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32-page layout planning guide

packed with trackplans, ideas and expert tips

Inspiration and ideas for people who love model railways

No. 176 December 2012 ÂŁ3.75

MR176 DECember 2012


Build a better

Railway Three amazing layouts based on famous places - and the secrets of their success

Liverpool Lime Street (EM) n Dduallt (OO9) n Medstead & Four Marks (OO) n Easy Evening Projects


easy evening projects

simple superdetailing for hornby diesels

How to: add steam age dirt & texture



Model News RICHARD FOSTER brings you the biggest stories from the model railway trade and progress reports on products currently in development.

Teasing glimpse of Kernow D600 K ernow Model Rail Centre has unveiled the first images of its eagerly anticipated ready-to-run North British ‘Warship’ diesel-hydraulic - four years and six months after the project was announced! Producing such a model has been tricky as the last of the five-strong class (Class 41 under TOPS) was broken up in 1980, all five having been withdrawn in 1967. With no real locomotive to scan or measure, research has been painstaking in order to ensure ultimate accuracy. Now, however, the first test ‘shots’ of the cab have been produced – design work has moved to the completing the rest of the bodyshell. Dapol is producing the model for

Kernow. Each guise is limited to just 750 models (complete with a certificate). The model will boast etched nameplates, working directional and cab lighting, five-pole skew-wound motor with flywheels and be DCC Ready. As yet, no delivery date has been confirmed as, a statement from Kernow says, “models produced in China are taking ever longer to produce and it is getting increasingly difficult to forecast when [they] may be delivered.” It is hoped that the ‘Warships’ will be available during 2013. RRP is £132.99 and pre-orders are being taken. See www.kernowmodel or call 01209 714099.



Kernow’s NBL ‘Warships’


What’s planned? n K2600: D600 Active, BR blue with full yellow ends, headcode boxes and later style side grilles n K2601: D601 Ark Royal, overall BR green, headcode discs and louvres n K2602: D602 Bulldog, BR green (small yellow ends), headcode boxes and grilles n K2603: D603 Conquest, BR green (small yellow ends), discs and grilles n K2604: D604 Cossack, overall BR green, discs and grilles Price? £132.99 When’s it due? 2013 Where can I find out more?


Model Rail 176 December 2012

Got a news story or new product? p10 Hornby’s GWR ‘72XX’ 2-8-2T appears in colour for the first time.

Send your press releases, details and high-resolution images to richard.foster@ or telephone 01733 395154


CHris Nevard

RealTrack ‘144’ gets the green light 00 Gauge

It’s been a long-time coming but the ready-to-run Class 144 two-car DMU from Realtrack Models looks as though it will be worth the wait. This is the first powered model from Realtrack, which has only previously offered the RTR FLA container flat wagons.

However, this pre-production ‘144’, displayed at Model Rail Live, shows that the newcomer can hold its own in the finish stakes. Realtrack plans four versions of Class 144, which is due in Spring 2013 and to be followed by the Class 143: RT144-114: 114009, West Yorkshire

PTE livery, Arriva branding; RT144-113: 144003, West Yorkshire PTE livery, Northern branding; RT144-112: 144007, pre-2011 Northern livery; RT144-111: 144008, current Northern livery. RRP is £110.00. To find out more, go to www.realtrackmodels.


Updates on models coming to your layout soon.



Hornby Thompson ‘O1’ 2-8-0 What’s planned?

n R3088/X: LNER plain black n R3089/X: BR black, early crest (weathered) n R3090/X: BR black, late crest Price? From £124.99 When’s it due? December 2012 Where can I find out more?

N Gauge

Graham Farish Class 55 Co-Co

What’s planned? n 371-285: D9007 Pinza, overall BR green n 371-286: D9002 The King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, BR green with small yellow ends n 371-287: 55005 The Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire, BR blue Price? £97.45 When’s it due? 2013 Where can I find out more?

