Sunday, 17 November 2019

Charlton at the Brighton MRC Exhibition

I have just completed two days of exhibiting on my own at the Brighton MRC exhibition.  This is a great little show.  The members of Brighton MRC are very friendly and it was a pleasure to be invited along.  The show is very family orientated and it was fantastic to see lots of young aspiring modellers watching the trains go by.   Charlton performed near faultlessly, although I have a small list of repairs to make, namely one dodgy wire and replacing a station lamp.  Other than this all good.  The new class 47 performed fantastically well, as did the new class 33 - both had a good run out today.  A very pleasurably, if not slightly knackering, two days!

The layout almost set up on Friday evening - the weekend has literally flown by!

And the new class 47 on the layout - I am really pleased with how this one turned out!

Monday, 11 November 2019

Class 47 with Howes DCC sound, plus Brighton Model Railway exhibition this weekend

Over the last week I grabbed the odd hour here and there to put the class 47 back together, a job that did not take too long.  This is a quick update and I will write a more detailed post on this project soon, with some detailed snaps taking during the painting of the locomotive.  However, with the layout in storage, getting a quick photograph with a good background is difficult.  Thus I took a quick snap of it tonight on my work bench alongside a quick test run of the sound chip.  The verdict - overall I am pretty happy with this one - it looks and sounds great.  You are never quite sure how the locomotive will look until it is sat on a layout with the scenery providing the context - but looking at the quick snaps of it tonight I think this one is looking the part, with the caveat that the lighting in the model room is pretty awful.  I think I purchased this locomotive during 2010 ofr £50 - so it is fantastic to see it finally sorted out and ready to use.

Class 47 finished!

The reassembly of the locomotive was the normal heart in the mouth moment, trying not to damage the paintwork - however it all went back together reasonably smoothly.  The sound chip is Howes and this is definitely another belter from them.  Finishing the locomotive last week meant that it is now available to run on the layout this weekend, when I am exhibiting Charlton at the Brighton Model Railway Exhibition (  I will attempt to take some proper photographs of it then.  It is great to have a new locomotive to use and this will be on the rosta alongside the recently finished class 33.  The class 25 and class 22 will be making up the rest of the motive power - so if you are about please come along and say hello.  

A quick test run of the DCC  chip: verdict - I think this sounds great!

Thursday, 31 October 2019

A class 33 with Howes DCC sound

Several years ago I finished the detailing on a Heljan class 33/2, and at the time I was really pleased with the weathered finished I had achieved.  It was one of the first models I had finished that several years later I am still reasonably happy with.  Bar a few knocks and scrapes on the model, the weathered finish has held up well and it has happily run on my layouts.  The recent destruction of the class 45 at an exhibition meant that I was an engine light in the rolling stock rota, so I thought I would treat this class 33 to a sound upgrade. A nice quick easy job or at least so I thought at the time!

Micro-speaker plus the removed fuel tanks.

A snug fit!

The issue was the lack of space for a speaker in the body.  So I took off the fuel tanks, removed the partition and glued the two halves back together.  I also drilled holes in the bottom of it to let the sound out.  There still was not a lot of room, so I ordered a micro-speaker from Road and Rails and ran the wires up past the bogie tower.  This seemed to work well, leaving only a simple solder up of the speaker wires before plugging the chip in.

Back together, with the holes drilled to let the sound out.

Even up close the speaker wires are not visible.

I ran the speaker wires above the bogie and through the bogie tower.  These were then soldered onto the speaker wires from the sound chip.

I have not set the layout up yet since adding the sound chip.  So I did a test run on a temporary track.  The verdict, as with all Howes sounds chips - it sounds fantastic.  So hopefully not does it only look the part, but it now sounds the part too.

Test run - I think this sounds great!

The class 47 project has not made any progress unfortunately, life has been a bit pushed in the last few weeks.  However, I have the Brighton exhibition coming up in mid November so it will be ready for then - it just needs to be reassembled and have the speaker and sound chip added.  I have also just ordered a new Hymek and goods shed for the next layout.....I just need a little more apologies for the lack of updates recently and I hope to get some more modelling time over the next few weeks!

Saturday, 5 October 2019

BR Blue class 47 heading for completion

Over the last few months I have intermittently been working on a the detailing/weathering of a class 47.  This is the Bachmann model, one of the earliest 21 pin releases, with a 4 letter head code.  The last one of these I did I filed down the window rivets, although on some 47 photographs these do seem pronounced so I have left them on this one.  

Finished weathering on the body - this is shaping up nicely....

The model still has a way to go until completion, but the main body weathering is finished.  The bogies need finishing off and I am yet to order the sound chip, another job for today. I need to reassemble the body and add the glazing back in before adding the speaker and the chip.  So in all optimism I should get this finished next weekend and I am quite happy with how it is looking at the moment.  A few other models are nearing completion too, so hopefully I will have a range of new stock for the next exhibition.

