The Welcome Mat

Welcome to this Blog. Hopefully you may find it of use (i doubt it but it doesnt stop me hoping does it?). All my skills are normally self taught, and at the moment i'm a lone ranger when it comes to my layout with the occasional help from friends (normally it involves alot heckling).

I've never yet got a layout really past the electrics stage. I normally lose interest which is why i've decided to become involved in lots of things so i can vary my time between different things. All the work you see on Westleigh is my own work and all the photos you see on my fotopic sites are again my own work. I'm amazed i havent started to play with it, perhaps leaving the vast majoirty of the wiring to the end helps.

My main interest in railways is principally the early 90s. Even though i only just got into double figures in terms of age just as privitisation came in, i find it a very interesting period. My earliest memories were at Salisbury, Oxford and Bristol. So to counteract this aswell i tend to model the northwest scene during 1990 to 1994. However i also do the Wessex area during the same period and the scottish lowlands during 1988-1990.

I do have a little interest in the 1996-1998 privitisation period. I'm more aware of this period than the sectorisation period and again i wouldnt mind if it turned into this era.

I also am working on a project of Devizes station in 1963/64 just before alot of the line was rationalised and eventually closed. This however is a very very long term project and probably wont get anyway for many many years yet.

I do spend alot of time in the summer out an about doing photography particularly of civil jet aircraft. I'm certainly no David Bailey but i'm reasonably proud of most of the photos taken.

Anyway i suppose i really should get off the computer and get on with some modelling work, except work has a tendancy to get in the way!

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Sounding it out.

I managed to get hold of one of the railroad TTS class 47s today. Firstly ok it is the same Lima class 47 bodyshell (which with a little work isnt too bad) but it has a completely new motor and chassis arrangement. Gone is the pancake and in its place is a newer motor with a dcc plug. The best is yet to come however as that is for £80 you get it sound fitted. Im aware they did the 37 a few months back but having heard the 47 i though it would be rude not to get one. The sound is pretty good although i do think doing something with the speaker for better sound would be an improvement but it does sound very good for the money. To be honest i will probably use the chip in something else as ive seen the locos being sold without their sound chips for around £30 so its a case of decoders for £50 which i have to say when on a budget is a very useful way of sound chipping a fleet. Hopefully many more will be released.....

Monday, 1 June 2015

Post showcase review

Well i did say i would start updating this more.....

The lack of any updates has been partially due to the fact ive been busy getting my stock fleet ready for Pengwynn Crossings visit to Burton Upon Trent for the DEMU showcase show. Well its now all back and packed away and i have to say it went rather well all things considered. The main problems seemed to be connected to couplings which wouldnt couple up correctly, Locos still having DCC chips fitted or simple operator error. I have had to withdraw my Jouef Polybulks as they were too light and kept derailing but they will be back for the next time Pengwynn 90 goes out. Ive also got to do a lot work on the locos as there were a few signature class 37s missing but as ive got till October 2016 i think ive got enough time to sort that out. Also hopefully by that time Kernows clay tiger wagon will be out.

Anyway for me the next show is the Chippenham one day show at the end of September. One of our club layouts (Gladstone Road) has been invited but its still far from being finished from its overhaul. The main jobs are on the bridges (one needs painting, the other needs pavements), the station canopy (which is under construction) and the industrial area towards the right hand scenic break. I have the buildings for this but they need to be detailed and "planted". An afternoon would probably knock out a large section of the work required but its a question of finding that afternoon.

The other project im looking at (everytime i look on top of the office roof in the club room) is Llwydd Town. This is due to go out to Calne next January and while it is scenically complete it needs rewiring to DCC along with point motors and also requires legs and boxing up so it doesnt get damaged when being stored or transported to shows. Again a few days would probably get this sorted but its amazing how time dissappears when a deadline is looming.

Anyway im taking a break from modelling for a few days but ive got a few interesting projects on the go and hopefully i will get them on show soon.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Going Cornish

Hello to everyone
Its been a while since ive updated this blog. Simply because theres been too much to do and so i havent really thought about this.
Anyway there hasnt been too much to report on any of the layouts as ive been busily getting the stock ready for the DEMU showcase show where i am providing the stock for Pengwynn Crossing. For this show the layout will be back in the sectorisation era so its back to the class 37s.

Ive chosen the period 1992/1993 as there was still quite alot of variety in the stock fleets. There was at one point more 37/4s than 37/5s in the Laira cornish clay pool and so far 37/5s are one area where i am bit short. Ive recently added a r/f red stripe 37/5 but i have no 2 tone grey ones however there are to in the shops to come out as 37673 and 37675 as i already had the nameplates for 675. Ive also done 37413 along with the I/C mainline pair of 37417 and 37420. There is also a brace of 47s and a trio of class 50s.

Ive also recently built up my rolling stock rakes and now have 15 CDA hoppers, four silver bullet wagons and a few polybulks. Its amazing however when you really how very little of the rolling stock is actually finished so with 5 weeks to go it will be out with the airbrush and weathering powders and actually get on with the task. Although they wont all get used ive picked out the best part of 80 odd wagons. That sounds alot but by the time you remove 10 HEA, 15 CDA, 10 PCA wagons then a few seacows and then some spoil wagons then fertiliser vans then fuel oil tanks, 80 odd wagons isnt that many.

