Breakdown Train Trauma!

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Well my latest project, or the one I was going to have to address sooner or later is this monster. I hope one day it will have a bit more detail on it and be painted yellow to match its coaches. It will take a while to get right and to get as much detail in as I can.

I’d like to take the credit for much of this but the main kit of parts was sent to me by someone who has done a great job of cutting all the pieces out for me and his help and been invaluable. (Cheers! You know who you are!)

Well there’s still lots to do. I need to source other bits such as axle boxes etc. so come back again at some point to see how it’s all holding up!

On the Fiddle!

You don’t need to be that clever to realise that O gauge requires a lot of space. While I like my O gauge layout being in my garage, I am only able to have the scenic section on display as I don’t have a room in excess of 20 ft long to join it to its fiddle yard. Well to be honest up till now, I haven’t even had a fiddle yard for the layout. But hey, that’s no longer the case!

I had collected the two 2ft x 4ft baseboards some time ago from Tim Horn who doesn’t live that far away from me , but I hadn’t done much on them…Until now that its.

I have to be honest. I gave my long suffering wife some prior warning to say I needed these two boards to go up in the back part of our lounge as they wouldn’t fit in the garage, trust me, I tried!

So here (above) was the first board in the garage still while I sorted positions for the points and power feeds. It’s not pretty, but it works!

I’m sorry, I didn’t take a picture when I had finished laying tracks so these two are from roughly the same stage. that is, the first two long lines in place and one of the next tracks fixed down. I have always found a good going of PVA holds track down well with the bonus that water will always help you lift the track if needed.

The track was laid across the two boards which were bolted tightly together. The wiring was then added and only after that stage was a dremel type cutter used to cut the track across the board joins. And it all worked!


well not quite, due to the space taken up by the points, I really wanted the tracks to be a bit longer so eventually there will be another 2ft x 2ft board added on the end with just straight tracks added. This will enable me to run the longer trains into the station and goods area.


Something cool to go with some yellow coaches!

Stay safe


Winkle’s Yard in Model Rail

After a long wait, Winkle’s Yard has finally made it into the page of October’s Model Rail Magazine.

I was really pleased to find it on the shelves of a nearby shop and my eyes lit up when I saw the pictures finally printed out.

I do hope some of you are able to get a copy of this to take a look. Here are a few pictures from the same photo shoot, not used in the magazine article. Please don’t take these pictures to use for your own needs. They are not mine and the copyright is held by Chris Nevard and Model Rail Magazine.



Winkle’s Yard – by Shaun Harvey. Photographed for Model Rail
Winkle’s Yard – by Shaun Harvey. Photographed for Model Rail
Winkle’s Yard – by Shaun Harvey. Photographed for Model Rail


Why do I have to do this next stage? That was the question going through my head as I searched for some thin masking tape. I guess the real reason I have to do this next stage is because if I don’t do it, then it won’t all be my own work and i won’t learn the lessons of this dark art.

Well I made a trip to my local model shop Great Easter Models, and their fine display of Failmatch paints. I bought 2 pots of Rail Blue, 2 pots of yellow and 2 pots of a dark grey for the roof.

So I began with the yellow ends. That couldn’t be too hard could it? Well strangely enough it was harder than the blue body sides and I’m not really too happy with them. I’m hoping some smart weathering will resolve any grief caused by yellow fever.

So onto the blue. I was quite anxious about this. But I needn’t have been as it all went quite well other than my concerns about covering up the yellow over spray from the ends. I have now completed one body and to be honest, it’s not too bad. It’s not perfect and I know what I could do again but that’s what learning is about.

This is what it looks like!

Don’t look too closely please!


Having read all the instructions really carefully, I’ve come to the conclusion that the main part of the body construction is now complete and it’s time for some primer.

I always tend to go for some acrylic primer in a can which can be purchased from a car parts shop with ease. They also sell the wet and dry paper which is really useful too.

So armed with my cans of grey and satin black. I headed home to face the job before me. I started by giving the whole 2 body shells a light rub down to remove and blemishes and to give the paint a key. It was a warm afternoon so I headed outside to give it a go!

I started off with the chassis and bogies after wrapping making tape around the wheel treads.

Can you see the mistake! – what a numpty!
Two chassis complete in their coat of satin black

I made rapid progress due to the warm weather and was really quite pleased with the results given I don’t have much experience with this kind of thing!

You can almost see what the next stage has to be here

So now both bodies have been painted and the chassis’ and bogies are in black. Some of them will need another little dusting of black, especially the dynamo area!

The bodies are now going through a process of checking for blemishes and filling and sanding where needed. Given the cost of the kit, I guess it makes sense to do things right. I really want the final coat of paint to look good.

Fill, sand, fill, sand, fill, sand etc…

Fortunately, I was out working so it wasn’t out of my way to get some filler from Great Eastern Models. I also purchased some Railmatch paints while I was there…Well it would have been foolish not to eh!

Keep safe


Running Bressingham 70’s Style!

Our group’s list of exhibitions was totally decimated by the pandemic and without that opportunity to attend these functions, much of our stock has been left in the sidings waiting for its next outing. This list included the Model Railway Day held at Bressingham Steam Museum.

So, a few weeks ago my family attended Bressingham Steam Museum complete with masks, wipes and a lovely picnic!

