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I've been looking at the under frames on the Vitrains 37s and to be honest they look a bit boxy and flat to me. So after spending a few hours looking for photos on the web I thought I'd try and have a go at making them look a bit better.


Before and After (well attempt started)




It's still rather rough with filler here and there to smooth, but thought I'd put a photo up to see what people think before I add any detailing. The bottom has been angled a bit more and then I've cut out where i think there should be spaces. 




On the prototype I think they are two seperate boxes but I've left them connected to keep a bit of strength and shape - i don't think that'll be too noticeable.


With all this new space the chassis block is going to need a trim.... something I'm not looking forward too!


One set of Brassmaster Mk1 bogies down.... about 12 sets to go!



And for a bit of light relief, (a total lie), my Hornby 09 has been progressed. I've fitted an express models lighting kit as I couldn't face making my own. It's turned out to be a fiddly job as everything is a tight squeeze, especially with a decoder with stay alive. To be fair it's gone in quite nicely although I've sacrificed the cab light as the decoder I've fitted doesn't have enough functions. I've no idea how people fit sound in as well!!




A set of Ultrascales, a shawplan nameplate, some laserglaze and it has the beginnings of being a rather nice model. I have a soft spot for gronks and I think Hornby has done a great job with this one. I have some Brassmasters coupling rods to fit if I feel brave and then when the weather is nice a spot of gentle weathering.


Happy Modelling!






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  • 3 weeks later...

My Regional Railways Mk1s are progressing nicely. They're standing at about the right height now and to my eyes look like they're level with each other. I'm using kadees to couple and Keen Mk1 corridor connectors which fill the gap nicely.






I'm now turning my attention to the interiors which i think should be an off white colour with blue seats, but I'm only going to roughly represent these. I'm not sure if there was any wood represented so I'll probably just leave them in the primer. If anyone knows please let me know!


I'm also tempted with fitting some mesh in the storage compartment in the brake... not sure how visible this will be though and whether it's worth the effort in finding some!


My next job is the bit I'm pretty useless at.... coach lighting!! LEDs, capacitors, bridge thingys etc are all ready to solder to a circuit diagram I found on the web.


I'm trying to improve my photography, so have taken the radical step and opened my camera instruction manual. These are all shot with a normal light bulb with the camera trying to balance the white. I think I really need a daylight bulb (or nice weather outside) for this. Any tips gratefully received!!








And my new victims....




I must resist starting my 50 project before my 37s are finished!!


Happy Modelling all and thanks for reading :)


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Very impressive work Will, especially 60008. 


How did you get such a good fit and finish to the Shawplan Laserglaze? I fitted it to a few of my 60s but due to difficulty in getting a good fit to the windscreens I now leave the factory fitted glazing. 




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I find 60s really tricky to fit... possibly the hardest ones in the laserglaze range.


I've done three so far and needed four packs in total to get them to look right. I think the windows are not quite square which makes them difficult. All of them needed a little bit of filing to either the frame or the glazing but maintaining the slight angle to the windows edge.


I then use a marker pen on the windows edge and fit them with humbrol clear varnish. I will admit it takes me ages!



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Yes I had problems with the windscreens needing filing, 2 of my 60s were from the original 2005-2006 batch and were more difficult to fit than one from 2014. It took me a whole afternoon to fit a set, although it is an improvement over the factory glazing I think I will avoid Laserglazing more 60s in the future, it fits in the Hornby 08 instantly though!  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well I couldn't resist starting my 50 project.... I tend to spend quite a bit of time in hotels so messing around with locos makes the time pass quite quickly!




Both stripped and ready some some etched bits and nose jobs!


I was going to model Vangard but St Vincent has grown on me, especially as it kept it's large logo livery till about 1990.However the NSE livery time is up. I started to remove the factory weatheriing but the NSE blue feels too dark. So as the roof will be repsrayed, the NSE grey is too light and it'll have a nose job all that'll be left is a red stripe... so this one is going to be stripped and will one day emerge as Defiance.


I've spent a pleasurable (?) few days building a slaters corridor connection for my 108 DMU.




It actually works and the result is better than I hoped. A shame Slaters has stopped making them.... if anyone has a few spare please let me know!!






This one has been converted to EM using Branchlines conversion kit. Basic weathering has started... exhausts are rusted and the underframe has had a combination of black and underframe dirt sprayed. The roof still looks to shiny for me, and the underframe is a little flat, so plenty more to do. I'm also looking at the glazing and not really liking it so may try to replace some of it. Also have couplings to sort.


