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2017 ...

Posted by Matt Wickham on January 29, 2017 at 4:55 PM Comments comments (561)

Welcome to the blog I haven't posted for quite a while August in fact!

Not much has been going on appart from building and assembling kits for customers as well as doing various repairs, which has been going quite well.  As for the Bluebell model fleet they are all good and running well, a few videos have come out since the last post here.

What's New?

- Hush Hush:
 Although absolutly nothing to do with the Bluebell I have continued my interest in expiremental loco's by buying a SE Finecast, LNER Hush Hush or a W1, it's been quite fun, being assembled on a DCC ready A3 chassis with various A4 bits added on. You can follow this build on the forum as well as here on the Projects page when it's complete." target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://

- New 3D prints:
 My 4 wheeler pre-grouping coaches have been coming along and even sold a few on Shapeways, they are mainly SECR / LCDR coaches fitted to RTR wagons chassis. The bodies have been painted, lined and numbered and waiting for further chassis work when funds allow!

- Birdcage:
 I managed to pickup a rather nice SECR 60ft Birdcage brake ala Bluebell from a well known Auction site, needs a small amount of work to sort it out, but it's currently in a Malachite livery with sunshine lettering. I have yet to decide what to do with it, either keep it in that livery  or change it, the current 60 ft birdcage brake is current under a tyrepauling at Horsted Keynes in a simplified SECR livery... 

- Wickham Trolly:
 Well for christmas I managed to get a Wickham trolly car from Bachmann, an expensive little thing but seeing as it carries my surname I thought I might as well have one, plus the what preserved railway is not complete with out one of these little trolly vechicals.

New Years:
I spent New Years day on the Isle of Wight steam railway as per normal which is my yearly thing, and despite it being soaking wet, in the afternoon it was very enjoyable trip and very busy which was good for the railway, not so much for me, but at least the locomotive was one that I certainly wanted to see, as the Ivatt was mostly being used in 2016 and I kept missing W24 Calbourne, but not so this time. It was an enjoyable day, and with the second Ivatt due for completition sometime this year hopefully I will get to see that too.

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 Last exhibition I visited was at the Medina leasure centre here on the the Isle of Wight, although small and almost the same layouts as last year it was an enjoyable day out, sadly I couldn't attend Warley due to the sheer cost of getting up there.
The next show I hope to get to is Alexandra Palace, London Festival of Railway Modelling at the end of March.

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Layout Videos and Workbench:

I have released a new video of the Bulleid gala filimed a little a go whilst back home visiting plus also the first time my model of Bulleid Merchant Navy 35027 Port Line has appeared on one of my videos actually running instead of being subject to a workbench instruction video.
 While not with the layout I hope to continue helping modellers with instruction videos, from re-numbering to soldering to adding windows... well worth watching as I try and pass on the skills to the new modellers." target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://

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August 2016

Posted by Matt Wickham on August 22, 2016 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Has it really been 8 months...

Well I guess so, but for obvious reasons, sadly not being In the same vicinity as the layout which is on the mainland in good old Buckinghamshire, I moved in July to the Isle of Wight which meant the layout had to stay behind, with my family looking to move down here also the future for the layout is unknown to say the least but, it certainly would be a good opportunity to rebuild it and improve it and also add more to it, although this is probably a long way off.. As sadly money isn't as available as it once was being unemployed at present, and I can only afford what I have had on order for the past 5 years or so...

Which leads on to new models:

Adams Radial (Hornby)

Originally I ordered the Oxford version but changed my mind after seeing it and looking more at it, as it looked reasonably good but there were things in the design that put me off including missing a parts, assembly issues ect..
If you can over look all those then yes £88 - 90 is a very good price in the current climate for a model.
I swapped to the Hornby one earlier this year after finding one online for £104.99 from Derails in Gloucestershire.
 Very friendly staff and very chatty, and very helpful, anyway the model arrived in mid July I think it was, and as you can see to me it's much more refined... more detail better design on the chassis, smooth running, colour looks good, only thing that lets it down are the wheels which could be better decorated, with a black band round the rims, you can also do this yourself which I did later.
If you run DCC finding a chip that fits could be entertaining, the bunker is very tight, having a dcc layout down here to play on, I found that I had to modify the bunker to allow it to fit, as there was just no room. DCC chip space does seem to be an after thought from Hornby from time to time, this is another example.

But overall a very nice model.
Who knows what we might see from Hornby in the future... maybe an SECR H-Class.

