The first public image of the CAD’s for the 4mm scale class 104 DMU have been released today. With several detail differences to be produced this is good to see progress on this project which has suffered delays due to the pandemic.
Back in the midsts of time I always wanted a complete set of British Rail ‘Standards’. Don’t know why, but I set about the task Hunter gatherer stylee, and apart from the WD 2-10-0, I ended up with all the available types as kits. Which of course ended up on the mancave maturing shelf gathering dust. We all know how that story ends up, Acme Train Co., brings out a decent RTR model of the type and the kit continues to ‘mature’ on the shelf. Guilty as charged…
One of the first really good takes on the ‘Standard’ types in OO was Bachmann’s WD 2-8-0. Accurate, well made, and reliable. In short everything you’d want from a RTR model. I indulged in one early on, subsequently replaced the maturing kit shelf queen’s with RTR examples. I make no apologies for this, the RTR versions give me a quick fix, and a consistent one in terms of appearance.
The 9F’s are a case in point. I was an early adopter of the Model Loco range in the late 80’s. I bought the 9F rather than modifying another Hornby version, (I’d done several previously). They of course went straight to shelf, rather than DVD, and moved on when the unrealistic prospect of making them dawned due to time/life constraints. SABLE (Stash Aquired Beyond Life Expectancy), was rearing it’s head even then. The Bachmann 9F however is still a firm favourite! They are excellent in their own right, but stand as a good basis for further work.
I currently have an ex ‘Cadbury’s’ version underway, see above. Why Cadbury’s? Well an early weathered version suffered excess browning in the days of early factory weathered RTR, see picture courtesy of Hattons below.
So much so, this (and a good few others) looked like they had been dipped in milk chocolate! This is a slow burner, replacement pony and tender wheelsets to come and a makeover including repaint and fine detailing to finish.
So what of the WD 2-10-0 and the bucketlist? It’s one of those locomotives that just captures my imagination, much like it’s smaller sibling, I’ve no use for it apart from I like them. Due to the small numbers of the prototype and relatively limited sphere of operations, these are unlikely to be a candidate for a RTR model so the only game in town is this DJH kit.
This one came via Tony Wright dealing with an estate sale. Offered as a very poor runner at a fair price, it was an easy choice to make, and I’m very happy with it. Now back in the mancave I’ve been able to to take an initial look at it to assess what needs to be altered. Overall the build quality is good, and the tender immediately stood out as ‘odd’.
Basically the chassis sides are back to front. Some prodding and disassembly indicated a partial glue assembly, and this will be a relatively easy fix. The locomotive body assembly is pretty good and I doubt much work will be needed. Next the main chassis, this is where most work is needed. It’s built as per instructions. There’s rigid connecting rods, so little lateral play. Romford drivers are used with centre and leading axle unflanged. The motor works well in reverse but in forward motion the armature bounces within the motor frame. In due course I think it’s going to be a chassis rebuild, with a new motor and gearbox combination. Wheelsets will be replaced with either Gibson’s or Markits, both of whom make the correct wheels.
It’s not a high priority project, but one that I think will be interesting. It’ll be a series of issues to resolve, and if it can stand toe to toe with Bachmann’s 2-8-0 above, (a 2009 image from Albion Yard), then I’ll be well pleased.
Updates to follow in due course. At the moment, obvs, it’s ‘maturing’, but the tick is on the bucketlist!
Today has been a ‘down day’, a short gap between work cycles, and a day off from Viking Challenge preparation, I thought I’d ring the changes by breaking out some other plastic. Like many in the hobby I started out with the pocket money Airfix/Frog/Revell kits and an excellent introduction to this type of building craft they were.
Over the years the plastic kit hobby has changed with more details and after market components, and new techniques, much as the rail hobby has too. Airfix, like Hornby, had a bit of a fallow period in the not too distant past, but of late they’re producing some really nice kits. The De Havilland Mosquito above is one such model, a 2021 release it captures the overall appearance well. Certainly well enough for me to simply enjoy nailing it together straight out of the box.
The design and fit of the components is superb, as are the instructions. There’s a very interesting video here featuring the designer and his thoughts on how the kit was ‘put together’ design and build wise.
So what will I get from this apart from a dust collector? Well I’ll be trying a new airbrush, I also want to try some new masking techniques, and I want a project that has a start, and definitive finish. So far, so good!
Well it’s a Monday and the sketch pad, pencil and track layout books are out, and that can only mean one thing. It’s a Monday I’ve got a book, a sketch pad and pencil.
Over the past week or so I’ve had the opportunity to sit back and consider where I want to concentrate my efforts on. Doing the regular tidy the mancave task, you know, the rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic thing, a couple of shelf queens worked their way to the lifeboats.
The first one in the header image, the Heljan Class 26, had me reverting back to thoughts of Ian Futers’ Scottish layouts, always a source of inspiration. The opportunity to run short, prototypical diesel hauled trains always appeals and had me digging out my version of 26041. This is a conversion done by myself into a windowless door cab variant. Heljan now offers this within the standard range, but initially they didn’t. When I look at it now the work isn’t the tidiest, but that doesn’t actually matter for me, what motivates me is that I did the conversion. The 26 at the top of the page has a pile of Shawplan goodies to be fitted, windows and grills to give it that difference from straight out of the box.
3721 is yet another Bachmann pannier. I’ve done quite a few now and it’s weird how it feels so natural just working on them, almost a muscle memory type of thing, and each one takes a shorter time. I’ve not really changed what I do to them, but each one gets its own character which seems to develop a little more with each conversion completed. This one just needs final paint, couplings and front lamp irons, and the next one, a low cab 57xx is already waiting it’s turn across the bench.
Behind the panniers and moving up the project queue is this small prairie, another Bachmann product. A spare body kindly passed by a friend, this will give me a little more fleet flexibility. To match its cousins it’s got a replacement chimney from Alan Gibson , and the bunker and cab shutters will be altered to give it a bit more life.
And that’s really it, ‘a bit more life’. Doing these simple but effective makeovers gives me a unique fleet, which I have had an input to, as well as buying and bartering for them. With these completed and/or well underway, it builds on the inspiration to build further layouts, and that’s where the sugar paper, crayons and reference books comes into effect. Enjoying the moment and planning, looking forward.
I’m mindful of the irony of this weekend too, writing about motivation. Normally it would be the Railex exhibition at Aylesbury, where every year I come away motivated and inspired by the modelling seen at that show. Here’s hoping we’re back in play in 2022!
At the moment many of us modellers (and our families) are using the postal services that get mail order products delivered. Obviously this increase means that there’s potential for the bottom feeders to attempt to rip people off.
The above text rang alarm bells as I’m not waiting for anything, as well as the wording.
Royal Mail have a page to advise what to look for, with examples of texts/emails illustrated, and a facility to report them.