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    Trains, cars and twiddling my hair when thinking about stuff.

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  1. Yep. Despite arriving 2 weeks ago, I finally got my rake out tonight for a once over and one was like this. Spring was still in the box fortunately, but it soon pinged out of the tweezers and disappeared into the carpet... I replaced it with a spare spring from a Kadee pack, looks to work fine. It's a faff to get it on though. Andy.
  2. So? Since the invention of money people have no doubt complained about the cost of things. People will complain if a tin of beans in Tesco goes up by 1p. I guess because a few people have said an item is just too much, according them, the manufacturers and retailers should pack up and go home? Unfortunately, the cost is only going one way whether we like it or not... Now, I'm not immune from complaining about the price of things, myself and friends have had a whinge about the cost of things in this hobby outside of RMWeb. But it mostly always boiled down to the value for money of certain items. Some manufactures seem to charge the earth for old models with virtually no improvements, whilst introducing ones brand new from the ground up, for the same price. The Hornby MK3 is an example of this, the old slamdoor model introduced some 20 years ago has an RRP around £35. The brand new sliding door one, with all its R&D costs, finer detailing and features expected of a brand new model has an RRP that's the same. Either it's insanely cheap, or the old one is overpriced. An IEP, glamorous? It's literally just another unit. I certainly don't disagree that it was a good choice as a model for Hornby, as it does satisfy those who want stuff that's bang up to date and can see them flying past at their local station. If they didn't do it, someone else would have as it's a good one for future sales when other operators start picking them up. Quite a few I'd imagine. Even if it's someone who wants to do even a flavour of an era or location, you'll want specific things for it. But even those who do model specific things no doubt have stuff that they run 'just because'. I suspect even the rivet counters aren't immune from Rule 1. Even though I said my modelling influence is the Solent area, I'll still be getting a TPE MK5 set because it'll make a cracking train even though there's not even been a sniff of them going South. I've already got the TPE 68 standing by! Andy.
  3. Having had a little read through the last couple of pages, I see the want for units is still there in some capacity, along with the mention of them never being done due to complexity and cost. But I don't agree with that as an 'against' doing them. The argument always is that there is normally 3 different bodyshells needed to do a 4-car unit, which costs too much to tool and therefore isn't justifiable. To me, the TPE MK5 set proves that that isn't really a valid reason, as it requires 3 different body shells, while also having fine detailing, lighting, DCC capability and a complex livery. There's a cab end car with all the lighting too, no different to a unit in my eyes. This can all be had for £225, or £45 a coach, not too shabby at all in this day and age! The nearest coach that competes features wise, to me, would be the Bachmann MK2F, which has an RRP of £70. A rake of 5 at that price comes in at £350, though no doubt will be less if you shop around, but still more than a TPE MK5 set. With a unit, there is now obviously the cost of a drive train to factor in. If you want to say that it's basically the cost of a newly tooled locomotive, then that adds about £160 to the price tag. Being simple about it, and saying it'd basically be the cost of a TPE MK5 set plus loco means this mythical 4-car unit comes in at £385, which, while not 'cheap', is not much more than the excellent 3-car Bachmann Class 159. It's also not too far off the price of a Hornby Class 800 with it's 5 coaches, they certainly seem to sell pretty well! As has been mentioned in this thread, a good modern 'bread and butter' EMU to do would probably be the Electrostar, though there's variations on cab fronts and body sides when they went from ribbon glazing to individual windows. The Class 319 could be an even better bet. Covers from the popular NSE era until the present day, with many liveries to keep it going for a good while. Plus, there's the option of doing them as Class 768 & 769 bi-modes. The underframes and bogies could also help pave the way for doing the other MK3 derived units of this era. I'm obviously in the camp that want's more units, specifically 3rd rail stuff. You can probably tell what I'd be in the market for with my username! Whilst most don't have any 'sex appeal' compared to most locomotives, they are the bread and butter of the real railway and have been for a while. You can't really model certain areas properly without them. Andy.
  4. The images on the likes of Rails of Sheffield show the wagon in 'early' livery, which I think is applicable until around 2000? Wagons in 'later' version of Yeoman livery look like this: (Not mine, click to go to Flickr) They're still in use in this colour scheme, though looking pretty rough around the edges and heavily graffitied. I took these shots last week, wagons were part of 7A17 Merehead Quarry to Acton. Andy.
