New E-Mail Address


The problems with my original e-mail address continue, my Web Master is in Canada and the server in California, I have not been able to contact either since this problem started on 26.12.20.

I have set up a new e-mail address at

This is live and working, I hope in due course to get the .net address back up and running and run both side by side, but I have no idea if this will come to pass, or indeed when.

My apologies to anyone who has tried to get in touch, but received no reply, please try again with the new address.

ModelEarth remains open for business and we are as keen as ever to sell you things ūüôā

If anyone is in touch with Ferd Mels I would be grateful if you would let him know I am trying to contact him



E-Mail Grief

Guys.I am currently having problems with receiving e-mails, If you have contacted me recently and not had a reply this will be why.

This is taking time to sort out so in the interim you can reach me via my partners e-mail :-cathy(at)

I will endeavour to get things back to normal as soon as I can.


Christmas 2020


Apologies, I prepared this before Christmas but forgot to post it, still, as they say better late than never!


A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of my friends and customers.

This has been  a strange, and for many, extremely difficult Year, I hope that 2021 sees a return to something a bit more normal.

ModelEarth has so far survived in pretty good order, although I am  way behind on commission work. Lock down and social distancing had had a fairly major impact on my working environment with Cathy at home for most of the Year in her capacity  as Mistress Underfoot :). I have also been involved in helping to set up her new company Cathy’s Castings supplying the 16mm market place

We have  a number of new releases to come for the start of 2021 including new Short Staff figures, further additions to the Talisman range, and additions to the Welsh English and Churchwater ranges, details to follow.

Thank you to all of my customers for your continued support, it is much appreciated, and allows us to keep rolling out new product for our chosen scale, lets hope that 2021 proves to be a bit more fun!

A few more shots of the Elf on a shelf for the older boy (or girl) She is a fairly major conversion of a Short Staff Kylie with a modified head from a ModelEarth female Engineer, along with a considerable amount of Magic Sculpt epoxy putty.


New tricks for an old dog


There was a discussion recently on the 7/8ths and larger Facebook group regarding weathering, and the name Night Shift came up.

Night Shift is Martin Kovac, who has a whole series of videos on You Tube, and they have been a real revelation, I would urge you to check them out, and not to be put off by the choice of military subjects.

I have been building and painting models for more than 50 years (I started young!) and some of the techniques and materials used were new to me, I have found these to really lift my game, and that was both invigorating and inspirational, and unexpected.

I have had a flurry of buying new product and could not wait to give them a try. I will walk you through some of these products and techniques using a recently re-released ModelEarth Penrhyn runner wagon as an example.

I will not offer a step by step, this aspect is very well covered in Martins videos, but I can show how various techniques are of benefit for larger scale railways.

I wanted to create a battered and unloved example, with rusted ironwork, and sun bleached (!) woodwork, whilst still being a working wagon with a good selection of tools and equipment to fulfil its purpose.

Some of new paints, and potions I have acquired

Lifecolor acrylics. very matt and highly pigmented, allowing them to be heavily diluted to create rust effects

Enamel washes by Mig and AK semi transparent and blendable.

P3 Dry pigments, these can be applied with either finger or a silicone sculpting tool, and polished if required.

The painted and assembled runner wagon.




I airbrushed the basic wood tones, they were then oilwashed with a mix of burnt sienna and ivory black, followed by drybrushing, finishing with painted highlights, using Lifecolor dust type 1 as top highlight, thinned right out

Mid grey was the base colour for metalwork, this was stippled with thinned Lifecolor rust shades from light to dark, followed by enamel rust washes, first dark and then light. To finish lightly applied gunmetal pigment.


Usual techniques on oilcans, multiple dark wash applications for oil stains, pigment for worn metal.

The hammer was blackened with AK burnishing fluid for whitemetal, our Blue Jollop is O.K. on whitemetal, but this is much better giving a rich deep grey colour ideal for working over. The head was lightly polished with a scouring pad, the handle was primed in white, before adding the wood shades, and then finished with oilwashes.

The various couplers, chains etc were blackened and then primed with grey. The rust is again Lifecolor acrylics thinned out and randomly stippled start with the lightest yellow ochre shade and adding progressively darker. , Enamel washes, and finally metal pigments.

The finished images.

In conclusion, I have always been a bit sniffy about all of these “made up potions‚ÄĚ but in truth they work really well, better than the home brewed alternatives I have used for years, definitely worth the money, and I can’t wait to experiment further, I will be glad when some of the current commission jobs finally get to the paint stage.


Latest releases 07.08.20


ModelEarth has been open through the lockdown period, with sales having been much higher than anticipated. This has allowed us to accelerate our release schedule for figures and reintroduce some previously withdrawn, reworked rolling stock kits

We have four new Short Staff releases a pair of Hobos, Chad and Eustace, a rail enthusiast, Toby and a female driver Polly. All are priced at £18.50 with the exception of Chad the banjo player at £20.00



Toby 1

Toby 2

Toby 3

Polly 1

Polly 2

Polly 3

The English range was originally mastered by Pete Coulter, I have tweaked the masters a little to ease production, but they remain true to Peters vision.

