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I've long admired many projects and people's workbenches featured on RMweb so thought I'd share a few of mine in the hope they may be of interest to others. Also maybe my photography skills might improve!!


My overall project is somewhere in the south in the 1990s. I'm not too bothered about being exact so some of my stuff is late 80's eventually creeping into 2000. I've decided to try EM out... mostly as i want to have some kind of wheel standard so decided to replace RTR wheels and EM seemed a logical choice for my slap dash abilities.


Anyway waffle over, here's a Heljan 58 that I'm progressing. Some door protectors to fit and then some weathering.




I've done some homemade glazing from lexan plastic sheet as I'm not a fan of the factory fitted stuff




A few livery details have been corrected (black door and picked out the side grills). I also had an old railmatch grill which I've fitted, mostly because my model had some damage in that area and i've had a go at suggesting a few cab interior details


(What i like about photographing my models is other than focussing on my mess ups I notice things like a missing cab step...! No idea where that is.)




Finally a rather nice Express Models Lighting kit has been added, a decoder, kadees and a set of Blackbeetle 14mm wheels from Branchlines.


I do have a soft spot for Cromptons and Eastleigh was one of my favs so had to have a go. I can't decide if with a few roof mods I can get away with the old Heljan 33/0. I think it looks a little better with some filing but is probably stil too flat




And compared to a 33/1




Happy Modelling




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My class 37 project is progressing... 


A class that I have a soft spot for and I think the Vitrains 37 with a some of Brian's excellent Shawplan fittings looks quite good. Their other advantage (for me) is that they're cheaper than Bachmann, run nicely and are easy to convert to EM as the centre axle isn't driven.


First up 37709




This has had Shawplan cab window frames, roof grill and fan fitted.




I've put in some homemade side glazing, a kind of representation of the cab interior, new buffers, and a homemade lighting circuit. And I've used some 14mm black beetle wheels to convert it to EM. As they're slightly smaller than Vi's (and probably the prototype) the bogie frame is sitting a bit off centre of the wheel. I might have a go at getting the bogie side frame closer to the body.


Lots still to do!

Lots of details to do and I'm also trying to put together a set of PH steps and while I've managed his 33 & 47 versions the 37 is defeating me!! 


I've also started on my other Vi's.... A few in progress shots


I had to feather in some railmatch paint as I've never been able to been able to remove Vi's transfers and they always seem to have larger printed nameplates than the etched versions; all fittings are shawplan




I picked up a couple of painting disasters so have attempted to save them. The RFD version has turned out to be a total respray; The mainline one I've managed to get away with respraying just the roof and part of sides. Varnishing has hidden this quite well




Next I'll be starting on the lights and fitting glazing, then a spot of gentle weathering





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  • 2 weeks later...

I think Hornby's Class 60 is one of the best models around.... 




I've just fitted some laserglaze which I think improves the look of the cab. Other tweaks I've made is fitting kadees, but keeping the full plough and converting to EM using blackbeetles.


This one's a bit of a rescue project so is perhaps a little over-weathered and this is hiding a few paint issues. For some reason the orange paint has bubbled in places and chipped off - I'm tempted to respray the orange but that's not high on my list! Although buffers need blackening and one day I'll find out how to have independent lights so I can switch off the tail lights. It's also managed to loose it's steps and a few horns so hopefully I'll be able to source some spares.


My other project that I've been progressing is 33114 - I do like the toothpaste livery!




This one has been going for a while with quite a few details that I've changed.


The bogies have had their centre springs moved back to add some depth and I've added the PH's excellent bogie steps. It's been converted to EM using blackbeetles which really improve it's running abilities. 252 Kadees have been fitted and I've used Heljans buffer beam details - which are brittle but look the part. 


The front bagpipes have been picked out with railmatch yellow and matt black, which is an easy improvement that I think really improves the front end. The solebars have been painted grey and a few of the cab details picked out.





As with all diesel projects a few Shawplan items are essential! Glazing, nameplates and roof fan and grill are all Brian's items. Heljan's printed nameplates are a little long, so some T-Cut and satin varnish is required. The Heljan fan/grill is also a little oversized so filling is needed to sort that out and then the roof has been sprayed with good old halfords black - An excellent paint that i use alot.





It's DCC chipped and also has an express lighting kit fitted which allows independent control of the lights.... (I wish all locos where wired that way!!)




I'm going to keep this one quite clean but will weather the roof as soon I've sprayed the middle bit grey (i always forget something!!). I've got a few more bits and pieces to fit but at least this one is no longer in bits!


Happy Modelling!





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  • 2 months later...

A new job and being away from home has reduced my modelling time over the summer, but I've managed to slowly progress my 37s.




A few bits from Shawplan have been fitted... these being laserglaze, windscreen wipers and a fan. Then i thought the cab looked a little empty so I've made a representation of the cab front and rear from scrap plastikcard. 