I bumped into Phillip, the guy responsible for organising their shows and said hello etc. I then said ‘Does anyone ever operate your OO layout in the main hall’. He then went on to explain that it was generally left in the push button mode and one of the Thetford Model Railway Club periodically came over to maintain it.

The layout is quite a large layout with some lovely gentle curves. One thing that could be improved on is its fiddle yard which only has two loops in each directions. This is probably more than enough for a push button layout but for a manual exhibition layout, more loops really help to keep the stock looking different.

While speaking to Phillip, my mind had a little thought and I asked if I could operate the layout sometimes. ‘Sure…When ever you like’, replied Phillip. So a few emails later and there I was with a big box of my stock from Winkle’s Yard and a day of operating this layout to myself. I had great fun and took a few pictures shown below. I’m going back on a Sunday in a few weeks time so I might take some more pics then.

Enjoy the gallery.

DMU building almost done!

The main parts of building the DMU are now complete. I do need to go over parts of the model and make sure its all stuck firmly and won’t fall apart every time I pick it up. The next stage is FINISHING and this includes painting. I think I will start by priming the chassis and painting that. There’s a lot to do even with that such as masking all the wheel treads and painting the engine parts. I think that will really bring it alive. I will then prime the body and this will give me a chance to see if it needs any attention, such as ‘The Superglue Incident’ and other little blemishes. I will also need to think about painting the inside of the body to represent the colour inside. To be honest, I might just do it grey or white.

I’m not looking forward to having to paint the body shells but I guess I need to take on the challenge rather than giving it to Kelvin to finish.

This is the power car with motor at the rear.
The other side of the power car with lots of nice engine parts

So next time I make an entry into my blog, I may have some progress on the finishing/painting front to show you although this depends on the weather being dry and not damp.

Oh and in other news….

Winkle’s Yard will soon be in an issue of Model Rail with some beautiful pictures (not these ones) taken by Chris Nevard. I’m not sure what issue it will be but certainly soon and before the end of the year. It’s been a long time coming but I think the pictures will blow people away!

Take care and keep safe


What a (DUMMY) DMU!

Modern adhesives are wonderful. They can stick all sorts of things together and their use seems to be limited only by our imagination. There is one important thing to conisder however. They do need to be stored the right way up and with their lids or tops on tightly.

Well. Now here is the tale, and before I begin, there is no point in contacting me and asking me how it happened because I don’t know. So, to the main point in the tale. I went into the garage one day and found the DMU dummy car with a load of superglue on its roof and splashed over one side. It had also created some new puddles in my coal depot area and dried up white and crusty.

So my first reaction was AAARGGGGGGHHHHHH!

The second is uprintable in my blog as I wouldn’t want to upset those with a gentle disposition.

Once I had calmed down, I realised there was something to be grateful about. I was pleased that I hadn’t left the motor coach on the layout as glue dropping glue over that could have been really problematic.

So I’ve spent quite a few nights gently removing superglue with a variety of sanding sticks and I’ve learned a few valuable lessons which I’l share with you.

a) Don’t always leave unfinished models on your layout.

b) Don’t leave superglue on or around your layout.

c) If you don’t follow B as above, ensure your superglue or other glue product has its lid properly on and on tightly.

I think we’re back on track now after that unwanted distraction. I shall try and make some more progress with the DMU, Oh and I’ve been in touch with Tim Horn. Maybe a fiddle yard is on its way soon!

What a dummy I’ve been though. I’m now a bit wiser too!

Keep safe!


I’m losing Control!

Well my control panel has been fairly grotty for quite some time. The base of the control panel is a Grainge and Hodder box. Laser Cut and very robust. After my aborted O gauge project, I decided I would try to re-use the main part of the control panel but with a new top. The inter-connecting parts from the old top section were removed and I found a piece of hardboard to fit the new control panel for PRINCE’S STREET.

Well as you can see, it was dirty!

While working on the new layout, the white piece of hardboard has got dirtier and worse as the months went on.

I’m Sorry about the above picutre. It was so bad I couldn’t even be bothered to rotate the image. The piece of hardboard, didn’t start off dirty but with so much glue, paint and other materials around, it was bound to get dirt on it so I decided I would clean it up later. Well I thought I would do that today.

I started by wrapping some masking tape around the switches and removing all the little labels I had added while setting up points and isolation switches. There were also some hints for the double switch as I had avoided all the other wiring methods and ended up with a bit of a mess!

I had some white paint in a rattle can so once I had the board ready, I started to spray. Then I stopped. I realised the white paint would not cover the grubby marks on the hardboard, so I decided I would paint the board first with a dusting of grey primer. This really blocked all the dirt and the white then went on really easily over the grey.

I found some self adhesive black PVC so I cut a piece off the roll and cut some strips of the self adhesive vinyl 5mm wide. I then stuck them in place to show the track layout.

Unfortunately, there were some marks in the top left hand corner that I couldn’t quite cover so a name panel seemed like the thing to do. I think it looks OK!

It was then time to re-label everything with the label machine I had bought for situations like this. It’s not high-tech and it’s not perfect but for my simple DC O gauge layout, I think it’s OK and it works!


I found this character while looking for something else and thought I’d pose him on my layout. I was always told to avoid strange looking men who hang around street corners so this was my first idea. Can you spot the drain covering. Would this still be on a cobbled street left over from days past. Let me know what you think about this scene.