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Southern workbench (Currently two Dapol/Airfix Light Pacifics and a scratchbuilt 4-BUF)


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I think mine has a 50:1 gearbox (I say think, as I bought it at a show, and as Chris Gibbons makes them up from his little pots of gears in front of you, there's nothing in the bag to say what it is, and I can't remember what I asked him for....). It has a reasonable top speed (higher than expected with that gear ratio), but can crawl along nicely. The D1s could apparently run quite fast - fast enough to make them uncomfortable to ride on.  

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I think I used something like 68:1 (in a High Level gearbox) for this motor, it does run very fast and I might use even lower gearing for the ones I have left. Very low gears often leave the motor screaming at high revs while the loco is running slowly, generally I prefer to use the controller to keep the speed down - just because your loco can run very fast doesn't mean you have to let it.

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I totally agree with keeping the revs down, trouble was with my (test) controller slow running was not at option. Using a high ratio gearing not to run the loco / motor at full power but to enable slow speed running at low power settings

 

I may have worked better on a modern controller better

 

But remember many of these micromotors are designed to run not at low revs but at high revs for use in drones

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  • 1 month later...

A bit more progress - it's taking a while to add all the detail. I eventually tracked down a couple of fuzzy shots of the rear of pull-push equipped D1s, which along with the schematic of the system in Mike King's book on Southern pull-push stock allowed me to work out where it all goes. 

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All that's left now is mostly pipework. 

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In the meantime, I've built another D&S Chatham 6 wheeler over the last week or so as a quick project. It's all done, apart from needing a dynamo (as the kit is for the original oil it/air braked version). Other than adding vac pipes, and a battery box (a Comet casting) this is built straight from the box and is a really good kit, as you;d expect from D&S. 

 

When painted, I'll have a rake of 5 of these. Details of the coaches in SR days a re a bit vague, so some of the underframe details are a bit generic and I'm not sure if some of the coach numbers are correct for 'loose' stock (I'm assuming the 5 coach sets I can see in pictures are formed from loose stock as there are no set numbers visible on the ends). Anyway, it will look the part. 

 

The roof isn't stuck on yet, which is why it is a bit wonky.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

A bit more D1 progress - all of the pipework on the ends is now in place. The loco has:

 

1 x air brake pipe

1 x vacuum brake

1 x steam heat

3 x pipes for the air control from the driving trailer

 

I've missed off the multi-core electrical jumper cable, as this doesn't seem top show up in pictures (possibly tucked out the way when not in use?). 

 

The air pipes were fun (!) to make, being made out of wire and 1mm OD/0.5mm ID tube and lots of swearing and burned fingers. None of the commercial ones looked correct, with the pipe body narrower than the hose, so I made my own. The chains are made from fuse wire twisted together. 

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I'm glad this is going to be semi-permanently coupled to pull-push set, as actually using the screw couplings on this loco looks like a right faff. Next stop is the plumbing round the air tank. 

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The D1 is now ready for painting. It's now had the various bits of piping round the air tanks, lamp irons (from an RT Models etch - the ones in the kit are surprisingly poor, given how good the rest of it is) and various other odds and ends. Anything obviously missing from the photos (such as the condenser pipes)  is due to be added after the initial painting.

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Hopefully it won't rain tomorrow, so I can give it (and the Chatham coach) a coat of etch primer. 

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On 28/08/2020 at 09:06, pete_mcfarlane said:

The chains are made from fuse wire twisted together

 

I can't remember where I read about this trick but it really does look the part. I'm looking forward to seeing it painted (lined olive green?).

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  • pete_mcfarlane changed the title to Albion Models LBSC D1 and other Southern locos

The D1 is now painted, mostly lined (I'm leaving the valance until just before varnishing to avoid damage) and is having details added. Havin read Ian Rathbones book on paiting and lining I got hold of a bowpen compass, which made doing the lining a lot easier. I'm still not brilliant at lining, but this is better than my previous attempts at lined SR green. The transfers and boiler bands are HMRS. 

