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DAVE UPTON
Joined: Oct 4, 2011
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posted on Oct 4, 2011 10:32 AM:
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John has kindly created a specific category for tin plate enthusiasts to post images of their layouts and its fallen to me to kick it off........
These shots were taken from the walkway around my pre war Hornby O gauge signal gantry, and unable to decide whether sepia looks better than black and white, I thought I'd post them both.






I perhaps ought to explain that what you see is one corner of my fairly simplistic garden layout, built outside because of a lack of room indoors and built so that these wonderful models can get something approaching a decent run and space to show themselves off as well as can be expected. All of the various lineside features you see have to be put away at the end of the day, so this sort of set-up does not happen too often, having said that the Canopy Stations you can see in the background are a permanent feature as there is nowhere else for them to live and they survive all year round thanks to their tin plated parts having been replaced with formed aluminium and brass nuts and bolts.
 

   

DAVE UPTON
Joined: Oct 4, 2011
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posted on Oct 4, 2011 04:31 PM:
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Here's a colour image of the opposite end of the layout. This is where I have experimented with artificial grass matting over polystyrene sheets to create something approaching a scale scenery that is weatherproof and at the same time in keeping with the appearance of pre war Hornby layouts as were regularly featured in the Meccano Magazine. Hornby hedging and trees were made out of cut up loofa as you see here.
Here's a link to my YouTube Channel where you will find numerous clips of the locos and stock in action.



Watch My Video

 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Oct 5, 2011 06:33 AM:
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Here's a picture featuring the signal gantry from which the above photo's were taken. Don't ask how I managed to climb the steps and get up there!
For those who perhaps don't know too much about what is being run on the layout, all the stock you see is modern tin plate, chiefly by the Darstaed company, but also some coaches originally supplied under the ACE Trains brand. The streamlined A4 Pacific has been fitted with fairly recently developed Darstaed gearing which makes it tremendously capable. In one of my YouTube clips you can see this very locomotive hauling 15 full sized tin printed coaches!
Watch My Video
The tank engine coming towards camera is the brand new Darstaed 0-6-0 F3 otherwise known as a 'Jinty' to enthusiasts (please say if you know why). This has a slightly upgraded version of the same gearbox and gear train as the A4, with all 6 wheels being driven. The bodywork is a very heavy solid casting so combined you get another model locomotive that has huge capabilities, both at the crawl and at speed. This loco is moving a rake of the Darstaed Private Owner wagons, of which I or someone else will no doubt post some better pictures as these are literally works of art, appearing even close up to feature raised ironwork etc, when in fact they are perfectly flat printed.
In the lower colour picture you have a Stanier 2-6-4 Tank engine. This glorious looking model was released some time ago under the ACE Trains brand, but as far as I am concerned it was badly let down by whoever made it in respect of the mechanism it was given, which (again as far as I discovered) was noisy and under powered resulting in a model of rather poor performance. Nevertheless, it is good to look at!






 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Oct 5, 2011 11:38 AM:
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Here is a better picture of two of the series of Darstaed Private Owner wagons. I refuse to believe these are flat printed tin, and I own them!!





Here's a clip of the Stanier under way with a rake of these wagons.

Watch My Video

And here's a closer shot of another of the series. Still think they are flat printed?



 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Oct 5, 2011 02:39 PM:
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As a result of indulging myself in the tin plate world of these model trains, one of the big surprises for me was the discovery I could produce digital art! With such limited computer skills, this really was a mystery. One of the first results of this new found ability was this image done on behalf of Darstaed in connection with their 2-6-2T engine, for when it was introduced a while ago. The other image is one produced very recently which I simply call 'FLAT OUT!', and features the A4 Pacific as pictured above.





 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Oct 6, 2011 11:18 AM:
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Here's one of my favorite images, not because its a great photo - it isn't, but more because as a photo it has so much to say? For those not at all familiar, what you have here is a direct comparison between the coach I grew up with as a child (45yrs ago) and the coach that it became thanks to the commitment of those involved in breathing new life into the tin printed O gauge scene a few years ago.The coach to the right is a post war Hornby O gauge, sometimes referred to as a 'blood & custard', a title I've never really liked.

 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Oct 6, 2011 02:26 PM:
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This is a picture of the first 'modern' tin plate locomotive I purchased some years ago. In actual fact the coaches it is hauling were purchased a good while before I had the locomotive, simply because they were so stunningly attractive. The coaches are tin printed LNER Teaks, and both coaches and loco were produced under the ACE Trains trade mark.
The locomotive is a model of one of the most famous of all British locomotives, A3 No 4472 Flying Scotsman. It has a superbly engineered twin motor and gear-train assembly under a very heavy cast body, giving it massive capability.




This is a better picture of one of the Teak coaches, which frankly I could look at all day!





Ok; so here's another one.

This rake is being hauled by another Gresley A4 Pacific this time in Gloss Garter Blue - I'll post some pictures presently.



