My Workbench Archive, November - December 2007
Friday 21st December 2007
It's that time of year again!
The latest issue of Rail Express outlines Hornby's 2008 plans, there are some excellent models on the way!
Obviously the main news that everyone is talking about is a brand new model of the HST power car, a class 153 and a ZUA 'Shark' ballast plough. But there are some other gems in the 2008 range! Hornby are at long last introducing the ex-Lima Class 87, in BR Blue and Intercity livery which is very good news.
The class 60 will now be available sound-fitted, along with others in Railfreight sector livery too! Rather annoyingly, Hornby are also producing 60029 Clitheroe Castle/Castle Cement in EWS livery - that's one of the locos I've modelled for Wells Green TMD!
56032 County of South Glamorgan/Sir de Morgannwg is being produced in Trainload Metals - this will definitely end up in my collection! 56003 in Loadhaul black and orange is also planned, along with 56103 Stora in EWS.
There was much speculation on the RMWeb site about a small cover image of the magazine in the Rail Express website, 'revealing' the 2008 Hornby D&E releases. This started off saying HSTs etc, but was later changed (no doubt by SS3!) to read 'Blue Pullman' much to my amusement!
A class 86 decorated as 86259 Les Ross will appear in the 'Electric' blue livery as repainted fairly recently. This is of little use however, with the amount of effort required to bring the old '86' to modern day standards, the livery can get pretty damaged! But I'm sure the model will look a treat when you consider Hornby's excellent printing quality, we can only hope that one day manufacturers will release high specification models of the AC electric locomotives!
The '73's get revised NSE, Intercity Executive and 'Dutch' livery, whilst the '31's and '50's appear in a number of lovely sectorisation-era colour schemes. However, possibly the most groundbreaking news is the release of the Class 156 'SuperSprinter' in one of the Northern Rail 'pictorial' liveries, with what appears to be photo-quality printing on the sides of the model, just as in real life. Rail Express indicates the single-car class 153 will appear in Wessex livery, so if the quality of the printing on the '156' is anything to go by, then this will be very promising!
Hopefully Bachmann may be able to use the same technique in their forthcoming class 150/2 models to produce some of the truly awesome Wessex photographic liveries.
On My Mp3:Green Day - Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Wednesday 19th December 2007
Pre-Christmas Clear Out!
Regular readers may remember that I have a magazine storage problem; well with Christmas coming up I decided I'd better make space for all the new goodies hopefully arriving next Tuesday morning!
Last year I went through all my Railway Modeller back issues and removed my favourite articles, and this year it was the turn for my British Railway Modelling magazine collection to be recycled. Although my collection only goes back to about 1998, it was truly fascinating going back through each issue, so much I'd forgotten about and so many superb layouts hidden within those pages. The 'Points Arising' letters sections made for hilarious reading, with a large volume of the letters written by pedantic old people arguing over tiny details!
The 'pick of the crop' cut from the mags were without doubt Nigel Burkin's 'E-Exam' features which are still just as relevant today despite all the advances in the hobby, it was interesting to once again see how MRM developed out of nothing (and sadly back again), and the gradual changes in the layout and style of BRM over the years.
Despite extracting a huge amount of information from each issue of BRM, I was slightly taken aback at how little space the cuttings occupied - just four folders compiled from over nine years of magazines!
On My Mp3:Avril Lavigne - When You're Gone
Wednesday 12th December 2007
Due to a number of impending University examinations I have had to cut back on several shows planned for early 2008, including the Stafford show, which had been booked for two years and so the decision to cancel was not taken lightly! Wells Green TMD's first appearance in the new year will therefore be at the 'Ally Pally' at the end of March.
On a more positive note, with Christmas fast approaching it's time to start making wishlists for Santa, and of course Hornby! British Railway Modelling's annual Hornby calendar arrived today and normally gives away a few surprises but it seemed the images shown were mostly renumbered stock from last year! Have to wait until the next RAIL EXPRESS magazine to get the latest Hornby '08 news then!
My beloved car has been decorated this year ("how sad" I can hear you say!) with as much tinsel as I could steal from the main box of decorations used for indoors! Better not use the flashing blue set of lights we normally stick on the house though!!
Despite using rather a lot of tinsel, it's not quite the grotto I'd envisaged, though friends have suggested I add some fake snow and plug a light-up Christmas tree into the front power socket!
On My Mp3:Avril Lavigne - Forgotten
Friday 7th December 2007
The seemingly never-ending project to finish the isolating gantry came that little bit closer to completion this week as more bits of brass were soldered on the legs at trendy angles! I'm quite proud of the 'V' shape at the top, and am amazed that I managed to get this far considering my appalling soldering skills!
On My Mp3:Girls Aloud - Fling
Sunday 2nd December 2007
Exciting new developments!
I can hardly contain my excitement as I announce the latest high-tech modernisation on Wells Green TMD. Unveiled at the previous Brockenhurst show, this stunning trio of small clamps replaces three big heavy ones that used to do the same job of holding the legs in place when the layout is set up.
Due to the important nature of such a development, I felt the website's audience must be the first to know this exclusive news. Nothing to do with the fact that I've not done any modelling for the past two weeks, of course, you understand!
To liven things up a bit, I have provided the following train picture below in an attempt to top the exciting scenes featured in the first image. There's not many occasions on which a Super Voyager could be considered more exciting than something else, but I think this is one of those rare situations!
