Saturday, 30 May 2015

Thoughts on: 92214' Central Star's identity swap with 92220 Evening Star

There is no doubt about it that the recent identity swap with 92214 Central Star and 92220 Evening Star has been controversial. There are those that like it but there are also those that hate it and it has also upset some people.

What are my thoughts on this though? Well you are about to find out

I have had mixed feelings and thoughts on this, at first i thought the idea would be good but later on especially after visiting the event at the GCR this was shown at  my verdict towards it changed. I can sort of understand why they did as they wanted to bring it back to life and show it to a new generation but even though the real Evening is on static exhibit at the NRM it is still being shown to a new generation especially to those that visit the NRM and see the real 92220 up close and in all its glory. As long as the real locomotive is still with us and is still being shown to a new generation even if still a static exhibit that is something to behold.

I am not against the idea of one locomotive swapping identities with another but this is not the way it should be done. If you are going to do this it has to be a long lost class member that is no longer with us not an engine that is already in preservation because its just a pointless and silly notion and it is not the way to do it. I don't like the idea of seeing two of the exact same engine even if one is only that particular engine in disguise it still doesn't look right.

It makes more sense to do this with an engine that has long gone because that way even if it is an engine is disguise as the engine it is masquerading as that is showing the engine to a new generation for as they will get to see the locomotive close up and it shows that even though a specific class member of locomotive is gone it isn't forgotten and given the fact all class members of a specific locomotive look exactly the same you would never really tell it was another locomotive passing off the identity of another.

and if its for a photographic charter train than that makes even more sense to do so, plus if there are enthusiasts out there that weren't born during the heyday of Steam but love filming Steam Locomotives just as much as I do then that photographer (unless they prefer to film trains again like i do) is able to film that locomotive passing on the identity of another that they would never get to see for obvious reasons that it didn't escape the scrap man and his cutters torch and again like i said above you'll never tell it was really another loco in disguise as each class member of a specific loco looks the same.

When a locomotive is in disguise as another lets say for example it is 34027 Taw Valley in disguise as 34045 Ottery St Mary (it did in my childhood days) in the mind or to the eyes of a rail enthusiast it is seen  as a different locomotive. Yes i 34035 was 34027 in disguise but as a kid i saw the locomotive it was in disguise in as not Taw Valley but Ottery St Mary itself, i saw it as a different locomotive and more to the point i was a kid back then but still.

By the way i am not having a go at the GCR or the NRM being a rail enthusiast like myself i have great respect for both of them just like any other heritage railway or attraction, i just find it unnecessary for 92214 to have swapped identities with 92220 i mean what was the point of it?

If 92220 hadn't survived into preservation than this would have made more sense to have done it or if they had picked an engine that hasn't survived. I know i have said in the eyes or mind of a rail enthusiast seeing an engine in guise as another is seen as another engine but this is different with a class member in preservation in guise as another 9F that is in preservation because then it is all too obvious that it is a different engine masquerading as the engine its in guise as when it is already in preservation. Its different and makes more sense when it is done with an engine that hasn't survived but to use an engine in preservation to be in guise of another that is in preservation is just silly, its a very different kettle of fish.

These are my views on it though at the end of the day, we all don't like the same thing and if we did than the world would be a boring place indeed.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Detailing an old Hornby LB&SCR E2

Another blog post on some modelling. I should do these sorts of blog posts more often, when there is some form of modelling going on.

Recently whilst doing some modelling i had been taking a look at my Hornby LB&CR E2 and looking through photographs of the real locomotive decided to detail the model up to make it more detailed, it was good considering it was a basic model but decided to up my modelling skills using the model. It has taken my modelling onto a new level.

On the front of the buffer beam we can see an added chain link, drawbar coupling and a brake pipe. I removed the plastic stub on the buffer beam (made to look like a hook) and drilled a hole into the buffer beam using a hand drill, i took a drawbar/chain link coupling out of my spares box and glued it into place. For the brake pipe i did the same thing. The buffer beam itself was repainted using a different shade of Red. I also went and painted the buffers white on both ends of course!

The running board was painted black, before it was the same colour as the locomotive which didn't look as realistic, painted it was tricky put it payed off well in the end. I also added the long lamp irons as fitted on Terriers and E4's this is because this E2 being the prototype no.100 had these lamp irons in reality. I painted the ring round the smokebox door white aswell as the smokebox door bands, handrail and door darts. Again no.100 had these painted white in reality. The smokebox door darts were added on separately for as the molded ones were removed as the ones fitted separately look better.

The handrail alongside the loco was also painted white as well as the detail on the smokebox, again these were painted on the real no.100. The detail on the Westinghouse pump was also painted but this was harder to do which required a small amount of White paint and a needle, it turned out well though.

