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  1. Here we have the latest addition to my loco fleet, DBC Class 66, 66005, which has been resprayed into the striking Maritime One Livery. This is now one of sixteen class 66's that currently reside on my Layout, although I try to avoid Loco's in one-off celebrity Liveries I have made an exception in this case as there are quite a few Loco's in real life now in this eye-catching Livery and it's likely several at any one given time will be on allocated to WCML Maritime traffic. Looking at the Model I think it's fair to say its a decent representation of the real-life prototype. The quality of the paint application, finish, and positioning of some of the transfers in places isn't perfect and there are a few minor livery errors that need correcting, but that being said considering that I purchased this for just £68 second-hand compared to £250 for resprays being offered elsewhere this was quite a clever purchase. This Loco is definitely going to be one of my firm favorites
  2. Workbench: Meanwhile I just finished one of a few projects I have undertaken away from home. Various Wills SS78 waiting room kits that are going to become the platform level waiting rooms, shop/cafe, and toilets have successfully kitbashed with grooves added to represent stonework along with weathering effects. Really is amazing would you can do with a few plastic kits when you use your imagination. All buildings in their finished state with the exception one that still needs windows and doors painted. The idea is that two will be joined together in their original configuration on bay platform 1 and platform 2 to create one island building with the other separate with space in between them, whilst the rest have been adapted to make one long run low relief building built into the retaining wall on platform 5 along the back when it is installed.
  3. Scenic area on the righthand corner of the Layout - This has been one of those awkward 'I don't know what to do with this' area's of the layout for quite some time, I didn't just want to put a tunnel underneath a hill there to provide the scenic break where the fiddle yard begins and instead really wanted to do something original with the space, by chance when I was browsing through some images on google I found the perfect inspiration: the iconic section of railway line in north wales were the line is carried over the river by a bridge made to look similar in appearance to the nearby 13th century Conwy Castle. The plan is to scratch build two tunnel mouths with turrets, together with an integrated bridge that should connect this scene, the canal/river scene and the other corner scene on the other side rather nicely. Fun fact: believe it or not the castle ruins are not from skaledale, but rather a very skilled trader on Ebay who I purchased them from for probably half the price!
  4. Not much to report on the layout over the summer months, but some key changes and decisions have been made alongside some side projects taking part on the workbench: Point Motors - the last six months have seen me struggling with electrics involving seep point motors and trying but failing to sort out faults. Other modelers have also told me that this type of motor is very aggressive on the point mechanism itself and noisy when compared to other more expensive slow action point motors. Another thing I've noticed is that some have seized up and become very stiff even to move by hand, this could be due to the recent weather. For me this is the last straw, I have now lost all patience with them, being somebody who doesn't really like doing electrics just short of having no point motors at all I am now going to opt for Cobolt Motors instead and in order to save time and money I will only be adding these to the scenic section of the layout as I'm sick and tired of all the time spent messing about with electrics when I could be doing other things. Whilst I accept that other people have probably had more success with Seep Point Motors than I have had they have been one big headache that I could do without Trackwork/ scenery around the station area - for the third and hopefully the final time I have decided to alter the track work approaching the station, the main reason being that as demonstrated in the pictures below a back scene will eventually be added on the righthand side with a retaining wall and a raised section that will carry the town/street scenes above track level and it didn't make sense from a scenic point of view to have the bay platform, which is the shortest platform tucked away and mostly hidden from view in the background with longest platform in the foreground. The final result is that the station layout is mostly the same just the opposite way around. In order to accommodate the bay platform on the lefthand side, a small extension will be built on at a later date. A thunderbird siding is now also present to add in a bit more operational interest by having somewhere to store a loco or rolling stock
  5. Any clues as to when the Units are going to be released? Hattons are saying on their website July/August whilst the others are saying January/February next year!