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What’s new Reviews

Key to icons

Model of the month

Dapol GWR/BR ‘57XX’ 0-6-0PT I


Dapol ND-204A BR plain black/early crest No. 6713, ND-204B Great Western green No. 6739

N 6



DCC ready


Period 1929-1971 region WR/LMR/SR/LT Availability Ixion stockists Use with Anything! Price

rrp £69.99

Looks 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Value for money

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10




Great looks & fine detail, good performance, excellent value.


Some detail and livery discrepancies

f there was one design philosophy that permeated Swindon Works, it was ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. That’s why the Great Western Railway’s all-new standard tank locomotive, unveiled to the world in 1929, looked just like a design produced 30 years earlier. And if that wasn’t enough, more than 800 were built until the last, No. 6779, was turned out from Swindon Works in 1950! More ‘57XXs’ were built than any other post-1923 design so it’s surprising that ‘N’ gauge modellers have had to make do until now with a rather elderly Graham Farish model, albeit one that Bachmann has tweaked. Bachmann addressed this earlier this year when it announced that it would give its model a new chassis; unfortunately for Bachmann, Dapol trumped this news a few months later that it would

produce a completely new, all-singing, all dancing ‘57XX’. And it is this model that you see over these pages. Photographs of the pre-production prototypes showed great promise, especially when coupled to typically bold Dapol boasts about its model sporting see-through spoked wheels and being DCC Ready. It’s therefore pleasing to say that the ‘57XXs’ really do meet expectation levels. Dapol kindly supplied two ‘57XXs’ for review: No. 6713 in plain BR black with the early emblem and No. 6739 in GWR green with ‘Great Western’ lettering. Both depict the original ‘57XX’ design with flatter cab roof and

circular spectacle glasses. The real No. 6713 was built by Bagnalls of Stafford in 1930 while No. 6739 was one of a batch built by Yorkshire Engine Company in 1930-1931. The ‘57XX’ immediately looks ‘spot on’ when you open the box. At first glance, the ‘face’ appears just right. It’s the curve of the smokebox door that’s the most pleasing aspect. Casting your eye over the rest of the model, the see-through spoked wheels are clearly obvious and nicely finished. Another stand-out feature is that there’s nothing immediately obvious inside the cab – except for a moulded representation of the fixtures and

Sound option



fitted fitted




ready socket




Eight-pin decoder socket fitted



Six-pin decoder socket fitted

fittings. However, tilting the model will reveal the six-pin DCC socket – and blanking plate – on the cab floor. Ingenious stuff! Before you forget the box completely, it’s worth listing the ‘extras’ that are supplied in re-sealable plastic bags: in one, you get Dapol’s smaller moulded couplers, the tool for adjusting the connecting rods, fine screw couplings and some little mouldings that your reviewer struggled to identify – but more on these later. In the other bag are a pair of Dapol’s magnetic Easi-shunt

21 PIN

21-pin decoder socket fitted

The see-through spoked wheels are clearly evident and the cab pleasingly lacks ‘clutter’.

Dapol’s GWR ‘57XX’ is one of the finest British-outline ‘N’ gauge steam models produced to date.

Sprung buffers

Front headlights


Budget model

Directional white/red headlights

couplers. These, like the other supplier units, easily slot into the NEM pockets.

Closer inspection

The model compares well to line diagrams in both Brian Haresnape’s Collett & Hawksworth Locomotives and JH Russell’s A Pictorial Record of Great Western Engines Vol 2. There really is very little in the overall shape that leaps out as being inaccurate – it looks like a ‘57XX’ from every angle. The only quibble concerns the shape of the chimney, a notoriously difficult thing for manufacturers to get right. The model’s has a distinctive taper which is reflected in the drawings. However, while photographs do show a taper, it is not to the extent of either model or drawings. The other omission is the lack of lamp irons

Interior lights


Detachable couplings in NEM pockets

Powered roof fan

Working pantograph

above the front bufferbeam. There’s very little else to criticise though. The model bristles with fine detail. There are wire handrails all round – the ones on the cab roof and bunker are particularly fine. The tank tops are superb: the tank fillers, tank vents and top feed are well executed and the pipes and lifting eyes are crisply moulded. The injectors, sanding gear, tool boxes and tank mounts between tank and footplate look good too. Another ‘plus point’ are the commendably fine grilles that protect the rear cab spectacles from coal damage. Happily, all this fine detail is sturdy and should resist all but the most hamfisted of handling. Obviously, there are some compromises due to the tolerances of manufacturing such fine detail in this

