In the hour before dawn…Kingussie.

November 26, 2017

The station is not a quiet as you might think – local passengers are waiting for the north bound Caledonian Sleeper to use it as a convenient early morning service for Inverness.

Class 67s are back on the Sleepers and have been for a while on the Highland line. With all respect to the plucky Class 73s, they were never built for this sort of railway.

No. 67 012 – one of the locos allocated to Wrexham & Shropshire services and latterly Chiltern Railways. Now lost its nameplates.

New stock for the sleepers is due soon…

If you wish to photograph the last remaining Mark 2 air-con stock on sleeper services, you don’t have much time left.

LED lighting has improved low light photography on many Scottish stations – so much better balanced.

Dawn at last…the signal box at Kingussie. Like mark 2 and 3 stock on the sleepers, you do not have much time to photograph this sort of infrastructure on the Highland line.

Images taken of the north bound 1S25 Euston-Inverness Caledonian Sleeper service on the morning of Saturday 25th November 2017. In the snow!



Bachmann OO9 Wagons…

November 23, 2017

A selection of the brand new Bachmann OO9 wagons has come to light allowing me to grab a few pictures of them as a preview. The Bogie Ambulance Van in WD livery pictured above and below is one of the two new models which features sliding doors in both the sides and ends to reveal a planked floor and interior detail (393-025).They are interesting models, designed to run on 9mm gauge track or N gauge track.Matching the WD grey van is a D Class open wagon in the same livery and weathered (393-050).

The open wagon is also available in Welsh Highland Railway red in unweathered condition (393-053).

Both the van and open wagon are brand new toolings featuring some fine moulded detail. Wheels are metal with an insulating sleeve which will run on N gauge track, either the more rustic Peco OO9 track or if you are modelling a paved area where sleepers are not seen, normal N gauge track will do the trick. A Baldwin Class 10-12-D locomotive to suit the new wagon range which includes a van in Nocton light grey and opens in Nocton and Ashover light grey (not shown) will be released in four liveries.

The wagons should be on general release in December (2017) at the earliest or certainly in the shops in January (2018) with the locos following up in early Spring 2018. The stock boxes are finished in red and green to help distinguish the new oo9 range from standard Bachmann OO gauge, 1:76 scale models.

Bachmann Anglia Railways Class 47/7.

November 21, 2017

One of the Bachmann OO gauge ‘Regional Exclusive Models’ has come to light – the Anglia Railways Class 47/7 No. 47 714. It will be available from stockists in the Bachmann eastern sales region which covers Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, East Anglia, East Midlands, East Yorkshire, Northamptonshire and South Yorkshire.It’s one of the early privatisation liveries which as simple, but colourful at the same time – a popular one with enthusiasts.

The model is equipped with 6-axle drive, frame-mounted motor and twin flywheels. Electronics includes working head and tail lights and provision for a sound decoder. A sound decoder version is also available (32-817SDDS).

Catalogue number is 32-817SD; Era 9 and with a suggested retail price of £154.95.

Distillery progress

November 19, 2017

I did say that I wished to make some significant progress on Loch Dhu Distillery – the aim is to complete the layout to exhibition standard by the end of the year (2017). I have other projects to progress and the reality is that Loch Dhu is really becoming a bit of a log jam in the studio. So, the Lifecolour paints came out to create stone colours and to weather the yard pavement and the buildings prior to fitting windows and other details.

It’s a fun little layout with some nooks and crannies in the track plan to make the scenes appear larger than they really are. The colour blending work with rust colours, grime, dirty black and various other shades from the Lifecolour range has been interesting to do. The Lifecolour paints are durable and quite subtle when thinned around 4:1 with thinner and applied with an airbrush.

The over bridge located in the distillery yard was built up of individual stone blocks cut from South Eastern Finecast embossed random stone sheet and laid in courses varying slightly in width. Some blocks were smoothed over with a little Squadron Putty before being rubbed down and painted. The iron oxide staining of some of the stone is from the Lifecolour ‘Rust and Dust’ set which is a very useful set of layout finishing colours. It looks far better than the Wills material used in the exchange siding scene.

The stone work in the exchange siding scene was built up from Wills materials which at the time looked fine. Having experimented with making my own dressed stone courses in the yard over bridge, I am considering reworking the walls in this part of the layout – but not for some time. There’s too much detailing and scenery to complete including wagon weathering (those Bachmann 12t/13t opens in the front of this view are far too clean!) and detailing the distillery yard. This little layout has certainly taken on a life of its own!

Sales of kits: SNCV trailers scale G/IIm – 45mm (1/22.5)

November 17, 2017

Something different: trams! Models based on SNCV prototypes and very lovely looking models they are too.


TRAMANIA is launching a subscription for the production of six kits:

Trailer A.806 with opional screw couplings

These models are very detailed, made in wood, steel and brass.
Based on original SNCV drawings, five different trailers are proposed:

– A.806  trailer 2d class 6 equal arched windows,
– A.1332  trailer 2d class 3 groups of 2 windowss
– A.871  trailer 2d class 6 equal rectangular windows,
– A.11514  trailer 1rst and 2d class 6 unequal arched windows,
– A.2309  Luggage van (original aspect – no platform windows)
– B.328 of the CBR (preserved at MTVS) (will be produced for a a total of 5 orders only)

Options: working screw couplings, waterdecals with your choice of car number, lantern in brass

Clic here for the detailed description and subscription of SNCV trailers – scale G/IIM

Two prototypes are already assembled, see a
A.806 2d class 6 equal arched windows  and a

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Not much layout work this last year…

November 12, 2017

Layout work has been in hibernation during the summer and Autumn of this year – a little burn-out perhaps? Or plenty of outdoor stuff to do. Whatever the reason, I have been busy (distracted) with other stuff until recently when I restarted work in a determined effort to complete Loch Dhu Distillery; both the siding scene and the distillery yard itself. Last year, the yard looked something like this:

Progress on buildings over the course of last winter saw this:

Recent activity in the distillery yard scene has seen this emerge – the usual and fun layout building activity – organised, tidy and very well defined and planned activity:

The engine shed together with a low relief building representing a second kiln house have appeared among the pieces of styrene off-cuts – the model is based on the one at Dailuaine Distillery which still exists today.

The front of the yard scene is tidied up with a retaining wall and culvert. The kiln house pagoda top was reworked too.

Buildings are currently being painted and detailed with more doors, windows, ventilators, chimney pots and other fittings. Missing details are added such as rain water goods. The yard surface is concrete with wooden boarding together with cobbles in places. That had to be painted and finished at the time this picture was taken. So, even though the layout is considered to be a micro or diorama layout which would comfortably travel on the back seat of my classic Mini Cooper, there is a huge amount of work to do to finish it – the level of detail required to create the scene is quite surprising!


16t mineral wagons – perfect for Loch Dhu Distillery

November 11, 2017

New weathered Diagram 1/108 16t mineral wagon models from Bachmann.

An Autumn 2017 release from Bachmann is a triple pack of generic Diagram 1/108 16t mineral wagons in weathered and rusted condition (37-237). Each model carries a unique number from Diagram 1/108 which comprised of a huge number of unfitted and Morton braked (generally speaking) mineral wagons of welded construction. They are perfect for my mid to late 1960s Loch Dhu Distillery project which is nearing some point of completion.

All three wagons are weathered individually with differing paint work fading and rust staining. The body rusting where paint has been flaked off is also slightly different between wagons. In all, an interesting ‘runner’ pack of models.

Coal for the kiln houses is delivered in 16t mineral wagons, a job which this trio of models will do admirably!