As I have been unable to find any proprietary windows from the usual sources, including from laser cut suppliers that were the correct size for these distinctive upper windows (the ground floor window are from the PECO LK-78 building kit-1), I resorted to the old school method using various sizes of microstrip. I have actually used the centre section of some Ratio signal box windows (whispers quietly GWR ones…) that were the right height, but too wide, so have reduced their width and added new edge verticals. To aid production I make up little jigs from the versatile wooden coffee stirrer screwed to a piece of MDF.
Once I had made enough main six pane sections, I joined them together with additional verticals between them, and complete outer frames to make the required three and five section main windows. Once fully assembled they make up into quite strong assemblies. I also used the same technique to make the smaller side landing window. With the windows made, although they won’t be glazed until after painting, I was then able to complete the rendered upper wall sections (a characteristic of the mirrored inspiration of Alverstone, for this build)
The shell of the main building was then assembled around the internal lower floor, that has been cut square and allowing for the wall material thickness, and its internal partition walls. The corners are chamfered to an angle greater than 45deg to get sharp corner joints and further reinforced behind with lengths of triangular section. On the Alverstone station building being used for inspiration there is a shaped brick moulding that runs horizontally between the lower brick and upper rendered walls along with the the very bottom edge of the rendered walls sloping outwards to deflect rainwater away from getting in along bottom edge of the render. I have used half round microstrip and 10thou thin flat strip at an angle above it to represent these features.
The approximate internal layout has been worked out for both floors. The ground floor, as at Alverstone has a small ticket hall with passenger being able to access just the ticket window via the middle door. This is one of the interesting features of this combined station ticket office / station masters house whilst not actually on the platform is one of the quirks that attracted me to using it as the basis for the station building on Westhill Road. The door next to the ticket hall is the private station house access opening into a lounge, whilst at the rear is a kitchen that in turn gives access to the ticket office and the stairs. Two bedrooms and a bath room complete the upper floor rooms.
All the internal walls, fireplaces and chimney breasts etc. have been created from plasticard, representations of the door frames have also added with plastic microstrip. The upper floor is currently removable to allow access inside for painting etc.
As the building will be internally lit, the central chimney will allow the wires to be hidden down the inside, all the rooms will have a representation of furniture etc. included. I have sourced some suitable 3D printed items to use as a basis and these will be painted and added in due course along with a few suitably posed figures. I am still planning to make the roof as a separate module so it can always be removed if required, so watch this space for the next instalment…
It is not often I post about a new Great Eastern ready to run model but this post is about the latest Oxford Rail Great Eastern Railway 10 ton banana van, confused? Read on…
In fact, along with some information courtesy of friend and SR coach and wagon guru Mike King, 100 of these banana vans were transferred to the Southern between 1933 and 1937, along with 225 of LNER origin.
The reason was the transfer of banana traffic from Hull to Southampton in 1933 and a return to the Royal Albert Docks in 1937.
The numbers of the ex-GER vans, (I believe to their Diagram 72) were 632822-632921 and they kept their LNER wagon oxide livery but had “SR” applied in the usual position, over a painted patch but with “NE” in small letters in lower Right Hand corner of each side. The return of these wagons was requested by the LNER on 24/11/37. We have not seen any evidence of SR diagram numbers, but no doubt there was one allocated. Mike has kindly provided the prototype images seen left.
The first shows the right hand end of GER van 632849 at Southampton Docks in 1936 with the painted patch under the ‘R’ and the small ‘NE’ lettering. The second image shows van being shunted by “Normandy” at Southampton Docks in September 1936 so the justification for having at least one on Canute Road Quay is all too obvious.
Oxford rail have released their OR76BAN001 Oxford Rail GER 10t Banana Van number 632882 in LNER wagon oxide livery, so I thought it would make a quick and easy livery adaptation. With a cost of only £16.95 at retailers such as Kernow Model Rail Centre this van with its level of detail, especially the underframe, is very good value for money.
