Sunday, 20 August 2017

The Rev W. Awdry - his OO Layout of 1959.

Hello. About a week ago I drew up my OO Fictional Layout Plan to roughly 4'6" x 12'....and then ordered the Track- last night I was contemplating the Question: "Is the Layout Big Enough?" I started even to think about taking over my entire shed for the Layout....wild ideas indeed!
Fortunately common sense has intervened and I have taken a look back at some of the Layouts which tend to inspire me.

At the top of the list is Rev W. Awdry's 1959 Layout of 'Ffarquhar' in OO Scale which he built in an area of some 4' x 6'.....please see the photos below. The Layout was portable for Charity Exhibitions.

 Above: Rev W. Awdry at the controls with his little O-6-OT 'Thomas' and coaches 'Annie and Clarabell'. It is a delightful picture and clearly shows the size of the 'Ffarquhar Branch' Layout.

 Thomas with coaches coming into the Station of Ffarquhar. Note the attention to complete detail.

Above: Detail photo of the Station and it's surrounds at Ffarquhar as passengers eagerly await.

Above: A PLAN of the 'Ffarquarh OO Layout' showing all the details - the model has everything- from a Station, a Halt, Passing Loop, Head Shunt, Cattle Dock, Coal Drop, Oil Spur, Goods Dock, A Tunnel, Road over Bridge, Houses, Inn etc...even a Bowling Green....the layout does feature a Hidden Fiddle Yard as well.....remarkable!

Above: The Rev W. Awdry at home with his OO Exhibition Layout- clearly enjoying testing and improving his Ffarquarh Branch line.


I have to keep Rev W. Awdry's delightful layout of Ffarquarh in mind - his efforts certainly show what can be achieved in a relative small space and particularly testifies that we don't need huge amounts of space for our OO scale Model Railways.

C.J. Freezer suggests in his book for beginners that when starting out on a Model Railway that we should begin with a rather small Layout first - and also suggested we could even go as far as considering it "expendable" - as few Modelers seldom stick with their first efforts after learning a great deal and then go on to bigger and larger constructions latter on. This is good advice....however, I have found that I have spent a considerable amount of my funds so far- and as yet have not progressed to laying track - my Budget is very limited and I must conclude that I will be modelling my Layout just once - and that will be that - it has to be done right the first time.....also, I am running out of time - that old Life-Clock keeps ticking away and I am certainly of the mind that I must make good of the time I have left on this Project.

Well- that is about it for to-night.
Until next time.

Friday, 18 August 2017

STATION Buildings Arrive.

Hi. Thought to show you two Station Buildings that arrived recently.

 Above is shown the OAKWORTH Station building. Very pleased with this model - you can even read the roman numerals on the clock. This is a model of the Station Building that featured in the 1970 Movie- 'The Railway Children'.
Above is shown the Hornby Skaledale - 'Granite Waiting Room'. I like this model, however it remains to be seen if I will use it on my Platform scene for my layout.

Well- just a short update to-day.
Until next time.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

A New Hornby SKALEDALE Building.

Hi. I want to show to you a small building which I purchased from the Hornby SKALEDALE Range.

 The Hornby building is known as the 'Blinkbonny House'. When I saw the box packaging of the Skaledale building at our Local Hobby Shop- I instantly thought that it would be an ideal building as to be employed as my 'Seymour Farm Cottage' and subsequently I parted with my money. The Cottage is excellent being very well made and will suit my use of it on Mr & Mrs Seymour's small acreage farm which shall feature on my Railway Layout.

This evening I ordered the book 'Making Model Railway Buildings' by Andy McMillan (UK).
I particularly look forward to reading Mr McMillan's book and certainly hope to learn a great deal from his writings- if the cover is anything to go by - it should be a very interesting book.

Well- that is about it for to-night.
Until next time.

Monday, 14 August 2017

LANGLEY OO Figures Progress and PECO Track Ordered.

Hi. Thought to show you the progress with fifteen of my Langley Figures painted ready for service. I have over another forty Langley unpainted figures to choose from and will endeavor to work my way along as the need arises to populate my OO Layout.

 Above: (L to R). Front row- Signalman, Station Master, Porter, Two Goods Men, 'The Railway Children'- Peter, Phyllis and Bobbie. Second Row- Engine Driver and Fireman for my Hornby ADAMS Radial Tank Locomotive, Engine Driver, Fireman and Guard for my J83 Tank Locomotive- also by Hornby.  Back- Mr & Mrs Seymour.
The Platform Signal Box and 'Greenhouse' are by Hornby.

