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Copyright © 2005-2012
James Makin
Wells Green TMD

On My Workbench Archive, October - December 2005

Tuesday 20th December 2005

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

I'm planning to spend a little more time modelling over the Christmas break, so hopefully in January I will have several finished models to show off, but for now here is a bumper selection of photos to look at. Some have been taken recently, and others slightly older, but none have appeared on this website before. Enjoy!

And finally, as we approach the first anniversary of the scenery & building construction on Wells Green TMD, I couldn't resist including a photograph taken last January when I stacked up all my out-of-the-box '90's and '92's on the layout to see what it would look like. It seems so long ago now!

All these locomotives have now been detailed and have operated on the layout in their new guises at exhibitions with the exception of the EWS red 90020 at the rear.

You can see the diesel depot building is in fact made of plywood and the sky was originally painted blue before I changed my mind and went for a cloudy photographic backscene!


Tuesday 13th December 2005

Forgotten photos!

Whilst going through the entire website updating various things, I suddenly remembered that I'd never yet shown the photo of my eye-catching fiddle yard screen, that I took several months ago. I had intended to help prove my support for DEMU as part of an OMWB piece that never materialised, but here is the picture anyway!

The fiddle yard measures 3' by 1' 6", and is basically a fan of sidings, of which the 'official' use is somewhere to put surplus locos when not in use - but the 'unofficial' use of the fiddle yard is that it makes an excellent place to store drinks behind. Would make an awesome location for a mini-fridge, but sadly there is not quite enough room.

The blue-on-yellow wording I decided was an appropriate way of publicising DEMU using their own colour scheme, which does tend to make the layout stand out from the normal sea of BR Southern Greens or GWR Chocolate browns that most layout fascias seem to be painted in!


Tuesday 6th December 2005

Nearly DCC!

Like everyone else, I went to the Warley show and have subsequently done a website update based upon what I bought there. Well sort of.

It was a pleasure to look at many of the D&E layouts on show, and meet up with familiar faces from the past as well as meeting up with people whom previously, I had only known their names from e-groups and websites. It was nice talking to you all!

I haven't actually gone to the trouble of showing any photographs of the items I bought, but for the record I purchased two Bachmann '57's, a whole heap of Shawplan bits to add detail to the (presumably now defunct) Heljan class 47s - although my Danish locos are assured a long and happy future despite some impressive competition from the Bachmann range. As well as these items I purchased some nice Bachmann 'ICI' TTA tank wagons (a little out of period for Wells Green TMD but needed for another project!) and lots of little detailing parts, too numerous to mention. Equally long as the list of parts I did buy is the list of things I forgot to buy!

But the main purchase of the day - and one that I am most excited about - is my new Lenz set 100 and transformer, with a solitary Lenz Gold decoder to fit into a Hornby 90. The diesels will hopefully all get Southwest Digital sound decoders, but until they create a decoder that makes 'popping' noises, all the AC electrics will get the Lenz 'Gold' decoders.

So there I was, sat down on Sunday evening in the lounge watching DVDs, whilst lovingly stroking my new handset dreaming of all the fun times we will have together in the future, and all the amazing new things I can do, looking ahead to the times I can just park up a loco and then another one next to it, without even touching an isolation switch. Mmm!

Seriously though, DCC will completely change operation on Wells Green TMD, giving me a lot more freedom to move locos around where I choose, along with adding new levels of realism including fully-functioning lighting and DCC sound.

I'm going to wait until after Summer 2006 before I convert the layout over to DCC, for two reasons -

1) There's three instruction booklets with the Lenz 100, so learning the 'ins and outs' of the system will take a while and:

2) The main reason (and probably the excuse which is closest to the truth) is that its going to cost a small fortune to convert the entire stocklist to DCC, so I'll have to pace myself when buying decoders.

Sunday 27th November 2005

Spotting and Photting

66228 at the head of a train formed of 'Autoballaster' wagons, as well as MHA and MTA wagons. 08804 is just to the left of the photograph.