The coach featured in this shot is one of the Buffet Cars. Amongst the rake are the Articulated Sleeping Car Units as used for the long distance over night runs.
You can see Flying Scotsman with a rake of these Teaks here:
Watch My Video

 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Oct 6, 2011 03:05 PM:
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Here's the Garter Blue A4.





And here is my tribute the designer, Sir Nigel Gresley. Based on a real photograph of him, here he takes time out of his busy day to come and admire the model locomotive which now bears his name.



 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Oct 7, 2011 04:45 PM:
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In this clip you can see this very locomotive (Sir Nigel Gresley) take up the couplings on what I regard as the longest rake of coaches the model can cope with on a layout such as mine - 15 in total!
Watch My Video

Had I got a considerably larger layout with much larger radius return loops then I don't doubt the model could cope with 2 or 3 more. Such long trains were never the norm in the UK, but during WW2 the pressures on the rail network was such that many trains were run with enormous loads and 15 coaches was not uncommon.






Personally, I always prefer the wind in my hair when I'm photographing the train!



 

   

djwebb1234
Joined: Oct 7, 2011
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posted on Oct 7, 2011 05:29 PM:
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Dear All,

Here is my first attempt....





and it worked !!!

All the best

David
 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Oct 8, 2011 01:28 AM:
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Hi David, great to see your posting. Had a good holiday?
 

   

djwebb1234
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posted on Oct 8, 2011 07:18 AM:
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Hello Arkwrightis,





Thanks for this link. Your photos and pictures look as good as ever !

The holiday was great, I recommend Dorset - again !

David
 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Oct 8, 2011 10:54 AM:
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Davids super picture of his imposing 'Spam Can' leads nicely into taking a look at coaching stock particularly appropriate for running with such a loco. Here you have some pictures of the range of Pullman coaches by Darstaed, starting with the most important of them all, one of the Bar Car's!





These coaches are quite exquisitely tin printed as this next picture should illustrate.





They are individually quite heavy however thanks to virtually frictionless axles they roll along very freely. You can view the axles being demonstrated in this short but simple and completely unscientific test I conducted a while ago.
Watch My Video
and here:
Watch My Video

The second clip features a very different locomotive, again by Darstaed known as The Brighton Belle. This was the first all electric Pullman service running between London and Brighton on the south coast from the 1930's up to the 1970's.

Before taking a closer look at the Brighton Belle, here are some more Pullman coaches, strangely enough another Bar Car - Trianon. According to my research the coach (or car) was first built in 1927, but after WW2, in 1946 was refitted out as a Bar Car with the reintroduction of the prestigious Golden Arrow (David's Train above) Boat Train Service between London and Dover.





Let me introduce you to..... Hazel.






 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Oct 8, 2011 01:14 PM:
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This one is from the Brighton Belle set - Doris.





And this is the Brighton Belle making her stately way to Brighton!



 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Oct 8, 2011 04:09 PM:
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For anyone wondering what influences my approach to the world of modern tinplate trains, here is a picture from one of the many Meccano Magazines I grew up with as a young boy in the early 1960's. The magazines were the property of my uncle, and were already by that time the better part of 20yrs old. Every copy of these magazines always carried an article or two about how you could enhance your layout and so captivating were such images to me, that 50yrs later they still hold my imagination.

 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Oct 12, 2011 04:33 PM:
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The glory days of Hornby O Gauge arrived in 1937 when the company announced their plans to produce a truly magnificent model of the 4-6-2 Princess Elizabeth. Sadly the model when it arrived had certain errors in its proportions as this rather unflattering photo shows only too well.



It was nevertheless received to much applause and some very fortunate young men (and fathers) found themselves the very proud owners of this model which still today commands a very high price.

Years later and all thoughts of ever owning one of these highly sought after models well and truely put to bed, a picture appeared on the front of a magazine, and I simply could not believe my eyes - the Princess Elizabeth was being reproduced! It took a good while but eventually I got my own and here she is.




This particular model was made under the Bassett Lowke label but I believe Hornby own the trade mark now, so I'm not too sure who is actually responsible. It is nevertheless a fine model to look at, let down only by its lack of weight.
You can see this locomotive in action on the layout here:
Watch My Video
In this clip, she is at the head of a rake of tin printed LMS coaches produced for ACE Trains. These are so very like the original Hornby double bogie coaches which Hornby produced in the 1930's, complete with silvered windows rather than glazed. A joy to watch.






So much for locomotives, here's a clue about what I plan to look at next time:





Featured here are three of the ACE Trains petrol tankers quietly being emptied I believe.


 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Oct 14, 2011 02:55 PM:
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Over the past year there has been a flurry of activity by different makers turning out some superb tin printed Advans as they are known. In recent weeks, Rob Horton of Wessex Transfers, Tasmania has been working alongside Darstaed to produce the latest offerings which I have just had the pleasure of photographing on my layout for them. My goal has been to try and illustrate this remarkable attention to detail which is aspired to. Considering each of these vans are perfectly flat sided, see what you think.