I've fitted these to two of my 37 projects and although they're crude from a distance it looks ok...well to my eyes it does ;)




A (hopefully) quicker project is a Hornby 31. I've always quite liked them (despite the reviews) and couldn't resist starting my regional railways example.




The printed stripes and numbers looked a little bit too gloss for me, and not in keeping with the rest of the excellent livery application, so I've sprayed the body with railmatch satin varnish. I think it looks a bit better now. Also I've a applied some light weathering to the roof and picked out the inside of the window frames in black, which will then be laserglazed.


Shawplan nameplates finish it off nicely.




I've been lucky recently and have been able to get two EM conversion sets off a well known auction site.... no idea who makes them but they work well. I've also fitted a set of kadees and converted it to DCC. This leaves me with a small challenge for the tail lights as I'm trying to think of a solution that will allow me to turn them off.... other than permanently! It also looks like it's missing the headlight from the front so I'll be fitting one of those soon.


And onto something a bit more southern.... a Bachmann Mk2 which I rather like these (especially in toothpaste livery) .






The bogies are Branchlines excellent etch with Bachmanns sides - it now glides along my uneven test track. They're pretty straightforward to fit with the main challenge being getting the ride height to look ok! Now i have done one the rest should be easy.... (famous last words)




To create an illusion of corridor connectors I've fitted a keen systems connector. Couplings are kadee as usual. I'm going to attempt a home made lighting circuit but thats for another day!


Happy Modelling!



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Thanks both!


I'll never say never to another 31... but this time I'll get the wheels first. I think I just got a bit lucky after spending the best part of 3 years looking for a set!


I really think the front windows improve all rtr 37s. I found them tricky to get right on the vi 37s but really rewarding when finished. Mostly because the Vi windows are on the large side which needs some careful filling when fitting the etch.




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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been playing around with my Hornby RR class 31... the super quick and easy project has been extended a little ;)


On fitting the EM gauge wheelsets I kept getting a random short so it's running qualities were rather disappointing. It took me ages to realise that on one wheelset the two axle pins were actually touching each other! This has now been rectified and running qualities are now nice and smooth.


When I'm looking at the prototypes I can see pipes behind the side windows. I decided that to try and disguise the thickness of the body shell by adding brass wire cut to the window size and then glued... I wish my cutting skills were better as probably more didn't fit that actually fitted! These were then painted white.




I then felt I had to replace Hornby's grill with a rather nice shawplan example. Hornby's is too large and so some filling has been done... which I think i just about got away with it. The fan has also been soldered up and painted red.




And as the weather today was rather nice I managed to spray the grill and weather the roof.






A replica railways headlight also improves the front (although you can't really see it with my photography skills). This leads me onto my next challenge which is the lighting circuits. Something I know very little about and just tend to bodge is lighting circuits. I'm after independent control of the tail lights but because of the way Hornby wire up the 31 I don't think this is possible, so it'll probably end up being easier to put in some homemade bodges.... One to ponder for a few weeks as I'm away with work.


Happy Modelling!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I gave up on trying to modify Hornby's lighting circuit and so made my own. Nothing revolutionary - a home-made circuit that has separate tail lights and forward lights. I replaced the LEDs but re-used the light guides for the roof marker and tail lights using a 2mm white tower light for the headlight. I very pleased with the overall effect (sorry i can't show it due my lack of photography skills). 


Lighting was poor today but thought I'd take a few quick snaps;




Following updating the lighting circuits I got on with fitting Shawplans Laserglaze which I always thinks makes a huge improvement to the look of any loco. With the pipes in the window and the laserglaze it hopefully it has the illusion of a thin body side... I also painted a super thin black wash to enhance the bodyside details giving, which makes it look a little less flat.




Then onto the bit i always enjoy.... final detailing (as at this stage i always feel a project is coming together).




I'm not sure of the origin of most of the bits although I'm sure some are Hornby. Windscreen wipers are Shawplan as they look less heavy that the originals (although they do need touching up with a bit more black). Everything has been fitted so as to not foul the kadees.




I'm pleased I took on the roof fan as the new one does look really good.




So all that's left is a little weathering to the chassis and a bit of DCC tuning using my Sprog.


Hornby's 31 does get a lot of bashing on the forums and it does have a few faults (particularly the dodgy chassis on some models which is poor and the reason i got my dutch example for next to nothing). I've spent ages looking at photos of the class and sometimes I think Lima's version looks better...  but then sometimes I actually prefer Hornby's effort.... I'm not convinced all of the class were built the same ;)


However I'm pleased how this project has finished so this one is a keeper.... a spot of modellers license will hopefully allow it to sit amongst my NSE stock :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

As winter has turned up I've spent some time on one of my class 20s.... a project that I've had "in progress" (in bits) for years.


