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James Makin
Wells Green TMD

On My Workbench Archive, June - July 2005

Sunday 31st July 2005

Low-emission 66s

Above: Freightliner's 66951. Photo courtesy of Matt (http://lawleyst.fotopic.net/).

Now the low emission Freightliner class 66's - 66951 and 66952 have been approved for Network Rail use (as opposed to just working on the CTRL), my excuse for creating one of the odd-looking machines has become a lot more valid since they could now be justified on Wells Green TMD as a visiting loco.

Ever since the locos first arrived in the UK I have been fascinated by just how ugly they are - all the 'nice' features of a standard '66' have been spoiled, and the addition of the third door (complete with white handrails) just looks bizarre. Obviously the machines are better for the environment, but it is a good example of how a nice design of locomotive can be ruined by numerous modifications.

Anyway, back to the model. A standard Bachmann '66' will be used, but will require many modifications, including a shorter fuel tank, larger cooling group and roof radiator and of course the extra door. Also, new windows (minus the quarterlights) will be fitted, and the yellow warning panel will be reduced in size.

If anyone can provide any side-on shots of '951, or know where I can find any drawings of the low emission class 66s, please email me at the address at the side of the page. Any help is much appreciated!

This project is set to continue for quite a while, as I have many other projects to go ahead of 66951, but I plan to have the model finished by Model Rail Scotland 2006.

Also on the workbench is a Lima '67' which will be repainted and detailed to represent the silver EWS 'Hospitality Train' loco, 67029.


Tuesday 26th July 2005

90022 "Freightconnection"

In the foreground you can see the new five-inch extension taking shape.

Here is 90022, the latest class 90 to join the fleet. It represents one of the ever-decreasing batch of locos in the old Railfreight Distribution livery, with paintwork depicted in a poor condition in certain places, as on the prototype.

Remarkably though, the real 90022's paintwork is largely intact, considering that the loco would have been painted over ten years ago, it has weathered well. On one side, the loco has lost its Crewe 'Eagle' Depot plaque, and this has been faithfully reproduced on my model.

What is also interesting is that 90022 Freightconnection is the only class 90 to retain its nameplates from Freightconnection 1992 event, with the 'Euro' '90's and their foreign versions of the name all having been repainted in EWS livery. Presumably 90022 will soon be repainted, so it is nice to have 'preserved' the loco in this livery, albeit only in model form!

Blinds have been created from off cuts of card, whilst the bufferbeam pipes are from Replica Railways.

90022 prepares to leave the depot. Note the roof is still to be given a good 'going over' with the airbrush!

Wednesday 20th July 2005

Wells Green TMD's getting bigger!

An article about how I created this Ginsters '158' appeared in the October 2004 Model Rail magazine.

This was the last picture of Wells Green TMD in its previous 'small' state, since the picture was taken , an additional five inch scenic section has been added onto the front.

The reason for the extension was that I had always envisaged a run-down area towards the front of the layout oozing with atmosphere, creating the impression that Wells Green TMD was set in a very deprived area, with scenes such as burnt-out cars and abandoned buildings. There are other plans for much more shocking features, but I will keep details of these under-wraps until they are complete.

Surely the scenic section could have been planned in from the beginning, you may ask? Unfortunately the DEMU Showcase competition rules allowed only 750 square inches, and as Wells Green TMD was at 702 inches already, there was no room, so the scenic section had to be left off until now.

Despite working on the layout, there has still been time to add to the locomotive fleet, with 90022 Freightconnection being the latest new member, in Railfreight Distribution livery. Soon to enter the works is another Bachmann '66', which will emerge as a model of EWS's 66008.

Virgin 86231 and Freightliner 66555 at the washing plant.


Friday 15th July 2005

Class 86 - 86231 'Starlight Express'

Here's some photos of my most recent project, a Hornby class 86, which has been detailed up to represent a Virgin Cross-Country example, 86231. Roof detailing has been carried out to add the roof-mounted fire protection bottles and associated piping. The roof also has the Shawplan roof aerials fitted, together with slight modifications to the bus-bars, to better represent the prototype.

Chassis mods include cutting away part of the underframe and replacing it with some styrene strip, as per 86231. Because a Sommerfeldt pantograph is unsuitable for this loco (no. '231 is fitted with a Brecknell-Willis high speed pantograph), I used a Hornby class 92 pantograph. However, this is of plastic construction, and I'm not totally convinced that this will stand up to the wear-and-tear of regular use on Wells Green TMD.

The plastic pantograph seems a little flimsy.

So 86231 will be used as a test loco, and if the pantograph is successful (i.e. doesn't break!) then I will go and fit plastic pantographs to the rest of the '90' fleet. But for now, they are keeping their metal Hornby ones.

86231 'Starlight Express' leaves the stabling point before entering the depot buildings.

New Arrivals

Away from locomotives, I have just invested in nine of the Hornby (retooled) 'MHA' Coalfish wagons and four Bachmann 'MTA' wagons to add to my collection of airbraked engineering stock. The 'MHA's were particularly welcome as I tried to buy a kit of one from the old Mendip Models. Unfortunately, they went out of business just before my kit was dispatched, and alas, I had no MHA to build.

