Thursday 14 November 2013

Uke by Rail Through 'Catgut' Burtle

In the days before motorways, oversize loads were taken by rail. This often involved temporarily moving lineside equipment and anything else that would have got in the way. This sort of traffic generally happened on Sundays to reduce the impact in the every day running of the railways.

Disclaimer: the over sized load here is of course just a model - squeaky-voiced-finger-pointing-middle-aged-still-living-with-mother-matter-of-fact-types, please note this is not a serious photo! As far as I know there has never been a concert sized Ukulele this big in real life (if this was the real full sized world of course), and if there had been, the wagon consist might not be quite like this blah blah...

Wednesday 13 November 2013

Wednesday Photo

4631 puts on the brakes for Catcott Burtle; note the WR chocolate and cream liveried Mk1 inserted into this short train. The narrow gauge engine on the low loader in the siding on the right has recently arrived for the preservationists to use on the nearby peat tramway at weekends.

Tuesday 22 October 2013

LBSCR 8 ton Goods Van

A cheeky little Pug shunting and LBSCR 8 ton Goods Van S.R. Dia. 1434 out of the trap siding designed to catch runaways on the gradient up the Polbrook Gurney Colliery. Wagons like this, apart from maybe on the Isle of Wight where all sorts of railway oddities survived, were usually tuned into firewood well before WW2, but in industrial private ownership they could survive far longer. This is one of the reasons why I like freelance industrial scenarios, almost anything goes.

The tatty box van was made up from a Smallbrook Studios resin kit and sits on a Dapol wagon underframe; you can see it along with some other unusual and interesting kits here:  

Pug Power

L&Y 'Pug Power', as the little beastie stands by the entrance to the colliery sidings whist performing a shunting move. Hold on, is that the Evercreech goods in the background? I hope it all doesn't end in tears!

The Hornby (ex Dapol) model still looks good with a little work despite its age. They run OK too, as long as the wheels and track are kept clean. For OO users widening out the wheel back to backs help a little too, setting this one up for 14.8mm to suit my track keeps the waddle to the minimum.

This is the view from the fiddle yard on Polbrook Gurney Colliery, and if you want to see this layout for real, it will be at the excellent Wycrail in High Wycombe on Saturday 2 November

Tuesday 15 October 2013

The View from Mother's Bedroom

That's Ivo Peters' Bentley in the foreground, taken from the upstairs window of the Pendant & Armchair pub. 'Mother' lives in his room, she rocks to and fro in her armchair for up to 18 hours a day. Rumour has it she has not left the room since 1952.

From that position she can 'keep and eye on her boys' coming and going with their jam sarnies and lemonade, whilst making sure they bring no 'gurls' back... "ohhh no no no no, nothing will come between me and my boys"...

See Polbrook Gurney Colliery at Wycrail on Saturday 2 November - but without 'mother' though....
More info here:

Thanks to James Finister for sending in this link; should you not have seen his post below:

Wednesday 18 September 2013

Polbrook Gurney Colliery at Model Rail Live - this weekend!

A scene from the mid-1970's at Polbrook Gurney Colliery; a class 31 by Model Rail's George Dent arrives with empties as Austerity 0-6-0 tank 'Polbrook No.2' by David Warwick prepares a full rake.

This photo is not manipulated, other than the use of tools to extend the depth of field, content wise including the sky and lighting, it is all real and not meddled with - what you see, is what you get for real.

This layout will be at Model Rail Live this weekend  -  - see you there?

Saturday 7 September 2013


Here is a trio of RT Models Contractor's side tipping wagon previously seen a week of two ago here before painting. The wagons, apart from a little weathering on the wheels are to all intents and purposes complete, and I think looking quite at home on this little Ironstone project I currently have on the go.

The yellow load is real Colsterworth iron ore from the South Lincolnshire; and with my toy-train-land-fiction destined for calcination - which is not something suffered by chronic armchair modellers and moaning pontificators, but an industrial process to drive out moisture from iron ore and other such minerals. The main reason for the process is that calcinated ore is much lighter - a significant thing when transporting by rail which charges by weight.

Monday 26 August 2013

Workbench: RT Models Contractor's tipper wagon

On the workbench; an RT Models Contractor's tipper wagon kit. The white metal wagon is seen here before finishing and painting. For this photo the wheels will are borrowed from another wagon, the still to be bought split spoke wheels will have the pin points ground off flat. Note the 16 tonner it's parked next to for size comparison.

