Wrexham and Shropshire – in N gauge from Dapol.

August 20, 2009


The Wrexham and Shropshire book set is soon to be available from Dapol. Here’s a sneaky  preview of a lovely looking set which incorporates three of  Dapol’s widely acclaimed N gauge models: Mk.3 coaches (two of them), a Class 67 and a DVT.992

CRW_8512_JFR989_988995_994987_986You know, that Class 67 looks great and is probably my favourite British outline N gauge model – rides beautifully on Atlas code 55 track. I wonder if I could not convince Dapol to produce a 1:160 scale SD70ACe in MRL livery? Only kidding!


An unsubtle hint to Kato USA…

August 17, 2009

Hi Guys!

Just a little something about your new N scale SD70ACes in various UP flag and heritage schemes currently advertised on the inside back page of Model Railroader. Have you forgotten something important??

Here’s a hint…blue, white and black…and lives in the mountains of Montana. UP are not the only ones to operate SD70ACes.

Still none the wiser?


Okay, let’s try this…



Please? Pretty please times three by the power of something pretty huge? In N scale…1:160 scale…with the correct MRL light arrangement…

Top deck stuff.

August 3, 2009

The time to start working out exact train lengths on the top deck baseboards has arrived. My (modern) 4mm scale (OO and EM gauge) Blue Pullman set has made an appearance to help with this work. No matter how good track planning software is, I still prefer to lay trains and turnout templates on the actual boards. After all, track planning software cannot make the space you have any bigger – that’s a fixed ‘given’ and cannot be easily changed. Visual planning work like this is often far more reliable.

This train is 10 units long: 9 plus 1 which is the maximum length I can manage in the three planned train roads. This will permit charters to be top and tailed with 8 in the middle, so my Blue Pullman set may have to be reduced by one coach if operated in and out of the train roads with both Class 47s. In case you are wondering about my ‘layout design element’ for this scenic test track; lets say that it has 3 train roads and three berthing sidings, the boards for which has the Class 47 and train sitting on them. There is a branch off to the right of the picture, heading towards the camera. The double track main line is behind the train roads and drops on a slight incline to a tunnel – you can probably see the grade in the distance. The location is in the south, near the sea side and has a lovely signal box opposite the leads into the train roads. As final clue: there are two short (staggered) staff halt platforms at this location too.

Sea urchin:CRW_8249_RT8
S-Kits has done a very nice resin and metal Sea Urchin kit in 4mm scale. The basic kit allows for variations in this type of wagon including the differences in brake levers.CRW_8259_RT8

That’s it for today – lots of modelling to do – the Sea Urchin is in the paint shop.

It’s a bit of an animal…

August 1, 2009

…according to my fellow modeller and friend, Graeme Elgar.

Some progress has been made on my layout of late, even if it has not appeared here. Baseboard frames are still under construction for Phase 2 of the project and any photography before the stage shown above would just show the mess in the cabin – off-cuts of wood everywhere, tools and clamps lying around – a real shambles. Before Phase 2 commenced, the last chance for a clear view across the cabin to Phase 1 (the along the walls bit) was photographed:


This view looks into the corner with West Missoula Junction. Temporary location and milepost cards are now in place to assist with operations until the scenery is started (above).

Towards DesMet Junction and the helix…

New construction commences with the central peninsula. Sorry about the surrounding mess – I did warn you (above)!

The end of the peninsula which has a base of box construction using 4 x 1 inch timber and 2 decks with L-girder. The view above is during construction of the second deck with L-girders assembled insitu.

In with the third deck which forms a continuous loop around the back of the cabin. The link to the wall section is in place to form a 6ft high ‘nod-under’, preferable to a low ‘duck-under’! The third deck will hold by scenic test track for British outline 4mm scale models.

The latest pictures to be taken show the walk-in part of the layout (above) with all three decks in place and the track road bed being cut and fitted (below).

That is the main line track bed being installed on the scenic test track. The deck on the opposite side of the supports (which will provide an attachment for a scenic dividing back drop) is free for a different project! So, as you can see, Graeme may have a point compared to traditional baseboard construction – it’s a bit of an animal. However,  space for a layout is available vertically as well as horizontally, so go an explore the opportiunities this may present. The woodwork was hard, is not pretty (won’t matter, it will be hidden under scenery) but very solid. Now to track laying!