Friday Update: Twenty-four Three Twenty-three…

A second solid week of layout scenic progress here, but instead of ‘Bishopsbourne’ it has been the turn of ‘Shades of Mountain Ash’. First though some new arrivals…

Whilst it will receive it’s own post in time, the biggest surprise is the arrival of another 37, this time hopefully one to remain in the fleet. A Scottish large logo example that was a chance purchase on eBay. Whilst it captures the character of the prototype well it will be detailed and lowered shortly, to improve its balance and better represent the heavy low slung appearance of a real 37. Paxton Road 3 progresses with some more structure building (more on that below) and the arrival of another 08, these new coreless motor chassis examples are beautifully smooth running. Finally another VEA tacked onto an order for some scenic materials from Hattons, I know the maroon ones didn’t last long but I do like these plucky little survivors… anyhow, all box fresh and ready for some relaxing modelling time in the coming months.

Shades of Mountain Ash has been supporting Bishopsbourne in the workshop but the with latter almost complete it was time to move things forwards. First of all the structures were finished off and painted with various enamels and washes and the backscene cut to fit to check it’s feel and confirm my plans for the scenic balance. Sleepers painted individually, then rail-sides… then ballasting (Woodland Scenics cinders and grey fine grade, secured with their scenic cement). Finally the start of greenery with a base of fine earth blend, some coarse turf in various colours and static grasses. This initial pass is just the base to work up from but already the scene is coming to life.

The river and bridges will be tackled once the worst of the ‘dirty’ jobs are finished but the basic structures are complete and ready for painting. Getting this scene to feel like a grotty dirty wet and lush Welsh coal valley will be a lot of fun, I’ve got a few things I’d like to try, of course I’ll share progress here. If you’d like help designing a layout for your space and requirements, I offer a design service where we work together to understand what you really need, prices from £160. The result is a layout design brief document for you to keep, to guide your construction or to inform a layout builder in terms of preparing a quote for creating the scheme. That is how both Bishopsbourne and Shades came to be, get in touch for your own no obligation proposal.

I mentioned earlier that the structures for Paxton Road 3 have been started. Here is the lower half of the old engine shed, now a chemical stores and distribution company who receive materials by tank and van. Based loosely on the Gower Chemicals warehouse, itself the old Danygraig engine shed in Swansea near the docks. The challenge here was the brick lintels over the doors. These were the fourth attempt at producing a passable representation, scribed in 20 thou styrene using a blade mounted in a compass! Patience is a virtue, it certainly was about the modeller practicing the craft. I’ve got the higher section to build next, and that has windows with brick edging, certainly going to be a challenge in N.

I’ll wrap things up here with a hint of things to come as a Hornby 0-6-0 Sentinel diesel and Accurascale HUO hoppers are posed on Shades of Mountain Ash, the scene is already feeling plausible and I look forward to staging more ‘scenes’ as the layout progresses. In the meantime, I hope you all have a good weekend and have enjoyed another Friday waffle. I still have a pair of books left on eBay (Ontario Northland and Trafford Park), if you’re interested, and a heart felt thank you to those who donate to the blog and help fund my motivation and time in putting ‘pen to paper’ and creating and sharing the journey here, I know we’re in difficult times and your kindness is always appreciated.

Until next time, more soon…


  1. What a strange coincidence! I was at Clapham Junction last Wednesday afternoon waiting for my train home at about 2.45pm and 37418 arrived on platform 5, pulling the former Southern Region general manager's saloon "Caroline". A refreshing change from the never ending parade of EMUs. 418 sounded in fine fettle as it left for, I think, Willesden. I was able to get 3 or 4 photos plus some wobbly video, thanks to having a smartphone.

    1. It’s great it’s still running around in what I consider the greatest of 37 liveries. Mine is destined for a self indulgent Scottish micro.


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