There's snow business like…

Well I did say I was keen to finish a few projects off didn’t I?

I went to see my friend Kelvin this morning and is often the case, I returned home with a renewed sense of energy and desire to do some modelling.

On this occassion, I was buzzing to spray some white then yellow on my unfininshed snowplough vehicle. These are the former JLTRT models and very good they are too.

I had painted them black and the sides were also done, but I did need to attend to the front leading edge which had remained black whereas I wanted it to be yellow after searching for a picture of the prototype I wanted.

Knowing the house would be empty when I returned home, I ventured straight to the garage and set about the job of masking the desired areas and then I mixed small amounts of white and yellow. I sprayed white over the black as a base for the yellow and after leaving the models to dry for a while, the yellow was added.

The front edge, now in yellow
Now for varnish, transfers and a tiny bit of weathering

I was quite pleased with the way the little yellow blocks came out given they were sprayed over black. I hope to have them finished soon for a forthcoming exhibition.

Doctor, it still hurts a bit!

I’m so sorry for the recent lack of updates. For the last couple of months, I have been suffering with some shocking sciatica down the whole of my right leg.

Even with the garage being really cold at this time of the year, I have not really fancied doing much modelling at all in the warmth of my house. I have occasionally painted the odd wagon but that is all. My lovely wife is not a fan of paints and thinners in the house!

I must now try and get back to some serious modelling. I also need to have my strength sorted for the new exhibition season which will start very soon. My 2 layouts have appearances throughout the year.

Prince’s Street will need some rapid progress soon as it makes its first public appearances this year. There is much to do at either end with the station and bridge areas needing the most work. 2 Dapol signals arrived today and I hope they will really bring the station throat to life . I firmly believe that its the little details that bring a layout alive and and hope this ethos will shine out when people see my layout. I also have lots of wagons half built and now need to bring a few to completion. These include the snow ploughs, the TTAs, the Shark and the ballast wagons. That’s 11 unfinished projects for O gauge not to mention a few OO weathering jobs to have to get done!

The Sealions and Shark await some olive green.
The new Bachmann crane and support vehicles looking far too clean!


Happy new year! Hi everyone, I hope you have enjoyed the Christmas Season.

I’ve been finding it hard to crack on with work on the O gauge layout due to problems with my back and I haven’t been to work since the end of November. I have had the odd dabble with some kits but I haven’t been able to do as much as I would like.

I obtained this departmental Shark wagon from the same person whpo desined and made the 3d printed Sealion wagons.

This will also be finished in Olive green and weathered to show a work stained condition. Since this picture was taken it has been primed the chassis has been painted black.


Another addition to the ‘TO DO’ pile of un-built kits!

I know I have a lot of unfinished kits in the cupboard, but when I saw these wagons on social media, I was gripped and just had to know a bit more about them. These model wagons really do demonstrate that you can make almost anything if you have a bit (well a lot!) of know-how and the right equipment.

And so after quite a bit of work by Rob Law, I am now the proud owner of three (3d printed) bogie ballast hopper wagons. These Seacow/Sealion wagons are likely to be finished in an olive green livery and weathered to a work stained condition. I am aware that Railtec produce transfers for these wagons. They will also run loaded with ballast for added interest.

All the other detailing parts have been supplied and these will be added after the main body has been painted. Sprat and Winkle couplings will also be added to enable them to use the already installed under track magnets.

My unfinished Easy Build Class 105 DMU

Kelvin is keen for me to get back to the DMU project so it might be a while before the seacow wagons are completed!

That’s it…I’m done.

Well it’s been a great year for our modelling group. We’ve attended lots of shows, spoken to lots of people and exhibited many of our layouts. My own layout Winkle’s Yard had quite a few outings and my current project Prince’s Street has got two bookings for 2020.

What have I learned this year? We’ll I need to make a bit of Winkle’s Yard more resilient and robust. I have had a few problems with a short piece of track that goes under the bridge and joins the layout to the fiddle yard – this will be a job for the winter season.

Last weekend we were pleased to be at the Wensum Valley Golf Course in Taverham, Norwich. The setting is really lovely with an amazing view of thr Wensum valley.

Once again, Winkle’s Yard recieved some delightful comments about the amount of detail in the small pace. A lot of comments were made about my lights which are actually fishing tank lights. They were actually vital given the lack of natural light in some of the rooms.

Here are a few pictures taken on the day.

These coal wagons will need to be emptied before they can leave

I don’t want you to think I was there by myself because I wasn’t. I was able to enjoy the company of the rest of our group – The Norfolk Railway Modelling Syndicate. We had Kelvin and his wife Audrey, his son John and Graham. Whilst I spent most of my time operating Winkle’s Yard, some of my trusty colleagues spent time operating one of our group’s other layouts – 4000 Yards – a history lesson in model railway format. This layout features SM 32 scale narrow gauge trains and sound effects from world war one.

Here’s a few pictures taken from 4000 Yard’s appearance at the Taverham show.


Prince’s Street will be making its exhibition debut next year. While I may try to organise a shake down session somewhere in Norwich, it’s debut has been brought forward to August 2020 so it now has two outings planned before it’s even finished. That mean’s I need to get on with the rolling stock additions and the DMU project which appears to have stalled recently while I’ve focused the scenery and electrical work.

See you soon

Best wishes – Shaun

Winkle’s Yard appears at Reepham and Whitwell

Last Sunday, Winkle’s Yard made a successful appearance at the Reepham and Whitwell Model Railway exhibition.

The Whitwell and Reepham Railway Preservation Society was formed in 2008 as a not for profit charity.  It opened to the public in February 2009, fifty years to the day after the line was closed to passengers.

The Railway is manned by Volunteers and Staff and profit goes back into the Charity; none of the Trustees are paid from the Society’s funds.

Any visitors get a taste of how the Midland and Great Northern Railway ran this line, as well as running a variety of Events, historical and more lighthearted, to fund the project. The model railway exhibition is one of many events that take place during the year.

Our group also presented it’s WW1 layout ‘4000 yards’ complete with authentic war time sound effects.

Here are a few pics of Winkle’s Yard from the event:

A class 37 and class 08 shunter take a break.
A class 25 gets ready for it’s next duties while behind it, the 08 continues to shunt.
The workman attends to the point rodding.
An Esso tank wagon awaits collection after topping up the tanks.
A busy afternoon in the yard.
A few wagons are left behind from the departed trains including a surplus brake van
A rare visitor to the yard – the BG coach drops by to collect a large amount of packages.
Mr Barnes may owns the company, but his Granada might not be safe parked there!

Here are a few pictures of 4000 Yards. I couldn’t take too many as I was behind Winkle’s Yard all day.

Prince’s Street Update (AT LAST!)

I know it’s been a while since I posted an update to show any progress on my ongoing O gauge project.

The layout – Prince’s Street – even has an exhibition booking for the latter half of 2020 so I am very mindful of the need to make steady progress in many areas.

In recent weeks I have focused on the electrical side of the layout, something which needs to be right but I have to admit I prefer to do other things such as the scenic side of the layout. Despite that, progress ahs been made with a lot of different things including an 8 ft traverser which will be needed too.

I thought I’d show you a few pics to highlight some of the progress.

I don’t know if you can see from this picture that the track has been weathered with an airbrush and will get more weathering in due course.
Line side hut

I purchsased this little hut as a little diorama. It also came with a grounded wagon body on a little scenic board. I really thought it had a lot of potential and was something different. It has now been fixed in place and ground cover added to avoid seeing the bottom of the building. The earth colour will have some further work done to it as I’m not 100% happy with it.

Some more ground cover has been added around the front of the layout near to where the coal depot will be. I really want it to look uneven and unkempt so I’m doing my best not to make it look planned. As already mentioned, the track will get some more weathering and then I will add some more grass between the sleepers.

I’ve now made the coal staithes from single wooden sleepers glued together. These need to be painted and weathered, then I will started to make the ground in this area look dirty with puddles, mud and piles of coal.

The platform was painted but every now and again it got a little bit of other colours on it so I repained the whole thing including the brick sides and painted fresh stripes on it. It’s a very clean platform and the edges will eventually be weathered with the airbrush to refelct years of grime from diesels and the steam engines before that. The station also needs signage and lamps and people and platform clutter.

I’ve really enjoyed putting the grass and ground cover materials on this little area at the front of the layout. The static grass fibers are a mix of colours and lengths with the longest being 6mm by Woodland Scenics. There are also some Noch plants in the grass although these have been used sparingly due to their cost!

