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  1. As far as I am aware that it is the limit - 5. I know when I was working in planning we used to 'count cabs'. Clearly the reality might be brake controls but we used to do it by cabs. (Is that one and the same?) Al
  2. The GWR ones the interior is a bright green. As the seats are actually grey I would have preferred a grey plastic moulding that I have to paint green onto rather than a green one I have to paint almost entirely grey! The blue of the Scotrail ones looks easier to make into a rough replica of the real thing. The only one of my photos I can find for reference at the moment... (The Hornby interior being a vague resemblance of the green headrests.)
  3. YES! But also NOOOOOOOOOOO! After years of waiting and hoping I gave up and bought the kit, started a few weeks ago and now... a far better quality one is going to be produced Great announcement and I will definitely be in for a GNER example. Ah well, 18 months to finish the kit now! Al
  4. Just a 'little' progress update. Some time ago I set to work on adding vinyls/renumbering my GWR green powercars - some of you may remember this was a bit of a disaster due to misty can of varnish and as a result both powercars have sat on the side for a while. The misty varnish was only on one powercar and the other one has sat in debranded green and whilst rifling through my transfers I decided to pick up where I had left off! 43187 looked like this: The original GWR in silver/grey having been removed with a cotton bud and thinners. This had left a shiny sheen which would be covered by her new identity. However there was still remnants of the branding as on the 4 sides of powercars I had debranded this side appeared to have a groove of a mm or two where the logo was. I wasn't overly concerned as if I laid the new transfer carefully enough it shouldn't be obvious. I did however remove the original number from the cargo door like a cretin with a scalpel blade and have scratched the door slightly. On the other side (which looked considerably better by comparison!) the number was removed with a light dab of T-Cut on a cotton bud, a technique that took the printing off fairly easily and with little residual marking. I will be using this technique again! Now for my favourite bit - transfers. The new identity was to be 43093 Old Oak Common HSTD 1976-2018 as unveiled at the Old Oak Common open day back in 2017. The transfers were from Railtec and include everything I needed to replicate the condition of the loco between the open day (02/09/2017) and sometime in 2018. Since then she has gained an additional logo behind the cargo door to mark the last train off depot, unfortunately this isn't available as a transfer... yet... The pack includes '3D transfers' for the nameplate which look fairly convincing to me. Additionally there is the sticker representing the open day and the 'Legends of the Western', new numbers which are located beneath the cab window, fuel gauges to replace the black moulding on the Hornby model, white markings (technical description) just above the solebar that are not present on the Hornby original and cantrail stripes which I didn't need to use and an absolutely tiny number which goes on the crew door at the rear of the powercar. The bad side: The good side: I must say I was really pleased with how this went, the large transfer caused me a few panics but I managed to get it straightened up on both sides with no wrinkles or bubbles - phew. The number of the gangway door: Finally as the sun was out and I was required to be outside taking photos of a teddy bear's picnic (as you do) then I snapped a photo of 43093 in the sun: You can see here that after my earlier success I decided to bite off more than I can chew and cut out one of the engine grilles. I believe this was a sign that the loco had had a particular modification done and is present on a number of HST powercars in the Western fleet on both sides. Mine is on one side as I scraped the above and below slats a little too much for my liking whilst trying to gentle cut it out with a scalpel. If I can get Nicola to mix a similar shade of green then I might just touch in the whitened bits of plastic! Here's my photo taken at the open day in 2017 for comparison: Other than that I have now received the custom transfers for 89001 so need to crack on with the cab interiors, the lighting and that pantograph. In my order of transfers I also had some for renumbering nuclear flasks. My sister was devastated when she bought me a #21 flask only to learn that that was the one she had previously purchased for me. I told it would be no bother... Originally: An hour later: I also updated the electric warning flashes which on the model were the old style and changed the data panel on the side to match the correct number. I now need to take a pipe cleaner to the model to remove all of the dust which the photography has cruelly showed up! More soon I hope. Al
  5. Shes's a beauty! I do prefer that livery to the plain blue. Al
