I Do Like a Good Rummage Box

The Cambridge Model Railway Club Exhibition was a couple of weekends ago. For me the best part of the exhibition was the retailers.

I was impressed by the wooden model kits from Laser Cut Railway Models. Very nice kits with good detailing. I couldn’t resist buying one. No idea what to do with it, but I’m still pleased with it.

Several other retailers had rummage boxes, and I do like a good rummage box. I picked up some useful secondhand bits and bobs for future scratch building projects….

Meet ‘arry the ‘unslet

The A1 Models Hunslet has progressed through the workshop and the engineering team tell me she’s finished. This is the first O9 loco, and the first brass kit, to come from the workshops.

The paint work is complete, the loco’s been weathered and the windows have been added.

When I look at the close up photos I see the windows have scratches and marks on them. This wasn’t intentional, but perhaps it makes the loco look more prototypical…

Eagle eyed readers may think this a “driverless loco”. Google haven’t invaded O9 modelling yet! I am recruiting a driver at the moment. Applications from experienced 7mm scale diesel drivers are most welcome. All applicants must be able to fit in the cab!

Obviously, the loco’s correct name is Harry. However, this Hunslet was built in Essex so it is known as ‘arry the ‘unslet.

The Hunslet Moves Forward

Work on the Hunslet is progressing and it has visited the paint shop.

The components were stuck together and held in place while the glue dried. I never thought a locomotive could look sorry for itself until I saw this one wrapped in elastic bands.

There was a small gap between the front of the body and the footplate that I filled with filler.

After a little sanding and repainting, it looked a lot better.

Now I need to repaint the footplate and frames, then I can varnish the Hunslet. Things are moving forward… slowly.

Paint Your (Flat) Wagon

I have (finally) painted the flat wagons I built in January this year. Last time they were on the blog they were bear plasticard.

I like painting on lots of different layers. It’s really easy to do with acrylic paints and leads to some nice effects. Perhaps I’m over complicating things but here’s what I did:

  1. Primer Citadel Coraz White (light Grey)
  2. Paint chassis Humbrol Dirty Black mixed with a small amount Citadel Ulthuan Grey
  3. Rough coat of Citadel Zandri dust – semi dry brush of top, wet brush underneath
  4. Touch up black on chassis
  5. Wash of dilute Humbrol Dirty Black
  6. Dry brush chassis and wagon in Citadel Ulthuan Grey
  7. Dry brush chassis and  wagon Citadel Zandi Dust
  8. Dry brush chassis and  wagon Citadel Steel Legion Drag
  9. Dry brush chassis with rust mix (Citadel XV88 mixed with small amount of Citadel Dunbar Brown)
  10. Wash with dilute Humbrol Dirty Black – three times

I rather like the end result.

Beds and Bucks Narrow Gauge Modellers Open Day 14 May 2017

The Beds and Buck Narrow Gauge modellers Open Day is on Sunday 14th May 2017. We have a super selection of layouts in a range of scales and gauges including:

  • Bowleggett Manor (009), West Midlands Group.
  • Elkington on Sea Tramways (0-16.5), Roger Elkin.
  • Grasslands and Wetlands Railway (G scale), Glyn Bennett.
  • Scrubbs Lane Yard and The Maltings (009), Ken Paul.
  • Morton Stanley (0-16.5), Chris Ford & Nigel Hill.
  • Brandgeight (009), Peter Hardy.
  • Fowlers Lake (0n30), Mike Bartlett.
  • Green Pond Mine (H0e/H0f), Lyn & Jim Owers.
  • Purbeck (009), John Thorne.
  • Symonds Green Brewery (009), David & Lynda Coates.
  • Green End (009), David Gander.
  • Old Oak (009), John Rees.
  • Ellerbank (009) Graham and Caroline Watling
  • and a modelling display by Chris Krupa.

Plus we have the following top traders:

  • Model Roads and Tramways – Modelling and electrical goods for model roads, tramways and railways.
  • Narrow Planet – Narrow Planet offers a custom etching service for unique name and works number plates, as well as a growing number of kits.
  • 12 volts DC – A wide range of bulbs; LEDs; street, platform and yard lights; effect modules; point motors; CDUs and switches.
  • James Corsi  – Interesting items for the 7mm scale modeller

As usual it’s at the Barton le Clay Village Hall, Hexton Road, Barton Le Clay, Bedfordshire, MK45 4JY. The hall has full disabled access, adequate car parking and tasty range of refreshments

The exhibition is open from 10.30 to 16.30. For 009 Society Members admission is £4.00 and it’s £4.50 for non members. For that you get 13 layouts, four trade stands and the chance to chat with like minded narrow gauge modellers for up to 6 hours. It’s a total bargain!