Factfile: GWR ‘57XX’ 0-6-0PT The Great Western Railway did not produce a ‘standardised’ shunting locomotive until 1929 when the first ‘57XXs’ emerged from Swindon. The design was credited to C.B. Collett but was effectively an update of a much earlier design. The 0-6-0ST had been the GWR’s preferred wheel arrangement for shunters until it settled on using the square topped Belpaire firebox. As a result it had to move to a pannier tank design. Scores of Armstrong and Dean saddletanks were rebuilt as 0-6-0PTs and the ‘57XX’ copied the earlier ‘2700’. On paper, the design was antiquated as the locomotives retained slide rather than piston valves. In practice, however, the ‘57XX’ was an excellent locomotive and could haul quite lengthy trains. There were very few areas of the GWR that couldn’t find work for a ‘57XX’; in 1954, only five WR sheds didn’t have a ‘57XX’ on their books. Some 863 were built and government work incentives meant that No. 7777, built by Armstrong Whitworth in 1930, stands at the head of a line of ‘57XXs’ at Reading shed on August 19 1951. The pannier behind is an ‘8750’ – the change in cab style is clear to see. PHILIP J KELLEY.

most of the pre-war locomotives were put together by outside contractors including North British, Bagnall, Kerr Stuart, Yorkshire Engine Company and Armstrong Whitworth. No. 8750 was fitted with a larger cab, and subsequent machines were known as ‘8750s’. The only other variations were ten locomotives with condensing equipment for working through Metropolitan Line tunnels to London’s Smithfield Market. The ‘57XXs’ weren’t just restricted to WR metals. Some were transferred to the Southern at Waterloo and Folkestone Harbour. The LMR also received some after regional boundary changes. Some also found work after BR declared them redundant. London Transport used 12 until 1971 whilst others went to the National Coal Board; No. 7754 working until 1975. Happily, 16 ‘57XXs’ are preserved.

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Medstead & Four Marks EDDIE FIELD describes the layout built by his late friend Geoff Peel of the station at the end of his road. Photography: CHRIS NEVARD Artwork: ANDREW MACKINTOSH



1 Trains cross at Medstead & Four Marks. The buildings were scratchbuilt in plastic card.



THE ‘SIX BY FOUR’ SOLUTION PAUL A. LUNN’s quest to design a realistic model railway in a train set space challenges conventions even further – can you really build a 6ft by 4ft end-to-end layout? Part 3: the end-to-end Photography & artwork: PAUL A. LUNN


hy is it that most 6ft by 4ft baseboard designs succumb to the traditional oval? It’s as if our mindset is stuck with the concept, unable to break free. It’s perhaps because 6ft by 4ft appears to be too restrictive a space and best suits an oval. But even then, there are considerable limitations. The way to unlock a 6ft by 4ft’s potential is to accept that trains have to be limited to something like a two-car DMU or a couple of 57ft coaches and a tank locomotive. Now you can consider the space in a largely untried format. My vision of a 6ft by 4ft end-to-end layout emerged after a few doodles. The idea of a second radius circuit at one end with three sets of tracks emerging from it provided what I was looking for; two scenic sections, non-scenic sidings and huge operational benefits. First, and most important, is that the circuit facilitates a locomotive ‘running-round’ by uncoupling from one end of a train, traversing the circuit to the other end, before departing from whence it came. By using the circuit, a locomotive will appear to have been ‘turned’, as if by an off-scene turntable or triangle. If this is not to your liking, park it on one of the headshunts (A or B - see p38), push the coaches past, and couple the locomotive onto the other end. Additionally the headshunts enable locomotive and stock changes using the Peco SL-43 Loco Lift. More often than not, I usually design layouts with a prototype in mind, though that is not the case here. This layout started life purely as a track plan, its location and scenic treatment came about during the late stages of that process. While it subsequently became a South Wales mining town, it could, with some scenic modification, easily be the Midlands, Yorkshire or anywhere where coal was an essential part of the local industrial landscape.


