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The Johnster

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  • Location
    The mean streets of inner-city Cardiff
  • Interests
    Railways of course, especially those of South Wales, Photography when I can get out to do it, Latin American percussion, beer, ranting about stuff that winds me up and being a miserable old git.

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  1. I know money was tight and under Col. Stephens a bit like rocking horse doodoo, but a restyled cab and capped chimney could have made this a sleek and powerful, modern looking locomotive; it's the brutality of the chopping down that jars!
  2. I did something like this to Lima mk1s many years ago, using pencil to replicate black and white photos (some had identifiable church spires or seascapes) and tin foil for the mirrors. You can't really see them, even through mk1 windows, from most viewing angles and in most lights but it was fun to do and to show off. If you are going to light your coaches, I think they would be much more apparent. By the 50s there were mirrors in second class, but of course by then the oldest stock was Collett era. Given that SRM 93 and trailer 92 have mirrors on the saloon bulkheads, and it di
  3. In the 60s and 70s the bulk of NCB I/U wagons were XPO 7 plankers, and some were in surprisingly good and clean condition, having been overhauled when the NCB acquired them and quickly repainted to prevent their mistaken use by BR from exchange sidings or small colliery yards. As Brian W says, some BR wagons were in much worse condition at this time, though the cull of what what we called 'brokers' was constant, enabled by the continual fall in traffic; by about '75 the worst of them had probably mostly been weeded out, by the process of being declared cripples and then scrapped as there was
  4. I refer you to Layout Topics 'South Wales Valleys in the 1950s', young sir!
  5. That makes more or less complete sense, and I'm sure you are right. Not long before I started on the railway in 1970, there was a coal train derailment just the Newport side of Caerleon on the N,A,& H main line, which decanted several hundred tons of coal into a farmer's field. Thinking he was on to a good thing, said farmer refused the breakdown crew permission to go on to his land to recover the wagons and clear up the coal; the North to West route was completely blocked by this incident. Derailed wagons were blocking the 'outside the fence' railway access as well. The br
  6. Disciplined approaches were for many years in my case evidence of a sick mind and anal retention, but even I learned in the end. Cwmdimbath was build very quickly by my standards and was designed to keep my enthusiasm going while I built it so that it would be completed in a reasonable time, and was operating as a scenic layout in less than a year from the genesis moment of finding 'Lack' baseboards in a skip. This is psychology as much as a 'trick' but it worked for me. Don't build your layout from one end to the other, build it from the baseboards up in the following order; bas
  7. Keeper. You are more than welcome to give it a test run at Cwmdimbath, Ian, when the lockdown is eased.
  8. 67 now. Back in March, when the Covid thing was just working up to speed, I predicted that it would not destroy civilisation and kill millions in the UK as some were stating that it definitely would, which was correct (so far, anyway). But I also predicted that the virus would be used by the big RTR players as a convenient excuse for late delivery, price rises, and general poor performance, so it's only fair that I should say that this was in the event wrong. Hornby have managed to produce items from China when they said they would at the price they said they would charge, and Ba
  9. That thing looks a bit like some sort of medieval torture device, Ian!
  10. I very much doubt that an out of use signal would ever be allowed to display a proceed aspect, due to the possibility of it being taken as a proceed aspect despite the X. Similarly, no lamp would be displayed, the assumption being that an out of use signal, or stick as they are otherwise known, is best if it is invisible at night. My memory of disposal of semaphore signals replaced by new ones, mostly at the time of the Swansea MAS scheme, so colour light replacements, was that the new signals were hooded with an X on the front of the hood until the scheme went live, when the semaphore arms
  11. These will be Hornby's first attempt at Commonwealths, I believe. If they are up to the standard of the very good Collett 7' bogies that were attached to my 57' Suburbans, they'll be very good indeed; I reckon these are the best RTR bogies I have ever had and they have the edge on most kit bogies as well!
  12. I have always assumed that the Bachmann Ashford's grey LMS livery is correct, as I can't see why they'd make up an incorrectly livery having several LMS items in bauxite, proving that they were aware of the bauxite livery, if you follow my train of thought... As I understand it, the reason these wagons were built at Ashford for the LMS, GW, et al, was that Ashford happened to have a stockpile of pre-cut timber in the two widths needed for this design. They were directed to make the vans for the other railways by the Ministry of Supply, which was created as a wartime control of materials, and
  13. Confusion is understandable! I reckon Collett got bored and thought it would be fun to mess about with the large prairies so that nobody knew what they were on about, or if they did, they had to explain which loco they were talking about at the time. 'I know', he said to himself 'I'll make a whole new class by changing the numbers to a different series and making some minor changes to the appearance (Churchward 31xx to 5101), starting off with rebuilds and continuing with the new number serious out of sequence, then I'll design an identical looking loco with a completely different
  14. Finished and in service, pending cab interior details and solder to finish up the connections for the lighting. The glazing rests on the ledge cast in to the inside of the sides of this model, which is why you have to leave a gap behind the benches and at the side of the other seats. I glued the glazing in with Glue’n’ Glaze, which dries clear and helps hide any overspill, but I made a tolerably neat job anyway. Here she is, coming to a squealing stop in Cwmdimbath’s platform with an early evening working from Bridgend sometime in the late 40s or early 50s; the A30 with her is in ‘
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