Full build review in Model Rail magazine shortly.

Tuesday 6 August 2013

Great British Model Railways!

I've been waiting for the announcement of this for some time, having in the early part of the summer escaped the heat to trawl through well over a 3000 images of mostly unpublished photographs of wonderful layouts, photographed for Model Rail for this well overdue celebration of Great British Model Railways... 

The official press release....

Introducing Model Rail's exciting new publication: Great British Model Railways, Volume 1. 

Published on August 15th, it's a pictorial compilation celebrating some of the country's finest layouts and master modellers. 132 pages of top quality model railways and stunning photography for just £4.99. Available from WHSmith and Model Rail stockists from August 15th.

Yours for peanuts, OK, maybe that plus the price of a pint of foaming, all just for £4.99!

PS. It's on really nice paper too!

Tuesday 30 July 2013

The Joy the Great Outside & Analogue days

Click to enlarge
This time of year I spend as much time outside as possible, and whilst for many the hobby pauses during the summer months, the advantage of a small layout is that it can be taken outside and popped onto the garden table allowing to continue. You also have to advantage of no electronic toys sitting on the desk in front you to distract from the job in hand.

Another advantage of working outside is that you don't have to be quite as tidy as you would indoors, especially when messing about with scenic materials like static grass and coloured ground foam flocks, because a little dropped onto the lawn of not going to upset most people. Of course you don't want to drop anything that you might want to retrieve, because it will have almost certainly been swiftly thieved  by a league of marching ants. Yet another advantage of working outside is great light, which can make those fiddly jobs just a little less tiring on the ageing eyes!

The recent warm weather also has the bonus in that the chore of ballasting sets quickly, with it only taking around an hour or so for the diluted glue and ballast to go off. With this ironstone quarry project, the high summer sunlight caused the rails to get really hot, in fact too hot to touch! A good test though, and hopefully one that has given me confidence in the track will not buckle in a hot smelly exhibition hall - should I take this mini-layout out on the road that is.

The above photo shows that the ironstone quarry project is looking pretty complete, and to the sceptics that think all model railway layout photos are just 'Photoshop', in this shot there is none - the backscene being a wrap around print which runs right around the rear of the layout in a large arc.

There is still some detail and a little scenic work to do, and I also need to mess about with some suitable wagons and maybe locos. As part of the operation, the plan is to load the empty wagons via the loading hopper with real loose iron ore to add to audience interest - or more likely amusement. The lighting rig also needs to be built, for this photo I used my studio lighting, but the plan is to have the same quality and colour of light as in the photo.

Linking back to the opening paragraph, regulars will notice that I don't blog here quite as much as in the past, the reason being that I'm often too busy doing real life things rather than sitting in front of a computer which can be very unproductive. I call these computer free-periods 'Analogue Days', I enjoy these because a lot of model making can be carried out, which very much proves what slaves we all are to these useful but dreaded machines, which can be like blotting paper to spilt ink.

For this same reason these days, I keep away from model railway forums like RMweb and others apart from the occasional flying visit to one of two of the smaller ones, being careful not to dwell too long. I now just treat them like a visit to the pub when you have to drive (which as a beeroholic no fun), a quick coke sufficing rather than an oh so fun boozy all afternoon session with nothing to show for it. I mention this forum bit, because people/forum flies increasingly ask me at shows why I'm not seen on forums much these days. The same people also ask me how I get so much model making done....

Unlike hanging around on forums , I do still like to go to the pub to enjoy a few ales, without the car of course, but I certainly won't be using the 'Free Wifi'.

Tuesday 16 July 2013

Ironstone wagons

A couple of free wagons from Model Rail's Peter Marriott. These will be ideal for the ironstone project after a little work. Not all will know that the current Bachmann offering dates back to Mainline of the 1980's. The current version (brown) has much better chassis tooling. The old one will need some fettling to match. I think I have some white metal brake rigging castings that can be spliced in. Of course I could buy a new one. But that rather defeats The object.

