Brettell Road, 1960s black country (ish)

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

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  1. Nick Rogers

    Nick Rogers Active Member

    I found your wagon post above very useful Jim. I didn't know about Hollar Models. I ordered some of their animal feed labels and have been very impressed. Thanks for the heads up.

    Kind regards,
    Nick.
     
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  2. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

    In September I will be doing a demo at Scaleforum entitled getting the most from older models. Regular readers will know I have a bit of a thing for starting with old models that many will have long ago consigned to the bin. To this end I thought id look at a couple of old building kits too. Namely Airfix.

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    The Airfix Signal box is based on the one at Oakham which is a Midland Railway type 2a box from the early 1900's I liked the look of the platform mounted version at Kings Heath (which is a type 3a) so set to work
    The kit as supplied is too wide. I used some etched windows from Pheonix models and reduced the ends to fit. I binned the roof and knocked up a new end platform from microstrip. I wanted to use this model to try out a few new (to me) painting ideas.

    First step was to paint it in an aged wood colour. The wood effect is pretty easy and quick if you work more like a painter and less like a modeller

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    I use these 4 Revell enamel colours as they are nice and matt. They are numbers 47 (mouse grey), 88 (ochre brown) , 84 (leather brown) and 9 (anthracite grey). The actual colours aren't that critical. I use a dunk and dip technique and work on a base of Halfords grey primer. I dunk the brush into the mouse grey and ochre brown and lightly dip the tip into the leather and anthracite. All at the same time so that the brush is loaded with layers of colours. Then is just a simple case of drawing the brush across the model and letting the colours mix themselves. You don't want them to mix too well so try and do one stroke per plank and work in the direction of the wood. The trick is to let the brush do the random work for you and not to fight it too much. My end result was a smidge dark so when dry, i drybrushed more mouse grey lightly over the model.

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    This is what ended up with. I then gave it a couple of coats of matt varnish.

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    This is the bit thats new so me. Ranger distress paints. The large scale guys have been using these for a while with good results but the method for smaller scales seems a bit different. The pain is intended to be dabbed on quite think and left so that it starts to crackle and flake on it own. For our scale i found it better to brush it on on 2 coats. This doesn't do any 'magic though so the next stage is with a fine sanding stick to give it a little help. Again working in the direction of the wood.

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    Heres the result. Distressed but not weathered. Another coat of mar varnish and then back to enamels, used this time as a thin wash. I added an interior from Ratio and a signaller from Modelu. The finished result can be seen below

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  3. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

    This post has a bit of a common theme about it. Its all about 3's and 0's! With DEMU show coming up at the start of June I plan to show Brettell road with a bit more of a diesel bias than usual. While I have a lot of blue stock I could use I want ot keep it late 50's very early 60's so my blue stuff is a none starter (although I might consider a fully blue show one day). Figuring that a few more green diesels wouldn't go amis I've been busy.

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    New Street has a lot of class 31's and I've always liked them. In the early days (when they were class 30's) they weren't all that common in the midlands being more of an eastern region machine. However a cheap Lima one was found in green and I set to work on a quickie conversion. As the longest train on Brettell road is less than 4 feet there was really no reason to abandon the lima pancake motor for this one so i just fitted extra pickups and more weight. Incidentally the builders plaque is one of the Railtec 3D transfers and very nice they are too! Just a bit of weathering required.

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    Funny how doing something subtly different leads to moments of realisation! I've never quite thought that the Lima none plated headcode class 31's looked quite right somehow. It wasn't until i looked at the green one that I realised it because its too small. Someone in lima must have realised this as well as the printing for the headcode box is much bigger than the molding. So while i was fixing the headcode on the green one I did the 2 blue ones i have as well (using a rudimentary jig). The original size is on the left and the revised one on the right.

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    Switching the 3 and 0 around I've also been working on a class 03 shunter using an old mainline body and a high level chassis. As with all High level chassis kits I've tried so far they just work from the box. Everything is worked out already and its all just a bit, well. easy!
    This one is going to be D2387 which is one of, I believe, 3 that were allocated to Monument Lane shed and worked as station pilot for New Street as well as occasional forays further afield (Harbourne branch being an example). It was a Doncaster example and didn't last long enough to receive a tops number, being stored in 1972 and scrapped the following year.