  6. As promised I thought I would share some of the work I have managed to get my girlfriend involved with. She has always been arts-y but I had kind of shielded her away from my modelling fearing how she would perceive it. However I have never been particularly good at brush painting and having unwittingly admitting she like to paint I had begun to try and sow the seeds that perhaps I could get her to paint some of my figures. I persuaded her to go to a model show in Stevenage sometime around Christmas or just after and whilst there made a flippant comment about figures and painting again. Shortly afterwards I was paying for a number of Monty's Models figures! At said show there was also a demonstration by someone on painting and Nicola sat down with her and got some tips (I think I was too busy looking at another trade stand...) Fast forward to lockdown and Nicola asked to finally have a go at the figures. I had been given a shopping list - CIF, an old toothbrush and some matt varnish - and the after providing some photos from the internet of what I was looking for the good lady set to work. I was worried I might not have the right shade of paint - 'Derrr, you just mix it up yourself!' - well that was me told. Her first figure in 4mm, a BTP officer: I have since added a transfer to this chap's back after a recent order from Steve at Railtec... Now it doesn't look straight there but under a magnifying glass I thought it was straight when compared to his lapels! Next up was a driver, the photo for this being an image from DRS' careers page on the website: The figure for this was of a BR secondman, the moulded detail for that of a jacket and trousers. 'Fear not' I was told since I was worrying how a different attire might be painted on. The hat was painted up as a flat cap which I thought was a nice touch! Nicola refused to paint his feet when I said most drivers had to be amputated at the waist to fit in loco cabs! A couple of days later and another driver, this working from an image from Google of a driver walking down his train in full orange gear - 'Do you want him to be dirty like the photo?' - well I wasn't going to refuse! Again based on the BR secondman. The head was filed a little to try and create more of a hard hat (like the photo she was working from) and this guy was even given a beard! I have said that it feels an absolute crime to put this one in a cab and he may end up being a member of a track gang sat on the side of the line waiting for a train to pass. Since then - and still a work in progress (I'm told) - we have another driver (from the ModelU stable): And finally, the model Nicola was most pleased (I nearly said excited...) to buy at the Stevenage show. That of a young lady dragging a suitcase which conjured happy/humorous memories of our first holiday last October where upon exiting Prague station Nic's suitcase lost a wheel. I can still vividly picture the scene as she remarked in a most peculiar voice 'Oh no, my wheel!' before running back across the cobbled paving to where the wheel was lying some way behind us. We then had to drag the ailing suitcase around Amsterdam and back via Eurostar, by the time we got to Euston the scraping noise from the bag was less amusing...! Anyway, here is Nic depicting herself in her sports team jersey which is how we met - it still needs a logo on the front and then the suitcase needs painting. She has said she might even file off a wheel: Following these I have a couple more ModelU drivers and then I suppose I better get ordering some more things to paint! This was a most unexpected surprise and I have since been shuffling books about weathering closer to her arm of the settee... we'll see how that goes! Since these last two posts the modelling mojo is back and I have been doing some of my favourite task - adding transfers - so hopefully some more on here soon. Al
  7. A few weeks on and it's been a relatively quiet few weeks considering the lack of distractions from modelling time! I've had a kind of writers block so haven't really had any ideas about how to progress projects or a clear vision about how I'm going to achieve something but here's what has happened... Firstly a quick fix. Having spent time working on the layout recently and running most of my stock to give it a spin around the layout I dug out my Dapol Class 73 which has never run properly and was very jerky. For a new model I was quite disappointed. Fortunately RMWeb is such a huge bank of knowledge I found the answer - the pickups on the 73s are rather naff and the copper strip quite easily slips out of position from the pickups. The solution was to strip down the bogies and create new/additional pickups using brass wire. I have never attempted anything like this so was somewhat apprehensive. The brass wire I had on hand was .3mm and a gentle brush with the hacksaw was used to slice into the bogie sides as seen below. The wire was then soldered to the copper pickup strip and bent to zig zag out onto the inside of the wheels. I did two pickups (one each side) for each bogie). I cannot take credit for this solution, it is a fellow RMWebber whose name I cannot remember but who has detailed this more thoroughly on here somewhere! I must say that dismantling the bogies and removing the cosmetic elements was very difficult and not easy when you have a pair of hands as dexterous as clubs! A few fine details went whizzing off across the desk and had to be glued back on afterwards. A rather naked below the waist 73 went for a test run and runs properly for the first time ever. Some fettling was required as initially the brass pickups were pushing out onto the wheel too much causing a lot of resistance. Cosmetic bogie sides reinstalled and job done. 89001 has had the new bogie sides painted and fitted. The simplest solution to removing the old sides was to take the hacksaw to them and just slice all the way through until they pinged off. With the new bogie sides having previously been sprayed black they were fitted with poly cement and nudged around until they looked like they were in the right place. The rookie mistake I made was to cut all 4 sides from both bogies before sticking any of the new sides on, had I kept some of the original sides on first I could have used them as a rough guide for where the new ones should sit. The poor light probably doesn't help you form an opinion there! I did push the bogies around the desk and they look alright. I then pushed the bogies back into the chassis, plonked the body on top and slid the underframe boxes into position but