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Copyright © 2005-2012
James Makin
Wells Green TMD

On My Workbench Archive, August - September 2005


Thursday 29th September 2005

Wagons everywhere!

Over the last week or so, I have been starting to detail up a rake of 36 open wagons for a spoil train to run on Worthing MRC's embryonic 'Loftus Road' layout. My train is formed of thirteen Hornby 'MHA' wagons, six Bachmann 'MTA' wagons, and seventeen Bachmann 'MFA' wagons.These wagons will be hauled by a single class 66 (or perhaps even a '60') and the challenge is to keep the weight down on the wagons whilst adding a load of ballast inside.

The photograph below shows two MHAs and an MTA being lined with lightweight foamboard to provide a higher level for the ballast to sit on. This also enables me to economise on ballast material as well as weight in the wagons!

The part of the project that will take the longest will be locating prototype pictures of 36 individual wagons and modelling them, complete with all their detail differences. This will also be the most rewarding aspect, because I will end up with an awesome rake of varied, prototypical wagons completely different to anything that can be bought off the shelf. That is the plan at least!

There have also been some additions to the stocklist recently, with three new class 66s being worked on (66006, 66010 and 66076), as well as two of Michael Owen's RT Rail class 08 shunters, 08648 in yellow/black livery and 08762 in all over black.

I also hope to fulfil a long held aspiration of modelling more of the decimated ILRA pool of Virgin XC '47's, with 47807 "The Lion of Vienna" and 47817 "The Institution of Mechanical Engineers" joining the fleet soon.

Finally, I couldn't resist taking a picture of ex-Virgin ILRA 47829 in Police livery, 'attending' the murder scene on Wells Green TMD!


Wednesday 21st September 2005

Post-Exhibition Blues

Following Wells Green TMD's second exhibition appearance, it is now time to tackle all the problems that arose during the weekend away - thankfully there were very few!

A relatively minor problem was the lack of tension in the overhead wires in the depot building, and this will entail removing the affected wires and replacing them, together with devising a stronger method of attaching them to the backscene. Nothing too major there then.

However a really nasty issue rose its ugly head once more, one so daunting, that over the Summer I tried to 'bury my head in the sand' and forget about - the issue of the appalling running of my AC electric locomotive fleet.

My electric fleet consists of many Hornby 'Ringfield' motored locos - not so bad surely? Well these locos run perfectly over straight, normal track, but Wells Green TMD mainly consists of several points in a small area, making low speed depot movements very difficult to achieve without constant stalling. At exhibitions, one naturally wants to put on a good show and run only reliable, slow running stock, meaning that the AC electrics often got put to one side in favour of other power, often in the form of Bachmann '66's or Heljan '47's.

This is especially ironic, due to the amount of time and money spent erecting the overhead electrification so I could run locos such as class 86s and 90s, yet instead I simply go for the easy running '66's.

Wing mirror-fitted 66042 Lafarge Buddon Wood spent much of the weekend in action deputising for AC electrics.

And so to work

I've remotored locomotives before, my last example was a Lima class 60 and that went reasonably well, so I thought I'd have a go at my class 86/9 loadbanks, using a chassis from a Lima '67' (only one loco is powered out of the two enabling easy multiple working on my layout). This is a close match to the wheelbase of an '86', although it is a tiny fraction smaller.

Already work has begun on fitting the Hornby wheels to a '67', which appears successful. Soon I hope to incorporate the motor and all the other gubbins into the class 86 chassis, when time permits. I am currently unsure about what to do with the class 90, for I cannot find any suitable locomotive which shares a similar wheelbase to a Hornby class 90.

If anyone has successfully repowered their class 90, please email me, I would be very interested to hear from you!

The two class 86/9 loadbanks seem to hog all the attention on Wells Green TMD, being popular with both operators and the paying audience at exhibitions, so seemed like excellent candidates for remotoring. If successful, my other class 86s will also be remotored.


Saturday 17th September 2005

Exhibition time!

Firstly, apologies for the lack of updates to this site recently, due to a problem with BT Broadband, I have not had internet access for the past two weeks, but fortunately all has returned to normal now.

Wells Green TMD has now made its second exhibition appearance, this time at Worthing MRC's annual show in Lancing, West Sussex. The picture above shows my good friend John Holmes getting to grips with operating the layout.

Over the last few weeks, all the outstanding work on the layout has been completed, with the new scenic area at the front attracting much attention with a Police Forensics team investigating a dumped body in undergrowth towards the right hand side of the layout. This even features repainted Police vehicles complete with blue flashing lights! A murder scene, thats a bit grisly for a model railway, you may ask? Yes, but its real life. Get over it!

The new five inch scenic section is all complete!

Several new items of rolling stock made their exhibition debut, including a brace of Bachmann '66's, and some class 90s completed back during the Summer. There were no major problems during the day with all stock performing relatively well, and to round off a pleasant day, an exhibition invite for the Bognor Regis show in January '06 was received.

