Happy New Year, the first picture of the month for 2016 is…

A Drummond T14 4-6-0 “Paddlebox” 461 a NuCast kit heads towards London with a Meldon Quarry Ballast train. The SR Diagram 1774 40T hoppers are modified LIMA wagons on new bogies and other details.

A Drummond T14 4-6-0 “Paddlebox” 461 a NuCast kit heads towards London with a Meldon Quarry Ballast train. The SR Diagram 1774 40T hoppers are modified Lima wagons on new bogies and other details added.

In previous years the model of the year poll was jointly run between RMweb, Model Rail Magazine and the online MREmag.com. This year Model Rail Magazine have decided to run their own awards and so the established process and poll will now be promoted on RMweb, through British Railways Modelling Magazine and on the online MREmag.com as the British Model Railway Awards.

As well as giving you the chance to vote for your favourite models and manufacturers of the year as before, the categories have been broadened to celebrate excellence and innovation in the wider British model railway scene. New awards cover retailers, websites, exhibitions and layouts, acknowledging the huge contributions they make to our hobby.

The voting is now open, running from Saturday 26th December to Saturday 9th January and the results will be published at the end of January to tie in with the magazine sale dates.

There have of course been a number of Southern / Southern Region related models released during 2015 so I urge you to support the production of these models by choosing your best in the relevant category and voting accordingly. These Southern models are as follows:

N Gauge:

00 Gauge

0 Gauge

  • Dapol A1x ‘Terrier’ 0-6-0T

I am also very humbled to see that this little corner of the blogosphere of mine has been nominated within the website of the year category, so and this is a bit of a, well a big, shameless plug, please feel free to vote for it, if you have enjoyed my ramblings over the last twelve months.

Regular readers will also know that I am member of the High Wycoombe and District Model Railway Society and our annual Wycrail exhibition is one of those that has been nominated in the Exhibition of the year category, so again if you attended it, enjoyed it and think it deserves your vote…

Please make sure you vote counts to support the Southern / Southern Region models that have been produced by voting here before the 9th January. 

Here endeth the shameless plug….





Merry Christmas to you all, fill up your life with love, compassion, tolerance, peace, happiness and perhaps hopefully some time for modelling.

OK so it's Photshop trickery...my 21C14 in slightly unfamiliar surroundings, but merry Christmas and Happy new Year to you all!

OK so it’s Photoshop trickery…my Milholme model of 21C14 is in slightly unfamiliar surroundings, but Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!

As the festive season and New Year break is upon us, I just wanted to say many thanks to all of you whom have taken the time to read my ramblings over the past 12 months. I hope you have found such ramblings interesting and informative. I have also enjoyed corresponding with many of you that have made contact me either directly at shows, email or via the comments field on my various posts. I look forward to corresponding with you again in the New Year.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the various manufacturers, publications and retailers whom have allowed me privileged access to some of their plans and developments and often taken on board feedback, suggestions and advice, with the sole aim of promoting and furthering modelling of the Southern Railway / Southern Region.

Seasons greetings, whatever your faith or beliefs, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!

For this post I am indebted to friend and fellow Southern Railway modeller Tony Teague for providing the pictures and text about his models of these two unusual engines. The prototypes for these three interesting but diminutive tank locos were originally built by Messrs Hawthorn Leslie for the Colonel Stephens engineered Plymouth Devonport & South Western Junction Railway (PD&SWJR). The line ran between Lydford and Devonport and they also adopted the East Cornwall Mineral Railway between Kelly Bray and Calstock, which was later connected it to the main line at Bere Alston and eventually became the Callington branch. The PD&SWJR was later absorbed into the London & South Western Railway (LSWR) and subsequently the Southern Railway. Locomotive No.756, an 0-6-0T named ‘A S Harris’, was never renumbered by BR and lasted until withdrawal in 1951, spending many of its later years at Nine Elms and Stewarts Lane, whilst both 757 and 758 named ‘Earl of Mount Edgecumbe’ and ‘Lord St Leven’ respectively were 0-6-2T’s, received their BR numbers and ran until withdrawn in 1957 and 1956 respectively; spending many of their later years in the Plymouth area and finally at Eastleigh.

