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I get genuinely cross sometimes about my lack of being able to run trains, but now I can say with confidence that I have my first "complete" train to run on my work in progress first proper layout. One of those awaiting rebranding is no.67717, which is an apple green variant, which has BRITISH RAILWAYS in bold on the tanksides, and the curly style numeral six in its number. I was researching potential subjects when I came across this delightful combination in the L1 edition of Yeadon's Register. The locomotive has LNER apple green livery, with LNER lettering, but the full British Railways numbering, and with a curly six to boot! I am very tempted to model this locomotive, partly because with careful removal of the numerals and lettering, it's not actually going to be that difficult a conversion.
No matter, for it's quite clear at a glance that up to 1950 there were still apple green L1s sans the smokebox numberplate. Then of course, you have to take into account electric lighting fitted, and non electric lighting fitted locomotives!
Complaining implies there was no truth to the critique: that it was unsubstantiated and put across in a very negative manner. It has however become the fashion to make it look like this is the case, for whatever purposes that entails. This has been happening an awful lot lately and I simply don't understand why it has been allowed to be so one sided against any form of critique. Without any constructive criticism or discussion of a model beyond "X and Y are producing this, how much does it cost and when is it coming", what exactly does this hobby entail then? Years ago on a certain model railway forum, we were positively encouraged to talk about using RTR as a basis for improving or personalising for our own use. Now on certain forums (and I do use the plural here with good reason) it's almost become offensive for anyone to suggest that a new off the shelf model can be enhanced. You know, the very thing which defines railway modelling - individualism and creative use of materials to model a chosen subject - becoming the very thing which gets peoples backs up with new releases?
In my view, that's a one horse race where only the model in the blue box is actually in the race. I believe completely in the right of the individual to look at critiques other modellers give on new models, and make their minds up for themselves with all the information to hand.
I'm now at a stage where the locomotive doesn't look different, update to update, but there's been quite a few changes of a minor variety which have brought the engine closer to completion.
I've also done the steam pipe, and handrails on the boiler (both sides) and the tiny little grab handles on the lower side of the smoke deflectors. I do of course have to fit the reversing rod and the casing on the side of the firebox too, along with straightening out the cab side sheets.
Until next time, when I will show some updates on the apple green version of 60113 as well. I have made a slight deviation from Graeme King's method of dealing with the front bogie (which you can read about by clicking here), and chose to go for something within my skill set. The idea behind it is that it gives the bogie enough manoeuvrability on the track, whilst also giving the correct wheelbase, and allowing the resin side frame pieces to fit either side.
This chassis, incidentally, was a spare I bought off eBay some years ago, which was DCC fitted with a very nice chip whose origins I have been unable to discover. Then started a procession of short and sweet blogs, ranging from detailing the smokebox door to fitting a new coupled wheelset. It's hard to believe that it would be over a year from the date this photograph was taken, before any more progress on the lone Thompson D Class model would be made! Overall, The Morpeth was a fun, cheap project to do, and has given me a truly unique model. It's not a perfect model however, and on reflection, I have improved my skills somewhat since I started the project, and can do better than this now, but there's a palpable sense of satisfaction that I did it all myself, and that it's finally finished.