My earlier designs clearly reflect the arrangement at Pleasley Vale and while I retained the large boiler house chimney in the final scheme almost all the remaining buildings were replaced by brick built steel framed structures.

Model Rail 176 December 2012

Expert Tip

If you’re getting frustrated with a layout design, walk away from it for a few days and return to it with a clear head.



Design evolution

With this particular layout, what follows comprises a number of sketches and doodles to show the process of arriving at a final design. All share a similar scenic theme and track plan though, as you’ll see, there are some substantial differences.

SKETCHES A & B My initial ‘roughs’ are very much that and sometimes it’s quite difficult to see where I’m going with a particular design. I think that my thought process compensates so that I see them, in my head, as a more finished product, which is great for me but maybe not so for any one observing my work! These particular examples are

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reasonably explicit and you can see the shape of things to come, especially the second of the two with baseboard heights

clearly defined, though the two silos (yes that’s what they are!) never materialised in any of the final designs.





The Ffestiniog Railway has constantly evolved over the last 180-odd years. ROB WALLER describes how one of its most famous locations was recreated in 4mm:1ft scale. Photography: Chris Nevard Artwork: Andrew Mackintosh

1 Ex-Penrhyn Hunslet 2-4-0STT Blanche arrives at Dduallt with a train from Porthmadog. Baldwin 2-4-0DM Moelwyn descends the spiral with an engineer’s train. Rhoslyn Cottage was apparently intended to be a hotel.





HOW TO... detail a wagon kit

GEORGE DENT tackles a new detailing etch for Dapol’s popular Class B tank wagon kit. RT Models is a small firm specialising in locomotive and wagon kits, with a predominantly narrow gauge and industrial theme. However, a number of kits and accessories are designed for BR main line subjects. Under test here is a small set of etched detailing components designed to improve the timeless Dapol 35t Class B oil tank kit. Dating back to 1960, this plastic kit was originally produced by Airfix and, like others in the range, is of such high quality that it’s still in production today with Dapol. Nonetheless, one of its weakest areas is undoubtedly the heavily moulded plastic walkways and access ladders. Not surprisingly, the RT Models etch concentrates on these areas, with a replacement set of ladders, walkways and all necessary mounting brackets, plus a new doorstop for the loading hatch and a discharge valve operating wheel. Etched in 0.25mm nickel silver, the parts are easy to cut from the fret, with plenty of room around the tangs for free access to a pair of snips, thus reducing the risk of distortion of the delicate parts. Half-etched fold lines are provided wherever they’re needed and the thinness of the material makes rolling the ladders to their distinctive shape a doddle. Mounting holes need to be drilled for the new parts and, once seated and fixed with cyano glue, the assembly is rugged. However, careful handling is needed to avoid damaging the ladders. Indeed, it’s the marking-out




Etched detail kit for Dapol/Airfix Class B tank wagon kit • Price: 2.50

AvailAbility RT Models, 75 Yew Tree Close, Spring Gardens, Shrewsbury SY1 2UR. • Web: www.


and drilling of these holes that is the hardest part of this project, as accuracy is vital for the parts to look right atop the tank barrel. Fortunately, the job is made easier by reading the illustrated instructions supplied with each pack. At only £2.50 per wagon, the details offer excellent value and make a terrific difference to the appearance of the model. The top of any wagon is often the most viewed aspect, so it pays to make the most of these tank wagons and the detailing provides an enjoyable project. Highly recommended.

Estimated Time 3hrs per wagon

Tools needed

• Tweezers • Craft knife • Rollers • Pin vice & bits • Metal snips • Needle files Highly visible facets of wagons are always worth improving - RT Models ladders and walkways greatly enhance the Dapol tank kit. The perforated etched components add a touch of finesse to the top of the tank barrel.

what else do i need?