I decided to repaint the model into Works Grey livery like the real no.100 at least it was in this livery in the photos i looked at. For the wheels and the loco itself Revell Dust Grey was used yes it isn't exactly Works Grey but its pretty darn close to how it looked in the photos. Painting the wheels was harder to do especially with the siderods still in place but it turned out well in the end, the paint had to go in some cases under the siderods though to get to certain parts of the wheels, somewhat tricky to do but works well. I also put lining on the running plate using a Yellow Posca paint pen which has come out good.

I painted the tops of the side tanks black using Revell Black paint. The boiler bands were done using a Yellow Posca paint pen they came out a little thin to start with but once i made them thicker as shown in the photo they do look better.

I then turned my attention onto the lining on the side tanks, again i used a Yellow Posca paint pen for it but this would be tricky to do entirely by hand so i grabbed a ruler and draw the lining on with the ruler in place which made it look straight, when i did it before using the ruler it was all wobbly and didn't look as good. For the lettering i just simply drew it on using the Posca pen which i think looks okay. I should point out though some touch ups to some of the lining was done later on.

I then turned my attention the the sides of the bunker. It would be tricky to do it with a rule so i had to draw it on by hand using the Posca pen. Thankfully it didn't turn out as wobbly as i did when i did it on the side tanks. As for the numbering i again drew it on using the paint pen. Before i forget i painted the handrails on the sides of the cab White.

I then painted the rear lamp irons White, i don't know if they wee painted on the real prototype but i did it to bring them out more. Looks good. Before anyone asks yes i know there is no rear brakepipe or chain link coupling it hasn't been done yet.

I then added a real coal load in the bunker. I brushed on a small amount of PVA glue and then sprinkled some of the coal over the plastic coal load. I then used dropper glue to put on top of it. This glues it firmly in place and ensures none of the coal that isn't glued falls out.

We then turn our attention to the other side of the loco, the other handrail has been painted like the other one has and so has the detail part on the smokebox. The detail on the pump (whatever it is) has also been painted, not sure if it were painted on the real loco but it's been painted to bring it out more and to give that that much more detail.

The lining on the side tank on the other side has been done the same as it was done with the other side tank, a ruler and a Yellow Posca paint pen. The same for the lettering and numbering has been done.

And so there we have it. A detailed Hornby E2, it would be interesting though if Hornby or Bachmann were to bring a new tooling of this loco out to see how it compares to the old. With this model detailed up though it does look much better detailed than what it was previously not saying it was a bad model though.

Will see you next time

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Detailing a Hornby Autocoach

Whats this? a blog post on modelling on this blog? well thats a change!

Recently one of the many modelling projects i have been working on lately is detailing this Hornby Auto coach picked up a few years ago from Southerns Railways.

I first started by painting the inside of the roof with Humbrol matt White (forget which number) same may say it won't be that noticeable but it is slightly visible looking up from when looking inside the interior (if that makes sense) also i had been looking at pictures of interiors of Autocoaches on the internet and found one that had the inside of the roof painted white and decided to base it on the photo i saw on the internet.

I then started painted the interior up, i painted the seats Blue and the corridors Green, again based on photos i saw on the internet, Revell paint was used for the seats and Humbrol Green was used for the corridors.

I then painted the axle boxes on the coach blue, again using a Revell Blue paint.

The inside of the coach was painted using Humbrol Satin Oak, this was not intentional originally and was done by accident as some paint got on the inside accidentally but then decided to paint up the inside too which gives that that bit of extra detailing.

I then glued a GWR lamp from Springside on the front of the coach again this gives that that bit extra detail, i painted the inside of the lamp as the gem that was inside and fallen out and had gone missing.

I then added a guard at the front of the coach which again adds to the realism of the model, i used the guard from a Bachmann Scenecraft Station Staff pack which looks good, i had to chop a bit of his legs off though so he'd fit to size! I did that because otherwise he would look too tall and his head wouldn't be visible through the windows.

I then glued some seated passengers inside the coach before fixing the roof back into place, i have no idea what make the people are but they came from China! They were glued into place using the good o'l fashioned PVA.

Then i fixed the roof back on which just clips into place, no adhesive was required!

I then glued on some bufferbeam detail to the front of the coach, being vacuum pipes and a chain link coupling. I drilled holes in the bufferbeam using a small hand drill and then glued the details into place using super glue. The chain link coupling and vacuum pipes came from various detail packs from Hornby and Bachmann. This adds to much needed detail of the model thus improving it.

Then finally i added some handrails on the sides of the doors as you can see in the image above, this was only done because the originals went missing so i made some myself from wire which took forever in a day to do but pulled off well especially once they were glued into place.

And that is basically how i detailed a Hornby Auto coach which improves the model a whole lot better and i am also doing the same to another Autocoach i have only that one is in Choco/Cream livery whilst this one is in Maroon livery.

Thats it for now take care.......

