Modified Budget Wagons


I have just finished off the first commission pieces for 2018

A modified Budget single plank, this has had the curved top plank removed, and the tops of the angle brackets re-scribed. The brief was for a worn but useable wagon, and to that end I added the remains of a ballast load to the interior.


The pair of Tumbrils have been upgraded with Slater’s wheelsets and Talisman couplers. I have added damage to the woodwork with a fine saw and scalpel, and in addition, I have drilled the end catches and added locking pins from jewellery findings and fine chain.




Churchwater Inspiration


I have been in conversation recently with James Hilton regarding Brian Clarke’s ‘Slate railway to Churchwater’

This is a fully conceived history of a 15″gauge slate tramway, which is a wonderfully crafted flight of fantasy.

I have only recently become aware of this work, which also contains drawings of locos and rolling stock, and sketches of various features, both track and architecture. I am well aware that this has been much admired for many Years, but hey better late than never!

The conversations between James and I revolve around this work of imagination inspiring us to create something based on it in larger scale, the jury is still out as to whether this will end up as a 7/8ths project representing 18′ or a 1/12ths scale project representing 15″.

James has documented his work so far on NGRMO here :-

And on his blog here :-

Irrespective it will be specifically 32mm gauge, only, and will, I hope appeal to existing members of the 16mm community that want something a little different, that will run on their existing lines.

So far I have had a couple of attempts at a chassis sub master, the first is true to Brian’s drawings with side frames coming out at 6″ X 8″ very substantial, for a piece of 15″ gauge rolling stock


For the second effort I have reduced the section to a scale 8″ X 4″ still chunky, but a little more finessed.


The second will go into rubber, the zero shrinks from that will be the basis of a small petrol loco, and various items of rolling stock.

This will most likely use the same format as our current budget range, with whitemetal plug and glue axleboxes, and 14″Binnie wheels, but will keep the brass couplers for strength. I have designed the chassis to be able to take SV wheelsets, as an upgrade, to reflect the heft of the original drawings.

I would like the chassis casting to form the basis of a vignette “how to” article for Garden Rail and I hope to be able to offer this as a new product range during 2018.


I have just completed the masters for the slate wagon body, this will be going into rubber next week along with the axle boxes




Two Compartment Coach Build


With the body kits for the two compartment coach going out to customers, this article will log the various hardware options available, along with comments on the construction and finishing, as soon as I can get one onto the workbench.

This is a wood only body kit, it is similar to the full version that was offered some time back by I.P. Engineering, but in bringing this version to the market place Ivan and I arranged a few modifications.

The roof is formed from shaped profile pieces, and laser cut planks, this will enable a strong, removable roof of the correct thickness. We have also tweaked the end beams, these are much deeper, and will in all probability need to be cut to the depth that will be required for your build, this will allow for a wide variation in coupler heights, to suit your particular requirements.

I would strongly suggest that you review the list of possible axleboxes and guard irons, along with wheels to get the ride height that you need to match the rest of your stock.

Mock-ups and dry runs will greatly reduce the possibilities for grief at a later stage.

Irrespective of your subsequent choices for running gear take a leaf from the coachwork that comes from Boston Lodge works on the Ffestiniog, there, skilled craftsmen spend hours and hours making timber and plywood look like fibreglass mouldings, we would do well to emulate that with sanding sealer, filler primer, model aircraft dope with talcum powder, etc, on the various flat sheets, before we consider construction.

There are many possible techniques, I am using Halfords filler primer.

Whatever you choose to use, it is imperative to treat both sides of any component the same, to avoid twists and warps, and, one piece of hard one advice, steer clear of Polyfilla wood hardener, ask me how I found out!

Below is a list of options for the various components that will be needed to complete your coaches.

If any manufacturer, has suitable items not on the list, please contact me, and I will be happy to add them

Wheels, suitable sizes are in the 16″-18″ 29mm-34mm range these are available in various price points from :-

Binnie Engineering :-

Slater’s Plastikard

The Train Department


Sierra Valley Enterprises *

* These are great wheels if you can get them, supply is very erratic and caution is required, if you see them available second hand fill your boots!

Axleboxes W irons etc

I.P. Engineering

The Train Department




I.P. Engineering




This will provide, a fair amount of choice, I will add to it as and when more options become available.



7 1/4″ round two


We had an informal get together in Wellesbourne last Sunday. I was attending in a private capacity, set up a paint table and had all day on the brushes.

Here are the end results of the Battery loco and two small wagons for the revived 7 1/4″ 1: 12 project.




7 1/4″Gauge

We recently attended the Exeter show, and took the opportunity, on the way down, to visit Pecorama, and particularly the Beer Heights Light Railway.

I have not visited for 20 years or so, and was really impressed with how it has grown and matured, along with the surrounding gardens.

We were there on the last day of the season, the locos, stock and grounds were immaculate, truly a credit to those tasked with their care.


I am very taken with Otter, there are not many locos that can carry off a Peacock blue livery with such aplomb.


All this has rekindled my interests in 7 1/4 gauge, in particular modelling it in 1:12ths scale, using 16.5mm as a track gauge.

Steph’ Hicking, Rob Bennett and I were kicking this about some years (!) back, as shown on this Lounge thread :-

I can’t believe this was 6 years ago, but hey, it does not do to rush these things.

As I have mentioned previously, I am looking to explore new areas of interest for ModelEarth, and I am minded to have a look at this. The combination of readily available mechs, means locos can be relatively inexpensive, and the physical size of rolling stock means it can be equally affordable.


I am only to aware that “full size” larger scale narrow gauge can get prohibitively expensive, but with a ready supply of second hand OO stock, this could provide a way to get into it, and still be able to access all the details, figures etc that are available.

I intend to rework my centre cab electric onto a better chassis, and sort out some goods stock, by way of an experiment. I am taking a lot of inspiration from Chris Stockdale’s minimal Facebook group, with the idea of the stock is there to do a real job of work. Check it out here :-

I would appreciate any thoughts on this, is it something that has appeal, or just one of my wierder lines of thought?



Teddy B


Exciting developments, we are please to announce that we have reached an agreement with Short Staff of Australia to offer their figures. The range has been sculpted by Chris Johnston, and is designed to compliment Rob Bennett’s 7/8ths Busy Bodies figures.

Manufactured in the U.K. by us, using the latest pressure casting technology, and supplied unpainted, our first release is Teddy Boston. This two-piece figure, the head is separate, would be ideally suited to crew the new Accucraft Bagnall.

Probably our last significant release for the year is a 55 gallon oil drum carrier, supplied unpainted, this will be available as :-

A single barrel priced at £10.00,

A pair of Barrels with the carrier at £20.00,

Supplied with the Budget flat it was designed for £34.00.


We have the last show of the season, at Exeter on 28.10.17 we will as always endeavour to have a good selection of our products, but if there is anything that you particularly want please let us know in advance and we will do our best to accommodate.

We have been reviewing our range of products, and will be retiring our Welsh range both inside and outside framed from 01.11.17

In addition we will be streamlining our range of locos. From November we will be offering just the American cabbed Davenport, and the Penrhyn petrol loco along with Tyke.

All the other variants will discontinued as complete locos, and will not form part of our main range, for the time being,

Various elements will be available as separate components from the Something for the Weekend catalogue, dependant on stock and mould life.