The Art of Weathering, by Martyn Welch

The Art of Weathering, by Martyn Welch

The Art of Weathering by Martyn Welch is a book which every railway modeller should own or, at the very least, have read.

It was published in 1993 and is just as relevant now as it the day it was published.

There are so many different weathering products available now (and Martyn does embrace new products as his more recent articles in Model Railway Journal show) but I love how this book shows just what can be achieved with with a small, simple palette of enamel paints.

As great as some new weathering products are, learning the basics from this book will give you such a great grounding and start with weathering models. And it’ll teach you that the often shared wisdom of “start with weathering powders” is a nonsense and just two or three basic colours can produce a huge range of effects and finishes.

If you have never read this book,you really need to do something about it!

If you wish to be further inspired –

Martyn Welch’s Website

Slow Progress

47380 Immingham slowly coming along.

Things have been rather quiet on the modelling front recently – back in early July the fixings holding a unit about the painting bench failed and it landed on the bench damaging things on the bench and various things stored on the shelves awaiting painting and weathering.

Soul destroying.

My head and mental health is such that this sort if thing just knocks me for six. This is my escape from the world and without that safe space, it can be surprisingly stressful. This was just like a final straw after the awfully hard year we’ve had so far.

So I got in with other things without actually doing any modelling – researching a few projects, sorting out all sorts of parts into some kind of order.

I buy books when I’m depressed. I’ve bought a lot of books recently.

Recently completed class 47 for the National Railway Museum’s large 0 gauge layout, from a PRMRP kit, donated by the manufacturer.

A slightly larger than usual project was delivered to the National Railway Museum. A method of construction which would seem quite alien to most 4mm diesel modellers. This was a nice pick-me-up, seeing it working very well on the large layout at the Museum.

But back with my own models, easing myself back into things which a little bit of work on 47380.

Keep plodding on everyone, if you’re not feeling great, remember a little bit if something for yourself might make you feel much better.

New Class 47

Later style if buffer beam and look at those bogies!

Some rather interesting news has come today, Bachmann have announced a complete range of class 47s and it’s all completely new!

Buffer beam and valance.

What we can see so far is looking very impressive – there’s the odd wonky handrail but we’ll forgive that on these preproduction samples.

Underframe variations.

Underframes seem very well catered for with all major variations covered. The battery only underframe is especially good looking, especially from what we can see. No other manufacturer has managed to capture this style properly.

This is the first time an RTR manufacturer has got anywhere close with the class 47 battery only underframe – does look very impressive.

The bogies look very nice too with a nice deal of depth and are a world away from Bachmann’s original bogies from their first class 47 which were, well, rubbish to be honest!

Roof fan grilles, the only real disappointing aspect.

The only disappointing aspect are the roof fan grilles which seem to let the side down.

But overall, it’s a very promising. When I first saw Heljan’s I thought I’d be unlikely to give up on my Lima conversions but this one has me wondering.

A few thoughts though –

  • Is it P4 compatible?
  • Please do something about those fan grilles – speak to Brian at Shawplan! He knows his stuff.
  • Please don’t cover these in thick paint and lose the lovely tooling.
  • Please, please, please make the underframe parts freely available to help us model specific locomotives!

And if you, people at Bachmann could see fit to pass one to Ian at Penbits, then we EM and P4 modellers will be even happier!

Finding Inspiration

Inspiration for the brave railway modeller can be found in any place, we often find ourselves loosing hours if not days searching various outlets. In my case it can be Flickr I probably spend far too long looking at peoples photos on the that outlet. I also tend to rely heavily on books and magazines and the modellers guides that Rail Express modeller produced back in the day for me was a brilliant game changer and in my humble opinion worked wonders and helped many people out with what to put behind the loco of there choice.

As many know that sadly Rail Express Modeller is now not the publication that it once was! This I find really sad the standard of modelling published in those pages to me was outstanding and pushed the boundaries made the reader want to go that step further do that bit better push yourself and your limitations as the only thing that limits them is the person! Now Rail Express Modeller is now no better than the rest of the publications that are designed for the mainstream reader. A magazine full of small articles on how to fit a DCC Chip to this or fit sound to this……. It’s become very very vanilla!

There no escaping the fact that when REM (Rail Express Modeller) hit the shelf in the shops every month inside Rail Express Magazine. It had a very close relationship with the modelling group DEMU (Diesel and Electric Modellers United) and I think the creation of DEMU by a few like minded modellers has gone passed the asperations that those 1st members thought that was possible. REM Drew heavily on what the members of this group was creating individually and this saw some fantastic articles published in the magazine. One guy who was a regular contributor was a Mr Simon Bendall, having himself having a stint as editor at REM. Since then thanks to Key Publishing Mr Bendall has gone on to create a couple of specialist publications covering lesser modelled or hard to model trains.

Why hard to model? Well….. Lets look at a coal train a modern air braked version as we are modelling this era in early 1990s its pretty simple if its off to Power Station its a block of the same types of wagon (Nowt wrong with this I love my coal trains can’t wait for my Cavalex MGR’s to arrive!). Domestic coal train pretty much the same some HEA and MEA Box wagons and the FPA type box wagon or PFA box wagons.

