December 6, 2017
A second batch of Bachmann OO gauge SE&CR 60-foot ‘Birdcage’ coaches are about to land at model shops decorated in SE&CR ‘Dark Lake’ livery which is an attractive and very dark red – almost brown – with delicate lining on panels and finished with shaded lettering.
This type of coach was primarily operated in fixed sets of three. This set of Birdcage coaches is numbered No. 138 and consists of a Brake Composite Lavatory Coach No. 1174 (39-600); Composite Lavatory Coach No.1178 (39-610) and Brake Third Coach No. 1182 (39-620). The set numbers are applied to the guards’ compartment ends of the brake coaches.
Roof and other details differ on this Pre-Group version of the coaches compared to the BR version featured in October here.
Brake Composite Lavatory Coach No. 1174 (39-600).
Composite Lavatory Coach No. 1178 (39-610).
Brake Third Coach No. 1182 (39-620).
The models have some fine panelling and lining too.
Bachmann’s Birdcage coaches are very striking models with some good interior detail, printed detail on the windows and good livery application. SE&CR Dark Lake livery with its fine lining gives these coaches an entirely different appearance compared to the drab, unlined BR colours!
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!
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!
July 18, 2017
Bachmann’s colourful OO gauge South West Trains (SWT) Class 450 arrives…
The Class 450 due for imminent release is being offered in two finishes – pristine and weathered as shown in this picture.
Inner end detail of one of the driving cars.
The roof has a bleached or sun-faded appearance commonly found on the full size trains whilst the body sides remain in less affected condition due to the use of vinyls.
Underframe details are specific to the Class 450, even though the model is based on the previously released Class 350.
Weathering and distressing has been applied to empty pantograph well. Class 450s work exclusively on the third rail network and as such no pantograph is fitted.
The Class 450 is a four-car set with the powered car located in the middle of the set.
Overall, the Class 450 finished in outer suburban SWT blue livery is a stunning looking model and is common with modern EMUs, translates in a very attractive model. They are worthy successors to the 4-Vep, 4-cep and 4-Cig they replaced alongside the ‘Desiro’ Class 444.
- 21-pin DCC socket.
- 4-wheel drive in powered car.
- 5-pole can motor.
- Electrical bar couplings throughout the set requiring only one decoder to operate all of the lights.
- Close coupling cams.
- Fully working running lights.
- Faded roof colours to represent a unit in regular service.
- Revisions to PTOSLW car to distinguish the model from the similar 25kV AC Class 350.
- Interior lighting.
- Accessory pack with air dam, cabling and cosmetic Dellner couplings.