There are eight in the set the others being WEETABIX, SLUMBERLAND, OVALTINE, EVER READY, & CYDRAX. Let me know if you want to view any of the others. You can view a 60 sec promo here:
Watch My Video

Here's an end view.












 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Oct 15, 2011 02:32 PM:
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Here now are some images of Private Owner vans recently released under the ACE Trains label.














Here is one of the earlier series of Darstaed Private Owner wagons. Once again, truly remarkable detailing on a flat printed body. Unbeknown to many owners, the artwork on every van incorporates a snail quietly minding its own business?!







 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Oct 24, 2011 03:30 PM:
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So much for detail on goods wagons, take a look at the detail on this particular coach, known as a Dynamometer Car. These were especially prepared coaches that contained a range of sensitive recording instruments designed to analyse the performance of whichever locomotive they were coupled up to and it was one of these that was used record the speed achieved by Mallard 3 July 1938 when it went into the record books for achieving 125.88 mph (202.58 km/h), a record that remains unbroken.





Here's a closer view showing how the coach was designed to allow a view down the line ahead. This is one of a series of coaches produced under the ACE Trains label where an 'Overlay' has been applied. The art work for this series was done by Brian Wright and these coaches are amongst the most eagerly sought after from the ACE Trains range of that time. In each case a donor coach has had the printed overlay's glued on and despite their appearance, the printed surfaces are perfectly flat!





Here's my tribute to the work of Brian Wright where I have taken a photo of the actual Dynamometer Car in The National Railway Museum, York and 'married' it to the model, or is it vice versa?





Here is another from the range, this time one of the Travelling Post Office vans, again art work by Briam Wright and a completely flat sided coach. Sadly not the best of photographs, which I must improve upon at some point.





Here's my simple acknowledgement to the work of the Travelling Post Offices (TPO's).

Watch My Video
And lastly here is another from the series, the LNER FUll Brake Teak Van.
The reason for overlaying a coach is because it enables short runs of specialist wagons and coaches to be created which otherwise would be commercially unviable in large numbers.










 

   

Mark B
Joined: Oct 13, 2011
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posted on Oct 24, 2011 11:05 PM:
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Hi David, I find this TinPlate Railroad of yours very fascinating, fun and somewhat alluring. I watched a number of your videos and the trains are very captivating. I'm very glad to hear the TinPlate is being manufactured in the 21st Century (did not know that) by some manufacturers. I like your 'grass' section; I think you mentioned that it is a type of astro-turf of sorts. It looks very cool and you should incorporate more of it.

Questions: Is your track standard Lionel 3-Rail or a different size? Also, what are you using for a roadbed? I like the look of it. I appears to be simply 'laid' down. Do you affix the track to it by screws & anchors or just lay it out?

New Tinplate Fan in California!

Mark B.

 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Oct 25, 2011 08:04 AM:
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Hi mark.
I'm naturally delighted you like what you see. I have a longer term plan to landscape the entire layout and tunnels will eventually appear at either end where the track goes into the return loops as I call them; I just need time and weather to combine. I regret the track is not of US origin or manufacture, but rather produced here in the UK by a company called Maldon Rail, see www.maldonrail.com
This track is a reproduction of pre war Hornby O Gauge Solid Steel track as it was known then (in the 1930's). It was specifically produced to do justice to the ambitious plans Frank Hornby had before the war to produce much more true to scale model locomotives - see my posted images of the Princess Elizabeth. Previously Hornby O Gauge had very simplistic tinplate track to run on, with quite tight curves.
The 'Solid Steel' track was just that - solid steel which made for a very good track on which to run such imposing and costly models. It was however of no use out of doors due to the way it would rust, so eventually enter a chap called Michael Foster who (as I understand it) took it upon himself to create a replica of this 'solid steel' track, but at the same time one that was relatively cost effective to produce and suited to the outdoors. Today Maldon handle production.
The rails are made of Nickel silver (contains no actual silver), so they won't rust, and the sleepers, or ties as I think you call them are made of a plastic which is sunlight resistant.
The points, or switches are again faithful copies of the originals - very simplistic but very characterful and when small brass screws are used to replace the original steel ones, these too will live happily outside all year round. It will tarnish, as any make of track will, and you have to be prepared to clean the top running surface and to some extent the insides of the rails on curves, or you will have running frustrations, but that apart I'm delighted with the choice for my own set-up.
The roadbed, or ballast as we call it was something I again thought long and hard about bearing in mind the need to live unattended outside all year. What you see is actually 5mm thick reconstituted and granulated sheet rubber. This is made of munched up old tyres, and can be bought on a roll. It so happened the UK supplier was so interested in my plans for the product that he offered to pre cut it for me if I let him have templates of the radius involved. In the first picture you can see me laying some for the first time as I experimented with it; (I went on to cut the sections down the centre). It comes black, and UK ballast is invariably grey limestone gravel, so I painted it with a watered down outdoor wood shade called 'Stone'. Considering these out door wood shade paints are water based, its amazing the surfaces they will adhere to and as you will see mine has weathered in nicely and has never been touched since. The track sleepers have countersunk holes in them for suitable screw fixers and I have gone for a slotted head, stainless steel wood screw, nothing would look worse in my opinion than a 'modern' Philips headed screw as we know them over here.
The other picture was taken just this morning with Autumn debris lying around and you can see how the artificial grass work has ground to a halt!