The 'MTA' wagon is an interesting one for me, as a couple of years ago I scratchbuilt several, so will be keen to compare mine to Bachmann's, to see how accurate my models were. I wrote an article about how I did this in DEMU's UPDate magazine, Issue 39. Although the models are now out of date, the scratchbuilding exercise gave me much experience for when I tackle some other of the rarer wagons types, that do not appear in model form.

An interesting final thought, while looking through photographs of a passing engineering train at Didcot on July 4th 2004, it occurred to me that the entire train will soon be available to run in RTR form from Bachmann and Hornby - consisting of a EWS '66', followed by MHAs, MFAs and MTAs, together with a rake of 'Limpet's and 'Doorand's tacked onto the end.

One of the Hornby 'Coalfish's stands on Wells Green TMD shortly after unpacking from the box.

Wednesday 6th July 2005

47767 'Mappa Mundi'

Fresh from overhaul at Toton Depot, 47767 sits at Wells Green awaiting a 'B' exam.

The model is of course a Heljan example, repainted into EWS colours using Phoenix Paints. 47767 was one of the refurbished '47's that was overhauled to extend its life, but soon caught fire and was stored at Toton Training School Compound. The loco is now owned by FM Rail, although is unlikely to return to service.

Check out the new 'Wagons' section of this website, featuring pics of my engineering stock and other detailed wagons. Bye for now!


Wednesday 29th June 2005

Fresh out of the paintshop

Both 90018 and 90035 have been completed, and are only awaiting weathering before entering service. EWS 90034 unfortunately is not yet finished due to problems with the lighting kit, but should be in service soon.

A close up of 90018 reveals that weathering is still yet to be carried out!

Meanwhile, my RES class 90s are progressing well, with the grey applied and just need to be touched up in certain places before applying the transfers.

In addition to this, I have been having a realistic look at what extra locomotives will join the fleet between now and the end of the Summer. Intercity liveried 86228 Vulcan Heritage will be the next loco to be completed, and this will probably be the last of this years' expected plan of electric locomotives to be modelled. Before then, another class 66 is planned, in the form of 66008.

Why no more electric locos this year you may ask? Well it's all to do with the release of a high-spec model of my all-time favourite class of diesel locomotive - being of course, the Hornby class 60.

I plan to spend most of the Winter repainting and detailing the Hornby model to represent my favourite class members, overtaking other projects like AC Electrics!

Wells Green TMD's only class 60 is a Lima model with a butchered Bachmann class 37 chassis underneath. I painted the loco in EWS colours as one of my favourite class members, 60045 The Permanent Way Institution.

Autumn 2005: Class 60 Invasion!

At last I will now be able model my favourite locos without having to chop up Italian plastic and add new motors to get smooth running, and over the last few months have been devising a list of my 'dream team' of '60's to model.

Most of my class 60s will not be suitable for Wells Green TMD however, as my fondest memories of the class were when they carried triple grey livery with sector flashes and carried awesome mountain names. For some reason the 'Tugs' named after people never held so much fascination.

Centrepieces of my '60' fleet will be 60016 Langdale Pikes, and 60038 Bidean Nam Bian, both in Trainload Metals livery.

As Wells Green TMD is set well into the '2000s', I cannot include many of the '60's in BR liveries - instead I can only include carefully picked examples such as 60090 Quinag, a survivor still carrying Coal livery in 2004.

There is nothing sadder than a tatty plain grey '60' stripped of all adornments or an unnamed EWS example, so most of my class 60s will be carrying full sector livery and only be suitable for my club's D&E layout 'Northlands Wood', and our next project 'Loftus Road'.

However, not wanting to deprive other '60' fans, I'll include a separate gallery of photos featuring these locos and some other classes that can't appear on Wells Green TMD, in due course.

Things are slowing down on the rolling stock side, but work on the layout increases as Wells Green under goes an extension to provide an adequate fiddle yard and an additional five inch scenic section will be installed at the front.

Following some nice feedback, I thought I'd show some more of my engineering stock, this time a 'Rudd' and an original Parkside Dundas 'Grampus'. Both were modelled on real life examples, using photos from Wagons on the Web (see Links for details).

Thursday 23rd June 2005

Even more electrics!

Despite having three EWS '90's to finish off - for some reason I decided to start another project with yet more Hornby class 90s, this time modelling RES liveried examples 90016, 90017 Rail Express Systems, and 90019 Penny Black.

Things are not going well however, my first mistake being to use Railmatch paint instead of my normal Phoenix Precision.

"Oh it won't make any difference" I thought - how wrong I was! The airbrush clogged up within minutes and the models were left with a finish far from smooth. I think I'll just leave the models as they are however and disguise any imperfections with heavy weathering.

The photograph below shows the three bodies impaled on a kitchen roll (an inexpensive and disposable way of holding models when spraying - no need for fancy paint handles!)

