Bescot’s 08928 in Railfreight Red Stripe livery

In November 1988, during a regional re-organisation, Birmingham area shunt locos and their duties were re-alloacted to Bescot. One of 10 shunters transfered from Tyseley was 08928.

For this project, I’ve started with a Hornby class 09. Removing the unwanted pipework from the front and rear of the loco, I then filled the holes with Deluxe Materials filler before brush painting over it. I then seperated the cab from the main body and removed the windows. Next, I carefully masked up the cab front and the radiator end which will save me painting the wasp stripes later. The body was primed with Railmatch acrylic primer thinned with acrylic thinners and while this was drying I brush painted primer onto the bufferbeams, buffer shanks and along the chassis side.

The cab and main body separated

My attention now turned the the loco livery, and the cab was painted Railmatch Warning Panel Yellow, while the main body and roof was painted Games Workshop Dawnstone Grey. Once dried, a coat of Railmatch acrylic gloss varnish was sprayed ready for transfer application.

Transfers added once painted

Transfers come from my prefered supplier Railtec, and they do a sheet for this particular loco with everything you need. The transfers were applied and a coat of acrylic matt varnish was sprayed to secure them to the model. The bufferbeams and chassis sides were then brush painted red. After looking at photos of the prototype, I decided on Royal Mail Red because the red is much more vibrant than standard Rail Red. Once dry, the glasing was refitted and secured using Humbrol Clearfix, the cab and main body were reunited, and the body located back on the chassis.

Some finishing touches still required

Fitting screw link couplings to the Hornby Class 08 isn’t straight forward with its solid metal chassis, so I opted to fit the ones supplied in the detail bag. These are only really meant for decorative use, but I figured that if I used the links from the wagons to couple onto the hook on the shunter, this should be ok. A good strong super glue was used to secure the screw links in place, and bufferbeam pipework was then added at both ends.

My attention then turned to the weathering, and a suitable prototype photograph from 1990 was sourced online. For copyright reasons I can’t share the photo here, but the loco has a fair amount of oily residue to both sides and on the underframe and connecting rods. I started with a mix of White and Dawnstone Grey and applied the wash all over the grey sides and roof to add to the already faded paintwork. Once dry, I used the Dawnstone Grey without adding the white, as a wash into all the panel lines. I then used the airbrush with Railmatch Frame Dirt for the underframe area and radiator grille, Roof Dirt along the roof panel lines and Soot Black for the exhaust port and filter panels.

08 928 almost finished

I will add some oily streaks to the filter panel etc, at a later date when my local model shop can reopen. For this I’ll try AK Interactive Grease, as recommended by a friend.

08 928 prepares the next Speedlink service.

Diamonds are a girls best friend

Let me start by wishing you a Happy New Year! Thank you for your support throughout what has been a very difficult year for everyone.

Recently, it seems like I’ve dedicated much of my time on Class 47’s so for the sake of variety, I’ve finsihed a class 37 that has been on the workbench for a few months.

I usually like to at least renumber my locos, but this Bachmann release is a loco I remember well from the early 1990s. There are however, some easy changes required to back date it.

The out of the box Bachmann model.

First off, I masked up the split head code boxes with masking tape and masking fluid and once the fluid was dry I sprayed them matt black. The bufferbeam was detailed and screw link couplings were installed. In 1990, 37 049 carried Motherwell depot plaques, so etched items were fitted along with the BR arrows. The nameplates supplied with the Bachmann loco are red, which suits the loco in a later period. Using black enamel paint, I flooded the nameplates and once dry, I used a sanding stick to polish the paint off the lettering. They were secured in place using a small amount of varnish.

The split head code boxes masked for painting.

The loco comes with round buffers fitted, which were also only fitted later in the decade. These were swapped with oval buffers from another Bachmann class 37, but normally I’d swap them for Hornby class 50 items which look so much better. Unfortunately, they’ve not been available anywhere for some time.

Painted head code boxes and bufferbeam pipework added.

For the weathering I started with the airbrush, using Railmatch Frame Dirt for the bogies, fuel tanks and lower body side. Roof dirt for the roof and cab nose tops, followed by some matt black for the exhaust soot and greasey areas on the bogies. Finally, a Flory Models dark dirt wash was applied all over the loco and left to dry before wiping with a damp sponge in a downward motion. The result is a work stained loco with some oily residue and water streaks down the body side.

A Bescot Celebrity Class 47

One loco that has always been on my radar to do is 47 238 ‘Bescot Yard’. In fact, I’ve had the nameplates for this loco for a number of years, buying them at a Wolverhampton model railway club show from the orignal Shawplan owner, Graham Shaw.

The Bachmann Class 47 as supplied

The donor loco for this project is a Bachmann 31-663 Class 47, 47 209 in Railfreight livery. The first job was to remove the windows, which is usually a simple job, but not this time. Some of the windows were well and truely glued in, and on being a little too heavy handed, one of the cab doors cracked and came off with the window. I don’t know what they used in the factory when this loco was assembled, but its good stuff! As a precausion, the remaining glazing was removed with Glue Buster.