The only error on this particular model is that it has a plain brake level on both sides, instead of having a Morton Clutch type lever on the  side adjacent to the vacuum brake cylinder, the incorrect plain lever would in fact be taking the brakes off when the lever was pulled down!
Ironically I understand that the OR76GEGV001 Oxford Rail GER 10t Covered Van version has two Morton Clutch style levers!
I have therefore replaced the incorrect brake lever, on the side adjacent to the vacuum cylinder, with an etched version obtained from Wizard Models.
The van is pretty light and only weighs 30g which is under my preferred approx. 45g for a van of this size. Easing a small screwdriver between the bodyside and the chassis side allows the body to be removed to add some additional weight inside it.
To amend the livery I simply masked around the original NE letters and painted with Precisions Paints P952 ‘Light Brick red’ as when tested I found this to be a better match to the Oxford Rail representation of LNER wagon oxide than the Precision Paints P67 LNER Freight wagon oxide which was much darker.
I then applied standard ‘S’ and ‘R’, and the non common user ‘N’ on the bottom plank from HMRS Pressfix SR Wagons transfer sheet 13 and the small ‘NE’ from HMRS Pressfix LNER wagon transfer sheet 12 to complete the relettering.
All in all, despite having to replace the brake lever this has been a quick win addition to the wagon fleet, although it awaits some weathering, for Canute Road Quay and will be something Southern Railways wise slightly different…
One of those occasions when looking for an item you come across something else purchased a while back and think I should really finish it… The other weekend I found my 3D print, purchased from Simon Dawson’s store on Shapeways (in those days when it was much cheaper than it is now…), of the 6 wheel ex SECR Diagram 1558 20 ton brake van, so I decide it would make a nice quick win project and be one less thing on the things to do one day list/pile…
Forty 6 wheel 20t brake vans were built in 1898 by the South Eastern and Chatham Railway to Diagram 1558, these had an open veranda platform (i.e. with no roof, sides or end rail) at one end and a closed one at the other. In 1910, 50 more were built with close verandas at each end, between 1914 and 1920 the original vans were modified with two closed verandas. These modified vans were identifiable as had double top rails at the rebuilt end only. All 90 vans entered Southern Railway stock and most passed into British Railways ownership. There were also variations in some of the framing, planking and handrails between the two built versions.
The one piece 3D print represents one of the first batch as modified with both verandas enclosed and correctly has the double end top rails at one end only. The print is pretty basic but was quite a clean print, has no floor, and is missing some of the fine top corner strapping detail. Handrails and lamp irons are thankfully not part of the print as I would have replaced these if they were. I replaced the printed bufferheads with finer turned metal 13″ versions, drilling the buffer stocks to take the shank.
There is no representation of any brake gear, although its omission is mainly hidden behind the full length stepboards, I will at some stage add some brake gear, once I purchase some suitable etches.
I drilled the axle boxes to take standard brass top hat bearings for Alan Gibson 12mm spoked wheels, wire handrails and lamp irons fashioned from Bambi staples were added. I made a floor from plasticard onto which I added some lead strip to bring the van weight up to approx. 45g to ensure good running. To affix the floor I first glued some plastic ‘T’ section to the inside of the van sides to provide a mounting location.
Following a dust of Halfords plastic primer the van was brush painted with Precision Paints P91 SR Freight Brown and P90 SR Venetian Red for the ends. Lettering and numbers were added using HMRS Pressfix SR Wagons transfer sheet 13 and then give a spray coat of Railmatch satin varnish to seal. Glazing for the end windows was glued into place before the floor was affixed.
For the time being standard slim tension lock couplings have been fitted using Peco Parkside P34 mounting blocks. It is now added the queue of items to be weathered.
I am sure there is potential for these vans to become a ready to run model one day, as interest in pre-grouping rolling stock is on the increase, hence this project being done as a bit of quick win.
