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…….

Another one for the ‘Done’ pile!

With my my desire to complete some unfinished projects showing no signs of slowing up, my attention turned to some buildings. The signal box and station building have been at the ‘nearly finished’ status for ages. however, the had not been given enough time to call them finished until last week.

Many laser cut buildings supply strips of roof cut tiles but I find them too regular and like cut my own from grey card purchased from an art supplies shop. This is cut into strips and then cut into squares.

the front of the station showing the ros of tiles being added

The station now needs some weathering and station signage. I’m currently working on this in Corel Draw. You may be able to spot from the pictires that th chimney pots were added and some Evergreen half circle moulding was added to the top of the roof and painted to match the colour of the slates.

I then turned my attention to the Signal Box. This had been in an ‘amost finished’ state for quite a long time. It had already been weathered, however, it had not been glazed and the roof had not been fixed on permanently. With the main signal box windows facing the operator and no hint of a view inside from the ‘punters’ side, I decided not to install any of the signal box interior detailing kits available. Here is the signal box with all the final jobs done.

Now, what to do next…

Back to the DMU (III)

Well now that I’ve been joined at home by my other half and son, my rapid modelling through the day time has been curtailed a bit.

There has been some progress to the DMU but some of the recent stages have been a little bit slower.

I had to assemble some more partitions from brass etched sections and wire. I could have soldered these, but I’m a bit rubbish with a soldering iron so I glued them using a drop of cyano glue.

10 of these were made – 5 for each coach.

I then continued to fix white metal castings to both coaches to represent the engines, tanks and other equipement required by the DMU. It was really exciting to see these pieces being added as the model became more and more life-like. I also noted that the models also became quite heavy!

white metal castings for the under frame details
the buffers will be added after the model is painted.

Well there maybe just a few more details to add externally before I start making lots of chairs to go inside the DMU. These will need some seated passengers and a driver which I have given some thought to. I will also start cleaning up the exterior of the model using suoer fine emery paper and/or a fibre glass brush.

And finally…

In other news, my Shark wagon has had its handrails painted white. Having ruined the roof part which was supplied, I still need to finish this by fashioning a roof from plasticard. I’ve also remembered that I do need to paint the blades at each end a more rusty and dirty colour.

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!





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.


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


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.


Beware the Ides of March…

Well it was with a little bit of doubt that we set off for the March 2020 Model Railway show from our respective homes. Unfortunately John and Jaeson were unable to join us due to ill health – no not that problem! That virus was a talking point throughout the day…but we talked about trains too!

I was aked to bring a few items of stock by Kelvin and they were commented on by a number of people.

I was able to bring my 3 (almost finished) Sealion/Seacow hopper wagons. I have applied Sealion transfers so I will need to add brake cylinders one end. I was waiting for some parts for this final bit of work has yet to be done. Once this is done I shall add some more rust to the wagons as they did become very rusty in their lifetimes.

The Shark wagon pictured below was made by Graham from an etched brass kit and painted/weathered by Kelvin. I also have a shark wagon to add to my fleet, this being a 3d printed example. I shall finish mine in Olive Green to suit the era of my layout. and the rest of its stock.

The snowploughs were added to the stock for today and were a popular item on the layout promping a number of discussions. I do need to give them a small dusting with a matt/satin varnish to hidde the gloss varnish that was added prior to the application of the Transfers.

So we had a great time running some items that have been made which other people might not have – we like to have somethings that are a bit different…

This was a show where I was a part of…

See you soon


Ready for the Snow!

Or should it be Ready for the Show. My 2 MM1/JLTRT Snowploughs have been sitting around uncompleted for too long. With Morlock Heath being exhibited this weekend at March, Kelvin insisted that the snowploughs made an appearance and so there was a sense of urgency to get them completed.

As you can see from the above picture, the snowploughs have been to Morlock Heath before, but not in their completed state.

Well this Saturday coming, they will be finished with some decals by Fox transfers and Railtec transfers too.

I just hope I can get some satin varnish sprayed over the decals to seal them in. If you’re near March, Cambridgeshire on March 14th, come along to the show and say hello to me and members of our group.


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