  6. Thank you - I myself am rather chuffed with how they like too as I studied pictures of the real loco and nocticed that there were noticeable patches where Freightliner have removed/ painted over the BR Double Arrow and Depot Plaques and I felt it was worth trying to replicate and comparing the Model with the real Loco I think I have pulled it off rather nicely. Can't wait to see what it looks like when it is weathered
  7. And here are the finished results! A coat weathering soon to follow in due course...
  8. Being a WCML modeller it's no surprise that after Class 66's, pairs of Class 90's will handle the majority of intermodel and automotive workings on my layout and with this in my mind I've purchased four of them so far, 90042 in Freightliner Powerhaul Livery and three of the version in RFD Livery with the plan being to repaint these into loco's into earlier version's of Freightliner Livery and DBS Red and EWS/unbranded EWS Liveries as I don't really trust Bachmann to get these liveries out onto the market in less than 5 years if the length of time it has taken to release this run is anything to go by. With this mind I got to work on one of the RFD Loco's to convert it into 90044 in Freightliner triple grey to run with 90042 when it arrives within the next couple of days, not much effort was involved considering that after removing the RFD Logo's and running numbers with T-Cut, 60% of the work was already done!
  9. Again not much to report in terms of work on the layout over the last month, but my workbench has been busy and will continue to be over the next couple of weeks with some new additions to my loco fleet. One of a few I have just finished working on has been the eagerly awaited Class 90 from Bachmann, after nearly 5 years in the making I think it's fair to say it was definitely worth the wait . The level of detail is truly stunning and I'd say Bachmann have well and truly raised the bar with this Model. My only criticism would be Bachmann's decision to fit a servo operated pantagraph, which I think adds little to the model and it is a bit gimmicky and toy like, not as unforgiveable as Hornby's opening cab doors and spinning roof fans etc , but its certainly a feature that isn't really that useful, but that aside I can't fault the Model on a anything else it's simply excellent.
  10. More pictures of the terrain taking shape plus preparations for the Roadway and Houses...
  11. With ideas that had been stewing in my mind for a few months now, I have quickly settled on this scene being something along the lines of the main road in/out of the town running through a 'well to do' residential area nearing the outskirts/on the outskirts of town which will blend in nicely with open countryside from the Canal onwards
  12. After this the next course of action was a no brainer. Bored with looking at bare baseboard constantly, I finally decided it was time to start some scenic work on this area. The tight curvature on this corner of the layout was always going to hidden underneath a tunnel, so naturally I was more than happy to construct a two level board to accomodate a raised section above track level.
  13. Work on the layout has been pretty quiet over the last six weeks, but following my latest visit back home that has now changed. Having had a second look at the trackwork on approach into the station where it turns from two lines into five, I have started the addition of two extra running lines from this area to the fiddle yard on the otherside of the layout. Although it looked okay I felt it made this part of the layout look a bit "Train Set-ish" in appearance and less like a serious layout of a mainline location. It also limited train movements into and out of station which was not ideal either. Now with two extra lines it looks and should operate a lot better
  14. Just found some more pictures of the recent work I have done on the layout. Aside from all the electrical work taking place on the layout itself, on the workbench work on what will become the main Station building has been advancing well. As I wanted the main station building to be a big, grand and old looking building similiar to that of Carlisle for example, I quickly realised that I wasn't going to find a ready made resin building big enough or suitable enough to replicate this. Shortly afterwards I came to conclusion that a Vollmer Baden Station Kit I bought and made up years before was the best bet and after a dusting off and a coat of primer, two coats of humbrol enamel 121 pale stone and weathering composed of a thinned wash of a mixture green, grey and black paint this is what the building has been transformed into and I must say I am quite satisfied with the results. There still is some work to be done on it before it is ready to install on the layout, some new window frames and glazing have to be added as sadly when I was in the process of preparing the building for priming I had the break some of the frames in order to remove the glazing ( looking back in retrospect I wish had used Humbrol maskell as it would have saved me some time and extra work, but hey ho). Automatic Sliding doors will also be added to the main entrance, whilst the other side of the building will be modified to have three sets of steps that will lead to the platforms below, once this has been completed, weathering will be applied to this side and after that the building will be ready to placed into it's final position on the layout.
  15. Absolutely. That's exactly what the plan is. The station itself will be made to look like it continues underneath a bridge whilst any tight curves will be obscured by bridges or tunnels. It's the only way you can pull it off
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