Friday, 13 July 2018


Rose Grove's 45447 ready for service.

The hand-painted 10F shedcode and mis-matched headlamps were eye-catching details from a number of prototype images of 45447, which lasted almost to the very end of BR steam in 1968.

My Hornby 'Black Five' project is now complete, with the finished model photographed and ready for active service. I'm chuffed with the outcome, especially as I veered from my usual detailing methods in a couple of areas. The rivetted front bufferbeam - created using waterslide rivet strips - is particularly satisfying, as are the scratchbuilt cylinder covers and drain pipes.

I could have gone a bit further with a few elements, such as the weathering and the addition of a few other small detail fittings. But overall, I think it's turned out OK. You can see the full demo - along with an extended article on the Stanier 5MT 4-6-0s - in the next issue of Model Rail magazine (Issue 251), on sale 2nd August.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018


1:24 Revell kit offers an interesting challenge.

I like a break from railway modelling from time to time, as working in different modelling disciplines and scales brings its own challenges and rewards. During the recent severe winter, with deep snow drifts and severe freezing conditions, I got used to seeing the local council's snowploughs and gritting lories passing each day. Having seen Revell's 1:24 scale kit of a Mercedes Unimog snowplough/gritter on a model shop shelf, it seemed like an appropriate project to build over the summer months(!).

Having recently made a start on the kit, it's clear that it's going to take quite a bit of work. The moulds are getting on a bit now, especially for the older core of the kit - the chassis - with lots of flash and seams to clear up and copious sink marks to fill and tidy. Sometimes such remedial work can kill your initial enthusiasm for a build project, as progress can be slow and tedious. However, the fact that I'm planning on spending just an hour or two at a time on this should stop me going round the twist. Or at least that's what I'm saying now.... maybe I'll think differently a few weeks down the line...

So, what progress has been made after the first few sessions? Not much, in truth. The engine parts needed lots of filing and sanding, then filling and more sanding after assembly. The same goes for the main chassis frames. Looks like I'll have to resign myself to spending time cleaning up each and every component before fitting, as well as addressing gaps and ill-fitting parts. But hey, it gives me something to do while I listen to the World Cup on the wireless...

Friday, 6 July 2018


Model receives it's new identity.

With most of the detailing work out of the way, my Hornby 'Black Five' has gained a new set of numbers and BR crests, courtesy of Fox Transfers. Taking on the guise of 45447, a loco that worked out of Rose Grove shed in 1968, right the way through to August, it seemed like an ideal subject for the end-of-steam anniversary theme.

A full demo of the detailing work will appear in issue 251 of Model Rail magazine, on sale 2nd August. Also, you may want to check out Steam Railway magazine's new special publication, Fifty Glorious Years - a lavishly-illustrated look at the twilight of BR steam and the birth of the preservation movement.

Fine copper wires add even greater realism to Comet Models' replacement mechanical lubricators.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018


 End-of-steam flavour for latest loco project.

This August marks the 50th anniversary of the end of steam on British Railways and, to commemorate this event, Model Rail magazine will be running a Masterclass feature on the iconic LMS 'Black Five' 4-6-0 - a pre-war design that lasted right until the final day of mainline steam.

It's been a while since I last tackled a heavy detailing project on a steam locomotive - in fact I can't remember off the top of my head what/when the last one was... a War Department 8F?? It's even longer since I last worked on a Hornby 'Black 5'. Ten years, in fact, since reproducing 45110 for the 40th anniversary of steam's demise!

Anyway, with another Hornby model in hand, I decided on a slightly different approach to my last foray into LMS Class 5s. Back in 2008 I employed the excellent Brassmasters detailing kit, designed especially for the Hornby model. However, to avoid going over the same ground again, I've been employing a number of Comet Models bits and pieces, plus a good dose of old-fashioned scratch-building, just to make it a bit more fun.

Detailing parts from Comet, new bogie wheels from Alan Gibson and transfers from Fox have been stockpiled for this project.