The station area still needs some more work but once I start it should move forward quite quickly. The canopies need a little bit more work but are nearly finished. The station building is also nearly finished and needs its roof to be covered in hand applied slates. I haven’t yet decided how the front of the station will look as I would like vehicles to be able to drive into the railway yard. The end also needs some low relief buildings to make it look like it is part of a small town. The rear wall also needs detail above that. I hope to try and give the representation of some buildings with a wooden fence at the top of the stone walls. The wooden fence made from coffee sticks from Costa and the like! Thanks Costa!

As you can see, the control panel has also been started and uses the shell of a previousl control panel with a freshly cut top section. This panel is designed so it can be hung from the front when the layout is at home and the rear side when the layout is at an exhibition. I guess you could operate it at an exhibition from the front if you wanted. To do this I have had to make sure the wiring looms are long enough to reach both sides

Here’s another shot of the line side hut showing the ground cover around the base of the building. I will probably add some more old sleepers and lineside junk.

SO, Here’s a picture of the whole scenic area at the moment. There’s still lots to do but when the area is tidy, I do feel it’s going in the right direction. I hope you like it too!

Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Come back soon.



We had a busy weekend with Morlock Heath which attended two shows over the last weekend.

On Saturday 5th October, we took Morlock to Sudbury and had a great time with my older stock.

On Sunday we took the layout to the Bury St. Edmunds O gauge get together which really can’t be described as an exhibition as it really is a lovely gathering of people interested in O gauge. There was a large test track, some layouts and a number of traders. It has a lovely atmosphere and everyone has a great time.

I hope you enjoy some of my pictures:



My Breakdown Coaches on the test track behind my Pre-TOPS Class 37

BR Blue era stock appears on Copsey

Our modelling group had a presence at the Bury St. Edmund’s show on September 28th with Copsey, a OO gauge modern image layout that can be run with various time periods. Due to the availability of different people in our group, I took my blue era stock and had lots of fun giving it a run.

A lot of people made favourable comments about the layout which was built by Kelvin Barnes and my rolling stock which was all weathered by myself.

During the silly hour at the end of the day, my little collection of DRS motive power also made an appearance!

Enjoy the following pictures.

Winkle’s Yard appears at the Bure Valley Railway

Winkle’s Yard was priviledged to appear at the Bure Valley Railway last weekend for their special event Steam in Miniature.

On the Saturday and Sunday morning, it featured steam engines and Green diesels with a move to the BR Blue era on sunday afternoon.

The layout ran well and I was pleased to get lots of postive comments about the level of detail in such as small space.

Here are some pictures taken over the weekend:

The BR late days of steam

The BR Blue era

Winkle’s yard to go back in time.

This forthcoming weekend – the 7th & 8th September 2019, winkle’s Yard will be appearing at the Bure Valley Railway’s STEAM IN MINIATURE weekend.

Alongside their home fleet of 15” locomotives they will have a selection of smaller scale models in action and on display. A special intensive timetable will be in operation throughout the weekend to allow visitors the opportunity to see as many different locomotives as possible hard at work over the nine miles between Aylsham and Wroxham.

The weekend will also feature:

Wroxham Signal Box Trust
Great Yarmouth Model Railway Club
A range of live miniature steam engines
16mm Narrow Gauge Modellers

and more…. I guess I’m in the more section!

While Winkle’s Yard generally features the BR Blue era of the 70s and 80s, I shall try to take Winkle’s Yard back in time with some green diesels and steamies…..assuming they run OK!

Come and see me if you are free over the weekend!



There are lots of uncertainties at the moment, but one things is secure and that is the Modelling Group of which I am a part.

Consisting of Kelvin Barnes, John Barnes, Graham Minshull, me (Shaun Harvey) and our ever faithful supporter Audrey Barnes, we make up the newly named Norfolk Railway Modelling Syndicate.

We are not interested in becoming a club but we do operate by consensus and support. We all have different means and backgrounds but we come together with a common desire to produce and exhibit high quality model railway layouts and items of rolling stock. We also aim to encourage and support other people who are already modelling or new to the hobby.

Kelvin Barnes retains responsibility for the booking of our layouts and we should have something to appeal to all tastes as we have a large number of exciting layouts available as well as other major layouts in the works for the months ahead.

If you want us to attend your exhibition please contact Kelvin on his blog:


We look forward to seeing you soon.


It’s not much better Doctor!

If there was a train doctor, this is what I would tell him! I’ve tried taking the tablets, using certain colours even doing a bit more work but many parts of the layout are at the scenic but messy stage and it’s not getting much better yet. This is a stage we all have to go through but not many people share this. SO, I’m going to be brave. Please be gentle, it won’t always be like this.

Last time we left our long sidings looking pale and not really oily and at the end of their days. So below is how we left them…

The above picture shows that we now have a little more colour, but not nearly enough yet and the track shows no signs of being weathered. I shall do this when all the ballasting is done.

I will use lots of browns, black, oil spots, puddles and static grass, however, in my eagerness I started to focus on an an area down the other end, the coal yard.

I chose to stick some cork down to raise the height and save a bit of ballast and/or clay, however, in hindsight, I should have put foam board around the lot and skipped the ballast stage.

Despite the warmth in recent days the glue took ages to dry and I hate waiting for things to dry. Once the ballast was dry, I started to put chunks of DAS clay into the ballast, pushing it in with my fingers.

This is the scene after the forground is covered in DAS clay and a start made at the back. When, I’m done, I stipple the clay with a stiff one inch brush which gives the clay a nice rough surface and hides all the joins from all the pieces.

The whole are is now covered and I’ve run a vehicle over the clay so some tyre marks will be present in the muddy ground. I also pushed my finger in hard in one spot so I can create a nice large puddle. The area will have piles of coal, coal sacks and a coal merchant’s hut. I’m really looking forward to this little bit of gritty history.

I was tempted to make one of these crossings with coffee sticks but when someone has made such a lovely job of these, why would you bother. Cutting the angle sections was fun though.

I’ll keep on ballasting, then I hope we’ll have something that starts to look like a proper railway!

Come back soon!


Another Brick in the Wall!

It’s a great song from a great album but I wonder if there was a stage during the writing and recording where they thought, OMG what are we doing. I’m feeling like this a bit at the moment with the layout, and I think it’s to do with the colour of the DAS clay not the clay itself. The track and rail chairs need to be painted and I think that will help a lot, and then I think using the airbrush will make a big difference.


I’m keen to get a lot of the structural things sorted which will help give a sense of where everything is and I was eager to add a perimiter wall. I had some strips of laser cut wood which were left over from the non scenic sides of the platform. I used these to create a wall around the sidings and think that this worked really well. It’s exciting when things start to come together.


The small area at the front will provide a valuable opportunity to add some greenery to the layout and I have also been able to avoid and absolutely straight fence by following the line of the track. I hope I can even get some trees at the front (near the steel ruler) which will push the railway back in to the scenic display.

The picture above shows the spoace that is going to be my coal yard. I’m really looking forward to the building of this section as I loved the previous coal yard that I built on my previous layout.


I’m excited about doing more work on the layout whilst trying to think about the layout and how people will look at it. Will they enjoy it, will they think the modelling is good and will it capture their attention. I know what I want to achieve, I just hope it will be received well by those people who see it.

Finally, a little posed shot of a couple of rail workers. I’m not into gimicks or funny cameos. However, I do want people to look at the work of the people who have built the layout, the quality of the rolling stock, buildings and scenery and I want to talk to people too just like the railway workers depicted here!

Encourage the Young ones!

George operating his Layout

This is my son George. He is 9 years old and quite likes trains, certainly not as much as me but he likes to be invovled. So I try to encourage him and this is the result. It’s a simple oval of N gauge track with some sidings and a hidden siding under the hill. It’s his layout, Freemakers Lane.

This picture was taken during the N Gauge Day held by Great Eastern Models. They know George well and cope wonderfully with his quirky manerisms. As much of what you can see came from GE Models, they knew that this layout was being built and graciously allowed us both to come to display the layout, if nothing else, as an encouragement to children and people who’ve never modelled before.

As you can tell from this blog, not a lot of work has taken place on George’s layout so I thought we needed to put this right. Out came the layout and I tried to think what we could do.

The three little cottages on the hill were purchased on the day of the N gauge show and may have actually been stuck there while we were in the shop, but that’s the last time anything got done to it till yesterday and today.

I decided we should concentrate on the area around the cottages so laid down a stone country road and some bushes. When I said I did this, I really mean George did it so you have to put aside any comments about quality and realise that an autistic 9 year old is wanting to do something himself, and autistic 9 year olds want to get cracking without listening to instructions. So here are some pictures from last night and today!…enjoy.

Well that went quite well and George was certainly every excited about working on his layout again. His was very anxious about getting this work on the blog so if you never care about sending me a message, I’d love you to send him a comment about his layout!