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Model Rail USA tank (Bachmann)

 Well it was 2012 when I ordered mine but the end is in sight, most have been delivered to Kernow for despatch but could take up to 28 days, I guess depending when you ordered. The one I ordered which was 30064 is long sold out, from the samples I saw in March they all looked very nice, and detailed, having chatted to the Bachmann staff they say this is one of the most complex tooling jobs they have done.
 Hopefully this model should I hope arrive at some point in the next few weeks with orders being despatched at present.

Bachmann updates:

 Progress has been rather slow on a number of items from Bachmann I asked in March what is slowing the down, their reply was the design department, which was a bit of a bottle neck and has been sorted out.. We shall see..
 At the beginning of August the signs were quite promising, finally progress... Birdcage stock, seen for the first time, this is looking to be out in May 2017, also the H2 due in May 2017 with a tooled sample not too far away..
The post on RM Web, shows progress on quite a few models including the LNWR coal tank, which was just a 3D print back in March.

You can read the thread here: Bachmann-farish-half-year-product-update/

Other model progress:

Most of this year has been spent building other peoples kits or commission work, which has slowed work on my own projects but money is needed to keep living but, I have been working on mine over the weekends.

In the last blog the K-Class was almost there just needed lining, this was completed earlier this year back in March, and looks very elegant in its SR Lined olive green, and runs very nicely.


I purchased a very sad looking Bachmann Tornado covered in super glue a few months ago, costing only £30, it was worth a gamble to try and repair it, after a lot of striping and cleaning, filling, filing, sanding, a bit of primer and a new coat of BR blue, it's starting to looking much healthier, it is now at a stage where lining out is taking place and is looking very promising.

W14, Fishbourne, SE Finecast:

I picked this up off eBay for a pretty reasonable price, so decided it was worth a punt, I have been reworking the chassis these last few weeks, made from scratch a new bogie, ordered new wheels, motor / gearbox, also refreshing some of the paint work and adding new plates and transfers. 
Work is progressing well, I hope this will be complete in the next month or so.

New wagon - 20Ton dropside ballast wagon

I have for a while been on a mission to improve my freight stock, Bluebell have many great pre-grouping wagons which I now mostly have, the weaker areas for my layout is the engineer wagons or tankers. Luckily I came across a company I haven't heard of previously, but they have been around for a while.
Chivers Fineline are basically similar to Cambrian kits, straight forward easy to assemble plastic kits, this one does run occasionally in the freight set, this SR 20T ballast wagon (dia1771). is painted in red Oxide or red primer from Halfords, with HMRS transfers.

3D printing - Vintage 4 wheeler set:

Progress has been slow but it is starting to move, I have now got so far all 3 LCDR / SECR coaches, Brake 3rd, Disabled Saloon, and an all 3rd which was recently restored on the Bluebell. These 3D printed coaches are costing quite a bit almost £70 a coach... which is a lot..
 Sadly at present there's nothing on the market to replicate these coaches or even use as an alternative.
The other coach in the line up is an all 1st LBSC 4 wheeler this being a Roxey mouldings kit and is slowly progressing to completion with lining and finishing off still to do.

December Round up 2015

Posted by Matt Wickham on December 22, 2015 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (0)

It's been a busy year in terms of new models being worked on, kits built, and also RTR releases, Hornby have certainly sorted them selves out and appear to be delivering on a number of items, and also nice to see the detail has returned to the models too.

The exciting announcements of LSWR rolling stock and Adams Radial from Hornby have certainly been a welcome announcement back in 2013 November, and the Radial is due in late January 2016. I had a look at the decorated samples back at Warley and are looking very good.
 Oxford Rail have also released their Adams Radial although a little less refined than Hornby's effort it still is a good model for the price.

Another late release was the Adams O2 from Kernow after 5 years of waiting they started to arrive around September, having ordered the IOW versions mine came a bit later in November, although at the time of writing still awaiting the delivery of the second. They are fantastic models with great detail fine pipe work, etched plates and nice decoration.

You can find all the photos from Warley on this link and you can find the videos from Warley below.

In regards to the website I have re-organised some areas, there is a new page called Projects page where you can find kit builds, improvements, and scratch builds. This was brought in due to magazine articles and them not being able to post the builds in full so to get around this I have posted the projects in PDF format for people to read or download to get inspiration or help.

Kits WIP.

K-Class - K's Kit

Purchased 3 months ago, this aging kit of a LBSC K-Class made from an old K's Kit, I always wanted one of these models as the Bluebell were going to save one but sadly never happened. So to complete the collection the I managed after months of trying to get hold of one. My aim was to improve the model and detail it up, the wheels, and motor were scrapped and replaced, etched brake and rigging installed, and missing parts made from scratch. The number of the model I decided between 2 after discussion with fellow SR modellers we think that that the loco the bluebell would of saved would of been 3241 or 2353, so I went with the former as I had found some images of the loco in SR livery.
The model is now in lining out phase of decoration with the tender now complete and lining out of the loco about 50% done. The PDF will be available on the projects page of the website.