Here's some photographs of my trip to Didcot last Thursday, for me it proved to be an excellent day out with loads of interesting things to see! I'd never been to Didcot on a weekday before, and was amazed at the volume of freight I saw compared to my normal Sunday afternoon excursions, where the most you got to see was the class 165/166 fleet and a few HSTs.

I used last Thursday as an opportunity to take many photographs of wagons, for future modelling projects, and the trains formed of MHA, MTA, MFA and MKA wagons were particularly useful as I now have a load more wagons that I'm desperate to model!

I couldn't resist taking a photo of this sign - modified presumably by someone who has children!

It was nice to see a rake of HQAG 'Autoballaster' wagons in Railtrack livery - something that I have always wanted to model, so I now have a nice set of photos to help out with fine detailing should I ever get round to it. In addition, two water cannon trains were stabled at Didcot for several hours, one 'top and tailed' by 66014 and 66078, whilst the other had 66175 and 66194 at each end.

A nicely weathered 66537 with a container train.

As well as the First Great Western Link fleet of 'Turbo's, between 10am and 3pm I saw no fewer than twenty-three class 66s and fifty-eight class 43 power cars, along with a smattering of other classes adding to the variety.

Can't go to Didcot without taking the obligatory HST shot - trouble is I normally reside on Platforms 4/5 so all my HST pics contain hundreds of lampposts, meaning I seem to only end up with front-three quarter shots of power cars and no quality pics of the trailers!

Here's 60065 approaching with a long rake of 'Gunnell's.

Most welcome was the appearance of three class 60s, 60048 "North Eastern", 60065 "Spirit of Jaguar" and the rather odd looking EWS-branded triple grey 60090. At least when 60046 was re-branded EWS kept the nameplates on the machine, but 60090 looked much worse now someone has taken off the "Quinag" plates.

60048 appeared on an MOD working during the afternoon, making a pleasant change from class 66s.

Occasionally when out 'trainspotting' I like to play games with some of the other enthusiasts further down the platform - try it, its really easy to do, and with some fun results!

For example, everyone might be looking out for a train coming from the North, so you suddenly turn to look towards the South, with a look of anticipation on your face, binoculars held in the air, camera at the ready, and you can cause a whole gang of people to turn round, even though there may be no train approaching! Everyone else seems to assume you have some special 'gen' or that you have just spotted something particularly unusual in the distance!

I know it sounds childish, but it is really interesting to examine peoples' behaviour whilst on the platform. I always like to go and have a chat with the lone spotter at the end of a platform, rather than the usual big gangs you get towards the station buffet, because more often than not they are the true enthusiasts, prepared to spend hours in the wind and rain to see a particular working, and you can pick their brains to find out certain bits of information you might need, whether it be details of what loco was working which freight service, or chances are they could be a modeller and you can have a nice long chat with them about their layout!

Probably my favourite image of the day was of these stabled class 66s above, taken at around 3.15pm, when a huge band of rain and wind swept in from the North, it really did get this dark under the shelter! The atmosphere is something which I will remember for a long time - the sight of EWS traincrew running around in the rain, the smell of oil, the salt blowing around on the platform, the rain banging on the roof, and the noise and relative warmth of Voyager 220012 stabled next to us (out of shot).


Wednesday 23rd November 2005


Behind the scenes at Wells Green TMD - exhibition viewers don't get to see inside the shed! Here's a photo of the depot building complete with the replaced wires. I didn't realise the jars of paint had appeared in the photograph until after I'd packed the camera away, but the colours will be used on a model of 37029 in DRS Blue.

Not a lot is on the workbench at the moment, but work on the layout itself continues. The overhead catenary is being revamped, with new wires going in around the depot building at the left hand side of the layout. In addition to this, I am in the process of remodelling the three tensioners with the associated wiring, along with the termination posts, meticulously following photographs to make sure I get the right look. Visitors to either DEMU Showcase or the Worthing MRC exhibitions will have noticed the wiring a bit of a bodge-job, and I wanted to re-do this and model something the layout deserves!

I have attempted to show some of the work done in the photograph below, but the camera has had problems focussing in on the wires in question but I can't be bothered to get the tripod out right now!

