June 30, 2015

"BRWS Update #6: Coming soon!"

Good morning everyone,

Blogger's had a bit of a hissy fit adding my blogs recently, so I'm going to take today to take stock of the backlog that's building up and fix some things (including our stockists page which has gone missing - we also have a new stockist which is exciting news!)

There's a huge amount of things to get through on the blog so please bear with me this month. I hope to have the proper update fixed and posted later today if not tomorrow.


June 23, 2015

"Empire of India"

I just thought I'd share a few pictures of a project I have been working on, the London & North Eastern Railway's no.11 Empire of India. I sold my original Empire of India a few years ago and really regretted it.

Of course, this one was made in a completely different fashion to my current A4s, and I've turned the clock back on the livery chosen for my model, which will have the 1946-48 LNER stainless steel lettering and numerals fitted instead.

At the end of this month there'll big the now usual big update regarding my modelling for the month, but I just wanted to share a few pictures to garner some feedback on the garter blue livery.

You will remember that I have been formulating my own paint and methods of painting my models. Well, I think I've finally cracked it with this model, which requires a Tamiya light blue being applied onto grey primer, followed by my latest reformulated (and a bit expensive now!) garter blue shade.

And yes - the tender is the wrong type (it should be a 1928 corridor tender) but rest assured, no.11's tender is in hand (and currently drying after painting. This tender will be going behind no.8 Dwight D Eisenhower).

I'll go through the full build in some detail on the 30 June 2015.

Until next time!

June 06, 2015

"New stockist for Tale of the Unnamed Engine - the Kent & East Sussex Railway"

We are delighted to announce we have a new stockist for The British Railway Stories. Tenterden Town station on the Kent & East Sussex Railway is now selling copies of Tale of the Unnamed Engine in the shop.

We will be adding their details to our partner page shortly and will be making a full report at a later date.

Tale of the Unnamed Engine is now available at the Bluebell Railway, Kent & East Sussex Railway and Talyllyn Railway in Wales.

June 02, 2015

"No.4480 Enterprise"

A quick recap needed on the building of my Gresley Pacific fleet, given I've actually finished one of them now!

So we start with one of Hornby's newest Railroad Flying Scotsman models.

Then some modelling happens...!

Essentially the cabs, washout plugs, cylinder blocks, smokebox doors and chimneys are replaced, and smokebox superheater headers and sometimes domes are added. The domes and superheater headers can be bought from Graeme King on the LNER Encyclopaedia Forum, whereas the chimneys are spares bought from Hornby many years ago. The smokebox doors are my own resin casts of the super detail Hornby A3 smokebox door. The cylinder blocks were cheap lined out spares from eBay.

The cab replacement method can be seen best here. The front loco has the replacement cab with the shorter cut out fitted, and the one behind has the original cab with the side sheets extended. Fitting the replacement cab requires cutting the original one off, filing down the top of the boiler backhead a little bit, and several rubber bands and slow drying super glue.

Truth be told, replacing the cab altogether gives a much better, more accurate finish, as the addition to the cab side sheets doesn't hide the fact the sides don't curve in as they should do. Plus, the replacement cabs (from the cheap Great British Locomotives magazine models) have full cab glazing - very useful!

The reason for replacing the cab is simple: this gives the cab type accurate for 1946-9 era Gresley A3s, as well as the right hand drive detail that I need for all of my A3s (except for Humorist, which as you can see above was actually converted from right to left hand drive in addition to all of the detail differences added including the stovepipe double chimney.).

The modifications also include adding lamp irons, handrails, couplings, vacuum pipes, smokebox door darts and white metal buffers, and cylinder drain pipes too. The white metal buffers

The chassis gets either a repaint of the wheels, or replacement with lined Hornby alternatives and a new front bogie in many cases.

Well, I finally managed to finish one - no.4480 Enterprise. The paint is just a standard Plasticote gloss black paint, bought from B&Q.

She looks very glossy here compared to the unmodified Railroad model behind.

Very, very glossy in fact! Note that although a lot of the detail is moulded on, it does look superior to older Hornby Gresley A3 models if not quite as refined as the super detail model.

The comparison between the two models - as bought and as modified - couldn't be more marked.

Enterprise received some light weathering and some lamp irons and lamps, in addition to some real coal in the tender. The weathering was mostly brushed on with some powders, and a light touch with a fine brush on the smokebox and around the front and on the tender. Games workshops' Purity Seal spray was used to seal everything in.

Toning down the shiny paint has still left something of a metallic look to the boiler, which I like.

Although annoyingly NONE of my transfers appear to be on straight. They looked it when I put them one, and they look it in real life. New glasses needed...?

Aside from the transfers problem (which I'll deal with in due course), I've really enjoyed turning a budget model into something more accurate. It was great fun, cost me a lot less to do than buying the top detail model from Hornby, and I've another seven to do to complete my fleet. The chassis of the Railroad model is a lovely smooth runner, and the flywheel drive is excellent. The diecast cartazzi and extra weight really add to the haulage stakes too, making it better in my view than the super detail alternative if you feel like putting some effort into your modelling.

Picking the wartime livery for 4480 wasn't entirely a cop out though, as I intend for four of my fleet to be apple green, and four of them to be wartime black. 

This way I have a variety of tender and boiler types and combinations and liveries ranging from NE Black to LNER apple green and British Railways on the tender. Lots of interest for the impending model railway!

Until next time.