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  1. Last year I had a chance meeting at Sheffield station early one morning with George Dent. We were catching the same train towards Doncaster and had a good chat and it led to a visit to my shed by some of the Model Rail team with many pictures taken by Chris Nevard. A lovely overview picture is within the current issue of Model Rail and with kind permission by Chris, it’s below ...
  2. Thanks again for the comments. I’ve commenced work on constructing the canopies for the through station; First step was to create a template using wallpaper lining paper cut to size, including marking out where the OLE masts are situated. Next step was to construct the frames of the canopies using styrene strips and H girders. I’ve test-fitted the frames and very happy with the results so far. I’ve also constructed the many columns to support the canopies. Next steps will be to spray paint, fit the columns, fit the canopies and roofing, install LED lighting, then construct a few buildings/waiting rooms.
  3. Hi Matthew, many thanks for the kind comments. The girder bridge that takes the railway from the terminal station over the through station is made from the Dapol C003 girder bridge - a few of these sections joined togethe before being spray painted. A couple more pics of the bridge are below ... Regarding the NSE liveried 87012, it’s an EBay purchase from quite a few years ago that was already painted with transfers fitted. It’s not the best paint job in the world, I’ve done a bit of detailing and touching up of the paint and a chassis swap to fit a Limby version, but a few blemishes remain (should add that to the to-do list!)
  4. That’s broadly the sequence to follow although I’ve heard it’s usually better to apply the lighter colours first such as the warning panel yellow, then Virgin red, before the Virgin dark grey etc. My art skills are certainly not a strength either! I’ve not yet properly weathered any of my locos or stock, trying to concentrate on progressing the layout but I do divert to a rolling stock/loco project every now and then. I’ve taken a few pics below of the other Virgin liveried 87s that I’ve painted and compared to a Lima original 87003 Patriot fitted with the Hornby ‘Limby’ chassis. Each of my Lima/Limby locos have been partially detailed with handrails and other modifications along the way .... 87035 Robert Burns with original Lima body and chassis 87034 William Shakespeare with original Lima body and chassis 87014 Knight of the Thistle in debranded Virgin livery, original Lima body and chassis 87019 Sir Winston Churchill with original Lima body and chassis. I think I bought this from eBay already painted but the transfer stripes seem a bit too wide/deep The recent Hornby detailed and heavyweight offering of 87019 Sir Winston Churchill Hope these help ...
  5. Thanks ... it’s mostly the excellent NBrass catenary kits soldered, spray painted with Halfords grey primer, with Peco catenary wires.
  6. The recently released 87001 Stephenson / Royal Scot arrived safe and sound and runs lovely, bringing back fond memories of many trips up and down the WCML during the early 2000s. I’ve also started to measure up and design the canopies and details such as lights etc for the through station platforms. As the platforms are curved, I’m planning to construct the canopies from Evergreen styrene sections - my first ever styrene scratchbuild - wish me luck! A decent winter/colder weather project for the house while the shed is a bit too chilly during these winter months. I had a visit to Stafford station following the excellent Stafford exhibition to take a few pics as inspiration for the platform canopies, buildings and layout of the lights and clutter etc. I’ll take a few progress pics as the project progresses.
  7. Many thanks. Regarding the pantograph, it’s the same style plastic pantograph (unfortunately!) ... so it’s only posable and I’m lucky in that once the pantograph height is extended past the ‘click’ in its raised position, it rests approx at the same height as the contact wire on my layout. I’ve not yet opened the goodie bag to have a proper look at the nameplates, but I had a feel and the plates seemed much firmer and metallic compared to the previous releases.
  8. Apologies for the slow reply! Do you mean a professional repaint (I don’t know how much those cost) or repainting yourself? I’ve repainted a few 87s into Virgin livery and the shopping list has included: - Railmatch 261 Virgin Grey - Railmatch 260 Virgin Red - Railmatch 202 Warning panel yellow - Fox Transfers: F4761/9 - Virgin Class 87 Locomotive Livery (enough for two locos) - Shawplan nameplate - Shawplan DP87-02 Roof Mounted Inergen Fire Protection Tanks * Other suppliers available! So overall, to repaint one loco yourself is about £20 but to do two or more at the same time the cost per loco will reduce as you’ll only require the new nameplates, roof tanks and possibly transfers. Hope this helps
  9. The recently released 87001 Stephenson / Royal Scot arrived safe and sound and runs lovely, bringing back fond memories of many trips up and down the WCML during the early 2000s. The goodie bag supplied also contains a metal nameplate of each name.
