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  1. Thanks so much, Buhar Those are the best pics I have seen of the box's northern elevation. Here comes the bummer!! I have put the outside WC on the left hand side at the top of the stairs, just like I have seen on so many other LNWR boxes. And IT ISN'T THERE!! Heigh-ho, should I worry, because there are so many other faults with the layout which were discovered after I had built them and which turned up following receipt of better information later on. Perhaps it's one of those things which we just have to accept, or alter later on. The pics themselves of Coronation Scot are absolutely superb. Have they ever been published? If not, I feel very privileged to have seen them and thanks once again.
  2. Hi Richard Good to hear from you. I suspect that the real thing was so grimy it would be hard to tell what colour (should that be color where you are?) it was. The only photos I have are b & w, because it was demolished in 1958, so I rather think that by the time I have given the plastic bricks a good sluicing with muck, no-one will be able to tell where the join is. Besides, it took me so long to get to this stage, I couldn't face cutting out the insert. ATB Terry
  3. It's amazing what a vast fund of photographic information is out there. An old friend (thanks Ron) sent me a picture of Hest signal box (pre '58) from an angle I'd never seen before. Although I have accumulated many pics of the area, information on the signal cabin was a bit thin. I am grateful to beast 66606 for his information sent to me a long time ago, but in the interim I had been making do with a Scenecraft "Hampton" signal box masquerading as Hest box. The snag was it was a bit fat, slightly too long with an extra set of window panes and definitely not tall enough. Armed with this new info and finding a couple of old Prototype Models card kits of Draughton Crossing box, I decided to carve these up and make a brick plinth (no jokes about plinth of Wales, please!) to make a reasonable fist of Hest box. The result you see above & below. There still remains some work to do in terms of painting, toning down the garish plasticard brick, an external shelf just below the windows and removal of some of the extraneous staircase uprights (and the scenery & point rodding), but overall I find the new box rather more convincing. Just for the record, the old box is depicted below. I make no criticism of the Scenecraft box as these resin models are a good short cut for many modellers. Indeed it is due to appear on a certain online auction site shortly, so we shall see how much demand there is for it!
  4. Quick update, following some alterations/improvements to the signalling. Let's face it, the presence of something is a great improvement on nothing, so I have finally got around to making the up splitting signal gantry into something that looks more like a signal and also added a starter from the bay platform and a bracket from the sidings. This latter was an ex-LNWR bracket modified by the substitution of LMS upper quadrant arms. None of these work (yet) but you never know; some day. Meanwhile, a Black 5 passes northward with a down semi-fast. Viewed from a more southerly viewpoint, it looks like this:- Meanwhile, some time later, City of Salford rushes through past the up home signal protecting the level crossing with the afternoon Caledonian. That home signal is also an addition, being an LNW post with the later addition of an LMS UQ signal complete with sighting board.
  5. Many thanks, Taz, that's very encouraging news! The WCJS coach is a set of sides from 247 Developments, Diagram D312. The packaging has a handwritten note on it saying that it was extinct by 1958, but that's quite late enough for me since my layout is based in the few years leading up to Dec 1958 when the track layout was altered. It would be great if Longworth could corroborate that. Thanks once again. Terry
  6. I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not quite so sure! Having decided to switch to the Black 5 (2 of them) build before I'd finished the BFK, I switched back for a while to the BFK and then was seduced by a Chowbent kit sitting on the shelf for a D131 LNWR corridor compo. They lasted until the early 50s (albeit downrated in most cases to all 3rd), but it was such a lovely toplight vehicle that I could resist no longer. That's where the problem began; glazing a toplight vehicle suddenly became a daunting prospect, so I elected not to build the kit as intended, but to use the lovely half-etched sides (which didn't seem all that robust) to stick onto an MAJ clear sided moulded plastic hull. This solved two problems at a stroke, in that the glazing issue was solved along with the vehicle body becoming much more robust. The photo above shows the etched sides spray painted in primer followed by Ford Aporto Red, ready to stick onto the MAJ clear plastic coach body. I also substituted the MAJ ends with a thinner piece of styrene onto which the Chowbent etched ends have been stuck. Fortunately the basic shape of the MAJ hull is almost exactly the same as the LNW coach, so the sides and ends can be "Evostuck" on with little alteration. The roof will also require little change, requiring only rainstrips to be cemented on and vents to be glued in place. In the background we see the BFK which has had a little more "treatment", now only needing the toilet window to be obscured and the black portion of the lining to be "bowpenned" in place, before numbering. Steady hands and nerves required! Incidentally, the livery of the LNW coach will be ex LMS, as I think it unlikely that a vehicle slated for withdrawal soon will have received a repaint into blood & custard livery. If anyone has any evidence that these elderly (1919?) vehicles did actually receive BR livery, I would be very glad to hear of it, not least because I also have a WCJS corridor brake 3rd of similar vintage to build which would look well in carmine & cream.
