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.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Langley OO Figures -Arrive.

Hi. This afternoon my order for Langley OO Figures arrived from the UK. This evening I painted up three figures as a 'Train Crew' consisting of a Driver, Fireman and a Guard.

The Hornby J83 Tank Locomotive with it's Langley figures of the Driver in the cab and the Fireman.
( Keen observers will note the splashes of green on the Driver figure- I will need to fix this up).

Goods train with 'Train Crew'.

The Langley Guard with his Hornby 'Thomas' Guards Van'.

The Langley OO Train Crew and the Hornby Goods Train.


The Langley OO figures are superb - full of detail and character.
The cast pewter Langley figures are supplied with a cast on additional 'pin' on one of the figures shoes- presumably one drills a hole in the baseboard and then glue the figure into position. My preference is the make the figures able to be moved from place to I removed the pin and filed the feet of the figure and attached the figure to a little rectangle of 0.5mm styrene - to serve as a base. I used Supa Glue.

Most pleased with the Langley OO figures - they are certainly something I have yearned for all these years -if not decades- very pleased to have them to populate my proposed Layout.

Well that is about it for now.
Until latter.

Sunday, 16 July 2017


Hi. This evening I was looking at e-bay in the UK and low and behold I found advertised a specific book which I remember being my first ever Train Book. It did not take long for me to decide to purchase the book.
The DEAN book as I remember was presented to me as a gift from my older Cousin David when Mum and I visited our Aunt Thelma at Miranda NSW. David is very generous and over the early years of the 1960s I received several 'Annuals' form David. I cherished these books greatly - though alas in my Teens my older Brother swiped most of my books and things to sell the items in Sydney to support his gambling- which I did not realize at the time....I just thought my things had a habbit of going missing.

I have over these past few years managed to replace these cherished books from  my childhood- with the help of e-Bay. I have managed to obtain copies of most of the books which my Cousin David gave to me all those decades ago. To-night finding the DEAN book is just something extra special.
 If my memory serves me well - on the inside of the cover of the book is a color picture of the 'GOLDEN ARROW' leaving a rather large station.

The DEAN book is something special. I count myself as being very-very fortunate.

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

Thursday, 13 July 2017

HORNBY J83 Tank LOCOMOTIVE Arrives - a bit of Tinkering.

Hi. My Hornby J83 0-6-0T Locomotive arrived to-day. On opening the package from the UK there was a bit I wanted to do on the model - First, to repair the rear chassis 'lug' which locks into the coal bunker which had been broken off- a simple job with some Super Glue. Secondly, I needed to purchase a Hornby Coupling to attach to the front buffer beam of the model- fortunately our Local Hobby Co had a set of Couplings which I picked up this afternoon for $3.50 - pretty close to exactly what I wanted. Thirdly, I decided that the J83 needed a 'Floor' in the cab - I made one out of a piece of card and painted the floor  black and fixed it to the chassis with Super Glue.

Above: The J83 showing the smaller Hornby Coupling at the front of the chassis and my simple card Cab 'Floor' ( before painting).

The J83 assembled - I just had to put a Floor in the cab as I couldn't bare to look into the cab and see day-light....much better with a Floor - and it will provide a sturdy base for the Locomotive Crew.

I would have to say that Hornby have come a long way since the 1970s in terms of the finish applied to their products ....the printed Lining, Numbers, Lettering and Logo -are just simply perfect!

Whilst at the bench this afternoon I made up a simple 'Un-Coupling Tool' from scrap styrene ...the idea is to place the 25mm x 25mm 'Spade Bit' under the Hornby Tension Hooks and lift upwards - to unlock the Hooks. (This Device Works Perfectly- every time!).

Very pleased with the Hornby J83 0-6-0T is altogether a splendid little Locomotive.
( I may need to obtain a back up J83 for parts -as things do eventually wear - a second new chassis would be advisable and a good idea).

