Latest figure releases


We will be at the Llanfair show in less than two weeks, here are the latest Short Staff releases that will be available there.

Lovebirds, these two are sold as a pair unpainted for £37.00

U.S. loco crew, these are available as a pair for £37.00 or individually, Clint the driver for £18.50 and Wyatt the fireman for £20.00

Thanks for looking




Kerr Stuart Wren

I recently took delivery of one of Accucrafts new 7/8ths Wrens. I was suitably impressed when it arrived but with Roger from Statfold as my aiming point, there were (I thought) just a few tweaks that I could make to lift it.


I dropped the end beams off, replaced the couplers a little higher with some Talisman 78-019 Bellmouths, and swapped out the Philips screws for some hex heads. The beams were sprayed up with a darkish red, and brighter tones were introduced with drybrushing, along with scratches and grime

I wanted an open coalbunker in the left side, that involved unsoldering the lid, that of course damaged the paint, oh how we laughed! This obviously meant a strip using standard cellulose thinners, and re-spray of all the tinwork with enamels. I took the opportunity to add some shading and highlights to break up the sameness of the gray before lacquering, and sending it off to Matt Acton for lining and lettering. The most complicated bit was removing the cylinders, valve chests off upwards and then the cylinders unbolt and come away sideways.

By now replacing the right hand bunker lid with a nice wooden one was on obvious call.A nice piece of well seasoned pear wood had a lovely fine grain, and following a hard fought struggle with my table saw, the job was a good one, but strewth that pear wood was hard!

By this stage I have reduced a £1600.00 loco to a pile of bits in poly bags and an ice cream tub, still onwards and upwards!

With the wheels and the brake gear off I was able to get the chassis into the dishwasher to get it completely grease free, prior to paint.

Wren 1

At this stage I replaced most of the visible Philips screws with hex heads mostly M 1.6 with a few M2 and the chassis was ready for paint. Sadly not possible with the front beam mounting angles, there was just no clearance, however I am not sure I can live with them so still searching for a solution.

The chassis was airbrushed with enamels for durability, aiming for a warm dark grey rather than pure black. I left this for several days to set up before an oilwash and drybrushing in the usual way. To complete the worn feel I added a few watermarks and rust streaks, taking care not to overdo the effect


The wheels were stripped and painted the same shade of gray, with the rims in white for a bit of contrast.

With all this set up, I was finally able to start reassembly. The rods were stripped of the red paint, blackened and polished, and with the horn blocks oiled, the rear wheelsets went back in.

I dropped the packing plates off of the front horn guides and added a pair of coil springs each side. The horn blocks come with a pair of indents and the top of the horn guides have a convenient pair of lugs so adding the springs was really straight forward.

The basic chassis back on its feet with the end beams and brake gear reattached.


I had the bodywork back from Matt Acton this week, beautiful job.

Here the cylinders and slide bars have been refitted, again replacing Philips headed screws with hex heads. The rest of the bodywork is just placed, note the wooden lid on the right hand coal bunker.

I have worked on the various brass castings, stripping the original paint, cleaning up and blackening. A final working over with a nylon pan scourer gives the effect that you can see. The castings are really nice and look good against the gray paint work.

I have re-lacquered the bodywork to bury the lining and lettering, and have started to add some subtle weathering and water stains.


Valve gear and rods refitted along with the lubricator.


One of the last jobs on the chassis would, I thought, be fairly straightforward, the reverser.

I have fitted the excellent David Bailey reverser to most of the steam fleet, so that was my first choice. I was aware I would l need to limit the travel to suit the Hackworth valve gear, and while I was at it I bushed the mounting holes for the quadrants to use 12BA bolts rather than the original 8BA which I find a little too robust.


Sadly no joy, even with the smaller bolt heads it was still to wide to fit between the boiler and the right hand bunker.

Aha I thought if we raise the quadrants above the bunker cover all would be fine, so a new mounting bracket was fabricated.


This worked but raised the lever so far up it looked ridiculous plus it was likely to hit the driver in the reverse position and the cab support in forward, back to the drawing board.

The third, and successful solution was to keep the original support bracket, and fabricate a new lever, that looked more realistic. The latching mechanism is a dummy, the original Accucraft arrangement works on a different principle, although you can still fiddle with the handle. All of the non prototypical elements are hidden between the bunker and the boiler, all the bits you can see look believable.


The version shown here is just blackened, I will get it painted up and installed, next up tweaking the boiler fittings, and getting the boiler back in.

The reverser painted and installed


With bunkers , roof and driver placed, it is possible to get an idea of how the finished loco will look.




Recent Developments


Talisman Brass has used Priory Cast Products for many years. We have always had great service from Richard Henshaw and his team for both mould making as well as casting.

Richard had chosen a well-deserved retirement, and with a slight name change to Priory Cast Products Ltd passed the business on to new owners in December.

This change of ownership was accompanied with a promise of continuity and an immediate 15% price hike.

Since December delivery times have increased substantially, a recent e-mail offering 4-6 weeks, as opposed to the 7-10 days under Richards leadership.

The quality of the castings has been pretty good, but sadly the admin side has been getting worse and worse possibly as a result of the “new computerised database”

Events reached a head earlier this week, the latest order arrived, but the accompanying invoices were all over the place and adrift by hundreds of pounds.

A phone call to try and sort this out ended with the person responsible telling me not to give her a hard time, suggesting that Talisman’s business was not financially worthwhile, they didn’t want it and would I collect the moulds.

