Batch of Loco’s for some Friends

Here we have a batch of locomotives, all in OO that I have had for several months, some are even off to Australia. I tend to batch my mates weathering work so that I can keep material costs down.

The two steam Loco’s are for the same friend and it amazes me how the different manufacturers interpret the BR Green and the Loco Lining –  I can not remember these variations in real life!

The Class 50 is for my mate Nick, who is the new owner of Oldshaw the EM layout. Nick intends to run a different era from Alan and Maggie. I look forward to seeing it soon.






















Baseboards Used

Over the years I have tried most types of baseboards. When I started I used the traditional format of 2″ x 1″ for the frames and a chipboard top. I think my first three layouts used this formula, but due to the 2″ x 1″ traditional size getting smaller due to metric conversion or was it the suppliers wanting more profit! I then moved to 3″ x 1″, or the metric equivalent. Although this put my mind at rest as far as warping was concerned, it did nothing for ease of movement with the extra weight.

The next move was to move from chipboard tops to  plywood, this certainly helped a little with the weight, but I still found the weight a problem. I even reduced the size of boards I was making to help with movement and setting up at Exhibitions. This still caused some problems because to get the layouts loaded into the car I had to ‘top and tail’ the two boards with bolt on sides to form one unit to load.

Around this time I purchased an estate car and this certainly helped, I could now load individual boards. This goes back over ten years now and although I still have the same car, a  big decision has to be made regards the future as there is no way I can afford another large car.  After trying different methods I really got nowhere, what I saved on weight, I felt I lost on strength. The nearest I came was using the sandwich method,  two strips of Ply with softwood blocks to form the sides and ends.

About three years ago I spotted a couple of people offering ‘laser cut’ baseboards. I duly spoke to them both, and with no real preference I ordered two 4′ x 15″ self assembly boards. I really did not know what to expect. When they arrived I started to assemble them straight away. Within four hours I had two functional baseboards, they were very light and by the next day, after drying time, they were very strong. This was the way to go for me.

Conclusion, well for me, all my future Exhibition Layouts will be made using Laser Cut Boards, they do everything I want. However, if I was making a permanent layout at home,  I would probably stay traditional and use 3″ x 1″ bracing with Ply tops, strong and cheaper than laser cut. So there we are, horses for courses.

One point I would mention is that the quality of wood has always been an issue. I never use pre-wrapped timber, from large DIY stores without asking an assistant to take off the shrink wrapping, I then chose the straightest wood. I really made a nuisance of myself once, asking the assistant to undo four packs!!!!  Ply has less issues, but I always go for the better quality.

The below are 4′ x 2′ baseboards (2) with 1/8 Cork on top – for an O gauge Layout.












Bury St Edmunds Exhibition 2016

I do not usually hold an inquest into my most recent exhibition, but this was our first time out with our O gauge layout Merlins Lane, DCC Sound and operators with virtually no training.

Well the operators, apart from me, performed very well. Thanks go to my son John, who left at 2pm and then worked a 10 hour shift. Thanks also go to Graham Minshull for helping in the afternoon, Graham has far more DCC knowledge than me and was great at ‘showing us the ropes’.

As I said in the Merlins Lane post, I did not get the loco’s weathered before the show due to running out of time because of other tasks. This was a big mistake and I apologise to all for not doing this, six very clean loco’s and stock on a weathered layout just did not work!! A start has been made and I assure everyone the whole layout and all stock will be finished by the next Exhibition, Dereham Feb 2017.

Although a Fuelling Point, it was designed for some limited shunting. Fuel Tanks, Waste Oil Tanks and Stores Vans can all be accommodated. However I forgot just how much frustration three link couplings can cause. On several occasions the shunting manoeuvre was abandoned because of unsteady hands and the feeling the watching public wanted to  see something move! By the next Exhibition all shunting will be performed ‘hands free’ using ‘4mm’ Spratt and Winkles.

Well there we are, an excellent Show, well organised by the Bury St Edmunds Club, great company and some very nice comments from the public.

As I weather the Loco’s and amend the wagons for hands free shunting I will add a few photographs to this post.


LIMA Class 40

This is my 100th post on this site and I thought that I must have a special class of Loco’s to celebrate. It just has to be the Class 40, larger cousin and predecessor of my favourite, the class 37.

I had over ten Lima Class 40’s at one time but they have proved very popular with friends and old customers. Sadly I now only have four, so a smallish gallery follows.

I think the main thing that needs doing to a Lima Class 40, other than detailing, is lowering the body on the chassis and adding the extra pipework on the bogie frames. I think it gives it that powerful look the prototypes had. Although a bit underpowered they made a great noise when starting and that lovely whistle when stationary.











LIMA Class 37 – 1994 – 99

For my last batch of Class 37’s we move on to 94-99. In this era we saw the privatisation  of the previously sectorised businesses. Initially five parts where privatised, they only lasted for a year or so before the whole lot were sold and EW&S later EWS became owner of them all.

Again I held on to quite a few Loco’s in this era as modelling options were many.