By the time George had got home from school, I had got some more grass out from my garage and was ready for him to do the next stage – the grass bushes around the cottages and the road. This is a picture of it all everywhere before the lose material was sucked out of the way!

Well, that’s as far as we got. I added a little more grass around the factory area and had a play with the BR Blue class 25 (well what did you expect from me) and a few wagons. We now need some more buildings and tree. But that will be for another day I guess. I will need to get my OO gauge layout into the house soon to get it ready for some exhibitions in August.

I guess the main point of this blog today is that we have to encourage the young ones if there is ever going to be a hobby in years to come. If there isn’t a younger generation interested in trains then there will be no clubs and no shows. This year this is no Southwold show. So this is not a made up opinion. This first class show couldn’t go one because those involved were getting too old to manage all thats required for such a show.

Let’s try to get a younger generation invovled so that our hobby lasts for many years to come.

Cinders and Ashes!

I said I might not get to the ballasting for a few weeks however, things moved on in certain areas and I got carried away with myself. I had purchased two grades of ballast, the finest, which one cold easily say was more suited to N gauge layouts and then medium ballast which could arguably be ore suited to OO gauge layouts.

My layout will be set in the early 1970s, in the pre-TOPs days. These days were not that long after the days of steam and it was common for goods yards to have a poorer quality of ballast. Very oftern the track was supported by anything available such as cinders or ashes and eventually this reached the tops of the sleepers and often covered them totally. Look at the picture of the goods area in Norwich station and the tracks at the bottom of the picture.

There is a good way to achieve this effect and it has been developed, mastered and documented by the modelling and photographic expert Chris Nevard. If you look on his blog by following the link given here – you will be able to see how this look is achieved.

I have been following some of his advice to create a similar effect for my goods sidings and will also use the same methods when I attend to the siding near to the signal box. I started off by laying a really level layer of brown ballast which will be the main ground surface like you can see around the signals.

I needed to give this two layers of what was Woodland Scenics Fine Brown Ballast and was really please with how flat it dried out. I also made sure that other details such as relay cabinets were put in place now rather then chopping out scenery further down the line.


I stuck a border of masking tape down so the ballst stayed in the area where I wanted it and the added advantage was a nice neat edge to the ballast. There were no suprises to the ballasting process, however I was quite anal about putting the ballast in place as prior to the application of the glue there was not one grain of fine ballast on any sleepers. Being fussy at this stage saves a lot of time later on so I’m happy to be a bit obsessive once in a while..


I gave the ballast a few days to dry but the warm weather helped the glue to dry so I was able to move onto the next stage. I used DAS modelling clay to create the surface shown in the picture of Norwich station. You could follow the advice given by Chris Nevard and that would be a good idea, however, I chose to get a little bowl and broke of small manageble pieces of DAS clay into the bowl ready for when it was needed. I also added some water into the bowl so the clay didn’t dry out as it was quite warm in my garage.

There is still more to do on this part of the layout but it’s certainly exciting and should look good when completed.

Ready to Work!

After finishing the painting of the facotry units I was able to get out the airbursh to give them a slight dusting.

I could have made them sooty and work stained like the dark stanic mills of Lancashire or something from the dirty days of the industrial revolution, however, I held back on this and just gave the factorys a medium coat of grime. For the moment, I’m happy with this and have no plans to add more grime.

There are three very low relief sections near the track work and you can see on this picuture (above) I chose to place the unit sections at the baseboard join which was a convenient place. I will run a guttering pipe down infront of this join however it may need to be one of those items that is added when the layout is set up at exhibition as it would be too fragile on the end of the board.

As I type this, the glue is now setting on the other factory sections which move forward about 15mm. They are being held in place by Heljan engine boxes which are clearly made for such jobs!


The other thing I’ve been working on, is my signal box. I have to say that for a long time, it did look like a pile of laser cut parts but now it is starting to look like it could be a real signal box. It still has no glazing but the roof is almost done having been covered by tiles that were all cut and stuck in place one by one! I now have the ridge tiles to do and will stick the roof on once it has an interior.

It’s not snowing in this scene, nor are there large bird droppings, the white spots are little bits of PVA glue and will dry clear by tomorrow morning. I have a little more weathering to do on this building too.


Finally, I know I said that ballasting might not take place till after the summer but I can explain myself, another day….

It’s a Dirty Job!

But someone has to do it!

Well that someone is me since it’s my layout. The factory units were chosen to be a good focal point on the layout but they also provide an interesting railway/industrial background.


These were the laser cut facory sections after they had received a coat of bauxite car primer. This really makes a great brick colour and coming in a larger tin, its good value too!

The windows are nicely cut from white card by laser but they are slightly discoloured by the laser so I painted all my windows again.


I think had had said in a previous blog page that I wanted some sections to be flush to the rear of the back scene and then some other sections just slightly further forward by about 15mm. To do this, I had to cut all the roof sections. Once these were all cut, I glued them into place. They were then painted with matt black paint once the glue was dry.

The laser cut panels feature stone window sills and arches at the tops of the windows. I wanted these to stand out so I started to paint these. Given the fact that I was having to cover a dar colour, the first coat of paint acted as an undercoat,


Having painted the first colour, I decided that I needed to purchase a slightly different colour, something that was a bt more of a ‘concrete/stone’ colour. Once the first coat (shown above) was dry, I added the second coat and painted the window sills again too.

Once the window arches had their second coat, I was really pleased. The lighter colour did stand out but I knew that some weathering would help to tone it down a bit.

I used Railmatch paints through my airbrush to weather the factory units. To begin with I used some Sleeper Grime as the base of the units would get dirty from the nearby track and trains. I also put a faint dusting of this colour over the window arches to show the grime that would run down the walls and over the window surrounds. I then mixed some matt black for some further weathering. I didn’t want to create a black factory so tried my best to give the units a light weathering effect around the roof sections, the windows and certain areas of brickwork. I gave a little more attention to where the panels join and these will have some guttering and pipe work added around there so I wanted this area to look a little bit more grubby.

There’s still a lot more work to do on the buildings. The signal box roof is coming on, but the roof tile paper is at work. It will also need weathering and the station building hasn’t had any more attention at all. What will I do about the insides of these buildings, I will almost certainly need to get a kit for the inside of the signal box…but that’s something for another day. Now where are those glazing strips…

The ‘BIG THINGS’ take time..

Despite the urge to start on some scenic items such as ballast, I’m keen to get some of the bigger things ready first so I don’t have to scrape up ballast at a later stage. As I’ve said on previous ocassions, all of my buildings were made by the same company and this has provided a certain snese of consistency.

I’ve started to paint the station building, the canopies, the signal box and the factory units that will go behind the tracks on board No. 3. Using a cream and green paints, I painted the station building and signal box after picking out the window frames in white.

The station building really started to look good once some paint was added.


The signal box required quite a lot of painting in both cream and green. Due to absorbant nature of the wood, I had to paint some areas twice.

The building hasn’t been glazed yet, in fact none of the buildings have any windows yet. The glazing will be added once the buildings have been weathered.

While I will be able to stick the factory units in place quite soon, the signal box and station building will need to wait for other details to be added around those areas.

You can see that the roof sections have lines cut into them. I like to cut individual tiles from grey card and stick them on one by one. This sounds like madness but I really like the end result and it allows me to model things like a slipping slate.

The factory units are really lovely and go together well or work as a single unit. This one will be fixed at the edge of board No. 2 with the rest of the factory units on board No. 3 As you can see they need one more coat of paint around the windows before they are weathered. I want to add some gutters and down pipes however these won’t be added until the factory units are fixed into place. Finally, there’s one other detail I’ve added recently add that is a few yard lamps near the two main sidings. Theses are working lamps but I’m not sure if they’ll get used. I’m not fond of layouts which have lots of lights on during the day time when they wouldn’t be used.

There are lots of other ground level details to add at the moment and I will need crack on with these soon so that i can consider the weathering at some point. Despite all the best intentions, I can’t see any ballast arriving until the summer is over.

Trying to earn my Stripes!

We’ve been blessed with good weather for the last few days so like a man on a mission, I have unboxed a whole range of items which required a little attention in the weathering department. These were OO gauge and O gauge and spread over a number of era reflecting some of my modelling interests and activites at home and with my modelling chums, Kelvin, Graham and John.

A couple of items are needed quite soon for exhibition dates and some are just for my own pleasure.

The snownplough are an MM1 kit which was formerly available from JLTRT. They are really lovely models and go together well. I had purchased some transfer stripes from Fox Transfers but the whole stripe panel is too small so I masked the stripes myself after searching hard for a tape which was 7mm wide. Why this was so hard I don’t know come on Tamiya. 7mm tape too please!

