On a mission…NSB B5 coach…

December 22, 2018

…in any form since its introduction in 1977, but I am not sure that it will succeed!

This is the mission: NSB (Norges Statsbaner) B5-series coaching stock…considered by many to be NSB’s most attractive and comfortable personvogner to date.

Once produced by Lima, the last record of ‘HO’ scale B5 coach production I can find is in 2009 sold under the Rivarossi label catalogue number HR4083 and HR4095 – finished in the latest silver/red livery but in unrefurbished condition (pre the 2010-2012 refurbishment programme).

NSB modellers can obtain B3-series stock (Roco) and B7-series too alongside many older coach designs such as the BF10 and AB11-series (NMJ) but there’s a big gap in the market which is the B5. Now, NSB contracted the modern refurbishment of B5s to Bombardier, undertaken between 2010 and 2012 resulting in some changes to the stock to bring it up to the standards required for a modernised railway. The current format is slightly different compared to the old Lima tooling, but outwardly, the coaches are the same. I suspect many NSB modellers interested in NSB Regiontog over the last six to eight years will ignore the differences  if the silver/red livery is correctly applied as was the case with the 2009 release by Hornby under the Rivarossi label.

NSB modellers of all eras since the introduction of the B5 in 1977-81 would be very grateful, in fact delighted, if Hornby International pulled its finger out and re-issued the model in the appropriate liveries – in NSB red and the silver/red scheme – hopefully the tools are okay!

So Hornby, how about it? It’s an attractive coach design and one that is keenly missed in the Norwegian modelling community. For a picture of the Rivarossi release see here: https://www.modellbahnshop-lippe.com/productzoom/Rivarossi/11-4-001003-37610-0-0-0-34-5-2-0-gatt-it-p-0/productzoom.html

Of course, we do have the traction in ‘HO’ thanks to the Roco EL18 (above) and NMJ EL17…



One from the archives – May 2014.

December 19, 2018

Just in case all this recent stuff from Kent is too much, one of the Inverness-Kings Cross at Kingussie taken on 29th May 2014.

A trip into deepest (and sometimes dark) Kent.

December 13, 2018

The need to travel to Ramsgate for a few days arose recently and with it time to catch up with goings on on the South Eastern. Whilst railway photography in December, particularly a few days off the shortest day, is always tricky, some good results can be had by choosing the time and place carefully to take pictures. Even then, cloud cover can arrive at any time, reducing the already low light intensity further. The time window of usable light is much shorter and shadows will remain long – trees on the line side, which normally have no affect on picture taking except very early in the morning or late at night in the summer, cast long and dark shadows across the line all day in the Autumn and winter. So here’s some shots from Ramsgate, Tonbridge Yard and Wateringbury from Tuesday and Wednesday this week (11th and 12th December 2018). ASA settings were turned up to 500 or 640 and locations with stationary or slow-moving trains selected for picture taking.

09.10 in the morning and light levels, even with some sun, are low and just usable at 500ASA. Fortunately, the South Eastern High Speed ‘Javelin’ was moving slowly enough to be captured for the archive.

There’s nothing wrong with some after dark photography and Ramsgate depot has sufficient lighting to illuminate an everyday scene which is no less interesting for all that. This shot was taken as 22.30hrs when stock has returned to the depot for cleaning and berthing.

Light trails! Trains don’t have to be stationary to be photographed in the dark.

Autumn means rail head treatment (which is drawing to a close in mid-December) and extreme weathering of the locos allocated to RHTT duties. By the state of it, No. 66 729 Derby County in grime over GBRf livery has been working RHTT in recent times. Any modeller brave enough to have a go at this as a weathering project? Not as easy as it looks… Also look at the other end of such locos and you may find the cab windows completely filthy as RHTT works in top-and-tail formation.

Whilst the lack of any infrastructure stock at Tonbridge Yard was surprising, there were some test wagons and one or two others waiting for repairs to be seen. RHTT stock and a test train top and tailed by GBRf No. 73 694 Jeanette (photographed) and No. 73 692 Dick Mabbutt. On arrival at 09.50hrs there were eight GBRf blue Class 73s in the yard. By 11.30 hrs, that number was down to three as various trains departed, but not for long as other trains made their arrival. Class 73s present at 10.30hrs included the aforementioned No. 73 692 and No. 73 694 together with No. 73 107, No. 73 109, No. 73 136, No. 73 212, No. 73 963 and No. 73 965.

