My mini MPD-themed diorama-cum-layout that I hurriedly built for display at the recent Model Rail Live show is now back at home, with much development work planned over the next few weeks, not least a replacement of the backscene with a more appropriate industrial theme. I'd made a real mess of sticking the original 'hills and dales' backing on in my haste, with lots of lumps, bumps and smudged ink from using PVA glue instead of a dry adhesive like double-sided tape (which I think I'll be using next time).

Anyway, I'm just waiting on the new backscene sheets to arrive from Gaugemaster and, with those fitted, the buildings can be tweaked and finished, another big chimney added and many other missing small details, such as the MPD interior fittings.

In the meantime, I've been detailing and weathering a selection of modern traction to work on the layout. The idea is to have the depot as anything from an EWS/DBS, Freightliner, DRS or late BR installation, with just a swapping of signage, road vehicles and locomotives to set each scenario apart. I'm already well blessed with EWS and BR traction, along with a fair few DRS machines. However, I've only a Freightliner 08 to my name, so I may have to dip into my pocket for a 66 or two, plus a 57. I fancy a 70 too, when they arrive from Bachmann.

The Bachmann 66 really rewards some gentle weathering, with the highly detailed bodyshell and chassis coming to life.

The EWS livery has been around for ages now, but DBS seem in no hurry to get rid of it.

The DRS Compass scheme suits the outline of the 66s well (I'm not so keen on it when applied to the 20s or 37s).

I was meant to be stripping this 66 to repaint into Colas livery but have decided to keep it and buy another donor loco for the that job.


  1. Hi George,
    not really related to your post I'm afraid, but wondered if you knew where transfers are available for the cambrian whale and walrus wagons in departmental liveries (c. 1985). Am struggling to find any. Hope it is ok to ask?

  2. No worries - always happy to help..!
    Have you tried Modelmaster Decals? They do a number of packs specifically for Cambrian wagon kits. I've just had a look at www.modelmasterdecals.com and the pack 4867 is the one for you - it covers a range of BR Engineers wagons up to c1990. However, it's listed as out of print at the moment, but you might pick one up from a model shop or at a show. Either that or give Mr Modelmaster a Email and maybe he'll run off a new batch!

    All the best,

  3. Hi George,

    thanks for your help with this.
    It honestly drives me mad when great kits come out, but without suitable transfers, or transfers that are poorly signposted in the instructions!!

    Thanks again,

  4. Hi George,
    further to last comment, I did e-mail modelmaster decals. They are about to release some new decal sets. They did not provide exact details, but the gist of it is they will cover some of the new releases, such as the walrus, whale, lamprey, crab, etc. We have had a number of brilliant new engineering wagons released recently, and maybe we will have some decals to suit as well!

  5. Hi George,
    i am an amateur weatherer and i would like to ask your opinion of something. Do you think its better to leave windows clean on a med/heavily weathered loco or make 'em dirty and clean the bits only the wipers can reach?
    All the best,

  6. Hi William,
    Weathering windows is down to personal preference. Often, drivers and shed staff would keep their windscreens and side windows clean to aid their visibility. Others wouldn't, so it pays to have a look at prototype images before making a decision. Specific freight workings would create more dirt than others (especially those involving running through overhead loading facilities at collieries, cement works etc).

    Just remember that once the paint is on the clear plastic glazing, it's very difficult to remove, so make your decision before you start the weathering job!



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