Photos of the Ironstone Quarry Project 

Previous BLOG post on this project

Sunday 14 July 2013

Vobster - High Dyke/Ironstone Quarry

Narrow to standard gauge transhipment. Click to enlarge
A few weeks ago I posted Vobster, a little mini-layout to make use of Polbrock's old diorama case, baseboard and backscene. I possible idea was a quarry off the Highbury Railway near Frome, but after a visit to the High Dyke area of South Lincolnshire known for its now defunct rail served ironstone quarries, I have settled on a little known part of the Buckminster system off High Dyke. 

A couple of weeks ago having a good poke about in the area and  I even found some iron stone in what was Colsterworth Quarry - much of which has been smashed up and sprinkled everywhere on this little scene here. The hilly landscape south of Grantham is not too dissimilar to the backscene inherited from Polbrock (the little GWR halt that used to be here having moved into Polbrook Gurney - "confused? You will be"), though I will need to add some shrubbery to hide Cornish Engine on it!

The loading/hopper is a Wills Coal Loader that's been kicking about on my bookshelf and was in need of a home.

Usually the narrow gauge tipplers would have been tipped straight into the standard gauge wagons, but my excuse is that the occasional use of taller ex-LNER 20T hoppers required this installation. The plan at shows will be to actually load wagons with loose mineral - probably simply spoon fed from above the hopper/loader.

External link: One of the various ironstone quarries off the High Dyke system

Thursday 11 July 2013

Larkrail: 'A Light Railway and Branchline Modelling Miscellany'

Polbrook Gurney will made a rare visit to the Bath area on Saturday 20 July at Larkrail.

Larkrail will take place on Saturday the 20th July 2013 at the New Oriel Hall in Larkhall on the east side of Bath.
Opening times 10.00am to 4.30pm.
Admission fees £4.00 to everybody, accompanied under 16s free

Be sure to visit the dedicated web page

Saturday 8 June 2013


Messing about with ideas, taken on a cell/mobile dog and bone.
Messing about with Polbrock's old diorama case, backscene and baseboard. Possibilities could be an a couple of dead end sidings with working narrow gauge serving standard gauge.  

I want to have actual wagon loading as its feature filling up wagons with loose aggregate or minerals as its 'feature'.

Should be a very quick project. Just need to build the track and scenics. I've enough stock and buildings kicking about and of course the carpentry is done.

Might call it 'Vobster' which was a well known and fascinating area for quarries and mining located a few miles west of Frome.

Tuesday 4 June 2013

Model Rail: July 2013 (184)

Click to enlarge
Model Rail: July 2013 (184) published 13 June '13

Issue marking the Mallard 75 anniversary

News: Growing layout list for Model Rail Live. Computer design images of exclusive 'USA' 0-6-0T model.
Wishlist results

new releases from Graham Farish and Dapol

Meacham 'N'
Malham 'OO'
Halfway 'On16.5
Masterplan: Milton Keynes 'N'

The need for speed: Railway record breakers and how to model them
A passion for 'Pacifics' - Mark Allatt reveals his remarkable collection
Formation Flying: Authentic East Coast route trains (Gilbert Barnatt)
Quick on the draw(bar). Dynamometer cars, real and model
Modelling the Underground: History of Underground and LT models

How to paint people
Use Noch's miracle ballast
Create a better 'bone'
Present your layout
Motorise a plastic diesel shunter kit
Take your first scenic steps
Build a real timber shed.

Plus all the regulars, exhibition diary, Q&A, Show & Tell, Backscene

The cover photo; I shot a detailed up Hornby A4 Class pacific supplied by George Dent. You can enjoy more of George's wonderful creations monthly in the magazine as well as his blog

Friday 24 May 2013


Click to enlarge
Today I'm packing up and getting ready for Railex this weekend, for which will be Polbrook Gurney's first outing.

Here's an un messed about snap of the right hand side of the layout and the brewery at the back of the Pedant and Armchair on Polbrook Gurney is working hard by the look of things, I just hope they're not using the orange iron pyrites stained water which will have been pumped out of the mine.
If you cannot get to Railex to see the layout, it will be at Larkrail on Sat 20 July and Model Rail Live 21/22 September

Follow the build of this layout in Model Rail magazine

Sunday 19 May 2013

Polbrook Gurney Colliery update: history

Templecombe's ex-GWR Pannier tank No. 4631 is captured near the colliery weighbridge through a long lens in 1961. Until 1833 this area used to be a canal basin, it was later drained and laid as a 2ft 8 inch gauge dramway, and the canal tunnel seen in the background could be used for railway purposes.