This brings to an end a relationship which had lasted for nine years.

I am not surprised that the new regime could not make it pay, one page of an invoice for £302.00 was adrift by approx £240.00 to their detriment, my attempt to increase the amount I was paying being met with “don’t give me a hard time”!

When I collected the moulds I was informed that they were not interested in  model railway business, so presumably this will effect all of the other suppliers that have been given the joyous opportunity to interact with these clowns.

Talisman are actively seeking a new brass founder, hopefully with some basic numeracy and administration skills, we have pretty good stocks on the shelves at present, but there will, I am sure be some delays whilst we bed in the new supplier, please bear with us, normal service will be resumed asap.


New Releases April 2019

We have the first of our new Churchwater releases available :-

Chassis £22.00
Flat £27.00
Bulkhead flat £30.00
Slab Carrier £27.00
Four Plank £30.00

All feature a Pressure cast resin chassis, with Talisman brass couplers, whitemetal axleboxes, and Binnie wheelsets, this range is 1:12the scale and for 32mm only.

The loco masters have been delayed with the pressure of other task in the workshop, but are now nearly complete.


We have the three latest 7/8ths release from Short Staff available, all priced at £18.50 and supplied unpainted these are :-



Station Master


Upcoming 7/8ths products


We have just completed the first two shows of the season with the 16mm AGM

I have been struck with the amount of new 7/8th product being made available from a variety of manufacturers.

This is, in my opinion, a good and healthy thing for our chosen scale, the more choice available to potential converts the greater the attraction for what 7/8ths offers.

An upswing in interest will serve all manufacturers well, and hopefully lead to yet more products becoming available. I applaud all those who have committed time and resource, to developing 7/8ths products, I wish all of them well, and hope that they enjoy success in the fruits of their labours.

To showcase just some of the items seen recently :-

Bole Laser Craft

Offering a selection of rolling stock kits, which feature some of the nicest 3D printed details I have seen. Their Leek and Manifold station building is also noteworthy

Bole laser Sand HuttonL&M waiting room



Some preproduction images of the Dinorwic Royal coach to be released soon, we were glad to be able to offer some modest assistance in this project. Matt has done a fine job with the laser work on this, and such a cute prototype!

FB_IMG_1554591364449Royal Coach


North Pilton works

NPW have been producing a good range in 7/8ths, both buildings and infrastructure as well as rolling stock. Steph H and I were looking over some of their upcoming releases, we were particularly taken with their upcoming kitchen coach. It will come with a load of details, but imagine them augmented with a selection of Dolls house kitchen items, cutlery, crockery, glassware etc. I can’t wait to get my hands on one!

We also came up with some ideas for converting the bogie Brake van into a works diesel, as you do, details to follow.

NPW SelectionNPW Kitchen carNPW bogie brake

IP Engineering

After talking with Ivan, ModelEarth will be offering the recent releases of IP matchboard coaches.

This will make stock available from the largest 7/8ths supplier and allow IP to concentrate on their core 16mm business.

Following on from our previous success with the panelled coaches we will be offering these as a wood pack without castings for £50.00

There are a number of options for wheels, axle boxes and couplers. As soon as I can I will put up some information on my blog.

IP Coaches

Accucraft UK

We have been fortunate with Accucraft offering a selection of 7/8ths live steam locos, the next release, a Kerr Stuart Wren is eagerly awaited.



Just a small selection of the range of 7/8ths product becoming available, happy times.



Churchwater Rolling Stock


We have the start of the new show season upon us very shortly with The Fosse show on the weekend of 16-17.03.19 followed soon after by the 16mm AGM 06.04.19.

We will be releasing the first elements of our new Churchwater range. These have been inspired by the work of Brian Clarke see this thread here :-

In particular his lovely pen and ink illustrations, as well as the slightly more formal drawings in his fictional account of a 15″ gauge slate tramway.

Here are a combination of masters and test shots, for the first four items of rolling stock, Flat, Bulkhead flat, slab carrier and three plank slate wagon.

These are 1:12 scale on 32mm gauge only to represent a 15″ gauge prototype. They will be complete with Binnie wheelsets, whitemetal plug and glue axleboxes , and Talisman brass couplers.

Brian conceived the rolling stock, as pretty robust, the models reflect this, they include Binnie wheelsets to keep the price down, but I have designed these to be able to take chunkier wheelsets, including SVE if you can lay hands on them!

We will have these available to view at the Fosse, with, all being well, the finished masters for the tractor based Loco. We will hopefully have a few wagons available for sale at the Fosse, prior to their launch at the 16mm AGM.

Churchwater Chassis
Churchwater Chassis
Bulkhead Flat
Slab Carrier
Three Plank Slate Wagon


Atelier Vaporiste Box Van

As ModelEarth will be acting as agents for Pascal’s new box van kit I will be building a couple for myself.

As intended this builds into a four wheel van, of course I had to try something a little different!

I have had a couple of pairs of Aster arch bar bogies from a logging car they offered many years ago. I had fitted tophat bearings and Slater’s 16″ wheelsets, and they have been waiting for a good home for longer than I would care to admit to.

I wonder whether I should look at offering something similar in brass? I would like to do a couple more box vans like this a well as a Gilpin caboose, and I am going to need some more bogies from somewhere

The Chassis , as supplied will need only very slight modification to add bolsters, I think the end result, has a nice balance and proportion.


More when I have the time