Dapol/Airfix Esso Class B tank wagon transfers. Available from Cambridge Custom Transfers, 6 Roseland Gardens, Bodmin PL31 2EY. Web:

Photography: George dent


Mounting holes also need drilling for the ladder brackets. The lower ladder fixings slot behind the solebars and must be secured with cyano glue. Ensure that the ladders sit vertically by checking with a setsquare.


Model Rail 176 December 2012

Expert Tip

For tidy joints, always apply cyano glue by decanting a blob onto a scrap of card and using a cocktail stick to place a tiny amount exactly where it’s needed. For

Excellent value, easy to assemble and fit, offers terrific detail upgrade.

rating 98% Against

Little of note.

Before and after: Dapol’s ex-Airfix rolling stock kits can produce great models, 40 years since their first release (left). However, they can be made even better with a little work and a decent detailing etch.

how to do it: Fitting RT Models detailing parts 1

Each etched nickel silver sheet contains a pair of walkways, ladders, fixing brackets and handwheels. Cut the parts carefully with a set of mini snips or a sharp blade over a block of plywood. Tidy up the edges with a needle file.


Fix the walkways with tiny drops of cyano on the brackets, lining up the pair carefully so they sit symmetrically. Use minimal adhesive in order not to clog the etched tread panels. Also fit the hand valve wheel and doorstop.

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The recesses for the original walkways need filling and sanding flush with the barrel’s surface. Mark out and drill the 1mm mounting holes for the brackets. After folding them to a ‘U’ shape, attach the brackets with cyano glue.


The ladders need forming to their distinctive curved shape. Before folding up the mounts, roll a steel rod over the back of the ladder, while placed on the back of a computer mouse mat, until the desired shape is achieved.


With the detail kit fitted, the wagon can be cleaned up and primed before painting and finishing.


Workbench OJECT PR



PETER MARRIOTT identifies ten ways to make your layout even better that you can complete in an evening - and they won’t break the bank either.




This doesn’t mean an empty corner that can be filled with, say, another siding or a building. What we’re talking about is a corner where litter accumulates or where boxes are stored. Even a small pile of discarded newspapers in a corner will add to the atmosphere of a layout. The range of accessories now available is enormous but don’t be tempted to over-detail a layout. It will begin to look too crowded if you do. The level of detail that we all want to add to our layouts depends on the time we wish to spend on them, the cost of detailing parts, and the location and period of our layout. For instance, a busy inner-city station in 2012 might suit much more clutter than a branch line station in the 1930s.


Some details can be added temporarily - for example, for photographic purposes - while others you will want to fix down permanently. Use Deluxe Materials Tacky Wax to hold things in place temporarily. Use contact adhesive or white PVA glue for permanent positioning of details.


Luggage trolleys, ticket collectors, passengers, station staff, notices, parcels, lamps, milk churns (depending on the era), platform seats, travel posters, nameboards, fire buckets, taxis, local buses, skips, bus stops and shelters and cycle stands are just some small items that can be added to many layouts.

Who makes them?

Bachmann Scenecraft, Dapol, Dart Castings, Faller, Kibri, Harburn Hamlet, Hornby Skaledale, Langley Models, Mike Models, Model Scene, Preiser, Noch, Ten Commandments and Woodland Scenics are just some of the firms making detailing accessories.

The next step

Make your own bits of ‘flying newspapers’ by cutting up small pieces of paper and attaching them to the platforms and pavements of your layout with a drop of PVA adhesive.


A nicely made building on a layout can be spoilt by a gap running around the base. Maybe the building is placed there temporarily but it will look so much better when it is bedded into the layout.

Photography: Peter Marriott


A mixture of very fine real earth and static grass fibres make the join easy to hide if the building is already fixed in place. Run a thin bead of PVA around the base of the building with a small paintbrush and sprinkle on fine earth and/or apply static grass fibres from a puffer bottle. Or see MR175 for Chris Leigh’s expert advice on bedding buildings into layouts as you build them.

Who makes them?

Real fine earth can be bought from Model Landscape Company ( and Treemendus ( Static grass fibres are made by a number of companies (see MR152 Supertest).

The next step

If you’re scratchbuilding a model, include the foundations so the building can then be properly planted into the ground (see MR175).