In later years when the GWR (Binegar, Nettlebridge Holcombe and Vobster Light Railway) came though 20 or so feet lower than the colliery railway on the right, the whole location was transformed which included replacing the narrow gauge with the British standard gauge of 4ft 1 inch. There were rumours that some silly gauge of 4ft 8 an a half might be adopted, this never happened of course.

Wednesday 15 May 2013

Polbrook Gurney Colliery Update - running trains!

Polbrook Gurney Colliery: this afternoon was spent running trains to see how it would all work.

I decided to add a couple of extra isolation sections to make the operation more flexible and interesting. Not relying on fishplates for electrical continuity makes this easy because it's just a matter of splicing in a toggle switch into the sub baseboard electrical circuit which provides the electrical continuity between sections of track. A 5 minute job.

This high level view is roughly what a 6 foot high operator will see from the front, the curved backscene and bright even built-in illumination being great for photography like this.

I'll be covering the above in detail, along with the construction of the new buildings and scenics in forthcoming Model Rail magazines issues.

Saturday 11 May 2013

Polbrook Gurney Colliery Update - weighbridge

Polbrook Gurney Colliery update: Today I'm building a weighbridge, a common feature was the splitting of the line to allow trains to pass through without using the weighbridge. A hut which would have contained the measuring apparatus needs to be built, and will go top left of the split track. Here's a prototype example, though my control hut will be more rustic and smaller and be partially set back into the undergrowth.

Friday 10 May 2013

Model Rail June 2013 (issue 183)

Model Rail June '13 (183) main contents:
On sale from 16 May

FREE Workbench supplement on model buildings

Model Rail Live announcement - new venue.
N gauge Dapol Class 22
N gauge Bachmann Farish Class 70
Hornby GWR big tank locos
2-8-0T/2-8-2T factfile and history.

Horsted Keynes 'OO'
Crynant colliery 'OO'
Brookford 'O' SR light railway
Polbrook Gurney colliery - next stages of construction
London Underground layout ideas

OHLE catenary. Supertest and Dapol mast installation
Improving AC electric locos
Gilbert Barnatt's Peterborough layout - further thoughts

12-page London Underground modelling guide

Exhibition Diary and all the regulars

Gilbert Barnatt's Peterborough layout - further thoughts

Horsted Keynes 'OO'

Brookford 'O' SR light railway

Chris Nevard's Polbrook Gurney colliery - next stages of construction

Thursday 9 May 2013

Pestle and Mortar

Polbrook Gurney Colliery Update:

With RAILEX just 2 weeks away finishing touches are taking place, starting with the the screen area behind the loco which was given a good dusting of real coal (found near Shillingstone on he former SDJR) which had been ground up with the kitchen pestle and mortar and then sieved into place with the kitchen sieve (don't tell my wife). The whole lot was then spayed with diluted PVA (white glue) to fix into place. Then when the above was dry, the track was cleaned and I gave the layout a really good run using a wide range of locos, ensuring that there was no stalling or jerkiness caused by the track or incorrect back to backs. A few spots needed the paint removing from the inside of the rail heads.

The shot here is unmanipulated, and shows to advantage of the high warp around backscene a real bonus for photography. Note the narrow gauge tramway above one of the fiddle yard exit points.

See this layout for real at RAILEX 25/26 May
Follow the build of this layout in Model Rail magazine -

Saturday 4 May 2013

Polbrook Gurney Colliery Update: engine winding house

Click to enlarge
A few extra hours were grabbed today unexpectedly which means that I've managed to pull the replacement of the engine winding house forward to before Railex which is just 3 weeks away.

This one has shades of Ludlows Colliery in the centre of the Radstock.

As usual time is the limitation and will always dictate how much time I can dedicate to a project, but I can always go back at a later stage as needed. Apart from the chimney which is a previous bit of slap dash messing about, this is about 4 hours work with foamcore, various plastic sheets and a little Das. I've since started on the roof since grabbing this snap on the mobile; which despite limited time is going to be individual slates applied from small overlapping squares of junkmail. Tthe shiny finish of such being ideal for taking paint; today the junk mail donour was some irrelevant PAYE material which we keep being sent.

Follow at detailed construction of Polbrook Gurney Colliery in Model Rail magazine.

