ESNG meeting – 26 March 2023

A pleasant Sunday afternoon with six members present and sometimes correct.  The usual layout was quickly set up, and trains running.


Plenty of variety today.  Swiss trains from Allan and Richard….


Colourful American steam from Simon….

Phil ran a mail train, and watched them all go by….

Derek was delivering the cement…..


And ran some other trains….


My completed bubble cars got a good test run…..


Ron joined us, and quickly went to sleep (too much walking earlier) but woke up from his coma in time for his korma.  We even got the Ruchita to give him a plate to match his dinner….

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Finishing all those projects #2

We return to the bubblecars, and I make no apology for repeating this atmospheric picture of the approach to Brighton.  Must admit, I wouldn’t mind a model of that EMU in the background.

Research at the time (for research read Google) turned up this useful picture that basically said paint the bubble cars any colour you like (I didn’t do a pink one in the end.)


So here’s the completed project.  Using my American yard as a photo plank, here are 10 wagons loaded up with 30 bubble cars. The camera is cruel, as the picture of the single wagon is probably larger than life. But the train from normal viewing distance looks OK. And I did it myself (with a little help from Peco [wagons] and Duncan [3d bubbles]!)



What skills have I refined through this project?  Patience – to come back and finish the job.  Transfers – the Cambridge Custom Transfers are excellent, but tiny and difficult to get right.  There are a few bits that broke off, but I guess the prototype lettering wasn’t perfect.   Painting – trusting a steady hand to do the details, and careful use of multiple coats of thinned acrylic paint.  I’ve learn from my recent plastic kit building here.

And the next project to be finished?  I hunted this down in the bottom of a drawer.  So more next time.


And a bonus video from Brian – a REAL multiple unit visiting Redhill.

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Die Dawes-Brüder gehen nach Osten #1

Or words to that effect!  Ron says….

Allan and I travelled today by Eurostar and Thalys to Cologne without any problems. We have just received emails advising us that due to social action, which I assume to be strike, our train back to Brussels on Friday has been cancelled. I have managed to get 2 seats on DB train for an extra €125, which bit am now claiming back from Thalys.

And Allan comments, passing through Liege….

How about this for a station?

And passing through Belgium….

And view from their Cologne hotel window.  You do know how to pick them, Ron (though Allan would have probably preferred a view over the local sidings.


Day 2.  I always enjoy Ron’s weather forecast.  Invariably more accurate than the Met Office!

Started sunny but turned cloudy. Went up the Drachenfels, overlooking the Rhine, and then doubled back to head north west to travel on the monorail.



Cologne and the Rhine…

Cologne in 1945.  Just a little different…

Cologne Hbf from the Rhine side…


And some trains to finish….

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London Festival of Railway Modelling – 2023

I bottled out of fighting my way to Ally Pally last weekend.  I gather that it was a very successful show and very well attended – Allan described Saturday as a scrum, and it was difficult to get near anything.  But Simon was helping on a trade stand on the Sunday, and sent me a few pictures.

Melton Mowbray (North) is an exceptional N gauge layout.  A lovely slice of British Railways, a real location but when I’ve seen it they’ve kept a steady stream of trains passing to entertain the viewer.  I rather liked the information provided, including the operators of the day!

Blackfriars modelled the original LC&DR terminus in P4.  This has progressed a long way since I last saw it at a show.  Excellent modelling, and made even more interesting by the period chosen – late 19th century.


Mortonhampstead in 2mm scale.  A slice of Dartmoor, and an atypical GWR branchline.  Another fine model, and lots to look at even when waiting for the next train!

Spirit of Swindon in N.  It’s an excellent model of the GWR works, but I’m afraid it leaves me cold.  I don’t know why (despite my lack of interest in the GWR.)  Just personal taste, I guess. I’m afraid that I am equally unmoved (heresy!) by the enormous James Street (also at the show.)  Somehow, it’s just too big and too much going on.  Oh well, each to their own….


Finally, Pacific Electric in HO.  A tiny, continuous run, but captures California in the 1950’s.


I hope that I’ll get back to the show next year – I trust that the train strikes will be over by then!

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Potpourri #1068

Making good progress with the bubble cars.  A second wagon is complete, and more wagons and cars are under way.  Hopefully, they will be completed by next weekend.  The most time consuming bit is the transfers for the LOWFIT’s.  They are tiny…..

But to start this Potpourri, a possible load that might raise a few eyebrows?  I thought this must be American, but the surroundings look more European.  They do seem to be well supported by a frame to stop them rattling about!


Slightly less ambitious, but should get plenty of comment?  May be tricky to use at speed????

This picture was taken long before the last one – even before the first world war.  An LSWR X2 class at Salisbury.  It must be early in the 20th century, as the “&” in LSWR was dropped in later years.  Adams designed some beautiful locomotives, and the cleaners in the photograph have done a good job on it. 


Keeping the LSWR (and Adams) theme, an O2 on the mainland (before its IOW exile) in 1910.


Another O-4-4T, an SECR ‘H’ class parked at Three Bridges – another pretty little locomotive that was useful and long-lived.


Drummond’s L12 class 4-4-0 in 1955.  A development of the famous T9 class, these were solid locomotives, but offered no great advantage over the T9’s, that outlived them.


Beauty and the beast?  A Merchant Navy class in original air-smoothed form, and Maunsell’s first diesel shunter for the Southern Railway.

Two Southern Railway carriages.  An LSWR saloon, and a Southern GPO coach.  Elegant designs.


Finally, Accurascale are producing this lovely GER ‘Buckjumper’ in OO.  Please could they do one in ‘N’?  One of my favourite locomotives (even better than a Terrier,) and I’ll probably buy one anyway.


