One night only.,.the BGs!

My previous work to convert two Lima MK 1 coaches into Breakdown Support Coaches were a success for me. I guess you could find faults. They might not be totally accurate but they work on the right type of layout and the reaction from paying people at exhibitions has been really positive. Kelvin also demands that they appear on certain occasions….and that’s good enough praise for me.

A long time ago, I acquired a Just Like the Real Thing BG coach for £50 which was a steal if you know about the prices of their kits. This particular model however, wasn’t worth much more than £5 to be honest. It looked like an inexperienced modeller had decided to assemble the main parts of the coach with impact adhesive, and this had oozed out of all the joints and ‘become one’ with the resin castings.

So it was down to me to take this mess of a coach and try and do something with it. Resolving the dry glue issue took time. Lots and lots of time. However, the patience and hard work was slowly rewarded as I ended up with a coach body which was smooth on all 4 sides. Now it was starting to be worth £50!

I primed the body and then sprayed it Olive green in readiness for use as a departmental coach. Then I changed my mind! I decided that I’d add another coach to my rake of Breakdown Support Coaches.

The coach was a rapidly re-primed and painted with a lovely deep coat of yellow to match the other 2 coaches. It then joined the great pile of unfinished models where it has sat for a number of months….until last week.

The recent Covid-19 events have provided me with the opportunity to occupy myself at home and with this situation showing no signs of moving I decided to address the pile of unfinished kits – some of which have already been mentioned on my blog.

I visited Paul Bartletts amazing collection of pictures and found the picture of a yellow BG I knew was there. It was a great side view of a BG coach in yellow with side stripes, assigned as a Breakdown Support Coach at Old Oak Common. For 50p I was able to download my own copy of this image.

My £50 also provided me with some etches to make MK1 coach bogies but there were no instructions for any other kits parts. Given my fear of all things etched I decided to acquire some more parts, these being Bogies and Frame details from EasyBuild and Heljan frame sprues via Howes Models. Now I was able to build the under frame.

I’m not sure if it was wise to use the Heljan BG as a guide, but this is what I did!

I added brake cylinders and linkage at both ends as well as the underframe supports. This shows the underneath before painting.

My previous work had attended to the door handles and the top handles of the single doors. However, the lower door handles had not been added so these were added too. I also made sure that all of these were painted white as per the prototype.

The axle box covers were also picked out in yellow, but yellow paint would not cover black so these were also painted white at the same time as the door handles. You can also see the footsteps added from plasticard – 4 each side – these were just rounded on the corners to give a worn effect.

At this stage the underframe and footsteps have been painted black. I decided to paint it all by hand. Note the reference pic on my laptop.

And so I’m now at this stage. The axle boxes have also been picked out in yellow and make a real impact. I also need to pick out the wheel rims on white. I have the strips and glazing to add and then that will be another one to put on the ‘done pile’.

Wire! Oh Wire!

It needed to be done. I know that. I just wished that someone would come along and say ‘Oh what a lovely layout, let me wire up that double slip for you’. Alas it was my layout and so I have had to bodge the electrics like all my other layouts. One day, I will get one of my layout’s electrics installed properly. Maybe DCC…NO Not yet!

So folks. It is done, it does work and despite the masses of wires trailing down from the underside, the power does seem to go from A to B and every where else required.

a rather messy layout…

The control box is a product from Grange and Hodder. It was used on my previous layout so the top was unusable. I was able to cut a piece of hardboard to size – result! – one re-used control panel. I purchased some velco strip from my local supermarket and fitted a stip of it to the top underside of the fascia. If there is a problem with the layout’s control panel I can now easily remove the section that holds the switches and replace it when I’m finished.

The above picture doesn’t really give an impression that I was making progress but at this stage, I was nearly finished.

looking a bit grubby!

The control panel will be painted or covered with sticky back plastic soon to make it look presentable but for now, I’m enjoying the opportunity to play trains with my limited set up.

I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to run some of my bigger engines on the layout and check their running through all the track work. At the moment everything is running well and I’m a happy man….

Now, what shall I do next…

That DMU isn’t finished yet…

The wife has a new hot tub…….

Back to the DMU (part II)

Well it’s been quite a week for the DMU. I’m sitting beside the instructions for the Kit and concious that there are ony a few pages of instructions left. Some of those sections are big jobs such as the painting section but I am excited by the progress made this week.

One of the first things I did after the last stages was to drill the holes for the front pipes. I was a bit apprehensive about drilling into the model, but my worries didn’t last long and drilling into the front was really easy. The pipes were really easy to install and made a huge difference to the front of the model.

I had to make some partitions which would go behind the driver. These were done and put aside for later use.

I then worked on the drivers console which was partially constructed but not finished. I had to fix some pasticard to the bottom of the partitions shown in the above pic. A drivers chair was also put in place.

The drivers console had the controls put in place and I then decided to paint it as it was a complete assembly.

You can see in one of the pictures a DMU cab I used to help me with the painting.

I’ve also made an other 10 partitions for the DMU and these have been put to one side – in the above butter container actually!. After this, I set about adding the under frame detail for the DMU trailer. I didn’t stop to take pictures as I had to concentrate so here is the one picture from that stage!