Metropolitan A-Class (Beyer Peacock) K's Kit

I am slowly gaining a Metropolitan collection, having purchased L150, and seeing the Steam on the Met over the last few years, I started collecting and building locos, a few months back I constructed Met 1 the E-Class tank based at the Buckinghamshire Railway centre, this was built on an old M7 Hornby Chassis, using various spares from various kits over the years, and comfortably pulls my 4 Metropolitan coaches.
 I tried to get hold of an old K's kit of a metropolitan Beyer Peacock tank, the one which is preserved in the London Transport museum, finally after much searching I was offered one on RM web, and I very much look forward to constructing and updating the kit like what I have done with the K-Class above. 

LNER W1, 10000

I am a bit of a sucker for unique loco and the W1 certainly is in it's original build, with a marine style boiler with a working pressure of 650 psi and a wheel arrangement of 4-6-4 it was a mighty impressive and different looking to most locomotives, which inspired me to try and make one.
 There is a kit available, but that would be to easy, so I will attempt to scratch build this one the body of the boiler will be challenging, a chassis has been picked up which is a good start and some items have been started to be collected. 4mm plans have been purchased for the model.

3D Printing:

So far sales have been not to bad from Shapeways, the popular Captain Baxter 3D print has sold reasonably well instructions are now available, and I have just finished off the 3D model for the LCDR brake 3rd 4 wheeler coach which might be ready in the near future.

I have quite a big project on the go from an Island kit manufacturer which is Smallbrook Studio which you will hopefully see some time next year.


Horsted Keynes:
I hope to squeeze another couple of videos out of the layout as most of you know it has basically been retired and plans to rebuild it are in motion to improve it in the future, it would be a big project to rebuild when I eventually fully move.

I.O.W layout:
Plans are in progress to build a small exhibition style layout 6 - 9ft long, based on the railways of the Isle of Wight, so far it will be a very simple layout with one line running from out of the cliff face to an over bridge based on the St Lawrence branch to Ventnor West.

Website updates:

This month I have updated a number of pages:

- Links
- Projects page
- Loco page

June 2015

Posted by Matt Wickham on June 23, 2015 at 7:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Well it's been a long time, apologise to the people that do occasionally read what I post here.

New Models!
As some of you will know some new models have arrive or have been announced, like the Adams Radial from Hornby and Oxford Rail, hopefully we should see some toolings of the Birdcage stock from Bachmann soon.
 On to the Models which have arrived or have been finished as of late:

Bachmann's E4's
 Bachmann's E4s arrived at the end of April and early May, another quality model from Bachmann plenty of weight, plenty of detail, and very smooth running. As you would expect I ordered the SR B473 model, but also purchased the LBSC version to transform in toe 473 in umber livery with the name Birch Grove on the tanks, this is currently being worked on, and should feature in a new video series called Workbench Wednesdays.
Also you can find a review on the E4 on my YouTube channel." target="_blank" rel="nofollow">

Adams Radial:
Hornby showed off a 3D printed sample of an Adams radial back in November, we have just seen a fully tooled and running sample, with some un-announced LSWR rolling stock behind it 48 - 58ft stock, which is very exciting. Hopefully we may see the Radial by the end of the year, if all the development goes well, certainly an excellent turn around from Hornby over the last year and a bit after their factory move.
 But Hornby have competition from Oxford Road models, who are best known for Oxford Die cast, they are now producing OO products some wagons, and also an Adams Radial, so far we have seen CAD's and we know a little of the specification, but we haven't seen anything.
 But this is set to change I have heard Oxford rail will have a stand at the Bluebell Railway Model weekend which is next weekend 27th - 28th June and will have something to show. I will report on anything I see, so keep an eye on Twitter or Facebook on Sunday 28th.

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Birdcage stock / USA tank:
 This was reported to be in the tool room back in March, but still nothing has been seen, it has been said Bachmann will bring something to the Bluebell Railway model event next weekend, we shall see if they do... as Bachmann have quite a few SR locos on its books at the moment, like Model Rail's USA tank which was also reported as in the tooling stage.

O2 tanks:
 Having watched and followed Kernow's progress with the IOW O2's for the last 5 years, I have had a look over the first decorated samples, and I must say you are in for a treat when they arrive. It's been a long wait due to issues with Dapol and moving over to DJM but the samples I saw although still with minor changes to be made, looked great, last report is the SR push-pull is still yet to have the second decorated sample to arrive, when this has passed and been OK'ed then production can start, which means we could see them on our layouts in 3 - 4 months." target="_blank" rel="nofollow">" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"> 

Layout update:
 The layout is still in action just about but not for much longer, after some discussion it looks as though I will be moving away and taking a gamble on doing something different. The layout will not be coming along, and will be left behind. When it becomes finically viable I will look at rebuilding it and or starting from scratch recycling components which are worth saving.