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Finishing all those projects #1

Looking at all the projects that I have started, and need to finish, I’ve decided to have a few weeks of trying to finish a few things – before returning to the Minories.  Of course, I may decide to build another plastic kit, as well, for a bit of light relief.

Regular readers with a very good memory will remember how, nearly three years ago, I posted this picture of some Messerschmitt bubble cars on flat wagons parked near Brighton.

And a few days later Duncan found a 3D file of an Isetta bubble car, and offered to print me off a few to see how they came out. Here they are, nicely printed in clearish resin.  The print was blown up a little in size, and has a few angled planes rather than curves, but you have to look closely to see this.

So, at last, here’s the first complete wagon with three bubble cars aboard.  I’ve quite a few more to do, but I need to paint a few in different colours to give variety to the train.  And I need to add the tiny transfers to the Lowfit wagons.


The camera, as is often the case in N gauge, is cruel, but I’m pleased with the first wagon and hope that my painting (and dusting) will improve with the next wagons.

And the other projects to be finished?  All may be revealed in future posts (if my patience doesn’t run out by then.)

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ESNG meeting – 15 March 2023

Seven members again tonight, and a relaxed evening playing trains.  The treasurer returned after a touch of covid, but it must have affected him as he forgot to collect the subs from two members.

It doesn’t take long to set up a small layout, and the new fiddle yard seems to ensure that the boards fit together without a 3″ gap to close between the last two boards.


British goods trains were the theme of the evening, at least until Graham ran some US stock.  A contrast from Sunday, when European trains ruled.  It just shows the variety of interests in the club, and the strength of a modular layout, where it’s all Rule 1, and anything goes.


There was also some loco testing, including this Poole Farish ‘Crab’.  One of their best early models, that really caught the proportions and character of the real thing.


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ESNG meeting – 12 March 2023

A reasonable turnout of seven members on Sunday, especially considering that a number of people dropped out from illness and other problems.  We soon had a circuit up and running, and having Neil, Sean and Lucas attending meant that there were plenty of trains to test.


Richard had yet another Swiss train on show….


Allan had two ICE units on the rails….


So plenty of high speed running took place….

Two generations of locomotives….


The PW train….


I’ve got a Tiger on my Train (or maybe it’s a Leopard?)….


It looked like a European afternoon, but Lucas saved the day with a couple of British items!


And the year is rushing by.  It was still light when we closed the hall and set off for the inevitable curry. 

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A completed (non-railway) project

I’ve been taking a break from railways finishing this WWII German command car, Sd.Kfz. 247 Ausf.B.

Wikipedia tells me…

Daimler-Benz built 58 of these in 1941—1942 on a four-wheel drive heavy car chassis (s.Pkw. Typ 1c). The front-mounted engine was an 8-cylinder, 3.823-litre (233.3 cu in) Horch 3.5 petrol engine, giving it a road speed of 80 km/h (50 mph). It had a maximum range of 400 km (250 mi).

The Sd.Kfz. 247 had an open-topped, thinly armored body mounted on a wheeled chassis. It was unarmed as its six-man crew was not intended to fight; rather, it was intended for use by the commanders of motorcycle and motorized reconnaissance battalions.

It’s an ICM 1/35 injection moulded kit, made in Ukraine, so it’s a worthy purchase.  Incredibly detailed, especially the chassis, and the interior, with seats and radio equipment.  It all fits together almost perfectly, though there are a couple of seams I should have filled.  I’ve learnt a few new tricks building it, not least washing and priming the plastic parts, then thinning the acrylic paint for a better finish.  I’m not really keen on an airbrush, but the finish isn’t too bad on this kit.  The next one I build will be weathered and washed to pick out the detail.

There will be a next one, but it’s (probably) back to railways now.

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Excuses, excuses….

Trigger warning – serious modelling posts will follow soon.  At the moment I’m on strike supporting Gary Lineker.  Agree with him or not, he should be free to speak (and I agree with him.)

But talking of excuses, at least German railways are honest….

Whereas over here in the UK, it’s different, though perhaps not as bad as this satirical ‘News Thump’ article suggests…

Weird smell, bee on the line, ugly hats – train companies announce new season of delay excuses

Train companies have announced the new list of excuses for delays to services during the coming season, including weird smell, ugly hats, a bee on the line, ennui, and an unstable black hole.  “I think it’s important to give passengers a firm idea of the excuses they will be hearing this upcoming season,” said Jeremy Lunchbox, a spokesperson for the industry.

“We’re pleased to say that these are all new excuses. All last season’s excuses –ghosts, bears, bear ghosts, alien invasion, an unstable government, an apple on the line, the ravages of time, a disturbance in the force, Iggy Pop – all of those excuses will be retired. The excuses we use will be 100% brand new this season, which is the first time we’ve ever achieved that.”

A particular highlight in the new season of excuses is ‘disappointment with the lack of young British tennis players making a significant breakthrough’.  “Yes, I think that’s something that’s really going to hit the service hard over the coming months.

“You’re there, in the cab, you’ve performed that normal safety checks and are about to move the train onto the mainline and into the station, and then you realise that Emma Raducanu hasn’t really pushed on from her astonishing success at the US Open.

“I don’t think any reasonable person could expect that service to now run to its timetable, so hearing ‘This service has been delayed due to disappointment with the lack of young British tennis players breaking through’ will be something that commuters are likely to hear quite a lot.”

Other new excuses include mouldy vegetables, a wave of mutilation, dinosaurs, Sir Geoffrey Howe, vampires, a really big hole, poor skiing conditions, the Proclaimers, a leaky flask, Thanos, and not enough pie. The full list can be found online.

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