Archive for the ‘2014’ category

Something rather different

December 12, 2014

As mentioned in my last post I visited the model railway show at Bishops Cleeve last Saturday and whilst changing buses in Swindon on the way north I had time for a quick scoot round the shops. Or rather I had a look in the model shop window between visiting the cash point and returning to the bus station, but a seed was planted.

I’ve long loved the workhorse of the RAF transport fleet, the venerable Lockheed C-130 Hercules, having watched them in the local skies all of my life. I see them less now they have moved from nearby Lyneham to Brize Norton, and sadly all the old K model craft have now been withdrawn, but still that classic shape is something special as it flies over.

But there is something new in the sky, something I have heard 3 times so far, but have yet to see. The new addition is the first of a fleet of 22 Airbus A400M aircraft which arrived at Brize Norton a few weeks back, and it was a plastic kit for one of these which got my attention in the shop window last Saturday.


With a long Christmas break from work looming, and following some internet research I am now the owner of two model aircraft kits. Arriving first was the massive A400M, followed today by the smaller (albeit to the same scale) Hercules. I chose the older C-130K Hercules, so technically its not correct to display that alongside the new A400M, but what the heck, the K was long part of my life, much as I think the A400 is set to become.


I have yet to settle on which to build first, I need to source RAF decals for the A400M, while for the Hercules I need to decide whether to go for the classic (but challenging) early 1980’s camouflage livery or the later drab mono-colour. But whichever way I decide to proceed, I am looking forward to something rather different on my modelling bench.


Now I do want these…

November 22, 2014

It had to happen, sooner or later someone was going to announce that they had one in development. Unloved, slow, noisy, smoky, bland and apart from a late 1970’s version, completely missing from the ready-to-run model scene, the humble and humdrum BR Suburban DMMU.

But riding to the rescue, making that characteristic farting noise and trailing plumes of blue exhaust, come Kernow Models who have commissioned DJ Models to produce 3 car class 116, 117 AND 118 units.


Picture: Kernow Models, via RMWeb

The specification of the new model is certainly impressive from the details already revealed, and I am certainly looking forward to these being released.

And the timing of the announcement is excellent, as my money had been hovering over the APT-E and the Hattons King. Both will no doubt be excellent models, but neither have a place on any layout I own or plan, likewise the GWR steam railmotor, also announced by Kernow/DJ Models today (although that one might be too hard to resist) they would be pure indulgence. Nothing wrong with that, but how much better something which can run on one of my layouts!

So, what should I pre-order? Which class or classes? How many? And will they come with the blinds down behind the cab?


A very interesting project

November 21, 2014

Having recently blogged about my purchase (OK, pre-order) of a model steam loco which I didn’t know I wanted here is a project which is of no interest at all to me. It’s the wrong scale (it’s N, I model OO), it’s the wrong era (it’s current, I model the 1970s) and I don’t even like the train they are modelling.

But it is a project I am following very closely!


Why? Well it’s because it is a “kick-starter” scheme, something new to the UK model railway scene. In essence rather than a manufacturer deciding to make a model, designing it, making it and then selling it through retailers, with a kick-starter any one interested pledges to buy 1 (or more) and if sufficient funds are raised the organisers go to their chosen manufacturer and say “make X thousand of these for us”.

If successful it could start a whole new direction for the hobby, opening up a whole new way of getting the models we want. I hope it succeeds.

To find out more, click here.


“Private and not for publication”

November 8, 2014

For some time now I have been working on a project to write timetable for Mortimore’s Yard. Obviously much of the background was thought out long ago when the layout was first conceived, but this project has meant that much more of the detail has had to be worked out, much more “history” written and “geography” mapped out.

I’m gradually approaching the conclusion of the project now, and will hopefully soon be running the layout to the timetable, with a purpose, rather than just shunting trains and wagons about on a whim, or at best a vague idea of where consignments are travelling from and to.

As part of this project I have been trying to develop a few facsimile working documents, based on those used on the real railway, documents which were always branded with the severe instruction that they are “Private and Not for Publication”

So here is an extract of the appropriate Working Time Table:


There is still some work to do, (more…)

Dishing the dirt

October 10, 2014

I have a confession to make. Usually when I am weathering my locos and stock I go for a “generic” look. While you get over that shock, I should perhaps explain that I don’t go for the “general grot” often used by the RTR manufactures (but which is now seemingly being consigned to history). I will, of course, get a collection of photos of what ever type of vehicle it is that I’m working on. So, my class 50 is in the deplorable filthy oily state that was typical of them in their early years on the Western Region. I have removed the “D” from the number as is correct for 402, and the front jumper cables are in their dark grey (now thought to be unpainted casting) state. But I cannot say that 402 was ever in the oily state that I have modelled it, but I hope that it is typical of its type, and so it may have looked like that at one point.

There is a fine line, I suppose, between “right” and “wrong”. Take my two tone green class 47 for example. (more…)

…the cupboard was bare…

September 7, 2014

Times, they are a changing! In recent years we’ve been used to plenty of models to buy. There was seemingly an endless supply of whatever we wanted. OK, not quite everything, but the shelves in the shops were feeling the strain. And it wasn’t just locos, coaches and wagons aplenty, oh no, there were new ranges of “ready to plant” buildings, and road vehicles in big enough quantities to model the M25 with ease. These were definitely the good times, although little did we know it at the time.

Stocked to the roof

Stock, stacked right to the roof



July 11, 2014

This blog is in response to a couple of comments on the RMWeb forum which got me thinking.

The builder of a layout I’d been following commented that he’d not had much time to progress the latest building for the layout, as, among other ‘family duties,’ he’d had to take his son to and from Explorer Scouts. Now, don’t get me wrong, there was no sense that the layout builder was in anyway disapproving of his son’s activities, nor indeed complaining about the need to taxi him, but this statement, and the several subsequent supportive responses got me thinking.

If you follow my ramblings here you’ll well know that I am easily distracted. After all when did I last have anything much to report on my own layout projects?

But are distractions a problem? Is a lack of visible progress an issue? Some people no doubt await the next forum post about a particular layout with great anticipation, and sure there are projects on RMWeb which I enjoy following, and an update is always welcome.

The River Avon

I will admit that I am feeling fairly enthused for model railways at the moment, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m building anything! In fact when I read the forum post mentioned above I’d just got in from a couple of hours kayaking on the local river, and was catching up on the Forum while having a cup of tea before settling down to finalising plans for leading tonight’s Explorer Scout meeting. (more…)