Where has the last 3 years gone!!!

Hi all.

Firstly, a huge apology to anyone out there still following my blog. Several career changes over the last 2 1/2 years has meant I have let the GQS blog slip and progress on the project has not been as advanced as I would have liked it to be. Whilst I have not had a lot of time for railway modelling, I have managed to make some progress. The 2 main scenic baseboards are now completed and have been sealed. I have commenced building track and have now completed 4 of Colin Craig point kits (4 more to go) and built several panels of plain flat bottom track using Colin Craig components.

There has also been some progress with rolling stock. Several Jouef MKIII coaches are in the process of being stripped down and fitted with Extreme Etchings window frames for the Glasgow – Edinburgh push, pull rakes. I also now have a class 20 & 27 converted to P4 and a class 37/0 in the process of having Extreme Etchings window frames and roof fan/ grille fitted.

More to come soon….


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MKII push-pull rake

Another project to get off the starting blocks is the MKII push-pull rake. This rake of coaches will be formed of 2xTSO, TSO with microbuffet, FO and DBSO.

The basic coach used for this project will be the Airfix/ Dapol MKIId coach and modifications will be as follows:

1,Remove moulded window frames and replace with Extreme Etching frames.

2,Remove moulded handles on the water tank hatches and replace with fine wire.

3,Replace tension lock couplings with Kadee couplings.

4,Add bogie footsteps.

5,Repaint into Scotrail livery.

6, Replace glazing with Laser Glazing.

1st job is to separate the coach body from the chassis and remove all the glazing. Next the original paint was removed from the body using Precision Paints ‘Superstrip’

Once the paint has been removed, the moulded window frames were removed using a combination of a Micromark 2mm chisel and fine wet and dry.

The replacement etched window frames were fitted by firstly laying a strip of masking tape along the bodyside underneath the window openings to aid getting all frames in line. The frames were then fitted to the bodyside by lining the frame up against the strip of masking tape then fixing in place using very thin superglue to attach the frame to the bodyside by capillary action.More soon!



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Project 47 #1 part 2

I know it has been quite a while since updating my blog for which I must apologise. However the rare spare couple of minutes at the workbench has seen the Laserglaze fitment finished off and bufferbeam detailing added. A DCC decoder has also been installed, only job left is conversion to P4!

Laserglaze and bufferbeam detail fitted

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Project 47 #1

A little while back Rails of Sheffield commissioned 2 limited edition Class 47’s in different ScotRail livery variations (47461 Charles Rennie Mackintosh and 47541 The Queen Mother) An opportunity to acquire both of these locos (2nd hand) was too good to miss. Having researched when the locos were painted into this livery 47461 received this livery in Feb 1986 and 47541 in June 1986 which puts 47461 right at the end of my planned time frame and 47541 just outside. Having a soft spot for the original Intercity livery and variations of I decided that I could exercise a little modellers licence to use them on GQS providing traction for the Inverness trains alongside the planned 37/4’s on the West Highland trains.

Acquiring these 2 locos gave me an oppotunity to have a go at detailing rolling stock. There won’t be anything too severe for these 2 as I want to keep the factory finish. The plan is to carry out the following

1/ Fit etched name plates and crests

2/ Replace all glazing with Extreme Etchings “Laser Glaze” Replace windscreen wipers with finer etched items

3/ Add buffer beam detail and screw couplings

4/ P4 wheel conversion and DCC fitment

To start with 47541 has been fitted with the latest offering in the Extreme Etchings “Laser Glaze” range and is photographed next to 47461 to provide a comparison.

Note the thickness and prism effect of the original glazing on the left hand loco

before and after

More to follow soon.

Livery information from Rail Express April 2004 retro-spectrum: ScotRail (Simon Bendall)

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2011 GCR Diesel Gala

September heralds a change in seasons and more importantly the Autumn GCR diesel gala. The day started with a brisk walk down to Leicester North for the 1st Northbound departure to meet up with the other members of DEFine at Loughborough. That train was a ‘double headed’ Class 37 which as it powered its way out of the station brought back waves of memories from my youth of heading to Porthmadog on a Friday night with a Class 37 being thrashed to within an inch of its life over the Welsh mountains in the late eighties.