There is still quite a bit of work to be done, including the addition of termination posts behind the bufferstops, but this is what has been completed in the last couple of days.

Anyway, I'll be off to Didcot tomorrow (am I the only person who still finds Didcot exciting even though the 37s, 47s and 58s have gone?!) so hopefully I'll have some nice snaps to show on the website for your enjoyment (or perhaps just my enjoyment then!). I hope to get into DCC fairly soon, I had originally planned to get into it during next Summer, but I'm getting more impatient and even more jealous of other peoples sound-chipped locos. I want noise!

Maybe I'll get a Lenz set 100 at the Warley show, but I have the nasty feeling I'll blow most of my modelling budget on some Hornby '60's and a couple of Bachmann '57's!


Thursday 17th November 2005

Modelling, the lazy way!

Here's the first of the long awaited duo of RT Rail class 08 shunters to be worked on, 08648 in yellow and black livery, complete with 'Wrekin Construction' branding on one of the bodyside doors. The other shunter will be RT Rail's 08762 in all-over black.

Naturally, in my normal 'lazy' style, keen to get on with a "quick afternoon project", instead of carefully breaking down the Hornby loco into its separate component parts ready for repainting, I decided to take the easy route, masking off the wheels and yellow 'wasp' stripes, I then proceeded to spray Halfords car primer all over it. It'll be all right when I've finished. Hopefully.

Unfortunately for me, this was over three and a half weeks ago, and the part-finished model has laid on my Workbench ever since, thereby removing any speed benefits of not breaking down the model for repainting. Harrumph!

Meanwhile on the wagon front, the MTA worked on last week has had a load added inside, along with some bits of trackside debris that might possibly end up in a wagon following an engineering possession.

All parts are still to be painted, but visible here are lumps of trackside cable troughing, a pallet, some sleepers and a bent piece of rail!

Friday 11th November 2005

More wagons!

Still in the paint shop - this will eventually be painted into faded 'Dutch' livery - the yellow is just undercoat.

I really want to get round to producing some show-stoppingly excellent locomotives ready for the next round of exhibitions beginning January 14th, but instead I keep on making more wagons!

The latest in the works are a group of three Parkside Dundas 'Rudd' wagons. These are awesome kits, the old cliché "they just fall together" is certainly true in this instance. You can see the pictures of the previous batch of Parkside kits I built on the 'Wagons' page.

One 'Rudd' will be in an orange and grey livery whilst another will be in dirty Loadhaul colours. The final wagon will appear in a battered, faded 'Dutch' livery.

Below is a modified Bachmann 'MTA' (only half weathered, hence the odd appearance!), with chassis improvements visible. Hopefully, in the next issue of DEMU's UPDate magazine, there will be my review of the MTA, together with details of possible improvements - so this is just to prove that I practice what I preach!

The wagon has been renumbered as 395051, using one of Martyn Read's excellent photographs as a guide. Probably what attracted me was the graffiti, making the wagon stand out a little bit more in a block train. However, I do seem to have a penchant for modelling 'unusual' wagons, or ones with detail differences.

I'm worried that when I've assembled the whole train I'll realise that I have modelled the most smashed up, abused, disgusting and downright weird wagons that was physically possible, and have forgotten the plain, boring everyday 'bog standard' wagons. So at some point I'll have to just do some renumbering and light weathering to ensure my train is vaguely ordinary!


Sunday 6th November 2005


Not a lot has been happening on the 'workbench' - in reality a patio table covered in tools and lumps of plastic situated in the dining room!

For some reason this month, all the magazines have been coming out around the same time and I haven't been able to read them all and model at the same time. MRM was out a couple of weeks ago, followed by RAIL, The Railway Magazine and Traction.

Then RAIL again, and Rail Express (excellent mag but they spelt my name wrong in the 'Thanks' section - if anyone bumps into Jamers Makin, say 'Hi' to him from me!). Finally, Model Rail hit the doormat on Friday, so that scuppered my plans of weathering and detailing a Hornby 'Coalfish'. Surely you can just pretend the magazine never arrived through the post and just get on with modelling? Not me! I can't help myself, I'm always thumbing through the latest issues of a magazine to check for D&E content or to read the latest news and goings on in the hobby.