A slightly different scratch build...
 I was asked again to write a little something for Your model railway village, so far I have written 2 small articles for them, and was asked about another, this time it is a Scratch-build theme and showing different materials and methods of building, I had a spare loco chassis available so it was time to put it to good use, and I had my eye on build a Metropolitan E-Class of Met 1 as it's better known.
 It was an interesting build, and went quite smoothly, with not many issues, and it runs very well, the full write up is near 5,000 words, and you can find it on the website very soon in PDF format on our Projects page." target="_blank" rel="nofollow">

Events I am attending:
Bluebell Railway Model Railway weekend: 27th - 28th June 2015 (Attending 28th)
Clan Line Fairwell tour: Lineside / Cheddington 30th June


January 2015

Posted by Matt Wickham on January 25, 2015 at 8:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Happy new year all!

As ever layout has been put in to it's winter state all stock removed some for maintaince and some new kits picked up over the new year, and some kits finished.


Our main project this month will be a Crowd funding project for a 3D printer, which you may of spotted on our Facebook page, our 3D print page, and as you came on to the Homepage of this very website.
 Successful funding will see us aquire a 3D printer namely an Ultimaker 2 3D printer, we have been forced in to doing this mainly because of the rising costs from commercial 3D printers such as I materialise, and Shapeways, costs have doubled, and unreliability of the prints have gotten worst, we want to take control of the management of our products and prints, and make them more available to you the public at a more affordable price, this is our main goal and aim.

We have some rewards depending on the amount you donate, please view our page, and help our project to help make the Met coaches and LBSC stock more avaialble.


Current Kits in build:

LBSC all 1st 4 wheeler - Roxey Mouldings kit
U-Class, 1618 - DJH
SR, 8 Plank wagon - Cambrian

Forum competition Build - TBA

PMV - Parkside
PMV - Parkside
SECR Dancehall brake - Cambrian
O2, W31, Chale - Wills Finecast
MK1 RBR - Southern Pride (Wealden Rambler set)


Upcoming Articales:
My Model Railway village: Issue 53
BRM-Ian Kirk SR Maunsell restaurant: April / May 2015


July - August 2014

Posted by Matt Wickham on August 11, 2014 at 4:50 PM Comments comments (0)

It’s been another quite a long wait for the next blog post, sadly work, is taking over! But need work to create money to build new things.


Bachmann Releases:

2014 Bachmann has been announced, not much for me but a reasonable range, with an NRM Shildon announcement due on the 29th July which was a C1 GNR Atlantic... well in to it's development already...
You can find all the releases here including their new scale OO9.
OO9 Releases
OO Announcements


What’s new?

3D Printing!
Metropolitan coaches:
All 4 coaches are now complete and running nicely, and recently appeared at the High Wycombe and district model railway societies open day. I will be also able to provide higher quality prints from a local company, using SLA printers, we have had one printed and it is very close to rtr quality, very clean, smooth, crisp prints. Be warned they are double the cost of the Shapeways prints, but they are worth it.
We have recently been contacted by Form Labs, creaters of the SLA Desktop 3D printer known as the Form1, and now Form1+ which one coach kit will be printed one. I am looking forward to seeing the results after having one of the coaches printed in SLA at a local firm, and seeing the results was very encouraging, so to see what a desktop printer can do I will be very much looking forward to seeing how one comes out." target="_blank" rel="nofollow">" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">

SR Maunsell Restaurant car.
Purchased as an incomplete kit Ian Kirk kit, I had a few Maunsell coach spares also as I wanted the kit to be running on a chassis compatible with the Hornby coaches for close coupling ect… work has been underway for a little while now the sides have been transplanted from the Ian Kirk kit to the Hornby coach, with modifications being done to the roof.

A future 3D print?
I am currently looking at 3D printing another small item of rolling stock along the pre-grouping preservation theme, this will use an existing RTR chassis. The model will be the LBSC Fruit / Milk van the one restored on the Bluebell recently numbered 270.
A test print has been ordered through Imaterialise, and hopefully will be delivered in the next few days.


Loco models?

Looking at replacing the existing chassis with an RTR chassis as the kit built chassis requires even more work to enable it to run better, at the moment it’s using an etched Comet 4F chassis, and I am currently looking at a Collett goods Bachmann chassis.