Supplied less wheels, decks and bodywork are resin, the bolt on Bellmouth couplers, are whitemetal with pop rivets for pins, the guard irons are also whitemetal with brass bearings.
They are considerably larger than our budget range, with a footprint of L (over couplers) 200mm W 102mm. These will suit some of the larger locos available, Bagnall, Skylark, Cabbed Hunslet and Simply 7/8ths Edrig conversions.

The intention has been to offer these as inexpensively as possible, to this end they are designed to be upgradable, with alternatives for couplers and axleboxes, and in due course we will have a brake option available.

We can offer Binnie 16″ wheels on Slaters axles at ¬£7.00 per set, 18″ wheels are available from Slaters, Bachmann L999304 work well, other options include Sierra Valley, Train department, Accucraft and I.P. Engineering.

The bolsters feature Talisman brass for the hardware.

Costs are :-
Flat                                £33.00
Bulkhead flat              £37.00
Pair of Bolsters           £94.00


Bulkhead Flat


We have a working dropside and a two ton mineral wagon in preparation to reinforce the range. If sales warrant it there will be a Box van, guards van and coach variants in due course.

We have had a commission in for some Welsh quarry wagons, we needed to remould the resin chassis and as a result are able to offer this limited run kit for a Welsh slab carrier.

This is a true multi media kit, consisting of , resin chassis and slab bearers, whitemetal axle boxes, Talisman brass couplers, styrene chassis details, and Binnie 16″ wheels on Slaters axles.

Kit components

The wheelsets can be supplied to either 32mm or 45mm but not re-gaugable. These kits can be supplied less wheels for a ¬£3.00 discount, and will accept 15″ or 18″ Slaters wheelsets.

Priced at £36.00 with Binnie wheels or £33.00 without.

O F Slab 1

O F Slab 2

O F Slab 3



16mm Roundhouse Little John


I recently had a bit of a go at this Roundhouse Little John for a friend.

It was in ex factory gloss maroon, and the brief was to achieve a finish more typical of a well-maintained working loco.

To start with a coat of Humbrol matt 49 was applied to the whole loco after we had split the bodywork from the chassis.

This muted the original finish and allowed a certain amount of bite for the subsequent layers.

To start with the cab exterior was masked up to avoid overspray, and the interior was primed with white and sprayed in a variety of earth and buff shades to represent the cream interior.

Once set the masking was reversed to prevent overspray onto the cab interior

The paintwork was faded a little with a couple of thin passes of acrylics first to add some lowlights, followed by a match the original maroon, and finally the upper surfaces were picked out in a lighter shade with some sand tones added.

The chassis and footplate were sprayed with a warm dark gray, with a couple of passes of a lighter shade.

Once set up a standard oil wash was followed with a couple of dry brushed passes.

Some minimal rusting was applied with a sponge to panel edges where wear would occur. This was followed by some linear scratches to represent encounters with the undergrowth, with catch lights added where appropriate.

The exhaust stack was sprayed in various rust shades and finished with weathering powders and ground chalks.

To finish the various subassemblies were lacquered with more Humbrol 49 before reassembly. The job was completed with a couple of passes of earth shades to represent road grime followed by a touch of graphite to represent worn metal on cab edges handrails etc.

This was a bit of an experiment to try and avoid a full respray, I think it has worked well and is a quick and easy solution if the base coats are in good order.


Departmental wagons for sale


In a departure from normal we have a pair of Departmental wagons for sale. These were originally a commission that fell foul of the Corona virus lockdown.

These wagons represent a 50’s era 2’6″ gauge wagon reduced to 2′ gauge, typical of Departmental wagons that you can find on many preserved railways.

Dimensions are, L over couplers 142mm W 85mm, deck height is 43mm from the wheel flanges.

These are built from styrene section, and chequer plate, the axleguards are whitemetal with brass bearings. They are running on Binnie 16″ wheelsets set to 45mm, these could, theoretically, be altered to 32mm, but I think these would look a bit odd because of the overall width. The couplers are Talisman 78-004’s and the wagons are detailed with welds, moss growth etc.

There is a pack of details supplied with them including timber baulks, chain, chain tensioner, lump hammer, pry bar, and fallen leaves.

All the items are fully painted, weathered and lacquered.

These are offered as shown as a pair for £240.00 plus postage, I would be happy to consider deals, swapsies or whatever.


If you are interested please contact me via the usual address si(at)


Thanks for looking

Loco Coal Wagon part 2


With all the sub-assemblies primed, the next task is to construct the paint finish.

The mine tub was under-painted in dark rust shades, initially using an airbrush, three passes, the first shadow spayed with a darker version of the base colour. The panels were done using the base colour as is, and then some highlights added with a lightened tone. When dry I broke up the finish with a couple of dry-brushed passes and some stippling.


