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.