Having arrived home from the Warley Model Railway show at the NEC late last night, it was a struggle to get up for work this morning! I've got that aching in the legs that comes with being on your feet for two full days. It's not so bad if you're moving around but standing still is not so good for you.
Anyway, it was a good show in many respects. The Model Rail stand was busy with readers' enquiries, subscriptions being taken and limited edition models selling well. Our lovely ViTrains DRS Class 47 (Craftsman) arrived in time and proved popular. I'm tempted to obtain one myself - the livery application is excellent.
There were a many fine layouts, although I only managed a few quick glimpses of these on the Sunday and I'm sure there was much that I missed, especially the large-scale stuff and the Continental 'zone'.
After deliberating over which models to take for the Model Rail display stand, I opted for a range of steam, electric and diesel including the 9F from the current MR issue, a Duchess City of Edinburgh, a couple of WD locos, DB SChenker 37419 and a Hornby Class 86 in 1970s condition.
The '86' proved a topical choice as Heljan had test mouldings from its upcoming OO model of the AL6 and it proved an interesting comparison.
My model is based on an early Hornby release - a late 1980s production run - in InterCity livery, albeit with a new 5-pole motor unit obtained as a spare. I had intended to fit Ultrascale wheels but haven't yet got round to that.
Quite a few visitors passed favourable comment on my '86', which is always nice to hear and I even had a few firm offers of cash for it! However, it was always my childhood ambition to build a WCML layout with catenary as I grew up watching 81s, 83s, 85s, 86s and 87s on everything from local freight trips to expresses, especially around Warrington Yard and I still harbour such an ambition, albeit in more modest form.
Therefore, my small collection of West Coast electrics (a pair of 87s as well as this 86) may soon increase, depending on how good the Heljan 86 turns out. By looking at the test models, it's looking pretty good so far.
The model of 86008 appears briefly in my book on diesel & electric loco detailing, althoug the full detailing project will hopefully appear in Model Rail sometime in 2010.
Talking of Heljan, I also picked up more exquisite etches from Shawplan's Extreme Etchings range, one of which is a set of radiatir fans and grilles for the Danish firm's Clayton. I've had my eye on a green one but have been waiting for the power unit issues to be resolved. HAving heard plenty of positive comments, I reckon I shall be parting with a few bob as soon as pay day arrives!
Mind you, having had a good chin wag with my predecessor at MR, Darren Sherwood-Jones, on the Just Like the Real Thing stand at Warley, I'm sorely tempted to dabble with one of Mr Waterman's diesel loco kits. Darren's blue Class 20 was superb, especially the weathering. Look out for it in MR soon. The JLTRT kits look a pleasure to build and the new 12t box vans on show looked equally impressive. On my modest budget, I reckon the rolling stock is all that Mrs D will allow me to stretch to!