Beasts in the East

8 Jun

With the passing of lockdown 3, I have been seconded into a major project in Norfolk & Cambs. This is taking me to Norwich once or twice a month which is proving very interesting from a train point of view. I should also be able to expand to March/ Whitemoor & Peterborough soon.

Here are some of the beasts seen so far.

57312 stabled at Norwich 21-04-2021
37423 stabled at Norwich 11-05-2021
57002 stabled at Norwich 11-05-2021
158 806 Norwich Crown point 12-05-2021
Norwich Crown point signal box 12-05-2021

Calder Valley: Colour & Variety

17 May
60076 6M36 Drax to Liverpool Biomass at Littleborough 20-04-2021
150124 and 150125 Passing the River Roch at Littleborough on 1J12 Man Vic to Leeds 18-04-2021
158867 and 156441 Passing the Rochdale Canal at Littleborough on 2N95 Southport to Blackburn 18-04-2021
195002 Passing the River Roch at Littleborough on 1D72 Leeds to Chester 19-04-2021
158908 Passing the Rochdale Canal at Littleborough on 2I01 Wigan to Leeds 19-04-2021
195133 Passing the River Roch at Littleborough on 1E68 Man Vic to Leeds 19-04-2021


24 Apr

The key focal point of the layout will be the main production mill and adjacent loading bays. To create the tunnel effect, a canopy will span from the production mill to the despatch warehouse. This area was created as a mock up last summer when the production mill was completed.

The first step on this journey is the despatch warehouse. Created from laminates of styrene sheet, we have now painted the shell and loading platforms. We only have a part photo of this building so a few assumptions have been needed.

Roof style visible on right hand side

One distinctive feature was the mansard type roof. It’s unclear if this was sheeted (felt / lead) or glazed but we opted for sheeted. It’s certainly different.

Glazing, doors, steps & canopy to be completed ready for adding to the layout board. More photos to follow once in situ.

Pebbledash or Balderdash

17 Apr

One key building for Inchyra Mill is the admin / office block. At Glenrothes, this was a 1960s era precast concrete building and quite distinctive.

Whilst we cannot replicate the building or it’s setting fully, we decided early in that we wanted it in some form. Space constraints mean a much scaled down version has been created but some key features copied:

  • Flat roof
  • Window layout
  • Angled window recesses
  • Door surround

A smooth painted styrene sheet would perhaps have matched the precast concrete but in our view, lack the texture to make it look real. We have therefore rendered it. To do this, we have used very fine grit (from an abrasive blasting kit) held on with hair spray. This was then coated in Rustoleum plastic primer and then a top coat of Rustoleum off white paint.

Base layer of blasting grit

The flat roof is bitumen roofing felt as we think that’s likely to have been used in the 1950s/60s when built.

Window frames, glazing and doors need to be added before placement on the layout. More pics will then follow.

Lockdown Vault: South Wales Shunters

13 Jan

Time for a Tippler

30 Dec

My first successful layout was Argyle Road, set in the Glasgow suburbs of 1990. The layout lasted until around 1996 and attended a decent number of exhibitions. My interest was sparked by regular family visits to Scotland and time spent at Mossend, Motherwell and Eastfield as well as travelling up and down on LHCS

One of my favourite rakes on Argyle Road was the iron ore train. Generally hauled by a pair of detailed & repainted Lima 37s, this always got comments and provoked a strong ‘play’ reaction in the operators as it was held as a red and had to power away.

Phase 1: The Iron Ore PTA tipplers I used had started life as the short Lima wagons (based on the Immingham – Scunthorpe design) I stretched these and added the distinctive ribs. A further upgrade was fitting the white metal BSC Axle Motion bogies from Chris Leigh. At the end of its life, I was doing a further cosmetic upgrade to refine the body side ribs.

Phase 2: A cast resin kit for the PTA was released by Appleby Model Engineering. I managed to obtain 1 but never quite had the spare cash in my post Uni days to replace the rake. The kit is no longer available.

Phase 3: Fast forward to 2020 and the best wagon release for my personal interests – the Accurascale PTA. A sublime model and one I am really looking forward to giving a thrash on the club test track as soon as club nights are permitted. I still have my original Lima 37s though an order for the forthcoming Accurascale version will be made soon.

It’s play time!!

Festive PI

23 Dec

A big thank you to Planet Industrials who have been able to make available a new set of cab etches. Repairs will be underway after Xmas to resurrect this little beauty.

