It’s a sign

20181201_083833So before Manchester show a few weeks ago I wanted to get Tarring Neville’s sign finished. I was very lucky to have a good friend surprise me by making a sign for Herstmonceux and so it was decided that Tarring Neville would need one too.
The idea was to make something that looked like it had been mounted on a building but had been found years later looking a bit worse for wear. Fortunately we had just replaced the bargeboards on the house and I kept back a few bits of the old ones that had a lovely pre-weathered look. A rough size was worked out and I glued and pinned three bits together and added some edging. I then scored along the bottom edge and snapped it off to represent some damage.

The lettering was pencilled on but changed my mind after this picture was taken and put YARD OFFICE instead of just office. Once the sign was paint I started to distress it with some sand paper a hammer and a knife. The newly distressed areas were given a wash of dirty brown/black paint to make it look slightly rotten and aged. Some mounting holes were drilled in it with one being opened up a bit more to look like it had been ripped off the wall.

The last thing to be do was make a miniature one and mount it on a building on the layout.20181110_212223

Really enjoyed Manchester show again and was good to chat with so many people. Tarring Neville picked up an award for “Best scratch built model” for the partially demolished building by the loading dock. Was good to see Black Lion Crossing at last and had a good chat with Geoff Kent about his Conflat L’s which I’ve been looking to build a couple of.

Merry Christmas to all the readers of the blog and best wishes for the New Year.

One down, One to go..


With Herstmonceux packed away after its trip to Brighton show the other week attention is now on getting Tarring Neville ready for its trip North to the Manchester model railway show.
As I said in my last post there are some new items of stock. The wagons in the picture above are a new rake. These are based on various internal user wagons found at Swanscombe cement works. Strangely they have no brakes! They were simple enough to knock up using some Cambrian and Parkside underframes I had knocking about and some bits of plasticard and microstrip etc.

Another rake of wagons I have been working on (although i’ve only finished one) is some RTmodels wooden contractors wagons. These I have modified to be like some that were again at Swanscombe.
Screen shot 2017-08-17 at 12.42.52

I shortened the original dumb buffers and added a buffer beam from some plastic rod and buffers from Lanarkshire Models. Just need to get the others finished. 

A new loco has also been added to the fleet in the form of a Hornby Sentinel which has had a bit of work done to it and some weathering.


On the road


A busy few weeks coming up with a couple of shows to end the year. First up is Brighton MRC 40th show  next weekend 17th-18th November with Herstmonceux. The show looks like it will have a nice local feel to it with Herstmonceux, Plumpton Green and Sub Wealden all being Sussex based.


Then two weeks later its the Manchester Model Railway Society Show  1st-2nd December with Tarring Neville. It will of been just over a year since Tarring Neville had last been out so will look forward to running some new stock and there is also a few new items that have been added to the layout which there will be more about after the show.

Merry Manchester

So the MMRS Christmas show has come and gone and Herstmonceux is back home in Sussex packed away till March. First of all I would like to thank the MMRS for looking after us all weekend from the warm welcome on the Friday afternoon till thanking us for coming when we left on the Sunday evening. They had a army of members willing to help everyone unload on the Friday and then helping people load again on the Sunday evening.
For us the weekend started on the Thursday with the packing of the van ready for an early start on Friday. Everything was double and triple checked,  if I forgot something it was a rather a long way to come back to get!
Friday morning Anastasia and I left Sussex to go pick up Chris and after a good trip we arrived in Manchester just after 1.30pm. With the help from the MMRS members we must of had the van unloaded in under 10 minutes! This left us to leisurely set up and my Dad turned up just as we’d finished!


Now I’ve not been to many shows where the view behind the layout is like this…..


Saturday morning the show opened and was very busy early on. We found out later that they’d had 700 people through the door in the first hour which was pretty good going. Everything seemed to be going smoothly up until lunch time when we had our first ever fault with the layout. I’m still not really sure what was wrong. One of the controllers failed and was quickly replaced but it had caused a short in the goods yard which I couldn’t seem to trace. At this point I was fearing that we would only be able to run stuff through the station but after about 15 minutes it decided to start working again. Strange, very strange! Lack of tea?

On the Saturday evening after the show the MMRS had a social gathering where all exhibitors and traders could have a good chin wag, drink tea, eat cake and sandwiches plus the Exhibition co-ordinator and Chairman both spoke thanking everyone for coming and how the first day had been a great success. Better than the tea and sandwiches was Herstmonceux being awarded “Best in show” as chosen by the MMRS members! This is a great honour for me and I feel rather privileged to have my layouts name along side the others on the cup that go all the way back to 1949.


After the MMRS social we had been invited to another across town in the splendid Marble Arch pub. If you’re ever in the city its well worth a visit as a part from a good pint the pub itself is full of character. Afterwards our trip back to the hotel involved a ride out of Piccadilly. As Chris has already mentioned on his blog I got rather excited about a ride on a old Class 142 Pacer which I also got some stick for admitting it at the show the next day.



Before the show opened on Sunday I managed to get a few pictures of the SR Moguls that we had running over the weekend. This includes one of my K classes, an N class, the new N1 and my Dads U and U1 classes. I’ll post more about these at a later date.

Sunday the show was still pretty busy but I had more of a chance to go and have a look around. The stand out layout for me was Tollesbury Quay. Martin Stringer’s 7mm layout is based on the Kelvedon and Tollesbury Light Railway and really is a lovely piece of modelling. This layout has given me some ideas for a small layout before I build Herstmonceux’s replacement. Another layout I enjoyed was Calderwood based on the L&Y with some nicely built 4mm stock.
At the end of the show the help from the MMRS members getting the layout back to the van was really appreciated after a long weekend and the drive back to Sussex on the Monday wasn’t too bad either. I really enjoyed my first trip north with the layout and even picked up a few more invites. Of course none of this would happen without the help of Anastasia, Chris and my Dad and I would also like to thank Tom for his guest help. Hopefully he enjoyed it as much as we did. Thanks again to MMRS for a brilliant weekend and I look forward to coming to the show again in the future.