Brettell Road, 1960s black country (ish)

Discussion in 'Layout Progress' started by Jim S-W, 29 August 2014.

  1. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    Ah. I was thinking of reflected street lights etc but back then the ambient light levels would have been lower than we are used to nowadays so you are probably right.
    Jim smith-wright likes this.
  2. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

    I might try keeping the roofing glossy and just making the walls matt.
  3. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

    I'll admit I wasn't planning on the back scene post being a 2 parter but thanks to some helpful feedback I've had another look at what I did before. Changes are to add detail to the windows and make them more yellow/darker. Ive taken some magenta out of the prints and added some blur to various buildings to knock them back a little and give a better sense of depth. Ive also added a few extra details. Ive also left the roofs gloss while the rest of the prints are matt in an attempt to emphasise the wet effect I'm after. You can judge for yourselves the results below.





  4. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    I think the changes have made a marked improvement. It's probably a mixture of all the changes to make the difference but I think the blur has helped in that the buildings don't "pop out" as much now and merge into the background more. Those last 2 shots are very effective.
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  5. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

    As I've mentioned in the past I am trying to not add to the wagon roster for Brettell Road, rather just trying to finish off the un-started and partially started kits I already have. Although one or 2 new ones have snuck in to the to-do pile somehow. Heres the latest to find their way off my workbench.


    2 such culprits - a Diagram 1828 van from the Cambrian kit and a Bachmann 7 plank wagon. The 7 plank wagon was introduced a few Warley's ago as the clubs special wagon. Being a Brierley Hill wagon and. according to the info that comes with it, based at Moor lane Wharf (where Brettell Road is very loosely based), it seemed rude not to.


    3 Tunnys from the old Colin Ashby Kits with Parkside underframes. I uses some Rumney Models Grampus bits to add the steps and door bangers. The furthest one (in green) is an older model that i built years ago for New Street which I upgraded at the same time.


    LMS built (for the LNER) ARM E wagon from the Cambrian Salmon bogies and half of the floor. The rest is plastic strip with some Rumney Models and Colin Criag detailing bits thrown in.


    A couple of steel wagons. Bogie bolster E from Lima, Rumney and Cambrian. Made sense to finish this off at the same time as the Turbots (see the New Street workbench). The Plate is from Parkside.
    Finally, below, is the completed engineers train.

  6. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

    Ok, it seems a little odd to start a post on wagonloads with a couple of vans but they do give away subtle signs that they are actually earning money and not just trundling around. Chalk markings and labels are the give-away here. The chalk markings are done with a sharp chinagraph pencil which allows you to smudge them and rub them out. Much as could be found on the real thing. The labels are from Hollar Models and can be distressed with a scalpel or fibreglass brush before applying.

    The easiest loads are the loose ones such as coal, ore, ballast etc. This is real coal glued to a foam former (the dark foam in RTR loco packing is ideal). Remember to weather the inside of the wagon first though.

    One loose load I struggled a little with was coke. In the end I used larger lumps of coal but when set sprayed it with gunmetal to give the dull look coke has.

    Sheeted loads tend to come in 2 forms. Above the load is sheeted as a stand alone item. This was a cheap load i found on ebay.

    The second form is that the load is added to the wagon and then the load and the wagon itself is sheeted over. These are more cheap loads from Ebay which were quite crude. The sheeting is black latex cut from a surgical glove.

    Sometimes the load is just open to the elements. This is a drawbar converter from Langley Models.

    Finally, sometimes the load is a wagon itself. An RT Models molten slag wagon loaded onto a Lowmac and ARM-E
  7. Brian T

    Brian T Western Thunderer

    Very nice loads Jim,
    As to the sheeted over wagons,have you added puddles of water to the recesess/creases in the tarp`s,or is it just the shine from the latex?.