 

The LCDR coach is also painted and lined, and is now waiting an interior. 20201031_204512.jpg.4944d073b4c9008c18e4a98b07bd17df.jpg

 

The next loco project is a Light Pacific in original condition with square cab. Years ago - in the summer of 1994 I started on detailing the Dapol kit and got as far as adding a few Crownline parts before deciding I wasn't that happy with the result. This then got scrapped (having saved the detailing bits) and I decided to have another go, but never did.

 

Over the years I bought another Dapol new kit (in 1998! I remember getting it from Gee Dee models in Nottingham after a job interview), various Albert Goodall detailing bits such as the side overlays and cab conversion, and eventually a Crownline chassis and Markits wheels off eBay long after Crownline vanished into the ether, as often happens when firms change hands. The other Cownline bits were bought from that massive stand of theirs at exhibitions in the 1990s. 

 

I'd always planned to do 34032 after seeing a photo of it in SR green/BR number/no-name condition in the Bradford Barton book on the Light pacifics. This is not going to be a state of the art model, but I am building that detailed Dapol plastic kit I wanted back in the mid-1990s. 

 

So I've got as far as assembling the basic chassis. This is the slightly retro 1990s etch - it even comes with overlays for your Romford wheels. 

 

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Compensation comes as standard. The only real modification so far is to use 1mm tube for the compensation beam/brake hanger rather than the 0.5mm wire supplied as that seemed a bit flimsy. I do need to modify the rods, as I've just discovered that 34032 had the knuckle joint in front of the  driven axle rather than behind.

 

The body has been modified to match the overlays - basically adding material at the bottom and shaping. I've started on hacking about the front of the roof, but have realised from photos that the loco was one of those which ran without a chimney fairing, so the whole chimney/base assembly with have to be replaced. This does avoid having to sort the off centre hole in the chimneyy.  

 

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The overlays are paper, sprayed on one side, and with the rivets pre-embossed. I'll need to remember not to put the body in the ultrasonic cleaner......

Edited by pete_mcfarlane
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I've made a start on replacing the chimney by removing the remains of the plastic one to just leave an opening. This will then be boxed in with plasticard - according to Albert Goodall's notes the rear of this is the (level) top of the smokebox with a slope towards the front. The level bit is hidden by the chimney cowl (which 34032 doesn't have at the time I'm modelling it). 

 

So this is going to take a bit of time to  get right.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Some more progress on the light Pacific. I ended up cutting away the entire chimney area, and replacing it with plasticard. Remember that I'm doing this loco in the period when they ran without the angled cowling around the rear of the chimney. 

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The body has also had more work done - the smokebox front has lost of it's plastic detail, and gained the lip round the edge from 5 amp fusewire. I've also used the moulded backhead reversed as the cab bulkhead - there's a nice casting in the bag of bits that came witht he Crownline chassis. 

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As for the chassis, it's now mostly complete and test assembled. The chassis was mostly straightforward, although the instruction are a bit hit and miss - sometimes vague and sometimes very detailed. Luckily the Finney7 website has the instructions for their 7mm kit, which shows how it all goes together. 

 

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And lastly, all of the bits balanced together to give a vague impression of what it will eventually look like. 

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The next step is to attach the body to the chassis. The chassis instructions tell you to drill holes, but don't give actual positions, so it's going to be a case of working out where the front frame extension/footplate goes, and then working from there. I also need to get some suitable brass tube for the chimney (the tube I bought for this job in 1994 is too small - Albert Goodall gives the correct dimensions, so an order to Eileen's is needed to get some of the right size). And then there's the tender - the Kitmaster/Airfix/Dapol body seems to be slightly too long. More on that next time.  

 

 

 

 

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A bit more progress on the Light Pacific. The Crownline front casting has been attached to the body - I soldered a couple of bits of etch scrap to the underside to hold it in place under the plastic body, and stuck it all in place with Gorilla glue (which is very good, and less messy than mixing up epoxy). 

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This allowed the body to be offered up to the chassis, and holes drilled for the fixing screws. These screw into nuts soldered to bit of PCB, again held in place with lots of Gorilla glue. 

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Next problem - having cut the body sides down to match the prototype (as per the Albert Goodall instructions), the cylinders are sized to match the original (wrong) Airfix body depth. 