21c11 General Steam Navigation was the first of the Second Series of ten Merchant Navys and was introduced in December 1944, she differed from Series Ones by having a flat front cab rather the previous swept forwards style and, unique to her, deeper bulbous front fairings between the cylinders and buffer beam. When introduced she had short smoke deflectors but was fitted with the now standard length deflectors in January 1947.
So far Hornby have only produced one Series Two version in the main range as R3861 35017 Belgium Marine, this represents her in post July 1954 condition with a modified wedge shaped cab, no front fairings and the safety valves resited to the later rear position over the firebox crown. One slight error with the Hornby Series Two model is the position of the Stones steam generator that they have modelled in the Series Three lower position (I assume to simply tooling options) that gave greater access to it, rather than the position for the first 20 locomotives up behind cab side casing and beneath the cab floor. To create 21c11 for my chosen period I amended all these items and in addition I replaced the smoke deflectors with finer etched versions.
Replacing the cab is the biggest challenge for this conversion, I started by removing the body from the chassis removing the deflectors, safety vales, pipework and then removed the cab cutting the bottom edge level with the cab floor.
For the replacement cab I used as a starting point the Light Pacific Original Cab etch 4AGBWOC that is available from RT Models, the Merchant Navy Cab is longer, so I extended the etch by soldering to it an additional strip of 15thou nickel silver cut to size including the cab roof rear overhang.
The cab was then shaped to match both drawings for the roof and the cab side curve allowing the rear turn-ins to be soldered in place. At each stage it was tested to ensure a suitable fit against the loco body. The join being at the cab floor level also coincides with the position of the lower lining that will also aid concealing the joint along with a small amount of filler. Etched window frames, also from RT Models were fitted and I used some scrap etch to make representations of the cab roof lifting eyes.
To create the flat front of the cab I used Milliput filler to fill the gap between the cab and the casing, smoothing the front flat with a wet knife blade and using a small rat tail file created the shape of the front window.
A replacement white metal Stones steam generator also from RT Models , was added in the correct location under the rear corner of the cab floor on the driver’s side. Just like the Series One and Two prototypes it is virtually hidden but I know it is there.
I drilled three new holes for the three Hornby brass safety valves in the original as built forward location and filled the later rear position above the firebox crown with Milliput filler. I carefully filed this to the correct roof profile and scribed it to recreate the joint lines around the dome cover.
I also filled the front washout plug (as this was moved to be slightly offset from the boiler centre line when the safety valves were resited), and created a new washout plug position in its original position back on the boiler centre line, I started with a with a small drill and then elongated the hole slightly, a small amount of Milliput filler was pushed up from the inside and shaped to create a representation of the plug itself.
I created from scratch the uniquely deeper bulbous front fairings between the cylinders and buffer beam on 21c11, see the image left, I started by cutting some 15th brass sheet to an approximate developed shape, before bending to shape. For the spherical front I made a number of cuts in the brass to create ‘leaves’ to allow the approximate sphere to be folded up (think like creating a globe) before filling with solder and finally filing to shape. A piece of 0.4mm brass wire was soldered to the front edge and filled flat to create the beading.
The locomotive and tender bodies have been painted using aerosol paints, following masking the buffers and buffer beam with maskol, I started by giving a light dusting of Halfords etch primer before two thin top coats of Railmatch 1632 malachite green. The smoke deflectors are painted and lined separately to allow the body area behind the deflectors to be painted first.
Lining and numbers have been applied using HMRS Presfix transfers from sheet 10 (10a for the lines). Care is taken to ensure the horizontal yellow lines are level and parallel, I use a rule and a pair of dividers to ensure these are correct. Note how the application of the yellow lining appears to the eye to change the overall colour of the base malachite green. Once applied the transfers are sealed in place by spraying the bodies and deflectors with Railmatch 1408 Satin varnish.
The cab roof, casing ‘flat top’ and tender top were then brush painted matt black and the smoke box cowl given a satin finish as per the prototype. Etched nameplates from Fox Transfers are glued into place, as per my usual method of a tiny amount of super glue applied with a cocktail stick. The wheels have been brush painted with Precision Paints P78 malachite.