U-Class 1618
There’s been some progress, chassis and wheels have been painted but more importantly electrical pickups have been fitted these being a different type to normal, Gibson sprung plunger pickups. Still a lot of work to do to finish the motion and wiring, so a step in the right direction.


Small Prairie L.150
During a recent visit to London, I dropped past the LT Museum looking for something to pull the rather nice Metropolitan coaches, as most will know L.150 has spent most of the summer down on the Bluebell and is due to leave at the end of the summer for various steam on the London Underground network.

Anyway cut a long story short I brought one! I am quite impressed with the running quality, but not to impressed with the quality of finish, I will be adding certain extras later when I get round to it, but for now there is a review on You Tube.


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Days out planned?

Steam on the Hammersmith!
Another excellent event put on by the LT museum and London Underground, seeing Metropolitan E Class Met 1, with the Met milk van, Jubilee coach and the Chesham set with electric loco Sarah Siddon on the other end… a great event really busy day train around… really looking forward to the next event!


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Didcot Railway centre, 10th August
A railway base I haven’t covered on Youtube the Didcot railway centre, I do have some footage from a past visit in 2010 but never really had enough footage to put something together, so on the 10th August I will be attending Didcot to catch in action the Ex LSWR T9 and also to see the Steam Railmotor 96, which I haven’t seen as of yet, also to have a look at King Edward II which I saw in 2010 which was just a rolling chassis and a boiler in the back of the Loco shed… so will be good to see it complete.


The Chesham Branch anniversary 16th August
Steam is back on the London Underground, or Metropolitan line at least, with 2 steam engines, L150 and Metropolitan 1 running trains from Rickmansworth to Chesham, really looking forward to this event, this I think is nearly the last scheduled event, but I hear there maybe possibly more next year…

The Blog of May

Posted by Matt Wickham on May 23, 2014 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (0)

May Blog post


Well exhibition time again, so time to do my bit of advertising for the local show,
Railex 2014,
Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Stadium Approach, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP21 9PP
Saturday 24th May 10.30-5.30
Sunday 25th May 10.00-5.00

Adults £8.00, Child £5.00, Family(2+3) £18.00


3D Print updates:

Metropolitan Railway coaches.


Well after over a year of developments test printing ect… our first two coaches, All 3rd, and Brake 3rd is now available to the public, which you can purchase through Shapeways.

Each part you can buy separately so you don’t have to buy it all in one go… to try and make it affordable as we are well aware that 3D printing isn’t cheap.

As you can see above the Brake 3rd shown in the last blog back in March has now been complete and running for approximately a month or so.

We recommend that you read about how to order first before ordering, to ensure quality print first time round. Instruction manual to follow.

The first of the two composites have been printed, quality doesn’t look too bad but there’s still a couple of problems to be resolved prior to making it available to the public I will keep you posted on this via the 3D print group.

You can also see a short talk on the 3D printed coaches on our youtube channel of just click below:

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GN Directors Saloon

I decided to go ahead and finish off the GN Saloon to give a better idea how it runs when complete and to highlight any issues, some revisions have been made to the body file to try and fix some issues, in regards to the ends and the strength of the body in the centre. I expect to conduct another test print on this at some point towards the end of the year.


As mentioned I have gone ahead and completed the GN Saloon, has been running for a little while also has been a part of a couple of videos on YouTube.


Loco Kit progress.


As seen 541 has now been rebuilt and is awaiting it’s etched plates from Narrow Planet who are now doing standard gauge model plates GWR, SR ect… worth checking that out and at a very good price as well.

There are still a few things I am looking at to improve performance of the chassis, as despite the flywheel it is still struggling over points… so possibly more pickups needed. Also looking at how stiff the chassis is, when going round corners, with one piece connection rods there isn’t much flex in the chassis, so I am looking at a couple of changes in that area.

O2 Tank

Another O2 tank has been acquired for a future layout, based on the Isle of Wight, this one was picked up for a reasonable amount and had a pretty nice etched chassis and motor, runs nicely but again probably requires a flywheel due to struggling over points. The loco requires some detailing and cleaning up and will probably appear in BR livery, an identity has not yet been decided due to owning another kit numbered 24 and also having 2 DJM / Kernow models on order.

1618, U-Class, DJH

The U-Class has made some steady progress, with the motion now assembled and chassis modified to enable the motor and gearbox to fit. Some small detailed changes have been made to the body but not much to get excited about but progress none the less, etched cabside plates have also been ordered.

A new video

A couple of short videos, first one was produced to replicate in model form, scenes from the 2006 Giants of Steam gala at the Bluebell, featuring, Dukedog, 9017 Earl of Berkeley, and City, 3440, City of Truro, with some shots of 75027.
The second is just to show a normal working weekend.... and also show off the 3D prints I have to admit....