One type of train that I have wanted to tackle for an age is some engineers traffic. With the Civil Engineers traffic you ave two types of trains. You have your possession trains that will be made up in a yard to the area civil engineers instructions and these train will take the right amount of wagons for the job that was required to be carried out. The other type was and still is the trunk service this might be ballast being moved from a quarry to nearest trunk yard or Local Distribution Center (LDC) as they become known in the late 1990’s. Or it could be track panels and sleepers and point work made up at a Pre Assembly Depot (PAD). Between the big engineering yards there was trunk services carrying empty and loaded wagons with different types of stuff in them a trunk train could carry ballast, track panels sleepers crippled wagons for repair and good order wagons off repair!

The Civil Engineer did not have the most modern of wagon fleets it got a lot of hand my downs from when revenue earning was passed the best during the 1980’s the Civil Engineer managed to rid its self of unfitted wagons and its fleet in 1992 was made up of a mixture of Vacuum Braked and Air Braked stock. This was a nightmare when it came to sourcing locomotives as they would have to have the vacuum brakes tested before they came off shed to work an engineers possession trains at a weekend. Also played up havoc with trunk services as most of these was timed to run at 60 mph soon as vacuum braked wagons got thrown in the mix straight away some funky shunting would have to be carried out have the wagons with the most common brake type next to the loco to provide the train with some force to enable to the speed to be reduced when the brakes are applied! This would also see the speed of the train reduced significantly!

The differing types wagon its self is very appealing with some grate ancient examples lasting well into the 1990’s one photo that illustrates the point beautifully

Sunday Engineers Train Near Hebden Bridge (Michael McNicholas)
47346 is seen near Hebbden Bridge with a number former 20 ton Ferry Vans and a Gresley Coach and a stone blower and more former Ferry Vans on the rear.
RST104-16
The 56 is a bit too modern livery wise but I hope you get the idea of mixed bag of what possession trains can look like when going to or coming from a possession site.

However, On West Halton I plan to go forward and have a crack at modelling a possession train that has been engaged on a mid week overnight or weekend possession on the branch that diverges off to South Ferriby Cement works. I want to get the mix of newish mixed in with very old seeing out the last days in traffic before withdrawal comes and they get ‘J’ Carded to booths of Rotherham.

So what am I going to choose??

I think I need to browse the pages of this publication and others like it a bit longer and when I decide what I want to do then I reckon another blog post will be due to advise you all in the meantime I will see if I can find some old ballast circulars to find some consist’s.

Bye for now.

James S

The Boy’s Mineral Wagon

Thomas’ first wooden mineral wagon.

This isn’t our usual era but it’s definitely worth sharing!

The wagon is the work of my eleven year old son, the first wooden mineral wagon he has done – I helped with couplings and spring buffers but the rest is all his work with my guidance, using a superb article by Martyn Welch on unpainted wagons in MRJ no. 262.

Nobody is born with the skills to build, paint and weather models, we all have to learn and practice.

Seize the day and give it a go!

Capturing the Mundane – Class 08s

Capturing the mundane – 08405.

Once class 08s were everywhere – every major station, depot, big yard, working trips between yards, shunting, moving coaching stock around, etc, etc… Now there are hardly any around but back in 1992 this was part of the everyday, mundane scene. But there’s something very appealing about this for enthusiasts and railway modellers.

A rear view of 08405, showing how filthy and faded it was.

Part of the appeal of 08405 was how faded and filthy it was! It was how many freight locos were at this time – what we’d give to go back for just a day.

I’ll leave it for you to decide if it captures the real thing but I’m quite pleased with this one.

08405’s driver can be glimpsed through open door.

The Missing Eric Tonks Volume?

The Missing Eric Tonks volume?

Some of my favourite books are those in The Ironstone Quarries of the Midlands series by Eric Tonks. An absolutely delightful collection on the subject and the ironstone workings are very relevant to West Halton, although we’ll depict the area after the ironstone mining has ceased.

The series is very comprehensive – very, very comprehensive! But North Lincolnshire seems to be conspicuous by its absence – it was a major centre for ironstone mining and quarrying until the early eighties, much later than most other ironstone workings in the UK.

So I’m always curious to know if Tonks ever intended to cover North Lincolnshire, Volume VIII covers South Lincolnshire and includes Nettleton Iron Mine, near Holton Le Moor, which is only a few miles south of some of Scunthorpe’s former opencast ironstone workings.

Who knows though, but wouldn’t it have been lovely if North Lincolnshire had had its own volume in the series?

Having a Brake

The CAR brake van, B955091, in all of its tatty, patch painted glory.

The first BR brake van is now finished!

I’m rather pleased with how it’s turned out – I like to think it hides its Airfix origins…

‘Air Piped’

Further Reading

Modelling BR Brake Vans Later in Life
BR Brake Vans – When Things Don’t go to Plan
Brake Van Progress
From the Ashes
Brake Van Resurrection!
More Brake Vans