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Pictorial Review: Bachmann The Railway Children Train Pack

Heres a belated pictorial review of the stunning Bachmann Railway Children Train Pack released only last year in December, i wanted to do this last year but it slipped my mind as other things got in the way.

Warning: The opinions in this blog are solely that of my own and don't have an affect on Bachmann nor anyone else in the community


Usually the box tends to be the most uninteresting thing but in this case its something different for as the box has such beautiful artwork on it, upon seeing the artwork on the front you know what you are going to get with the pack, you have a drawing of the loco, coaches and the station as well as scenery on the front of the box not to mention the very artistic (of sorts) Railway Children style font on the box.

The inside of the box is also interesting as you get a big card insert on the inside of the box with images from the film on it however the insert is designed with holes in it so you can get out the stuff that is in the box.


The paperwork you get is the usual, you get the collectors club leaflet and the guarantee for the model.

You also get the instruction manual for the loco that you get with the train pack in this case you get a 5700 Pannier in the fictional GN&SR livery so of course the get the instructions for the said loco.

You also get a guide to model railways with the train pack, i am not going to bore you all by blabbering on about it so we will  move on from here.


As this train pack is a limited edition you do get a certificate with the pack my train pack i have is numbered 1499 of how ever many of them were made.


The details you get are two brake pipes for the front and rear of the loco, you also get some corridor gangway doors for the coaches you get which is a first for me and they have the GN&SR lettering on them too. The gangways of the coaches are made of rubber so they are easy to put in, no glue is required!


Bachmann have taken this train pack to a new level because for them to include a building in this pack is the sort of thing you would expect with a train set not a train pack! For them to have included a model building of Oakworth station is something rather special indeed and it makes the pack more exclusive and special too.

Considering its a building the detail is on par with that of a Skaledale model from Hornby, the detail on this building is immense! Theres glazing in the windows, weathering on the bricks, guttering and a letterbox and station clock. Even right down to the doors with the door knobs on them the detail isn't low quality,then again you don't expect low quality with a pack costing as much as it does in shops.

Even right down or up in this case to the roof with the chimneys on the detail makes it look like as it it were the real station building (in miniature) the detail on the tiles is just superb and this building now sits pride of place on the station on the layout and looks the part too. Bachmann have out done themselves with this building. Considering i have heard people say Skaledale is better than Bachmann Scenecraft its almost as if Bachmann took a Skaldale building and put it in the pack, this is on par with the Skaledale range and as a matter of fact there is hardly any difference between detail from both Hornby and Bachmann. Seriously get one of these buildings and you will see what i mean, the detail is just excellent.

I therefor rate this building a solid 10/10


What would the train pack be without the coaches? you get a brake coach and a composite, i forget which type of coaches they are but they are beautiful coaches at that with the livery they wore as they did in the film.

Starting with the composite you can see the amount of effort Bachmann have put into these coaches, firstly the livery is spot on and theres nothing else more that can be said about the livery. Theres glazing in the windows and there is seats in them too.

The roof has separately put on handrails and the bumps on the top, thats basically it. The roof is painted light grey which looks nice and again is accurate as the coaches in the film have this colour grey on the roofs.

The gangway is surprisingly made out of rubber which is a nice touch, the buffers are metal but not sprung but then again i have no care in the world for sprung buffers so i will leave it at that.The detail on the ends of the coaches despite being basic still looks the part.

The couplings are screwed in place, i removed the one on the back of the brake coach and its simple to remove, just get a cross-head screwdriver and remove the screw and there you go, its easy as 123.

the bogies have nice detail being springs and axle boxes and rivets are present on the bogies too. The wheels are metal so you could add lighting in the coaches if you want, i will not do this but its there for some other modeler to do.

Then theres also the undercarriage detail, its what you usually get on most coaches, while it isn't as super detail like on Hornby's Teaks the detail is still there and it is just as good.

Just look at the lettering on the side of the coach, its bloody brilliant and yet so accurate and details like this all add to the model, the lining has also been done well too.

Even the door handles on the coaches are detailed! Look carefully and you will see them!

The brake coach has pretty much the same detail, inside interior with seats, glazing, accurate livery, correct font on lettering, door handles, rubber gangways, metal wheels, detail on the bogies and underframe detail. Only difference here of course is the guards compartment where the guard and the luggage would go.

One thing that has been pointed out is the Director's saloon as seen in the film is absent from this pack, that i find is understandable because they probably didn't have a suitable coach to use for the Director's saloon not to mention the price would have rocketed up should they include it in the pack and also not including it would keep costs down. Plus when you are getting the locomotive, two of the coaches and the station building i think we have got enough so furthermore its still a fantastic set (in my opinion) the fact this pack has no director's saloon doesn't let it down as you can easily get your own coach to spray up for this should you wish.