 

   

Mark B
Joined: Oct 13, 2011
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posted on Oct 25, 2011 12:41 PM:
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David, thanks for the detail. I'm amazed at the variation in our hobby in the 21st Century. From know on I'm calling railroad ties sleepers! I checked out Maldon from Essex as well ast ACE and Hornby/Bassett and very much like what I see. I know some of the US manufacturer's, like Lionel & MTH make some UK Engines of which after reviewing your layout, I may add one to mine.

Found this link that you may or may not have seenf from the Tinplate Times: http://www.tinplatetimes.com/Modern%20tinplate/Booth/booth.htm
Loaded with great info and updates on the Tinplate world of modeling.

I will experiment a bit with your 'astro-turf' grass on sertain park like areas of my layout as it look's very real and comes in different colors etc. Not sure if you have seen my layout, but here is a shot of my two favorite engines coming out of my tunnel. My layout is only 12 x 6 but is maximized with fun tunnels, structures, 7 switches, etc.

Mark B.






 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Oct 25, 2011 05:16 PM:
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Mark, the layout looks great, a credit to you. I've sent you an email.
Dave
 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Oct 26, 2011 11:40 AM:
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As a result of indulging myself in a lifelong appreciation of tinplate model trains, one of the fairly recent side effects was the shock of discovering I could create visually pleasing digital artwork! For someone regarded as a computer dinosaur, this was no mean feat!
It all started a while ago when Allen Levy of ACE Trains announced a photographic competition. As I didn't have much of a layout to photograph at that time, I decided to see if I could recreate for real, one of the most famous Hornby train set, box lid adverts. This shows the famous Flying Scotsman with a rake of Teak coaches departing an imaginary Kings Cross Station, London. I spent days positioning all the necessary features on my dining room table which became unusable for at least a week. I took countless photos until I got the right one for me and the rest is history as they say. Once I had the imagery right for the purpose, I separately put in place the three different locomotives I had at my disposal along with appropriate coaching stock, and here for a change is the one which featuring a Castle Class loco.




This exercise did however demonstrate that I could no longer continue setting up dioramas on the dining room table, and an alternative means of creating such imagery had to be found.

As a result, one wet afternoon I decided to experiment with the only thing at my disposal - the Microsoft PAINT programme! Regarded as little more than a source of amusement for our children when they were nippers, it had lain dormant for many years, but now it began to come alive as I fumbled my way around its features. Before too long I had something approaching what I had always hoped to achieve, a mix of period photo and model trains. Over the past 12mths or so I've come to know something of more advanced software, but in the main the images are still created using PAINT. I've had the very great pleasure of creating some specific images to help advertise these wonderful coarse scale models and today I decided I would put together a '60 second promo' as I call them, showing a few more of the images I've been able to produce, the last one you'll see on this clip being finished just this morning. I call this picture 'Seafront Dreaming'. Enjoy.
You can see the promo here:
Watch My Video

 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Oct 30, 2011 01:58 PM:
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To return to looking at some more modern tin printed coaching stock, here is a nice comparison picture featuring the two types of Teak finish coaches that have been produced under the ACE Trains label over the years.




And here is a BR Mk I coach in brown & cream, the detailed bogies of which are featured earlier in this blog. Note the suitably impressed railways Inspector on hand!





Here's the close-up of one of the bogies from this particular coach. The axles have independent suspension and the detailing is good for a coarse scale model as we refer to them.


 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Oct 31, 2011 04:22 PM:
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Here's is a post war British Rail MK I 'blood & custard' as they are often referred to because of their colour scheme.



The Elizabethan operated in the early 1950's as a nonstop service from London to Edinburgh and vice versa, the title being in recognition of the new Queen Elizabeth (1952).

Here is a piece of suitable commentary/poetry as originally used in the making of a promotional film of The Elizabethan Express and as posted on our own UK tinplate O Gauge Forum, by my Australian friend Alan Boddy. It's my personal belief that the figure in the above picture is in the process of clearing his throat prior to reciting some of this?!

"The Elizabethan" by Paul Le Saux

At Platform 5, The Elizabethan,
A special express for the holiday season,
Summons its strength.
And the time to depart
Marks an ending for some,
But, for many, a start.

like prompters assisting the course of a play
Breathing out words like Arabian perfumes.
Too bad we don't know just what they say!