On my way to Tonbridge, a quick stop was made at Wateringbury on the Medway Valley line to admire the station building, photographed in early morning December sunlight. I did not have to wait long for one of the hourly trains that run between Paddock Wood and Strood – a three-car Class 375 No. 375308. The new blue livery applied to South Eastern stock is much more attractive than the old white and yellow scheme. Despite the limited opportunities to grab pictures during my Kent tour, due to the low light levels and time limits, the results were as good as I could have hoped for.

4-Vep No. 3437.

November 20, 2018

A heavy Class 25/3.

November 18, 2018

Heljan’s new ‘O’ gauge Class 25/3 is based on the very last build of 80 Class 25 locomotives and is a fine-looking model. A heavy one too, at 2100g.It looks the part, with all the character of these popular Type 2 locomotives. They feature twin motor drive, a powered cooling fan, etched grilles, detailed cab interiors and flush glazing.Directional lighting and a screw terminal DCC interface are part of the electronics. It’s a powerful runner too and should handle a long Summer Saturday train with ease. It is detailed as a no-heat locomotive which did not have a steam heating boiler or associated water tank.

The BR blue version with domino head code dots is shown – no number is applied leaving it to the modeller to select their own choice of running number.If you need additional BR blue loco number sets, NMS does an ‘O’ gauge number set which suits BR blue locomotives such as the Class 25/3.

New addition to the Class 47 fleet…

August 7, 2018

Bachmann’s model of No. 47 209 ‘Herbert Austin’ (31-663) is a very useful model for renumbering to other Class 47s in the Railfreight Distribution fleet, featuring a common underframe tank, cab head code box light and boiler port arrangement. Strangely enough, there is a spare Bachmann model of No. 47 365 ‘Diamond Jubilee’ in the collection which has the correct underframe tank and other detail combination to model No. 47 209 in life extended condition, leaving me to renumber and weather the featured No. 47 209 (31-663) to another Class 47 in mid-life condition whilst retaining the nicely applied RfD livery. Both will go into service on my Folkestone East layout. The rolling road seen in the first picture is an excellent KPF Zeller product distributed in the UK by Ten Commandments Models.

New O gauge transfers.

July 25, 2018

A new waterslide transfer sheet for Nairnshire Modelling Supplies has been in development recently: sheet NMS-6 which is an O gauge (7mm scale) version of the OO gauge NMS-1 (BR blue diesels plus engineers ‘Dutch’ livery). It is intended as a renumbering pack for ready to run O gauge diesels, but has enough elements on it for those repainting their models too. To keep the price down to offer a fair deal to modellers, not everything is included and the loco data panels are simplified. If this new sheet is a success, sheet NMS-7 will be developed quickly which will be an O gauge version of the NMS-5 Scottish Region BR blue version complete with depot emblems. It looks as if sheet NMS-7 and the planned NMS-8 (large logo) will be on sheets larger than the one above to accommodate all of the required livery elements. This allow some smaller OO gauge and new N gauge part-sheets to be completed too. The range is about to expand!

The picture above is a snapshot of the latest proof which has been checked carefully for dimensions and colour. Note the small black numerals for loco end numbers if using the sheet for engineers ‘Dutch’ livery. Some of the number typefaces are different for up-to-date end numbering too. The correct method is to replace all of the printed loco number on a model, not just the numerals which need to be changed, because every manufacturer prints livery elements in a slightly different manner. Sometimes, factory applied printing can be slightly over-size or slightly too heavy. To match manufacturers lettering is impossible to do with one universal transfer sheet – it can change slightly from model to model. In all, this is a comprehensive sheet crammed with as much as we can get in in the space and at a reasonable price too! It has been approved for printing at this time.

Also, in conjunction with this project, I am developing some etched products too, primarily scenery items. It’s been a sharp learning curve to get to grips with a drawing programme in the meantime – the principles are entirely different from working in PhotoShop! I completed my first etched sheet recently which was for simple phosphor-bronze pick-up strip which allowed me to test the etching concept and gain a very useful modelling product from the work at the same time. It did work, much to my surprise, resulting in a nicely sharp etch. More on new etching developments soon.