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That's going to need a filler piece at the top of the cylinders to get them to the correct height. You'll also note that the front bodyside plating is too short and will need extending to match the overlays. 

 

(Did I read somewhere that the original Kitmaster tools were designed using Roche drawings? It would explain quite a lot of the dimensional oddities).  

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  • 3 weeks later...

A quick snap to show the current state of progress with the D1 - it's now painted, weathered, coaled, and is waiting for a crew to arrive (after which the cab roof can go on). Like all my locos is coaled using a big Sainsbury's custard tin of carefully ground and sieved coal that I inherited from my late Grandfather 30 years ago and have barely made a dent on. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've finished the D1. I'm fairly happy with the paint job, it;s not perfect but better than my previous attempts at Maunsell lined green (but not quite good enough that I'm tempted to strip and repaint the previous efforts). It was sprayed using Precision SR green, lined with a bowpen, and varnished with Ronseal gloss using an airbrush. The lining is an improvement on previous efforts, and I've now read Ian Rathbone's book and got hold of a bowpen compass (which enabled me to get lines that are supposed to be parallel with the edges of things correct - you replace the pin in the compass with a bit of wire, and use it to trace the edge of things like the footplate). 

 

The crew were from Modelu and are incredibly detailed, to the point where you can tell that the fireman is maybe a bit too middle aged and stout for somebody firing a secondary passenger duty (who'd be in their 30s and superfit from shovelling tons of coal every day). Is there market for loco crews sold by age? (20 year old passed cleaners up to 60 year old express drivers). Anyway, they're glued in place along with some nice lamps of the spare lamp irons on the tank tops. 

 

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Does this mean that Hornby will announce a D1 next week....?

 

Meanwhile, the light pacific is slowly moving on, and is now at this stage. It actually looks like a loco now. The front panelling forward of the cylinders has been made from plastic sheet, the top glued on to the body and blende din with filler, the tender assembled and fitted on a scratchbuilt compensated chassis, and I'm now fitting the cab overlays. The tender chassis was the only awkward bit, as I've not got any jig for assembling chassis with 2mm axles, so it needed a couple of goes at assembly before it was all square. 

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The overlays from Albert Goodall are photocopies of drawings, sprayed on one side with aerosol paint and the rivets pricked out. These look pretty good, although I'm a bit worried about the robustness of the cab overall (as there's a bit that's unsupported). Some reinforcing from the inside might be needed, although it's not as flimsy as I expected. 

 

 

 

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  • pete_mcfarlane changed the title to Southern workbench (Currently a Dapol WC)

And on into 2021. The Dapol WC now has it's bodyside overlays fitted, along with some extra details (or made up and checked for fit, in the case of the smoke deflectors). The bodyside overlays needed some extra bits (from the offcuts) adding to cover the curved bits in front of the cylinders which were removed fairly early on in the locos careers. The cut out strips on the body side are to mount the deflectors. 

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I then fitted the chimney (brass tube with a fuse wire lip - this is one of the locos built without a streamlined fairing tot he chimney). At this point it became obvious that the Kitmaster/Airfix/Dapol front cowling was too high and too bulbous, so after trying to fix this I eventually gave up and ordered the Albert Goodall whitemetal one (excellent service from RT models as usual) and fitted that. So this is the current state of play with the loco. 

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The chassis has had some work - it now has pony truck, pickups and drain cocks fitted, and has been tweaked so that it runs smoothly. After years of using Gibson wheels I'd forgotten how much easier it is to tweak chassis with Markits wheels - the loco is now running smoothly without a motor with all of the tight spots removed. Next step is to fit the ashpan/pipe castings to the body and make sure that it can go through points without fouling.

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The tender is also slowly progressing - I'm currently doing the tender cab. 

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The vacuum tanks are Crowline and rescued from my first 1990s attempt at building one of these kits.  

 

As well as this, I've now finished the D&S LCDR coach. 

