Sunday, December 31, 2017

The end... of this blog

This blog will no longer be updated. Model railway posts will now be on a dedicated blog. Model kit posts will move to my personal blog, and an updated list of projects has also been done.

This blog will remain in place for archive purposes.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Ballast and bay

I've added some passengers to the new station and also replaced the bay platform siding with some proper HO9 track (Roco). I've ballasted the siding and a little bit more of the loop. Nearly all the main line has been done now.

Project #079

Project #079 an Embraer 190 is nearly completed, the decals are addd just some final touches and varnish to do. Its not the best model i've ever done, i can't say 2017 has been the best year to be honest but i've started #080 a Grumman Martlet already (probably the final kit of the year) so lets finish on a high!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Running in

Maria picked up a problem again a few weeks ago but over the last couple of days has put in some hard yardage on extended test runs without any problems. So i don't know what to make of this little blue shunter, i shall give it some more running in and see if the problems can be solved once and for all. The Yellow Peril has also been putting in the shifts, its running in quite well now. I am starting to think about another locomotive though the next change is likely to be Falcon returning in the New Year to replace Jam Sandwich.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Back in business

Operations have resumed after the glue has dried (and any excess ballast removed). The new station looks pretty decent, i'm so glad i decided to start again with that aspect of the layout.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Possible new N gauge project

I'm planning a second layout next year, a small N gauge one which will use this pallet as its base. It is still in the very early planning stages but i might be able to squeeze something fun in and give my N gauge rolling stock somewhere to play!

Project #079

The latest model building project is progressing well. Project #079 is am Embraer E190 airliner and is approaching the painting stage.

The new station

I have decided to tear up the station as it was too big, plus the card i used just didn't seem right. Instead i have created smaller platforms using foamboard. A main platform and a small stub the other side. The foamboard has been painted grey and i've also ballasted the track through the station. I think it looks a lot better now.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Project #078

Project #078 is now completed (bar the varnishing) and is the first Heller kit i've done. Its a Saab J29 in UN markings and has turned out pretty well.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

An operating session

Some photos from this evening's running session on the layout. Maria seems to have overcome to problems it had earlier in the year and is running fine at the moment. Fingers crossed it was just a temporary issue. You will notice that the Yellow Peril has been fitted with a coupler so can haul the engineering van.
Jam Sandwich with the express

Maria with the steel truck

Yellow Peril heads off to check the line

Percy with the local train

Monday, September 11, 2017

Project #077

Its been a bit slow on the model building front over the last few weeks but Project #077 a Focke-Wulf Fw190 is nearly finished. Just a little bit of paint finishing and decals / varnishing to do!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017


Time for another "loco", though this time an engineering trolly. Of course we have decided to call this the Yellow Peril.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Hard running

Fingers crossed but Maria's problems seem to be over. I gave the loco some extended running to see if that could solve the problems its developed lately (cutting out and grinding to a halt), 2 hours yesterday and another tonight. It all seems to be OK now, not quite as good as Percy but not bad. Even handled a 2 coach train. Maybe it was just a bit of debris that got in the motor somewhere? Hopefully the problem will not return.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Two projects on the go

Two model kit projects are currently on the go. Project #076 is an ancient Airfix kit of a British Railways Park Royal Railbus (OO scale). Building is pretty much complete and painting has begun though is currently on hold as i need specific railway colours for it. Another project is #077 which is a Focke-Wulf Fw 190 and painting can soon begin of that.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Ballasting and OO

I was going to do it next year but i have decided to do some ballasting, mostly under the new bridge. It will be difficult to ballast when the bridge is completed so i decided to ballast it now. I've extended the ballast to cover the approach roads to the station and MPD. It all looks reasonably good... so far.

