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Image restoration from pre-May 2021 continues and may take an indefinite period of time.
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    • James Makin's Workbench - 1990s dirty diesels & grotty wagons
      Hi Guys!
      Although I've retired my exhibition layout 'Wells Green TMD', I've been working on several new projects for our club layout by Worthing MRC - 'Loftus Road'.
      We needed third rail EMU's, so I've gone and built a Southern Class 377 dual-voltage EMU using shortened Bachmann Turbostar components and my own scratchbuilt cab ends, pantograph wells and underframe parts.
      If anyone's interested, there's a bit more info about my Electrostar 377207 on my old website http://www.wellsgree....uk/index.shtml ('On My Workbench' page), please find a few photographs below for anyone else who likes these units as much as I do!
      Scratchbuilt Electrostar by James Makin by jamesmakin2002, on Flickr
      Scratchbuilt Electrostar by James Makin by jamesmakin2002, on Flickr
      Scratchbuilt Electrostar by James Makin by jamesmakin2002, on Flickr
      It turned out OK I think, hope you like it!
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    • Copper Wort
      Alexander Copper and James Wort were merchant brewers in Burton-on-Trent before 1835.  But within 10 to 15 years both the partners had passed away. Their descendants formed a public limited liability company in the late 1880's. Copper Wort & Co. Ltd.  The company was later bought out and was amalgamated in 1910 with a larger company.  Our period modelled of the early Edwardian 1900’s is perfect as that was the high point of the brewing industry in Burton on Trent, extremely busy with the bigger breweries establishing their potential with the Midland Railway network with the smaller breweries muscling in between them.
      To add substance to what is essentially a little known small brewery company and make it work for a round and round layout I have given it a few of its own 0-4-0 locomotives to support the larger Midland Railway locomotives running through the town and includes a track plan based on Worthington’s arrangement to accommodate the numerous Midland Railway and Great Northern open wagons and outside framed Midland Railway vans. The buildings are based on the those of Bass, Ind Coope, Trumans and others, all based in and around Burton on Trent, some of which is still there today even though the railways have long gone.
      It is being built to 4mm scale OO gauge on a hexagon shaped 6 board arrangement (4 feet length per hex outside edge) and is about 1/3 size of my previous layouts. The track plan is a continuous round and round run with lots of shunting and sidings. 4 of the boards contain the complete brewery process. The 5th board is the High Street crossing with shops and houses with the track running between buildings, and the 6th is a small fiddle yard.  Most of the stock will therefore be out front.
      Assistance and advice has been gleaned so far from various people including Joe Stamper from Burton and the National Brewing Centre also at Burton. Boards constructed by Col Stark and we are currently under way with construction of the buildings together with the DCC electrics designs.
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      • 188 replies
    • Some shots in the dark.
      It was gloomy yesterday so I turned the layout lights on and tried running a few trains in the dark. Daft, but oddly fun.
      Anyway, a few random pics of variable quality. The station in general, I need to lightproof the roof more next time it is off.




      This is a lucky pic. I cant really see the from of the station building so its just done by point the camera at the mirror on the end of the layout and hoping. The resultant image is then reversed in preview.

      Through a window. Atmospheric, a bit.... 
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      • 31 replies
    • Happy New Year
      So lets have some content, showing what I've been working on over the last couple of weeks. First is a slight deviation from the goal of a working crane lorry, courtesy of my old Scania crane lorry with the working ramps - which has pretty much been in its box ever since I built it because it never really drove very well without a load on the back. So I thought I'd recycle it, as I had several uses for the components. I used the bed with the working ramps, the flashing orange beacon and the receiver, to create a beavertail lorry on the Mercedes chassis - and the flatbed from the Mercedes plus the rear wheels from the Scania to make a drawbar trailer. Got all that?
      Here I am testing it with a hastily-put-together loading ramp and my Network Rail Land Rover Defender:
      then I had steering axles and the proper 7mm German motor/gearbox left over, so I used them to finally finish the Scania fire engine I'd had for a while:
      I've also made another Transit van, this time in the instantly recognisable DPD livery, excellently reproduced by Shedring Hobbies:
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      Daddy Pig was sat at the breakfast table hidden from view by the latest edition of the “Porcine Gazette”, house journal of the Hogs’ Own Guild, or HOG for short. From behind this august publication there emanated a succession of grunts, squeaks and snorts of indignation.
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      • 48 replies
    • Post in Class 305 (AM5) EMU
      Window glazing fixed in place.