The interior received a couple of additional passes with a gunmetal shade, lightened with silver as a base for the worn metal effects. With all of the pre-painting completed it was sealed with a couple of coats of Games Workshop lacquer, whatever they are calling Purity Seal this week.


The inside was protected with masking tape, a finger run over the sticky side makes it a little less tacky and so less likely to lift the paint. This was followed by three passes of AK’s worn effects fluid. This is a water-soluble fluid that allows subsequent layers to be softened with water and abraded, to represent the effects of paintwork that has worn away to expose the surface underneath.

Coal 14

With the barrier layer dry, I then airbrushed the outside of the tub with a grey shade mixed from black and white. I wanted this to be visually different to the chassis and ironwork, which would end up as a warm dark grey to represent weathered black.

As always three or four passes to add variations into the finish, and adding lighter shades to the upper areas of the panel work to accentuate the effects of sunlight.


After again allowing this layer to set up, I dampened the surface, and went at it with a combination of stiff brushes, and a cocktail stick to represent scratches.


The chassis was airbrushed with black let down with a warm grey, once dry the bare wood, along with the scotch blocks were brush painted with a combination of warm grey and earth tones, before an oilwash of black/raw umber mix. The ‘black’ was dry brushed with progressively lighter shades of the black warm grey mix, while the bare wood had a couple of mixes of the grey lightened with a bone colour.

I adjusted the tone of a couple of planks, and accentuated the grain with a wash of raw umber artists acrylic. The final highlights were applied in the bone colour with a brush, with regard to the direction of the light source, coming from the right.


The couplers and wheelsets were treated in the same way as the chassis, with some final detailing of rust marks using a mix of Venetian red and black oil paints thinned to a wash with white spirit.


The final detailing of the tub paintwork involved a couple of dry brushed passes on the grey followed by adding catch lights to the underneath of scratches and paint damage.

This was followed by a pass of the Venetian red/black mix, where appropriate this was applied as a small dab, and then drawn down using a clean brush moistened with white spirit, to represent rust streaks from exposed metal work. With all the paintwork set up each of the components was lacquered with Humbrol Matt 49 from a rattle can prior to final assembly.


With the wagon assembled it was time for a few final details. The empty coal sacks were sculpted in epoxy putty over cling-film, to start with the putty was rolled out using talc to prevent sticking, the texture was embossed with an old t-shirt. Painted in acrylics with the ingrained coal dust from grimy black weathering powder. The shovels were cleaned up and blackened before burnishing the metal parts with fine wire wool. The handles were spot primed with white cellulose and painted with acrylics followed by a raw umber oil wash. The coal is the real deal smashed up and sifted.


I hope you find some of these techniques useful in your own modelling.



Loco Coal wagon part 1


I have recently put together a Loco coal wagon, and as I haven’t written a step by step for a while here we go.

This is based on a Swift Sixteen 7/8ths mine tub, Slater’s 18″ web spoked wheels, with Talisman brass for couplers and axle boxes. Here are the basic components ready for primer.

The Tub was mastered for 32mm inside frame so a new chassis was needed to take 45mm wheelsets. I laminated 2mm styrene sheet using Gel super glue for the solebars and end beams, and then ripped up the sections required on the table saw. The grain was scribed in using, scalpel, file and wire brush, before removing any stray whiskers of styrene with a nylon scouring pad.

The main chassis members were assembled with MEK using a square. Once set up I detailed the chassis with faux tennons, and punched styrene NBW’s

The tub is from Swift Sixteen, it is the usual mix of excellent mastering and fine casting from Rob.

I started by removing the rivets on the coupler blocks before taking them off with a careful pass through the table saw, I added the securing angles and detailed them with the rivets I had removed earlier. A final clean up of the mould line was followed by a stipple of Mr Surfacer on the exterior plate-work to give a bit of additional texture.

The wheelsets are from Slater’s, their 18″ web spoked, I dropped the wheels off of the axles before turning down the ends, and taking a very fine cut from the area of the journals to give a looser fit.

The inside bearings are for a nominal 1/4″ axle, I ran a broach through them before cleaning them up and adding a little more texture to the castings with a ball router in my mini drill. With the axles reassembled I slung the whole wheelset in blue Jollop to blacken the brass and rust the steel.

The couplers are Talisman 78-019 Bellmouths I marked the position of the small holes in the backing plates, before drilling the end beams. I silver soldered the main castings to the backing plates before removing the cast 4BA mounting stud, and blackening the castings.

I tried all sorts of combinations to provide some brake gear for this wagon, and nothing looked right to my eye. Eventually I came up with the simplest solution, a pair of scotch blocks, with locating hooks to hang them off of the end of the tub, carved styrene, for the blocks with bolts and chains for interest, and some bent brass strip for the hooks.

A test fit of the main components cleaned, primed and ready for paint.

Paintwork next.