  8. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

    Puddles Brian. Brettell Road is set in the wet
    Brian T likes this.
  9. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

    For those in the Midlands, Brettell Road is out this Saturday at the Cradley Heath exhibition

    Cradley Heath Community Centre
    Reddal Hill Road
    Cradley Heath
    West Midlands
    B64 5JG
    Car Park Post Code: B64 5JY

    Adult: £5.00
    Child (Age 4-14): £2.50
    Child (Under 4): Free
    Family (2 Adults + up to 2 Children): £11.00
    No Unaccompanied Children Please

    Please say hi if you are going

  10. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

    I've mentioned before that Brettell road is a 'what if' layout and that extends to the stock as well. So what if the NBL class 21s were trialed in the Midlands? It's not a huge leap to make from reality really and its reported that they did appear on the Condor's occasionally (anyone got any pictures of this?). I've always had a passing interest in the Hornby class 29 as its melancholy look seemed to stand out from the other diesels in their catalogue as a kid. I never had one though so why not get one now? I prefer the original look of the class 21 to the re-engined class 29 so that's the plan. The Hornby model has bits of both. (I know about the upcoming Dapol model but I figured going this way would be more fun!)

    The Prototype

    ©53A models of Hull Collection, used with kind permission.

    Although the class 21 and class 22 became something of an irrelevance in the history of British locomotives their story does hold a bit of interest. NBL could have been said to be at least as experienced in British loco production as anyone else at the time with their LMS commissioned prototype 10800 and the class 16s which shared a strong resemblance. Both were powered by Paxman engines and both were somewhat problematic.
    When it came to type 2 units (or type B at the time) they abandoned the Paxman power unit turning to their own built MAN units, built under licence from Germany.It's not clear if NBL actually had any real experience in building these engines at the time and to say they were somewhat disastrous wouldn't be far from the truth. NBL would return to Paxman to repower some of the class 21s and they would be class 29. Truth is they were little better. Poor cooling and badly laid out equipment only made matters worse for the class.

    Where they do hold an interest is in that the class 21's were diesel electric while the class 22's were diesel hydraulic. If they hadn't have been so problematic then a reasonable comparison of the 2 propulsion types would have resulted. This was the only opportunity for main line locos in the UK to be so directly compared. The 2 classes look very similar with the class 21s being just a smidge under 5 feet longer and at least to my eye, looking more 'designed'

    D6109 the odd one out.
    D6109 became the odd one out of the true class 21s having received most of the body modifications for conversion to a class 29 but not the Paxman engine (reportedly down to problems discovered in the frames). So D6109 became the only class 21 to get a headcode box.  Interestingly there was one class 29 that didn't but got all the other modifications.

    The Model as it comes.
    Being reasonably unfamiliar with the real thing some time has been spent comparing the model to pictures of the real loco and I've drawn up a (quite long) list of things I think are off.
    A - I think the peak of the roof is wrong - it looks flatter on the real locos. Also the rib behind it doesn't seem as prominent as it is on the model.
    B - The water fillers seem the wrong shape and are missing from one side completely/ the handrail next to it is too long.
    C - The bodyside steps seem a bit too round and are too shallow.
    D - Ignoring the moulded fan/etch thing for a moment. the whole panel with the radiator fan on is in the wrong place. It should like up with the bodyside grills.
    E - There's a lot of rivet detail on the model. It's too heavy and I am not convinced it's all really there on the prototype.
    F - As with all Hornby diesels from this era there are moulded on paint guidelines.
    G - I think the lower faring tucks under the loco more than it does on the model.
    H - Wheels are too small and should be spoked not solid.
    I - Central part of the lower bodyside faring looks a lot deeper than the prototype. It looks more like a class 31! I wonder if this was deliberate to compensate for the body being mounted too high as was the norm for Hornby models of the time?
    J - Battery box detail is kind of suggested at best.
    K - Bodyside door windows aren't deep enough - they should line up with the bottom of the other bodyside windows. The lower bodyside rib goes across the door on the model - it doesn't on the real loco.
    L - Bodyside grills arent deep enough, they too should line up with the bottom of the bodyside windows.
    M - Bogies look a bit filled in to me. Brake shoes don't line up with the wheels (again common with Hornby diesels from the era.)
    N - Steps under the doors are a bit freelance.
    O - Bufferbeams blend into the lower bodyside - there's a distinctive shape to these visible on the prototype.
    P - Buffers and bufferbeam are too high.
    Q - lower cab front isn't deep enough
    R - Horn covers are a bit basic
    S - Cab end lights are very basic too! the upper ones are too near the cab edges.
    T - More moulded on paint lines. the lines for the doors stand out. they should be grooves.
    U - Headcode box - not on a class 21 (except D6109 as mentioned above.
    V - Its well-known that the cab windows are not wide enough. I don't think they are right vertically either. The prototype seems a pretty even height all the way along. Hornby's are taller in the middle.
    In addition the exhaust port is the wrong shape and somewhat freelance.

