July 27, 2010

"Doing up a Hornby B12"

Last week I wrote a blog which showed how I modified an old Hornby B12 to look a little more like a B12. I wasn't satisfied with it over the weekend, so stripped it down today, and started again this morning:

I totally stripped the front bufferbeam after discovering a set of brass LNER buffers in the spare parts drawer. Finally, the moulded (and inherently bad) Hornby ones could be dispensed with, along with my plasticard guard irons (which I was not overly happy with). I drilled an extra hole so that the B12 could be dual braked (as 61572 and its classmates were, in service in the late 50s).

Using the following tools: scalpel, stanley knife, various files, wet'n'dry paper and a lot of elbow grease, I removed the moulded on outside steam pipes. The B12 I am depicting, 61572, doesn't have these (nor has had these since its rebuild into a B12/3), so these disappeared along with various moulded on pipes, which I duly replaced with wire versions:

I added a new set of guard irons to the front bufferbeam. These were made using scrap metal (thin aluminium), and cut to shape and size. At the same time, I also fitted a more realistic hook, the brass LNER buffers, and both brake pipes:

I had also made a modification that had been annoying me for some time on the Hornby B12s:

At the front of every B12 chassis is a chassis extension which plugs itself into the front of the B12's smokebox, coming out just below the smokebox door, and sticking itself outside the bodyshell, normally. This was wholly unrealistic, and with that, I removed the chassis extension. What I replaced it with, is nothing more than a bent piece of metal - specifically, that which holds in place a super detail Hornby model in its packaging, nowadays. This allowed the bodyshell to sit at the preferred height without having a bit of the chassis poking out the front. I filled in the gaping hole using Gamesworkshop moulding putty.

I then turned my attention to the underside of the bodyshell. The frames have never exactly looked great, so I added some plasticard extensions to try and close the gap between bodyshell and bogie wheels:

I then white-tacked up the nameplate, and covered the rest of the loco body, to spray the front of the bodyshell in Gamesworkshop "Chaos Black":

I left it to dry for four hours, and then set about painting the front, using my usual acrylics:

Not bad for an afternoon's work!

Until next time.

July 23, 2010

"Return of an old friend"

Some news, finally! I'm doing some remedial work on Copley Hill for filming in due course, but in the meantime have fixed 61572 (better known to myself as Stephen) for work - spot the differences between this model, and a standard Hornby one:

The mods are quite simple. Modifying the Hornby bogie, by removing the guard irons, and adding the guard irons (made from shaped plasticard) to the front bufferbeam. I took the opportunity to clean up some of the weathering that I felt I'd overdone the last time around. Next set of mods are the addition of a new chimney and the removal of the moulded outside steam pipes.

Then of course, we have a new addition to the fleet - in the form of this Bachmann Spectrum On30 2-6-0:

It is not staying American for very long - nor will it be staying a tender engine either. It is to form part of a small fleet of similar tank engines, to be used on my upcoming RMweb Challenge 2010 layout. But more on that as it develops...

Until next time!

July 21, 2010

"The Legacy of Gadwall" - Director's Cut

The Director's cut of the 10th episode - and the feature length special - of "The British Railway Series" - airs on Youtube for the first time. The episode is shown in its intended full length: 30 minutes of pure WW2 action and drama!

You can find more information on Episode 10 here.

Music composed by Kevin Macloed.

The contents of these videos, including all text and photos (except where credited otherwise) are ©Simon Martin 2010

July 13, 2010

"Climbing the Hill"

A lot of work has been going on behind the scenes at Copley Hill, towards the return of The British Railway Series this summer. Seventeen episodes and three years since it started, the series is starting to hit new heights with views on Youtube, and looking at Episode 1 - 127,000 views at last count - the series seems to be getting more popular.

I was going to release a trailer this week, but work at home and general everyday life has prevented me from finishing the editing. Then I asked myself - is this as good as it could be?

I have always strived to do better with each episode, and looking at the footage I have shot for Episode 17X - the BRWS Contest Episode - leaves me feeling a little cold on that front. It's as good as Fowler's Ghost in some ways - but no better, really, and that disappoints me.

So what to do? Delay the episode, and the one after, to fix the faults - or release as is?

I am unsure at this point if I will delay it again - the three contest winners have had to wait seven, nearly eight months for their prizes and it would be unfair on them to make them wait even longer. That said - would it be unfair on them to release a piece of work that was substandard, and didn't do their creations justice?

It's not a bad premise nor a bad storyline - and the shots are certainly good enough. But it is better than that which went before? I don't think so, and hence my displeasure at my own work. I need to think this through carefully before making any changes.

Answers on a postcard please. What do you think? Email at Copleyhill@live.co.uk with your thoughts.

Until next time.

July 08, 2010


Check British Railway Modelling, the August Edition, in the reader's layouts. Copley Hill Mk2 - published for the first time!

The grin hasn't left my face yet!

Until next time!