sat on the desk for a rough work in progress shot. The underframe boxes were sprayed black about a week ago and today I worked on gluing the pieces to what was left of the original 47 underframe. I took several more mm of height out of the original underframe as I think it was too tall and was certainly taller than the new side pieces (as shown in my last post on the subject), I used the dremmel with a sanding bit in order to speed this up - mmmmm the smell of melting plastic! For the cylinder that I had identified at one end I found I had a length of plastic tubing which I think I was going to make scenic pipe loads for my layout. By good fortune it is almost the exact diameter as the cylinder head on the underframe moulding so I cut a short length off, painted it and stuck in on to create a cylinder. The cylinder is still just attached to the rest of the underframe by a small remaining bit of the moulding to give it a bit of support as I wasn't 100% certain I would be able to stick it to the main chassis frame. With it all being dark, black and underneath the loco I am not sure it is that visible. This will require a part on the outside end of the cylinder picking out in white and on the other side of the underframe gubbins there is a panel that will be picked out in orange, then remount it underneath the main chassis. The bogies also need a few details picking out in white too although I'm not convinced I have a steady enough hand or a small enough brush! However all is not lost, I have found a painting assistant. On the main body I am still working on creating cabs, I bought a job lot of old Hornby/Lima cab mouldings of various shapes and incarnations but haven't found one that fits yet, I have been filing and cutting some up so may just end up sticking a desk and some seats in rather than a full moulding. Windows will be cut from a thin sheet of clear PVC I have as I have misplaced the bit that came with the kit. Buffers need painting and sticking in, yellow warning panels need painting, bufferbeams painting, handrails need fitting and whilst writing this I must not forget to install the lighting!!! The final hurdle is the pantograph. Having scoured the internet and this forum (with little found other than the whole community wants a new Brecknell Willis pantograph made) I have come to two choices; 1) Acquire a Hornby Class 90/92 pantograph - the last one I saw on that auction site sold for £23 just for the pan! 2) Construct one out of brass. A member of this parish wrote an article about 10 years ago about blinging up a Hornby 90 including manufacturing a new pantograph (that was sprung) and it does look fantastic. Only snag is I have never worked on anything like this at all ever. In fact the only time I have ever used brass was the pickups on the 73 I wrote at the start of this. The author described the process as 'fairly straightforward' (I may be paraphrasing) but it looked a little complicated to me! Transfers are in the post and then that will complete 89001. The pantograph however is causing me all sorts of headaches - answers on a postcard please dear readers! I will elaborate on my painting assistant (I hope she never reads that) and showcase some of their work on here soon. Al
  8. A variation on the DRS decals worn by 90034. Just looking for a different loco number. Should be all sorted now! Al
  9. Not a problem! Thank you for the response, I can well imagine demand has spiked exponentially and I really do appreciate what you bring to the hobby! Al
  10. Any thoughts on how to get hold of Steve? I'm trying to order something not available from the options on the website but I don't think the request is reinventing the wheel! (Although who am I to know.) I tried the online contact us page on the website - same response as others - so emailed the [email protected] email address back in mid April. I saw suggestions to IM him on here which I did a week ago but still nothing. Thought I'd ask as he is usually very prompt and the social media seems to suggest Railtec are clearly very active! Al
  11. Yes, still got spares as the powercars need work more frequently than the coaching stock. There will be 28 powercars in total so there will always be spares to cover for heavy maintenance or any other issues. 155 is currently spare at Laira, it was stood down for B exam towards the end of April. Al
  12. Thanks Mick, high praise indeed! Al
  13. It has been a while since I have put out an update on my progress. Work got really busy and then... err... we now run less trains than we did before and most of them empty. One way or another I'm 'working from home' which when you work in a Control room doesn't really work! So, plenty of time to get some modelling done: GWR HST powercars/47323 - No progress on these, they need the awful varnish I spoke about before stripping, I have some T cut and I just need a stiff drink and some patience to tackle them. 37602 - Again, no progress, I have acquired some LEDs of different hues with both a warm yellow/white and a bright white to represent bright LEDs and bulbs. I have also bought some fibre optic after recommendation from Jack and at some point will attempt to scratch build new top light housings. One of the noses had a chunk of paint missing after the crocodile clip it was held in was a little severe. As I walked to the garage to give another coat of yellow I dropped one of the noses and it shattered on a paving stone. I tried to glue it back together with plastic weld - a solution I haven't worked with before - and it too was a learning experience, it caused the paint to bubble and melt and really I just want to strip all of the paint off this nose and start again! Unfortunately I use Isopropyl alcohol and funnily enough that's somewhat scarce due to the pandemic. I bought some from