January 22, 2010

"PW Staff Competition 2010"

The Staff Challenge 2010

To celebrate the 180 years since the Rainhill Trials, the directors of the Permanent Way Model Forum have taken it on themselves to conduct a competition in the same vein, with the twist that the entrants must compete as three famous railway companies from within that time period. The rules of the competition are as follows:

The Rules of the Competition:

1. The Directors of the Permanent Way Model Forum issue a challenge - to produce a locomotive suitable for both top link express and high speed freight work.

2. The locomotives will be judged based on the level of scratch building or kit bashing, and will be marked down for the use of ready to run items used (aside from sundries such as valve gear, wheels, wire handrails, buffers and kit items such as whitemetal and brass components).

3. After building, the locomotives will meet in competition simultaneously, and shall be subject to a series of tests, which shall test tractive effort, speed and reliability.

4. The locomotives will also be subject to an inspection by a panel of judges independent of the forum board to judge the aesthetic and functional qualities of these designs.

5. The winner of the competition will be given a contract by the directors of the Permanent Way Model Forum, for the chosen locomotive to act as the flagship locomotive for 2011.

6. Projects must be finished by the competition deadline, which is...

The Deadline: 20th July 2010

The date will be set for the trials during the month of August in the year 2010, subject to the successful building and delivery of the three challenge locomotives.

The directors of the forum board wish the Chief Mechanical Engineers of the LMS, LNER & SR railways the best of luck in completing their challenge this year.

So of course, I am planning to be the London & North Eastern Railway representative. And yes, I am building a large express engine. So the photograph above will give some hints as to what I am building, and with what available components.

So in order of procurement- we have driving wheels (to be painted in a black undercoat today), a new front pony truck I have made for the chassis.

There are also whitemetal castings for a better cartazzi truck, tender sides and similar.

Valve gear with cylinders procured, the cylinders will be modified to better represent the locomotive in mind.

I'm not saying what it is yet...I suspect some of you will know the class already. But which number, and in what form?

Until next time!

January 20, 2010


The motto of the Great Central Railway - which this J11 and D11 pair hail from - is "forward", hence the title. Copley Hill was home to many ex-GCR tank and tender engines, and doubtless would have seen one or the other, or both at the shed in its LNER and BR days.

I bought these two models on a whim to do a restoration job on each and to make the locomotive stock a bit more varied. The two models are old white metal kits (unknown origins) and use an old Triang 3F and an old Hornby L1 set of chassis. The J11 will be overhauled first, getting a new DCC ready chassis from the hornby railroad range to replace its battered (and very coarse scale) chassis.

Until next time!

January 19, 2010

"Storm Warning!"

A big shout out to the Loughborough Model Centre for holding onto my Tornado order - I picked it up today, and, well...

Fabulous! Every little detail I can think of has been done on this model (bar the roller bearings, but that's an accepted compromise). The livery is perfectly applied, right down to the maker's plate on the tender frame, picked out in silver. Under a magnifying glass you can read the legible printing on the dedictation plaque too...!

This is by far the best A1 model Bachmann have produced. The time taken to retool the tender body, for instance, to ake it better reflect Tornado tells me that they expect to shift quite a few of these...

I haven't had a chance to run it in yet, but rest assured I'll edit this post with my findings within the week.

Until next time!

January 07, 2010

"Stirling Single Updates"

While I was ill in November last year, I did manage to do a little modelling on my Stirling Single. In a complete departure from what I normally do, I managed to post my update on the RMweb Copley Hill Works, but completely forgot to post that update here. So, here it is!

The first part concerns the cab. I have begun modifying it to be closer to the real Stirling Single by cutting away and re-shaping the cab side sheets, and in addition drilling out the cab spectacles.

The bext job was to modify the tender. I've taken the kitmaster top and made the decision to make a new tank underneath (adding rivets in one of two ways, possibly through carefully placed suerglue dots!), and then attach to the much modified (but instantly more prototypical) looking chassis.

Here it is seen as a very loose fit, but I assure you that it looks a lot better now! All the holes have been milliputed up and sanded down, and the tender has been painted in a black primer to bring up the blemishes:

It is getting there, slowly but surely. When I return to university on monday next week (dependent on the weather!), I will be doing more work on the body - that all important driving wheel splasher I have been procrastinating on WILL get done...!

Until next time!

January 03, 2010

"Staff Competition Entry - 65503"

You may remember some time back, that I was working on making a pseudo J17 from whatever bits I could find. I finally finished it, and here is the result. Resplendent in unlined black, a modest attempt at catching the look of the East Anglian workhorse.

It's presented in 1950s condition, albeit minus smokebox numberplate at present (this will be rectified after the staff competition is scored).

My final changes were to the tender, which still sported some bits of blue paint, here and there. The tender has now been finished in the same matt black. I haven't decided if I will weather the engine or not, I'm rather liking it as it appears here.

However - I need to obey rule 3 of the staff comp - and incoporate the PW logo.

Until next time - goodnight!

(And I haven't forgot - ballasting next week!)

January 02, 2010

"Slug, Scot & Duchess"

What's this? A diesel?! Yes indeed, and it is one I've been waiting for a very long time. I finally found this model in the Loughborough Model Centre - I've wanted an English Electric Class 37 (nicknamed "Slugs") for quite a while now, and originally I had wanted one with the split headcode panels. However I saw this one on the shelf, and...well, the rest is history!

Bachmann when they released this model, took a lot of criticism from a lot of quarters in the modelling press that the model just didn't look the part - the front end not being well shaped as per prototype. To those people, I salute you - as I can live with whatever little discrepancies there are. I bought this second hand for a very reasonable sum and love it to bits.

EDIT: Reliably informed by a friend that since my diesel is a 37/0, it should be nicknamed a "tractor" - the slugs were the 37/9s apparentally! Learn something new every day - thanks Hiesler!

And here is a very special model - my great friend, Mr Syret, bought this for my 22nd birthday. It's a Hornby Royal Scot, and this is 46120 - Royal Iniskilling Fusilier.

I am already I am thinking of making it my favourite of the preserved Scots - namely 46115 Scots Guardsman. We shall see...

Finally - we have a visitor of sorts to Copley Hill - I'm not sure they ever appeared at 56C (and most likely never in this livery) but this is one of my favourite locomotives, and models, so...

46237, City of Bristol, a "semi-streamlined" duchess class locomotive. One of my favourite models, I bought this purely for its express passenger blue livery, as the class in this form wears it incredibly well.

It's just a shame I didn't notice the buffer was squeew whiff! Never mind, it still looks the part amongst the other engines.

This is one of the jobs I WILL get around to doing soon - I am going to fit a pair of etched plates from the Fox transfers range, as the Hornby ones do not do this engine justice at all. For starters, the red nameplates were not silver lined, but gold, on BR engines...

Even so, its an incredibly minor niggle for something that has so much grace, majesty, and elegance about it. It's not my favourite pacific class...but in that livery, it comes very, very close...

Until next time - less motive power orientated, and more layout orientated when I finish the ballasting!