I do have some small transfers to add but I will give the paint a few days to harden before I contemplate any more work on these.

This picture is quite significant because it shows the first O gauge engine that I have numbered and weathered. Up to this point, I have passed the scary bits of work like engines to Kelvin to do as he’s the expert and I’m just a learner but I thought I’d give it a go.

You can clearly see mine is the front one and is quite clean in comparison. I may need to give the body a bit more dirt yet but I’m pleased with it so far. I need to pick out the bogie springs yet and this will add some more colour to the drab bogies. I look forward to running these engines nose to nose on my layout which is amongst the clutter in the background of these pics.

Finally, something a little different but I couldn’t resist it when it came up for sale on fleebay a while back. I’ve just weathered the underframe withthe normally approach of frame dirt, some rusty bits and the oily axle boxes and buffers all done by airbrush and then the bogie springs picked out in a redy brown colour. It may just get shunted around or run in a mail rake on my layout.

Just (don’t) add water!

The other day, I was airbrushing a whole range of different items, laying down frame dirt onto coaches, wagons and engines when I started to get some spluttering. On closer examination, I realised that it was the dreaded moisture problem.

I still have some other projects to finish and I really don’t want their finish to be spoilt by a spluttering airbursh.

So, I’ve just made quite a good little purchase from a site selling airbrushes and all the other gubbins you might need. I’ve ordered myself a little airbrush moisture trap. I can only airbrush in my garage and the equipment is stored in the garage too so I guess the airbrush, compressor and its hose go through quite a lot of temperature changes over the course of a year.

Sparmax Silver Bullet MAC moisture trap filter with micro air control valve

We’ve recently had a little break from our show schedule but these start again in August so I need to ensure that some new items are ready to introduce. The O gauge snowploughs need their final black, transfers and varnish. My recently acquired O gauge coal hoppers need to be weathered and an assortment of OO gauge stock suitable for different eras needs to be weathered. And that’s just a small amount of the projects I have in my stock cupboards. The moisture trap will ensure that there projects aren’t spoilt by faulty equipment. All I’ll need to worry about then is the faulty operator!

Love can ‘Build a Bridge’

Well love may be able to build bridges but if you want a bridge in O gauge you have to build it yourself and this is what I’ve been doing recently as I focus on board No.3.

In my last blog, I showed the hole that had been cut out for trains to pass from the traverser to the scenic area. I decided from the outset to set this bridge at an engle to avoid some of the ridigity often seen in model railway layouts. Quite often roads to not cross railways at right angles and yet in many layouts, everything appears to have been positioned on a grid resulting in lots of parallel lines and strucutres. While my space is limited on this layout, I have tried to do this where I can. I accept that the station tracks are still parallel to the edge of the baseboard but if I had boards 5ft deep I might have been able to address this.

I drew the outline of my bridge structure on the baseboard and then used panels of laser cut brickwork to form the main base board the bridge. These are made by and very good value. I collect a lot of the spare pieces from my kits and some of these pieces of laser cut wood became very useful when adding the strips of wood to the top of the bridge, representing the concrete base section that the steel bridge would eventually sit on.

Since things were going so well and I am a bit impatient, I gave the bridge base sections a quick dusting of bauxite primer. I do often get very impulsive when modelling which is one of my bad habits!

Having established where the bridges base would be, I turned my attention to the steel panel that would face out and span the two tracks. I chose to build this with plasticard and had purchased a sheet of thick material some weeks ago for this job. With the bridge base in place, I could now work out the size of the pieces I needed.

The strange 4 sided shape was the shape between the bridge supports and shows the extent of the angle I had settled on. I then measure across from one support to the other ensuring that I had measured from the widest points on the concrete base sections. This would be the width of my bridge sections.

I decided to cut this at a scale 6ft high thinking this should look right and keep any pedestrians crossing my bridge on the correct side! I cut two sections for the bridge and stuck these together, holding them with clamps while the glue dried.

As you can see in the above picture, I didn’t leave the bridge as a flat rectangle blog. I fixed a 10mm strip of plasticard all the way around the bridge section. I then had some ‘I’ section of pasticard which was used for the strenghening beams running from top to bottom. There are lots of variations on bridge designs but I do like this design and it will eventually feature some rust and weathering detail on the steel bridge section. I might think how I can add some rivet detail too!

I nearly forgot to mention the ‘I’ girders under the bridge. I have put these on to represent the framework of the bridge under the road.

Well, here are all the current bridge sections together. They will go together in their correct position but a little adjustment is needed yet before they are finally fixed in place. I think the painting and weathering will really bring them to life. Let me know what you think.

All around the world!

I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who has visited this blog and who continues to visit. The month of June was the most successful month ever for the blog and had visitors from 21 countries across the world from the USA to Argentina to Zambia, south Korea, Australia and good old Blighty!

Do keep visiting as there are lots of exciting things to share with you as the layout develops. We have lots of exhibitions coming up and will share some of the those with you to. I’ve also got lots of modelling projects to complete so I will document those and share them with you.

Keep in touch.

Kind regards


A little ‘Low Relief’

Well having built got so many of these laser cut models from, I’m starting to feel that I need to make some more progress with the factory units.

They really are good value and go together really well and I would certainly recommend them to anyone.

The factory units shown below where built around the country in vast quantities and the design was very common for railway buildings and industrial buildings. The models are supplied as low relief models with one roof section being solid and the other having windows that would allow the light through. As I said in a previous posting, the placing of the track meant that I had to make the factory narrower than planned. As luck would have it, reducing the width of all the roof parts was made easier because the laser cutting design has inscribed some lines onto the roof lines and I used one of these lines as a cutting guide.

I shall have some sections almost flush to the rear scenic board and then the remaining boards wlll come forward about 15mm providing a small change and a little visual interest. I’ve now started to add all the roof sections on and will make sure that the rain strip or gutting and down pipes are inserted between the sections.

The sections that are flush to the back board will also cross the baseboards with one factory piece on board No. 2 and then the rest on board No. 3. The kits include a laser cut gutter piece, however, I will add my own guttering made from Evergreen pipe or some other similar brand of plastic pipe. I’m not sure how I will do this across the baseboard join for one of the down pipes but that will be a problem for another day!

The roof sections will soon need to be glazed and this is included in the kit, however, before I do this, I will probably paint the window frames again as they are a bit grubby and they do get discoloured by the heat from the laser cutting process. The window sills need to be painted too and the factory units will benefit from some weathering before they are fixed in place.

I’m not sure if I should drill a few holes in the back scene to push in a few little lights tp light up the factory here and there. I think this could look good, however, I’m not a big fan of layouts with lighting on in daytime situations. This may be another line to add to the ‘things to decide’ list!


In a future blog, I shall show the beginning stages of the bridge which will carry Prince’s Street over the tracks that run into the station. Every bit of construction like this is exciting and similar to getting the edge pieces in place on a jigsaw. Once the big pieces are in place, they act as a guide for everything else that follows. I’m very concious of the need to sort out things like steps to the station building and the station car park, buildings around the station end of the layout, permiter fencing, the coal yard and walls around the sidings. These will all be a part of my picture, which is slowly getting its edges completed.

Hole in one!

Significant progress has been made in the last few days. I decided that I needed to spend some time working on board No. 3, however, this would require me to move all the other boards around the garage.

I removed the bolts that kept boards No.1 and No.2 together and was relieved to see them come apart after a little bit of pulling. There was a little bit of tidying up to do on some of the cork under the track but they were OK.

The track crossing boards No.2 and No.3 had to be cut so I did this with my electric cutter which is a bit similar to a Dremel cutter. It’s a great tool and I’ve used it for all the cutting of my track. It was a really simple task cutting the 3 or 4 tracks and very satisfying to see the neat and tidy cuts.

I then removed the bolts that kept boards No.2 and No.3 together and after a little bit of tugging, they also came apart for the first time in quite a while.

Board No.3 was taken outside into the daylight and placed on some trestles so I could work on it. I then gave some thought to the clearance I would want around the lines leaving the scenic area and marked the board with my trusty pencil. I marked the height of the bridge and added those lines. I would need to cut this box out of the baseboard and while that was quite a scary thought, I had recently purchased a new jigsaw and I saw this day coming and knew I would need a good tool to carry out this job!

I carefully measured the board and marked out the same box onto the outside of the baseboard and drilled some holes in each corner of the box. I then put the jigsaw in the hole and cut along each of the 4 lines. Removing the piece of wood after the final cut was very satisfying and opened up the scenic area so that trains can run into the fiddle yard/traverser in the future.


In the weeks ahead I will be able to build the bridge and surrounding structures for board No. 3 using laser cut boards of brickwork that match the factory units.

