March Blog 2014

Posted by Matt Wickham on March 18, 2014 at 5:00 PM

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.



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