The cab side and front windows have been cut to shape from 10 thou clear plastic and glued into place using a very small amount of Delux materials Glue ‘n’ Glaze as this dries very clear. The detail items removed from the body prior to the conversion, are refitted, such as some of the separate pipework fittings and the turned brass safety valves fixed into their new location. A replacement white metal smokebox dart from RT Models was fitted into place after I had glued into position the etched smokebox roundel, that is supplied along with the etched nameplates by Fox Transfers.
I have also replaced the supplied front steps with the excellent and stronger lost wax brass casting from RT Models but fitted other details from the supplied Hornby accessory pack such as cylinder drain pipes to complete the look .
Just a couple of little paint areas to touch up and some light weathering and she will be ready to add to my ever growing (no don’t ask how many…) fleet of Bulleid pacifics.
Like the latest Hornby model of 21c7 the previously released model R3435 21C3 ‘Royal Mail’ model has been produced in her early condition, with the ‘widows peak’ and without smoke deflectors. 21c3 was introduced in September 1941 in malachite green livery but repainted in plain black as a wartime measure in May 1943. Changes to the smoke deflection stated in September 1944 when she was fitted with the top cowl and short flared deflectors. 21c3 was repainted malachite green in November 1945 and was subsequently fitted with standard length and style of smoke detectors in May 1947. She stayed in this condition until June 1948 when she was renumbered 35003 and British Railways in SR style sunshine lettering.
I have therefore took the razor to hand and modelled 21c3 in her May 1947 condition just after she received freshly painted new standard deflectors, complete with the baton along the top for mounting the Devon Belle wing plates as a per a photograph of her that I have in my collection.
Like my 21c7 conversion I have used etched smoke deflectors, electric lamps and a replacement smoke box dart from the excellent Albert Goodall range supplied by my friends at RT Models. The replacement lamp irons are simply staples cut to length and I have replaced the flat printed nameplates and smokebox door roundel with etched versions from Fox Transfers.
I have followed the same steps as per my Workbench Witterings #10 post here so will not repeat the stage by stage details. Who knows when we might see this version from Hornby, as I said in the #10 post once you get over the brave step of putting a razor saw to a brand new model the modification is reasonably quick and easy to complete.
4 off ex LSWR 10t Covered Goods Wagon to SR Diagram 1410
2 off ex SECR 10t Covered Goods Wagon to SR Diagram 1426
1 off ex LSWR 8 plank 12t Open Goods Wagon to SR Diagram 1316
These kits are of an excellent standard, with crisp mouldings and assemble quite easily once you have got your head around some of the various options, mainly around the type and number of brakes fitted. As usual I refer to the bibles for Southern wagon builders the “Illustrated History of Southern Wagons” the four volumes are now sadly out of print but are worth tracking down if you don’t already have access to copies.
Although I follow the well written and detailed instructions; I tend to replace the plastic buffer heads with metal replacements from the Alan Gibson range or similar to give additional durability. I also add some cut lead sheet to the underside of the chassis to bring the weight up to approximately 30 grams (around one ounce for older readers) as this improves running. I always fit brass top hat pin point bearings into the axle boxes and use Alan Gibson wheels.
I tend to purchase these kits, wheels etc. either at shows, when we could, or online from H&A Models whom always provide a friendly and efficient service and in these times it’s always good to help and continue to support such excellent traders.
In addition to the above wagons, whilst on a roll, I have finally got round to repainting the two Hornby ex LSWR 20t Warner ‘New’ diagram 1543 brake vans that arrived at the start of year. Whist excellent models the SR versions in this first batch were not finished in the correct shade of SR Brown, also the Tare lettering was incorrectly the same size as the wagon number when it should be smaller. A nice touch by Hornby is that they provide a separate beautifully printed plate for the “Not to work between Tonbridge and West St. Leonards via Battle” in addition to it being pre printed on the wagon side, so I have affixed these to the repaints.