The two PD&SWJR locomotives No756 and 757 built from CSP kits

The two PD&SWJR locomotives Nos. 756 and 757 built from CSP kits

The two 4mm models now available from CSP Models www.cspmodels.com are part of the former Agenoria range and have been reduced from 7mm kits. The kits are complete, minus motors and gears, including nameplates although a separate motorising kit is available as an option which was used in the construction of the kits forming the subject of this review.

As Tony chooses not to build loco kits personally, both were built, painted and lined by an experienced professional builder, Chris Phillips http://www.crphillips-models.co.uk/. Chris has built numerous other kits for Tony and for many other customers and he comments that, as etched-bodied kits, he felt them to be very well designed and manufactured. Whilst the bodies went together remarkably well, especially when compared to some kits of this genre from other manufacturers,  the chassis did however cause some problems.

PD&SWJR 0-6-0T No. 756 A S Harris

PD&SWJR 0-6-0T No. 756 A S Harris

In particular Chris found it necessary to rebuild No.756 with a centre axle drive, whereas the instructions suggest a rear axle drive. In addition there were problems with clearances, possibly caused through the reduction from 7mm to 4mm and then to 00 gauge. As a result it was necessary to fit spacers between the chassis and cylinders in order to give more clearance in this area. This in turn meant having to modify the motion brackets, to allow the slidebars to stay in parallel to the frames.

PD&SWJR 0-6-2T No. 757 'Earl of Mount Edgecumbe’

PD&SWJR 0-6-2T No. 757 ‘Earl of Mount Edgecumbe’

The instructions provided with the kits suggest filling the side tanks with lead sheet, which was done, but Chris also added weight to the front half of the boilers, using weights from curtain-weighting strips. Ultimately it seems that the bodies of the two kits were well designed but that the clearance issues with the chassis might render them difficult to construct by a less experienced builder.

another view of the PD&SWJR locomotives Nos. 757 and 756

Another view of the PD&SWJR locomotives Nos. 757 and 756

Tony’s layout is set in the period 1938 to 1948 and so the models are finished in SR Maunsell lined olive, and as the end user, I find that each of the two models are good looking locomotives which appear to be a pretty strong representation of the original; after running-in, each performs well and the additional weight means that if required, they should pull trains equal and probably greater than their prototype.

Once again thanks to Tony for his input into my blog, it is much appreciated to be able to bring wider subject material, also see his comments on the ’00’ Works Ready to Run ex LBSC I3 class here.

This weekend I finished changing the identity of one of Hornby’s excellent S15 Class 4-6-0 models to represent 30847 one of the locomotives preserved by the Maunsell Locomotive Society. I carried out the work on behalf the Company Secretary of the Society and it was a pleasure to assist him in getting a model of 30847, that has been lovingly restored by members of the Society, and has seen frequent service on the Bluebell Railway.
Further details on the actual 847 / 30847 can be found on the Maunsell Locomotive Society’s website here, in addition to 847 they also have U class 2-60’s Nos. 1618 & 1638, Q class 0-6-0 No. 541 and Schools Class V 4-4-0 No. 928. If you are interested in joining and supporting the Society click here. 

Carrying her new identity as 30847 just prior to the cabsides gaining a coat of satin varnish.

Carrying her new identity as 30847 just prior to the cabsides gaining a coat of satin varnish.

The donor locomotive was a Hornby R3328 No. 30843,  although I have detailed my method of changing model identities on this site before and I generally followed my usual processes, I detail them again here for reference. In this instance I did not require to repaint the model and for a change I would be giving the locomotive a BR identity.

Another view of 30847 the replacement smokebox door number can just be seen.