Thursday 25 April 2013

Polbrook Gurney Colliery Update - messing about with Das

T minus just over 4 weeks, here is the state of play. Lots to do, for starters the pub needs a rear and the smelly pond needs something wet and smelling in it. Maybe I should wait until Railex and wring out one of the whiffers and drain it/him into the pond?

This shot, albeit very wide angle (18mm lens on a full frame DSLR) has not been messed about with. The backscene is a huge print, not some kind of post exposure manipulation which is all rather yawn these days...

The chimney, wasn't really needed, but old collieries had all sorts of physical redundant links with the past and I wanted to see what could be done with 4 sheets of A4 printer paper rolled up with plenty pf PVA into a cone, a layer of Das followed by a quick manipulate with various items more at home in the kitchen and then popped into the oven for 30 mins at 150 c to dry out the Das. It's far from perfect, pretty rough actually, but hopefully it works, and more importantly for me was a quick fix. All in all, apart from drying was around 2.5 hours work.

Saturday 20 April 2013

Polbrook Gurney Colliery Update: Sat 20 April

A couple more snaps of the trainset.....
Railex is just 5 weeks now and I've so much to do...
  • Build 2 fiddle yards (with split height rail access for the different exit points).
  • Build some more cassettes.
  • Build the rear of the pub which previously was up against a backscene.
  • Build 2 loading screens and a bridge carrying a narrow gauge tub /spoil line over the right hand exit points (in progress with code 40 rail)
  • Paint the diorama case.
  • Hope the drape I use for all layouts will (should be fine) will fit.
  • Hope it fits in the back of my old Mondeo with its 2 foot high backscene (a tape measure suggests it will).
Things that probably wont be ready for Railex
  • Cosmetic fishplates for the flatbottomed Colliery sections
  • Cosmetic point rodding
  • Lineside fencing.

Monday 15 April 2013

Polbrook Gurney Colliery Update - static grass

Today the static grass came out, three layers (various makes) working from greens through to straw shades on top. The grass on the track will need a little trim - that's where a fresh disposable razor comes in - just draw it along the rail tops.

The first tree is in, it being salvaged from Polbrock. More will run along the rear in a random fashion along the lines of an over grown hedgerow, but without over crowding the scene, I like the feeling of space.

"An ex-L&YR 'Pug' propels a short rake of wagons up the gradient toward Polbrook Gurney Upper Pit. The Cornish engine can just be seen beyond the bridge.

I'll take you through the construction of this layout in Model Rail magazine, starting a new series from the May issue which is on sale from 18 April 2013.

Tuesday 9 April 2013

Model Rail: May 2013 (issue182)

Model Rail: May 2013 (issue 182)

Featuring in this issue, out Thursday 18 April

FIRST REVIEWS: Heljan Class 128 parcels unit, Heljan 'O' gauge Class 31, OO Works LNER 'C13' 4-4-2T, plus the latest books, tools and accessories.

WORKBENCH: Rebuilding a layout, Making the most of a Parkside Dundas wagon kit, How to paint lining, how to weather 'N' gauge stock in just 15 minutes, better 'N' gauge couplings, and more.

NEWS: Bachmann 2013/14 range in detail (with exclusive pictures), Heljan Class 16, Model Rail exclusive limited editions update & much more

PLUS: Workbench Manual No. 7 – British Railways in Transition. A FREE 32-page look back at the 1948-68 era packed with superb archive photographs, background information and 'how to' articles.

