Tuesday, 23 October 2018


Locos and stock dusted-off for running session.

Much of my locomotives and rolling stock live for long periods in storage as I seldom have the space and time to set up my layouts and give them a good run. Therefore, it's always welcome when I'm offered access to other folks' larger layouts, allowing the locos to stretch their legs, so to speak. A recent visit to my chum James' 'gaff' saw a bunch of my 1960s-era green diesels trundling up and down his layout, shunting a bunch of my kit-built coal and general merchandise wagons. 

With so many of my modelling acquaintances having succumbed to the draw of digital control, it's a relief when I can still turn up with my analogue stock and not spend ages scratching my head wondering how on earth I get the things to move. Just plonk the train on the track, turn the knob and off we go... who needs all that techno crap?!?!

Thursday, 18 October 2018

LNER 'TOAD B', Part 3

Brake van almost ready for service.

The finishing process proved to be swift and efficient, with the BR freight grey airbrushed lightly over a black undercoat, thus preserving a degree of shading between the planks and within recessed areas. This gave me a head start on the weathering, with general misted layers of 'dirt' following. There's a few minor touches to add yet, such as scuffs and burnishing, and I've yet to install the three-link couplings. Oh, and the glazing needs to be installed to the verandah windows and look-out duckets. To expedite matters, I'll probably employ a liquid glazing solution, not least at the apertures are safely out of the reach of fingers. 

I employed a pack of Modelmaster decals, designed expressly for this Parkside kit, with Micro Sol and Set solutions required to persuade the decal film to settle into the plank detail. Simply brushing the Micro Sol onto the damp decal and leaving the model for a few hours is all that's required, before working on the other side.

This LNER 'Toad B' will add some welcome variety to my fleet of 1960s-era freight brake vans and will look particularly apt at the rear of departmental/engineers trains. 

Monday, 15 October 2018

LNER 'TOAD B', Part 2

Plastic kit built and primed.

Thanks to the dire weather over much of the weekend, I managed to finish assembly of this old Parkside kit of an LNER 'Toad B', adding extra details, such as the roof vents, a new stove chimney, plus the chassis, complete with extra brake and sanding pipes. 

A quick misting of grey primer followed this morning, which has revealed a few surface imperfections which will need tidying up before the painting stage gets under way. Given the amount of filler required to tidy up the joints between most components, this isn't surprising. Indeed, I'm wishing that I'd primed the model before adding any of the new, delicate details, making the job of fettling the surface that bit easier.... you live and learn!

Oh well, progress has been swift, which is important to me these days and I'm really looking forward to seeing the wagon in its tatty British Railways uniform...

Brass wire and old steel guitar strings form the brake rodding and safety hoops, as well as the sanding pipes.
Due to the amount of filler required to make the joints between the sides and ends tidy, the vague moulded corner strapping was obliterated. Replacing it with thin brass strip with raised rivet heads, however, has created a much more realistic aspect.  

Friday, 12 October 2018


Parkside kit under construction.

With the nights beginning to draw in, I've been working on a few plastic rolling stock kits in the evenings, trying to clear some of the mountain of un-built wagons that are clogging up the attic. This particular OO gauge Parkside kit is an interesting one, offering plenty of potential for super-detailing and installing some important missing features. The kit (PC14) dates back a fair few years and portrays an LNER 'Toad B' goods brake van. Indeed, I must have had it in stock for at least a decade and I believe that it was discontinued a few years back, probably due to the age of the tooling. 

Anyway, I built one of these in my early twenties and wasn't totally satisfied with the outcome, so resolved to do a better job this time around. Therefore, the sand hoppers on the verandah bulkheads have been detailed and lots of the vague or missing moulded surface relief replaced with brass strip and wire. I've also crafted some tiny, hinged safety bars for the verandah sides, plus a stout set of whitemetal heavy duty buffers, to match a prototype image I found online. 

Next jobs include adding a set of roof vents, building the chassis frames, wheeling-up and adding extra brake gear.