Early to bed now, I've still got Sunday to keep entertaining the public with my trains!

Freightliner's 66555, making a debut appearance on Wells Green.

Tuesday 30th August 2005

All finished!

My latest repaint, 67029 in EWS 'Executive train' colours, is shown here posed on the layout, awaiting light weathering around the exhaust area. The loco is just a plain old Lima model with no fancy bits added yet, but a lighting kit will be added when the layout is converted to DCC, and hopefully by then South West Digital might have released a sound decoder for the '67'.

If Intercity Models release the long awaited superdetailing parts for the Lima '67', then my 67029 will re-enter the workshop for a thorough rebuild, but for now the loco will remain as nature intended.

Here's some photos taken yesterday showing EWS 90035 and RfD 90022 Freightconnnection parked up on Wells Green TMD. In case you are wondering, the third pantograph in the picture belongs to a hidden 90018!

A sneaky look at whats still to come - the scenic section at the front is taking shape and the graffiti-covered building is one of the latest additions. There seems to be much interest at exhibitions about my graffiti - it's not just Wells Green TMD thats been covered, Worthing MRC's Northlands Wood has been degenerated, and our club's latest project Loftus Road (loosely based on Kensington Olympia) is set to get splattered in the distant future.

All the graffiti on the layout was painted by hand using photographs for inspiration. It's easy to find such photographs - just type in 'graffiti' to any Internet search engine and you will find entire websites dedicated to it, with many thousands of images available to view. Simply select whichever image you would like to recreate, then print it out.

All you need is a lot of patience and a set of fine paint brushes, and away you go!

Many people don't like graffiti, understandably, but I actually find it intriguing more than anything else, when you trawl through these websites you discover the reasons as to why people do it, and each design relates to the person creating the image. The only problem I have with graffiti is where it is applied, for example on a brand new class 377 'Electrostar' it is disgusting, but on an abandoned building it is less of a problem. However, on a model, graffiti can help portray a run down area, and adds a splash of colour to an otherwise dull scenic area.

Here's some of my graffiti, this time from the administration building over the right hand end of the layout. The single coloured graffiti - known as 'tagging' was achived by scrawling over the building with thin gel pens of various colours, and the building then given a coat of matt varnish to protect the images from running should they ever come in contact with water.


Monday 22nd August 2005

In the works

Desperate as I am to model ordinary 'bog standard' locos in EWS's fleet, I couldn't resist modelling the EWS Executive train loco 67029 in its lovely silver livery. This is most probably the umpteenth time you have seen a model of 67029, but never mind, here's another model.

This lump of plastic holds the dubious distinction of being the only Lima "model" to run on Wells Green TMD, fortunately.

The loco is so popular, Fox Transfers has even released an entire set of transfers for this loco and its train! As I'm just modelling a depot I have an excuse to just do the '67' luckily so I don't have to model the entire train, which means I can spend time getting on with some other projects including some class 90s. The class 90s are in fact the same RES ones that I started back in June!

My RES '90's have taken so long because, like many other projects I've done, I get bored half way through finishing the models , and move onto another project. Hopefully I'll get round to finally completing the models by the end of the year! I'll most probably be applying the 'Penny Black' nameplates to 90019 on Christmas Eve or something...!

Also going on recently has been the extension at the front of the layout , and track laying on the new fiddle yard, with the layout on target to be finished by the time of the Worthing MRC exhibition on September 17/18. I've also been preparing a review of the new Bachmann 'MTA' ballast wagon for DEMU's club magazine, UPDate which should appear in issue 43 if all goes well!

A close up of the unfinished '67' in silver awaiting extra details to be added prior to transfer application.


Friday 12th August 2005

Out Trainspotting!

Here's 90021 with a Euston-bound service pausing at Watford Junction, last Thursday.

Having taken a little break from modelling recently, and with no new models to show off, I decided to share a few of my snaps taken on Thursday 4th August, on a trip to Watford Junction. The journey was made primarily to add a few more numbers to my collection - particularly the newer '390' class members and the new class 350s.

Above : 86610, 86627 and 57007 "Freightliner Bond" (dead in train) at the head of a rake of empty container flats.

Apologies for the slightly blurred image above - my excuse is that I was paying so much attention to taking detail pictures of 90021 (just out of shot on the right), that I failed to notice the three Freightliner locomotives hurtling towards me until it was too late to position the camera accurately!

But I didn't just go to Watford on August 4th - as well as AC electrics, I also have a strong passion for electrics of the 750 DC 'third rail' type (and being a Southerner, thats all we get, so 'like it or lump it'!) - therefore I couldn't resist a long stop over at Clapham Junction.

Now as your most probably reading this website because you are an AC electric fan, I won't bore you with the pictures, but just show a couple of things which caught my eye!

Making a welcome change from the '450's and '455's, was Network Rail liveried 31285.

Mmm...colours - Legoland Windsor 455856 would make a lovely model!

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