Friday, 21 January 2011

Books, Kits and Lima 31s


Some enjoyable light reading for these long dark nights...


Since returning from my week's holiday, I've started to read some of the many books that I bought whilst away. Some old, some new, none particularly blue.... Ahem.

Well, amongst the haul was a fabulous collection of b&w images of colliery-based steam traction in the '70s and '80s from GT Heavyside which is already providing lots of inspiration for my colliery layout extension. Also, there's a good few shots of NCB Giesel ejector-fitted Austerity 0-6-0STs, one of which I've started to recreate using the Hornby model as a basis. What a find, and all for the princely sum of £1 from the FoSCL shop on Settle station! It's a bit tattered (being ex-Leeds library stock) but it's all intact.


A new volume that I came across in a different Settle outlet was Airfix Kits by Trevor Pask, just recently published by Shire. This is a good read and, despite only being about 50 pages long, it contains plenty of info on the famous plastic kits, including the railway-themed products, many of which are still available from Dapol. Not as comprehensive as some of the books on the same subject by Arthur Ward, Pask's volume does at least come right up to date with details of the brand's acquisition by Hornby. There are also plenty of nostalgic images of kits and their packaging, bringing back memories of models that I built in childhood and adolescence.


When I got home, one of the first things I had to do was pop over to the Royal Mail depot to pick up a package from ModelHobbies, containing a bunch of plastic kits that I'd treated mydelf to. A quick look at their website (www.modelhobbies.co.uk) often results in me parting with money...


Two of the kits that I ordered are of Russian WW2 subjects, both railborne military vehicles.
Destined for use on my embryonic wartime North African layout, a number of tanks, armoured cars and the new Airfix Bedford troop carrier have been added to my 'to build' pile. Additionally, so has a pair of Russian railbourne vehicles - one an armoured car and the other a wagon fitted with anti-aircraft guns - although these are something of an indulgence and not strictly accurate for my region. But, I like the look of them and, what the hell - it's my layout...

On a different subject, coincidence has seen three different MR readers sending in requests for info about modelling the humble Class 31. To illustrate one of my replies, I dug out this old timer from my collection. I bought this Lima 31 on my 15th birthday from Hattons. I can remember the day clearly, not least as we ended up in nasty car crash on the way home! Funnliy enough, this model emerged completely unscathed despite being thrown around a fair bit and, over the years has been repainted and re-detailed too many times to keep track of. I know it started out in Railfreight red stripe livery, named Phillips Imperial, if I remember rightly.
Anyway, in its current guise, it's as an early 70s condition D5658 and the detailing uupgrade was covered in the May 2005 issue of Model Rail (No.79). It still runs very well for a 20 year old and it's looks aren't too bad either, although I can tell I was using an old airbrush and compressor to apply the weathering - it's a bit coarse in places.

The point of this is that I'd been set a-wondering about the possibilities of the forthcoming re-release of the Lima 31 into the Railroad range by Hornby. Many people rate the Lima bodyshell above the Hornby model so, with a better motor, the Railroad product may well find its way into the hands of avid detailers. To get an idea of the possibilities, have a looks at James Wells' blog Eastmoor (http://eastmoor.blogspot.com/2010/11/project-31-finale.html) where he showed off his wonderful work on a Lima/Hornby hybrid.... truly inspiring.

5 comments:

  1. Will the Hybrid class 31 be appearing in Model Rail anytime soon?

    Cheers

    Brandon

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Brandon,
    That depends on when the Hornby Railrod model becomes available - and when I can fit it into my schedule - but I am seriously tempted to have a go at a hybrid project. And if I do have a go, it will certainly appear in Model Rail in due course - stay tuned!!

    Cheers,
    George

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi George,

    I meant the one in the link - I followed it on the Eastmoor blog and thought it great. It would be really good as a step by step guide!

    Brandon

    ReplyDelete
  4. Did the Russian armoured car and anti-aircraft gun wagon get built?
    I really fancy building a couple of these after stumbling across this blog entry.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Paul,
    Sadly, no. They've gone into the attic for now as I've had too much other stuff on. I've been picking up some more similar kits, though, along with a German 0-6-0 diesel shunter from HobbyBoss. See:
    http://www.wonderlandmodels.com/products/hobby-boss-172-german-wr360-c12-locomotive/

    As they all need quite a bit of work to convert to 4mm scale, they're on the backburner for now...
    Cheers,
    George

    ReplyDelete