    So, to work
    Side views compared. Woking down from the roof I've replaced the exhaust and flattened the cabs a bit.  The radiator grill was cut out as an offset before turning it around and sticking it back in so that it now lines up.
    The bodyside steps have been drilled out and the handhold replaced (not really worth the effort with hindsight) and the bottom of the grill frames carved off to be replaced with microstrip. The bottom faring has been reduced (the white strip is where I took a bit too much off).
    Power wise the model uses a Bachmann class 25 chassis with the bogie centers spaced out by about a mm each end. I kept the original Bachmann brakes and overlaid the Hornby sideframes after opening them up a bit. The original battery box was shortened and mounted in a new plasticard frame.
    The cab fronts have been detailed with Extreme Etches window frames and headcode disks. The bottom of the can being extended and the original detail filed off. I scored the inside of the tumblehome and bent it in further to match the prototype pictures. The bufferbeams being cut off first and rebuilt.Hopefully a bit warmer weather and i can get it painted.
  11. allegheny1600

    allegheny1600 Western Thunderer

    Hi Jim,
    I thought you'd gone rather quiet, no wonder as that must have taken a lot of modelling time. It certainly looks to have been worthwhile though, very nicely done. It looks like a class 21 to me.
    I remember a two part article in the (Feb/Mar?) 1980 MRC but that was to create a class 22, curiously, I always preferred the stubbier look of the diesel-hydraulic NBL.
    For your sake, I hope the Dapol one continues to take its time!!!
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  12. john lewsey

    john lewsey Western Thunderer

    Brilliant as usual Jim

    Jim smith-wright likes this.
  13. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    Just a thought re wagon loads; despite being almost as far from the sea as it's possible to get in England, there was a strong connection between the Black Country & shipbuilding; chains and anchors were a common product shipped by rail from the area. Anchors would make interesting & 'slightly different' open wagon loads.

    PS. A bit belated but loved the layout at the Cradley show! :thumbs:
    (Didn't say 'hi' as the back of the layout is pretty tall & you & the team were very busy!!)
    Last edited: 19 February 2019
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  14. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer


    My class 21 project is now finished. Above is a before and after comparison. Not a lot more to add really so here are a selection of images.

  15. Joe1980

    Joe1980 Active Member

    Excellent work. The improvement is immense. Which make/style of couplings did you fit?
    Jim smith-wright likes this.
  16. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

    Thanks Joel

    I use smiths couplings. They are overscale but it’s a compromise between that and usability.

    Joe1980 likes this.
  17. Alan

    Alan Western Thunderer

    A superb piece of work.
    Jim smith-wright likes this.
  18. Terrysvr

    Terrysvr Member

    As ever another quality layout Jim
    Jim smith-wright likes this.
  19. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

    Just decided to do a few images, including a view of the canal which I've never gotten round to and a few experiments.





  20. matto21

    matto21 Western Thunderer

    That bottom pic is stunning!

    The "atmosphere" in the sky around the yard lamp is just spot on.