 This evening I planned out my Layout ( roughly 4'6" x 12') by using the SETRACK Planbook to trace out the desired Layout- this is the third time I have attempted such a Track Plan. What I ended up with was a rather crude drawing and the Plan isn't quite accurate....such that I decided to order some additional pieces of track should the need be for careful adjustments. I find it a little difficult to visually imagine the track lengths required - I suspect that once I actually have the Peco Track here to experiment with - a final solution and arrangement will be settled upon.

I am very pleased that to-night I have ordered all my PECO Code 100 Setrack from Hatton's in the UK - my order should take about two weeks to arrive. Hatton's are excellent with their service as I have had two previous orders filled and the orderes were reliably correct- well packed and dispatched in great time. I can thoroughly recommend Hatton's for Service & Reliability.

Above: Shown is the Bachmann OO 'Oakworth' Station Building which I have ordered through e-Bay (UK). 'Oakworth' Station was the setting for the 1970 Movie 'The Railway Children'. I have been very influenced by the Station and have indeed planned my Layout based on a 1910 Survey Map showing the Station, track arrangement and surrounding area....I will be building my Layout track work with similarities to 'Oakworth'....the finished model will be similar- though with enough difference in appearance that I will give it a Fictional name ....such as 'Glaston'.

KEV: The Happy Railway Modeller.

Well that is about it for this evening.
Until next time.

Friday, 11 August 2017


Hi. Yesterday I watched the 2000 TV Movie version of The Railway Children. The production was simply superb and I well recommend it. Jenny Agutter who stared in the 1970 Movie as 'Bobbie' returns after thirty years to play the mother of the children in the 2000 TV Movie.

Jemina Rooper as 'Bobbie', Jack Bluenau as 'Peter', Clare Thomas as 'Phyllis'.
Sir Richard Attenborough as 'The Old Gentleman' and Jenny Agutter as 'Mother.
The scenes for the 2000 TV Movie were filmed about 'Horsted Keynes' Station on the 'Bluebell Railway'- Sussex.

Last night I placed an order with the UK for E.Nesbit's epic novel 'The Railway Children'.
I definitely would like to read this Classic and see how close the two Films were to the original story as devised and told by E.Nesbit.

Well- that is about it for to-night.
Until next time.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

The RAILWAY Children -1970 Movie.

Hi. Thought to mention to you that I've had a few very enjoyable days learning all about the splendid movie of 1970 - 'The Railway Children'.

My interest in the 1970 Railway Children movie all came about a few days ago with the delivery from Hattons (UK) of a spare Hornby J83 Tank the box was the addition of a Hattons Catalogue- in it's pages was an add for the Bachmann 'The Railway Children' OO scale boxed set....I decided to investigate further.....along the way learning a good deal more than expected.

 Above is shown a key moment in the adventures of the Railway Children from the 1970 movie.

 To-day I watched my DVD movie 'The RAILWAY CHILDREN'....and thoroughly enjoyed the experience....I knew it would be excellent as Lionel Jeffries wrote the Screeneplay and Directed the making of the movie. I won't say anymore about it and give away the story- though enough to say that for the Railway Station scenes 'Oakworth' was the setting - and the Station is very much as it was back in the 1970s during filming.
Above is the contents of the Bachman model railway set for 'The Railway Children' in OO scale. The set contains the Pannier Tank engine, two Carriages and also a model of 'Oakwoth' Station Building.

Front view of the Bachman OO scale model of 'Oakworth'.... I decided early on not to obtain the full boxed set- however I did take a liking for the Station Building model and have ordered one from the UK. It is a delightful model - though not fully complete - yet, I will be well pleased to receive it in the next few weeks.

 OAKWORTH Station as it appears to-day - hardly touched by time - a  splendid historical site.

I found the above Survey Map of Oakworth Station and its surrounds- possibly 1910. It would appear that by 1970 a good deal of track had been previously removed - in particular the run-around loop....also, it would appear that there was a Signal Box facing the Goods Yard and Goods Shed- no evidence of it to-day.

I am seriously thinking about this OAKWORTH older Track arrangement for my Hornby Railway model Layout in OO scale. ( More about this in another later posting).

 Above: A painting of Oakworth Station Building - it would appear that the small attached part of the building on the right hand side is something which is missing on the Bachman OO model.

 I also could not resist obtaining a copy of the Making of the RAILWAY CHILDREN by Jim Shipley.
Very much looking forward to reading and viewing this book from the UK. It will be great!
Finally- I am presently awaiting the delivery of my Hornby ADAMS Radial Tank engine from Hattons (UK). I have indeed locked myself into a Period roughly from 1948 to 1956 by obtaining engines with the Early British Rail Emblem....I must admit I do like black engines with red lining - looks very pleasing.