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March Blog 2014

Posted by Matt Wickham on March 18, 2014 at 5:00 PM Comments comments (0)

March 2014 Blog:


March Updates:
- Trips
- Future videos


- Exhibition season.

First exhibition of the year, and it’s a big one to start the year, The London festival of Railway modelling, put on at Alexandra Palace on the 22nd and 23rd March 2014. About 40 layouts will be in attendance and a large number of traders as well as manufacturers, Bachmann, Hornby and Dapol.

Hopefully it won’t snow this year….

Here is a small video from last year:

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- Bluebell Railway, 1st Anniversary of the extension.

A year passes so quickly in the railway world, The Bluebell Railway, the full sized one, has planned a small celebration typically the same dates as above 22nd and 23rd March, having hopefully 7 locos in steam some double headed. There is an additional train on the Saturday with the vintage set being pulled by the C-Class and H-Class. I will hopefully be attending one of these days… it will certainly be a busy weekend.

Also a new camcorder / video camera to try out, which should come in handy for future Steam railway or steam tours.


-Mainline steam returns.

Hopefully after quite a long wait, mainline Steam returns to the Chiltern line. The Cathedrals Express from Paddington to Stratford, currently rostered to be pulling the tour 34046 Braunton.

London Paddington-Stratford [wcrc]

34046: Paddington-Beaconsfield-Warwick-Stratford and return


- 3D print progress:

- Metropolitan Railway coaches.

The first print has been completed, 394 all 3rd, it’s been a learning exercise building one finding issues reporting back making changes, to the CAD and then putting it on the next print to be checked and tested. This helps as we have 4 coaches to print 2 have been done, and we are still learning especially when it comes to the print process and which way is the best way for the model to be placed in the printer.

 The brake 3rd arrived a few days ago, sadly the orientation of the print caused issues and now awaiting a replacement, I am exploring other options in using a different printing company where I can have a bit more control in how and which way it’s printed.

The prints are improving all the time, as well as their assembly. I have made some parts available for sale already like the new improved bogies, which have been made more robust, and the NEM slot improved and is working very well.

- GN Saloon

Progress has been stopped on this for the time being, and the project is being reviewed for a redesign or some major tweaking as trouble the coach bodies ends loosing detail when printed and need looking at.

The chassis is probably the best part so far, it works well and again much has been learnt for it to be printed correctly due to one being warped due to it’s orientation.

I am working on finishing a prototype the latest version, but will require work to replace the missing detail on the ends.


Rolling stock:

The big rolling stock clearout continues, a number of Bulleid coaches have been sold off, mainly corridor coaches to be replaced with open 2nds or 3rds. I am upgrading to the newer but same tooling Bulleid coaches… the ones in various shades of green.

I am continuing to improve the Freight stock, and create a BR set, and an improved SR set.



Nothing new on the loco front, work has started on the second U-Class 1618, a kit from DJH, wheels have been ordered, and will be looking at a gearbox and motor in a month or 2.

Bachmann E4’s look to be on course for an end of year release, which will be rather expensive, my Roger Stenning E4 kit in SR green has been now sold off, after rebuilding another to BR livery.

 The Q Class model is another to be potentially replaced, it’s not used much these days due to it’s limited pulling power, mainly down to it being a resin kit believed to be an early Golden Arrow kit, I am currently looking at a Wills/SEF kit to replace it with… news on that soon.
A replacement Q-Class has been purchased from that well known site called ebay, it requires some work so it will be a little while until it's seen on the layout, rebranding, and modifications, and etched plates are needed.

323 Bluebell:
The kit has had a bit of maintenance this month, Had some work done on the front end of the body, to correct a small upward warp which was getting more noticeable, a new set of castings for the buffers, and a small bit of repainting.



February 2014

Posted by Matt Wickham on February 15, 2014 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Well we are in 2014 a few updates already mainly regarding loco’s
- Loco’s
- Video’s
- Layout videos


Dukedog’s arrive after nearly 3 years….

Yes Bachmann has delivered, a few weeks in to January the wait was finally over, Bachmann’s 32XX, Earl class or better known as Dukedog’s.

I received 9017 first from Rails of Sheffield, priced at £98, they had already sold out of 9017 and weathered example 9022 when the model’s came in to stock… popular? Absolutely, and it’s easy to see why. They certainly capture the look of the prototype very well… for their size they are not bad in the haulage capacity stakes… managing 4 mrk1’s up a steep slop on the test track and a max of 7 on the flat is certainly impressive for this little model… which let’s face it, it’s not very heavy at all.

Bachmann certainly again have produced the goods, a well detailed model of 9017 in 1955 condition not as preserved!