In addition to these locos, I also have an unfinished Heljan class 47 in EWS colours awaiting transfer application, this will eventually be 47767 Mappa Mundi.

However I am concerned that I am painting too many locomotives into EWS livery - all right for the enthusiast onlooker at an exhibition observing all the different numbers, but perhaps making Wells Green TMD a bit boring for the casual viewer who may not have such an interest in specific machines, more in the variety of liveries present.

So I will be looking at ways to enhance the variety of liveries on the layout to appeal to families - already I've purchased a Heljan 47829 in 'Police' Anti-Trespass & Vandalism to brighten up the scene a little.

My Freightliner 66555 (what a cool number combo!) awaits weathering before it will enter service bringing a little more variety to Wells Green TMD.

And now for something completely different

Although it might seem strange - I don't just like electric locos ya' know!

Before Wells Green TMD, I spent seven years building a D&E era Cornish layout set on the GWML, so when Hornby's Mark 2 coaches in the FGW green livery came out - I snapped them up, buying all my local model shop's stock.

Unfortunately for me (but good for the bank balance!) they only had four in stock, two first and two standard, so I will wait until Hornby release the Mk2 Brake in FGW before buying the rest to make up a '47' hauled set. I waited five long years for that livery to become available after missing out on the opportunity to buy some Lima products in that livery!

The coaches have dreadful couplings - with miles between each vehicle when coupled, and several wheelsets out of gauge on my models. These minor problems aside, the coaches will be detailed up (in the fullness of time) and one of the first class coaches converted to a Micro Buffet vehicle.

Virgin 220022 Brighton Voyager waits at the station on my fictitious Cornish layout, 'Goonhilly Parkway'.

Tuesday 14th June 2005

Dismembered Class 90s

Currently I'm halfway through my project to butcher three Hornby class 90s - eventually they will be 90018, 90034 and 90035 in EWS livery. Doors have been cut out and holes cut to fit Express Models lighting kits.

In the photograph above you can see the cabs lined up ready to have the dials and buttons on the driver's desk painted, as well as inclusion of a driver at one end.

The three bodies you see here were part of a batch of seven '90' bodies sprayed into EWS colours back in February (sprayed in bulk to cut down on time spent cleaning up the airbrush repeatedly). So far numbers 90030, 90031 and 90040 have been detailed up and have already clocked up one exhibition appearance but there are still another four bodies to complete.

 The downside to modelling in bulk quantities means ordinary jobs become tedious and extremely boring - just drilling the holes and fitting bufferbeam details became a chore. I still have EWS 90037 to complete, but I can't be bothered!

In future I will have to change my modelling to take account of the boredom factor - I'd already planned a Virgin Trains batch 86229/31/51/56 & 90002/09/12 and to follow that a load of bodies in Railfreight Distribution, so I'll have to try and gradually complete locomotives singly over a longer timespan.

Why such a large number of locos? Well I'm hoping to eventually create a kind of 'trainspotting' feel to the layout - where the viewer can see a loco appear from the fiddle yard knowing that the loco is merely one of a large number that can be seen.

This is to mimic real life - when you go to Crewe IEMD and see a '90' - you know that there is just as much chance you would see any other of the 25 or so that EWS own. To me that seems much more realistic than layouts with a small number of dedicated locomotives - after all, in real life a single locomotive is only a small part of a large railway and I hope to recreate that feel in miniature.

Here's a shot of completed 92028 'Saint Saens', the first of a batch of four grey '92's to eventually appear on the layout.

HERE'S ONE I BUILT EARLIER: Wells Green TMD is also being used as a place to show off my collection of engineering stock, the picture is of a Cambrian 'Shark' in Loadhaul livery built a couple of years ago.


Sunday 5th June 2005

DEMU Showcase 2005 - Small Layout Competition Winner!

DEMU Showcase took place yesterday at Burton, it was an excellent weekend away, hopefully enjoyed by all. A huge variety of layouts was on display - including a layout I have wanted to see for a long time - Paul Wade's 'Tonbridge West Yard' which had a sublime selection of engineering wagons on show. Widnes Vine Yard was excellent - and was home to a lovely array of weathered Class 66s hauling most of the freight trains.

Nottingham (Bulwell)'s 'Deepcar' was particularly awesome, the sight of the operators joining up the catenary over the board joins on the Friday evening was mind boggling!

The DEMU North East Area Group's competition entry layout 'Round Tree Sidings' was extremely well modelled - with beautiful catenary and nice track detail, a real pleasure to look at.

At the AGM after the show was packed up, much to my complete amazement me and my layout 'Wells Green TMD' was announced winner of the Small Layout Competition to build and exhibit a layout featuring electrification in under 750 sq inches!

In front of many well known modellers that you normally read about in quality magazines such as Rail Express, I was given the honour of coming to the front and shaking the hand of ageing rocker Steve Grantham - with everyone applauding! It was a totally surreal experience but it made the many months of continual modelling all worth it!

BELOW: My friend Pete Hollman operating Wells Green TMD at DEMU Showcase.

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