Well- that is about it for to-night.
Until next time.

Monday, 7 August 2017

HORNBY Skaledale Buildings Range.

Hi. Yes - I know that I should be Scratch Building for my Hornby Model Railway in OO and that would be very good for my well being - though I could not resist purchasing two ready-made buildings from the Hornby SKALEDALE Range.

To the Right is shown the Hornby GREEN HOUSE. I chose to purchase this finished model as I needed a small Green House for my proposed model of the 'Seymour Farm'- being a small acreage holding I felt that Mr & Mrs Seymour would have a smallish Green House. The Hornby model is super and suits the purpose being very well detailed and it should look great on the landscaped gardens of the 'Seymour Farm'.
Above is shown the Hornby 'Platform SIGNAL BOX'. I had visions of building my own version of a Signal Box- though when I saw this Platform model and the detail presented - I just could not resist the purchase.
I am certainly glad to have this Hornby Platform Signal Box model as it is just superb- I've also found that as a model it certainly helps to get my eye-in for 1/76th scale modelling....viewing and measuring details such as the brickwork, timber cladding and slate roofing certainly should allow me to make such features on my own models more accurate to suit the scale for 'OO'.

I have been painting more Ian Langley OO figures this afternoon - with finish applied in satin lacquer to be done tomorrow- well pleased with the Langley figures which I hope to show you at a latter date.

Well that is about it for to-night.
Until next time.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

MODEL RAILWAY Books on the Way!

Hi. Thought to show you some publications that I have ordered and eagerly await.

 First, is the 'WHOPPER' book of Trains. I cold not resist purchasing yet another Children's Annual on Trains- certainly from the sample pages that I have seen - this book looks packed with interesting facts,information and illustration.

 Above is the Norman Simmons book 'How to go Railway Modelling' (5th Edn). I had seen the list of Topics covered in the book and certainly I should be able to learn a great deal from Mr Simmon's text and photos. Looking forward to receiving this book from the UK.

C.J. Freezer's book 'First Steps in RAILWAY MODELLING' ....I jumped at the chance to own this Beginners book as indeed Mr Freezer was the Editor of the magazine -RAILWAY MODELLER back in the 1970s....certainly this book will help me greatly to approach the basics with more confidence.

Well that is about it for the moment.
Until next time.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017


Hi. I have decided to show you a selection of Children's Railway Books which are of the type presented to me in the early 1960s by my older Cousin - David Jenkins.

The DEAN Book - 'My TRAINS Picture Book'.
First Published in 1959 as Illustrated by W. Baldwin.

The Cornish Riviera Express on the way to Penzance.
The express is hauled by a Western Region "King" Class Locomotive.

An old Pannier Tank shown being watered.
This is one of my favorite pictures from the DEAN Book.

Published in 1958 the Ladybird Book covers all the main Steam and Diesels.

Shown in the Ladybird Book on page 9 is the West Country Class and Castle Class.
The color images were done from photographs courtesy of BRITISH RAILWAYS.

'The GOLDEN Picture Book of RAILWAYS'.
With Cover Art by T.E.North.

This is a typical page from the Golden Book.
I certainly remember such side-on black and white photos of Locomotives -such as the 'BALTIC' and in motion photos such as the "Flying Scotsman".


I just adore these Books and I am certainly glad that I have been able to replace these books now near sixty years latter. The condition of the Books are excellent - except that the DEAN book has near lost it's spine - however, the content pages are in superb condition.

I count myself very fortunate indeed.

Until next time....

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Painting LANGLEY Cast OO Figures.

Hi. Had a good afternoon painting up four Langley OO Figures- which took a little over an hour.
I decided to paint an Engine Driver and Fireman for my ADAMS Radial Tank (which is still on it's way from the UK)... and two other figures to be known as 'Mr & Mrs Seymour'.
 Above is shown the raw Langley OO figures with their cast-on 'pin' which I remove and file.

 The Langley figures based onto pieces of thin styrene plastic with Supa Glue. Undercoat is grey.

The four completed Langley OO Figures - two Engine Crew and Mr & Mrs Seymour.
My camera isn't the best and to be honest the figures actually do look better to the eye than they do in this photograph. However, well pleased with the Langley OO Figures- and there are more to paint.

Whilst at the workbench I put two coats of Vallejo White onto a Thomas The Tank Van- to produce what will be my 'Milk' Van for the Branch Line layout. Paintwork is a bit patchy though will do.

Well- that is about it for to-day.
Until next time.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

NEW Purchases -ADAMS Tank & LMS Coaches.