Abbotswood (OO) late 1960's early 1970's junction based on a real location in Worcestershire where you'll be able to enjoy a good mix of 'heritage' diesel motive power and trains in green, maroon, blue & grey and other such period delights from this rarely modelled era. This super new layout which premiers in Model Rail is also featured on the cover.
Chinley (N), we wind the clock back to 1950's Derbyshire, to enjoy an exclusive first time viewing this extensive loft layout, again based on a real location. N gauge allows the capture of this well known Peak District station and environment to full effect with long passenger and goods trains in a big landscape.
Outon Road - extended
Outon Road (OO), we re-visit this classy 1990's era layout to experience yet more of Cavan Millward's fine workmanship, which doesn't only involve extending the layout but also includes the addition of overhead catenary along with more of some of the best scenic modelling out there.
Pempoul (1/50), Maggie and Gordon Gravett's iconic and hugely popular French metre gauge layout will be known to many. But for the first time ever we undertook a proper controlled shoot under studio lighting conditions to gain another angle on this wonderful layout, whilst giving the builders a chance to reveal some of Pempoul's scenic secrets.
Polbrook Gurney Colliery
Workbench: Polbrook Gurney Colliery (OO), last year we followed Chris Nevard's build of 'Polbrock' a little known cosy Cornish outpost near Bodmin; this year we return to see the layout extended to included his Mendip Colliery project. There is no coal in Cornwall, so Polbrock has moved across to North Somerset, losing a 'c' and gaining and 'o' to become Polbrook Gurney. This installment heralds the first part of a short series on its construction which, will culminate with it being shown at Model Rail Live 21/22 September at Newark Showground. Find out more 

To subscribe follow this link.
Model Rail is also available for iPad via iTunes

Tuesday 2 April 2013

Polbrook Gurney Colliery Update - starting to look like a layout...

Been really busy today adding Das modelling clay to the lightweight colliery sidings. The clay is bright orange, so the power of Photoshop helps remove that aspect until I get around to painting it. But if you really want to see the the Sunny D look, click on the thumb to the right...

The difference between the heavier traditional British bullhead track in the foreground contrasts nicely with the light weight colliery flat bottomed rail sidings.

Lots more to do yet though! Railex is just a few weeks away....

Wednesday 20 March 2013

3 D-elicious

On the build review workbench today for Model Rail a 3D printed narrow gauge RNAD 99hp Baguley Drewry by Narrow Planet. These perky little locos were in use at the MOD Dean Hill complex until recent times on the military narrow gauge network that existed there.

For more info, go to

A full build review will appear in Model Rail shortly.

Tuesday 19 March 2013

Model Rail: Spring 2013 (181)

Model Rail: Spring 2013 (181)

Contents, issue 181 Spring 2013
(between April and May-dated issues.)

Kernow MRC/Bachmann Class 205 DEMU
Olivia's TRains/Heljan EM2 electric loco
Hornby 2-BIL EMU
Bachmann modified 'Hall' 4-6-0
Peco L&B wagons

Model of the year results

Farkham BR 1990 OO
End of the Line O with remote control lorry
Beeley OO

All aboard the night train (sleeping car services)
Masterclass LNER K4
Top of the Bil

Weather without an airbrush
Make a pond
Improve Hornby's 91
Take the sting out of wasp stripes
Build 3-D printed kits
Paint your own backscene

Plus news, exhibition diary, Backscene etc.

Issue out 21 March 2013

End of the Line

Monday 18 March 2013

Model of the Year 2012: The Results

Model of the Year 2012:
The Results

Each year Model Rail magazine, RMweb and MREmag join forces to ask modellers to vote for their favourite models of the preceding 12 months. The results of the latest poll, are published today.

In another busy year for new British ready-to-run models in the three major scales, Bachmann Europe emerged as the clear winner, sweeping the board in ‘N’ gauge, winning all but one of the ‘OO’ categories and scooping the overall Manufacturer of the Year award with almost 60% of
the vote.

Dapol marked its first venture into ‘O’ gauge modelling with an award for its new coal wagons and Ixion’s brave venture into RTR ‘O’ gauge industrial locomotives was acknowledged too. A delighted Chris Klein of Ixion Model Railways said: “Lindsay, Phil and I are thrilled with the award and thank everyone who voted for us. We wanted to produce a high quality, economically priced model that would attract people to the joys of ‘O’ Gauge and judging by the Hudswell Clarke’s ubiquity at exhibitions and this award, we believe we have achieved our aim."

Dapol’s Dave Jones added: “We are delighted to have won for our ‘O’ gauge wagons, and to be named ‘O’ gauge manufacturer of the year. Although we’re disappointed with our ‘N’ and ‘OO’ gauge showing, we congratulate Bachmann on well earned awards in both ‘N’ and ‘OO’ gauge for its wonderful ‘Blue Pullman’ models.”

Hornby claimed just one prize – for its popular Maunsell pull-push coaches – in a category it dominated once again in 2012. Marketing Manager Simon Kohler said: “This is excellent news. Clearly we have much to do in the other categories but I’d like to thank all those who voted for our products in all of the categories. It really is appreciated by all at Hornby.”