  7. I can only respond based on my own experience, having decided many years ago to build a model of Hest Bank in 4mm. The plan required some selective compression at the south end, the run of the main line to be bent the wrong way and (most importantly) that I would not try and build exact replicas of the buildings that formed the backdrop. Not enough lifetimes! This latter aspect was sorted by ensuring that the buildings were all the right general type in the right order i.e. where there was a bungalow or a semi-detached house on the prototype, there would be one on the model. Much use made of Airfix/Dapol kits and resin cast. Also the terrain was the right general configuration. Those who have seen the layout and know the area say that it reminds them very much of the location and that's good enough for me. Add in the right locos and stock and you have achieved a result.
  8. I'm attracted to this layout for a number of reasons. 1 Superb workmanship. 2 My wife comes from Presteigne. 3 As a regular traveller along the A44 east of Rhayader, I have long felt that there ought to have been a railway through that terrain, so your "might have been " scheme really chimes with me. Keep up the good work! Terry
  9. The Black 5 saga continues apace; admittedly I only move at a modest pace, but it is a pace. More lockdown time in the workshop has produced this:- The one in the background is the loco with the D13 motor, while in the foreground, we have the second one with the Mashima can and Comet gearbox. I love DJH kits because their design philosophy is great, but just occasionally I like to do things differently. The Black 5 kit as designed has the cylinders soldered directly to the frames. However, I prefer to be able to remove the entire cylinder/motion assembly unit for maintenance. Therefore the chassis has been slotted so that the cylinders, soldered via the brass strip to the motion plate and the slidebar bracket, lift out as a complete unit, just in case anything goes wrong. I hope the attached picture gives an idea of how this works. Also we have a picture of further progress on the two 5s. The second loco now has a tender under way, while the first loco has a pic of the surgery required to the front face of the cab to clear the end of the D13 motor.
  10. Many thanks for your comments and I appreciate the suggestion about beefing up the etched sides. I confess that up to now, a healthy dollop of Araldite has sufficed to ensure that such an occurrence doesn't happen, but that's no guarantee! I like Portchullin; it takes me back to my first contact with that area when I toured by bike and stayed in Kyle and then Achnashellach youth hostels in 1963 (forsooth!) Oh what a giveaway, but it was an era when Black 5s ruled. All the best Terry
  11. Perhaps some of our readers have had the same experience. You look in your collection of accumulated bits and pieces and think "I've no idea where that came from!" So it was that I found several brass etches of coach components from Kemilway; they were, I think for 51 ft GE stock and my immediate thought was that they just needed 4mm chopping out of their length to form the basis of several different 50 ft ex LMS vehicles. The top one of the preceding photo is the first of this batch being a Period 1 panelled full brake. It has Comet etched sides and a plastic roof from ??? Aren't spares boxes wonderful? The same pic also has a set of etched sides for a Period III kitchen car, this time from 247 Developments. Also we see one of the Kemilway etches in question. Apart from the floor and ends, it offers a great source of sundry parts like thin brass strip and buffer beams. The next picture is a further stage in the saga of the Period III BFK. It now has a fully fitted underframe, an interior and the roof has had a brush coat of Humbrol; this still needs tidying at the edges as will be evident. The sides have been sprayed with Ford Aporto Red, but the whole still needs (a) glazing (b) corridor connections and (c) lining. It runs on Bachmann bogies and has been tested as the lead vehicle in a rake of 11, running nicely. One of my many failings is an inability to finish one job before starting another and the next pic is a case in point. I have had a brace of DJH kits for Black 5s for a long time which have been staring at me from the shelf, saying "BUILD ME!" Unable to resist any further, I made a start and this shows progress to date on the first chassis. This one has a D13 motor driving via 40:1 gears and I have a number of locos with this drive which have all proved smooth, powerful and speedy. The other chassis will have a Mashima can driving via a Comet 38:1 2-stage gearbox. It will be an interesting comparison between the two locos.