The loud hiss of steam
As the train seems to slow
To the pace of a cloud,
Breaks the afternoon task
And disperses the dream

Mr McLeod of Waverley Station
Has a great sense of occasion.
If a train's a non-stopper
His topper is proper!
His homburgs for trains of low station!
 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Nov 8, 2011 01:45 PM:
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Here are some photos of the last coaches I aquired, made by Darstaed and from their extensive range of non corridor Suburban coaches. These particular ones are finished in British Rail maroon. They are fully fitted with interior lighting and the individual compartments are very nicely represented and detailed. They are very solidly constructed and quite weighty as a result, but this is compensated by the way each set of bogies is fitted with the virtually frictionless axles as designed by Darstaed not so long ago. These enable the coaches to roll along almost effortlessly.












This what you get the set in. The carry case is designed to take six, so there's a great temptation to get yourself an extra one whilst you are about it!





Here's a Pullman interior comparison. In these, the individual table lamps are illuminated.









 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Nov 15, 2011 02:21 AM:
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Here's something a bit different and possibly a bit premature, but doesn't Christmas come early in Tinplate Land? This is a picture I made up a while ago and was never very satisfied with, so for something to do I returned to it yesterday and at least got it to a point where I was happy to share it, although knowing me I doubt it can be called 'finished'. It was my first attempt at radically altering a photo I had taken on my layout. The original picture taken in sepia effect was in broad daylight, but I wanted to create this night time scene, which from the outset was going to be my pictorial version of 'The night before Christmas......'
In my minds eye I saw a rural halt as we call them, well into the night with nothing stirring; not even a mouse - see if you can spot the fellow? The loco is braked up and steadily panting away while the driver grabs a quick mug of tea with his friend the station master, in an early Christmas morning act of 'good cheer'. The clear star-lit night sky provides the light, resulting in what I call the mottled vision of the night shift, and for a moment or two all is at peace.

Dave



 

   

JohnBoy
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posted on Nov 15, 2011 07:11 AM:
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Great photo Dave. (And yes, I believe I spotted the mouse - nice work!)

John
 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Nov 15, 2011 10:26 AM:
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Cheers John. The mouse was used by great train artist Terrence Cuneo and when I started to dabble I thought I'd like to try a similar approach, so adopted a small lead rabbit I happen to have. He's hiding behind the signature in this picture.

I called him Terrence.






Thinking about it, I might as well post the original sepia tone photo:





Here you have an ACE Trains Stanier tank engine and coach waiting patiently at a post war Hornby O gauge station and to one side a pre war Hornby O gauge Signal Box. The upright structure on the platform to the left of the door is a pre war model of the often seen chocolate bar vending machines. This one is Nestles branded.
The back-drop is a very simply painted representation of an embankment with post and rail fence along the top of it. Hedges are of traditional loofa on wooden bases. All has been set-up for the purpose on the garden layout.
 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Nov 18, 2011 11:50 AM:
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Here's a better picture of an early version ACE Trains Castle Class locomotive. As the class title suggests, these were all named after castles around the UK and this one is Pendennis Castle, situated on the southern extremity of the Fal Estuary in Cornwall. On the other side of the estuary you get St Mawes Castle and indeed there is also loco of that name. I visited the actual Pendennis Castle a couple of years ago and although this is a model train blog, I figure some might like to see a picture of the actual location.




This is a view looking across the estuary towards St Mawes from within the grounds of Pendennis.


 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Nov 18, 2011 12:00 PM:
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This is the main 'castle' building on the site which is quite spread out and not easy to photograph as a whole.




I feel you can't move on from the subject of Cornwall without a Cornish beach scene, but which one - I have numerous! After much head scratching I've gone for this one.......


 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Nov 18, 2011 12:25 PM:
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After all this Cornish holiday exertion, what is now needed is a good nights sleep, and what better place to have one than in a cabin on one of these LNER Teak Sleeping Cars!

Good night all!


 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Dec 11, 2011 04:55 PM:
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Here's a picture forwarded to me by Andries Grabowski of Darstaed, which seems to me appropriate to feature here. Andries oversees the design and construction of the models produced under the Darstaed brand and for a while I've been encouraging him to give enthusiasts an insight into the behind the scenes workings of a model train manufacturer. For obvious commercial reasons, you might not want to reveal all, and the point in time when something gets revealed may well also be critical, so I am very grateful to have been sent this image, which actually contains quite a good deal to peruse.