Finally for this blog, I have managed to drill the holes to take the platform canopies once the two kits were joined together. The positioning of them was a decision made to keep them to the one board. They are quite delicate so I may chose to make these removable in the future. They still need more work and detailing but that will be for another day. At the moment, I am trying to get some of the big things in place and make a start on the major items. Detailing will be done a lot further down the line

105 more things to do!

So, the last time I posted about the DMU, I had been adding plastic rod to the doors.

The construction then moved to the floor and it was exciting to fix a couple of parts to the floor where the bogies are fitted.


My attention then turned to the front of the train and the moulding for the cab. The kit provides a number of variations such as the train code box so if these are not needed you need to carefully remove them with an assortment of files. I was quite anxious about spoiling other areas around the part so I did this with quite a lot of care. As you can see from these pics, there are quite a few variations.

I removed all the unrequired detail leaving me a cab suitable for the middle variant and here it is awaiting the next stage in the process.


The next stage required the removal of some of the rain strip which runs around the top of the cab windows. This is removed so the destination box etch can be fitted. The etch was removed from the fret and I carefully measured the centre of the cab so that I could remove material from the correct part of the cab.

Once the etch was cleaned and ready, I stuck it to the cab using superglue. I use a cocktail stick to apply this on small areas and never use it straight from a bottle so I avoid any disasters.


The next stage was very exciting as I turned my attention to the bogies. This process started by taking the bogie sides and adding the axle bearings. I decided to build the three bogies at this stage leaving the power bogie for another time. Repeating stages can sometimes be a bit tedious but it can also mean that things get done quicker as you get into a pattern and can do things in stages.


I wasn’t a stranger to Easy Build bogies as I had built some for a previous project, however with these being for a DMU I was taking nothing for granted and this was a wise decision given that there were more parts to add on these. The bogies had some further etched brass pieces added on to each end. The decision to buy a folding tool for etched brass kits really paid dividends as this has been used a great deal during the building of the DMU. I can’t imagine how else I would have folded the pieces you see on the next picture.


The bogies then had their axle box covers fitted on with solvent glue suitable for ABS plastic. This is quite smelly so good ventilation is required.

I then added an etched brass mount for the door steps which will be made from plasticard at a future stage.

The instructions suggested fixing the sides, end and cab together in two stages. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to have a picture of this so I’ll sort this when I build the trailer coach. This stage involved adding one side to the back and one side to the cab so that you end up with two L shape parts. Once these are dry, you can glue the two L shaped sections together bringing the cab, two side panels and the rear of the coach together for the first time. This is set aside to dry and harden fully… Now time to build a power bogie!

I have to confess, I was so anxious about building the power bogie, I got engrossed and didn’t take any pictures. I have to say, if there was a stage that was going to put me off any engine kit, it would be the motor part. Despite this, I followed the instructions carefully after reading them a number of times, and all the parts went together really easily and without any pain. I have to say, it was a real pleasure to see my power bogie coming together as this was the first time I had built such a thing. Testing it was really satisfying and I went to bed that night with a big smile on my face.

As the build of the power car progressed, I was able to stick the roof on. I did this after drill holes for the roof vents although these have yet to be fitted. Once the roof was stuck on, it really started to look like a DMU and the model became physically stronger too.

Once the glue on the roof was dry, I decided to add some model filler as the join between the cab and roof needs some attention. The roof and coach end also needs some attention and filling at this stage. I couldn’t quite help myelf and decided to temporarily put the floor and bogies on the body to see what it would look like. It was a good moment!


Next time, I’ll incude pictures of the power bogie and possibly a video testing the power pick ups!

Building for the future.

Or should it be building the past, as that is really what I’m trying to do. I’m trying to create my own little bit of the underloved network back in the day when investment was a dirty word.

Modelling took a little break recently due to the living room decoration work and not least due to the fact that the garage was full of carpet that needed to go to the dump and flat pack furiture that needed to be built. Now all that has been attended to, I can get back to the big job – creating my own little world.

I have been continuing to work on the track and wires have been added to quite a few areas. This is an ongoing job and with three boards, I need to add lots of wires to all the lines for power continuity.

I was keen to make more progress on the buildings as they were just shells recently, nice brick red shells but that was all. In the last week, I have been able to add windows, doors and other details.

This is the station building, a nice little laser cut kit which goes together really nicely with good quality wood and lovely laser cut windows. I will glaze it at the end once painting and weathering is completed. I shall also add roof slates and like to use grey card cut up into squares applied individually. This is madness but the end results are worth the hardwork and feelings of insanity you get as you complete row after row of slates. This previously made O gauge good shed shows how the final result is worth all the effort.

I’ve also made progress with the signal box which was really lacking some time. This will also need glazing, weathering, roof tiles and some interior detail.

They say you live and learn. Well. I didn’t read my signal box instructions enough and stuck the ends on the wrong way round so I had to use a little initiative completing it as the instructions no longer made sense when I did give them a look. I think I may just about scrape through at exhibitions unless an expert walks past and then I’ll disappear!

The low relief factory sections are really nice and I had added some end sections to make them deeper, however, I’m still not sure if I will keep them as they may need to be fixed really tightly against the back scene. the track plan has resulted in the rear line being quite near to the back and I don’t want the track to appear too close to the factory buildings.

I paid Kelvin a visit earlier in the week and was looking at his latest weathering projects when he showed me some of the O gauge Accurascale Hoppers. Kelvin had weathered four of them for a friend and I thought they were so good I ordered 3 for myself on my phone while I sat in his lounge – that was an expensive visit!

They were ordered Tuesday and arrived Thursday – great service!

Check out Kelvin’s weathering:

The other task I have looked at in the last few days has been the station canopies. These come from the same company that made the platforms, signal box and station building. The canopies are quite delicate but will look good once they are finished. I need to add some more details yet and will need to add some more paint to much of the structure.

Badly kept Secret – No. 105!

Well after a few un-subtle hints, I would like to announce a new project. I am going to try and build the Easy Build 2 Car 105 DMU.

I’d been thinking about something on this scale for a while and knew that it would really suit the layout I was try to build.

I like the Easy Build site and one of the good things about it is the ability to look at the instructions first before you spend your pile of coins. I have to be honest and say that EASY was not my first thought when I looked at the Class 105 DMU instruction file, but eventually I dug deep and ordered my kit.

It is by no means finished yet and I’ve had to stop work on it for a while as we are having some work done in our house, but I will be showing you my progress and thoughts about the kit so do keep coming back as I plan to keep adding to this page rather than make lots of new pages,

Following the instructions is a sensible approach and since I had more fear than confidence, I was not about to try and be clever. Following the instructions is really important. The kits come in lovely large boxes which are big enough to store the finished models. They are also really well packaged and full of padding material to keep all the parts safe.

I started with the sides of the power car and drilled out the guide holes for hinges, door buts and handles etc. There are lots of these!

As you can see in the above picture, there is a recessed part near the door. This is for a filler cap to be added. The recessed section needs to be carefully removed and made smooth with some small files ready for more pieces to be stuck to the back,

Side panels ready for filler caps
The nearby blade shows how small these parts are.
The rod has to go through white metal part

Eventually, I had two side piece with the filler caps in place. All the time I was doing this, I was acutely aware that this was the most expensive kit I’d ever purchased and I was really afraid of wrecking the parts. There is a part of me that couldn’t work out why this couldn’t have been tooled with the piece already removed. I also thought about this when drilling out all the holes.

I had read the part about the door hinges so many times and it was one of the sections that nearly put me off buying the model as it looked far from Easy. It’s true to say that this section is fidly but it’s not really difficult, I guess it’s just time consuming. I will say that the end result is really satisfying though and I was pleased to see the effect coming along as I did more.

One of two parts that make up a door hinge. Yes they are that small!

Eventually, I managed to fix a load of door hinges into place and felt very good about it! It’s such a shame there’s still so much to do though!

The picture above shows the tiny amounts of plasticard rod pushed through the holes to make the door butts where the doors would swing back and knock the door. This is ABS plastic so normal glue is no use. Once the solvent is dry and the part is firm the rod is filed back to the correct length using a jig that goes over the rod with a small hole for the piece to go through. The jig was 1mm thick allowing all the rods to all be filed back to be 1mm in length.

It was then enjoyable to focus on something different.

Come back soon to see what else I’ve been doing..

Getting the Track down!

It’s been great to see the track go down and I’m really excited about this layout. At the same time, in a strange way, I am also really keen and anxious to get things right and not to get over excited and do things in the wrong order. If this layout is going to work in an exhibition environment, it needs to work, it needs to be robust and it needs to be reliable.