The bridge will be a railway bridge by the way. I will get some HO scale stock for it one day but for the moment a couple of carriages from my stored OO scale fleet are being used!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The bridge

A major new feature of the layout is a bridge that cuts across from one corner to the back scene wall. In doing so it crosses 3 tracks and will add a lot of interest (hopefully!) I've built in in wood and am applying card and plastic bricks to the outside. Well not too much so far, one thing i realised was that once the bridge was in place ballasting and scenery underneath the bridge would be very difficult so i've done the ballasting now in that part of the layout (wasn't planning on doing the ballasting until next year).

In other news the latest locomotive Maria has a fault, after a couple of minutes running it becomes very jerky before eventually stopping. I've stripped the loco down to see if anything is obviously broken but all seems fine on that score though it is a very tight fit inside so i've left a piece of the cab interior moulding out to see if that solves the problem.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Back to the past

A Liliput equipment van has been bought which is an older version of the second wagon bought for Eskalon way back in 2014.

Thursday, June 22, 2017


A few years ago i did a series of Airfix railway kits, building up a little OO scale train. I've bought another Airfix railway kit, this one a railbus. Building has commenced and it is Project #076.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


The latest model project, Project #075 is a Messerschmitt Bf109G-6. Its not the first i've done so i completed this one in Swiss Air Force colours. Its come out pretty well. Usually i glue the propeller in place but on this one i let it rotate freely. Never again though, made painting the prop a right pain!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Coaching stock upgrade

The HOe fleet has seen a lot of expansion over the last couple of years including 2 new locos this year alone, however the coaching stock fleet has remained at 3... until now. Three new coaches have arrived, in lovely brown livery with a bear face on them (really!) Here Falcon takes the coaches on their first test run. It was Falcon's final duty before going into storage for a few months as part of the new fleet rotation plan.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The station

I've started again with the platform for Mäusestadt station. I've gone for a much bigger (and lower) platform space that fills in between the tracks. I'll put a top layer (probably grey paper) over the card layers... then its time for buildings and people!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Locomotive #6

Its time for a new loco! Maria is another Liliput shunter, this time in blue. Running in went fine and now Maria can join Percy and the others working on Mäusestadt. Having the new loco means Falcon can have a break as i'm only going to run 2 mainline engines and 2 shunters at any one time. Yes its time for fleet rotation...

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Adding load

Two of Mäusestadt's open wagons are currently in the workshop having loads fitted and also i'm trying a bit of weathering. It doesn't look too bad, its always very easy to go a bit OTT but i think i've just managed to avoid that. They'll return to the layout soon.

First completed model of 2017!

Project #074 a Jet Provost has been completed (bar the varnishing). Its the first aeroplane i've done "wheels up" for a change (i have done another Jet Provost before wheels down). I might hang it from the ceiling as shelf space is at such a premium now!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

New wagon

Mäusestadt received a new wagon today and its a beauty (in wagon terms anyway!) A Roco DR stake wagon.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Major Falcon surgery

Last night i had to open up the Falcon after the LED headlights stopped working in one direction. I found the reason was a wire from the main PCB to the lights PCB had become detached (maybe poorly soldered in the first place). So an easy thing to fix... Apart from the fact to get where i needed to re-solder the wire on the PCB was only possible by taking most of Falcon's internals apart!

I've never done this amount of disassembly of a locomotive's internals before so was nervous about it and hoping i wouldn't turn my flagship loco into a pretty paperweight... Luckily it all came back together and runs fine... and the lights are fixed of course!

Well the Falcon is the Falcon, thats why i love that loco so much. It can even survive me and a soldering iron... Lets just hope i never need to do this again.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Starting Mäusestadt station

I've made a start on the station, just a platform for now. Its made out of foamboard over which some grey paper has been wrapped. It doesn't look much right now but will have buildings and people added later.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The wall

The track arrangement has now been finalised (and fixed down), now i know exactly where the track is i can build the permanent back scene wall. This is a solid wooden frame and card has been used for the actual wall. Later on some brick and stone block effect panels will be put over the card.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Fleet catch-up

Just some photos of the 4 active locomotives on the slowly developing new layout. What of Plymouth 17? Well that might be coming onto the layout soon too...

