Desirable ‘Desiro’.

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.

In summary:

  • 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.

 


Mid-life crisis…? Well, after 2016…

January 6, 2017

autocoach-omwb-1

Um, no, you are not seeing things… I have the opportunity to look over the forthcoming Bachmann Hawksworth OO gauge auto-trailer (2017 release) and have enjoyed looking into 64xx ‘Pannier Tanks’ too. An interesting class of locomotive. There’s one that has attracted my attention: No. 6403, and that is due to my interest in the railways of the Black Country. The loco concerned was ‘shedded’ (to use a steam era term) at Stourbridge Junction in the last few years of its life and the Bachmann model above, according to my records and research, could relatively easily morph into No. 6403, more or less.

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39-578 as W234.

The auto-trailer shown in these pictures is yet to be released by Bachmann (39-578) at the time of writing. It looks pretty good to me on first inspection and with reference to ADW150375 and other images, I think the shape is pretty good (ADW150375 did see extensive modifications for its departmental role, something I have to consider when making comparisons). Anyway, here’s a few images of the model to give a flavour of what is on its way. Also to be released soon is a plain unlined BR maroon version (which will be very attractive for its ordinary every day appearance) and one finished as a preserved vehicle in chocolate and cream livery. And, no, this ensemble will not be appearing on Folkestone East…

autocoach-4-omwbautocoach-5-omwbautocoach-3-omwbFor the record, the Bachmann Hawksworth auto-trailer was first released in late 2015: 39-575 in 1951 BR crimson and cream as W231 (larger numbers); 39-576 BR lined maroon as W228W and 39-577 in BR crimson as W237W.

To come is the featured 39-578 BR carmine and cream as W234 together with 39-579 unlined BR maroon as W236 and 39-580 heritage railway chocolate and cream as W231W.


Loch Dhu Distillery progress pictures

September 14, 2016

image-layout1-omwb

Landscaping, scenery and detailing of the Loch Dhu Siding side of my double-sided OO gauge micro-layout (the distillery is on the opposite side of the backdrop) has been completed (more or less) in recent weeks. A few things remain to be added at this time including the addition of a handful of small details, a road vehicle and a tidying up of the back drop area. Some grass tufts remain to be planted in one or two areas.

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Whilst working on this scene, I have managed to get my hands on another ARC Models kit, this time for the smaller version of the Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST locomotive and in pre-war condition. No need to do any back-dating as was done to the larger version I built previously as a freelance distillery pug, named Loch Dhu No.1. This second distillery ‘Pug’ loco will be modelled as Dailuaine No.1 in 1968 condition.

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The layout is operational, but only has the two locos so far: the Bachmann Class 20 and the Pug as seen above. The layout awaits the Bachmann Class 24/1 model which is some time away as yet. A Class 27 is a possibility as is one of the Heljan rail buses – maybe – perhaps. Also, I plan to build a Ruston 48DS for the distillery branch – just for the hell of it! It will be a challenge to fit it out for DCC. – the Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST was interesting enough. Hard to believe that there is a TCS decoder together with a TCS ‘Keep Alive’ device in the saddle tank of that loco!


What’s a cookin’?

July 28, 2015

Class20TC-3-wordpressHmm – I have been quiet of late. Computers or my work bench? I know I prefer the latter, but the arrival of the first new (and I mean brand new) OO gauge model for my collection in a very long time deserves a little attention.

And no, it’s not another product of English Electric for the Southern region. It’s EE alright, but there’s something amiss with my traction choice of late. The Bachmann Class 20 above is going to more at home on ScR pick-up goods circa 1965 than the former Southern Region. Numbered D8028, the model (32-044) is one of the latest Class 20 releases from Bachmann which includes the unusual green Class 20, No. 20141, a real hold out loco which survived in BR green into the early 1980s (32-034A).Class 20TC-2-wordpressClass20TC-1-wordpress
The tablet catcher equipment is a bit of a giveaway as to the origins of this locomotive model. Not destined for Folkestone East; it is the first arrival for a new OO gauge layout project which has been slowly taking shape this year. The model itself is neatly finished in early condition. It will be renumbered D8032 and given a suitably grimy finish. The model does not come equipped with lighting, so that will make an interesting DCC project.
Class20TC-4-wordpressClass20TC-5-wordpress copyHere’s another clue as to my current layout planning ideas:

Covhop-2-wordpress

Covhop-1-wordpressOne of my rare Ebay auction wins and for a reasonable price too. Two ‘Whisky’ covhops, origin Trix Trains/Liliput and latterly Bachmann. They are more recent models and cost relatively little to buy. I am now searching around for some 16t mineral wagons, 13t steel sided wagons and some shock wagons, not to mention a handful of vans. The project will not need a lot of wagons, being compact in design.