I also ordered in early December the GWR green version which was DCC, I’ve converted it back to DC, the model was from Holts in Swansea, £103, which has also been turned in to 9017 so I slightly over indulged a bit on these… but why not?

I have put up a small video review on You Tube which you can find on below.

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Another arrival?

 Hornby’s Duke of Gloucester… bit of a late arrival… but I decided to pickup a railroad version one, sadly Hornby did get quite a bit of stick for their Special edition model, they may of slightly miss advertised that as it left many wondering what they paid the extra £30 - £35 for.

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So why did I order one… it was Christmas…. I was bored…. I think you can see where this is going?

So a challenge to myself… Can I improve the railroad range model to a special edition standard if not better standard with a budge of £30 - £35…

Well if your interested, have a read… or you can watch the before and after review on Youtube.

3D printing – Slowly getting there.

We are making progress, with most of the design being now done by Tawe TMD / Stephen, and me relegated to checking the models over and paying the print bill, which is probably the safest option… we are making some good strides!

We went ahead with a complete redesign to have the coaches printed the White strong and flexible from Shapeways, which is Nylon plastic powder set or melted by selective laser sintering, or SLS. This is a cheaper material so has reduced the cost by a fair bit! Almost half in fact!


We received our first print of the new design which was the all 3rd Metropolitan coach, which shows serious promise! We hope now once the Brake 3rd's print arrives and is ok we will put the first 2 coaches up available for order.

A few test prints of the GN Saloon have been done also, but have hit some problems with some areas not being printed correctly. But one day I hope it will be sorted but here’s a prototype to have a look at which ran well on test just before Christmas.

Changes are being made to the body and chassis, I managed to receive a test print of a revised chassis, sadly this was warped, which was disappointing, but print quality was pretty good.



Wasn’t actually planning to go to Warley this year but decided to in the end, was a good show was not to bad to move around, I managed a small video this year so not to long and boring.

Hopefully next exhibition will be The London Festival of Railway modelling which is at the end of March.

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Bachmann E4’s

A tooling sample has been on show, of the LBSC E4 being produced by Bachmann, model shows lots of promise, not date as of yet as to when they will be available… I would imagine towards the end of the summer of end of the year.

Whilst on E4’s, I have managed to complete the Weald kit, E4 which I brought from a friend back in November, It has been a challenge rebuilding it, repainting it, and fixing or changing various parts, but the result is quite pleasing.

With Bachmann’s E4 progressing decision was taken to sell the Roger Stenning kit which is in SR livery, not only this the N-Class 1406 is also for sale.


Kernows O2’s progressing.

Good news, after not much news on these progress has been made! Sadly Dapol seem to of dropped the ball as of late, and seemed to of lost a number of commission jobs, the O2 included, as well as the USA tank now being produced by Bachmann.

All 6. O2 models have now been signed off, and now in initial tooling for a prototype.

Milton Keynes, Shenley brook end school: 15th Feb
Watford Finescale exhibition: 15th + 16th Feb
London Festival of railway modelling, Ally Pally: 22 and 23 March


October.. It's been a while....

Posted by Matt Wickham on October 26, 2013 at 6:35 PM Comments comments (1)

I haven’t written a blog for a little while and there are a few reasons as to why.

The layout has now been completed and is fully restored to working order, so taking advantage in August of what dry weather we have had meant a lot of running to catch up on so quite a few locos have been out on the layout so I hope in the not to distant future towards the end of this year I will get a few videos together.


3D printing – Not joke I have printed something!

Project Met’s


As most who read this blog, which I am sure there are… a few, will know I have been attempting to replace the old mocked up Metropolitan coaches made from Ratio kits, for a while these have been ok problem is your standards over time go up… and then they start to look out of place.

So designing my own Metropolitan Chesham set in 3D to take advantage of this new technology was a major challenge, and a step in to the unknown of 3D modelling something I have not done in 8 years since school.

After 8 months, or struggles and problems, and a lot of help from Tawe TMD on Facebook, We are now making major strides to having a set of coaches.

The first prints arrived in July, a chassis made in a Nylon material (WSF) a bogie made in Frosted Detail, and a body shell made in the same material. This gave me a chance to look and see, and inspect the first one and get an idea of improvements and changes. The print did have an issue on one side and one end, which Shapeways say was their fault so are re-printing it.

I have made several modifications, including indentations for hand rails, the bar across the window, and for a door handle.

I have removed the seating from the coach and strengthened up the rear end of the brake due to some warping and bowing in the bottom of the body. The partitions in the coach / internal walls have been modified so if a person wishes too they can add lighting.