I’m looking forward to their new kits to build in 2021 too having found this one fun to do and the end result was superb (before my hamfistedness)

Merry Christmas everyone, be safe and let’s hope for a better 2021 and a return of exhibitions


Lockdown Vault: TI 47

16 Dec

Lockdown Vault: GMPTE 142

2 Dec

Planet – Disaster Day

20 Nov

Disaster today. My Hibberd Planet kit, 98% finished and looking fabulous needed a quick repair where the cab side & front etched had pulled apart in one corner.

I mistakenly used a large bulldog clip across the whole cab rather than a smaller one just in the corner. 30 seconds later and I had a pile of crushed cab bits.


Time to cool off, let the shakes and emotions settle before I see if can be polished out.


Lockdown Vault: Carlisle 37

18 Nov

Inchyra Mill – Fake News, Fake Mill!

11 Nov

Before cutting plastic, we normally create a cardboard version of the buildings to be able to trial fit, check dimensions and how it sits on the layout. This also allows us to make sure we are happy with the basic design style – always based on similar prototypical buildings.

After the recent running session, our ideas have been formed up now with the despatch warehouse frontage plus canopies and loading platforms. This has a felted mansard style roof rather than the gable end and tiled roof of the processing plant.

This ‘fake’ resulted in a few changes to the level of the windows and and canopy and addition of a second big Goods Door.

The actual building can now be built to match. We will post details as we go.

First attempt.
Second attempt. windows raised and canopy angle improved
Final design with second large door added

Axlebox Adjustments

4 Nov

Oxford Rail have produced some very nice models at great value pricing. However, for those that adopt EM or P4, Oxford Rail have dropped a clanger and make conversion a less than straightforward task.

Oxford Rail use 26.5mm long axles rather than the adopted ‘norm’ of 26mm

The solution I have used is the Knowle Wagon Works reaming tool. This is fitted with a 2mm stub drill and bores a perfectly neat and perfectly aligned hole through the existing pinpoint moulding into which can be fixed a standard brass bearing.

Reaming out each axlebox only takes a few minutes. Brake shoes need adjusting, I file away sons of the face and turn outwards slightly to ensure no interference. Then it’s in with bearings and new P4 Gibson wheels.

I have a number of Oxford Rail wagons to work through including the 5 plank, 12T tank and cattle vans. Once converted, these will get the usual couplings & weathering ready for traffic.

Inchyra Mill – the mill fleet

28 Oct

A bit by luck and then some planning, the nucleus of the Mill loco fleet has come together. A red / maroon livery has been adopted but beyond colour, variety is the order of the day. Yellow buffer beams with wasp stripes will become our signature.

Step forward our tinto trio, Janus, Barclay and Sentinel. Much work remains to bring these up to our spec so plenty of hobby work this winter. we also have a Hornby 48DS and various Pecketts to add to the line up.

We like to have a bit of individuality to our fleets. The first in build is the Planet Industrials, Hibberd Planet. I also have a Planet Industrials cab for a Barley 0-4-0 which will go red soon too giving us a second Barclay.

Life of Pi: White Planet

21 Oct

No David Attenborough nature programme, just an update on my build of the Planet Industrials Hibberd Planet loco kit.

This has now has its trip to be grit blasted and a coat of all over white primer applied. This has shown up a couple of minor tweaks / filling jobs to do before it goes maroon.

In addition, I was able to give the loco its first test run as Inchyra Mill was set up for a running session.

DRD Transfers

Welcome to the new home for DRD Transfers

Ouse Valley Modeller

Ouse Valley Modeller is a blog about my 4mm OO gauge modelling, my observations mostly about Sussex railways in the 1950's and my layout Herstmonceux

roundtree sidings

the development of a model railway

Padgate Works

Modelling and other dribbling frae an auld grump!

highland miscellany


The Model Railways of Oly Turner and Chris Matthews

Finescale (ish) Modelling in 4mm Scale by two friends

Max Stafford's Kennel

An independent pro-Indy modeller from Scotland, in love with his country and its railways.

Paul's Fantastic Workbench!

The thinking behind and construction of model railway exhibition layout.s

Rochdale Model Railway Group

Whats going on at RMRG


The ramblings of a finescale renegade


Scribblings from Kashmir Cottage

New Hey to North Ballachulish

a modelling journey.