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Some engineers wagons: walrus, lamprey, python, lamprey and herring

A bit more travelling around transpired in September, curtailing any dedicated modelling time.  However, through summer I have been building the odd wagon kit here and there.  I really do not need any more, but I do enjoy building and then painting wagons; there is something very satisfying about seeing them run on the layout.  So first up is a GWR python wagon.  Not an obvious choice for a BR blue 1970s/80s layout, but I am going to give it a really grubby bauxite finish for use in the engineers department.  In my opinion this kit was really awkward to build and I need to get some primer over it to see how it looks.  This will be accompanied by a GWR mink D.  The mink D will also run with the engineers stock and is only partly constructed.  

The finished GWR python wagon, ready for painting.  I found this kit tricky to build and get the sides square to the floor.

The GWR MinkD - this kit is a dream to build!

I have also made a start on a couple of walrus wagons, the first of which just needs some buffers and a few little details to finish it off.  The second walrus wagon is a long way off finished and I am just about to start a SR hopper too, to run with these wagons.  There is also a lamprey wagon I finished a couple of months ago.  On this wagon I tried to make some better handrails and I am quite pleased with this turned out.  The herring wagon is the Cambrian kit, which for some reason is now hard to come by.  This build has stalled a little, whilst I try to get my head around where all the bits go. There is also a partially constructed SR 15t brake van and a GWR Fruit D waiting in the wings, to go into the parcels stock.  This is going to be my final parcels wagon (I need to stop!).

First walrus wagon; just buffers and handrails to go.

Second walrus wagon.  This requires a bit more filling and sanding before adding the rest of the detailing parts.

A finished lamprey wagon, ready for painting.

The partially constructed herring wagon.  This is a really small hopper, but was seen on the Tarka Line working Meldon quarry in the 1970s.

Over the next few weeks I should finish the majority of these kit builds off.  This will give me some painting projects for the winter months.  I cleaned up and used the airbrush today for the first time today in several weeks and got a varnish coat on the class 47.  This will get a DCC sound chip next week and should be finished in the next couple of weeks.  There are a number of other wagons that are nearing completion in the paint boxes, so hopefully I can maintain a little momentum with these projects.  My next exhibition is in November and it will be great to have some new stock to run then.

Sunday, 8 September 2019

An 0 gauge SPV

In between working on the 00 gauge Charlton layout, I have been very slowly building some 0 gauge wagons.  I have finished a grampus and a 12t open wagon, to which I can now add an SPV wagon.  Like with the 00 gauge layout, I intend to build a small 0 gauge parcels train.  The kit for this is the Parkside kit and it it went together beautifully.  The painting was quite straight forward too, however, the transfers were a nightmare!! They had a yellowish tinge/backing after being placed on the wagon, which after all the hard work of painting left me feeling a little a deflated.

The finished SPV in 0 gauge.

Side view, showing a generic dirty finish.

This was weathered over the top of to blend in this aberration.  Overall, the wagon has become a little dirty and generic, far from what I was originally intending when I started off painting it.  I am not particularly happy with it now, but at least it is a running wagon that I can add to the layout when I finally get around to building it! So a 6/10 effort here, hopefully the next one will be better!

During painting.

The transfers left a nasty yellowish tinge after application.  It looks like silvering, but I am convinced it is the glue on the transfers.

Monday, 26 August 2019

SPV finished for parcels traffic

Several years ago I committed to building a rake of parcels wagons for use on my layouts.  Since that time I have built far too many wagons to cram into the small layouts that I operate.  During a phase of kit building I constructed three SPV wagons, sometime in 2015, and I have finally got around to finishing off the last of these three!  The SPV wagons are ex fish wagons and are built from the Parkside kits.  These kits are really simple to build and produce a great looking wagon. I constructed them as per the instructions except white metal buffers from Lanarkshire and 3 link couplings.

Another SPV on a parcels train at Charlton.

A short parcels trains, consisting of: A Bachmann CCT, Prrkside LMS CCT, Parkside SPV, Hornby SPV.

The kit was finished as per normal using an airbrush and Railmatch enamels paints.  I took time to blend in various shades of weathered BR blue.  The weathering is relatively light on the wagon, providing a contrast to other parcels stock I have finished. The transfers are Model Master, sourced from whatever odds and ends I had lying around.  This was all sealed up with some satin varnish.

The Hornby SPV and Parkside SPV at the end of the train.

So the summer jaunts of travelling around are coming to an end and I'm settling down to consider what I want to model this winter.  I have decided to have a go at another small layout - it is probably best not to describe this as a micro layout.  I am ordering the baseboards this week and hope to complete it in around 6 months.  In the mean time I am going to keep weathering some milk tankers, as the layout is set around a small station with a milk loading facility, in North Devon.  I will have this to build as well as plenty of other projects to keep me busy over the coming months.