 

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I've now fixed the wokly footboard! This gives me a rake of 5 of these, along with a Branchlines full brake. I've got another 3 in the to do pile, which should give me enough of these coaches for my needs. They aren't formed into a numbered set as I had no details of formations before the recent Mike King book on SR coaches came out, and I think a lot of them were 'loose' in the 1920s anyway.

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I've also been revisiting a few of my older models. First up is the Chivers J class - this was finished about 10 years back, and looks very nice (in a grotty late 1940s way) but never ran as well as I'd have liked. I remember having endless problems with the rods binding which suggested that the rod spacing didn't match the axle spacing (needless to say they were on a different etch from the frames). It did have a rather nice North Yard gearbox. 

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So it's been stripped down and dismantled, and rebuilt as a compensated chassis. There no half etched marks for the hornblocks openings, so these were carefully marked out, and the whole thing soldered up using the replacement rods. These have cores from 1mm nickel silver sheet, with scrap etch soldered either side to represent the fluting. 

 

The original motor and gearbox now don't fit, as the drive is to the rear axle, so I've fitted another of the cheap Chinese motors and a Branchlines gearbox (which needed soldering to it). If you do this, make sure that you don''t leave a bit blob of solder at the bottom where it fouls the gear wheel - this took a while to debug as it was causing slow running in one direction. 

 

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The Chivers frames came with the holes for Gibson plunger pickups, so I tried these. I'd used them on a loco once years ago, and din;t get on with them, bit after endless tweaking they now work really well and are unobtrusive. I suspect they are one of those things that have a steep learning curve, so it's easy to give up on them, prematurely. 

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I'm now redoing the brake gear - this is now removeable with 1mm tubing as the cross shafts, like all of the locos I'be built recently. The rebuilt chassis glides through my points, where the previous version lurched and sometimes derailed, so I'm more than happy with the results. 

 

I've also dug this relic out of storage for a rebuild. I'm slowly clearing the railway room before renovating it - the plan is to fit a desk in one corner to use as a home office, as I'm working still on my dining table at the moment. It dates from the mid 1990s, when I spent a year working in Cambridge on the industrial placement part of my degree, and had lots of free evenings on my own. 

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It's a Hornby/Tring Mk1 converted to a FK. I'd bought a set of Comet sides on a trip to Gee Dee Models in Nottingham around that time, and ended up with a model of the Southern's one and only Mk FK. It's a bit rough around the edges, and not entirely accurate due to the base model not being great, but is worth resurrecting. 

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So it was stripped using Modelstrip, and is slowly being refurbished. The underframe trussing will be replaced by a spare MTK moulding, and a few rough bits are being fixed. But it should mostly be as it was when built in 1995. 

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I also found a set of Comet Mk1 bogies in the bits box, so these will replace the Bachmann ones I originally used. The Romford wheels are being reused. I'm not quite sure what I'll do with the finished coach, but it's nice to improve these earlier models

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I also dug this out - another Triang Mk1 conversion - this time into a MLV using MJT sides. This looks OK from a distance, but is a bit rough. For now I've limited myself to ordered a set of Ultrascale wheels for the Hornby motor bogie to allow it to go through my finescale OO points, so when those show up in 6 months time I'll have a go at stripping and rebuilding. 

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Edited by pete_mcfarlane
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  • 3 weeks later...
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Pete,

 

Very interested in the build of the BLP, I am taking a slightly different route based on an Amercon static loco and whatever chassis I can find. Looking forward to your tender build as the Amercom model looks rather crude.

 

It may be odd when perfectly good Hornby models are available but my shielding has been extended until April and I get bored.

 

Stay Safe, Stay Home

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Building these kits is weirdly addictive. I've now got hold of a Kemilway chassis off eBay, so the second kit in my pile can be built. It's a genuine Airifx, so the plastic is a lot nice than Dapols. I'll post a proper update soon, but the last few days have been taken up getting the thing to sit level and to run smoothly (in push along mode) through my crossovers. 

 

3 hours ago, Jack Benson said:

Pete,

 

Very interested in the build of the BLP, I am taking a slightly different route based on an Amercon static loco and whatever chassis I can find. Looking forward to your tender build as the Amercom model looks rather crude.