I have laid pretty much all of the track now and fixed some of the buffer stops in place. I have not fixed the relatively cheap Peco buffer stops in tbe passenger arival lines as I want the platform lines to have something much more realistic for these lines.

Bogie bolster wagons sit in one of the goods sidings. A Class 37 sits in the bay platform.

I was really excited to get the third siding laid, this runs behind or in front of the signalbox. This will be a coal yard reaching the end of its life. It will be used occasionally to store wagons, departmental stock or even engines awaiting their next task. As indicated in an earlier post, I had a coal depot on my earlier layout and really loved the lines that were nearly hidden in the earth with the buried sleepers.

Coal Yard on previous (aborted) layout

I have had a dilema with this track plan. I know that most trains run on the left side of two tracks assuming they are not bi-directional. If I had run both tracks into the station, the line closest to the front would be able to run trains into the goods yard and into the bay platform but the track does not access the main platform face at the back. The line to the back is able to access all the tracks in the station but would really only be the line out. Given this situation, I had to decide if I was going to create a fictitious narative where there is a swap over line further up or should I create a head shunt from the other line and have a natrrative where the second line in and out of the station has been pulled up during a track rationalisation exercise and the line has been stopped before the bridge to form a head shunt. I’m still not totally sure yet which narrative to follow which explains why I haven’t fixed a buffer stop down yet. if you have any thoughts, send me a comment and tell me what you think I should do.

Head shunt or line in/out?

O…What Fun!

Well it is fun. It should be anyway…that’s the idea. So after laying the first few bits of track, I needed to start measuring and lining up the platform faces and even the double slip. I started to wonder what measurement would inform the other but I’m glad to say things slowly made sense.

Having decided to lay the track on cork, I realised that by not covering the whole board in cork my patforms were now too low, so I cut 10mm strips of balsa wood and slipped these under the platform.

Track laying is always an exciting time. It’s the time when you can put your plans into practice and see if it looks as good as the plan you had on paper or in your mind. I think this one is.

I decided to spray paint the main platform sections before fixing them into place. This is just a preference but it was easier to spray these away these from the rest of the boards and track. In the above pic, I am checking the angles of the double slip and line going into the bay platform. The double slip makes it harder to run test trains into the bay due to its slightly more complex wiring. I hope I can pull it off! More on that another time in the future!

The shot above shows the same area but also includes the double slip and adjacent point which are all now fixed down to the cork with PVA glue. Note the DDC Concepts point motors for me to sort another day!

In the final picture below, the 08 shunter sits on the two points leading to the goods yard sidings. I could squeeze three lines in but this would have been too crowded and unrealistic so I let there be some space around the lines for other details which will add additional interest. The right hand point will allow for a line to run back into a coal yard.

Well some of you will have seen the reference to another modelling project in my last blog update. This is my Easybuild 105 DMU under construction. I have been taking lots of pictures and plan to post these soon as an on-going entry which gets extended as more gets done. I won’t talk about the methods or challenges just yet but I will say that tonight was very satisfying!

Come back soon!


Getting started…or, The Sky’s the Limit!

Well the layout boards have had two coats of a flat matt black emulsion which I spotted in a DIY store. I could have painted them with a gloss finish, but I quite liked the matt finish and it was something different. The layout has some final facia pieces that hide all the laser cut joints. I will eventually paint these and put the layouts name on them to add to the overall presentation.

The second thing I did after painting the boards was to attend to the sky. I’ve seen some good skies on layouts and I’ve seen some dire efforts and wondered if people knew what they were exhibiting. I’m no expert, but I’m not sure many modellers ever stop looking at trains for enough time to see what colour the sky is! It’s not very often bright blue, nor its it full of fluffy clouds. These days, this problem is helped by some companies which print scenic backgrounds. In my humble opinion, the only problem with these is, well, they look like a printed background and are just too perfect.

A model railway is a model representation of our imagination or a real place but a printed sky can break that illusion and look too realistic next to our models or pieces of our imagination. Furthermore, one day everyone will have the same sky sections in much the same way as many people have previously used the Peco background sheets that are still around and have been around for ever….you know the ones I mean!

So having ranted, what did I do. Well, I have previously taken notice of Chris Nevard’s approach to sky and his use of DIY paint matchpots and subdued colours. My other layout a OO gauge micro layout Winkle’s Yard also has a plywood scenic board and this was painted with 4 or 5 subtle shades of off white, grey and a tiny amount of blue.

Winkle’s Yard – OO Gauge Layout by Shaun Harvey

On the new O gauge layout, I painted the back boards white to seal the boards and once that was dry I gave it another coat of white and while this was wet I brushed some small amounts of blue into it and blended these in. The horizon line gets lighter so the blue was kept to the top of the board to help with realism.

Prince’s Street O Gauge (under construction by Shaun Harvey)

SO, you can see the general idea for my small terminus station belonging to the small town. The platform is big enough for 3 coaches and a bay platform may hold a couple of parcel coaches or a DMU. There will be a couple of sidings for the odd goods train or departmental train that might make a visit.

While It may look like there is a lot going on, only two pieces of track have been fixed to date and those are at the end of the main passenger line in the station. You can see I’ve put a lot of other bits on the baseboards, but those have really been about marking out and deciding on positions for track and buildings etc. I plan to use a double slip on the station so I needed to decide if the bay platform track was going to bend to meet that or if the main line might bend to meet it. At this point in time, I’ve decided to keep the main line straight along the back and then make the bay platform track bend to meet the double slip…..However, this may change. What I have done already is put in the isolating rail feed wires as I go along, to make life easier. This will be a DC layout for now due to the cost of chipping O gauge locomotives. If I win the lottery, things might change!

So this is the trouble end of the layout or the end that will give me sleepless nights. I have to cut a hole out for a bridge yet for trains to exit to the fiddle yard. I have to insert a double slip as well as install a signal box and some point rodding, Oh, and there’s the need for a coal depot. What a glutton for punishment I must be! Note a clean class 20 and a dirty one. Kelvin Barnes numbered and weathered the dirty one. Now it’s time for me to be brave and do the same to the second one. I look forward to running these nose to nose with some coal wagons. This is the area where I want to build the coal yard. While I have put two tracks in, I might keep it just one track and avoid it being too full. As modellers, we can sometimes get carried away and put too many pieces of track on our layouts. In reality, if the lines didn’t have a function, they weren’t there. Note the industrial buildings. They will go along the back and represent some industrial buildings backing onto the line.

I will post some more pics soon as I want to start making some substantial progress on this layout.

Here’s a little teaser picture – something for another day – probably 105 days!

O Yes! about time too.

After a long absence from all things O gauge, I would like to introduce the new incarnation of Prince’s Street Goods Yard.

My previous layout was my first foray into O gauge and I have learned a lot on my short journey. However, as a layout, it had its faults, the biggest of which was the fact that the boards were just so enormous at 4ft by 3ft. They weighed too much for me and were too large and unmanageable in my single garage.

I would like to use this layout with out exhibition group so it needs to be movable, robust with the wiring and operational aspects well built and sturdy from day one. My previous layout was lacking in some of these areas.

I have used boards by Tim Horn again. In my opinion, they are up there with the best and go together so easily they are a delight to build.

I have used boards with presentation in mind and the boards provide space for lighting units to be installed and kept out of sight from the viewer.

This is the centre board with the left had side scenic board. Behind me is the right side board which also has a scenic edge to it. The fiddle yard/traverser will fix to the board out of sight and trains – DMUs, 3 coach trains or single car services as well as freight – will enter the scenic area under a bridge. I was lucky enough to obtain 12 ft of kitchen base units which sit at an ideal height for the layout. They also provide lots of storage for my stock and equipment. The drawers are ideal for paints, tools and unbuilt kits etc. I’m hoping that some draws will have more space eventually as things go from under the boards onto the boards.

Here is a rough idea of the track plan. There will be two station platform faces with the one at the top being against the back of the baseboard. I hope I can make sense of the double slip as it may save the use of two points at that spot. I am keen to avoid using lots of track in the area being mindful of the limited space. On the right hand side, I have put in two short sidings, however this may look too crowded.

This was my first O gauge coal depot and I really loved it so I hope I can repeat something like this in my new layout.

I need to add some more pictures soon as I have painted the sky now and am nearly ready to lay my first piece of track!

Now, about that decorating…

George’s Exhibition Debut

Keeping young people especially your younger children encouraged in your interests isn’t always easy, so I was pleased when my son started to show an interest in my model railways. Last year I decided I would try and build him a small and simple N gauge layout to introduce him to aspects of track laying and modelling. In recent months it has started to look a bit more interesting.

Now George is 9 years old and autistic so layout building comes with its challenges but we are slowly getting there and he is doing really well.