Nostalgia over for a moment, it was time to met up with the DEFine boys, consult the timetable and more importantly get the famous all day breakfast ordered! With breakfast consumed and timetable researched the day was spent making sure all the traction available was travelled behind and real ale sampled. I am sure a full account and incriminating photographs will be published on the DEFine blog.

As the day drew to a close, unusually the group decided not to stay for the evening ‘Beerex’ specials. As I had nothing planned for evening, I decided to carry on and as I reboarded the train, a strong smell of curry filled the air, perfect timing for dinner! With curry demolished and washed down with a pint Nottingham Brewery ‘Legend’ The return trip was piloted by D8098 which had been immaculately turned out for the event and Shardlow Brewery ‘Narrowboat’ duly sampled. Back at Loughborough, It was now dark and time for D5401 to take the helm. By this time the train was almost empty and as I settled down with a pint Nottingham Brewery EPA (not quite as good as the Legend or Narrowboat) at the front of the 1st carriage. There was a moment which I think rarely happens on preserved railways when they truly capture atmosphere of days gone by. Sitting in a dimly lit MK1 coach with the sound of the Sulzer 2 (Class27) ticking over at the head of the train, you could have on the last train of the day waiting to depart Glasgow Queen Street for it’s run over the West Highland line in the mid 70’s (not that I am old enough to remember those days but I’m sure some members of DEFine would!)  Sadly, due to the late running of the Steam hauled dining train in front of us the train was turned back at Rothley where I called it a night. All in all, another great DEFine day out!

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Stormex 6th August

Yesterday was spent at Kings Charlton (or was it Charlton Kings) on the outskirts of Cheltenham at the Severn Thames Order of Railway Modellers annual exhibition (STORMEX) We attended their 1st show last year near Reading and were very impressed with the location and nearby facilities (the pub!) This is small, specialist 1 day D&E show that has a great social atmosphere and at one point during the afternoon Pete Degnan and myself stood in a corner of the hall chatting and just watching everyone enjoying themselves. We quickly realised that we either recognised or knew everyone in the hall. It was great to watch small groups of people congregated around the layouts chatting away and the 2mm modellers being wowed on the Shawplan/ Extreme Etchings with Brian’s new range of 2mm detailing parts.

The larger exhibitions are great for seeing big layouts and a large range of traders for stocking up on bits to keep you occupied but they don’t have the laid back social atmosphere that the guys have managed to create with STORMEX. A great innovation the team came up with is where you can buy an empty glass a couple of quid and someone had accidentally left a keg of beer in the corner of kitchen. To sum up, Great show, nice layouts and looking forward to next year already!

There was also official business to be carried out whilst at the show which was to hand over Showcase to the DEMU committee thus heralding the end of 5 years of being involved with running Showcase. With the handover now complete, I hope to focus more on project Queen St and start making more progress.

With many DEFine members in attendance yesterday the conversation at one point turned to the possibility of DEFine putting on something similar to STORMEX in the East Midlands. All I can say is keep an eye on the DEFine blog!

Lastly, A major bombshell dropped at the show was from Mike ‘P4 will never work’ Whitchurch who managed to quietly drop into a conversation that he thinking about putting together some stock to run on GQS. Maybe there is hope yet that he has seen the light….


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Progress with baseboards

A little more progress has been made with the baseboards. The 2 main scenic baseboards are now virtually completed with just some tidying up, alignment dowels to be fitted and folding legs to be made.

The Templot track plan is now having final tweaks and recent researching into the 2 sidings and platform 1 area showed that in 1982 class 20, 25, 26, 27, 37, 40, 47/4 and 47/7 could be found so it looks like another year will have to be modelled! The next decision to be made will be for storage yard, Tradition fan of sidings or traverser?

Work has also started on the Aberdeen Push-Pull rake which photos will follow shortly.

The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed the layout mascot has managed to sneak into the shot again!!

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