Tuesday, December 9

More on (or moron) Mark 1s

Finally, I've some more progress on the Mark 1 coaches. The RB has had all the ridged dome vents added (ABS, I think), and I've finally got the BSO sides onto the remains of the Mainline Blue/Grey BSK last seen in January. Here's pretty much the current state of progress, with Bachmann B1 bogies modified by filling the mounting hole and re-drilling for a smaller pivot, an interior made from the BSK "cage" and guard's compartment (with the cage shortened) and an FO interior loo (I picked up the interior from Railwayana at Warley for £1.95). The middle bit will come from a TSO interior or some Southern Pride bits.

BSO body, interior and bogies

Checking the reference for the interior layout

There's an interesting thread over on RM Web where Fred Flood is doing a BFK by cutting up and re-arranging bits of Bachmann Mark 1. This follows in the footsteps of other thread relating to what can be done with the Bachmann Mark 2 and Mark 2A models by Brian Kirby. This is quite inspirational and I'm struggling now to finish the BSO and the RB (see photos here) off because they won't be as good (or at least not as good a match for unmodified Bachmann coaches) as cut-and-shut Bachmann versions and (worse) have cost as much and will have taken longer!

Never mind. Such is almost always the modellers lot.

I'll probably end up doing my nut to do a pair of Mark 1 sleepers, only to finish them a day after Bachmann final get their act together and get some in the shops!!

Monday, October 20

WHL Engineers Wagons - Hake

The HAKE was one of the WHL's interesting and unusual engineers' wagons in the mid to late 80s. Gavin Judd has a few good pictures which can be found on the UK Rolling Stock album, including a photo of one at Fort William:


After a discussion on modelling another ballast wagon, the SEAL, on the RMWeb forum, Paul Bartlett has posted a set of Hake photos on his excellent BR Wagon Photos website here:


So my plan for this wagon is to use the more recent issue of the Parkside Grampus kit (the one with the option for the air-braked Rudd version). The ends and suspension of the Hake are quite different to any of the options in the kit, so I plan to use the FAT25 suspension (axleguards, springs etc) from a Cambrian OTA kit, and to modify the Rudd ends from the Parkside Grampus kit. I did think about using a Hornby Rudd chassis to save time, but it would have to be modified so much that it probably wouldn't be worth the effort.

Here's the start of the process - Grampus sides and ends being prepared.

Last night I rough cut all the bracing off the Rudd end and (after the photo) sanded and filed it flush, repeating for the other end. On the right of the picture, you can see the original (left) and rudd style ends on the sprue and the rough cut end for the model below.

Next I'll use the end detail photo on Paul B's website to build a representation of the bracing on the ends, and then I can assemble the wagon body. More on this as things progress...

Thursday, October 16

Another (belated) update - and wagons

Hello all.

Been quite busy, holidays and what-not, including a ride on the splendid Stockholm to Narvik sleeper train (and some walking in Lappland). Here's the return train at Boden, where portions to and from Lulea are shunted.

I've not done much modelling since the last update, but in the last few weeks, I've gone a little further with planning a small layout (mentioned before), which I think I've settled on a track plan for - more of this later...

I did a day demonstrating for DEMU at the Manchester show. I took the Mark 1s I was working on at Christmas, but also some Parkside Vanwide kits I want to get finished for a 1980s vacuum braked train which is taking shape. I spent a nice few hours cleaning up the main parts for the four Vanwides, and chatting away to folks.

Tonight I had the Vanwides out again and removed the moulded door handles on the first one and replaced them with wire ones. I've also made a start cleaning up the parts for a Cambrian Turbot.

On the research front I've found some info on the ZBA "Hake" grampus conversions which were at Fort William in the mid and late 80s. These will make a nice model, and I've started collecting parts for a couple.

More later, hopefully with less of a delay than last time!

Tuesday, January 22

Update - and Mark One Coaches

Well, it's been a while, I'm afraid, since I managed an update. The latter part of 2007 passed pretty much in a blur of work, but I made some good progress with a few things over Christmas. The main projects were assembling four IKEA "Snack" boxes which are to form the basis for a small portable terminus scheme, which will hopefully have some of the ambience of Neil Rushby's Abergwynant and Shell Island layouts, albeit slightly larger to accommodate trains of up to two coaches (hopefully a strategically positioned "view block" will give the impression of these being full length). For details of Abergwynant, see the fourth item down on this page from Carl Arendt's excellent Small Layout Scrapbook, which is updated at least once a month.

I've also been working on some wagons, finishing three vans and four opens for the c.1979 era, together with starting on various steel minerals (a 21.5T open, two standard 16T minerals from Bachmann, and one 10' wheelbase 17'6" long mineral with a modified Mainline body and a chassis from an unwanted Bachmann cattle wagon).

The main project, though, is a pair of Mark One coaches, as I start to try and assemble a collection of representative West Highland coaches from the 70s and 80s. The difficulty is that Bachmann's range, whilst quite wide, is missing some of the classic types used on the West Highland, particularly the BSO and its catering conversion the BSOT, the RB (for the earlier period), BFK (surprisingly common on the WHR) and FO.

The start of the first BSO

These are all going to be from Comet or Southern Pride sides on Mainline donor vehicles. I have a BSO and an RB underway now, and there are some notes on construction on my Fotopic site starting here, and continuing here.

I've also been busy organising my scrapbooks a bit more - these are ready to index now - and attending a couple of shows with the DEMU Roadshow - Manchester in October and Warley in December.

Hopefully, I'll update progress soon and post a few more pictures of progress.