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  1. So once again, it has been a very long time since I’ve updated on here (I much prefer to post my updates on Twitter - @midland__london for those who want to follow), but thought I’d update this blog with what I’ve been up to... Still need to finish the 360, but the only thing left to do is get the transfer artwork finalised and sent to precision (it’s been a really busy couple of months and in all honesty I’ve lost motivation with the transfers!) - I just need to make a few final tweeks, then we’re good to go. In the meantime, I have managed to get it in a position where I was able to get a photo of the model in front of the real thing on the first day of service (soft launch) on May 9th! I’m sure you’ll agree it looks the part - just need to get motivated enough to touch up and apply the transfers and it will be complete. This will be going as 360116 (conveniently the same unit in the photo!) The replacement 180 DMSO has finally arrived as well (thanks CMAC!) so I’ve been making quick work of that and resumed Project 180. Progress wise, it’s now almost there - the paint job has been finished as well... I just need to varnish the unit and add transfers, then I can move on to sorting out the electronics. @Wagonmasterhas kindly sent me over a circuit diagram for bi-directional lighting (wiring my own lighting isn’t exactly my strongest point), so will be giving that a go at some point once I acquire some 3mm white LEDs. I also need to sort out the chassis on the DMSOs as you can see - I have some spare 170 bogies stored somewhere so it’s just a case of searching for them, replacing the bogie frames with my own resin cast versions and screwing them on. Wiring and cosmetic detail application on the underframes also need to be done, and from what I’ve been told @m0rris is planning on making some glazing available soon so I’ll be on the forefront for those once they’re ready! Also a bit of an FYI for those modelling the FGW/GWR Adelante... Railtec’s FGW MK3 transfers provide the logos/coach lettering/ATP signs which are present on the 180, it’s just a case of the dynamic lines which will be sorted out separately. My unit is now being changed to 180104 as it has operated with every long-term Class 180 operator (minus EMR), meaning it has the flexibility to operate for GC, Hull Trains and FGW/GWR. Would have liked to model the OOC liveried version unveiled at the open day back in 2017, but when I saw it come out of the shed I knew it would be way too complicated!! Also I’ve managed to find the replacement motor bogie frame stored back at home, meaning I should be resuming the Meridian soon once I get the 180 over the line! So there we have it - major progress with some projects more than others, but I’m pleased at the pace at which things are moving. As always, take care and stay safe everyone - enjoy doing things as well now that we seem to be on the right track to heading back to normal! OTrail
  2. I’m hoping to - my plan is to use PPD Ltd so I’ll most probably make the artwork available for a small fee, so once I’ve finished feel free to PM me. I’m hoping to get started within the next few days - I’m on my way to the West Midlands as we speak so I can get more decent photos of the prototype! My chassis are being robbed from a 166 - it’s amazing how many projects I’ve managed to complete with that simple Bachmann chassis I’m thinking of doing JDW’s method of using the hot water and whilst the shape is warping back to its intended dimensions, use it against the chassis to ensure a snug fit. The 166/170 motor is visible through the windows, but it’s a smooth runner and still has the capacity for seating to be added! Plan is to create artwork on Illustrator and either print it myself using decal paper or contact John at Precision Labels - for reference, I’ll be using the dot matrix font from 1001 fonts. However, this will be after I get the 360 finished (it’s almost there - should be finished by the end of next week should all go to plan), as well as a 365 build which I have planned as part of the Great Northern farewell of the units.
  3. Problem is it will require bi-directional lighting and a top marker one - no kits are available although I’ve got a few LEDs suitable lying around, but in all honesty wiring my own lighting isn’t my strong point
  4. I’ve got loads of 170 motors spare which are at no additional cost so I’ll be using that - also saves the problem of searching for/providing weights to an additional chassis!
  5. Exactly - personally his biggest mistake was not providing the additional parts as with his PEP kits. Would’ve happily waited if he was producing the additional parts but it is what it is. At least this way I can make parts for a large fraction of what they’ll be sold for and save a bit more... which I must admit is getting harder with the hobby nowadays! I’ve got a bunch of 170 motors spare which is ever growing, so I’m just using them. The 170’s a smooth runner as it is so the running quality won’t be an issue, just a case of modifying it and the bodyshells as appropriate! I still need to finish my 175 now that you mention it... still need to figure out what to do about the lighting though!