Thanks for ready and happy modelling!

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I've had a pleasant few days attaching some bling from Shawplan to my 50s;






The Shawplan roof fittings need rolling so they are curved and I used a metal curtain pole offcut and the back of a mousemat. For both the roof fan panel and the boiler panel I stuck the centre first, let it dry then stuck the rest of the panel next. This allowed me to shape the panel to the roof shape while fixing. I smoothed off areas where my shaping wasn’t great then fixed the rest of the details, including a 0.5mm bit of wire in the hole in the fan panel. The Hornby roof fan opening is a little small so this was opened.


This is a one eyed shot of the front with a trial fix.




I've had a go at changing the shape of the cantrail to match the front windows. Not perfect but I think it looks a little better than being totally straight. There is still a bit of tidying to do as I'm just re-shaping the fames a little to match the Shawplan etch.




And my blue NSE one has had a bath and turned out a different colour;




Now onto those nose jobs....


Thanks for reading 

Will :)

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One attempt at a nose job and also the first time I've used miliput....




I think it looks ok but I won't really know until it's primed, which might take some time as I need the weather to be warm :(


I've got a few paint matching questions posted on the Hornby Class 50 pages;



If know a match for Hornby Laira Blue and GW150 green then please let me know!




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  • 4 weeks later...

My 50 project is going along quite nicely - it's a bit slow as I'm attempting to do four at the same time. Anyway for a change from filing 50 noses I've weathered my 58;






I'm quite pleased with the result. I didn't want to go over the top with this one but at the same time wanted it to look a bit like a freight loco! 


Happy Modelling!!


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I'm having fun with my 50 project and decided to take on four examples, (and I'm trying to keep all four at similar stages of progress).






I've had a go at re-profiling the noses and a small attempt at altering the rain strip to give an impression that its not straight. I think they look ok but please let me know what you think?




I've also got a bit carried away with miliput! I've seen some excellent modelling of the cooler fan side walls using plastikard on the web and as the 50s have a large fan grill I thought I'd have a go. My bodge-it approach is to cut some plastikard to the roof profile shape then fill in the rest with miliput. I've then shaped the hole and sanded until it looks ok. A few work in progress shots better explains this!






Still a bit of smoothing to do but I think it captures the effect I'm after. I've no idea what colour to paint the cooler fan walls though. I thought they'd be black but I've spotted some examples that appear grey...


Some holes drilled and ready for handrails, washers etc on St Vincent;



A fair bit of filing to do around the cooler fan though and it looks a bit deep... that teaches me to rush things late at night!


And finally my model of Thunderer had some strange blistering like damage.




I decided against leaving it alone.... so took a brave pill and using a fresh blade carefully scraped each one off. A gentle sand and I reckon with a coat of varnish I might just get away with it! :)




Lots to keep me busy! I hope you all don't mind the 50 theme :)







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Here is a blatant plug for June's BRM ! 


I'm really pleased that one of my models was considered good enough to be published alongside one of my all time favourite layouts Walford Town  :)




It's the first time that I've had anything published and many thanks goes to Ben and the rest of the BRM team for their help, patience and guidance. 


On the subject of Walford Town I hope it goes to a nice new home. I've been informed by the boss that we haven't got a spare 24ft or so though :(



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Congrats!!  Locos look beautiful. On your coaches do you cut a rectangular opening for the kadees?and are you using No 5s?



Many thanks for your kind comments.


You're correct... I'm using kadee number 5s. I slice off the two fixing circles on the kadee body which then allows it slide in the hole in the buffer beam.


I quickly mark the width of the kadee body on the buffer beam and then open it out by drilling a few pilot holes using 2mm drill, then cleaned up with a craft knife. I then smooth it into a rectangle using needle files, one of which happens to be the same size as the kadee... so if that fits I know the kadee will fit.


A bit of scrap plastikard is used as spaces between the coupling and the body so the kadee is level. You could just use glue but I've started using 8ba bolts to fix it all.


I hope that all makes sense... if not please let me know and I'll post some photos which will probably better explain it!




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  • 3 weeks later...