Last week the Great Eastern Model shop in Norwich held an N gauge day and kindly invited George to show his layout as it was being built so he could talk about all the methods used so far. George also allowed me to come along too!

Here are a few shots of his layout so far. He has called it Freemakers Lane. It uses peco track and a traditional analogue power supply. As for the blue engines, well that’s my fault!

ASHWELL MOOR goes to Norwich

Today we had the privilege of bringing the O gauge layout Ashwell Moor to the annual Norwich Model Railway show, held at Hellesdon High School.

Built by Kelvin Barnes for his son John, Ashwell Moor is a fuelling and stabling point suitable for a number of eras. Today we ran relatively modern diesels as well as my collection of pre-TOPS blue diesels.

Unfortunately Kelvin was to poorly to join us and we missed his company as did a large amount of his friends who frequent the local shows.

Here are pictures of Ashwell Moor taken today by myself.

Winkle’s in Pictures!

My OO gauge exhibition layout winkle’s Yard was set up in my house for a few days awaiting the arrival of Chris Nevard, the Model Rail magazine’s main photographer.

The setting up of the layout, gave me some valuable opportunities to finish certain jobs like the bridge, the rear fencing and a little extra static grass here and there.

Watching Chris work is an education in itself particularly as he takes ages going over the layout looking for interesting shots and angles that will stimulate those that purchase the magazine in due course.

A day after his visit, I had a go at some railway photography too. It’s not brilliant by any means but it’s my layout and they are my pictures, so enjoy this little offering.

If you want to see what a real expert can do, use the search tool to look up George Street on this blog.



A class 08 shunter pulls into Winkle’s Yard
A class 37 takes a little break before its next duty
The local shunter replenishes the local supply of coal
An 08 shunter brings in a new supply of engine fuel.
The BR blue CCT van is an unusual visitor to Winkle’s Yard
The shunter carefully passes some workmen attending to some of the point rodding.
The oil tanks are put in place, ready for their departure.
Another unusual visitor makes a surprise appearance away from its normal express duties


On Sunday 17 March 2019. Kelvin Barnes’ latest OO gauge layout Copsey made its debut appearance at the Action show which was raising money for the Girl Guides.

Kelvin has cleverly modelled the layout so that its station signs can be changed for different regions or time periods. This allowed us to run Kelvin’s Anglia region stock for 3 hours in the morning and then I flooded the layout with my BR blue era stock for the afternoon session.

It was a happy relaxed exhibition which allowed Copsey to find its feet before further outings later in the year.

Here are a selection of pictures starting with the morning session and ending up with a lot of the blue stuff!

All pictures © Shaun Harvey 2019

Please do not use or redistribute without permission.


We have no plans for world domination (well not just yet) but we were asked to bring two layouts to this years Poringland Show for the Norfolk Railway Society. One of these was Norton Wood, a 3rd rail small terminus with scope for a little bit of shunting and Lowe Street – inspired by the old Lowestoft Sleeper Depot pictured below.

Image result for lowestoft sleeper depot pictures

We had lots of positive comments about both layouts and some people even commented about their memories of Lowestoft Sleeper Depot or relatives that had worked there.

Here are some pictures from both layouts.

LOWE STREET -built by Kelvin Barnes

NORTON WOOD – built by Kelvin Barnes

‘O’ how I’ve missed you!

With all the hard work put into Winkle’s Yard, you would be forgiven for thinking I was changing scale yet again and returning to my OO gauge roots. However, that is not the case and my O gauge layout is still in the garage with lots to do. I have not lost interest in it!

A number of months ago, I took advantage of an opportunity to purchase 6 bogie bolster wagons from the good folks that have made and run Dubmill Sidings. This is really a very special layout and it has been quite inspirational to me as I was contemplating what to do in O gauge. I love it’s selection of wagons, diesel engines and a healthy dose of grime.

The bogie bolster feature in the above picture. When they arrived with me, it was evident that they had worked hard on the exhibition circuit over the years and they looked a bit tired. One of the wagons almost fell apart in the post. Given their condition, I decided to strip them down, re-paint them and weather them again in the style used by our collection of exhibition layouts.

So far, I have stripped 4 wagons of their loads and bolsters as these were glued on and they have been primed ready for new paint and transfers from Railtec.

Here is one of the wagons ready for bauxite and black paint, transfers and the all-important weathering.

Ready for the World (almost!)

With an appearance at Great Eastern Models looming closer by the day, I was trying to make sure that all my stock looked decent and that the layout looked OK and ran smoothly.

In order to do this, I brought the layout and the fiddle yard into the house with practice running sessions taking place whenever I could.

The above picture shows the area behind the signal box and the detritus of the railway such as pallets, drums and even an old signal head in the grass.

One of the jobs I needed to complete was the small coal point that supplied cold to the area’s heating and water boiler. I used some real crushed coal and fixed this in place with Ballast Bond. Once this was dry, I placed the coal depot cover in place and cleaned the track.

So here are a few pictures of various items of stock that have been weathered ready for the public’s scrutiny.

There are still jobs to do on the layout but they are now much smaller and subtle. I think by the time it appears in Bressingham it will be finished and the stock will all have the level of detail I require.

Progress update and pictures…

Work has been progressing  on Winkle’s Yard with both the layout and the rolling stock getting attention.

As I was having a little running session/test, I realised that the pieces of plasticard I had stuck between the rails in the oil depot were causing problems with my shunters which would stop due to lack of contact with the rails due to the gap pushing the wheels up. It was with some anxiety that I raised the piece of plastic whilst trying not to break it and then stuck it back down. It didn’t come up in one piece but it has been stuck down again and is now in a better position with shunters running freely in and out of the oil depot siding. Phew!

The back scene has now got a wall in front of it, separating the row of terrace houses from the back of the goods yard. This was made with brick embossed plasticard sprayed to give a blue/back brick effect. The space has also been given a cover of various ground cover materials, randomly put down to create a shrub/waste land effect. I hope to try and get the odd tree in there if I can.

Here’s a few pics…

Let me out!

Winkle’s Yard is having a day out! Well more of a shake down.

In order to help me practice the transportation, setting up and operation of Winkle’s Yard, I shall be showing it off at Great Eastern Models in Norwich on Saturday 16 February 2019. This is not a formal exhibition appearance as its formal debut is still some months away.

I can’t say everything is 100% ready yet but this will be a good opportunity to see how it all comes together and if there are any major snags that need my attention.

If you are local to Norwich, Please do come to the shop and say hello.





Sprats the Way..ah ha, I like it!

Well there haven’t been too many pictures recently but here’s one of the little red table in my house and it really does reflect everything I’ve done in the last few weeks.


Removing existing NEM couplings and replacing them with Sprat and Winkle uncouplings isn’t that hard but it is one of those repetitive jobs that can get a bit dull after the first 25 wagons!

With my layout coming on well, it was time to focus on the fleet of wagons that was needed for my goods yard project. I had opted for a hands free operation which looks really good when it works well.

This has been quite time consuming as every wagon is of a different design. The van in the picture is a good example. The long wheel base model resulted in the coupling being a part of the moving wheel and suspension moldings. The couplings were cut off, this section leaving the wheels to be returned to their place. I then needed to raise the height of the coupling and so I used a couple of pieces of plasticard to ensure the hook was at the correct height. The careful adjustment of each wagon is also necessary to ensure they do their job correctly. Watching it all work is very satisfying!

I’ve now exhausted my supply of magnetic links so I have a few nights off until Mr Postie delivers some more. I guess that gives me time to add loops to the fronts of my diesel fleet!


Was it good for you?

Hello everybody.

Thank you to those of you who have visited my blog frequently during 2018. It’s only a small project and doesn’t get lots of visits so I’m always glad to see someone new.

December was a tough month for me after losing my mother earlier in the year and I have been in no mood for modeling as now is the time for fine detail which could be messed up by un-clear thinking or a shaky hand.

I have not been able to get on with the electrical side of the OO layout recently as I have been waiting for a few bits like switches but I have all of these now and am looking forward to completing the wiring to the points and isolating rails.

It will not have escaped you that the main O gauge layout has been neglected for a bit while I’ve been working on Winkle’s Yard, however, detailed discussions with my modelling mentor KB have led me to believe that it could be a layout suitable for exhibitions if it were to be adjusted slightly. this would mean the removal of the end board with the set track curves. The trains would then leave the layout on the third board where the head shunt ends and enter a sliding traverser with a series of straight tracks. The point where the trains would leave can be seen on the picture below. There needs to be a tunnel/bridge close to where the last wagon is on the picture in the same board as the coal depot. This still needs some thought!