As predicted, Bachmann’s ‘Midland Pullman’ DEMUs in ‘N’ and ‘OO’ won their categories by a landslide, but the company’s ‘OO’ gauge Wainwright ‘C’ Class 0-6-0 was perhaps a surprise winner in front of Hornby’s LNER ‘B17’. The success of Bachmann’s Class 85 electric ahead of the Hornby Class 67 was also unexpected. Both claimed almost double the vote of their nearest challengers.

In ‘N’ gauge, the Graham Farish ‘WD 2-8-0, new Class 20, SR ‘Pillbox’ brake van and LMS Inspection Saloons proved particularly popular with voters, and the brake van was also a strong winner for Bachmann Europe in the ‘OO’ wagon section.

Spring 13 issue - out 21 March
The company’s European Sales & Marketing Manager David Haarhaus said: “We are highly delighted to receive these awards from our loyal customers. The whole team at Bachmann Europe Plc would like to say thank you to everybody who voted for our models. To be pronounced overall manufacturer of the year for a fifth year in succession is a great honour.”

Model Rail editor Ben Jones added: “Congratulations to all our winners. There are worthy victors in every category, but the quality of many models that didn’t win is testament to the high standards now being achieved by all our RTR manufacturers.”

The full list of Model of the Year 2012 awards winners is published in the Spring issue of MODEL RAIL magazine, on sale Thursday March 21st in all good newsagents and model railway shops. Also available for iPad via iTunes.

Follow us on facebook:!/modelrail

Sunday 17 March 2013

Polbrook Gurney Colliery Update: Facebook etc...

As part of converting Polbrock into Polbrook Gurney Colliery, sadly the level crossing had to go, the higher level of the new adjacent headshunt and sidings rather negating its usefulness.

Luckily removing the checkrails and picking out the Das modelling clay the road surface was metalled with was an easy task, with ballast taking its place in due course and maybe a small foot crossing from old sleepers to allow access to the halt.

The pub will remain 'as is', despite suggestions that it should be renamed from the 'Pedant & Armchair' to 'The Miners Arms'. The 'Pee and Aee', as it's called by its regulars provides a useful place for those irritating people we all come across at shows and internet forums, giving them somewhere to go during the week when not in care and when the forums fall over from time to time.

Also today, a couple of hours was spent applying cosmetic chairs to the new bullhead rail/copper clad built point that links BR with the colliery - a fiddly job, but one that is important seeing so much effort was put into the original Polbrock track work which uses C & L components.

With time being so short before RAILEX at the end of May, I was tempted not to do this to save time, but the couple of hours required to file the chairs down so they could be superglued onto the copper clad sleepers was well spent I think.

Regulars to this blog, will notice that yet again I have not been posting here quite as much, this is not due to lack of activity, but simply down to the fact that these days I don't sit in front of the computer quite as much twiddling my thumbs. However my Facebook 'Like' page at gets daily updates that don't take as long as writing a blog post, because such can often be performed from my mobile/cell phone when on the fly, many of which are small progress reports on various project that maybe don't warrant a whole blog update.

You: Blogger, the machine that drives this blog has made it tricky for blog interaction from you the reader, with silly anti-spam measures which require clever and highly convoluted skills to work out a puzzle of random letters and numbers before any comments can be posted. Facebook however, is a lot simpler, if for some reason you want to comment on some of the drivel I post, get down with da kidz if you're not already. and 'like'

Thursday 28 February 2013

Polbrook Gurney Colliery Backscene

I'm currently working on the backscene for Polbrook Gurney Colliery (see link to right) which will be light, misty and distant. The original is 7 x 2ft and will feature wrap around the ends thus avoiding sharp corners in the sky. It has been created photographically as per my recent feature in Model Rail magazine.

2ft is quite high, to me this is important which means that photography, even when looking up at the colliery buildings you'll still see the backscene behind the layout rather than room the layout is in.

This combined with bright even neutral illumination (yet to be decided, but it won't be spots which are dreadful!! LED might be an option btw.) should give a good airy spacious feel which hopefully will disguise the 4 x 2ft footprint and fool people into thinking the layout is much bigger.

Deadline, end of May at Railex!

Polbrook Gurney Colliery will shortly be featured in far greater detail in Model Rail magazine.