Sunday, 9 September 2018

Moor Steam - Exmoor in Yorkshire

The Kirklees Light Railway held their annual steam gala over the weekend of 8th/9th September, the theme for 2018 being 'Moor Steam', with four visiting locomotives built by the Exmoor Steam Railway workshop. As usual it was a pleasure to see the visiting locomotives run up the hill from Clayton West to Shelley and relax on the way back down.


It was interesting to see 'Monty' (the former 'Markeaton Lady) and 'Anne' (the ex- Longleat 'John Hayton') together, as they collectively provided a lot of the information and inspiration for my model 'St Edwin'.


I really must add a headlamp to my loco, they do seem all the rage on Exmoors...


The other visitors were 'St Egwin' and 'Spirit of Adventure', seen here double-heading. With home fleet locomotives 'Badger', 'Hawk', 'Owl' and 'Katie' in service, plus long-term visitor 'Sian' and extra guest 'Count Louis', it was a very busy railway, so much so that I didn't get to ride behind everything! More of my pictures can be found on my Flickr site.

Colin

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Flower of the Forest - at last!

It is 13 years since I completed my first 'scale' locomotive in O9, constructed from drawings  of the Ravenglass-built tram locomotive 'Flower of the Forest'. These were published in the only copy of the 'Ratty Modeller' newsletter I ever got my hands on, obtained when Owen Ryder exhibited his 'Boot' layout at Wakefield many moons ago. It's all his fault...

Construction and finishing are covered here - the basic finish was all I felt I could achieve at the time and the name 'Cumbria' chosen as I had the plates and it seemed appropriate. As I reached one of those round number birthdays this year I decided to investigate what might be possible to commission re-finishing the loco to more closely resemble the real thing.

She arrived back on shed at Shifting Sands this morning, seen here raising steam with 'St Edwin'.


The model has been expertly re-finished by James Hilton Custom Model Railways with the green repainted to a more appropriate shade, and custom lettering on the sides and "smokebox" end.


I chose James for this work as I needed someone who could not only refinish the locomotive in the desired colour, but also to create the artwork for the lettering and plates as a one-stop shop. James took great care working from my reference photographs to get the lettering to look right, especially as the real thing is hand-lettered to no standard font.


Whilst the etched plates are not legible they do have the correct pattern of lettering, the real locomotive is dedicated to the memory of Ian Fraser, the Ratty supporter who commissioned the real locomotive to run in his garden.


Having the model in this condition is a great reminder of the time the real thing spent running at Cleethorpes, and the influence it must have had on Shifting Sands!


Some readers may be wondering why I chose to take the unusual (for me) step of contracting this work out. Well, my own time is presently quite limited and quite frankly I decided to treat myself!


I'm really pleased with the outcome and can recommend the service James provides, even working around existing paint finishes and details is no obstacle....

Colin

Thursday, 16 August 2018

The ones that got away... No.7 'Cumbria'?

Well, it seems the nameplates have at least...


As for the rest? Watch this space!

Colin

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Low Cost Inspiration

I've always been of the belief that seaside shops selling all manner of cheap toys ought to be a source  of low cost modelling opportunities. I think this belief was instilled in me many years ago on an early trip to Cleethorpes whilst I was deep in bus modelling territory. Ironically it took me many years to actually find a usable toy bus!

Having toured numerous establishments on the Lincolnshire coast in the last week or so I have been disappointed that nothing remotely train shaped has sprung out at me. However, these days we live in an international market and before going away a member of the NGRM Online forum posted about some very cheap narrow gauge outline items available on eBay. I was curious enough to make a couple of purchases....


These models are very similar to the Del Prado series of world locomotives in N gauge, but are perhaps not quite so well detailed or proportioned. They are both slightly smaller than 009 in scale. However, they are locomotive shaped and as they come apart into component pieces offer all sorts of potential projects, such as using the Garratt boiler as a shed area piece of junk, maybe even a small 009 diesel from the Garratt cab and front bunker. There are some useful parts on the Darjeeling tank such as the headlights and I can see the bunker and cab moulding used as more shed decor for that O9 workshop scene I aim to build one day (representing 10 1/4" gauge locomotive parts).