  5. I'd say the FAA & FCA flats are more of a hole in the EWS/DB specific container wagon line up, having been in use for over 20 years now. Dapol do the IKA, given an EWS paintjob would be a passable (if not accurate) representation of an FKA. Certainly surprised the FAA's haven't been done. Good use for space starved modellers as just one wagon can be a realistic train. The FCA's have now stated to appear on departmental services with drop-side mesh 'containers' on them, giving more options. Getting back on topic, the FWA's are certainly stacking up to be an excellent model. Will be putting an order in for 4 of the VTG Green sets in a few weeks on payday, don't want to miss the order deadline! Andy.
  6. If we're talking EWS Intermodal wagons, I'd much prefer to see the FAA & FCA wagons. The FKA could be done by Dapol as just an EWS paint of their IKA sets, not completely accurate I'll agree, but would do the job for most. To me, the FAA & FCA seem to be a good one to do, as they came about in the late 1990's, so ran with EWS' early traction and could be seen on Enterprise services, so long rakes not needed and could mix with other wagons, such as Accurascales excellent PFA's & JSA's. In more modern times, as well as being used on EWS/DB Intermodal trains, they were the main wagons used on MOD services. Again, this means no need for long rakes as one or two wagons can be seen, good for the space starved modeller! With the MOD workings now under GBRf, you're not limited to EWS/DB locos at the head of them either. The FAA is probably the better one of the pair, being a single wagon rather than a twin set like the FCA. I'm also with @James Makin though, my credit card would be straight out for some WIA sets! Andy.
  7. Just throwing this out here, as seems semi-applicable to this thread. Was flicking through WNXX earlier and a picture caught my eye, which was of the sand train between Ipswich & Neasden very recently. It looks to me like the rake of wagons are modified PTA/JTA/JUA, as I've not found another wagon type that they could be. To me, it appears the end has been redone with 2 braces that now go round to the sides of the wagon and meet with the first rib, and the tops are thicker and beveled, rather than small and square. Also looks like some of the side ribs have been beefed up too. If they are modified PTA/JTA/JUA, then it looks like they've been done recently as the paint looks pretty fresh. No of the above pictures are mine and link to the original on Flickr. I did have a brief search about for some info on these wagons but not found anything as yet. Be interested in peoples thoughts. Andy.
  8. Part 2... Whilst I was on DCC Supplies site, it was noticed that they were selling bodyshells of the newer releases of 73, including the limited editions. Shells of both 73109 in NSE & 73128 in EWS picked up, these being put onto the chassis' of the GBRf pair I have. The EWS one was a quick and light weathering job, while the T-cut and cocktail sticks came out to change 109 to 129, as per the article in Rail Express Modeller. The transfers and plates came from Fox as per usual. I was pleased with the numbers as they had to be done individually. I never did take any shots of 73128 being done but they're all posed on Depot here! 73129 needs to be fully weathered and then it's finished. I've since picked up another GBRf body and I'll get the NR body in due course, so then I'll have a quad of GB73's for when I'm in my modern running mode. Something that was picked up in the Summer for a bargain price was a kit built EPB in Railtrack livery. It used MJT components and ran on a Bachmann MLV chassis, with a bodged up Lima/Bachmann chassis on the dummy coach. Now, the EPB's in departmental service used a pair of motor coaches. Instead of being sensible and doing some work to make the dummy coach underframe have the components of a motor coach, I of course took the silly and more expensive option and sourced another MLV! It was admittidly cheap but still more costly than some Replica bits! This then presented another issue, as the dummy coach had used a Lima MK1 as its base. So it had to be stripped down to its component parts and then rebuilt as a stand alone body that could then be dropped onto the MLV chassis. This turned out to be easier than expected. The MLV chassis had the buffer beams cut away and some bits of plasticard added to it to ensure the body would sit at the correct height. Some Replica headlights were added as were some Kadee's on the inner end. The buffing plates off the MLV buffer beams were also repurposed and added to the inner ends. Now, the body isn't technically correct, as they should both have a guards area behind the cab but I can live with it. The cab needs a bit of filler to help blend the joint in between the it and the body side. The unit will eventually be repainted and become 930204, as it seemed to be the least buggered about with EPB that Railtrack had. It's good enough for now though! And onto to two more up to date bits of kit. First up is a TPE Class 68. Now, these have been nowhere near the South Coast but with Accurascale showing off their incredible MK5 sets, I just had to have one! So, I obviously needed a loco to go with it. With Dapol sneaking their TPE 68's in, I picked up 68023 "Achilles" from Rainbow Railways along with the TPE 68 transfer sheet and some nameplates. My preferred loco was 68032 "Destroyer", mainly due to the name! But, with that one proving popular I lost out. So, instead of turning 023 into 032, as I initially planned, it instead became 68030 "Black Douglas". I was worried the printed numbers might be tricky to remove and possibly damage the intricate printing of the livery but they came off with the light scrub of a cocktail stick. Result! (I know the Vossloh logos are wrong! No one does the Stadler ones yet.) And last but not least, an IFA point carrier was started. These used a 3D printed kit by a seller on ebay, who also does some excellent modern lineside detailing bits. The base model is a Dapol FEA. And that's it! Probably be nothing for a while now as I'm moving into my first house soon. But that'll mean more space for stuff as workbench MK2 will be 2x Ikea desks instead of a drop down table in a little cupboard. Bring it on! Andy.