Princes Street Hill edited 30 03 18

I will also need to improve the electrics and make them reliable, robust and clear in the event of a fault. My control panel will also need to be removable with the need to fix it on the other side during exhibitions. Scenically there is some work to finish at the back behind the platform but very little will change. The layout can be used in a steam period or through to pre-Tops which is what I model already.

SO…Lots of work and projects to keep me quiet for the year ahead. I do need to complete a OO gauge exhibition layout stock set with Spratt and Winkle couplings and the stock will need to be weathered too! OMG!

I’ll try to be better with the updates.

Let me know what you think of my efforts, it would be good to hear from you out there!


I have no plans to lose the coal depot as it’s my favourite part of the layout!

I wish you all a happy, safe, and healthy 2019.

Best wishes


Hello, is it me you’re looking for!

Well, it’s been a while hasn’t it?

Sorry about that. I have been busy on the layout but it seems I lost my blog mojo for a while. My good friend Kelvin told me that I needed to get back to the blog, so here I am again!

This might be a big catch up as lots has been done since we last met.

Including, the bridge, the track weathering, weeds and ground cover.


The bridge was something I was keen to do but anxious to get it looking right. I looked on the internet for reference pictures to ensure I got my example looking relatively correct. I also decided that I wanted to use a blue/grey engineering type brick which I remembered from my days living near Norwich station.

This was achieved by priming the plasticard and then spraying on light coats of grey and black primer until the required random effect appeared. Sometimes I over did the black and would need to cover it with grey again but eventually I got an effect I was pleased with. This will also be weathered too.

I placed a path around all the buildings that surrounded the track using plasticard. This also helped to hide the point where the buildings sit and allows the base of the buildings to hide below the path. I had purchased a Knightwing fuel depot for added interest and operating potential. However, the more I looked at it, the more I felt it would look like, well, a Knightwing fuel depot which lots of other people had. I therefore decided to make my own fuel point using certain parts from the fuel depot kit and plasticard around the track. I then became conscious of the fragile nature of some parts during transit to exhibitions so I had a brainwave!

I don’t have many inspired ideas but I remembered that in a tool box were some small neo magnets. These were almost the same size as the supporting columns of the fuel depot shelter. I stuck the magnets onto the bottom of the columns and then two more were joined up and stuck onto the ground. Now I had a shelter that could be removed for cleaning and transporting and the magnets allowed it to be removed easily and it could only go back in one position, the right position when I wanted to return it.


It was time to do the ballasting, and I know that this is a job that people love or hate. I had been given some play sand by Kelvin and decided that I would use this around the depot but I would also use the finest ballast I could get as well.

I stuck some sand down with PVA glue which would show at the side of the ballast and between areas where there was no ballast such as under point rodding, in the yard etc. Once this was dry, I removed the lose material with a hoover and then started to apply the ballast slowly and carefully.  There’s nothing radical about this stage. I use diluted PVA with a drop of washing up liquid like so many others and apply this carefully with a syringe. I then leave it for a few days to go rock hard.  Care taken at this stage can save a lot of time and avoid tears in the weeks ahead.


Once the ballast was dry I removed any stray pieces with a craft knife and hoovered up the stray ballast. I was now ready to weather the track and the surrounding areas.

I used Railmatch enamel paints with my Neo airbrush. I started with track grime but used this both sides of every rail to give a shadow to every track as well as the ballast.

I then used matt black around the points, frogs and where engines might sit for a while. While the airbrush was out, I sprayed the plasticard path, which had been primed earlier and gave the buildings a bit of a dust. I feel this has helped to bring everything together with some much needed consistency. The buildings were also very clean despite the industrial setting.  The chimneys were given a sooty look at the tops and the oil depot got a little bit of attention too. I was really pleased with my efforts at this stage. It now started look a bit more realistic, like a real railway!


The next two stages were designed to add more detail and realism to the layout. I needed to weather the concrete areas so I started off with some lighter colours and got progressively darker until I felt I had the desired effect.

Once that was complete, I did something I had been itching to do for quite a while. I added some static grass in between the rails and around the yard. I was also keen to have grass coming up between the blocks of concrete where the expansion joins were. I was really pleased with  the effect I had gained.


So I think I have nearly brought you up to date with developments. There is just one final thing to show you and that is some ground cover at the front of the layout along the yard walls. A little more green breaks up the monotony of browns and dull colours.


These pictures include the lights which are often left off due to their fragile nature.


So there you are. You are now up to date with the Winkle’s Yard project. I still have more work to do, especially work to complete the electrical control panel.

In addition to this, I need to start work detailing the stock which will run on the layout…but I’ll do that another day!




So this week…



There’s been quite a bit of progress this week, due in part to some extra time available to me while I recuperate following a small but painful operation and some time of work while I nurse my sore bits!


I wasn’t going to add point rodding and was looking for the right point levers to purchase when I stumbled over a small second hand signal box in my local model shop. There is something very satisfying about point rodding, however so many layouts just don’t have it, due, I think to its fiddly nature and the delicate nature of the parts. This is a shame, as it is often the small details which bring a layout alive. So now I had a signal box, I would need some point rodding. Fortunately, Wills have come to the rescue with their packet of parts which are really nicely moulded. I haven’t finished this task yet but it is all going in the right direction. It is probably totally overkill in my little layout but I do think it will another dimension to the overall finished layout.




The cork was finished this week and given two coats of Woodlands Scenic concrete paint. This has dried to a very bright colour and will need some toning down and weathering in due course. For now, it has been given a gentle sanding with some clean sand paper to remove any high spots of paint or lose cork fragments. This has left the cork smooth and ready for weathering.



I like to spray all my track with Humbrol dark earth once it is laid. I think it is at this stage that the track loses its toy appearance and starts to look like a model representation of something else. I’ve been spraying my track with dark earth for a long time now and like the shade that the sleepers and track take on. Other colours can be used and will be used in due course as the rails get painted and other areas get weathered.




I do take a lot of pictures. I find it’s good to keep a record of the progress and it’s fun to look back at the various stages of construction. There is, however, another useful benefit to taking pictures. It’s said that the camera never lies and so I like to look at my modelling through the lens to see how things look close up or from another angle. I’ve often spotted things that are not right or things that need a little bit of attention. These can then be attended to before it’s too late.

Here’s a few pics from the last few days. I know I’m not going to win any prizes for them but they do show the recent activity.

It’s Corked!

There are a few ways to represent the concrete that surrounds rails to give the embedded look. You can use card, plastic or even poly filler type materials.

I decided to use cork after seeing other layouts where this method has been used. The cork gives an interesting texture just by being itself and a close look shows that it’s not to disimilar to the aggregate that you would see in a block of concrete. I had to lay two layers of cork. One to reach sleeper height and one to reach track height. Strips were also placed between the tracks to complete the effect. Another thing I picked up was that you don’t have to lay it in a big piece as concrete is often laid in sections with expansion gaps. These will be weathered and may have some grass growing in the gaps.

I still had some concrete paint made by Woodland Scenics so I have given the cork two coats of this. I now have some very clean concrete so it will be weathered eventually using the airbrush when it comes to the final detailing stages.


So, now to get the point rodding finished!



More Progress – Track complete!

It’s always good to get certain parts of a project done and I’m glad that my track work and basic wiring jobs are now complete. I say basic wiring as I mean the bit from the track only. The control panel is a project for another day!

I have not started to think about other features that need to be completed before the track work is ballasted or even painted.

I have started to stick some more cork down to raise the height of the concrete which will go between the tracks at the front of the layout. I will be trying to emulate the technique used by Kelvin Barnes who uses cork to represent concrete to great effect.

I have also started to build the basic structure for the bridge that crosses the entry to the small yard. This has been made out of hobbycraft foam board – a light and easy to use material which is good for lots of different purposes. This will be covered in slaters brick plasticard and then additional details will be added such as the metal bridge section which I will be scratch building out of various bits of plasticard. I’m quite looking forward to this and really enjoy the modelling aspect of the project.

Let there be light

I wanted to have some lamps on my layout since it’s inception and knew it had to be one of these.


These are made by CR signals and I think they are really gorgeous.  They are undoubtedly very fragile but come with a magnetic bottom plate.

Installation is easy, I drilled a hole for the two fine power wires and cut away some of the cork to provide space for the lamps base to sit flat Once the cork was out of the way, I superglued a small magnet onto the plywood and allowed the glue to dry.

Once the glue was dry, I lifted the lamp onto the magnet and Hey Presto, a nice upright lamp. I will ballast around the lamps base in a way that does not interfere with this mounting.

As the lamps is not ridgedly fixed to the board, any slight knocks will just result in it lifting gently and falling onto a wagon and not bending in half where it is struck. I know it will be a delicate addition to the layout but I love it! Continue reading “Let there be light”