These models cost me £6 in total for a pair of each, I'm not sure the seaside novelty shops can compete...

Colin

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Inspirations on the Lincolnshire Coast

A week away in Lincolnshire proved very refreshing (and warm!) and it was interesting to note a few details whilst out and about that might prove useful for modelling projects.

Modellers are well supplied with models of ice cream vans courtesy of Oxford Diecast, I'm guilty of owning a 1/43rd Bedford myself... For some reason ice cream vans seem to outlast other commercial vehicles of the same model, perhaps it is all the slow speed travel and being stationary a lot of the time? This example was found grounded in our holiday park, plying an admittedly limited range of ices at less than favourable prices!


I've no idea who Bertie might be but co-incidentally Haven's owners started trading in 1964.

A trip to a farm park in Ingoldmells found this delightful structure that looks to have come straight from the 1960s. In fact I'm sure it had a supporting roll in 'Carry on Camping', it certainly has the caravan park clubhouse look.


Looking beyond its present use as a indoor play area it would make a great station structure for an O9 miniature railway layout. In fact, as every farm park should have a miniature railway...

Whilst in Ingoldmells it was a short hop to Winthorpe to the Skegness Water Leisure Park to visit the Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway. Here we found Peckett 0-6-0ST 'Jurassic' in steam, something that when I last saw her in 2013 seemed a long way off. The railway is picking up lots of visitors to ride in an ex-Ashover coach and ex-WD open wagon over the recently (slightly) extended railway.


It is perhaps a good job that Bachmann are not making a Peckett 0-6-0ST to go with the WD wagons and forthcoming Ashover coaches....


A lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Colin


Saturday, 21 July 2018

Cleethorpes Coast Celebrates at 70

As mentioned in my previous post 'Shifting Sands' attended the 70th anniversary weekend of the Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway over the weekend of 14th and 15th July. This turned out to be a very enjoyable weekend indeed, aided by the visiting locomotives, frequent service and other attractions.

Star attractions were of course Katie and Sian, I was lucky enough to persuade the driver of Katie to line them up for a shot at Kingsway on the Sunday morning.


Alongside 'Shifting Sands' in the Griffin Hall building were displays from the local model engineers, G scale models and two narrow gauge layouts that were great examples of small space modelling. Firstly, in 009, was 'Dolwyn', based on the Glyn Valley Tramway and featuring some superb scratchbuilt structures based on examples in the locality.

(Photo courtesy Billy Hanner)
In O-16.5 'B.A. Cookes Engineering' was a busy industrial scene featuring a little standard gauge action alongside the narrow gauge. The 7mm Narrow Gauge Association was being well promoted too.

(Photo courtesy Billy Hanner)
I will admit to lurking by 'Shifting Sands' and listening to comments from viewers, I suppose it would have been nice to have operated it but the logistics might have proved difficult, as would keeping the right balance between playing trains and family time. I did however pose for a photo....


The eagle-eyed will see that the backscene is almost at the back of the glass case, in actual fact the fiddle yard was sticking out of the back of the cabinet and the back was actually a specially installed bespoke piece of hardboard in place of the usual glass doors. Fitting it all took a bit of pre-planning and creation of some adaptor pieces, taking it all apart again only took a few minutes!

I have uploaded my pictures from the weekend to Flickr here, my thanks to Billy Hanner for the pictures of the model railway layouts as I seemingly forgot to take any.

Colin

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Sian, Katie and Shifting Sands

I'm pleased to confirm that 'Shifting Sands' will be making a static appearance at the Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway as part of their 70th anniversary celebrations this weekend.


The layout will be on static display in the Griffin Hall building at Lakeside station, there are other working model railways promised and of course the lure of visiting locomotives working on the main line. 

If you haven't been to Cleethorpes for some time the event will offer a chance to view some recent developments on the railway.

Colin