Railtrack PNA

This is a rake of ten Bachmann PNA and other than my usual Spratt & Winkle fixed system  between wagons, they are completely standard. The rake includes each style of side reinforcements, five and seven bars.

This rake is an exercise in weathering using ‘Designers Gouache’, which is a water based paint that behaves like an oil based paint. The best thing about these paints are that they mix very well.  You can create depth and texture and if you don’t like your results you can wash it off with warm water. When you are happy with your results you make them permanent using enamel varnish. The only down side – they are a bit expensive for the best brands. I only use six colours!

As well as weathering the outside and underframe, I used this paint on the inside to look like wear and distress. I will eventually add some weathering powders to the inside of the wagons.  I have tried to vary the amount of weathering so that the rake looks realistic.











Seacow – Lima based

I detailed these wagons about 25 years ago, before the better Bachmann and Hornby models were available. There is no way I am going to criticise these wagons, as in those days, they were the best we could get and if you wanted something better, then you had to do it yourself.

I have put these on as a separate post because they are an exercise in a form of weathering called ‘dry brushing’. I used Humbrol enamel paints for this exercise. How to do this has appeared many times in magazines and I will not repeat it. In my opinion they still stand the test of time, and still look very much at home on my garage layout.

I did make some basic mistakes when I detailed  them, the main one was I used solid tops to the protectors instead of mesh – sorry. I also added some footsteps on the four corners. The hand brake wheels could also have been replaced with something more scale.

This a rake of five wagons.








Engineers track/spoil train


This train is completely made up of Cambrian Kits. The train consists of 3 Seahorse, 1 Borail (Mullet) and 1 Salmon. All are very good kits that make up very easily in reasonable time. This is a more recent project, having been completed in the last two years. I used Railmatch Paints and Fox Transfers.

Cambrian have an excellent range of engineers wagons and I can not recommend them any higher.

I sometimes run this train with  two other salmon, each fitted with two hi-abs. These are used to recover rail from the trackside. The Hy-Ab kits were available from Genisis Kits at the time.









Electrification Tool Train

In the early 80’s the GEML was being electrified and I used to visit my local station to see the Electrification train stabled in the old goods yard. On one occassion there was a Tool & Mess train stabled there. I thought that it would be nice to model something similar. I took a few photographs and then checked my model stock to see what I could make. At this point I realised that an exact copy of the train was not going to happen, but I could get close. A good supply of Engineers Olive was acquired, then the stock modified.

Considering this was nearly 30 years ago, the models still get good commemts at exhibitions.





OO Test Coaches

During the late 1990’s when Bachmann brought out their superb Mk1  and Mk2 coaches I wondered what to do with my two dozen or so Lima models. Some were repainted into various liveries that were not available in the Lima or Bachmann range, these were sought after and sold. This left about ten that were standard Lima and to be honest, not worth a lot at the time.

I decided that if I took some and ‘cut and shut’ them I could turn them into Department and Test coaches. As well as cutting them about, I filled in windows, made roller shutter doors, re-profiled the roofs and remodel the ends. I also purchased some Replica Railways bogies of various types. I have to say at this stage I did not replace the roof vents that were left as the prototype. I really wish I had and have to say this was a missed opportunity.

The best part of this project was the research, this was the time that SERCO had most track testing contracts for Railtrack and later Network Rail. There was many great websites that  helped a great deal, books were a little thin on the ground, but some were available. I drew up a wish list of ones I would like. I did rough drawings of each carriage, both sides, the ends and the roof where possible, not many photographs of the roofs exist for obvious reasons.  I did amend some of the under floor boxes etc., but not all. Again I wish I had done a bit more to the underfloor bits.

Now a note of caution, a lot of the coaches in departmental service ‘evolved’ in service, some had extra windows added, vents and grills added and some went the other way and had things ‘filled in’.

As I say above, I did regret not doing more to the roof and under frame, my excuse at the time was a limited budget and time. I also thought that at exhibitions, most people just see a train go round without stopping and little notice is taken of the underframe, although the roof is very noticeable.

I have to say that the plastic that Lima coaches were made from was very soft and easy to cut and re-glue in different positions, it fills well and sanding is easy, gluing plastic card to it was also easy.  It also takes enamel paints very well.

After doing this exercise, I then turned my attention to Dapol Mk2D’s and even a Lima Mk3. All were cheap purchases and went through my modification process.

Although not perfect – they are better than nothing!

I later also took a Lima Class 101 and turned that into ‘IRIS 2’

All  stock  to be weathered later.