  6. Thanks for your kind comments Jack! They’re greatly appreciated. First with the 175, I shortened a pair of Eurostar bogies and resin cast them as they seemed a close enough match, although might be worth dropping Charlie a message as I see he’s recently managed to get some bogies 3D printed. The chassis are from a Bachmann 170, which became redundant from a few I chopped up for my ongoing Electrostar build. The 323 also used the 170 chassis, albeit they were robbed from a job lot 166 I got on eBay a few years back for cheap. I’m currently in the process of scratchbuilding underframe equipment from plasticard and other bits from the Bachmann 166 and resin casting the lot, although saying that I haven’t done any work on the equipment since last summer!
  7. Cheers! I wouldn’t bank on it - he said that back in October/November last year! But who knows - only time will tell with that one. I may just do it myself as I’ve put the kit off for too long... just want to get it finished lol!
  8. Been a while since I posted an update on here, but with lockdown restrictions easing and the weather being nice it’s been hard to fit in modelling time... as always! The 360 is nearly complete - just need to resolve the long-standing issue of the windscreen glazing and finalise the artwork sizing to send off to Precision. Overall, the model’s coming along very nicely and I’m very pleased with the progress. Just need to be motivated over the next few weeks to have it ready for when they enter service with EMR at the May TTC! My DMU builds have seen little if any progress, but I will persist and get them finished as I now have the mojo to continue modelling after a bit of a break on the real railways and meeting up with selected friends and family outside - the 180 bodyshell is still pending, however I do plan on getting the 175 finalised over the coming weeks. I’ve also been working on a little something in the EMU department which may interest certain followers on this thread... No prizes for guessing what this is for, but it’s almost ready - just need to resize some sections and it’s ready for sending to PPD Ltd. As I’m more confident with creating artwork on Illustrator now, I’m planning on creating 323 etches over the coming weeks as well seeing as “modernmultipleunits” is taking a while with producing alternative parts for this particular kit. This means that Projetc 323 is in the process of rising from the ashes! I’ve also made a very spontaneous purchase on eBay, and thanks to a follower on my Twitter page (my username is @midland__london for those who want more real time updates of what I get up to within the hobby), I now have some chassis to go with it. Debranding will commence soon, but what will it end up as? That is something I’ve been wondering myself... And just for fun, my EMT buffered set side-by-side with my “classic” EMT set! So that’s what I’ve been up to recently and what I’m planning on doing over the coming weeks, so stay posted as I play catch up on a few projects that are either deferred, in progress or I have just picked up! As always thanks for viewing all, and stay safe as restrictions ease and enjoy time outside! OTrail
  9. Thank you very much! I really appreciate your comments. As much as I’d like to build a layout my current living situation doesn’t permit for one at present, although that is on the cards in the future so I’ll keep this thread posted regarding that. The shows though I might consider as once things ease up, I should be joining a local model railway club, so stay posted!
  10. Thank you all for the supportive comments - it means a lot! It’s been a while since I’ve updated this thread, but I’ll keep this update short and sweet to show people what I’ve been up to over the past month or so... The 180 has been temporarily shelved due to an accident that lead to one of the DMSOs being completely wrecked. I will be ordering one from CMAC in a few weeks as he has kindly agreed to keep one shell aside for me, which is greatly appreciated. The 222 will soon receive its paint job once I have altered the cut out windows, which I’m hoping will be done this weekend if the weather isn’t too great as it’s been recently! Meanwhile, I managed to pick up and complete a respray project I’ve been wanting to do for a while now: the later-version of EMT’s HST power car livery as seen on the buffered sets obtained from Grand Central in 2018. This was done to get the lay of the land when it came to spraying the “swoosh” on the Meridian, which I’m pleased to say came out better than expected! One powercar is 43423 “Valenta”, with the other one “West Hampstead PSB”. The numbers, some logos and the nameplates are from Precision labels, whilst the remaining logos and other minor details were done by Railtec. Far from perfect, but was definitely a good warm-up for the 5 car Meridian! Another build I’ve been progressing with is “Project 360”, which involves converting two Bachmann 350s into two Class 360 EMUs; one will eventually be a 360/1 in unbranded Greater Anglia livery (suitable for both EMR and GA operations), whilst the other will be a 360/2 in TfL Rail livery, although the latter I’m in no rush to complete as I am aiming to complete the former by the time they enter service with EMR at the May TTC. I do have transfers for the latter, whilst ones for the former are currently in the works. My current progress on this is picking up faster than expected, as a couple of days into the build (including around work and my other commitments), the main construction is finished, with the paintjob to begin this weekend following a minor touch up with model filler: So there we have it - a brief update to show where I’m at and what I’ve been doing the past month or so. I do have a few other builds in the works, but these are not yet in a position to have progress shared as my motivation’s been lacking with a few of them lately! As always, take care and stay safe everyone. Thanks for viewing! OTrail