More 3D modelling and printing:

I have also started a project B, with more knowledge about 3D printing and design I decided to put what I learn in to another project which I announced in August, which will be GN Saloon, I have built up a body which needs a bit of adjusting as well as a chassis, it has been designed to take Hornby Greasley bogies. More news and progress once the Mets have been completed.



Bachmann Announcements in August.

31st August 2013, Bachmann members day at the Bluebell railway.

I personally knew of an announcement but still wasn’t clear what, as they had measured quite a few locos there. But on the members day, Bachmann announced they will be producing an Ex LBSC, Br, H2 Atlantic model. So a first an Atlantic in RTR… great news! Price is still un-announced, but reckoned to be around £100 – 110, due out 2015 / 2016.

There are 2 models at this moment in time to pre-order:


31-920 H2 Class Atlantic 4-4-2 No. 2426 ‘St. Alban’s Head’ in Southern Railway olive green livery

31-921 H2 Class Atlantic 4-4-2 No. 32424 ‘Beachy Head’ in BR black livery with early emblem.


Model Rail Mag’s USA Tanks… another announcement.

During the Bachmann’s members day at the Bluebell it was announced the production of the USA Tanks has been taken over by Bachmann. It is believed taking in to account their status on facebook, it has been done to keep to time and not to delay it any further.

Either way I am sure who ever made It Bachmann or Dapol it still would have been great.


“Model Rail is now working with Bachmann Europe to design and produce our exclusive 'OO' gauge SR USA Tank. Revised delivery schedules will be announced as the project proceeds, but all other details, such as numbers/liveries etc stay the same. All pre-orders remain unaffected too. We'll bring you more updates on the model as it develops. Pre-orders for all four 'Batch 1' models are very strong, especially so for the two BR models and advance ordering is recommended even at this early stage. Further versions will be added in due course, covering all major livery variations across military, industrial, BR and preservation eras. Look out in Model Rail for updates over the coming months and thanks for your patience and enthusiasm”


Steam on the Met .. running out of Steam?

Last Sunday I went out to watch Steam on the Met, sadly again disappointed, this time Met 1 and L150 both failed, only leaving the Pannier 9466 left, I only stayed around for 2 hours only going as far as Rickmansworth, quite a disappointing trip out… I have taken some photos and videos, which will be put up on FlickR and Youtube.

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Severn Valley Gala

 I attended the autumn gala at the Severn Valley at the end of September a great show lots to see, some great locos that were in steam, you can see it all on my video of the event.

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TAD Rail, Scalefour / Scale forum, Wycrail 2013.

I have attended a couple of Exhibitions since the time I last posted, with another local one coming up.

Scale Forum, put on by Scalefour group, which includes P4, EM ect... was a good show some excellent layouts there, price was a bit step for the show but some good traders there to stock up on kits, and various parts and paint!

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TAD rail, put on by Tring and district model railway club, in early October this was a good exhibition last year, so decided to go again this year, sadly it wasn't as good as last year, seemed as though there wasn't enough layouts and the space wasn't well used, and more layouts could of been there.... the entrance fee of £6 didn't help its cause, meaning the attendance was quite poor... such a shame.

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Wyrail, 2nd November 2013

 As most are aware, I am a member of the High Wycombe and District Model Railway Society, and its coming up to the Club's exhibition. With 31 Layouts, and an entrance fee of £5... a lot better value, with also Hornby in attendance.

Details are:

The 2013 WYCRAIL exhibition is on Saturday 2nd November at:


HP12 4UD


Tickets Adult: £ 5.00
Child: £ 3.50
Family: £ 11.00
(2x Adults + 2x Children)


Find more details on layouts attending and trade on their Exhibition Website:


New Stock!

I have received the Hornby Maunsell open 3rd coach, which wasn't expected till Jan 2014, but looks like a small batch have landed in the UK, with mine coming from ebay for £30.
Sadly no images of the coach as of yet, but here's a review video on the coach:

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New loco's

Bachmann Dukedog
Well soon, in the next month or two, the Dukedog from Bachmann will arrive, having sold off a kit bash version I had a few years ago since I heard this was on the cards, it's been a long wait, but soon it will be here. Very much looking forward to it, being the only GWR loco which I will own.
Due November - December / Jan, I expect it may appear at Warley exhibition at the end of November.

New E4
 I have purchased another LBSC E4 kit from a friend of mind, needs quite a bit of work but it's progressing well, having rebuilt the chassis, and now working on the body, putting additional details on the body. The Kit I believe is the old Weald kit, with an upgraded compensated chassis, which needed work on re-aligning the axle boxes.
But hopefully soon, pictures will be posted up.
The livery will be the BR livery it carried prior to the SR livery it currently wears. B473 (Birch Grove) can be found in the loco shed, pending some copper welding due to a boiler issue.