Through the week I purchased some Hornby Rolling Stock in the form of those offered by the Thomas The Tank range.
One of the grey Covered Wagons will be painted up in  an all-white scheme for 'Milk' service.
I now have two Cattle Wagons, Four Closed Vans, five Open wagons and one Guards Van.

Above: The essential Guards Van -most suitable for British Rail service.
Yes, 'SODOR' printed on the open wagon does not worry me as I am thinking of building my Layout with a Thomas type 'feel' about it. Very fond of TtT.

For my Hornby J83 Locomotive I purchased the 'Old Slow Coach' for service. Thinking of a Branch Line....will probably need to de-Thomas the end of the Coach and restore the end to a regular appearance.

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

Saturday, 8 July 2017


Hello. This evening I have ordered several books from the UK -all in excellent condition.

The PSL MODEL RAILWAY GUIDES - by Michael Andress (UK).
Book 1 - Vol 1 & 2: 'Baseboards, Track & Electrification'. 'Layout Planning'.
Book 2 - Vol 3 & 4: 'Structure Modelling'. 'Scenery'.
Book 3 - Vol 5 & 6: 'Operating Your Layout'. 'Branch Line Railways'.
Book 4 - Vol 7 & 8: 'Modern Railways'. 'Narrow-Gauge Railways'.

I am thoroughly looking forward to receiving these Model Railway Guides (1988) - particularly Book #3 on 'Operating Your Layout' and 'Branch Line Railways'....I have a very good feeling that I will be learning a great deal from the PSL Series and Mr Andress.

To-night I re-read my copy of RAILWAY MODELLER March 1975.

I have long cherished the march 1975 issue of RM it contains one of my all time favorite model railways. 
P.D. Hancock's- 'CRAIGSHIRE'.
Craigshire is an OO9 and OO Layout - which features both Narrow-Gauge and Standard Gauge in a scenic setting which is altogether inspiring modelling by Mr Hancock.
One of the features which drew me to admire the Craigshire layout was indeed Mr Hancock's use and placement of the miniature OO people that he used to populate his creation. Mr Hancock's narrative is also inspiring which he wrote for his article and write up for 'The Railway of The Month'. I just love the harbourside setting of 'Craig' and indeed the climb up to 'Dundreich' Village.

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

Thursday, 6 July 2017


Spent some good hours last night re-reading John H. Ahern's  fabulous and very informative 1950s Book - 'Miniature Building Construction'. At this stage of pre-planning for my OO Hornby Layout I have thought of four choices when it comes to obtaining the Buildings that I will eventually need.
Firstly, I could Scratch Model everything from raw materials such as cardboard and timber etc and save myself a good deal of funds and provide myself with hours upon hours of great activity.
Secondly, I could choose to obtain the excellent Card Model Kits by 'SUPERQUICK' and/or 'METCALF'....decisions, decisions - these kits go together well and are indeed very affordable.
Thirdly, I could pay a handsome sum for Ready-Made HORNBY Buildings - such as those belonging to the 'Skaledale' Range....nothing wrong with this- however these types of models do come at rather high prices.
Fourthly, I could choose a combination of Scratch Built, Card Model Kits and Ready Made.

In the past I have done a fair bit of Scratch Modelled Buildings - and re-reading John H. Ahern's book has indeed inspired me that I should give the time honored methods a go and see what I can come up with in the way of usable Buildings for my Layout.


Last night I managed to spend some pleasurable and entertaining  hours going through my old copies of RAILWAY MODELLER- which I might add: I treat like GOLD!

An article in the July 1967 edition by Dave Howsam- all about his Exhibition layout - PORTHLEVEN certainly stuck a chord with me about how to successfully go about building a 'Branch' type layout. A most impressive GWR model - which was chosen as Railway Modeller 'Railway of the month'. Porthleven is certainly worth referring too as I go about planning my own layout.

 Today I traveled to Mittagong NSW and brought home the PECO Setrack OO Planbook. I shall go about using tracing paper and pencil to mark out my SETRACK layout - using the plans in the PECO book as a guide for the exact track pieces I shall require.

