Painted Class 150/0

June 25, 2014

Class 150 painted

A long job completed recently was the painting of my cut and shut N gauge 3-car Class 150/0 project. The lining took days to complete and as neatly as I could manage; this being an N gauge model. 4mm scale is so much easier to work on in some regards! Posing on Wheal Annah, my new pint-sized N gauge china clay layout, the Class 150 looks reasonably good at last. It is not destined for this layout but will take up residence on Dudley Heath alongside two Class 150/1 units, both of which are being painted in the same Centro scheme. There’s not much left to do: transfers, varnishing, reassembly of external details and the fitting of the original glazing. The underframe will be lightly weathered and the obstruction guards fitted after being painted yellow.

Wheal Annah buildings

In the meantime, relatively modern china clay works buildings have been completed for Wheal Annah, as far as the detailing stage. The one shown in the picture above is a clay store and bagging plant with a dock for the loading of vans.

Wheal Annah buildings 2

I like the old buildings of Cornish china clay country and could not resist building a representation of one which would be used for loading bulk clay and china stone into open wagons and eventually Polybulk and Clay Tiger wagons using a loading shovel – not bagged clay as the bogie van would suggest. The building sits at a slight angle at the front edge of the layout and will not be fixed to the layout permanently. I plan to replace it with a more detailed version with an interior which can be seen from the front of the layout. The building would be longer in real life and would have a chimney at the far end, being a coal-fired dries. However, space constraints prevent me from modelling more than you see in this photograph. Scenery and small details are next to be applied to the layout.

Whilst on the subject of layouts, the Perth and District MRC model railway exhibition is nearly upon us and guarantees many excellent layouts. It is held at the Dewars Centre in Perth on the 28th and 29th June (this weekend). The venue is a stone’s throw from the station, so train is a good way to travel to the show. There’s plenty of parking for those who plan to drive and even better: Sarah and I will be there with Nairnshire Modelling Supplies.



June 16, 2014


To articulate the emotions that the Kelpies first elicited from me upon first seeing them spring out of the ground is not an easy thing for someone like me to do. As they took shape during the Autumn months of 2013, culminating in a topping out in November, they have grabbed the imagination of many people both locally in the Forth Valley and further afield in Scotland. The two horses are guardians of the entrance to the canal network of Falkirk, close to the River Carron.

Scottish sculptor, Andy Scott is the creator of these larger than life structures. They are modelled on real horses, or as a modeller like me would say the ‘full size thing’! At 30 metres in height, you cannot miss them when travelling along the M9. You cannot fail to be impressed by them and what they represent.

Kelpies, as the story goes, are mythical water-borne horse-like creatures of Scottish folklore. Real heavy horses played a major part in shaping the industrial landscape of the Central Belt too, where they were used as tow horses on the extensive canal network as well as other purposes.

The sculptures are beautifully modelled on Clydesdale horses…a tribute to the many work horses once used throughout Scotland. The scultures are huge and you are free to walk around and underneath them.

This selection of pictures was literally grabbed during a quick visit one evening in May. I say ‘grabbed’ because I spent more time with them than I anticipated. Given that it was late evening and a little chilly, there were a lot of locals and visitors walking slowly around the Kelpies, contemplating the sheer scale of the structures and taking in the atmosphere. Judging by the visitor numbers, they have truly grabbed the public’s imagination.



There’s another side to the Kelpies. Whilst they represent mythical Scottish culture and the immense industrial heritage of the Central Belt, the Kelpies are a pointer to the future – of what really can be achieved in a modern Scotland; a vision of a modern and inclusive country with plans for re-industrialisation but in a sustained way with the use of its renewable energy resources.

Many see the Kelpies as a symbol of hope for an increasingly progressive Scotland, one which, given a certain set of circumstances later this year, could leave the rest of the UK behind. With full economic and political powers vested in Holyrood, the massive economic and industrial potential of Scotland could easily become reality.


Kelpies copy


Another BRM cover shot

June 12, 2014

BRM July cover
Typical! I have never had a cover shot before, not until this year and then two come along all at once. Cover story for the July issue of BRM is Aldbury, a compact but operationally interesting exhibition layout by the Perth and Disctict MRC. I photographed it earlier this year and I am delighted for the Perth club to see it as a cover, nicely timed for the Perth show at the end of June (28th and 29th at the Dewars Center in Perth).