Monday, September 30, 2013

Maybe It's A Woollen Mill?

I'm still to decide exactly what business S. A. Tan and Sons are in, but maybe they are running a woollen mill?

I didn't want to fill the layout with sheep, so I've used just three from the pack of eight I bought from Langley Models (model number A70). For those that are interested (and to make sure I can remember) they were painted by first spraying with Humbrol grey primer before the face and shadow detail was painted black (Tamiya flat black). The wool was then dry brushed using first white (Tamiya) and then Ivory (Model Color).

If you look closely you might also be able to spot the squirrel.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


Iain correctly guessed that the driving wheels in the arty shot in yesterdays post were from Tornado, which was one of four locos in steam yesterday at Barrow Hill. When I arrived (I ended up arriving early so was about the 20th person through the gate) Tornado was sat at the halt which the DMU service from Chesterfield uses. The first movement of the day was then a little shuffling around to put Tornado onto one of the other lines down near the signal box, where it would spend the rest of the morning, before switching on to the demonstration train in the afternoon

For those of you who don't know Tornado is actually a very modern steam engine. Most steam engines in the UK were built before 1968 when all steam locomotives were withdrawn from the national network. Work on building Torndao, however, only started in 1990 and she moved under her own power for the first time in 2008. You can read more about Tornado at the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust who were responsible for funding and building her.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Barrow Hill Live

This morning I spent an enjoyable few hours at Barrow Hill just outside Chesterfield at Barrow Hill Live enjoying trains from Z scale all the way up to 1:1. I went to a similar event last year which was run in conjunction with Model Rail magazine. This years event was quite a bit smaller but still very enjoyable. There was probably only a couple less layouts than last year but the real difference was the lack of trade stands. There were too large marques this year and both were packed. This year there was just one and it wasn't even half as full as last year. On the up side this means I came away without spending money on anything but a cup of coffee.

There were some really interesting layouts and some very interesting full size engines so rather than one long post I'll spread them out a bit. For this post I'll give you an arty shot of some driving wheels. Anyone care to guess at the loco?

Friday, September 27, 2013

The 13:05 To Jerusalem

Today’s post was going to be all about sheep, but just before 1pm the post arrived with my repaired locomotive, so I can finally show you a working passenger train.

I thought I'd go for a video rather than a photo and while the train is probably moving a bit to fast and the video quality is poor you should still get the general idea.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Penistone Is...

As I mentioned in the previous post many of the presents I received for my recent birthday were railway related, many of them were also books. One of those books was a modern reproduction of the 1863 copy of Bradshaw's Handbook. This is the same version as Michael Portillo uses in his Great British Railway Journeys TV Series -- strangely this isn't a programme I've ever actually watched.

George Bradshaw is best know for publishing railway timetables, but he also published a number of guides to the places the railway lines passed through. While there were a number of versions of these guides, as I mentioned above, this particular book collects together the four volumes and reflects the railway as it was in 1863. Given that both the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway and the Yorkshire and Lancachire Railway had both reached Penistone by 1863, the first thing I looked for was an entry for Penistone.

I eventually found Penistone on page 52 of part 4 and it would appear that Bradshaw (or more likely someone working for his company, as he died in 1853) didn't really think much of the area as the full entry reads:

This is a small market town, situated on the banks of the Don, in the midst of a wild and dreary district. It contains several large cotton and woollen factories, and a free Grammar School.
Today Penistone is a still an active market town set in wonderful countryside that I challenge anyone to call dreary, even when the weather is miserable!

We'll have to see what Michael Portillo thinks of Penistone when series 5 of Great British Railway Journeys airs on TV. Although the list of journeys hasn't yet been announced my next door neighbour saw him with a TV crew a few stations up the line earlier in the summer.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

We Are Sorry To Announce.....