Monday, April 10, 2017

Fixed down

At the weekend i raised the temporary layout then painted the board dark grey so there is a better base for any future scenery. Then i began laying the track down in a more permanent manner (with glue instead of double sided sellotape!) While the main loop is fine (though maybe a bit close to the edge in parts) i am not 100% happy with the MPD. I have ordered a couple of extra pieces of track.

Sunday, April 9, 2017


Now we have a new craft table all of the locomotive fleet will be properly serviced over the next few weeks. A photo of the first loco to be serviced is below, as it is in a state of undress we have taken measures to hide its identity...

A new craft table

Late last year my craft table, which was the dining table really... became the dining table again. I therefore needed a new table for my model making and i got it today. The 2017 model making season can therefore begin... and has with a model of a Jet Provost now in building.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

New loco!

A new layout deserves a new loco i think, so today the first new HOe loco for a few years arrived. A little Liliput diesel shunter complete with flashing light! It runs fine (though a little extra speed is needed over points to avoid it getting stranded in an electrical dead zone) but does wobble a bit, maybe when the track is permanently fixed down that will be improved. Now what shall we call it?

Monday, March 27, 2017

Good progress

Today i made a lot of progress on Mausstadt. I wired up the head shunt siding and taped down the station/depot area - using double sided sellotape as used on the loop. This is only a temporary fix of course but i want to get the layout right before i commit to anything permanent. I've also made a start on the back scene with the 2 tunnel mouths. The mouth with the 2 tracks is a bit low to be honest, i think the authorities would want a word! A new loco has also been ordered, more news TBA...

Saturday, March 18, 2017

A week of trial and solution

Unfortunately my experimental board top layer of a card-foamboard-card sandwich proved to be a flop. What worked great in a smaller prototype didn't translate to the full size board. It was just too warpy and uneven. Instead i've gone back to wood, nicely flat planed wood. I know from experience with Eskalon than HOe couplings can be quite sensitive to uneven track so i'm saving myself a lot of trouble in the long run!

Now the building can properly begin. Welcome to Mäusestadt!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The new board

My third generation board then, the frame is as before but the top is a sandwich of stiff card and foamboard. This is the first time i have done a layout board like this so it will remain to be seen if it works out, but it should be robust enough. Hopefully! As you can see below the new board literally goes on top of the Knell Lane one. I want to keep that and maybe reuse it in a couple of years time. I simply have no where to safely store it, apart from where it is now. And no the new board is not lying on top of the track, i put some spacers on the frame of the board to avoid that!

The final fling

Knell Lane has been decommissioned now, as Spock once said "Only Nixon could go to China." not that one, he also said "All things must end"! The CEP had the final run earlier today and then everything was packed away. The track (and non-tree scenery) has remained in place as the new board (which i built today) has been put on top!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A test of track

I've bought some Roco HOe track, the first time i've bought none PECO track since i restarted railway modelling. The aim is to use the track on the main curves of the forthcoming new layout. As the video shows below the track works fine mixed with a couple of PECO N gauge straights. Now i need to lock-down the design and buy the remaining track i need for it. I'm thinking of having the main straight use PECO 009 track plus much of the station area will use PECO N. The mix of track types will bring an interesting dynamic.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Return to HOe?

Its been a few weeks since the last update, there hasn't been a lot of activity but i have been busy with my plans for the new layout (due in the Spring). After a lot of thought i think i might return to HOe for the next layout and the N fleet can have a rest for a bit. I do miss the Falcon. I am still working on the design but it looks like being a single loop with a fiddle yard and a separate line that goes into the station. There will also be provision for a "phase 2" branch line. I'll hold off making the final decision as to what stock i will run on this new layout until i get something down...

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Into 2017

Just before the end of the year some new stock arrived, a Rail Express van, a Railfreight van and a couple of open wagons. Now the focus though will be on the forthcoming new layout. I am still planning it and exploring some different ideas, including a U shaped end to end layout. I'm not going to build the new board until around Easter time so until then there is plenty of time for planning and building "virtual layouts" in Railmodeller!