The broken cab door.

At this point, I decided to cut out the rest of the cab door so the loco could be modelled with the cab door open. It is the summer of 1990 afterall. Part of the chassis needed to be cut out to allow the door to be open, and the wiring for the lights was rerouted to the other side of the cab. The cab and bulkhead also needed modification with the razor saw, and a new cab floor and brace was fabricated with some plastikard. All these were painted after they were fixed in place. A rumage through the parts box found a suitable cab door from a Hornby class 56. Although not identical to a class 47 cab door, it looked fine inside the cab. You can’t see enough of it to notice it’s different. A kick plate was made and glued to the bottom of the door, covering the lower door handle which is found on the class 56. I then made a plastic bracket and located the cab door in place.

Part of the chassis removed.

Next, the loco numbers, nameplates and BR arrows were removed. The new numbers, etched nameplates, depot plaques and arrows were secured in place with some varnish. Attention could then turn to painting the window surrounds white, with a good quality brush and a steady hand. The same was done for the bufferbeam before fitting screwlink couplings and appropriate pipework. The glazing was then reinstalled using liquid poly, and the fuel tanks were also swapped to suit. The bogies were also swapped from another Bachmann model that already had the details painted in white. Yellow stripes were painted on the fuel tanks, and the buffer heads painted silver, as per the prototype.

BR arrows offset and painted window surrounds.
The finished loco.

Weathering Heljan BOC Tankers

The Heljan BOC tanker is an expensive wagon, but when they were offered at half price I was keen to get them added into the Farkham roster.

Shortly after receiving the seven tankers I purchased, and after looking at Paul Bartlett’s photographs of the prototype, I got started on the weathering. Using Railmatch acrylic Frame Dirt in the airbrush, I blew over the bogies, chassis and lower bodyside.

On the prototype, the top half of the tanks seem to rust far more than the half below the identification band. In fact, the lower part of the tank remains almost rust free. After the frame dirt was dry I gave the wagons a coat of matt varnish, which is an essential part to the next step, the washes. Using a flat brush and the Flory Models Rust and Sand washes, I applied a generous amount to the upper bodysides and left it to dry. Then, with a damp sponge, and using a downward motion, the wash was manipulated to give the desired effect.

Airbrushed chassis and wash applied

I’ll clean the handwheels before I consider them finished, but otherwise I’m quite pleased with them. A short blog post today, for what has been a time consuming but simple job.

The finished BOC tank wagons

47 971 ‘Robin Hood’

I recently purchased a model of MENTOR from a friend and realised I didn’t have any suitable traction for it. With a quick look through my collection of Bachmann Class 47’s, and some research time spent on, a suitable doner loco was found.

The base model for this project

The base model for this project was Bachmann 31-660A 47 444 ‘University of Nottingham’, and once the body was seperated from the chassis, work began on removing the numbers.

This model has a round boiler plate cover, so that was shaved off using a sharp scalpel, and a replacement square etched brass boiler plate was fitted. This was supplied by Shawplan, part number EEDP47-15.

New etch boiler blanking plate fitted and primed.

47 971 has a non standard darker colour grey roof, so the next job was to mask up and respray it. I sprayed the etched roof details with white Etch Primer first, and after studying further photos of the prototype, I decided to paint the roof with Games Workshop Dawnstone Grey.

I then turned my attention to the cab fronts. While sorting through the spares box, I found a pack of Shawplan white metal MU fittings. I don’t think they are available anymore, and I think I bought them of Graham Shaw many years ago at Wolverhampton Model Railway Club’s exhibition. Anyway, a pilot hole was drilled and the MU fitting was painted before fitting using Games Workshop Jokaero Orange. The bufferbeam details were then added, with Romford screw link couplings and the fuel tank was swapped for the correct one for this loco.

The loco now received an acrylic gloss varnish, ready for Railtec Transfers. I used left over parts from other transfer sheets, but Railtec do a complete sheet for this loco. Note the numbers on the prototype are wonky and spaced further apart than normal! Once left to dry over night, a coat of acrylic matt varnish was applied. The loco just requires weathering to finish, but I’ll leave that for another day.

The finished 47 971 ‘Robin Hood’

Recreating 47 363 ‘Billingham Enterprise’

This week I’ve finished the iconic Railfreight class 47 workhorse, and it’s ready to enter service on Farkham.

The base model for this loco project is a Bachmann 47301, part number 31-655. The loco is already in Railfreight Red Stripe, but there are some differences that needed to be addressed first.