I hope to see you there…


Narrow Gauge South West 2017 – The Last Hurrah


The Small and Delightful group held the 25th, and final, Narrow Gauge South West in February this year. With over 75 layouts, many traders and an excellent selection of cakes it was a heaven for narrow gauge modelers.

Here are a few layouts that caught my eye.

The Buttermere Mining Company by Bill Flude is a charming, dual sided O9 layout. I was very struck by the colour and tones of the model. They are much lighter that I would have expected, yet they work very well and evoked a hot summers day on a dusty mining line.

buttermere-mining-company-bill-flude-1The image below is, one side of the layout and the image at the start of the blog shows the other. Two very different scenes on one layout and very nice modelling.


Let’s continue the mining theme with Afon Adit Gold Mine in O9 by Martin Rich. The layout captures the different layers in the landscape very well.


It is based on a real prototype in mid-Wales that operated until the 1980s.


The layout even features the underground workings and the locos move seamlessly from overground to underground. An unusual and interesting feature. (Sorry about the blurry photo).


Changing scale to OO9. Two layouts exhibited next to one another started me thinking about layout presentation. Both have a single line of track on the viewing side, well modeled scenery and a frame around the viewing area to set off the scene. I was very struck by how effective this (apparently) simple approach was.

Tal Coed, exhibited by Phil Farr Cox, with it’s attractive green coloured surround to frame the scene.tal-coed-phil-farr-cox-1

Cleverly, the single line appears to climb from left to right.



The scenic modelling is great with slate fences surrounding the fields.


Tipyn O Bopeth (which I think means ‘a bit of nothing’ in Welsh) uses a very similar approach. It started as a test track, and evolved into a fully scenic layout. Ed Florey has made a nice job of the transformation. tipyn-o-bopeth-ed-florey-1

The style of modelling is very different from Tal Coed, but the approach is similar and it was interesting to see how effective this ‘simplicity’ can be.


I was looking forward to seeing Enigma Quay by Richard Williams, I’d seen it online but never in real life. The layout is (roughly) triangular in shape and is cleverly designed to sit on top of an IKEA corner desk unit. If I had a layout like this on my desk I would never get anything done!


Built in 7mm scale (O9) the quay features an interesting mixture of buildings, in different styles that suggest the dockside has developed and changed over time.



Richard has some lovely stock, I particularly like this passenger coach. It is reminiscent of the First Class coaches of the 18 inch gauge Royal Arsenal Railway in Woolwich.


Finally, a very attractive 0-16.5 layout by Mike Baker: The Bath and District Amalgamated Fullers Earth Company. If there had been a prize for the longest layout name in the exhibition this would have been a strong contender. Also, I think it was a contender for the best modeling in the exhibition. The layout is a compact, industrial scene.


There are two buildings…



.. and the modelling is great. Just look at the detail, textures and colours in this small scene.


Many thanks to all of the Small and Delightful team for making this such an excellent and enjoyable day: the car park team, the reception desk, the organisers, the members helping in the exhibition and the catering team.

The organisers wanted Narrow Gauge South West to go out with a bang and they definitely succeeded!

Single Plank O9 Wagons

The scratch building of O9 wagons continues. The latest wagons to be completed are this pair of single plank wagons.

The construction was essentially the same as the open wagon I made. The fake sole bars, floor, sides, hinges and rivet details were made from plastic card and rod. The main difference is these wagons are built on the Peco N Gauge 15ft Wagon Chassis (NR122) and are slightly longer than the open wagon.

The two wagons were made to resemble one another, with small differences. The one on the right is slightly longer (52mm compared to 48mm), has more hinges on the side planks and has shorter end stanchions.

I designed the wagons so they would accommodate the Skytrex Model Railways O scale packing cases and crates. This has worked out well and the loads look good in the wagons.

Both wagons are painted in manufacturer’s photographic grey (also known as primer 🙂 ) because I still haven’t decided what colour to paint my O9 stock !