I also purchased a Wiring Booklet - which will help me with the Basics for the layout.


At this stage ( three days into my Project) ...I am thinking about a Layout which will be ANALOG ... all PECO Code 100 Setrack, with all PECO Insulfog Points and some Sectional gaps.....a little undecided on building either a Branch Line or a Through Station as the main theme of the layout. Though I'd certainly like to include a Continuous Run. I should spend a good deal of time planning out the Layout entirely - several times - with several alternatives to help finalize a Design.

Until Latter.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017


Hello. Well- where to start...I've arrived at the time where I know that time IS running out for me to build a Model Railway. Over the decades I've managed to dapple in various scales from N to G...all along it was the same pattern of activity- building up a small collection of items then selling it all. Last night I put some serious thought to answer the question - why hadn't I aspired to building a Layout?

I guess we need to look back in time for an answer. When I was in Primary School all my friends had OO Scale Railway Layouts- some Triang some Hornby....I seemed to be content to have some very colorful and interesting Hornby Catalogs and I spent hours pouring over them at the Kitchen table - dreaming about a time when I'd be able to afford such wonderful models. Our small Local Hobby Shop was Mr Barnes 'Cycle & Hobby Shop' where he had a very good range of Hornby- Triang, Scalextric and Airfix my teens I placed on order for a Hornby 'Jinty' tank locomotive...some days later my Dad told me to see Mr Barnes and cancel the hopes and dreams of owning the little black British Rail tank locomotive were dashed.

Much later at about the age of 22 -I did buy that little BR 'Jinty' tank - which I only had for a short while and then I gave the Locomotive to our friend Peter for his son Bradley to run on his layout. Why the fascination with the small Tank Locomotives?...long ago as a child- Mum and I would visit my Aunt Thelma at Miranda...David my Cousin- who was much older than I- would generously present me with books as a welcome gift -like Boys Annuals and picture books about British Locomotives and Trains....I tended to know more about British trains than I did about our own New South Wales types. I certainly knew what 'The Golden Arrow' was!

I liked Tank locomotives of British outline- their shape and size appealed to me- I thought them to be a most sensible and practical design....and yes an 0-6-0T seems always to be a favorite type of locomotive...although I do like the Webb Coal Tanks, Adams Radial and Wainrights as well.

So- it would seem that for a life-time I've denied myself the opportunity to build a layout. As of today- I'm very determined not to be dissuaded from achieving a Model Railway Layout.

Why OO Scale and Hornby? Well - I guess it is what we grew up with...4mm/ft is indeed a most practical scale and gives very appealing sized models. I certainly prefer OO.
 For my proposed Railway Layout I have chosen to purchase this Hornby J83 0-6-0T in early British Rail scheme- it is an excellent model...the model is on it's way from the UK. From the outset of thinking about my Layout I have decided that it will be served by just one Locomotive to begin with- just one, doing all the work on both Freight and Passenger trains.
 For Freight and Carriage stock I will be obtaining these Hornby types from the 'Thomas The Tank' range. The two wagons and brake van shown above are on their way from Melbourne (Australia).
I am very fond of miniature figures and am particularly choosy when it comes to figures that will bring so much life and character to my Layout - I have chosen to obtain those OO figures in pewter by Ian Langley from the UK....I think that they are excellently sculpted and I do look forward to painting and basing them up for duty.

A rather big influence upon the type of Layout to be designed is heavily influenced by the famous Author Rev W.Awdry's 1959 'OO' travelling exhibition model. (6ft x 4ft).
I will have considerably more space to model my Layout - with a sizable shed - I can choose from going 6'x4' right up to 13'x5'6"......which I might add Is my next stage - the PLANNING .....this will take some time to do and should be enjoyable.

Well - that IS about it for our first installment about beginning a Hornby Model Railway Layout.

Until next time.