ebay (that wasn't price gouged) only to find it was a fraudulent seller. Until I can get more IPA anything that needs paint stripping will have to wait. 47828 - Arguably my longest running project to create a DRS dummy runner. It's still sat on the back of the workbench. It has acquired far too many coats of paint over the years and needs some stripping back. DBSO - Needs filling, filing and fettling as it isn't to the standard I want it to be, it probably needs the yellow stripping off the nose. Until then it sits with the 47 at the back of the bench. So what was the most logical next step? A new project! Before Christmas I bought a Silver Fox models kit for a Class 89, something I have had my eye on for years. I have always been fascinated by this unusual machine despite having never seen it in person. Kicking myself a little bit that whilst I liked trains I never really did any 'spotting' when I lived in Yorkshire in the 00s and it was trundling around with GNER! 89001 in either its BR guise or its GNER guise don't really fit the time frame I model so a little bit of a 'what if' scenario has been called for. Clearly I have a fascination/long running interest in DRS and after stumbling across a picture of the DRS liveried Class 90 I had an idea - what if DRS had acquired the Badger? They've acquired a fair few different locos over the years so for me they've acquired and repaired 89001... The kit comes as a body, replacement bogie sides, replacement underframe sides, some transparent plastic for windscreens and some mouldings for the pantograph well. There is no chassis or pantograph. The instructions advise that the body is given a good go over with a scalpel blade to get rid of the flash and excess plastic. Here's the shell during that session: Next I primed the body and decided what I wanted the livery to look like - DRS blue with small yellow panel like the DRS 90 - and masked off the yellow panel, described as 'DRS Economy'. (I touched up the bits of primer I had sanded back too.) The kit recommends a Lima or Hornby class 47 chassis (if I remember correctly the website years ago recommended a class 66 chassis too). Ideally I wanted a Railroad 47 as it would have a new motor but I wasn't intending on paying £75 for a new one. I had been tracking one on ebay a while back but alas it had gone. Long story short I found one that sounded well looked after and it arrived quickly (remarkable considering I've been waiting for some things for over a fortnight). After a quick test confirmed the loco still runs well it was stripped down and that is the end of the Riviera Trains 47/8! Posed with the replacement underframe and bogie pieces: The instructions advise that only the face of the underframe box is cut away and then the replacement faces can be stuck on, if I have done it correctly it would have looked like this... To me there was far too much obvious material below the bottom of the new parts and in the picture above where there is some kind of disc at the end (later analysed to be a cylinder - main res perhaps?) it just didn't look right to me at all. I decided to get the cutting disc back out (the dremel proving much faster although a lot messier than the hacksaw) and took several more mm out of the underframe box cutting it off completely to work with it and file the edges smooth. After inspecting more reference photos (ideally in GNER condition - as recent as possible) I noticed that there was not as much in the way of underframe boxes as the moulding suggested, the reservoir appears to be separate from the boxes and with a little space between. To try and replicate this I filed away most of the box next to the cylinder. I will either separate them both completely or keep it this thin, I will make a decision when they are painted up in black and I can line them up with the chassis. I'm tempted to split them and create a tank somehow - I haven't figured out how yet! (Brass tube?) This of course meant that the rectangular underframe from the Cl. 47 needed further trimming : The main bodyshell has now had a coat of blue. Towards the end of last year I found an alternative shade of blue to replace the one I had used previously for DRS colours, this one is darker and a better match when compared to Bachmann's shade: The last challenge I have faced for the time being is the pantograph! I am struggling to find clear images of the pantograph-well to understand the arrangement of lumps and bits in there and I also needed to source a pantograph. The Hornby spare for their long produced class 90 is out of production according to Peter's Spares so after a few failed bids on that well know auction site I bought a scrap shell of a class 90. The picture showed a pantograph but little did I know it is a plastic moulding. I am looking for a pantograph that can be raised/lowered as I will be fitting catenary to my layout in the future! This is very frustrating. I have a working Hornby Class 90 that I don't use a huge amount and I could look at doing a pantograph swap although this isn't really what I was looking to do! I have sent an email to someone about custom transfers, just awaiting a reply. And that's it, all caught up to date!* (*Not quite, there are 2x 37s and a 5 car unit project that I haven't ever mentioned but they'll get their day, they're on the back of the bench too, the unit at the very start of the project and the 37s awaiting paint stripping as I've put too much on.)
  14. As you may have now deduced it was an HST short set. I've not seen one timed as loco hauled before (although I haven't looked at Scotrail services), GWR short HSTs are timed as 90mph DMUs. There is an HST timing load but that won't take into account the improved acceleration with reduced trailing load!
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