Adjusting the fleet…

December 24, 2009

With 2009 drawing to a close, and work on the Top Deck layout, my Kent Coast theme, progressing once again, time has come to complete a clear out of unwanted models which are, nonetheless, very interesting. I will be selling off my NSE Class 165 and 166 units from Platform 4a & 4b as that layout is to be dismantled in the New Year to make room for new projects. Also to go is a Freightliner Class 66, 66 610. I am not sure why I bought it now and even though it’s been nicely weathered, rewired for better DCC control of the tail lights, it’s never really found a niche. Now, it’s being pushed out by more Class 33s!


It is equipped with a basic decoder and can be operated on an analogue layout too.  Kadees are fitted but set for shallow curves, so owners of layouts with sharp curves will have to change them for No.36 couplers.

Another model built to use up a Hurst Models detailing pack is this Northern Rail Class 156 by Hornby:

New and barely used, I fitted a Hurst Models underframe detailing pack to it along with other details and new gangways that meet correctly.

The roof of each car has been detailed and repainted too.


A lot of work has gone into the under frames…note the separate engines, transmissions, exhaust silencers, electrical equipment boxes and isolator cabinet, fuel tanks and various suspension air tanks.


Side views showing how much better the underframes appear with separate components.


A combination of Kadee couplings and A1 Models gangways closes up the inner end gap but will enable the train to traverse curves. In all, a lot of work has gone into this model!

If you are interested in eith of these models, they are listed on Ebay. The Class 156 is item number 270505903931 and the Class 66 is item 270505900800. I am yet to list the Class 165 and 166 Thames turbo units. They are not as straight forward as they are both in EM gauge and fitted with decoders for operation of head, tail and door warning lights. I am loath to sell them, but my Top Deck layout Kent Coast theme has no place for them – sadly.

Anyway, it remains for me to wish all of my readers a peaceful but fun Christmas. May Santa bring you the Bachmann 4-CEP et. al. that you have been wishing for. Me? I have a new cycling jacket from Sarah to unwrap tomorrow :-))


Old and new on the ‘Top Deck’ layout.

December 17, 2009


Making its first run on my Kent Coast layout is the Bachmann 4-Cep – freshly converted to EM gauge using Black Beetle wheels for the powered MBSO and Ultrascale coach disc wheels in the un-powered vehicles. It’s an interesting model and an interesting contrast with the Hornby Class 395 too…


Never destined to meet on the main line in real life, there being a 20 year gap between them, both trains do fit my Kent Coast theme depending on the date I wish to operate the layout when its is completed and ready to host operating sessions with friends. That is a little way off,  however! There’s more track and wiring to do, further storage to provide and more stock to check, adjust, convert and bed in.


EM Gauge Hornby ‘Javelin’.

December 11, 2009

I must be nuts…


But here is an Hitachi Class 395 in 4mm scale on the ‘Top Deck’ layout – running a treat on Black Beetle wheels and awaiting the additional coaches to make up a full set. The loss of traction tyres as a result of the re-wheeling of the single power bogie was negligible.

I am already running (have run) out of stabling room in the fiddle yards and having to consider some further radical layout design for this deck before things progress too far. To incorporate the HO scale US outline layout on the other side of the double sided back scene on the peninsula seen above, I am planning to make the Top Deck multi level with a second level 4 inches over the current fiddle yards. It solves a number of problems; one of which would have been the reaching over scenic HO layout to reach stock in the ‘Ashford’ fiddle yard of the British layout. Okay, the scenic bit was not going to be that deep and the location I am toying with as a concept is flat farm land, with no soya bean or grain elevators along the modelled section in front of the fiddle yard. Nonetheless, there is one scenic feature of Mason City Iowa, and one of its rail roads which would be prone to damage!

Some train detection equipment will be needed for the EM gauge layout fiddle yard. However, only two of the roads will be out of sight in the revised plan. Upshot is the addition of many more fiddle yard roads for the EM gauge layout and more room for American HO equipment too! Just as well with two Bachmann 4mm scale 4-Ceps on their way…and a love for grain and soya bean hopper cars in HO scale… Not to mention that ‘Javelin’ set.


Darlington MRC 2009 exhibition.

December 8, 2009

Nairnshire Modelling Supplies visited the Darlington MRC exhibition at Darlington College this weekend past and it had to be the best show I have been to in a very long time. Not only was it in a lovely venue, the layouts were truly superb. I managed, during a very busy two days, to grab a few snaps of a handful of layouts, and I will state: they are snaps; taken hand held with available light at f5.6 and with no tripod – in a rush as Sarah and I were kept pretty busy all weekend! My favourite of them all, and that ws a hard decision, was Mini-MSW. I liked the format because it can be fitted into a small area, easily stored and transported, and would fit the typical modern home. The circular format is increasingly popular for 2mm and N scale. I am considering this format for a British N gauge project based in the Black Country after seeing a similar approach applied to an Austrian theme which was exhibited last year at the Tyneside show. The name of the layout I cannot remember, but the format I can!

Anyway, here’s a selection of those snaps – sorry to those layouts not featured – simply could not photograph them all. As a thought for the future, I believe Charlotte Road is booked for next year. Sarah and I see this as a highlight to our exhibiting year – Darlington has to go down as a premier show on par with York, Wakefield and many of the fine scale shows.  Exhibition manager Simon and his team are doing a great job!

Crumley & Little Wickhill 4mm 009 Gauge by Hull Miniature MRS:

Farkham 4mm OO gauge by Mickleover MRG:

Hospital Gates 7mm O gauge by Neil Ripley & C Stark:

Johnstown Road 7mm O gauge by The Barrowmore Model Railway Group:

Mini MSW 2mm Finescale by Alan Whitehouse:

What north east show would be without Ted doing a demo of some description? Usually trees, but buildings this time.


Kadees have arrived at Nairnshire Modelling Supplies.

December 2, 2009

The first batch of Kadees are here and listed on the Nairnshire Modelling Supplies web site. Look for KADEE COUPLERS in the drop down menu.

Currently in stock: No. 5, No.17-20 Euro NEM couplers and No.46 all-metal long shank couplers together with spares, height gauges, Greas-em and springs. There will be more ordered including bulk packs as we get this range established. They will be available at this weekend’s Darlington show where Sarah and I will be attending with the full NMS trade stand.