  9. Right, time for an update. With the layout in 1990's mode, most of the stock worked on has reflected this. First up, the Alphaline 158. The cab corridor connections have been done as the blanked off type, this using a piece of plasticard cut to suit and painted using Humbrol yellow acrylic paint, which was a good match for the factory applied yellow on the cab. The skirts had been done using the same paint, making it correct for a unit of the 2000's. A sound chip that was surplus to @SouthernMafia's requirements was fitted as well. I still need to get the Alphaline logos resized as well as the other decals ordered up. Once done, a weathering can commence. My Virgin HST is currently passing over the bench. The nameplates and windows decided to make a break for it, so needed putting back in place. The tweaked TTS Valenta sound chip was replaced for a ESU V5 with the stunning Legomanbiffo Valenta sounds. These were matched to an EM2, making it sound phenomenal! Listening to it takes me back to being about 6 years old, hiding behind my Dad on the platform of Southampton Central watching these monsters scream past in a hurry. Anyone got a time machine?! The dummy PC was straight forward fit but the motor PC requires a hacksaw to the chassis to make it slot in. An arrival at the back end of Summer was 33116, which has seen some bench time. This is the limited edition model by the NRM. I was undecided about how to model it, as it lost its plates by mid-1998. In the end, I did with plates as I like the look of the long plate on the loco. The detailing pack was fitted along with the plates and it was eventually weathered. I didn't record that as I mucked it up but did eventually sort it out and I'm pleased with how it came out. Something wasn't quite right though and eventually realised the plates should be black and not red! It'll be changed in due course, along with some different headcodes. This also gained an ESU V4 decoder reblown with some Legomanbiffo sounds. Continuing the Southern loco theme, a quad of Class 73's also ended being a little(!) project that got some love. I picked up a pair of Dutch one's last year, essentially at a BOGOF price. Not being convinced with the colours used, they were kindly resprayed by @SouthernMafia who was doing some of his own, with the Dutch duo done as 73110 & 73138. The result was much better than the Dapol effort! What it didn't fix was the God awful running qualities, with them seeing the tried and trusted method of additional pick ups added. With some new weathering paints to try out, they were used on the pair to give the rather faded and grimy look of these machines as they were at the turn of the 21st Century. An initial application of Humbrol white weathering powder was used to fade the paintwork, before some Lifecolour weathering washes were used. These are definitely my preferred choice for body and roof weathering now, as they're not as aggressive as the enamel paints and thinners I've always used. I'm particularly pleased with how the roofs came out, as pictures show a noticable difference between the cab and body roofs. They do need a little bit of finishing off and some bits putting back on. Fortunately, DCC Supplies do a good range of spares for these, so all the bits that got lost to the hoover can be sourced! The Shoebox fun continues in Part 2... Andy.
  10. Likely be 33025 in Dutch for me to pair with 33116. I'm hoping though the weathering is toned down a bit and the marks where the plaques were is adjusted. Looking at pictures, the paintwork is more faded and grimy rather than coated in brake dust. The marks where the plates used to be aren't quite right. For the period it's being done as was when it went to Scotland in late 1999 through to 2000, the marks look to have been painted over to get rid of the rust patches. Certainly the depot plaque marks are barely noticeable apart from 4 rusty holes. Aberdeen in April 2000 Eastleigh in June 1998 after withdrawal. (Neither picture is mine) I'd probably still go for it if it's released as is, but try and sort the weathering out. Andy.
