January is traditionally a bit of a quiet month in the workshop, mainly due to temperatures in the loft being closely related to those outside, ie. bloody freezing! However, a couple of modeling nights have been spent working on various projects, and as this is the first update I guess a few things done in previous months can be included for good measure…
English Electric type 3 (Class 37) D6707 is now finished apart from weathering. Based on the plain green Bachmann model, she has gained full yellow ends along with various other details, including frost grilles and the nose handrails missing on the Bachmann model. Split box ‘tractors’ were rare in the Valleys, so D6707 will be appearing on Black Gold bringing in a train from the north:
Next up we have Brush Type 2 (Class 31) 5647. This started life as a blue Hornby model and has been completely repainted into green by Oly. For a first ever repaint she looks bloody good in my opinion! The loco now awaits funds being freed up to allow the purchase of Shawplan Laserglaze and some headcodes, before entering traffic. A few Brush 2’s got down to South Wales on various occasions, and with the direct connection from the north on Black Gold we have plenty of excuses for running her:
In for more extreme surgery, a Bachmann Sulzer Type 2 (Class 25) has seen the attention of a razor saw, the incorrect cabs being removed. These will be replaced by some resin or 3D printed cabs as soon as they are available:
Another Sulzer Type 2 (Class 25) completed just before Christmas is D7569, a Hornby/Bachmann cross breed. Created using the far superior Bachmann chassis, with the solebars removed, allied to a sound chip for maximum ‘Sulzer Beats’ effect and mating it to a Hornby 25/1 body created this beast:
The Hornby body was greatly improved using Shawplan’s Laserglaze, conveniently released for this model at Warley last year. The body has been completely repainted into plain green from the blue it wore before:
A replacement etched radiator fan grille and fan have also been fitted to the model. This was one of the weak points to the Hornby body in our opinion and its replacement greatly improved things:
The Bachmann chassis, with the hideous solebars, has been modified to better represent the real thing. Now much has been written about how best to do this, probably the most detailed and accurate account being by Jim Smith-Wright for his New Street layout. Our way is somewhat more basic and involves disassembling the chassis before attacking the plastic moulded frames with a razor saw or side cutters and then a selection of files until it the plastic is gone, apart from the cross bar ends which should be there. From the side the result is much more convincing:
Oly has also knocked up this rather nice BR standard brake van from an ancient Airfix kit:
As well as experimenting with using salt to weather some 16T mineral wagons, the one on the left is again from an Airfix kit while the one on the right is a Parkside kit for a rivetted body variant. We will try and add a ‘how to’ on weathering in this way at some point in the future, when another batch is under way:
I have also been working on the points for Black Gold, downstairs to avoid the cold. As can be seen these are constructed using copperclad strip sleepers and code 75 bullhead rail. Although lacking the chair detail of other methods, copperclad construction allows a reasonably quick completion, and once they have been weathered and ballasted, it is unlikely that anyone will notice the chairs are missing, especially on the main line which is towards the rear of the layout. Templates to work from are drawn in Templot, the full size plan being printed and attached to foamboard for construction work, the foamboard providing a strong base to work on.
The points pictured below will form the junction where the single track line down the valley diverges from the twin track main line, which then also singles as part of the 1960’s track rationalisation in the area:
Hopefully these points along with the others will be more or less complete by the end of February, providing other life matters don’t get in the way!
That’s about all that was achieved last month, with a couple of things from last year added to bulk it up, we shall have to see what February brings…..