On My Mp3:Spiller feat. Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)
Sunday 25th November 2007
New Forest MRS at Brockenhurst
Today's outing to the New Forest Model Railway Society's show in Brockenhurst was Wells Green TMD's penultimate appearance of 2007, with the year's last taking place on December 30th in Worthing, West Sussex. The exhibition was very well attended and manager John Dedman had booked a good mix of nice layouts and traders - luckily I had cash in my pocket as I ended up buying a Bachmann Midland Mainline Class 170/1 'Turbostar'! Don't ask why!
Operationally, everything went rather well with no major faults, the only niggles being some varying lighting on my Hornby class 60s! Every now and then we would lose lights at one of both ends, or simply a head or tail light would go out. Later in the day, they would suddenly be functioning again! It didn't appear to be the electrical contacts but perhaps more of a decoder issue, as soon as the decoder in one malfunctioning '60' was swapped over, the problem vanished. However then appeared a mix of red tail lights and headlights at one end only, but before we knew it everything was back to normal again - strange stuff!
It was a really enjoyable day and nice to meet people who I'd not seen for a while, and the 'western division' of the DEMU SCAG group too! And to top it all, I even managed to get John Dedman to sign a copy of his excellent new book BR Blue No. 1 - Southampton and the New Forest, so that will fetch a bit more on eBay!!
On My Mp3:Girls Aloud - Call The Shots
Friday 16th November 2007
The gantry gets legs!
In the evenings over the last week or so I have made a concerted effort to get on with the upgrade on the overhead electrification on Wells Green TMD. Latest progress is constructing the legs that support the gantry with switchgear - the big gantry that will sit outside the shed!
Having waited so long for the brass bits from Eileen's Emporium it felt silly not to get on with modelling, and was quite surprised as it only took me a couple of hours to fabricate most of the leg section. Having built one to the correct dimensions/angles, I then soldered the basic frame of the second leg onto this so that they will end up identical - all that remains is to separate them before adding the diagonal bracing on either side of each leg!
On My Mp3:Girls Aloud - Sexy! No No No...
Monday 12th November 2007
Out and about in Surrey
Operator Martin Browning hard at work at the controls of Wells Green TMD!
It's back to work again after the Norbury SLTC's show, Croydon, with Wells Green TMD having clocked up 31 days of public operation at 17 exhibitions since the layout's debut in 2005. I am starting to wonder how long it will be before age problems start to become apparent, such as wiring coming loose through transportation or damaged woodwork but everything seems fine so far!
The layout's still got a fair few bookings left for the next two years, though because I'm unsure of what I'll be doing much into the future, no replacement layout is planned but the focus for now is to keep improving Wells Green and finally getting round to completing all those rolling stock projects I've planned for the last few years!
The Norbury club's show was pretty enjoyable in terms of operating and socialising - there was a lovely selection of layouts present and lots of people to talk to! However the actual exhibition side of things left a lot to be desired with the show spread across many different rooms and very few stewards on hand to help things run smoothly, a far cry from the previous Uckfield show the layout attended three weeks ago!
90040 The Railway Mission made its debut in remotored format, running well, in one direction at least! A little bit of fettling to one of the drive shafts is required to ensure a smooth run in both directions!
EWS traincrew stop for a chat whilst 92035 Mendelssohn emerges from the graffitied washing plant!
Surprisingly my layout backed on to fellow DEMU member Mark Lambert who was caught red handed showing off his exceedingly large collection of Hornby steam locos! In fairness to him, they were all donated free of charge by Hornby for use on his club's Hornby Junction and he redeemed himself by providing us with his Bachmann 37672 in Transrail triple grey!
Loadhaul 60038 and 90040 The Railway Mission await attention on the concrete outside the depot building.
Much to my delight the new Bachmann 66411 Eddie The Engine turned up in the post from Hattons a couple of days before the show allowing me to capture the image above; only trouble is it's fitted with a 21-pin decoder socket, and of course I didn't have the sense to order a compatible decoder from Hattons at the same time!
A more conventional 4-door ('saloon!') Class 66 in the form of wing-mirror fitted 66042 Lafarge Buddon Wood waits at the stop board before proceeding further into the depot.
This time a view from over the roof of the depot, offering a glimpse of some of the detailing such as the graffiti on the end 'Portakabin's, not normally visible on the classic side views of the layout!
Minor irritations aside, the exhibition was very enjoyable and with Wells Green TMD being positioned in a well-lit Drama Studio at the school venue, provided an excellent opportunity to take some lovely photographs of the layout too!
On My Mp3:Crash Test Dummies - Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm
Tuesday 6th November 2007
Shiny new things!
Here's a few images of the latest Bachmann EPA II compliant reduced-emissions class 66/4 decked out in full DRS 'Compass' livery as 66412. It doesn't actually belong to me - the model is in fact on a short term 'loan' from its owners at the moment whilst I write a review!
Following the "If it's a kit we build it, if it's not, we take it apart" philosophy of reviewing!
Wells Green TMD will once again be out 'on the road' this weekend; the Norbury SLTC's exhibition being held at St Andrews High School, Warrington Road, Croydon CR0 4BH is the next 'gig' as it were! It should be good fun although sadly the above model won't be operating on the layout - it has to be back at its owners for a 'photoshoot' by Monday!
Hurry up with the Freightliner green 66952 please Bachmann - I think then my wallet will take a battering!
On My Mp3:Avril Lavigne - I Don't Give
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