I suppose id better get on with it all then!

Monday, 19 January 2015

Its Showtime

Well again too long has gone by since my last post. This is mainly due to it being the start of the show season and also the comedown after christmas.

In the time since the last post the actual level of modelling has been 0. This is mainly due to work and also having so much to do i cant decide what to get first! Even weekends are a struggle. Over the next three months its nearly a show a weekend. This weekend was Calne, next weekend its Eastleigh, then Stafford than im exhibiting at a show in Bornemouth. This ultimately comes to and end with the Bristol show in may.

I did get a chance to give some thing a run out on Sommerford over the weekend including my FGW 150 and a newly purchased Bachmann 166. I thought the 166 looked quite good on Sommerford so its been placed in the early 90s highbridge fleet as a unit under test (they were first delivered in 1992 so around 12 months overlap between them and LHCS). ive also started an HAA MGR rake along with a load more PGA wagons for respray to ARC colours.

Thats its for now but i will try and do a more comprehensive round up towards the end of the week.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Bringing a layout back from the dead

Well recently as you may know ive become layout manager for a club layout. Ive been working on the platform and canopy as it was sadly past it. The whole platform is being replaced with a new one as it had just too many imperfections. The trouble is the more i look at it the more im not happy with. The road bridge tops are quite poor. The foliaging of the rear wall isnt that good. One bridge doesnt even fit. This is all in addition to all the extra work i need to do to it just to get it to look ok! Its just when you think it will be a quick project it seems to get longer and longer! We will see what happens once the platforms gone in and then appraise what other destruction needs to take place before reconstruction occurs.

Also 150128 has arrived. Im very pleased with it and it runs really nicely. I was convinced the front ploughs were right but they do stick out slightly on the real one and with the supplied buckeye rather than tension lock it does look a lot better. Now all i need is the Realtrack 143 and Hornby 153 to complete the collection!


Friday, 2 January 2015


Recently ive become layout manager for a club layout called Gladstone Road. The layout is a simple through station set in the late 80s early 90s. The trouble is the layout has been unloved for a while and it needs some basic refubishment.
Most of the jobs are fairly basic but one big job is the platform and the associated canopy. The canopy itself is made using some of the early airfix kits. I know dapol have reintroduced this kit but its not as nicely moulded as the early ones so airfix ones it is. ive got a few kits and im slowly building a new one but the main problem is the platform. Its had so many things stuck to it over the years that its got lots of glue marks and has a few holes and other imperfections. The more i look the worse it seems so im wonder if a new main platform is needed. It would follow my usual construction techniques of peco sides with wills sheet tops. If the current platform is the standard width then it will be very easy as of yet though i have measured one up to see what its like!

The other jobs are minor repair jobs and cleaning jobs as its been in store for nearly 2 years but i would like to see it back out on to the circuit some time next year (2016) and hopefully a magazine article will also have been written by that time.

Oh yes and Llwydd is still there, i just havent done anything else to it yet but the plan has been made for it!

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Doesnt time fly....

Well first off apologies for the lack of updates to this blog. I had intended to update this far more often than i ended up doing. Anyway whats new, well very little. Ive finished the buffer stops on Studley after starting them 4 months ago.

The main change to Studley has been the addition of another two AHM trams and also the conversion to an up to date layout. Ive just bought one of the Bachmann 150/1s in FGW colours and its kind of moved Studley round to the Bristol area. Essentially its based on the premise they actually built the LRT that they have been arguing about for years. The conversion work involved removing the third rail which took about 30 seconds. The rest of it is just the vehicles that are placed on the layout. So now its more normal to see a F/L class 66 or DBS class 66 parked up than a 50 or 73.

Ive also been building up the stock for the 90s Highbridge with the introduction of a NSE mk1 Thames rake ( i still need two more SOs) the mail rake ( I need one more royal mail guv) and the I/C rakes which ive managed to complete with a bulk purchase at warley where i bought two complete rakes of 9 coaches. The only rakes i havent started are the provincial one which will be made of blue/grey mk2s and the Wessex NSE rake which is also made up of mk2s but this time in NSE colours. The latter of these two i hope to have completed by the end of Feb with the other by the end of May. Even these two rakes will total 14 odd coaches so including the ones above ive still got 17 coahces to buy!

In terms of freight stock there are still a few gaps, mainly in the PGA, Seacow and Silver Bullet departments. Of the first rake there is one rake in exsistance that can be used but it needs work. I need around 4 more seacows and all 12 of the silver bullets. At the moment im concentrating on stuff i think might become hard to find so its mainly coaches at the moment but i hope to add a few silver bullets every month so i can have a full rake!

Anyway moving on to Llwydd and basically i havent done anything with it apart from move it and find out the signal box is removable! I hope to start work on that later on in the year.

Anyway enough for now. Hopefully it wont be 6 weeks till the next update!