New Vans are ready!

I am not very good at resisting a bargain so when Hattons had an O gauge sale, I couldn’t help myself. I purchased two bauxite VAA vans.

These look great, but out of the box they were far too clean and wouldn’t be acceptable for my layout of any of the other layouts we exhibit.

I decided I would try a technique explained by Kelvin Barnes on these VAA vans used to show how paint fades over the years. In addition to that, I would add some grime and weather the wagons using the same colours and methods as Mr Barnes my teacher!

SO! For the faded paint affect (or is it effect) I added white paint to Railmatch matt varnish. This helped to lighten the bauxite paint and give a matt finish to the wagons. I then covered pretty much all of the wagons surface in matt black paint and using white spirit, I rubbed a lot of this off using downward strokes. I did this in sections. The black paint gets thinned down and gathers in the detail and gives a great grimy look.

I then used frame dirt to go around the chassis area, rust on certain areas, followed by black on the axle boxes. Attention was also given to the buffers faces.

I was fairly happy with these as they were probably one of the biggest weathering projects I had done to date. I think they should blend in with the other stock well.





Paint is coming!

Well, the wagon is finished. It’s my first ever etched brass kit! I’m not going to say it was easy although some bits were. I like bending bits of brass, cleaning them, in fact, I enjoyed everything except soldering them together. I bottled out of soldering the white-metal parts and used a cyano glue instead.

I have now sprayed it with an etched primer after giving it a good clean as instructed in the very good instructions.


I hope this will be painted olive green. I have some transfers from Railtec and I hope the wagon will go with the olive green departmental coach I already have. I am looking forward to painting the wooden planks and giving the wagon a good coat of weathering.

I’ll post a pic of the finished wagon soon.



A few weeks ago I purchased a model kit and some tools.

It took a year to build up enough courage to buy this kit and the required tools.

It was an etched brass kit. I’ve managed to take on many new challenges since my move to O gauge but this one was eluding me and I felt that I might never be good enough to complete any thing with these skills.

So, what made me do it now. Well I guess a lot had been going on in my life. My mother had recently passed away and I decided that life was too short not to try new challenges.

Jim was at the Southwold Show recently with his Connoisseur Models stand. I spoke to Jim a year ago about his kits and the desire to take the plunge into etched brass kits and nothing happened in the last year due to difficult family problems. This year it was different. The harsh reality is that I now have a bit more time to build some kits.

After talking with Jim, who is incredibly kind and helpful, I purchased a very basic kit – the Lowmac Machinery Wagon.

I’ve also purchased some tools but far too many to list here!

I thought I would post a few progress pics and you will be able to admire or laugh at my progress depending on your viewpoint. The other completed wagon was built by Kelvin Barnes… I borrowed it for reference purposes!

There’s still a lot to do on the wagon but I think we are getting there!


Under the Weather(ing)…again!

Well after a bit of foolish bravery and plain ignorance, I managed to make the polybulk wagons look like they may have been in service for a little while!

I used a little frame dirt around the bases of the wagons and then decided to spray some white paint down the sides. After this was done, I added a little white Humbrol weathering powder around the roof and the underside area where the grain would leave the wagons. I’m no expert at this dark art and as a result, I think I always end up feeling somewhat critical of my efforts.

So here are a few pics of my polybulks…

During another crazy moment at a recent model railway exhibition, I came over all funny and swapped some cash for a Dapol 6 wheel tank. This has subsequently become a departmental waste oil wagon.

I need to get the impression of the waste oil dripping down the side of the tank but for now, here’s a little progress shot!


Well after a lot of thought and discussion, I came to the conclusion that the weathering was overdone and poorly executed. I couldn’t even find a reference picture to defend me or my efforts.

So after a lot of soul searching there was only one possible course of action….


I sanded down the bodies as much as I could after removing as much of the decal as possible with strong adhesive tape. Once I thought I had a smooth body again, this was primed in grey using a spray can for the sake of convenience.


I had previously purchased two cans of paint for this job so having the same green was no problem. I masked the chassis, roof areas and ends again using Tamyia tapes.

With a fine sanding stick, I removed any rough primer spots and both polybulks wagons were treated to a new coat of green on their sides

The wagons have now had their side detail re-painted in yellow and red along with some addiotional colours around the coupling and buffer area. The next stage will be a coat of gloss varnish over the green in readiness for the new sets of decals obtained from GJH plant models.


Some of the collection goes on show!

Last Saturday Bressingham Steam Museum held its Garden Railway day. The exhibition had a lot of traders selling G scale a large-scale trains for people to set up in their gardens. We were also invited to exhibit an O gauge layout and displayed Sefton Yard, a small goods yard layout built by Kelvin Barnes

Kelvin, Graham Minshull and myself operated this throughout the day and we were joined by Kelvin’s wife Audrey, our number one supporter and supplier of snacks.

I took quite a lot of pics and have sent them to Kelvin who will show some on his blog at

Here are some additional pics that Kelvin may not have on his site. These try to feature my stock and Jinty engine more than those on Kelvin’s pages.

In order to try to blend my stock in with the correct period, I only took a few light grey coal wagons, a pipe wagon, a brake van and a few box vans. All of these were fitted with Sprat and Winkle couplings as this layout uses magnets and Spratt fitted stock. I had weathered all my wagons but Kelvin had weathered by Jinty quite recently.

The layout is so small and yet it always receives positive comments. It was great to talk to people young and old. I always enjoy speaking to the young modellers in order to encourage them in whatever they are doing.

We return to Bressingham again on September 2nd for its Model Railway day. On this occasion we will be bringing 2 layouts. Norton Wood, a OO gauge modern image and Ashwell Moor, an O gauge modern image fuel and stabling point. This means I will certainly have my Re-railing project coaches with me as these feature home-made decals for Ashwell Moor.


Not to sure what I’m going to do about the crane though!

S 🙂