  11. Oh wow, that's a stunning rake Nick! Andy.
  12. Time for a little update. As is tradition, more projects have been started before others have been finished. Always good to have a few hundred on the go I guess! First up is the start of a rake of GBRf FEA's loaded with some of the lovely Accurascale Gypsum containers. This train being done to represent the Mountfield to Southampton Western Docks flow, as it was from about 2015 until it went over to the JNA wagons a year or so ago. The wagons aren't 100% correct, as the single FEA's as done by Hattons were used, but I've got 4 Dapol twin sets which I picked up dirt cheap a few years ago, so they'll do! The only downside to Accurascales containers is that the logo panel is secured onto the body with 2 pegs, rather than sat on the ribs. No doubt this stops it from falling off easily, but to do the containers as they were in later years means taken them off most of the boxes. This leaves round marks on the body. Easily filled I suppose, but I'm far to impatient and just wanted to get on with the weathering! That was the first wagon done, and I was quite happy with it. However, I then decided to look up some prototype pictures rather than do "what looked best", and my first attempt was way off! Ah yes, much better! And definitely a case of less being more and paying attention to the differences between each container. The other wagon will be re-done to match. The plan is to do a pair of wagons at a time, so once this one is complete, I'll then buy another couple of packs of containers and crack on with the next one. And onto the latest work bench project, an Alphaline Class 158. Not something I've ever seen done, even on the older Bachmann models. This one is the latest release, and was a cheap ebay find. Well, £170 seemed pretty reasonable for a new model considering the going rate! The Alphaline transfers are by Precision, and have been drawn up from scratch as he'd not done them before. They were actually ordered for @SouthernMafia when I had the SWT branding done for the 159 & 4-VEP, but I had some done for myself, just in case! My chosen unit will be 158842 as running between 1998 and mid-2001. The cab front door needs doing as the one piece unit without the window, while the obstacle deflector needs the yellow paint extending onto the sides of it and the beige band on the bottom painting out. I'm not convinced by Bachmanns' shade of 'Fawn' on the body sides... The Alphaline logos are just a touch too big, as the bottom of them should sit flush with the lower beige band, but I didn't want to risk trimming them and mess them up! The colour density is a little bit too light, ideally a blue patch should have been painted on before putting the transfers on top. Something I'm sure @SouthernMafia will get right on his. As I say, I'm too impatient and tend to get on with things before I lose interest! They look good enough for me at least. Unit and coach numbers will need to be ordered, along with the tiny "Wales & West" branding and bicycle signs for the doors, before it'll be weathered up. Andy.
  13. Some more progress has bee done on the SWT/NSE Class 159. With the roof having now been weathered, it's about 90% complete. Just needs some detailed weathering on the underframe and a little bit of tweaking to the roof and it'll be done. The body sides have been left as is, as most pictures of these unit around the late 90's showed them as being fairly clean. The staff at Salisbury were certainly on top of unit cleaning during my short stint with SWR, so doubt it was any different 'back in the day'! Following on from the last update, the rest of my 'Bug Eye' Class 66's have had the upgraded light boards. Makes a big difference! When I picked them up, I noticed the seller had a kit for upgrading the Hornby Class 466 'Networker', so picked one of them up as well. I'd been contemplating just ripping the lights out when I got round to chipping my trio up. It's not a bad kit, but definitely needs improving. Unfortunately the wiring to join the coaches together is too short and I think the lighting circuit boards are bigger than the old ones, so don't seem to sit in a position to give out the proper light intensity. The tail lights don't show at all! Hopefully the seller can offer a solution. The instructions also state to remove the weight to give an area where the main board can sit, though in doing this it then means the unit struggles to move as there's not enough weight in the chassis to get the single driven wheel to properly 'bite' the track! And that's about it really. The 4-VEP is currently being prepped for a bit of weathering, once that's done the next one can be started on. Andy.
  14. D'oh, of course they were! Would still look good, if incorrect! Andy
  15. Thanks for the help guys, much appreciated! Glad I don't have to mess around changing the speaker again. Andy.
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