Just been catching up on this thread Will love your work, goin to ask a stupid question but do the black beetle wheels just replace the original wheels on the original axels? I've got quite a few locos to convert to em. I'm going to phone Branchlines tomorrow regarding my 108 but it would be interesting to see how you've converted you locos using the beetle wheels.


Keep up the great work.



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Hi Paul

Many thanks! And I'm enjoying following and reading up on your track... lots of inspiring stuff on there!


The Branchline 14mm wheels have a 2mm axle which is the same diameter of Bachmann, vitrains and Heljan axles*. So i only use the original gears. The only specialist kit I use is a gw wheel puller and press.


The plastic gear simply fits onto the new axles and I also file off the pin points. If for any reason the fit is not tight a spot of loctite solves any problems.


If you're phoning Brian it's worth asking if he has any spare insulating bushes for the wheels (I think they're called that but could be wrong). When taking off the insulated wheel to slot on the gears I've occasionally damaged them so when the wheel went back together it wasn't true. A new sorted that problem out. And lastly I get cheap plastic washes off eBay to prevent too much sideways movement (I think they're size m2... can check if u wish).


I hope this helps but please let me know of I can help further.





*I've used them on Heljan 33s, 58s, Hornby 60s, Vitrains 37s and Bachmann 20s, 66s

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Yay - I had 5 minutes of sunshine this morning so thought I'd share my progress in my attempt to model St Vin.






The front is now ready for a coat of primer which will hopefully show up any issues and further cleaning to do. The original window frames where slightly opened and then Shawplan frames added. I'm quite pleased with the effect as i think it looks ok.


Next up I lost a bit of sanity and added the handrails above the frames. This was done by drilling 0.3mm holes and then fitting the handrail using wire from electrical cables. It's a soft wire but when bent into such a small shape holds... and is probably as strong as the separate plastic bits and is out of harms way.




The larger handrails are all 0.33mm gibson straight wire. I probably should have been more careful removing the originals! I've also added a representation of the window washers from the off cut legs of electrical components which are slightly square.


In my (not so) careful handling I'd broken a few lamp irons so I'm replacing them with some etched versions. After a few attempts I decided the PH versions were beyond my ability but have copied Hornby and simply bent them in half, rounded the tops and stuck them on. I think it looks ok as a compromise. 


And lastly a small square under the door has been opened up to allow fitting of a brake lever.


Now onto my others!




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  • 1 month later...

It's amazing how time flies.... I've just realised over a month has passed since my last posting!


I've been busy adding small details to my 50s, so all now have handrails, washers, lamp irons etc added. The excellent weather has also allowed me to bring out my airbrush from hiding; 


Sir Ed






The front has been spayed yellow, and I've also sprayed the roof black. There are plenty of livery touch ups to do but I'm pleased so far,








Now sporting a yellow front, black windows and a rail grey roof. Again quite a few livery touch ups needed to sharpen edges etc but it's beggining to look how i wanted. It's funny that i wanted this one to be ex-works so of course it had a slight accident with a mini-drill melting the side under the side grills. A few swear words later and I've smoothed off the mistake and will next try a paint match. I'm lucky as where i happened I can get away with a bit of weathering to hide it.


St Vincent




I spent an age trying to choose the shade of yellow and In the end I went for railmatch's pre 1984 yellow. I'm not sure it looks right for my intended end of life model. However I can't face re-spaying it as I'm pleased with the finish so I'll just weather it so it looks a little faded. I'm sure as soon as I've painted the window frames black it'll look a bit better.


A few shots of the three of them;






And if anyone is interested I'm also lowering the ride height so they look a bit better with scale wheels from branchlines;




I simply file down the bogie pivot leaving about 0.5mm of pad sitting proud.


And while I'm enjoying my 50 builds a little distraction helps! A few progress shots of a Vitrains RES 47






I've added windsreen washers, a homemade lamp bracket and a shawplan v arial. Resprayed the front yellow, the windsreens and door black and the roof grey. The effect of the shawplan windscreens is suitable but has really grown on me so i think this one is going to turn out quite nice if i can glaze it properly.


And I can't resist a Slim Jim which will one day turn out in construction livery;




Happy Modelling and I hope you're enjoying the weather!




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Its a shame that the yellow on Hornbys Eddie Elgar comes down a bit too low, otherwise looking good, ive a model of 50036 ive almost completed myself, just needs plates and weathering, and a 007 to start after that, then 50045 to correct Hornbys hash attempt a Network Southeast



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