 

It may be odd when perfectly good Hornby models are available but my shielding has been extended until April and I get bored.

 

Stay Safe, Stay Home

 

I'll post some photos of progress in a day or so. The tender is still a bit of a work in progress, as I managed to build it slightly narrower than the loco and ended up widening it. I'm not sure what the Amercon WC is like - I've got a few of their other locos in my to do pile and they look a bit basic (there's a couple of N class in the pile, as I've wondered if they could be married with Finecast U/U1 chassis).  A good place to start is Albert Goodall's. drawings - I'd have been lost without them trying to figure out all of the detail variations: 

https://www.rtmodels.co.uk/rt_models_028.htm

 

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As promised, here's the current state of play with the first Bulleid. It now has the pony tuck and ashpans, and has been adjusted so that the loco and tender sit level and at the same height each other. 

 

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There's still some tidying up of the tender cab and the rear loco cab roof extensions needed so that they match. The other big change is that I'd made the tender body slightly too narrow, so bodged a solution by adding an extra skin of 15 thou plasticard on each side to make it the correct width. I've also given up on the etched drain cocks, as the fouled the bogie wheels and caused shorts (on a B6 crossover, so not exactly tight by model standards). I'll have to live without these.  

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The second (Airfix) tender has been made the correct width. The reason I'm not using the kit tender top is that I wanted to model the sloping top to the tender. Needless to say, you can't see it in this picture.... 

 

(You also can't see a water softener, as 34032 hasn't been fitted with it at the point I'm modelling it). 

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The second loco has got to the stage where I need to make a tender chassis (so I can install the fixing points indie the body, before attaching the front and rear). The Airfix plastic is definitely a lot nicer to work with than the Dapol stuff. 

 

Oh, and this is going to be 34049 Anti-aircraft command. Not an Eastern or Central section loco, but I picked it for no other reason than my Grandmother served in it during the war. 

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On 16/02/2021 at 19:54, Jack Benson said:

Pete,

 

Very interested in the build of the BLP, I am taking a slightly different route based on an Amercon static loco and whatever chassis I can find. Looking forward to your tender build as the Amercom model looks rather crude.

The Amercom model looks like its based on the Triang one? There's a section in Tim Shackleton's 'Plastic bodied locos' on rebuilding one of these - basically he replaced the front cowl and chimney (which was in the wrong place) and made the cab wider. 

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No progress on the Bullieds as I've been finishing the rebuild of the Comet/Triang Mk1 corridor first. This was originally planned as a strip and repaint, but I ended up redoing most of the detail. Luckily I had some of these in stock - from the days when you could walk into your loco model shops and buy stuff from people like Comet and ABS. 20210222_205926.jpg.7585e85c024a988907b61bad564441d5.jpg

It's now ready for painting - the roof isn't screwed on, which is why there's a gap. 

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Some of the detail is still a bit crude. I did three of these brass sided conversions in the 1990s - this one, the MLV, and a Replica full brake. Rebuilding the first reminded me of why It stopped doing them.

 

By the time you've stripped down the body, hacked the plastic sides around to fit brass ones, dealt with the coach now being slight too wide for the plastic roof (and possible differences in length between the sides and the donor coach) and then replaced a lot of the moulded on detail to bring it up to the correct standard, you realise it would have taken you half the time to just build a better model from the full kit. Anyway, it's not perfect but it will look OK when painted. 

 

 

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  • pete_mcfarlane changed the title to Southern workbench (Currently two Dapol/Airfix Light Pacifics)

The Chivers J class rebuild has finished, with reassembly and a bit of touching up of the body. The rebuilt chassis now runs a lot better than my first attempt - it now crawls though my points, where before it used to derail. Apart from one dodgy bit of track at a baseboard joint, which seems to defeat it and currently being packed up to make it level. 

 

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I see from the Five79 website that a reissue is 'Coming 2021' so I'd fancy another of these in SR Olive green. 

https://www.five79.co.uk/4mm-Standard-Gauge-Kits/

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  • pete_mcfarlane changed the title to Southern workbench (Currently two Dapol/Airfix Light Pacifics and a scratchbuilt 4-BUF)

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