So not a lot of modelling has been going on at the moment, but I have added two extra pages to this website recently, one page devoted to 'Loftus Road', a new layout being built by Worthing MRC members Pete Hollman, James Rann and myself.. And I have finally got round to showing how I make my transfers, something I have had a lot of interest shown, both at exhibitions, and through the website.


Wednesday 2nd November 2005

So much to do, so little time to do it!

I thought I'd dig out some locos I bought for various layout plans I had, and detail them up. These two Heljan class 47s have been sitting in their boxes for the past year or so awaiting attention. The triple grey '47' will become 47223 "British Petroleum", an Immingham loco that was transferred to the FPFR Ripple Lane petroleum pool around 1990. When completed, it is hoped 47223 will appear on the Loftus Road layout.

47805 in Intercity Swallow livery was purchased simply because I really like the livery! I have not decided on an identity for the machine yet, I know I would like to renumber it to a 'namer' but I have yet to find the perfect loco for the job. It is one of the rare times when I have bought a model before deciding on a prototype to recreate, and it is becoming the hardest to choose!

47826 "Springburn" was a possible candidate (especially as it carried the livery well into privatisation, meaning the loco could even appear on Wells Green TMD) but was discounted due to Heljan doing a release of '826. I wanted something a little bit different! 47841 and 47810 both remain a possibility, however.

A while back I also bought a Danish 'Western' to be converted into a model of the preserved D1015 "Western Champion", complete wrap-round yellow ends and high intensity headlights in the Headcode boxes. However, this remains a long way off. There are some errors with the cab roof profile, and this could take time to remodel properly. I get the impression from magazine reviews that even if I were to chop off the cabs and replace them with a large dollop of Blu-Tack, then they would probably be more accurate than Heljan's effort!

Maybe I'll have a stab at working on these locos over the next few months, but I also have many other projects I'd like to start/complete in time for Model Rail Scotland next February. For starters, I have a got a Bachy '66' which will be sliced into hundreds of little pieces before being reassembled as the low-emission 66951. Should be fun.

Then theres Fragonset's 45112 "The Royal Army Ordnance Corps" which I would like to model in its BR Blue livery. And EWS Class 60s, 60005/036/097, utilising the Hornby model. Not forgetting 'Thunderbirds' 57303 and 57311 using the Bachmann release. Hmm...and Heljan's '33' is coming out soon...would love a model of Fragonset 33103 "SWORDFISH"!

Perhaps those '47's will have to stay in their red and blue boxes that little bit longer!


Saturday 29th October 2005

One week, One wagon

Instead of tinkering with locos, I thought I'd take a break, and instead decided to add to my collection of engineering wagons. For a while now I have wanted to make some 'Limpet's, which are converted POAs with the sides cut down, to limit the weight of ballast inside the wagons.

So on Monday, I bought a Bachmann POA and spent the rest of the week weathering and battering it to represent MKA wagon 390256. I'd photographed the prototype at Didcot some years back and had wanted to model the awful condition that these wagons are in. I really like the way in which the holes were cut in the sides, leaving the tattered Yeoman logos chopped in half!

The top two panels were cut out 5mm deep, then pieces of 1.5mm Microstrip were added underneath these panels. Next, I used a soldering iron to soften the plastic, enabling me to gradually bend out the bottom of the panels to recreate the dents and bulges where the heavy ballast has distorted the metal. A scalpel was then taken to the the wagon, to model the scars the bodywork receives when being unloaded by mechanical grabber.

The underframe received quite a few modifications to correct it, including the different suspension, but instead of using Cambrian spares, I decided to hack the existing moulding into shape, by cutting down and filing half of it away, following photographs to make sure I got the right look. Holes were drilled into the underframe where Bachmann's moulding did not convey enough depth, and the two girders were added to the chassis. The MKA's TOPS panel was made on a PC using CorelDraw with a 'Stencil' font. Electrification flashes were then added at 'trendy' angles, as on the prototype.