Harry Needles' 20096 in RF grey is my favourite and I was lucky that someone else thought soo as it appeared on the second-hand market and saved me a respray! I don't know why I've found this one so hard and fiddly but I've a good push this last week and I'm now pleased how it's turning out;




This loco is actually my first ever conversion to EM. I used blackbeetles and as it turned out so well I thought I'd give the gauge a go ;)




The reason for the project stall was installing lights.. I just couldn't fit everything into the nose along with a decoder, stay alive etc... So I've simply skipped the nose and just installed them out of sight in the cab. I don't normally bother in a cab light but I've installed one and I'm very pleased in how it turned out... I'm now very tempted to fit a few in my other projects!


Glazing is shawplans laserglaze... as are the grill, fan and indicator discs (which will receive another coat of white).




I've managed to fit kadees to the body and so these are now seperate from the bogie. The snowploughs are Heljan which have been hacked to allow fitting of the kadees - I might have a go at fitting the centre piece too.


There are a few things left to do... a touch of paint here and there, windscreen wipers, bufferbeam detailing and the small matter of it's partner 20905.... thats for another day :)


Happy Modelling!

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  • 1 month later...

As it freezing in my garage and I've been working away a number of projects have been paused for a warmer time.


I have been progressing my class 20s and 20096 has had a few extra details added to the front and I'm pleased that i was able to fit the centre portion of the snowplough under the kadee; 






And I've progressed it's partner too which is currently having a lighting circuit put in although I only took a photo of the cab which is being laserglazed.




For me a rather exciting Christmas present arrived..... my batch order of ultrascale 3ft9in EM wheels :) So I'm in the process of removing the gears and fitting them to my Vitrains 47s. 




The chassis has also been lowered which I think when finished really improves their look.


And as an experiment I'm having a go at fitting Shawplans lovely window and cab frame etches - It's amazing how much smaller Vitrains efforts are as I've had to remove quite a bit of plastic!





Happy Modelling!!


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I can't resist playing around with coaches and I have a number of Bachmann MK1s on the go.... 


First off I'm fitting Brassmasters compensated bogies with black beetle 14mm wheels - A set up I'm happy with as all body rocking is removed and then i can also attempt to match body height with my Bachmann Mk2s






I think they look ok. I'm fitting pickups as I intend to fit some form of lighting but I haven't worked out the best approach just yet... one to ponder.




After experimenting I've decided to go with fitting kadees between the buffers. The corridor connectors are Keens and as they're lightly sprung they help remove any slack in kadees. I've ended up only using the floating plates from Keens Bachmann MK1s connectors. Quick Question - does anyone know if the Hornby/Lima Mk1s corridor connectors are the same size as Bachmann? I only ask as I notice you can buy a bulk pack but the website has no mention whether they fit Bachmann Mk1s?


And probably the most essential update to any of the older Bachmann Mk1s is filing down the roof ribs! A few before painting that are destined for a pair of regional railway Mk1s are shown below;




I'm tempted with trying the excellent looking Masokits MK1 detailing etches... but may just leave alone and be lazy ;)




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Hello Will,


Just remembered I bought some end plates from Keens a few years ago to fit to some Lima MKlll's, (with modification).

I've checked them on the Bachmann corridors and fit alright. The one's you require are, XP64 & BR MKll.


Regards, Andrew.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Slowly progressing with my regional railways mk1s - nothing really interesting to show. I'm working my way through building brassmasters bogies and have just fitted one with some ultrascales;


post-8033-0-57623300-1454265015_thumb.jpg post-8033-0-56084100-1454265047_thumb.jpg



I've had a hack at the ends though! The corridor connection have been trimmed in readiness for some keen floating plates.  A few steps have been removed as most photos of the last MKs seemed to have these removed. I've also taken off the lamp brackets thinking I'd put on some made up from brass... but looking some photos I can't see any evidence of them being in existence so I'll probably just leave them off.




The great big holes are for Kadees and the replacement buffters in primer are retractables by MJT.  A very peaceful evening was spent cleaning the best part of 50 of them!



Happy Modelling!

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Surprisingly I had a spare hour the other day and stuck a few window frames to one end of my Vitrains RES 47;




I think it looks rather smart but won't really know until it's had a coat of primer.... then painted :)


I'm not sure how I'm going to glaze this one.... as the new window frames are larger than the original Vitrains - my usual Vitrains laserglaze won't work. I read somewhere that a laserglaze kit for Heljan 47s might be a better bet... or last resort make my own!


Happy Modelling

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  • 3 weeks later...

It's been a few weeks since i last posted and not alot of progress modelling wise, although I have sorted my garage and now have a much improved working environment. I've even found my workbench!


Primed and painted my RES 47 window frames and attached some roof grills. 






This end is the one I wasn't totally happy with as the two frames don't quite line up.... I think I'll just line with it and do better next time. Next in line is a bit of respray for the roof and sides, renumbering and then a spot of gentle weathering. One for a warmish day!


Happy Modelling

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