Model Rail 176 December 2012

Expert Tip

On contemporary layouts, don’t forget to add TPWS loops between the rails to close your signals (see left).


An array of trackside details can be added to the edges of layouts, including Network Rail or British Railways vans, permanent way teams, cut tree stumps, rubbish and litter, lineside and security fencing, platelayers’ huts, lamp huts, speed restriction signs, AWS boxes, walking paths along the line, telegraph poles with wires, warning signs to pedestrians, ‘Whistle’ signs, piles of sleepers, piles of ballasts, sacks of sand and track components, weeds, wild flowers and signals.


Many accessories are supplied ready painted and assembled, though others require painting. They can all be fixed down with contact adhesive, PVA or superglue.

Who makes them?

Bachmann Scenecraft, Dapol, Dart Castings, Faller, Kibri, Harburn Hamlet, Hornby Skaledale, Langley Models, Mike Models, Model Scene, Preiser, Noch, Ten Commandments and Woodland Scenics. Ready-made working signals are available from Eckon/Berko, Gaugemaster, Hornby and Traintronics. Working lights are made by Brawa, Busch, Heljan, Langley Models, Viessmann and Walthers.

The next step

Some European manufacturers such as Viessmann manufacture working accessories and animated figures to bring even more life to a scene.

4 SIGNS OF THE TIMES Signs are one of those important small features on a layout that don’t have to cost a lot in money or time but really do make a big visual impression. They determine the layout’s location or intended period. Signs are everywhere around stations, on buildings or platforms and railway land. In addition there are trackside signs, street signs, shops, industrial signs, advertising hoardings and road signs. At stations, the signs might include travel and advertising posters, door notices (such as ‘Booking Office’ or ‘Private’), exit signs, double-arrow signs, timetables, and many more. These all create the visual image of a location of the station.


Cut carefully around the sign with a fresh blade. The white edges of the sign can be touched in by carefully running a black marker pen around them. Then cut a length of plastic rod and fix to the reverse of the sign with contact adhesive or PVA. Paint the reverse of the sign and the post the correct colour with acrylic paints.

Who makes them?

A large number of manufacturers produce station posters, signs and road furniture. These include: n Bespoke station signs in a number of scales from n Electra Railway Graphics modern station signs in

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2mm, 4mm and 7mm scales. See n Hornby Skaledale road signs in both historical and current styles n Langley Products and Dart Castings’ traditional road signs n Noch and Ten Commanwdments road works temporary signage n Scalescenes is an internet-based company that offers a bespoke signage service. See www. n Signs of the Times products are now available from Ten Commandments at www.cast-in-stone. n Tiny Signs ‘OO’ and ‘N’ scale signs for stations of the major railway companies of the UK are available from Gaugemaster stockists n Downloadable signs from n Railwayscenics, 14 Woodsage Drive, Gillingham, Dorset SP8 4UF

The next step

You can also make your own by taking digital pictures of real advertisements and signs then reduce them to scale on a computer screen and print them in colour.


Workbench PROJECT

HOW TO... Detail A budget diesel

Hornby’s budget Railroad range offers budding super-detailers the chance to hone their skills without the risk of damaging a £100 model. GEORGE DENT shows what can be done to a pair of diesels.

Photography: George dent


ver wanted to super-detail a locomotive but the thought of taking a knife to a £125 model brings you out in a cold sweat? Well, Hornby’s budget Railroad range of steam and diesel locomotives offers the perfect solution in this rewarding area of the hobby. The Lima Class 31, introduced in 1989, was a real favourite among ‘OO’ diesel fans and, although it has been superseded by the high-spec Hornby release of 2005, the latter has not been without problems. Re-released as a Railroad model, the ex-Lima ‘31’ costs a fraction of the price of its stable mate, yet offers the potential for an equally realistic Brush Type 2. With the high specification ‘31’ retailing at more than £140, the Railroad version is a much more attractive proposition, with some retailers listing a price of less than £50.