      Interiors next.
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    • I have thought about starting a layout topic but it has taken a while to get going on it, so what is it about ? well it could be one of two things, either,
      A recreation of the environment and workings of Sandy from its GN days through to mid 70's BR eastern, with the focus on train formation rather than a specific time period.
      An absolutely lunatic project.
      As this progresses you can make your own decision as to which one it is !
      So what's happening ?
      well I made a start quite some time ago and there has been some progress, it tends to go in leaps and bounds and like so many I am at the mercy of work and the wife, work is just one of those things but my wife is something else ! she is at the moment Mayor (leader of the council) of our town and the commitments that come with that can easily fill a calender, so where I used to get at least a few hours on a Sunday if nothing else, that has been eaten into, but progress does get made if a little eratic.
      So over the next few days I hope to bring you up to date with progress so far and maybe gain more knowledge to help spur me on.
      I am very fortunate that I have the means and ability to build a dedicated railway room just off the living room, it does not have much natural light as it faces North and there are trees outside of that window, but the room is 28' x 11'6". Up until now most railways I have built have been a succesion of "test tracks" where after a while they get used to try out ideas, but I have always since a small child wanted to build Sandy, why ? well it is where I was born and still live. It was an important and busy station with lots of traffic, and as luck would have it on the best railway of all.....the Great Northern......
      So starting with baseboards I have always used 2x1 or 3 x1 with a sundeala top but this time I have used 9mm Birch ply ripped into 100mm strips and jointed.
      This is just some of it in the workshop during construction, the boards are large as i wanted to cut down on joints and if it moves it is because we are moving house, each board is divided into 1 foot cells with a 50mm hole drilled through each bay for cables etc, even with a drill stand and good cutters I nearly lost the will to live, as it took about 5 evenings to create a pile of birch firewood.
      The start of the boards being assembled in their dedicated room.
      As you can see the natural light levels are certainly not perfect.
      more to come later my tea is ready........roast beef mmmmmmmm
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    • Thanks Gordon
      What is the website they're referring to?
      These things fascinate me, I've yet to see a satisfactory trigonometric description of the Toplis principle,  and I might well look up those records.
      Because I model French railways I'm unlikely to need a model of an  actual Stothert and Pitt high speed level luffing crane but it would be good to see them appearing on more dockside layouts as they are very evocative
      For me a large dockside crane would be more likely to be a horsehead but they are very large so I'd probably be more likely to use something like this

      Though this image is from the first decade of the 20th Century, these self propelled steam cranes were still in use in the cargo ferry area of Dieppe's Gare Maritime until the mid 1950s some years after the passenger terminal had been equipped with a couple of large electric horsehead cranes. Their tracks, though apparently SG, were entirely separate from the actual railway lines.
    • Next couple of months will be boring since I’m wanting to fully finish the 120ft fiddle yard by then.
      Thought I’d break with tradition and paint the track as I go along..
      Just hundreds of droppers to connect to the bus wires, thank goodness for scotchlok connectors! 
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    • Recently I purchased a box of railway ephemera from the estate of a deceased enthusiast who seems to have been a teacher in the Cambridge area. However, he seems to have travelled far and wide in the 1950s and 1960s, taking his camera with him. I have spotting notes, a few logs of travel details, and photos of locos seen on shed at various locations around Britain. 
      Unfortunately, the writing in the notebooks are in pencil and seem to have faded a little making easy identification of all the numbers a little tricky. Not only that, but most of the photos are not captioned at all which doesn't help matters. However, there are a number of images from 1954 and the first of those digitised so far are from South Wales. 
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      • 11 replies

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