Another view of 30847, the replacement smokebox door number can just be seen.

I actually removed the entire number on each cabside rather than just try and change the last digit (as generally the available transfers never quite exactly match the factory applied numbers) using good quality enamel thinners on a cotton bud, this also leaves the are where the numerals have been removed as a shiny surface finish which is good for the application of the replacement transfers. I took care not remove the existing small 6F power classification printing. I then replaced the numbers starting with the centre digit ‘8’ and working outwards on both cabsides, as this I find it easier to keep the numerals level, using HMRS Pressfic transfers sheet 14 BR steam era loco and coach insignia.   To seal the number transfers and retrun the cabsides to an ex-factory finish I masked off the model just leaving the cabsides exposed and sprayed with a light coat of Railmatch satin varnish.
The smokebox door number plate was changed using transfers from the Fox Transfers FRH4099/003 – Southern Region Smokebox Numbersets 30726-31059 set which simply and neatly covers the existing printed number plate.
To complete the identity change I fitted one of the very fine (and small!) etched shed code plates for 72B (Salisbury) also from Fox Transfers. Finally I finished the model by adding its detail pack of brake rigging on both loco and tender, front steps and cylinder drain pipes, although it should be noted that the packing does require some trimming to allow the model to fit back in once these items have been fitted.

I hope the owner will be pleased with his S15, now 30847, and if readers are able to support the Maunsell Locomotive Society in anyway, I am sure you will be more than welcome.

With a break from real work planned over the Christmas period I hope to be able complete a number of outstanding projects so watch this space for further ‘Workbench Witterings’.



This months picture…

Adams 0-6-0 0395 class number 3441 sits awaiting its next shed pilot turn. 3441 is built from a DJH kit.In the background N1 class 1822 is at the coaling stage. 1822 has been converted from a Bachmann N Class Drummond 0-4-4T M7 No. 242 is one of the 6 painted in Malachite Green after the war but is one of those that were unlined, she is a repainted Hornby model.

Adams 0-6-0 0395 class number 3441 sits awaiting its next shed pilot turn. 3441 is built from a DJH kit. In the background N1 class 1822 is at the coaling stage. 1822 has been converted from a Bachmann N Class. Drummond 0-4-4T M7 No. 242 is one of the 6 painted in Malachite Green after the war but is one of those that were unlined, she is a repainted Hornby model.


Last weekend saw the annual Warley National Model railway Exhibition at the NEC, this post rounds up some of the the news and items of interest from mainly a Southern / BR(s) perspective.  It is usual for many of the manufacturers to use the event to make announcements of new items or showcase updates to new products under development. This year was no exception although Hornby  of course announced their plans for 2016 last week but held over two items to be announced at the show.
Many thanks to those of you who read this blog for popping by the Topley Dale layout on the Hornby Magazine stand, where I was playing trains during the weekend, and saying hello it was good to see you.


In addition to the announced plans for their 2016 range last week, which I have also recently updated, so check back again for the additional information. Hornby also announced two further models in the shape of NER / LNER Raven Q6 0-8-0 and Holden B12 4-6-0.

Hornby Adams Radial No. 30852 with Drummond boiler

Hornby Adams Radial No. 30852 with Drummond boiler

I was also able to photograph one of the production samples of the ex LSWR 0415 class Adams radial tanks in the shape of number 30582 in BR lined black with the Drummond boiler (it should be noted that one of the separately applied safety valves was missing on this sample that had been handled quite a bit over the weekend of the show.  The first of these model variants announced as part of their 2015 range should available during January next year. It makes an interesting comparison with the photograph of the Oxford Rail version, which has now hit the retailers in my post here. I will let you decide which version you prefer.

The Hornby Class 71

The Hornby Class 71

Also photographed was the Class 71 due for release in May 2016 and the 3D Stereolithography prints of the two types of SR cattle wagons (Diagrams 1529 and 1530) although being in white and under the photographic lamps made it tricky to capture all of the detail that is present.

