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  • Location
    : Cornwall
  • Interests
    Great Central London Extension 1948-50;
    Cornish Railways;
    Swiss metre gauge.

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  1. Mick, a quick 'sanity check' question about the lettering? 1946 re-numbering in shaded gold, rather than yellow Gill Sans? I know that some lesser classes retained shaded letters after renumbering, notably ex-Gorton, but wasn't aware that some A3's also carried this? Phil.
  2. Hornby B1 early BR, currently in stock at £135 New version V2 available to pre-order at £187 At a well known retailer in Sheffield, now. But look around... I picked up a couple of brand new Apple green Hornby B1’s for under £80 late last year. Some still available in Hereford for £128. Don’t be rushed, and shop around, there are excellent deals to be had, especially if you are willing to do a bit of repainting and/or re-lettering. Phil.
  3. Spoiler Alert - He's lamped up for pulling freight wagons... are Annie and Clarabel to be axed?
  4. The A1/A3 really does lend itself to 'RTR bashing', given the variety of different versions that have been produced by Hornby. By careful selection of models and swopping parts around then so many other versions can be accurately modelled: All four versions of tender have been produced by Hornby; single and double-chimney versions; left and right hand drive (though the conversion is straightforward); large and small cab cut-outs; streamlined/round/banjo domes... etc etc. We really are spoiled for choice, most permutations required for a good representation of any A1/A3 for any period can now be readily achieved with minimal modelling skills. By way of example: 60048 Doncaster - started out as R3518 Gay Crusader, from their 'Final Day' collection, renamed and given a high-sided non-corridor tender swopped over from Book Law. 60054 Prince of Wales - started out as R3132 Book Law, renamed, converted to right hand drive and given the GNR tender from Gay Crusader. Book Law was used as the donor for her round dome, but still needs the cab cut-outs reducing to be correct for mid-1949. Both locomotives have now been chipped for DCC but are still 'in the works', requiring real coal, crews, working lamps and weathering to become fully layout ready. They were not fitted with the fiddly speedometer cables at this time! Weathering is something I have still to bite the bullet on, I'll be doing a few items of rolling stock before starting on these two and the rest of their GCLE stable-mates. The one Hornby thing that is a bit annoying is the shade of LNER green they use: the best match I have found so far is a 50/50 mix of Precision paints Doncaster and Darlington shades. Maybe that is how they arrived at it...? Phil
  5. Sounds like a marvellous opportunity to properly review the two side-by-side... it would make a fascinating comparison.
  6. Tony, The speedometer drive issue also applies to the A3 and A4. I would also add to your list some of the awful design features that Hornby seem to be so fond of, such as double-pivot pony trucks and flangeless trailing bogie wheels that increase the risk of shorting and just look wrong on curves. Diesels suffer similar problems- Hornby’s Class 50 for instance has flimsy cables connecting body and chassis that simply snap if you forget to remove them before separating the two parts. I had a brand new Hornby A3 that blew a chip because the soldering was so poor underneath the socket, that it immediately shorted out. DCC ready? It was certainly not. I routinely test all sockets now with a meter, before inserting chips. The prize for the most ridiculous add-on parts has to go to Dapol for the roof panel handles on their Class 52 Western. There are so many, so small and impossible to hold in tweezers without them pinging across the room, I just don’t bother to even try and fit them any more. As for sandpipes, They are all too often more trouble than they are worth. I would gladly sacrifice some of this excess fidelity for improved robustness and running qualities. Some things just don’t scale down well...
  7. Yes, but if you are using Relco’s or similar devices, the chip gets fried (so it won’t then work).
  8. Absolutely brilliant... a facepalm from the driver as he realises he forgot to put lamps on, and his locomotive still carries those awful tension-lock couplings. Sometimes it is good to not take ourselves too seriously! Some very nice modelling skills in evidence, for sure. Phil
  9. If Bachmann thought there was good mileage in producing an A3 then they would have done it by now. I suggest that Hattons are the manufacturer more likely to spoil Hornby’s monopoly, if their O gauge model is well received. Rather than produce a ‘me too’ A3, I would much rather Bachmann focussed on getting on top of their existing new product back catalogue.... which is what they are doing this year.
  10. Hi Tony, Having been through a learning experience with point rodding, you are now in a different place and maybe in time you will come to view point rodding as essential as locomotive lamps, in portraying a chosen location accurately. Does that invalidate LB as a fine model in its pre-rodded state? Not a jot. It’s just at an earlier state in its development. Other modellers have still to make that sort of transition with regard to tension lock couplings, locomotive lamps, signal box names, etc. etc. I think of myself here, not all that long ago! They are not so far down their learning curve as you, perhaps. Does that invalidate their modelling efforts? Not a jot. I have a good friend who is very happy with his growing ‘train set’. He knows that it is far from prototypical, but gets a huge amount of pleasure out of it, as do those who visit the wonderland in his train shed. It’s not for me, but each to his own... as long as people are honest about their creations. Phil.
  11. I like the platform shots, Tony. They are easy to relate to, as I guess we’ve all spent a lot of time standing in a similar place. One suggestion for improvement, and its about the photography rather than the modelling per se. It relates to the view under the bridge arches... do you put some white card there to hide the curves & gubbins beyond the scenic section? Painting the card, even fuzzily, to represent something beyond, would be relatively straightforward and help create the perception of far distance. A similar comment might presumably apply to views in the other direction, under the girder bridge? Phil.
  12. Tony, this looks just like the merry-go-round trains that I used to see in the East Midlands in the seventies and early eighties, though I have no idea of the location. The wagons were indeed referred to as HAA after TOPS was introduced. Distinguishing between classes 44, 45 and 46 can be tricky sometimes, but I suspect this one is probably a class 45, given the split centre headcode: but Clive is probably more knowledgeable than myself in this regard. The crest above the nameplate indicates it is probably one of the class named after a regiment? Phil
  13. I have used Bachmann’s 1950’s train crew... code 36-407. You get two seated drivers in that set, though the blue needs to be a darker shade. More recently, I have started using Modelu figures, they do seated diesel drivers. OO scale ones are £3 each, really nicely detailed and much more lifelike than the Bachmann ones, but they do need painting. Their steam loco crews are also excellent, many different figures available.
  14. I currently have nine. Six of them have been renumbered/renamed to become Leicester Central or Neasden shedded loco’s in 1949 condition, either in Apple green BRITISH RAILWAYS or express blue livery, using Gay Crusader Or Book Law as the green donor, and the recently released Scotsman as the blue donor. Tenders swopped around as appropriate, and Book Law derivatives are converted to RHD... just need to convert their cab side cutouts to the small version now.
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