For all my wagons I tend to follow the same painting process:
Firstly for the kit builds I give a dusting of Halford plastic primer from an aerosol ‘rattle’ can
I then brush paint the base colour, I prefer to paint two thin coats rather than one heavy coat.
I always help dry the paintwork in a warmed oven (set to less than 50 deg and the door kept open, luckily, I don’t need to ask anyone permission first!).
In most cases I use lettering from the HMRS Pressfix transfer range and I use a mix of pre (large SR) and post 1936 (small SR) styles to give some variety.
Finally, I apply Railmatch Satin Varnish from a rattle can to fix the lettering and even the finish.
Well I said finally, but actually the wagons now await degrees of weathering that I tend to do as a batch and still have to do so for those shown here.
In all these instances I have not repainted the original model but used my time served method of a good quality enamel thinners applied to the original model printing and then after a soak of around 5 minutes or so rubbing off with a thinners soaked cotton bud. This does leave a shiny finish where the rubbing has been carried, but this is a good surface to apply fresh decals to.
I then leave the model to fully dry in a ventilated area for a day or so to ensure that no traces of the thinners remain. I then applied new decals from a number of sources depending on the model being created.
For standard Southern Railway post war lettering I use Pressfix transfers from the HMRS Southern Bulleid Sheet 10 as per my backdating of No 30084 to No. 82. Note also that for this identity change I also relocated the tank top tool boxes slightly further forward as per No.82 in real life.
For ‘Trueville’ that utilised No. 90 ‘Caen’ as the base model in Southampton Docks lined brown livery. I used modified Pressfix SR coach lettering, to form all the required letters that I applied individually, also from the HMRS Bulleid sheet 10.
When Normandy left the docks in 1946 she was repainted in to post war black livery at Eastleigh and instead of regaining her number 96, she retained her name but it was applied in Bulleid post war ‘Sunshine’ style. This was obtained from Cambridge Custom Transfers via friend and excellent modeller Matt Wickham. I used the BR version of 30096 as the basis for this backdating.
Once the decals have been applied I spray with Railmatch Satin varnish from a rattle can to both seal the decals and restore a consistent finish, I then like to brush paint the smokebox, chimney, cab roof and cylinders matt black prior to weathering etc.
For those wanting to renumber BR versions, or simply wnating to enhance the fact that Dapol only print the smokebox door number plate directly onto the door with no representation of the number plate, etched plates for all members of the class are available from 247 Developments run by friend and fellow modeller Brian Mosby.
The August issue No. 146 of Hornby Magazine published last week includes my step by guide on how to simply create concrete inset track exactly as I used on Canute Road Quay.
This follows Canute Road Quay featuring earlier this year in the April 2019 Issue, whilst within the main layout article I briefly described the process I used, this latest article is an illustrated step by step guide, including adding the check rail, using two thicknesses cork sheet, textured paint and an HB pencil to achieve the effect of track work inset in conrete as can be seen in the image left, that I hope will be useful to fellow modellers.
Fellow Souther Railway / Southern Region and Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway enthusiasts will also enjoy, no doubt, the article on the excellent 00 layout of Bournemouth West, which demonstrates superb modelling of the Station and surrounds at Bournmouth West.
Whilst many when asked about Southampton Docks will generally immediately think of the ex LSWR / Southern Railway docks with ex LSWR B4 0-4-0 tanks and later SR USA tanks, however there were a myriad of rail served private docks and wharves in the area including inner and outer docks and those along the River Itchen such as Dibles Wharf, Notham, Britannia and Victoria wharf, many of which had their own locomotives.
The recent advent of ready to run industrial tanks, that it has to be said are pretty cute really, such as the Hatton’s Andrew Barclay 14″ 0-6-0t and Hornby W4 Peckett 0-4-0t has opened up a few quick win options for use on Canute Road Quay. One thing I like about many of the locomotives used in such private wharves and quaysides is their use of dumb, usually basic wooden blocks, buffers.
