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  1. Many thanks Colin - I'll look out for it. David
  2. A question, if I may, to Tony W or any other contributors here about 4mm scale footplate crews. I have dutifully lamped up all of my 50+ steam locos (mostly Lanarkshire Models, with some slightly over-scale Springside), but have thus far not embarked on the exercise of fitting loco crews. I'd appreciate any thoughts on suitable sources; the ModelU figures look good, but the expense of manning my entire fleet looks rather daunting. Any advice warmly welcomed... David C.
  3. I'd like to add my thanks to all the team for the meticulous work on this. Slightly tongue-in-cheek, i couldn't see any reference to Class AM1/TOPS 301 - the Lancaster-Morecambe-Heysham electrics - in the poll. I've voted for these in the past (probably under "miscellaneous other" or similar), but unless they're included under the "LNWR Oerlikon electrics" category they seem to have slipped through the net this year. Not that I imagine they would ever attract much interest, as a very niche prototype. However, as someone who grew up with these trains I've decided to get cracking and am currently in the process of building my own 4mm version. I don't recall ever seeing any such models - ever! David
  4. Do you have any further info on the book which includes material on the Lancaster-Morecambe-Heysham electrics? I ask because I'm currently building a 4mm scale model of one of the 1950s/60s 3-car sets; assembling good photos is a challenge, and as for drawings.... David
  5. There is picture of the Fell diesel in "A North Lancashire Railway Album", heading north through Hest Bank on what is described as a test train to Carlisle - date April 1955. I suspect this was a one-off working, as I haven't come across any other photographic records of it over Shap. On the same page there is a photo of 10203 on the up Royal Scot in 1958, so it looks as though the Bulleid was a regular over Shap for at least a couple of years. I think the slightly less powerful 10201 and 10202 also worked over Shap around this time, but always in multiple. 1957/58 was a bit before my trainspotting days in Lancaster, but I do remember seeing 10203 on more menial duties at the southern end of the WCML in the early 1960s. Look forward to seeing Hills of the North at Peterborough! David
  6. Railway photography is a very broad church, and I think we should be wary of binary interpretations, viz 3/4 front views versus art. I have room for every interpretation in between within my modest library, and I enjoy them all. At the artistic end of the spectrum I'd point to the work of George Heiron and Ben Ashworth (sublime portraits of railways in the rural landscape), but I'm also grateful for the more traditional photography which provides us - and particularly we modellers - with such a wealth of technical detail. But my point was essentially about captioning, which I think can be done in a sympathetic and measured way: see, for example the simple captions in Colin's earlier books which I mentioned, and in Heiron's and Ashworth's work. Captions don't have to cover all the bases, but when done well I think they complement - rather than detract from - the images. For the authentic Tate Britain experience, of course, you can simply choose to ignore them.... David
  7. Super book and excellent photography, as always - but I do wish that more extensive captions were on offer. Decline of Steam was similarly cursory in this regard, but Colin's other books - I also have Steam Finale North and Each a Glimpse - were much more informative. I'm generally a fan of extended captions (a la BRILL magazine, for example), but I recognise that, decades on, much contextual info relating to individual images may not survive. And it cuts both ways. I recently acquired a copy of a new publication, British Railways in Unseen Colour, which is a wonderful collection of RE Vincent's colour photos from the 50s and early 60s. However, the extensive captioning by the author, Kevin Robertson, in a laudable attempt to provide context, displays some real howlers. Errors in monthly magazines in the railway press can be - and usually are - corrected via subsequent letters to the editor, but unfortunately errors in railway books tend to become "fossilised" in print. David
  8. I checked 65234's allocation history in my copy of Hugh Longworth's excellent 2014 book ("BR Steam Locomotives Complete Allocations History 1948-1968". (This is, incidentally, an excellent reference book and a fascinating read - thoroughly recommended!). The listings also suggest that 65234 was at Bathgate from nationalisation until September 1964, and thereafter at St Margaret's until withdrawal in 1967. David
  9. Very much enjoying your thread, Tom - Cwm Prysor just oozes atmosphere, and your attention to detail is fascinating. You may already know this (and I may have missed any references earlier in the thread), but there is an advertisement in the latest "Steam World" magazine for a new publication: "The Bala Branch", by Martin F Williams and Derek J Lowe, Lightmoor Press. Not sure it's actually available at the moment or pending, but looks like it will be a useful reference for you. Apologies if this is old news! David C.
  10. My Bulleid arrived towards the end of last week, so I've spent the weekend customising it to represent its condition on the WCML circa 1958. The most important change has been to repaint the ludicrously lurid roof, which is now in standard BR diesel roof grey. I've adjusted the discs to denote haulage of a Class A/1 passenger train at one end, and added the earlier type of "Royal Scot" headboard consistent with photographic evidence from the period. (The loco lacks a top centre lamp bracket, but a dab of superglue fastens the headboard in the appropriate position.) The other end displays a Class B/2 headcode denoting an ordinary passenger train - the prototype was frequently seen at the southern end of the WCML on these duties in its latter days. The loco is an excellent runner out of the box, and it has now completed a few hours of running in. Very pleased with it! David
  11. Hi Malcolm. If it helps, I inserted the blade of a craft knife behind the middle of the nameplate and gently levered it until the ends of the nameplate popped off the body - the nameplate seems to be glued on small "pips" at each end. Pretty much destroyed the original nameplate, but that wasn't a big issue. The new nameplate covers any minor damage to the body. It's odd that Hornby should make removal so difficult, though, particularly as they include an improved version in the box. David
  12. Heading back to deepest Sussex from Ally Pally last Sunday, and the Southern conductor announces: "we are now cruising at 6 feet and the the next station stop is Gatwick Airport". I thought it was quite amusing at the time, but I do wonder if he says this every time he stops there.... David
  13. Hi John. The headboard is a Sankey Scenics product. They are well printed on thin card, which I glue to equally thin plasticard to provide a bit more rigidity, and then cut around carefully with nail scissors and sharp craft knife. After filing carefully to final shape I attach them to a lamp iron on the loco with a drop of superglue. Sankey do a range of different named trains - coach boards as well as headboards - but I generally don't use the former, as my carriage rakes have to double-up for various trains - both named and unnamed - on my small representation of the WCML. I should add that I have no connection with Sankey other than as a satisfied customer! The headboards look good on diesels, too.... David
  14. My "City of Birmingham" arrived on Monday and has now been through the shops - some rather fiddly fittings attached, tender re-coaled to reveal the coal pusher, toning down of copperwork, XP lamps and "Caledonian" headboard fitted. She now joins my other Coronations - BR/LMR red-liveried earlier Hornby models which still, I think, bear reasonable scrutiny and run very well. I've attached a few images of 46235 on shed and ready for the road. I think she very much looks the part. A couple of observations: - As a DC operator I have no interest in TTS and was expecting to have to fit a blanking plug to replace the existing decoder. However, no blanking plug was supplied and 46235 runs perfectly fine under DC just as she is, albeit a little slow to respond to the DC voltage on starting up sometimes - The front bogie is a little less forgiving of uneven trackwork than those on the earlier models, and a little PW work was required on my layout to resolve occasional derailing issues. Fitting the rather flimsy cylinder drain cocks constrains the radius which the loco can negotiate, but my 3' minimum radius seems OK - Replacing the pre-fitted nameplates (without the crest) was a little difficult - mine were glued a little too well and did not pop out easily. However, with care I managed to prise them off and the alternative nameplates supplied look much better. So all in all, well done Hornby. I wonder if we'll ever get a Princess to the same standard? David
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