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  4. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

    Still working my way through the dregs of my wagon kits for Brettell road

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    Another couple of mineral wagons. An unfitted one from Airfix and a fitted one from Parkside. It's a bit of a thing to make all mineral wagons rusty so I decided to model the latter in nearly new condition. The SR brake van is an older Cambrian kit and needed a fair bit of modification to look like the real thing. I can take no credit for working out what as its all outlined here (Making a Cambrian SR 25-ton Pill Box brake van)

    My class 03 and 30 are now done and ready for service. Some pictures follow.

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  5. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

    Sometimes you can be busy but really not have anything to show. As I'm on the final run in to the DEMU show next weekend I've been looking at a few things that fit into this bracket. Starting with...

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    My loading gauge. Originally from the Smiths kit, its white metal construction for the main post was just too susceptible to knocks and getting bent out of shape during an exhibition. I had used brass wire for the wires and after a few times bending it back to shame it was all starting to look a bit of a mess. <

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    So i rebuilt it from brass instead. The wires this time are easy-line. I did keep the original bow mind you

    Moving on to, perhaps, a more literal interpretation of the post title

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    The baseboard join is just a bit too obvious for my liking so I've revisited this too.

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    I found some soft rubber sheeting in my local hobbycraft. It's smooth on one side and has this texture on the other. I cut it into strips and blended the top edge into the existing scenery with static grass, ballast and paint. The result can be seen below.

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  6. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

    All packed and ready for the DEMU show. Hope to see some of you there

    demu
     
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  7. allegheny1600

    allegheny1600 Western Thunderer

    Hi Jim,
    Have a great weekend, I would rather fancy a visit back to Swad but it's quite a trip for me just now.
    Greetings from Greece!
    John
     
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  8. Brocp

    Brocp New Member

    Just read through this whole thread, magnificent modelling.
     
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  9. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

    For DEMU I figured that my usual method or the round oak trains appearing on scene - i.e. an open wagon with a shunter look out and an industrial diesel pushing from the back was probably just a bit too archaic. So I figured the guys at Round Oak got themselves and ancient brake van in a somewhat token effort to appear to obey the rules!
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    So here we have a very tired brake van from the recently re-introduced Slaters kit. I returned to the crackle paints I had used on the signal box for this one.

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    On the subject of old vehicles, an old ratio kit for a GWR open c. These were a bit odd as they had the sides and underframe as one piece. I separated them and made up new underframes with bits from Bill Bedford, Ambis Engineering and Model Railway developments.

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    Sticking with the GWR a Mink A to diagram V12. This uses a much more modern kit from Parkside with more Model Railway development parts.
     
  10. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

    Recent attention had been on a couple of older RTR efforts. Starting with...
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    ...a Lima CCT. Yes I know there's a Bachmann one now but the Lima one isn't all that bad given its age. It suffers from the sometimes common Lima trait of getting most of it about right but then blowing it on something obvious for no apparent reason. In this case the W-irons are just too far from where they should be.
    This can be addressed with replacements from ABS (or at least it used to be!). New roof vents and underframe bits and bobs plus filing off the, freelance, window frames and we're about there.

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    Next the old Hornby hand crane. This one uses rollers and a counterweight from Jon Hall. I've widened the jib and added extra details.
     
  11. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    A million years ago or so Steph and I had one of those. I always regarded it as one of the better renditions by Lima - much improved by you, of course. Sold on when Steph and I went 7mm. I wonder were it is now?

    Brian
     
  12. matto21

    matto21 Western Thunderer

    Nice work Jim! I've got a Hornby Crane undergoing a similar rebuild myself, although mine's stalled at the moment.

    I made life harder for myself by building a new jib from plastic instead of modifying the original like you've done.

    How are you going to do to rig it up?

    Matt
     
  13. john lewsey

    john lewsey Western Thunderer

    Stunning as usual your modeling is just superb Jim I never tire of looking through this thread
    John
     
    Last edited: 15 July 2019
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  14. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

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    So to draw a line under the last post. The Lima CCT is finished off and ready for service.

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    So is the crane. It rides very high as supplied so I ground the bearing slots down and removed a bit of material from under the axleboxes (its still a smidge to high). Seems strange that Hornby raised the ride height on all their models to accommodate their tension lock coupling. Why not just make that smaller instead?
    The end shackles are from Roxey and the cables are the heavier e-z line. Transfers are from Cambridge Custom Transfers. The single plank wagon is just standing in at the moment.