Centre stage is the first prototype of the Jubilee/Black 5 locomotive which has been worked towards for a while. To the left is the first of the new body castings for the forthcoming TORNADO locomotive, and above is one of the reworked Castle Class locos, with the body of one of the forthcoming 6 wheeler coaches. Below in the shadows is one of the reworked A4 loco bodies.
 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Dec 17, 2011 01:10 PM:
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I guess with just a week to Christmas, its about time Christmas cards were sent out, so here's my Christmas card to the readership of this blog. The image features an ACE Trains A4 Pacific with LNER Teak coaches. My good friend Terrance the rabbit sends his regards also and makes a special effort appearing in his Santa hat!
Dave Upton



 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Dec 25, 2011 03:50 PM:
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Here's another variation on the same theme, put together last year. I've decided to call this one 'BRIGHTER DAYS AHEAD'. In this picture an A4 Pacific in British Rail green livery has been placed on the frozen layout. To add atmosphere, bellowing smoke and a chilly skyline has been added. It looks forward to the warmer days of Spring & Summer when the layout can come back to life again.




 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Jan 31, 2012 02:50 PM:
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I recently submitted this image to the J&C Studio monthly poll and it drew an immediate response, with one member questioning if it was a real train or not.




In fairness, the first image I manged to post was smaller and not so easy to view as this one. I pointed out that indeed it is a model train featured, it being an A4 Pacific Class as made for ACE Trains. The image has been 'inserted' into a period photograph. I thought I'd show one of the many photos I took of the engine in my back garden before I got one suitable to work with. As you'll see my studio facilities are very basic and heavily dependent on some decent sunlight!



 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Feb 8, 2012 01:45 PM:
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Here are some images I took last summer and have just come across again. The first is a footplate photo attempting a drivers eye view of the approach to the station. Approaching is an 0-6-0 tank engine known as a 'Jinty'.



 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Feb 8, 2012 01:49 PM:
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From a different angle; the outline of the goods engine reflecting in the highly polished side of the main line loco tender. Oh that the real railways had been so squeaky clean!
 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Feb 8, 2012 01:56 PM:
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And now back to the real world with a jolt and the realization that it's just another model train layout.
 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Feb 14, 2012 06:16 AM:
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In the above photograph you can see a pre war Hornby O Gauge Signal Box with a blue roof; they came in various colour combinations over the years, but were essentially the same from start to finish, all having a flight of steps down the left hand side. In quite a number of photographs taken by the Hornby promotional team in the 1930's, you can clearly see they have access to what appears to be a double signal box (two jointed together but with one minus its steps). To this day I don't know if Hornby were actually planning to make them like this - they were certainly never available to buy. With the advent of Meccano Magazine web sites where you can now zoom in on some of these old photos, I'm satisfied that all the team did was place two signal boxes together. I only have the one box, but it doesn't stop me experimenting to see what they might have looked like had they been available. Not the best of images, but you'll get the idea I'm sure.





Here's just one example of what I'm referring to. The particularly interesting thing about this image is that if they had used two boxes positioned together, then there should be evidence of the left and right hand corners of each box in the blackened centre space beneath them. This blackened area was the cut out you get on any prewar box which enabled rodding to come from within the box to operate signals and points (switches) - I'll find a better image to illustrate this, but the point is, either the promotional team doctored the original photo to remove this feature, or maybe the boxes were made as a pair for the purpose? Who knows.





Here's a picture which explains the rodding I refer to. Known as the Hornby System of Control it was a really cleverly thought out arrangement designed to realistically mimic actual practice on the railways. Inside the box was a Lever Frame and by pulling the appropriate lever - as a real signalman would do, the appropriate rodding was moved and the appropriate signal or point would be altered.




 

   

JohnBoy
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posted on Feb 14, 2012 08:32 AM:
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I had no idea that a toy replica system of levers and rods was actually produced. That is really neat.
 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Feb 14, 2012 09:27 AM:
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These are not the best of images, but these are coming from a 1931 Meccano Magazine! Here's another view of the Signal Box with its rodding and cranks in place and a Distant Signal. The tin printed boxes stood over the lever frame arrangement, which was sold as a completely separate item.
I should perhaps point out that the system of control was being planned towards by Hornby as early as 1924 although it was 1926 when the Lever Frame was first introduced.





You should notice some locking levers, which were designed to 'lock' the items onto the tin plate track, which ideally would also have been screwed to a baseboard. That way everything was fixed and secure so that when you started operating the levers and rodding, everything would work as it should. More to follow.........
 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Feb 14, 2012 09:33 AM:
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Here is the separate lever frame as mentioned above, as well as one of the points (switches). Again if you look closely at the point it has a crank fixed to it designed to accept a length of the 'rodding' wire which would be locked into the crank by a small screw.







Here's what you get to see on the interior of a signal box designed to take the Lever Frame. There is a cutout in the floor of the cab allowing it to be placed over the lever frame and the rear half of the roof hinges up allowing the upper rear of the signal box back to fold down thus enabling fingers to get inside and operate the levers.





Before I get completely carried away on this subject - something that has always fascinated me, this is how the wire 'rodding' was guided and supported on its way around the track. Guides were bolted onto the underside of track sleepers (ties) at appropriate intervals and each of these had 10 small holes in them, enabling 10 separate wires to be made use of, although the Lever Frame only had 6 levers? I hope the sketch helps rather than hinders! All of the Hornby Control System items are keenly collected and in good condition command high prices.