As with so many other products of the pre-2000 era, it doesn’t look that impressive straight from the box. Indeed, the budget price dictates a basic level of decoration and fittings (no cab interiors and the minimum of livery accoutrements). However, the after-market sector boasts much in the way of detailing parts, paints and transfers whilst fittings from the ‘high spec’ Hornby product can also be obtained from spares specialists such as East Kent Models. For this project, I was especially excited about trying out some new Extreme Etchings products, including an exquisite roof grille and fan, plus a pack of laser-cut flush glazing. Settling on a suitable prototype took some time, compounded by the fact that Hornby has erroneously coupled a refurbished cab front with an

un-refurbished body. With such a mish-mash of features, I fluctuated between recreating an early 1990s ETH-fitted ‘31/4’ to a late 1970s steam-heat version. After consulting many books, magazines and websites, I settled on an early 1980s rendition of a North West-based, primarily freight machine, 31154. I last super-detailed a Lima Class 31 seven years ago (MR79) and the newer upgrade parts are light years ahead of the old Craftsman Models detailing kit. Hornby’s improved mechanism is also much better than the temperamental Lima ‘pancakes’ of yore. In fact, the only aspect of the finished ‘31’ that I’d still like to improve is the wheelsets. They’re a bit coarse and would greatly benefit from a replacement set. Hopefully the likes of Ultrascale will offer a conversion pack in time.

Model Rail 176 December 2012

Expert Tip

You never know when spare parts may come in useful. Extra brake pipes or lamp brackets from upmarket models can find a home on budget upgrades.



Upgrading the Class 37


Hornby Railroad R3067 Class 31; R2775 Class 37 • Price: rrp £62.50 each

AvailAbility Hornby stockists

Difficulty Estimated Time

30 hours per locomotive

Tools needed

• Knife • Tweezers • Files • Drill and bits • Sanding sticks • Pin Flow applicator • Pliers, cutters • Razor saw • Black marker pen

Left: Now available at ‘entry level’ prices, the Railroad range is perfect for those interested in detailing and repainting. You have to look closely to realise that these models date back to the 1980s.

Why super-detail?

The demand for comprehensive detailing upgrades for new locomotives has waned dramatically over the past decade. But, that’s not to say that the necessary skills and materials are redundant. For many of us, it’s this kind of ‘hands on’ modelling that keeps us interested. Besides, being able to correct a manufacturer’s error, repair damage or modify a certain aspect to create something unique, will stand any modeller in good stead.

Previous ex-Lima releases have included Class 20, 33, 37, 40, 47 and 55. Of these, perhaps, the English Electric duo of ‘37’ and ‘40’ offers the most in the way of super-detailing potential, with 4mm scale purists still maintaining that the venerable ‘Whistler’ tooling is more accurate than Bachmann’s offering. Indeed, there are countless detail upgrade

how to do it: Detailing the Railroad Class 37 1

The ex-Lima Class 37 has also been offered in the Railroad range and benefits greatly from new windscreen surrounds. See MR160 for a demo on fitting these excellent Shawplan parts.


Lamp brackets, from a ViTrains Class 37, replace the moulded ‘lumps’ on the Railroad model’s nose. Brass buffers improve the chassis and ViTrains parts can also be plundered for brake pipes.

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parts for both the ‘37’ and ‘40’ and, with improved cab windscreens and a few ‘nips and tucks’ here and there, both can produce convincing models. Even when factoring the price of new buffers, glazing and various etched parts, paint and transfers, the overall cost is still modest. There’s also the challenge and reward of the project to enjoy too, which is worth every penny.


After adding the cab overlays and filling around the edges, other details such as air horns and roof grilles can be installed.


Cab interiors are a worthwhile addition, either scratch-built from plastic sheet or improvised from spare parts. This cab interior was salvaged from an old Hornby Class 25.



LIVERPOOL LIME STREET Building an exact replica of a big city terminus is a distant dream for most of us, but JOHN HOLDEN is doing just that with his spectacular re-creation of Liverpool Lime Street in 1947. BEN JONES gets a rare glimpse behind the scenes of this outstanding ‘EM’ gauge work in progress. Photography: CHRIS NEVARD



Model Rail December Sampler  

Sample Issue of December 2012 Model Rail Magazine

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