3D prints of the two SR cattle wagons dias 1529 (front) & 1530 (rear)

3D prints of the two SR cattle wagons dias 1529 (front) & 1530 (rear)

I was also able to gain some clarification about the proposed  ‘early BR’ liveries for the two series three Merchant Navy locomotives, both will be in lined Brunswick Green. Also despite how they are currently listed on Hornby website I can now confirm that in fact there will be a SR and BR livery version of each diagram. There are still still a few outstanding queries with respect to the range that I am in communication with the development team at Hornby about, so what this space.


Bachmann / Graham Farish

The Graham Farish PLV/PMV in N Gauge

The Graham Farish PLV/PMV in N Gauge

As is usual for Bachmann / Graham Farish no new models were announced at Warley. However they did have on display the Engineering prototypes of the Graham Farish ‘N’ Gauge SR PLV/ BR PMV Passenger luggage vans that just like there recently released Bachmann 4mm counterpart looked exceptionally good. Other than that there was no other news to report from the Bachmann / Graham Farish stable on the Southern front, with no news to add, for example, on the progress of the previously announced ex SECR birdcage coaches.

Model Rail Magazine

The Model Rail EP of the USA tank (SR version)

The Model Rail EP of the USA tank (SR version)

Model Rail Magazine  had running samples of their ’00’ SR 0-6-0t USA tank that was originally announced, back in April 2012 as a project with Dapol but since September 2013 has been with Bachmann.
Livery details are currently being signed off before manufacture can commence soon.

Model Rail USA tanks a line up of the variations, see if you can spot the differences!

Model Rail USA tanks a line up of the variations, see if you can spot the differences!

The level of and shear number of detail differences between the variations of this model being produced, for the different owners such as USATC, SR and BR(s) and eras, is quite outstanding and mechanically they ran exceptional well. Once the livery samples are signed off it is hoped that these will go into production during the first quarter next year.


Dapol Class 73

Dapol Class 73

The main surprise at Warley with respect to Dapol, although not Southern related, was the announcement of a new ‘Black Label’ range of extremely high specification locomotives with Diecast bodies, synchronized DCC sound with dual speakers, smoke units (including from the whistle when the sound function is action and working lights. It will be interesting how this higher priced range is received by the market and what further models get released in the range.

Dapol SR Rail Post signals

Dapol SR Rail Post signals

They also had the first EP of their ‘0’ gauge class 08, which looked very impressive (and somewhat better than the release CAD images appeared to look) along with further livery variations of their recently released A1 and A1x 0-6-0 Terriers also in 7mm scale.
I was able to photographer their new ’00’ gauge class 73, the first versions of which are due to be at the retailers later this week! The level of detail is pretty good although I do question slightly the shape of the domed roof above the cab as it appears to have a slight dip.
Also in 4mm scale on show were the first samples of the working Southern Signals both rail post and lattice post (the latter being a rather dinky platform starter).

The first livery sample of the Dapol N Gauge Schools class

The first livery sample of the Dapol N Gauge Schools class

The first livery sample of the ‘N’ Gauge Schools Class V 4-4-0 was present in BR lined black, although the main issue and most instantly noticeable was the cabside number which was 921 instead of 30921 and too large in size and possibly too white rather than cream. The lighting also accentuates the light grey lining , although in reality this did appear to be too light nearly white and prominent.

AYJAY Models

AYJAY models whom have been producing a range of 4mm scale resin bodied and etch brass Southern / Southern Region EMU kits (with some also available Ready to Run) launched a 4mm version of the Class 508 EMU in both kit and Ready made versions and in ‘N’ Gauge a version of their 4Cor EMU kit at the show. Many thanks to Grahame Hedges for the heads up.

I think that just about covers it for now, if there is anything that I have missed and am advised of I will update this post accordingly.


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