The process for fitting the dumb buffers is to remove the model buffers which are either one piece inserted into the buffer beam or heads and moulded shanks, as per the Hornby Peckett and cutting off the shanks. In both cases any raised detailing on the buffer beam such as rivets etc is filed smooth to enable the replacement wooden dumb buffers that comprise of shaped plastic rectangular section to be glued in place. These are then painted with a grey weathered wood colour paint.
With the Hornby W4 Peckett I went one stage further than just replacing the buffers but modifying to one of the open cab versions of the W8 and as per a picture I have seen of such a locomotive at Dibles Wharf in Southampton (I can not post this photograph as I do not own the copyright).
The cab rear on the Hornby model is a separate moulding, so perhaps an open cab version is on the cards in due course, and I carefully cut the top half away just above the strengthening bar. You can choose to keep the original plastic handrails that extend to the underside of the cab roof but I chose for strength purposes to replace with 0.45mm brass rod. I then added using think plastic micro-strip a top ledge to the now lower cab rear panel. A crew member has also been fitted.
Both models have been weathered in this case using dry brushing techniques, rather than airbrush or weathering powders, and then in many places the weathering rubbed off using a cotton bud. The colours used include: weathered wood on the dumb buffers, brake block dust on the brake blocks, dark rust, roof dirt (essentially dark grey). Area such as the tank and cab sides have the dry brushing removed more than for the example the boiler top where more of a build up of soot etc builds up.
The modifications I feel give an added dimension and alternative to the out of the box model, and the open cab Hornby W4 Peckett shows off very well the amount of details that Hornby have incorporated within the cab itself.
With a nod to the fact that today, 23rd April, is not only St Georges Day, but also the date on which William Shakespeare is understood to have both been born and this year the 400th anniversary of his death, hence the stretching of a few quotations from his writings (so much more than witterings) in the title. My last Workbench Witterings #4 post detailed some of the locomotives I have been working on and finishing over the last few weeks and this Workbench Witterings #5 post shows a few more.
Number 193 started life in BR lined black livery as 30193, Kernow Model Rail Centre release K2106, and repainted into unlined SR livery, unlike 225 is non pull push fitted. Now backdated to number 193 as well as crew on the footplate and real coal added to the bunker she has been fitted with both red and white lamps at each end on the lamp irons above the buffers, as per a locomotive carrying our shunting duties.
I have also, carefully using a small razor saw, cut out the cab doors as these were only found on the pull push fitted mainland O2s (although those on the Isle of Wight also had cab doors). To reduce the distance that the tension lock coupling extends past the buffers I also shortened the NEM coupling pocket slightly by cutting off a few millimeters from the front face and holding the tension lock coupling in with a spot of glue.
If you own one these Kernow Model Rail Centre O2s it is also worth checking that the back to backs of the driving wheels are correctly set to 14.5mm, as some have reported issues with haulage which has mainly been due to the back to backs being slightly too wide and simple to rectify by pushing the wheels in slightly, not that mine needed any such adjustment.
Next up is a Bachmann ex LBSC Billinton E4 Class, 0-6-2T repainted and numbered as 2486. Although ex LBSC locomotives they could seen seen across a wide area of the Southern network. After the closure of the Salisbury Western Region shed in 1950 the ex SR shed was allocated numbers 32506 and 32486.
This was reported as being much to the annoyance of the ex WR crews on the duty shunting Fisherton Yard as they preferred their previsous GWR pannier tanks! So modellers licence regarding the bringing date of allocation to Salisbury slightly earlier will apply on Fisherton Sarum. She has been finished in a condition where she could benefit from a good clean and a bit of an overhaul.
The other is a Bachmann PLV, Parcels Luggage Van (coded PMV in BR parlance) and is still in Maunsell green under the layer of grime.
As I said before I have managed to catch up with finishing a number outstanding projects and these last two Workbench Witterings Posts don’t yet cover them all but I wont bore you with more pictures of weathered black locomotives for now so watch this space for something different next time around.
The model railway world and mainly Southern Railway meanderings of Graham 'Muz' Muspratt