Bridge works.

March 29, 2009

In between time devoted to packing rtr wagon modelling books for all those who have kindly ordered copies (thank you!), I have completed some bridge works on Dudley Heath Yard.  I present the latest batch of pictures which show several developments. Firstly, the patch of horrible green to the front has been removed. Why I used that particular scatter colour, even as an experiment, is beyond me…

Secondly, work on retaining walls and bridge girders has commenced. There is still a lot of naked white styrene evident. That will soon be finished and coloured! A nice engineers blue brick colour for starters, followed up with lighter grey highlights and Anita Decor mortar for revealing the bricks.

A temporary place holder support prevents the bridge deck from sagging under the weight of models that cross it.


The bare patch in the foreground shows where an inappropriate scenery product was tried. It pays, based on experience, to buy the best you can afford. I like the materials from The Model Tree Co. and Woodland Scenics, both of which will be used to create the late winter scenery on this layout.


late winter scenery means darker colours because of the typically damp conditions of the season and greater contrast between light and dark. Frost burnt and dry coloured dead grasses with traces of underlying green from dormant weeds will prevail. before that, I have brick work to finish, capping stones to apply, ballast to place and colouring to add to many parts of the layout.

The mess resulting from construction at the opposite end of the layout is evident. Somewhere to stash bags of ballast and other bits is always needed but I should keep the layout clear and use a separate table for that kind of stuff. Note the first of the ballasting work in the foreground. The permanent supports for the bridge are being constructed on the work bench.


The latest ‘ up the yard’ progress shot. Things will slow for a couple of days whilst I finish packing and shipping book orders. However, I plan to finish the bridge support details and do the colouring work on the basic structure next week, opening the way for ballast to be placed in the rest of the yard. Following that, bridge girders will be detailed together with detailing of the upper line with cable troughs, signalling bases, equipment bases and other similar things.


New Ready-to-Run Wagon Modelling Book

March 15, 2009

I have been busy again and my latest book is about detailing and enhancing modern ready-to-run wagons in OO gauge or 4mm scale:


It’s now available for £11.99 for 185 pages of full colour illustrations and detailed copy.

It can be bought from the Nairnshire Modelling Supplies on-line modelling materials and components shop at

It consists of 10 chapters together with the usual preambles and references. There’s lots of modelling technique including weathering, painting, transfers and use of modelling materials. it is supported by lots of prototype photographs clearly showing details of full size wagons. The primary market is the newcomer to the hobby together with those wanting to get down to some quick and relatively straightforward modelling projects which will enhance their layouts.

At £11.99, for all those pages, hundreds of colour photographs and step by step construction illustrations, it’s brilliant value for money. At least, I think so, but then I am a little biased! The book will be launched at the forthcoming Ally Pally show and will be on sale there. Unfortunately, I will not be attending this year for the first time in many years even though it is the official launch of this new publication.

Class 31s come to town.

March 8, 2009


31 601 pauses at Nairn for a token to Forres with the ‘Structure Gauging Train’ on the evening of 5th March 2009. The train runs primarily at night so the special light measurement instrumentation can be used. For the record, 31 602 brought up the rear of the train.

Interesting redeployment of an former ScotRail and Anglia DBSO… The istrumentation vehicle is next in the rake. The train only remained stationary for a few minutes, offering limited time for long exposure photography.

I followed it to Forres where it met a west bound Inverness service. Another shot was obtained at the old crossing gates.

A few seconds for a token exchange and then 31 601 was on its way to Aberdeen.

Potato Run

March 3, 2009

Spring is just around the corner and the seed potato train runs again for the second year. EWS has the contract once again – oops – that should read DBS has the contract for this year. Anyway, Class 66, No. 66 112 was still in maroon and gold when photographed yesterday, me hanging over the stone wall beside Gordon’s timber to grab a shot because I missed the train’s arrival in Nairn.

It runs roughly weekly and the change from last year is in the rolling stock with older ferry vans being utilised. It originates with a load from Elgin, running via Inverness Millburn Yard.


A little clag is seen as the train powers past Delnies shortly after leaving Nairn.


The stock used on the first run for this year are these older ferry vans – eight of them making up a decent length train. That’s a lot of tatties!

Decoder prices:
A quick note on decoder prices. Some people have emailed me regarding indicated prices published in issues of BRM from 2007 and 2008. Why can’t they now buy them for the suggested retail prices originally published in reviews and articles?

If you don’t mind me pointing out the obvious, and to save my inbox from overload; please take a look at the 3 month and6 month charts of the Dollar to Pound Sterling and Euro to Pound Sterling exchange rates on a financial web site and work it out for your selves…