British Railways are sorry to announce that the introduction of a passenger service through Jerusalem, as well as all goods services, will be delayed for an unknown period due to a failed locomotive.
As some of you will know I've recently had a birthday, and many of the presents were train related and will probably turn up on this blog at some point. One of those presents was a Mk 1 57ft suburban brake (Graham Farish model 374-312A) which, for the first time, would have brought a passenger service to Jerusalem. Unfortunately the failure of my only locomotive has brought a halt to "playing trains" for a while -- modelling will continue though.

The locomotive failed almost five months to the day after I bought it and so fortunately it is still under warranty. It has run perfectly, in both directions, since it arrived, at least until Friday last week. The first sign that there was anything wrong was when I tried running it in reverse; it had a pronounced wobble and was making a weird clicking noise. Strangely it ran forward without any issues what so ever. From a quick examination, it appeared that as the wheels rotated the rod connected the middle wheel and valve gear wasn't moving properly as the vertical piece it is connected to wasn't moving at all (it should swing left and right). I was going to see if running it forward for a few minutes would help it settle, but it hadn't moved more than about six inches when the connecting rod popped off (as you can see in the photo). Given that I have no idea what the underlying problem was or how to repair the obvious problem properly it has now been boxed up and sent off for repair under warranty. Hopefully it will return soon.

The coach is, however, excellent and I really am looking forward to being able to run it properly; I've been slightly lucky in that I didn't have anything anywhere near as long as the coach to check clearances when building the landscape and it only just clears the tunnel mouth... but just is enough. I will, however, definitely be more careful with clearances on future layouts, although if I can avoid such tight 1st radius curves in future then the problem will (at least partially) disappear.

Saturday, September 7, 2013


When I ordered the articulated truck, that has been the subject of recent posts, from Langley Models I also ordered a number of other items that will hopefully add some more interest to Jerusalem. One of those items was a pack of seven wild animals (item number A64) which contains; 2 foxes, 2 feeding rabbits, 1 rabbit sitting up, 1 badger, and a squirrel. So far I've only painted the squirrel.

I would have shown you the squirrel in situ on the layout but a) I haven't quite decided where it is going yet, and b) it is so small I didn't think I'd be able to get a decent picture of it once it was in place.

While modelling in N gauge is great, as it allows me to have lots of railway in a small space, it does mean that some of the details really are very small.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


As you can see, other than some weathering, the articulated flatbed truck I started to build from a Langley Models kit a few posts ago is now complete. The final step was to glaze the windows.

Given the small size of the windows, and the relative thickness of the castings, it was obvious that sticking some clear plastic inside the cab wouldn't work at all. One alternative would have been to try and cut some plastic to fit flush inside the frames but that also didn't seem like a sensible route. Fortunately there is a much easier alternative; Micro Kristal Klear.

Microscale Industries' Micro Kristal Klear
(I bought mine from Eileen's Emporium) is a PVA like glue that is designed to both dry clear and to not discolour clear plastic. This makes it perfect for gluing windows in place, but it can also be used to make the windows. You simply use a cocktail stick to smear a small amount around the edge of the window frame, and then draw the glue across the opening to make a thin film. You can see this in action above, after I'd just done the first window. Once dry the glue is clear and the window is glazed.

Sunday, September 1, 2013


As you can see, progress on the Leyland Beaver articulated flatbed truck from Langley Models has moved on a little further than the primer coat I showed in the previous post.

In real life the model looks neatly painted, but this close up photo shows that I wasn't quite as neat as I thought I had been. Mind you, given that the model is less than 2cm tall the slight amount of over paint is actually quite small. The metal work also looks much better in real life. I'm guessing the problem here is that the reflective flecks in the paint (to make it sparkle) are quite large in comparison to the details I'm trying to paint.

I'm more than happy with how it's going so far though, especially after I managed to fit a driver (I had to cut the legs off the model to get it to fit) which adds some life to the vehicle. I still have to paint the rear flatbed section and then I'll have to deal with cutting out the draft by adding some windows, all of which will, I'm sure, appear in a future post.