This does not mean that I have been dormant on my other projects. The OHLE is finally in place on Dudley Heath and anyone who saw the layout at the Perth show last month will have seen it in its state of interim installation.

The Montana Rail Link layout has seen considerably more activity – almost a complete redesign now I have decided to bridge the layout room door way – something I have resisted for some time. The result is a simplified layout design and a longer main line run.

Folkestone East is mothballed currently and has been so since my return from a long trip to Norway. The stock is yet to be placed back on the layout and remains in secure storage. Dust sheets rule there!

Tronheim copy
Finally, I am surprised how little equipment there is for modelling current NSB operations. The shot above was grabbed at Trondheim on the 28th May of this year. The stock from the Bodø-Trondheim sleeper is moved ECS to the berthing sidings after its arrival from the Arctic. I would take considerably more interest in modelling the railways of one of my favourite countries if there was more equipment available either in HO or N gauge.


Paint shop progress on Class 150s

March 16, 2015

Class 950 roofShowing pictures of part completed work lays your soul, or at least your painting one, bare for all to see. Rough edges and the lack of transfers and touching up is apparent in this pair of work-in-progress shots of the OO gauge Class 950 project.

Class 950 roof paintingThis particular project is a long-running saga of problems with some of the parts and making the Bachmann Class 150/1 to Class 950 conversion kit by PH Design Model Railway Products work satisfactorily. The primer stage involved a great deal of rubbing down and filling to blend in the door infill panels as can be seen in the image below. Care was taken not to remove excess plastic from the body shells when rubbing down with wet and dry paper so not to distort its appearance. Now the bulk of the paint work is complete, an end to this project is finally in sight after many weeks of work!

Class 950 primer stageWhilst on the subject of Class 150s, another one is making its way through the paint shop. Awaiting lining and some touch-up of the masked lines is this N gauge Graham Farish model to become No. 150123 in an earlier version of Centro livery.

Centro Class 150 paintThere’s no conversion work involved, only a strip down and repaint. It has to be my favourite livery as applied to favourite Sprinters. It should be ready in time for its debut at the Perth show in June where Dudley Heath will be making its first outing to a Scottish show other than Inverness! More on this one soon.

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Graham Farish Polybulk (and its big brother)

January 30, 2015

GF polybulk34333‘Wheal Annah’, a compact N gauge layout based on a Cornish china clay theme, is being prepared for the Model Rail Scotland exhibition where it will be displayed on the Hornby Magazine stand. Whilst it is primarily based in the 1970s, I plan to collect together some stock to allow a few trains of the 1980s to be run for a little more variety.

GF polybulk34334The new Graham Farish Polybulk wagon is one addition to the fleet and one I can also use on my other N gauge display layout ‘Dudley Heath’. It’s an amazing-looking model, albeit relatively costly to collect more than a couple at any one time. Masses of separate details, NEM coupling pockets, metal buffers and a an excellent representation of the complex shape of the hopper body make this one of the top British N gauge freight stock models around.

GF polybulk23991Three versions are available in N gauge including the early one above; a weathered version with the simplified Polybulk “Traffic Services” livery and a pristine one with intermediate ‘Traffic Services’ markings. List prices at the time of writing come in around £39-£42.

The N gauge version follows the OO gauge model which was released about 12months before the Graham Farish model. I picked one up before the list price rocketed to nearly £60 for a weathered version. When you look at the level of detail on the OO gauge model and the time it probably takes to assemble one, the price tag of £50-60 comes as no surprise.

OO Polybulk OMWB-2OO Polybulk OMWBOO Polybulk OMWB - 3

Putting a rake of these together is going to be a challenge to the modelling budget! The time to look at quality rather than quantity when a planning layout theme is definitely upon us.

 


Bachmann Class 70 Graces The Work Bench

January 15, 2011


Yeah, it’s an ugly brute. But there’s something about these GE Class 70s that Freightliner has acquired.

Love them or hate them, it translates in an amazing-looking model in 4mm scale.
Let’s be honest – there’s not a jot of design to them, they are purely functional. However, think back to the BR standard steam locos which also were functional. And pretty ugly compared to some of the graceful steam locomotives that operated until the end of steam. Nowadays, they have a huge following amongst both steam enthusiasts and BR steam era modellers.


There’s something strangely compelling about an ugly freight engine and this one will make a real change from Class 66s!Bachmann has done a nice job of the model – it’s one of the general release ones numbered 70 006. PowerHaul 70 001 has been offered as a special edition model which is now lists on Ebay for silly money from time to time. Here’s my pictures and strangely enough, as ugly usually does, it makes a great looking model.