Bachmann 31-655 was the base for this project

Once the body was separated from the chassis, I removed the orange cantrail stripe, white body side stripe, numbers and the BR double arrows. I do this by placing the body in an old baking tray, and spraying oven cleaner onto the unwanted livery details. After 20 minutes, I repeat the process and after a further 20 minutes I rinse the oven cleaner off the model. Under warm water, the printed details can be easily scratched of with a thumbnail without affecting the paint work. It basically softens the factory printed details.

Factory printed details removed

The red stripe on 47 363 was only present on the grey bodyside, so I set to removing it from the yellow cabsides with a cotton bud and T-Cut.

Red stripe removed from the cab ends

One of the initial attractions to modelling this class 47, was the black faded numbers present on the body sides. Plenty of thought went into how I would recreate this feature, but I decided to use a sign writing vinyl cutter to make a stencil and spray the numbers. I then used a fine sanding stick to flat the painted numbers back, fading them like the prototype. The windows and cab interiors were then removed and a coat of acrylic gloss varnish was airbrushed over the model ready for transfers.

I used Railtec Transfers, which I highly recommend when using acrylic paints and varnishes. The numbers, BR double arrows, kingfishers and white cantrail stripes were all applied before a coat of matt varnish.

The transfers applied

The glazing and cab interiors were refitted to the body. Smiths screw link couplings and bufferbeam detailing were added before the body was reunited with the chassis. The marker light panels were flooded with thinned matt black paint before my thoughts turned to weathering.

47 363 ready for weathering

I usually like to combine a range of techniques, depending on the look of the prototype. Starting with the airbrush, a dusting of Railmatch Frame Dirt was applied to the chassis and lower bodysides. The roof had a coat of Railmatch Roof Dirt and the exhaust port received some matt black.

Next I applied Flory Models washes, starting with Dark Dirt to the roof. Using a flat brush in a downward direction and wiping the excess off with a damp sponge, again in a downward motion. To fade the bodysides, I used the white wash in the same way. Dark Dirt was then applied again where the oily deposits run down the body.

47 363 ‘Billingham Enterprise’ arrives at Farkham ready for its next Speedlink train.

Overall, I’m quite pleased with how this project has turned out, and 47 363 is now ready to be put into revenue earning service on Farkham.

REVIEW: Accurascale PTA/JTA+JUA Bogie Tippler Wagons

The latest offering from Accurascale is now available and pre-orders have been shipped to customers. There are currently a very limited number available for sale, due to high demand so be quick if you want these.

The Prototype

The model and livery depicted here represtents the second batch of wagons produced. They feature strengthened ribbing, horizontal end ribbing and BSC Axle Motion bogies. The numbers and markings on these wagons represent vehicles which entered service between Redcar and Consett. With the closure of Consett in 1981, the wagons worked between Ravenscraig and various loading points in the north such as Thrislington, Hunterston and Hardendale. Although, after the closure of Ravenscraig in 1992, some of the wagons were transferred to Llanwern traffic.

Wagons are discharged by passing through a rotating tippler. This requires a unique coupling which can unlock from the rest of the train during this operation. For this reason, the inner wagons have a fixed buckeye-type coupling at one end, and a rotating one at the other. Outer wagons have conventional screw link couplings at the outer end. The orange end on this livery represents the rotating coupling end, ensuring the wagons are marshalled correctly.

The Model

Each wagon pack contains five excellently represented wagons, each having unique running numbers. The packaging has a high quality feel, and opens like a book with a magnetic catch. The underframes contain a good amount of detail, and the bufferbeam pipework has been fitted already. The buck eye couplings work well and look the part, while the outer wagons have standard NEM couplings. As I’ll fit screw link couplings to the outer wagons, it’s handy that the NEM sockets can be easily removed. There are spare air pipes to add on the outer wagons as understandably, these have been omitted to allow clearance for the standard NEM couplings. One outer wagon has a battery operated flashing tail lamp. The battery is included and was easily installed under the wagon floor out of sight. A switch is located on the underside to allow the tail lamp to be turned off easily when not in use. The bogie sides have been accurately modelled, and are designed to allow for easy conversion to EM or P4 gauge.


Overall, the PTA wagons are a welcome addition to Farkham. The quality is excellent, as you’d expect from Accurascale and I’d highly recommend them. The working flashing tail lamp is a first from any ready to run manufacturer.

So what’s next Accurascale? A slab sided Polybulk? Or perhaps sets of Cartic 4’s?

The blog

Hello and welcome to my new blog, Farkham.

Here you’ll find everything you need to know about the layout, my rolling stock, projects and an occasional product review.

Farkham was originally built by Mickleover MRG and has enjoyed many years on the exhibition circuit. It was sold, to me, in February 2018 and now enjoys a well earned retirement.

I’ve started this blog, and Farkham’s social media, as it would be a real shame to keep the layout hidden away.

Farkham, in the future, will see some changes and updating. The layout will be changed from an end to end format, to a tail chaser and converted to DCC with block detection.

Check back soon for more updates, and follow Farkham on social media.