Normally, all but the messiest of modelling tasks are undertaken in my study/workshop, which is a nice, warm room in the house. Layout building, scenics and airbrushed painting/weathering tends to be confined to the outdoor shed, where I don't have to worry about spilling paint or filling the air with fumes.

However, the recent extremely cold weather has been playing havoc with my water-based glues, paints and thinners, with some having frozen solid and been rendered useless. Besides, it's just too darn cold to be working out in the shed, even with the heater switched on, so my painting station has temporarily moved to the dining table. This means spending time putting down newspaper, protecting the furniture and floor and then moving it all again at meal times. There's also the camera and lighting (for the magazine step-by-step images) to move around. Not ideal.

Another problem is the lack of ventilation, so solvent-based paints are out of favour for the time being. The most annoying aspect is that I've been back to the shed about 12 times this afternoon to get certain small tools or consumables that I thought I'd brought in. And that means having to don wellies and a coat to get through the snow.

But enough of the moaning, as I can tick another outstanding job off my list: the DB Class 103 Co-Co electric (or 'lekkie' as we Liverpudlians call them) pictured above. This little Lima beauty belongs to Ben Jones and I've been enhancing it for him, including looking at how to introduce a 'faded' shade of the DB red - a principle that can be translated to any livery. See Model Rail International for more details... out on Feb 25th.

All that's left to do is reassemble the pantographs, strip the masking off the windows and touch in a few bits and bobs. I may do that tonight while I listen to Liverpool's cup replay, if I can do it with one hand (the fingers of my other hand will be firmly crossed!).


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