 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Feb 19, 2012 03:09 PM:
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Here's another digital experiment with the signal box. The building tends to look particularly large and I think this is because this version of the box has three separate windows on the lower half, whereas the original versions featured above only have two thus creating a box with four in all.

Pre war signal boxes do however feature both two and three separate window variations.






In an attempt to wrap up this particular subject, here's a picture I've selected from a 1930's Meccano Magazine. I've tried to find one which best sum's up why these grainy old black and white photos, which I've looked upon since I was a very young child, have so influenced my approach to my outdoor layout.

By the 1930's the Meccano Magazine staff were taking a studio model layout to the 'next level' as we would say today, and in my opinion some of the scenes they created were quite sofisticated for the time and were certainly designed to put the Hornby O Gauge train range in the best possible light. Some of the scenes were also quite elaborate and yet I've decided upon this one which is actually very simplist, but which says so much to me:





And finally, here's a photo from my own layout which tends to illustrate fairly well just how much the magic of that 1930's railway modelling still holds me under its spell!




 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on May 21, 2012 05:41 PM:
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Here's the latest development on my own layout. This is the all new Darstaed/Vintage London Transport 0-6-0 Pannier Tank engine with a rake of correct livery coaches. One of my reasons for not posting in a good while has been caused by me having been invited by Dartsaed to oversee their advertising and PR side of the company. One of the first moves has been to introduce an e-newsletter, the first of which went out on 1st May and the June issue will be out shortly. If you would like to go on the mailing list drop me a line at: upton@darstaed.com





Coach interior detail and lighting.





Dave
 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on May 22, 2012 02:33 PM:
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Hi chaps,
Here are two links to the latest clips I've finally managed to get onto YouTube, but unfortunately not without problems still?

My problems started some weeks ago when I found that anything I tried to upload was recognized by the site as 'being shaky'. They offer to fix the problem but no improvement was noticed and the clips remained so distorted they were unwatchable so I had to keep deleting each effort. What I still can't work out was why the same clips could be watched perfectly on my own PC, but could not be uploaded to YouTube? In the end we concluded the camera might be on its way out - it was about 10yrs old, so when I saw a high spec camera for a too good to miss price I had it. It��?���¢??s a brand new Toshiba and the film quality it can record is remarkable. All well & good you would think. That is until I tried to upload these clips to YouTube and this time we find the film is uploading fine, but always with no sound track, so it��?���¢??s like watching a silent movie! Once again the same clips play perfectly (with sound track) on my PC. Any ideas about why this should be happening would be gratefully rec'ed. Anyhow, here are the two clips so far.

FURTHER TO THE ABOVE.

SEVERAL WEEKS AGO I SUDDENLY FOUND THAT WHEN I TRIED TO UPLOAD A CLIP TO YOUTUBE, THE FILM QUALITY WAS SO DISTORTED THE CLIP WAS UNWATCHABLE. I SUSPECTED THE CAMERA WHICH WAS SEVERAL YEARS OLD HOWEVER THE UPLOADED CLIP SHOWED PERFECTLY ON MY PC. AFTER FAILING TO FIND AN ANSWER TO THE PROBLEM I BOUGHT MYSELF ANOTHER HD CAMERA & TRIED AGAIN. THIS TIME TO MY DISMAY, THE FILM UPLOADED PERFECTLY BUT NOW THERE WAS NO SOUND TRACK! WEEKS WENT BY AND WHILST I FOUND THAT MANY HAVE HAD THE SAME PROBLEM, NO ONE SEEMED TO HAVE A SOLUTION. THE OTHER DAY HOWEVER SOMEONE WROTE TO ME POINTING OUT THEY HAD HAD SIMILAR PROBLEMS AND THEY HAD OVERCOME THEM BY FIRSTLY UPLOADING ONTO THEIR PC USING MICROSOFT MOVIE MAKER. I'VE TRIED THIS AND IT WORKS!
I'VE NOW RE-UPLOADED MY 'SILENT MOVIE' CLIPS AND THEY CAN NOW BE VIEWED BELOW AS INTENDED.
I FIGURED IF THIS SITUATION HAPPENS TO ANYONE ELSE, THIS TIP MIGHT BE AS MUCH USE TO YOU AS ITS BEEN TO ME.

DAVE

Watch My Video


Watch My Video

 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Jul 24, 2012 04:34 PM:
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I've been somewhat preoccupied in recent months, chiefly because I was invited to join the Darstaed team and assist by overseeing their advertising and PR side of the business. Having got over the initial shock of realising the offer was perfectly serious, I'm delighted to say this is exactly what I now do in my spare time and for anyone interested in any of the rolling stock featured in my postings - all predominantly made by Darstaed, I now produce for them an e-newsletter. This is freely available on request to: upton@darstaed.com

I've just put the finishing touches to the August edition and here is a picture that will feature -
one of the Non Corridor Suburban coaches.