I should also mention that when i took out the brake coach i discovered that it had a missing buffer, only fortunate that i should have one in the spares box for me to glue onto it but we expect this pack to be in tip top condition for the price. I will for that mark the coaches down, yes all buffers are intact now but still...

I rate the coaches 6/10


Its safe to say Bachmann have got the locomotive spot on in this train pack, its a 5700 Pannier Tank which was one of the locomotive's used in the movie unlike the Tri-ang train pack that used a Jinty which was a loco not featured in the film and given they had the tooling for a Pannier back then i question why they didn't use the latter as opposed the a loco that was no where in sight in the movie.

Firstly their are rivets on the bufferbeam just like on the real locomotive and there is a coupling hook present too, you can see the holes where the front brake pipe fits in to. The buffers are indeed sprung but i have no care for sprung buffers, the couplings can easily be removed and they use the dove tail connector. I later removed the front coupling on the model, some may want to leave it on since its a tank engine and it can go backwards without issues but in the film this loco doesn't pull its train backwards, that is just me though.

There are also rivets underneath the smokebox door and the running board is painted grey just like it is in the film.

The smokebox door darts/handles and smokebox door bands are painted silver, originally Bachmann had them unpainted on the prototype model but i am glad they later went back and corrected this as just like in the film the loco has its smokebox door darts and smokebox door bands painted silver.

There are some small handrails on top of the tanks, washout plugs, water filler caps and pipework which is all present like on the real thing, the safety valve and window trims are painted gold and the dome looks nice too and of course painted the same colour as the loco. The chimney is accurate too, you could fit a smoke generator in it if you want but i am not wanting to do this.

On the cab roof there are rivets, a small handrail and a cab roof vent. The cab roof vent doesn't open but that said it doesn't really need too, besides it is there so i will leave it at that.

There are also rivets on the footsteps too! The toolbox is painted and has yellow lining, there is also lining on the wheel splashers and there is also pipework, it isn't painted gold and is grey but in the film the loco in this livery had grey pipework or at least i don't recall it being gold anyway.

There is also a brake rod present too before i forget and i am glad it is pre fitted already as it can be a pain to fit them especially on Hornby Bulleid Pacifics!

The lettering on the sides of the tanks are absolutely spot on as they are in the film! There is a small handrail on the sides of both tanks and there is lining present around the tanks too again just like the livery on the loco in the film. The logo in the middle of the lettering is present too and crisply printed. Before i forget the wheels are also painted too.

Onto the cab! There are handrails and rivets on the sides of the cab too and on the footsteps. There is also a cab door with lining on and there is also lining round the cab too. There are also some steps on the sides of the bunker which allow the crew to climb up onto the top of the bunker to reach the coal, there are featured on the real loco which is accurate.

The back of the cab is painted black, just to confirm i have looked at pictures of the real thing and can safely say that it is indeed black, there are guard irons present and fitted on the rear windows like on the real locomotive and there are rivets ont he bunker complete with handrails, lamp irons and hooks to hang fire irons on.

I also should mention the rear buffers are also sprung, there of course is another coupling on the rear and another coupling hook and rivets on the rear bufferbeam.

There is of course also a coal load in the bunker alas it is not removable but you can carefully cover it up with a real coal load using finely crushed lumps of coal, all isn't lost.

At this point i should talk about the cab interior. It isn't painted although the lever you can see is painted which might seem odd but i later went back and painted the cab myself anyway. All you have to do is take the body off, its simple. The detail on the other side of the loco is the same so i will not bother talking about it as i will just be repeating myself.

Before i forget i will mention the livery. It is stunning but it is also spot on to that of the real 5700 that appeared in the film, the colour is correct and accurate, the lining is present as well as the lettering. It is basically what is known as the fictional GN&SR livery as this company didn't exist in reality but it suits the model well just like the real thing which the livery also suits it. I don't believe in fictitious or inauthentic  liveries that don't suit a locomotive, just look at this loco and 48624 preserved on the GCR as examples. The liveries suit them really well.

There are also handrails running round the side of the tanks and around the smokebox too which are separately .

Before anyone points out there is two things that Bachmann's 5700 Pannier's lack and that is the reversing lever and lamp irons on the running board, however these are only minor quibbles and the Bachmann 5700s are still stunning models regardless even if it may be odd that Bachmann put the lamp irons on the back of the bunker and not on the running board but these can always be added yourself should you so wish, these however don't detract too much from the model itself though.

Final Thoughts: So overall this train pack is truly stunning, yes i know there is no saloon coach with the pack but can you imagine how expensive this pack would be should they have included it? Besides you get the locomotive two coaches and a station building, at least this pack is better than that Tri-ang bought out all those years ago and without the saloon coach it will still capture the imagination and allow it to flow from that of the film when this little Pannier Tank runs around the layout pulling its two coaches. Not many train packs do that!

Rating: 10/10

Link to YouTube video i did on this train pack: