog. And as Mallard60022 has recently posted shots of his efforts to redeem his own pledge, I suppose I ought at least to post an installment payment...


Well, for starters , the Walrus is done. Not painted , but done:




Everything in white or metal has been added , and the bogies are replacements - current Cambrian 1piece items which are as easy to work with as the ancient originals were impossible . Quite a bit of work with pieces of microstrip, scraps of plasticard and bits of handrail wire was needed to cobble together an approximation of what was visible at the ends in photos in Cheona and Southern Wagons - it would have looked extremely denuded and empty if I had built what was in the kit and stopped there . I'm not saying it's spot on , or all there , but it's passable. And I'm rather pleased with the result. Not in any sense of cutting edge perfection - if I want to see its weaknesses I need only set it next to a Hornby Seacow and look carefully but in the bleaker more basic spirit of "we got a result" - an ugly draw ground out away from home for essential points . Ravenser, 0 - The kit, 0. I beat the kit , the kit didn't beat me... With all its limits, it will be able to sit next to a Hornby Seacow without too much embarassment - a decent weathered paint job can cover a multitude of sins.


(I should stress this is an old kit - my example may be 30 years old - and has been retooled and replaced by Cambrian. Comments are not indicative of today's Cambrian range - other than the favourable ones about the new bogies,- but they may well be indicative of what you get if you dive into your club's rummage sale)


One minor point - the Walrus has effectively decided that the early period Civil Engineers' stock from the crane train will get Kadees not Sprat and Winkle couplings. I can't get the S+W mounting plate under the platform without fouling the wheels - in fact I couldn't fit a full width mounting block under the platforms without fouling the flanges of the wheels. Thus a narrow mounting only , and therefore Kadees. Which means that a spare 31 or a 20 would be motive power and I can stop worrying about how I fit a decoder to the 29 which was never going to get Kadees - that little problem can be crossed off this year's list


First cab off the rank in terms of projects for 2010 is a Ratio ex SR Van B , and I've made a start:




This photo does reveal that I missed the top edge of the droplight , which is showing green , and that there is rather a lot of dust on the centre section - it will be washed off . The doors are not yet attached , which is why one has slipped. The bodysides and doors were sprayed on the sprue with Railmatch aerosol - the first coat was done when I was prespraying the PMV, and I gave it another coat at New Year. Unfortunately, the guard's doors are moulded on the sprue in reverse, so the back got sprayed. I painted the door fronts by hand in Railmatch BR blue - and it's come out gloss. I'm hoping a thin coat of matt vanish will leave it a near match for the sprayed version, and weathering will obscure any remaining differences


I will need to touch round the etched droplights by hand which poses the same issue - again I hope differing materials on the prototype and a little matt varnish will deal with any difference


Progress will now slow, as thanks to a link someone posted I've discovered that Roxey do etches for the bars behind the windows . This is infinitely better than messing around with cotton thread , though a hasty look at the relevant section of Paul Bartlett's wagon site suggests strongly that most Van Bs were grubby enough that you couldn't actually see through the windows. Anyway , an order is in the post to Roxey, and I won't be able to fix the doors in place finally till it comes


I've also spotted in the instructions that the interior was largely a reddish brown - I was thinking of the guards compartments in Mk1s which I think were a greyish white. The photos on Paul Bartlett's site also suggest most of these vans actually retained their footsteps till the end, although a shot in the Cheona book indicates some had them removed in the late 70s (PMV seem generally to have lost them). Since trying to fill the slots in the solebar which take the footsteps would be problematic, this van will have the footsteps


Over New Year I put a first brown undercoat on the sides of the two Ratio LNWR coaches. This doesn't mean that I've actually started them - I sprayed the sides for the Van B months before I started it - but I've come to the conclusion that Precision Umber , though in line with the darkest proposed interpretations of LNER carriage brown , is too dark. I let it down with some Precision Teak , but even that's on the dark side : I reckon I will feel most comfortable with a moderately darkened Teak rather than a lightened Umber


And at St Albans I seem to have broken my resolutions to avoid filling the cupboard back up. Not only did I acquire a second hand Dapol wagon , which I take to be LMS dia 1892 - but repainted into a private owner livery and hand lettered on one side - but I also acquired a prepainted Slater's PO wagon kit from C+L "just in case" (it's much easier weathering an existing PO livery), and a wagon body for a spare underframe I have. Paul Bartlett's site only seems to have photos of these LMS opens which have been retrofitted with vac brakes by BR : I suspect as a steel underframe 10' wb type they may have been extensively targeted for this. So strip the current paintwork, add tie rods, vac cylinder and new fitted buffers and repaint. On top of this I've just ordered two wagon kits from Cambrian...


I've made a little progress with the Pacer , in that I've largely removed the "black box " on the second car , but as this is the same work as I've already done on the first car , there's no point posting any pictures.


And the replacement underframes for the 101 have turned up



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