  12. Unless you mean that it is still carrying the name "Drake", I can't see anything to fault it! Go on, give us a clue! ATB Terry
  13. Having watched and read with much enjoyment Baz's saga of his work on ex LMS locos and coaches, I thought it might be timely to have a similar topic relating to my efforts in a similar vein, creating stuff to run on Hest Bank. Better here than in "modelling real locations." Just to give a complete lie to the idea that I was working on kits, the first pic is of a rework of an old (now Railroad) Hornby corridor brake third; I was originally going to use the bodyshell as a donor to stick etched brass sides on after surgery, but realisation gradually dawned (I'm a slow learner) that it was actually not a bad model of a D1905 BSK so I elected to do a repaint in blood & custard after adding a few extra things like vents and guard's duckets. Unfortunately my choice of a bodyshell with thick plastic sides meant that glazing was tricky but my (extensive) scrap box yielded a set of Cooper Craft glazing units for Mk 1 coaches which needed filing down a bit to fit; the main windows were OK but the smaller ones needed much more surgery, and sadly in my efforts to ensure they stayed put, they got an excess of solvent with bad effects on the transparency of the windows. Also the glazing bars received a slightly too liberal dose of cream paint, so they were not to my satisfaction. Even so, in a train passing through at a scale 60+, they don't look too bad. The vehicle behind is an incomplete Gresley open 3rd from Southern Pride etched sides stuck on an Ian Kirk donor shell; just needs innards! The next vehicle receiving attention is a Comet BFK. I was very conscious that my Caledonian set had a restaurant car instead of a kitchen car (now replaced) and a Mk 1 BSK where a Stanier BFK ought to have been. The task then was to build one using Comet sides, ends, roof & underframes and here we have the basic box surmounted by a Comet alloy roof. The integrity of the body was improved by soldering in a bulkhead of scrap brass and a further strip of brass across the main passenger area to which Araldite could be applied to ensure a strong bond. We can also see the underframe from Comet components (no connection, of course with them) to which in due course details and bogies will be added. I have found that Bachmann bogies are excellent value and easy to fit, so an obvious choice. Again no connection! More later A word or two about these next time.
  14. Cheers Colin I think there's a huge difference between the growth of trees up until recently and the way things were back in the 1950s because of steam locos throwing sparks etc. Sorry to hear that traffic has been so badly curtailed of late, but I'm not surprised because of recent events. The last time I was there I was amazed by the frequency of trains; I scarcely had time to drive across the level crossing towards the Shore Cafe before the barriers came down again and another three trains came through in quick succession. Mentioning the grey footbridge (is it still called the Cinderella bridge?) makes me realise that it should have at least a little smoke blackening. On a divergent topic, I noted that Darnborough's great book "West Coast Steam" referred to the fact that there was a 1/477 grade heading south towards Lancaster. A quick calculation reveals that that represents a climb of 11 ft 1 inch in a mile. How were they so accurate? ATB Terry
  15. In amongst all the building activity that lockdown has "encouraged" me to do, there are still occasions when a little operating takes place. A coal empties waits on the Morecambe branch to join the down main. The loco is the recently completed Hughes Fowler Crab, being a Wills body on a scratch brass chassis and the old-fashioned but sturdy drive train of an XO4 motor driving through 30:1 gears and riding on Romford wheels. It's far too clean at the moment, as is the train engine on the opposing working, a loaded coals hauled by a Bachmann Super D. Although I enjoy building locos and coaches, the availability of such a wide variety of good proprietary freight vehicles has meant that about 85% of the wagons on Hest are RTR. Further progress on the Period III BFK has brought a coat of spray paint (Ford Aporto Red) to the sides on top of a coat of grey primer. The roof is brush painted with one of the many shades of matt grey in the Humbrol range, but the vehicle still needs corridor connections, glazing, lining & lettering and a final tidy up of the paint at the join of roof and sides. It has proved it's a steady runner when coupled as the lead vehicle in an 11 car rake, thanks to the Bachmann bogies. Not long before it takes its place in the "Caledonian." HOWEVER, one of my many failings is the inability to prevent myself from starting another project before I have finished the last one. I had a couple of DJH Black Five kits which have been hanging around far too long, looking at me accusingly from the shelves where they had been gathering dust. In a moment of impetuosity I reached for the soldering iron and made a start. This first one has a D13 motor and 40:1 gears, a drive train I find very good. The other one will be powered by a fairly fat can motor on a Model Loco gearbox and it'll be interesting to see how they compare for performance.
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