Back to the DMU!

Well it’s been quite a while since I’ve done anything to this particular project. I’d avoided the railway totally for 6 weeks at the beginning of the year due to some serious sciatica. I was then a bit apprehensive about what I did do. Some progress was made on the layout and then along came the Corona virus and social distancing. To be honest, I’ve been social distancing for years prefering to sit at home and make model trains.

Yesterday I showed you all recent wagon stock progress but I’ve also been in the garage and removed those smart blue boxes which housed my un-finished Class 105 DMU.

I’m not sure why I’ve avoided this model, I guess I’m aware of the cost of the kit and don’t want to mess it up!

SO….I re-read the instructions and familiarised myself with what I had done and what was next and in the future. Some stages were quite scary but I knew I had to give it a go. So here’s what’s happened this week so far!

THE ROOF

THE ROOF VENTILATORS CUT FROM THE SPRUE
…AND FITTED TO THE ROOF

THE WATER FEED PIPES

THE WATER FEED PIPES MADE FROM WIRE BENT INTO SHAPE AND STUCK TO ROOF
ALSO HELD IN PLACE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE END
BUFFER BEAM SUPPORT PIECES STUCK IN PLACE AT BOTH ENDS
ETCHED BRASS LAMP HOLDERS SHAPED AND BUFFERS PREPARED.
BUFFER BEAMS ADDED AT BOTH ENDS OF EACH COACH
SCREW LINKS ADDED AT BOTH ENDS OF EACH COACH

Well I didn’t do all of this in one day. I’m really pleased with the progress I’ve made and can’t wait to see it progress even more. One day it will be finished and play a prominent roll on my railway, but for now, I’ll have to imagine it’s finished.

Note the fence at the top of the wall made from coffee stirring sticks!

And that’s as far as I’ve got!

See you all soon. Keep safe and well.

Shaun

Kits, glorious Kits!

Well there’s a silver linning for some of us modellers. It means that staying at home gives us time to get on with some unfininshed projects

Let me try and think of some of the projects I’ve worked on in the last few days:

  1. Skytrex TTA (x4) These have all had their ladders added, the spratt and winkle couplings have been added and they have been sprayed black. Yet to have transfers and weathering. Pictures to follow…
  2. The Slaters Shock Abosrbing wagon has been built, sprat and winkle couplings added and painted into bauxite and black. Yet to be assembled, transfers or weathering. Pictures to follow…
  3. Slaters LMS 20t brake van now built and sprayed into bauxite, chassis painted black by hand. Roof to be painted and fixed. Transfers to source and weathering to follow.
  4. Shark Wagon. All hand rails in place, final painting to be done, transfers to follow, then weathering. I have no roof for this at the moment. Pictures to follow…
  5. HUO wagons painted with 3 shades of acrylic rust. Next stage, wipe and wash with black enamel paint and other colours airbrushed to chassis parts.

The LMS 20 ton Brake Van in its separate painted sections ready for final assembly and weathering…

HUO wagons after the first stage of the waethering process…

And then there’s the DMU! Well this has made some giant leaps in the last few days so come back soon for another update. I’ve taken lots of pics and a video!

Keep well and safe…

Best wishes

Shaun

Time to hit the Piles (of kits)!

Well last Sunday was a day to stay at home. I had suffered a bit from back pain after standing up for a few hours at the March model railway show the previous day. So Sunday was a day to take it easy. I thought that I would try and get a little modelling done so decided to make some progress on my model of the shark wagon.

The above picture shows the Shark in its gray primer. It was painted olive green using my airbrush and that was as far as I got. My dear wife then caught the model which was on a shelf and a few pieces broke off.

So with a few hours available I fixed the wagon and put it back together. I decided that I would try and sort the handrails out. I managed to find enough wire to complete the job but only just!. Despite painting the wagon, I have managed to get some super glue on the olive green paint. I have started to remove this with a glass fibre brush. The wagon will then have another thing coat of paint before painting the handrails white. It will be varnished with a gloss varnish by Railmatch before adding the transfers which I have already obtained from Railtec. I really think this is going to make a nice little model to accompany the Sealion wagons.

I then decided to start another of the un-finished (or in this case un-started) kits. This is not my picture of a Slater’s shock absorbing van but mine should be finished to look something like this.

I started the model as advised, by assembling the sprung buffers. I then assembled the couplings and in my case, a Spratt and Winkle hook and link assembly. This was as far as I got as I was then instructed to clear my mess up! Oh well, I guess there’s another day! I will take some pictures of this, but at the moment there’s not much to show you.

I really must look at that DMU…

See you soon.

Shaun

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.

Shaun

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!

Shaun

Around the world in two days!

The thing about writing a new blog is you want to see if anyone actually looks at it. So I was rather excited to see if someone had actually looked at the humble beginnings of my new blog.

I couldn’t quite believe it. Visitors from the UK, USA and Australia! That’s quite cool and amazing to think that someone, somewhere in another part of the world could be looking at my modelling efforts.

Well thank you whoever you are and please come back and visit again!

 

Shaun