Recreating the rusty, beaten-up appearance of the MKA was done by applying various shades of brown paint, and then rubbing off using a cotton bud, leaving enough paint on to get a nice streaky effect. This also helped show up the scars made by the scalpel, as the grooves were now filled with paint. Then, after much drybrushing and patch painting, other areas of rust were painted on, not forgetting the inside of the wagon too.

I've also bought five other POAs, to convert into wagons I've seen carrying the old ARC livery, along with other favourites such as Loadhaul black and orange. I'll also recreate several wagons in a 'Dutch' style livery, where a yellow stripe has been painted on top of the old Yeoman grey, with logo still visible.


Friday 21st October 2005

GM Invasion!

Those '66's I have been going on about for the past few weeks have finally been finished, with the numbers added, and other details painted in. They just need weathering now to bring them up to exhibition standard, but this will be completed at a later date. Now I have eight Bachmann class 66s (six in EWS livery, one Freightliner, and another green 'Shed' earmarked as a donor for the low emission 66951) I couldn't resist lining them up to see what the overall effect would be!

Wells Green TMD can only accommodate 12 locomotives, so having eight locos all of the same type on the layout is pretty intense, and something that probably would not happen at an exhibition. This is because I like to appeal to the casual visitor as well as the hardened enthusiast, who would observe all the different numbers/variations, I would imagine it is a bit boring seeing eight near-identical locos parked up all in the same livery. In fact, for most enthusiasts it would be boring seeing eight class 66s parked up!

Yellow Loco Syndrome

Anyway, normal service should resume soon with some AC electric locomotives being worked on, 86901 and 86902 are being 'overhauled' (they're the yellow locos which appear in everyone's photographs!), with revised roof detail and other extras added inside the cabs.

Ironically, the Loadbanks were the least detailed locomotives I had worked on prior to the exhibition debut, yet they proved to be the most popular locos on the layout at DEMU Showcase. I only painted them on a whim - nearly three years ago I had originally planned to model RES liveried 86210 C.I.T 75th Anniversary and Intercity liveried 86253 The Manchester Guardian (amongst many other '86's), and had bought the donor models ready to be worked on.

By some bizarre twist in fate, 86210 and 86253 were then selected to be converted into NR's 'loadbanks' and my planned locos were now history. The livery on the 86/9s was so attractive, I thought 'Why not paint it?' and went ahead and recreated it in 4mm. So it turned out I ended up modelling the same two locos, but in a completely different livery!


Thursday 13th October 2005

More Sheds

Here's some of the latest locomotives to pass through the workshops, models of 66006, 66010 and 66076. At the moment they are only partially detailed, with quite a bit more work still to do. Unlike many people, I actually like the class 66, and had wanted to make satisfactory models of them for years, but with only the Lima model available, it was not possible.

Now with the Bachmann model being available, things have been made a little easier, and I can't stop buying them! At around £55, they are outstanding value for money, and only require a small amount of detailing to bring the model to life.

Numbers and EWS logos are easily removed using enamel thinners, left to soak on the model for around 20 minutes, before being scrubbed off with a stiff paintbrush. Be careful to only put thinners on the gold bodyside band, otherwise you might end up with a strange whitened effect on your EWS maroon!

When buying transfers for these locos from Fox, don't be conned into buying the special renumbering pack for the Bachmann '66' - the transfers only include enough EWS logos for one loco, and they are a different colour anyway. Instead, buy the Fox Transfers complete relivery pack, F4977/5, because this includes enough transfers to do three locos, and is only a little bit more expensive than the renumbering pack. You also get a number of other transfers such as electrification flashes, 'three beasties' and TOPS panels, ready for use on other projects.

Meanwhile, work on the layout continues, with the overhead wires inside the depot building being removed, ready to be replaced with new ones, because of a lack of tension due to being attached in a 'bodge job' in the days just prior to DEMU Showcase!

Note the lack of wires at the entrance to the depot building!

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