  10. It looks like Hornby’s R3739 BR Blue version of 87001 Royal Scot / Stephenson is on its way as my pre-order has been processed. A bit of a shame the recently announced 2020 range doesn’t include any new liveries ... I guess because the delivery of the 2019 livery announcements of R3739 and the Caledonian 87002 R3751 have slipped into 2020. Hopefully the 2021 range will include an IC Executive version and maybe one or two others.
  11. Many thanks for the comments DBC90024 and Muddy! I did see an excellently Class 87 repainted into IC Exec and weathered on EBay before Christmas but a lucky chap from RMWeb beat me to it! With Hornby not announcing any further 87s during 2020 its on the to-do list to purchase an IC Swallow version and use it as a base to repaint. However now that Heljan have announced some 86/4s and 86/6s, I have a few of those on pre-order .... so might need even more sidings at some stage! Regarding the Limby Virgin 87, to be honest the incorrect/too-light grey never really that Lima produced never really grated with me too much - however it is noticeable when placed next to a correct Hornby flavour - so good suggestion to repaint. I am beginning to retire the Limby 87s to the display shelves though, as I do prefer the motors, control and power of the new 87s so much more. However the Limby chassis and motor is pretty good and reliable, especially with the extra pickups.
  12. Many thanks Kat for the kind comments. Do you have a layout topic? Hope your layout is progressing well. Apologies for the delay replying, been another busy few months with work and also the a new arrival to the family ... Rosie the Labrador! She’s now 6months old and a time waster and yes - she has visited the shed! I have managed to make some progress to the layout though; 18 additional lights have been added to the platforms of the terminal station ... A compact additional board has been added to the lower fiddle yard sidings with 8 additional roads to allow for the storage of additional loco’s. This still allows good access to the wiring of the main layout board above. I have also added a 25m long reel of LEDs to illuminate under the baseboards, also to illuminate the lower sidings and connecting track. Two of the recently released Hornby Class 87 loco’s in Virgin Trains livery were purchased and also seen below next to a ‘Limby’ version - one will be renumbered and renamed. A shame the recent Hornby announcement doesn’t have any liveries proposed to be released (in particular Intercity Executive), I guess because they are still outstanding the 2019 versions of 87001 and 87002.
  13. Hi James90012, I fitted lights to my rake of Oxford Mk3’s and also had a few problems when reassembling. Three suggested options: 1) Add a drop of super glue to the plastic hole, leave it to set, then reassemble using the original screw: It should now ‘bite’ into the the plastic+glue and re-thread itself. This will allow un-screwing at a later date. 2) Could find a slightly larger screw and reassemble, again it should re-thread itself and be able to un-screwed later, however finding a slightly larger screw that isn’t too big can often be a challenge (Sod’s law principle!) 3) Carefully glue together to form a permanent bond - although by nature, difficult to take apart in future. I used a combination of 1 and 2 (as I was lucky to have some spare screws) and have had no problems since. I actually like the Oxford Mk3’s, especially once a bit of improvement work is carried out, but do agree that they could have been engineered and finished a bit better. Hope this helps and good luck with your Mk3’s.
  14. Many thanks and good luck with your project! I’ve found the corner boards really help, as they’ve allowed me to create sweeping curves with a larger radius, easier access to carry out work and creates different viewing angles - the kids enjoy these especially. Just make sure to make them large enough and to use a decent glue if attaching any scenic items (I’ve decapitated a couple of the cricketers by accident over time!) Thanks again! The portals are brass kits by NBrass Loco’s https://www.nbrasslocos.co.uk/oocat.html. The kits are straightforward to solder together (especially if pre-bent using the bending formers) and can be easily modified to suit your layout. I’ve then attached simple registration arms using brass wire and wound some wire around to represent the insulators. Hope this helps.
  15. This year seems to be going so fast, can’t believe it’s June already! A few more purchases to report; two of the excellent new Bachmann Class 90s and I couldn’t resist the Bachmann NSE Class 47. Here they are during running in ... Despite another busy few months with work, I’ve made a bit more progress with a few projects. I’ve installed some more cable trunking and cabinets and commenced some weathering to blend in: Another project has been to install a CCTV camera and monitor towards the buffers of the terminal to assist me locate the uncoupling ramps from the control panel by using a rear-review reversing camera kit purchased from Amazon. I’ve used a couple of small labels just to clarify the location of the uncoupling ramps for the far two tracks! The Bachmann loco staff figures clarify on the platforms show the location for the near tracks. A simple on-off switch for the camera has been installed to the left of the monitor. Current project is installing a roadworks cameo including wiring Layout4U’s flashing cones and traffic lights:
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