  11. Tonight’s update is again brief, but it highlights further progress with the Meridian. All carriages have now been constructed, and the 5 carriage unit is now together for the first time: I’m very pleased with how this is coming along - especially with how well the resin casting came along, so Jack you can breath a sigh of relief as I won’t be needing those fairings after all! A lot of minor blemishes need to be addressed before I can begin painting, notably adjusting the cut out windows on the trailer carriages and the roof on the buffet car which had some detailing come off due to poor storage. There is also another pressing matter in relation to the motor carriage in that during maintenance, the bogie frame snapped off: This now means that I am unable to run the unit for the time being until I get it fixed - so if anyone has a spare one, please let me know (will pay for it obviously!). So that will be it for tonight - my attention over the next few days will focus on getting the 175 finished (bar electronics and transfers), as I have enough parts now to get it in that stage. As always, thanks for stopping by and stay safe all! OTrail
  12. Thought I’d share the cast cab on the Meridian bodyshell as it is more or less complete... It’s coming along nicely, a lot of work to do but it’s a process! As can be seen in the photo I’ve used the master fairings to see what the unit would look like, but they still need fixing with the lower air dam, so this will take place over the next few days, afterwards the mould will be created for resin casting. So that’ll be all for tonight - just a brief update to highlight the success of the resin cast cabs, that and to show that the project is moving at a faster pace now! Thanks for viewing all, and as always, stay safe! OTrail
  13. Very similar but not quite the same! Remember that both the 180 and 156 were built at Washwood Heath and the 156 was based on the mk3 (albeit different manufacturers).
  14. It's been a busy month with work life etc. so I haven't had much time to model, let alone write about it! However, things are luckily slowing down, enabling me to dedicate more time to the hobby. I've also managed to get significant work done on some projects here and there. First and foremost the 180... the paint has started to be applied and the transfers have been complete and scaled, all that's left to do is send them off for quoting. Elephant in the room: only two coaches have been done so far and one of them is in the barbie livery as opposed to dynamic lines! This was seen on 180110 circa 2011 due to its coach B being out for repairs... a true testimony to the reliability of the 180s! (credits flickr) In terms of the 175, not much progress has been made, except the Eurostar bogies have been cut and cast. This is also progress in relation to the 180 as the bogie frames are the same. So cosmetically, both the 175 and 180 are complete in terms of parts. The Meridian, as mentioned above, has started to be resin cast, with a couple having been cast already and another currently being cast as we speak. Considering this is my first time undergoing the process, I'm really impressed and will definitely use it as a go to in the future for creating parts to save time and overall cost! I've also started a new project - a Class 150/0, which will go into GWR livery. Currently, progress is limited to the one DMSO and the centre car given work commitments (as mentioned above), but I should be giving it another go this weekend. So there we have it - I currently have four DMUs on the go, with some EMU builds to follow following the completion of the main three (175, 180 and 222), so keep your eyes peeled over the next few months. Until then thanks for viewing and stay safe everyone! OTrail
  15. Hi Jack, thanks for the comments! Your support is greatly appreciated. In all honesty stumbling across your thread a few months ago inspired me to do this! Thought I'd give it a go myself as the Meridians are the units of my childhood, so always been on the top of my "want list". My plan is to (eventually) build two units - the first one is a five car EMT unit, and the second one (not an immediate priority) will be 222104 in its full EMR Intercity livery - I have enough photos of the unit/logo so I should be in a good enough position to create transfers on illustrator, although that will mainly be logos as most of the livery will be a straight forward paint job (albeit the white lines on the cab ends!). The roof casting is currently being considered for the second unit, although I'm not sure whether it would be worth it or not given I've run out of spare Voyager coaches to chop! I'll see where my motivation is when the time comes. Casting of the cabs so far is going well, but might need a couple of fairings as the connecting air dam snapped off whilst preparing it for casting! I'm going to have another go over the weekend but will let you know in due course if I need them. All the best and stay safe!
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