Friday Update: Twenty Four Five Twenty-four…

Another week, another Friday update and half term is nearly upon us and with the news of the general election I'm feeling upbeat about the future. In the workshop things have been busy and varied, grab a coffee and come and join me on a whistle stop tour of commissions and my own modelling...

Mid-week I managed a trip down to Shrewsbury by train in the rain and visited Salopian models for the first time - only a quick stop, but it seemed a well stocked example and the owner was friendly, helpful and polite. I hope he does well in the town centre location - handy for the station too! I picked up some Scenic Cement to save on postage, and had a quick browse of the ranges available. The trains ran on time and 197 both directions - my impression of these new units is improving with time - they're smooth and quiet and the seats aren't quite as bad when you're not comparing them directly to a 150/153/158.

Back home and in the workshop I've been re-freshing this old white metal Talyllyn model in 7mm narrow gauge. It has been repainted, lined and fitted with decals and nameplates - and will receive a light weathering after the holidays. It is interesting that I've used the same decals for the lining as I do in 4mm scale, yet whilst they look great, I'm not sure they feel any finer!

In an even larger scale my scratch built Hudson GoGo tractor in 16mm scale is really coming to life. This truly modern model combines all sorts of technologies and techniques, but the result is every bit the handbuilt labour of love you've come to expect from my larger creations. I absolutely love how this has turned out! It and the Hudson skips (Slaters kits) are now painted and await weathering - which will happen after half term now.

In and out (hopefully) this week this rake of four Cavalex CDA hoppers are in for a weathering. Work started with repairing their fragile details and then washes and dirt to the under frame. Now that is dry the uppers have been given an off-white wash, things will be blended together with a spray over in the airbrush of the same shade. 

More OO this week, and this trio of old Bachmann 04 have been lightly reworked with some skirts and replacement handrails and now some new paint. Ringing the changes with liveries - and my customer is happy to accept the compromises of using the Bachmann tooling despite the differences to the original tramway Drewry shunters. These are now gloss lacquered awaiting the Fox decals (I prefer these over alternatives - they're consistent and high quality), which will finish off each one very nicely.

Rushcliffe continues to move forwards and this week the fiddle yards are under construction - hopefully by the time you read this they'll be finished and wired - this photo shows the basics earlier in the week. Once this last 'constructional' element is finished I can begin work in earnest on the scenery.

Earlier in the week I heard a whistle in the valley and had been tipped off about the possibility of the blue 08 working the weedkiller train - I ran down the road with the SLR with long lens and managed to grab this opportune shot from the road before the locomotive disappeared from view. 

This week I've found operating Beaverbrook a continued balm - and attach another view - one less seldom shown, from the right hand end of the scene where the front bucket loader is parked on the hard shoulder next to the Co-op. In reality, a similar machine has been used to shunt cars at the real Co-op so it seemed appropriate to represent that in miniature. 

The next week is half term here in Wales and I'm taking a bit of a break from commission work. I have prepared some blog material in advance, so you will continue to be able to stop by for your daily dose of my rambling, modelling, musing and ideas. I love creating this material - I hope you enjoy it as much. Until next time, more soon...

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  1. All good stuff, James!

    I've visited Salopian Models a couple of times, and concur with your view of it. I suspect that if you were new to the hobby and wanted all the things you need to make a start, you could probably go in there and get everything in one go, something I've not always found to be the case.

    The model of Talyllyn looks good, is this from the Peco/Branchlines kits? I've got both Talyllyn and the Hunslet to build at some point.

    Your shot of the 08 is superb, oddly it reminds me of camping at Rhydyronen ten or so years ago and watching the Pendre-Brynglas engineers' train which ran most days just before the first passenger service...usually hauled by Alf or an ex-RNAD Baguley, often with a mini-digger on a flat wagon, sometimes with a waving passenger if it was raining! Your photo has very much the same vibe...intimacy/informality I guess.

    All the best for half term week, I usually find it quite fun at work as people are going all over the place so it's a break from routine.


    1. Thank you Simon - that 08 photo was a real lucky one, legging it down the lane in Crocs with my camera could have ended in disaster!

      The Talyllyn model, I’m not sure of the origins. I was asked to repaint and refinish it for my customer. The Smokebox door was just a sheet of plain styrene, so the replacement from CW Railways is a real improvement and of course, the paint job has helped too!

  2. Great shot of the 08 amongst the greenery, similar feeling to the final years of the Wenfordbridge branch. I'm visiting Shrewsbury in June for the first time and will hopefully visit Salopian Models. Good to see Simon H reads your blog too, another genuinely decent bloke. Have an enjoyable and restful half term James. Take care.

    1. Thank you Tom - you will enjoy Shrewsbury, it is a lovely place to visit. There are some good places to eat and drink too…

  3. Hi James

    I have not been to Shrewsbury for about forty years but remember it was an interesting city with much railway action- it appears not to have changed too much

    As usual an eclectic list of projects and the 08 photo is very good especially as it seems to have been a "grab shot" . Would not have been better if you had more time to frame it.

    I liked the Beaverbrook scene, very much the essence railroading without a loco in sight

    Hope you have a god and relaxing holiday and that there is at least some rail input

    Best regards

    1. Thank you Alan, yes, let us hope so…


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