Hi. Decided to throw caution to the wind and went ahead and ordered Hornby items from the UK.
I've always liked the ADAMS Radial Tank 4-4-2T and have ordered a Hornby model in the British Rail - Early Emblem Scheme. The Adams Tank will make for an excellent Passenger engine on my proposed Branch Line layout.
 The Adams Radial Tank is a very elegant looking engine with it's outside cylinders - I note that the model pictured has no front coupler- hopefully a coupler will be included in the Hornby box- I however do have some spare couplers which I can adapt if necessary. A beautiful engine!

In order to have my Passenger Train I have ordered two Hornby LMS Clerestory Coaches. I certainly like these type of early Coaches - and as I'm thinking my Branch Line Layout will be prior to 1956 - then these Coaches will be most suitable. Certainly the Clerestory Coaches coupled up to the Adams Tank engine- the set will look altogether superb and just what I wanted and do need.  I must say that the Coaches were a complete bargain costing me about one-quarter of the price than if I bought simmular items here locally.....some days your luck just holds - it certainly did to-day on e-Bay for the UK.

Well - it has been good fun spending the precious beans!
Until next time.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

The GOLDEN BOOK of Railways.

Hi. Received my Golden Book of Railways to-day from Canada. It is altogether a fabulous read and is very well illustrated with color drawings and photos- I find I can learn a lot from such books as these. The Golden Book tells about such things as who invented the steam engine and who built the first locomotives -  all about steam and a steam locomotive works....signalling - and a whole lot more. Just fabulous.

Books like The Golden Book of Railways are of the style and era ( the 1960s) which reminds me greatly of the books that I received as gifts as a youngster from my older cousin David Jenkins. I am very glad and extremely pleased to be able to acquire such wonderful books.

Last night I ordered a copy of  'The Bridport Branch'. The book is about the Dorset Branch line which closed in May 1975. I am hoping to learn enough about the Branch suffice to be able to better design my Hornby OO Railway Branch model. Looking forward to obtaining this book being particularly interested in seeing the photos and track diagrams and reading the history of the branch.

Well- that is about it for to-day.
Until next time.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Back up HORNBY J83.

Hi. Overnight I have ordered from the UK another Hornby J83 0-6-0T.
My reason behind obtaining a second J83 is that since I only intend to run one engine on my layout initially - then I shall need a spare working chassis should anything go wrong with the first J83.

Last night I ordered some PECO sheep, cows, pigs and coal sacks...Also, from Langley I ordered some seated passengers, a grocers set, ducks and geese, cats and luggage - all from the UK.

Things are progressing well at this stage. I need now to concentrate my efforts on Scratch Building - cottages and such....also will need to make railway buildings. This will take time.

Bye for now.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Triang & HORNBY.

Hi. I have found a good photo of the Triang 3F 'Jinty Tank.
 The Tri-ang 3F O-6-0T 'Jinty' was indeed the only engine that I yearned for in my youth- from 1962 onwards- I just liked the look of it. Now - several decades have passed since the 3F was manufactured and I can now can see that Hornby has indeed come a long way upon improving the model designs of this style of engine. The Triang 3F has various features which are not appealing - such as a very large magnet protruding into the Cab space of the engine- this feature to me is the most unrealistic part of the model- also, the rather large brass slot-screw forward of the left tank certainly is a distraction.

Above is shown the HORNBY J83 0-6-0T which to-day (July 2017) is a far superior model than the older 3F by Tri-ang. The best feature to my eyes is that the Cab of the J83 is totally vacant of any protrusions - and this looks most realistic. The J83 features the British Rail logo, lining of tanks, boiler and bunker and the numbers are also resplendant and crisply done.

Altogether I am very pleased with the HORNBY J83 - it is just superb for a ready-to-run model.
I have waited years to own such a HORNBY model - it has certainly been worth the wait.

Until next time...

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

NOSTALGIA - J83 Tank Locomotive.

Hi. Thought to do a little experiment and turn one of my color photos into black & white.

The Hornby J83 British Rail engine with Goods Train.
I also wanted to see how my Langley OO figures look.

All of my early viewing of model railways was indeed mostly in black & white captions as per the pages of RAILWAY MODELLER. 

Above is shown the Cover of the May 1972 RAILWAY MODELLER - I distinctly remember having this particular issue showing on the cover a Tank engine ( possibly an M7) -running bunker first with a passenger carriage over a trestle bridge into a tunnel. Fond memories with this magazine - and I hope to soon obtain a copy of the May 1972 Issue.

Well that is about it for to-night.
Until later.