I will have to have a line up of my Thompson design machines, to see what locomotives are missing from the overall line up. This model will now go into the queue for weathering, and will probably be done at the same time as no.61665 Leicester City B17, which I worked on recently.
I've yet to see a photograph of this unique machine looking anything other than well look after, whilst in BR livery, so it's unlikely to become too grimy. Sir Nigel Gresley's N2 class 0-6-2T locomotives are one of the most handsome tank locomotives ever built. The Great Northern Railway initially built sixty of these suburban tank locomotives, ten at Doncaster and the rest at North British. The class worked throughout the southern section of the East Coast Main Line, and a selection of the class worked West Riding and Scottish services throughout their lives, eventually being displaced by Gresley's V1 and V3 classes. For both of my planned new layouts, the Gresley N2 has an important role to play, whether it's condensing fitted versions or non-condensing fitted N2s. It's a terrific model, but it required renumbering as it is a condensing fitted locomotive, intended for use in London on the Metropolitan line, and not suitable for the number Hornby picked (a non condensing N2 built for use in Scotland). One thing clear to me was that my choice of renumbering for my four London based N2s was very limited. I simply hand drilled two new holes, filled in the old ones using Humbrol plastic model filler, carefully sanding the excess away with a foam wet'n'dry pad, and then painted the smokebox door using Gamesworkshops acrylic Abaddon Black. I changed the smokebox number by carefully cutting out individual numbers from a Fox transfers sheet. After placing the waterside transfers on the smokebox numberplate, and the newly added Fox Transfers numeral 2s onto the bunker sides, I allowed the model to dry before applying a few coats of Johnson's Klear via airbrush directly onto the tank and bunker sides to seal them onto the model.
The result is a very clean no.69522, which we will put right in a future blog on weathering. British Railway Modelling is the quality model railway monthly for modellers of all scales and gauges.Featuring beautifully photographed layouts and detailed articles to inspire both the new and experienced railway modeller, together with product and book reviews, diary dates of model railway events and pages of retail outlets.
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If you download British Railway Modelling - May 2016 and you like this magazine, comment it, it will be pleasant to us. My suburban tank engine of Gresley class N2, no.69522, has had a few layers of grime applied to her coat of Johnson's Klear, as have the superb Hornby teaks she pulls behind her.
My only question is: did it have a smokebox numberplate at this point in time or not? Another of life's little research headaches!
Some people pointed out potential pitfalls, and accuracy problems, explained how to fix them and make the model better.
In my view, the consumer has a right to question whether he's getting the bang for his buck. I say this having owned both models for an extended period, and the former causing a lot of angst in terms of trying to get it to a form which was acceptable to me. I don't think it's negative, nasty or otherwise to say that the Bachmann model is inferior. Neither the chimney nor the dome are very good for shape against the prototype, however the rest of the model is excellent.
These have now been straightened, and will be finished off with a bit of Humbrol plastic filler to blend in the Gamesworkshops green putty before adding the handrails. For the time being, I will be concentrating my efforts on the model destined to be painted in express passenger blue, and numbered 60113 with the original straight sided nameplates. It runs very, very smoothly on DCC, and unlike all other DCC fitted chassis I have used does not stutter on DC for various reasons in reverse.

The model will get a run in next month at High Wycombe Model Railway Club, when I hope to have completed more of it (perhaps even in blue paint by then) and have finished a large amount of the build on the apple green variant too.
I had concentrated on the running plate to begin with, cutting and shutting various components (you can read more about this stage of the build here).
It has been sitting in a corner looking decidedly dusty and forlorn, and to be quite frank that would never do!
I won't be using those again, as the transfers were very wide (bizarrely incorporating a strip of clear transfer paper either side), and they gave a lot of trouble in trying to seal them. Powerful, rugged, and distinctive, they were effectively a development of Ivatt's similar (but smaller boilered) earlier N1 class locomotives of 1907 (I plan on modelling the latter as well as the former, but more on that at a later date).
All of these locomotives had condensing gear and short chimneys, and right hand drive, and all were in service by the end of 1921. I have only been able to find photographs of four of these locomotives with "British Railways" branding on the cabsides, in unlined black, though I am sure there must be a good deal more who had that combination.
This was somewhat helpful as it meant only changing the two digits, using the now standard technique of some T-Cut colour restorer, applied liberally with a cotton bud and careful rubbing down thereafter.
The photograph in Yeadon's Register showed that the handrail on no.69522 was above the upper smokebox door strap, not below it as on Hornby's model. A destination headboard for the smokebox door brackets is on order, amongst a variety of others.
Established in 1993, British Railway Modelling (BRM) magazine provides exceptional coverage of the UK model railway hobby. I have four of them, with three out of the four currently awaiting renumbering and rebranding. Modeller 2 says he doesn't like the look of it, but thinks adding an after market extra would improve it. People can make up their mind whether to buy, with whatever faults there are, and if they do want to improve the model, how to. It was absolutely frowned on to make any criticism of the model, drawing quite surprising abuse aimed at modellers doing their level best to give a reasoned and balanced one.
Slaps on the back when the latest new red or blue box appears, without then going on and talking about what you're doing with it thereafter? It wasn't possible, more for the wholly inadequate running characteristics, and particularly and markedly when the latter was just so weighty and smooth in its movements. There's lots of material out there on the model railway forums which show what can be done to a Bachmann B1. In my case, neither item is poor enough to warrant changing, but for some modellers it is, and that's fine. To discuss the pros and cons of the various products on offer, and how to improve them if they are not wholly to our liking.
I do hope to get some time in the next week to fit the side frames of the chassis, but I ran out of time this week sadly.
I can't wait to see it in blue, it will be the culmination of around six years worth of modelling in all its forms (resulting mostly in failure) but now producing a locomotive satisfactory for my needs.
This model is much, much further along, and I am dreading the tender cut and shut I am likely to have to do on the apple green one (which is perhaps why I am holding back so much on it). The quick and relaxing Sunday afternoon spent sorting this one has convinced me that it's probably best to get them all done this way before sending them all to the weathering booth, en-masse, for a bit of grime! BRM is the ‘go to’ source for all news, events and developments in the hobby, keeping you abreast with innovations and modelling techniques.

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