I know a man who can!

Well after finishing the TTA wagons. They needed to take on a work stained look.

I really wanted them to look like they had been in use for quite some time like this wagon below.

TTA_56028_ESSO_Newport_02092011 (607)-XL.jpg

After talking with Kelvin, we decided that one should be finished with a light weathering finish and other should be given a medium finish. I never have to worry what Kelvin is going to do. I know he will study reference pictures and make sure he does his very best. He takes his work seriously and doing a good job is very important to him.

Well I am delighted. Here they are in all their mucky glory –

tta light

tta medium

What can I say…I love them!

Just like the real thing!


I’ve got Green Fingers!

So we had the polybulks primed and ready for some colour. I had already painted the bogies using humbrol light grey from a can and used this for the bodies too, building up the colour depth gradually to avoid pools of paint.

This dried OK, however, it was still necessary to give the wagons a careful examination before the green was applied to spot any blemishes or stray dust spots etc. I did have to go over a few spots with a fine sanding stick before the green was added.

These wagons are really delicate and probably the most fragile things in my whole collection. I realised this after Kelvin contacted me to say he might have a piece of a ladder with him. I had taken one of the wagons with me to show Graham and Kelvin at the Stowmarket model railway exhibition and was lucky he spotted this little piece of ladder while clearing up.

I needed to mask the wagons to apply the green and so I used Tamyia masking tapes.  These are really excellent and if used correctly, prevent colour creep or bleed. If you are serious about airbrushing or spray painting, its worth looking at a few books or DVDs. I purchased a DVD featuring George Dent from Model Rail who is an excellent modeller.

I had spent many days considering which green to use and came to the conclusion that all the reference pictures didn’t help much due to different lighting conditions when the pictures were taken, the quality of the picture or the cleanliness of the wagon. I considered using acrylic and enamel in my airbrush but eventually I settled for Ford Modena Green in a spray can made by Holts from a local car parts shop called Wilco.

As with most spraying, I carefully masked the wagons and sprayed them carefully, building up the density of colour and avoiding pools of colour at the ends by ensuring I passed the ends fully before making a return pass.

Eventually the green paint dried and I was able to see if I had done a good enough job. Removing the masking tape made me feel anxious but it was also strangely satisfying and I am relatively pleased with the outcome. Once the green fully dried, I added etched brass ladders instead of the ones supplied and I’m also awaiting some brass brake hand wheels which will be added once they drop on to my door mat.

I’ve also added some additional pieces of wire to the handrail at the platform end of each wagon and some fine Evergreen plastic rod to other end which will represent some stantions.


So, having got as far as I could, I guess it was time to get the transfers on. The kit maker supplies the transfers with a white transfer layer to apply first over the green to help the yellow layer have greater depth of colour. This morning, I have started to apply some of the white transfers. They appear to come lose from their backing really quickly, which isn’t bad, but took me by surprise as I soaked the first white box.

Well, I’m not going to rush this stage, it has to be right or I’ll end up really mad with myself.

Sefton Yard at Stowmarket

I spent a very enjoyable day at Stowmarket Model Railway club’s exhibition with Kelvin, his layout Sefton Yard, Graham and Kelvin’s son John. Kelvin’s wife Audrey also attended, supporting Kelvin and provided some well needed refreshments as well as an early bacon sandwich.Yum Yum!

Sefton Yard is a small O gauge goods yard equipped with Spratt and Winkle un-couplings which make hands free running really enjoyable. The day went relatively well apart from my clumsy handling of a cattle wagon. I apologised profusely and Kelvin hid any frustration really well. Oops!

I also took my TTA wagons for Kelvin to weather. One is going to be lightly weathered and one is to receive a medium level of weathering. I cannot wait to see what Kelvin does. I’m sure it will be brilliant. I also took one of my Polybulk wagons which received some good feedback from those that saw it. Sadly it wasn’t really appropriate to Sefton Yard!

Here are some pictures from our day!


It’s good to talk!

My last comments about the Polybulk wagons detailed my experience building the model and I have to say others may have had a different experience to me. I was not setting out to be critical as Graham – the man behind GJH Plant  – is such a lovely man and does his uttermost to be helpful.

After my last blog entry and an email to him, he sent me a lovely helpful email and indicated that he was happy for me to share his comments. So here they are in full:

I have read your blog and I can’t argue with the comments you make with the Polybulks . With hindsight , I should add a note about the fit or lack of it with the tapered end mouldings and the reasons for it . One of the problems of producing long resin castings is the small degree of length variation caused by the length when being cast in the mould. Originally I had more lugs on the inside of the body but the feedback was it made assembly difficult and it was tricky to carve the lugs away to get a good fit so this is a compromise.

I found the same problem as you with the length of the sloping ends being a bit short having just built one from the same batch as yours and suspect that .my caster has cast off an older mould not the current ones . The kit was retooled recently and the problem wasn’t there on the test batch .