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    One of the issues with Brettell road is the height it sits at. The subject of layout height is a thorny one but I take the view that operator comfort trumps everything else. After all we will be working on the layout for a couple of days . Currently its a bit low which I've got round by asking show organisers to provide chairs. From a sitting position its just about the right height.
    However I've been thinking of doing a more traditional style, separate roof and here it is mocked up. It's designed so that it all slots together and no screws or bolts will be required. It will still have a material roof to shield the ambient light but it should make the layout itself a little lighter too. The plan is for the original pelmet to be removed.
     
    Last edited: 29 July 2019
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  15. allegheny1600

    allegheny1600 Western Thunderer

    Hi Jim,
    I do like the look of your new roof, it sounds very clever with being made to slot together.
    When you're ready, may we have more details, please?
    Cheers,
    John.
     
  16. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

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    Way back towards the start of this project I posted the above image. The little black tank wagon at the far end was a Peco wonderful wagon kit and avid follows of this little adventure might notice nothing has really been said of it since.

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    It was pretty quickly joined with a companion and the pair have been lurking near my workbench ever since. Well now they are finally done and ready to go. Modifications to the original kit were to replace the w-irons with Bill Bedford ones. New ladders from Stenson models and new handbrakes from Ambis. I didn't really like the mounting rods as supplied so these were replaced with 0.6mm brass tube. The ends being flattened with pliers. The walkways came from my spares box.

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    The crane has its runner from a Cambrian kit. Its a little freelance is based loosely on an image of a similar but steel wagon I found on Paul Bartletts site at Bescot. The steps are spares from a Bachmann class 25.

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    Before i settled on the Cambrian route for the crane runner I found an image of a diagram 1/001 lowfit that caught my eye. Built by BR they had a LNER style body on an LMS style chassis. Bachmann do this RTR but the chassis is completely wrong so its been replaced with a Parkside one. The mineral is diagram 1/119 21 tonner from The Chivers kit. (Tim had some lying around when I last went over). This wagon would be very new in the Brettell road period. This is also the upper end of my build it rigid approach to wagon building. Any longer wheelbase than this and I tend to go for springing.

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    Speaking of Tim we have been working on a curved version of his display shelves with a few design tweaks such as the more solid locking of the ends and little clear 'buffer stops' for the ends. The 4mm scale versions are ready to go, see Tims website New Products

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    Finally a co-bo on a parcels train for no other reason than why not?
     
  17. Alan

    Alan Western Thunderer

    Is Tim going to do a 7 mms version of the stock display shelving. Say just 2 of 3 shelves.
     
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  18. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

    I wouldn’t know at this stage, he already does straight ones I think.
     
  19. Alan

    Alan Western Thunderer

    Thanks Jim, I'll have to get in touch with him should I decide I need one.
     
  20. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

    Several years ago now DJ models appeared with much fanfare (Although only in one place if we are being completely honest) and announced a brand new J94 model. This was of interest to me as 2 of them were used by the NCB in the local area. While it would have been a nice to have I was never going to go for the RTR effort but i did hope that if it was good enough it might see a few unstated Brassmasters kits appear which would be a little more up my street.
    In the end this didn't really happen so the idea was kind of abandoned until the good folk at Brassmasters mentioned they had a unfinished test build of their kit somewhere. Money changed hands and a slightly different style of project was formed to what I've done in the past.

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    So this is what i was presented with (albeit with a Giesel chimney that I replaced with a RT models casting) and a little box of spare parts. I've never finished a half started loco kit before and with no instructions and not knowing what bits I didn't have it was going to be a bit of an adventure.

    The easy route would be to just add the body detailing and finished what I had but the chassis was missing most of its representation of valve gear and I didn't have any of these bits in my little box of spares.

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    The chassis as supplied.
    My friend Les supplied me with a copy of the original instructions (which sort of helped a little) and members of the Scalefour Society forum kindly provided pictures of the etches, some finished models and some prototype pictures so I set to work.

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    The detailed up body, using prototype pictures as a guide.

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    The Chassis. I used a Brassmasters inside motion kit, shortened by 3mm and simplified. The prototype locos seeming to have a much more rudimentary arrangement than the LMS locos the Brassmasters kit is intended for. I also couldn't use the original central pivoted rocking beam compensation so I have sprung the front two axles from a central pivot on either side instead.
     
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