With the work on the ends , I do feel you made work for yourself because if you had simply filled the gap , filed flush then just re-cut the groove with a razor saw it would have done the same job . Hindsight again!

You are welcome to paste these comments.



Yesterday was a great day for painting so I took both models into the garden and gave them a coat of primer. They really do look good now and all the small details have really brought the models alive. They are probably to big for Kelvin’s layouts but I can’t wait to run them into my Princes Street goods yard.

I just want to say thank you to Graham for his helpful comments and feedback to my earlier comments. It’s good to talk!



Going against the GRAIN!

Well, the instructions said I might need filler. I should know in future that those words mean ‘you will need filler.’

I’m now at the point where I have something which looks like a wagon. However, to get to this stage, there has been a lot of filling and sanding and some filling again. Oh and a little bit of panic!

I thought I had done a good job fixing the sides but in hindsight I should have been more careful about the angle of the sides when the glue was drying.


Despite a few internal braces, there is no real information to help you get the angle of the side pieces correct. The bottom of the bracing doesn’t sit on the chassis and while the end pieces do slide in with relative ease, these do nothing to guarantee that the sides are fixed at the correct angle. Having purchased two of these and being unhappy with one, I attempted to flex the join of the two pieces. This risked breaking the whole thing but before I fitted the roof, I found that I could pack out the gap at the bottom of the side piece and this would push the side out to a better profile, so this was done to both wagons before fixing the roofs into place.


So, as you can see from the above picture, there is a nice ‘unwanted’ gap between the roof and the grey piece. I aligned the roofs as best I could to limit the gaps and once the glue was dry on these, i used some modelling filler to fill the gap, This needed a lot of filler, so I had to build it up and let it dry over a few days.


This required a few repeated sequences of filling and sanding to get the desired smooth finish. While doing all of this, I kept my eye on reference pictures and realised that there was a small gap between the roof and the end piece. However, I had actually engineered this out so that there was no longer a gap.

I decided to glue two thin pieces of plasticard to the ends leaving a small gap similar to the prototype vehicles. This was then sanded back to the shape of the model. This was fiddly but no harder than anything else up till that point and a bit of primer helped to show up any imperfections.


So this is where we now are. The ends look better. The bogies have been built, primed and even painted light gray with the axle boxes picked out in yellow. The sprung buffers have been added to both wagons, the steps are fitted to both wagons. I’ve even managed to fit the screw link couplings to one wagon.


I’m no expert at this wagon building game, but they aren’t too bad, given the nature of the kit. The sides could be better but they are now starting to look like wagons. As the small details get added, they are starting to come alive and this is what I like to see.

As for the green paint and transfers, I’m trying to forget about that for now!

OMG, what a whopper!

Here’s my latest project, a grain, Polybulk wagon, well two of them. These often ran from grain silos/depots in Norfolk into Norwich and then onto yards like Whitemoor for onward distribution to the rest of the country.

The wagons will be finished in their striking green livery with yellow lettering, but we are a long way from that!


If anyone knows the shade of green I should use, please let me know!



Now…Back to the boards!

Well I think I’ve managed to clear a little bit of the model kit back-log, not all of it though, as I keep buying more things to build!

Princes Street Hill edited 30 03 18

I need to get back to the layout again though now. The back scene needs more development and the factory has yet to be finished. I also have some further low relief buildings to finish as well as some self adhesive factory sections to explore.

There are also a few more trees to plant, fencing to put in and track to weather.

I could make a list, but this may stop it from being fun. This layout keeps me sane so I don’t want it to become like ‘work’. The fun comes from doing one thing then switching to something totally different for a while. Eventually it will all come together, but I still think that’s some way off.

For now, I can go to this end of the layout, and enjoy England’s pleasant land!


Now where did I put that tree!

What will the weather(ing) be like?

Well, I’ve taken my time. I’ve looked at countless pictures of TTA wagons online. I’ve used some but not all of the transfers that I have and I am done.

I do feel I need to seal the transfers with a light coat of gloss varnish before turning them matt again but I shall do that later. At the moment, the transfers are quite delicate so I am handling the wagons with great care.

Now it’s just enough to pose and feel happy.

If you spot an error – don’t tell me, I’m far to sensitive at the moment!



And then I’ll have to weather them – aaaargh!

SPV Madness nearly over.

The building of the SPV took a turn for the worst recently when the transfers I was applying disintegrated in front of my eyes as I applied them to the model. I thought I had done something wrong, however, I discussed this with my modelling chums and took some comfort from knowing that I might not have been the only one to experience this.

Feeling that I needed to carry on, I ordered a set of CCT transfers from railtec models and some alphabet sheets to finish the job. Their service is excellent and the transfers were soon with me.


To be honest there are a couple of little transfers missing such as the vehicle weight. If I find some of these in due course I will add them to the model.

I now need to weather the SPV and will add it to the list of other models awaiting some weathering.