Dave




 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Jul 26, 2012 02:35 PM:
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DAVE UPTON
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posted on Jul 26, 2012 02:46 PM:
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Here's something brand new for those of you with an interest in the British railway scene. These are what are known as 16 ton mineral wagons and were produced in their thousands in the 1950's in particular as Britain was still recovering from the war. As the nation demanded more and more electricity these brought coal from the coal fields to keep the power stations going. They were also used to carry any other kind of mineral you care to name. Darstaed have done a great job with these making them with a diecast body on a diecast chassis so they are quite weighty. Nevertheless they roll along very smoothly on their free running wheels and axles also designed by Darstaed. Artificial coal loads will shortly be available for them.
Dave












 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Jul 31, 2012 04:11 PM:
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With the arrival of these new Mineral Wagons, it wasn't going to be long before something got created and here it is. I call it ' Mineral Wagons on the move'.



 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Aug 9, 2012 12:54 PM:
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And here is another picture on the same theme - Mineral Wagons Ahoy!

Dave



 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Aug 11, 2012 02:01 PM:
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The other day we had such fine weather I decided to reconfigure the four Canopy Stations I have on my layout. They had stood as individual stations from the outset and were positioned end to end on occasions. They were also designed to stand side by side, but I had never tried this until now, chiefly because it requires taking the side canopies off one side of each of them. Having done this and then made sure that the platform was on the right way round, you can then butt another station beside the first as you should be able to see in this photo which is positioned looking into the set of four while one of my A4's stands patiently at the platform.




Having set this train up it didn't take long to decide that it would be good to have a comparison train built up using my other A4, this time as a goods train.







This is a photo of what is known as an LNER Teak Full Brake Van.



This is the standard Brake End with rear lamp on show.



These are a pair of the Articulated Sleeping Cars.



This one is for fun.







Motion detail of the British Railways Brunswick Green A4.



Drivers eye cab detail of the same loco.



Ready to go.

Here are two YouTube clips of the two trains running:

Watch My Video

Watch My Video





 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Aug 30, 2012 01:25 PM:
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Earlier today a set of the 1st Series Horton/Darstaed Advans arrived and I could not wait to examine them for the first time. These have been in the planning and making since last year; a task overseen by Rob Horton of Wessex Transfers, Tasmania. It was obvious from the start that these were going to be very finely detailed in a similar way the earlier set of Darstaed Private Owner wagons had been. The first pre production printed card samples were superb, but would the finished articles be? Judge for yourselves.....













There are six different vans in this first series, with three others exclusively available from www.raylo.co.uk
 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Mar 24, 2013 02:14 PM:
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Since my last posting, I have been somewhat preoccupied with various things, the most involving being the monthly production of the Darstaed company e-newsletters, copies of which can be found at www.darstaed.com/news
The company finally made its pre production model of the highly significant TORNADO locomotive available to view in September of last year and I felt it high time I posted some photos of it here. In the lower photo it poses beside its predecessor the A3 Flying Scotsman as also made by Andries Grabowsky and sold under the ACE Trains brand.
This pre production model is representative only and certain details will be improved upon when the model is finally made available. When this will be cannot be said as yet.
 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Mar 24, 2013 02:33 PM:
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I know this is an O gauge train forum, but hopefully any reader will forgive if I post on one of the other reasons why I've not made use of this blog for some time. One of my other interests is Meccano, and throughout much of last year I worked in my spare time on this model of the worlds first motor vehicle capable of moving by road a load of up to 100 tons. This is the Scammell 100 Tonner.





 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on May 30, 2013 11:58 AM:
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Here is a photograph of one of the latest series of Advans coming from Rob Horton (Wessex Transfers), in association with ACE Trains. This series are all based on decals found on the clockwork Minic range of toy vehicles.



 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Jun 4, 2013 03:59 AM:
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Here are the others in the same series.

















 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Sep 9, 2013 01:34 PM:
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Here come a series of photos of the Darstaed Pannier in Great Western Railway livery.


















 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Dec 16, 2013 05:39 PM:
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A bit late in the day, but here come some images of the recently released Darstaed Vintage Trains 6 wheeled coaching stock.




This is the Brake in Midland Railway livery.





 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Dec 16, 2013 05:44 PM:
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DAVE UPTON
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posted on Dec 16, 2013 05:46 PM:
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In this photograph the roof has been removed to enable a photograph of the detailed interior.
 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Dec 16, 2013 05:51 PM:
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The interiors has very nicely detailed capturing the plushness of the real coaches with their deep blue buttoned leather seating. Contrasting blue curtains feature in the windows of each carriage which also has railway related prints over the backs of the seats. 3rd Class are finished in a plain red upholstery.
 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Dec 16, 2013 05:52 PM:
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Each coach is illuminated.
 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Dec 16, 2013 05:54 PM:
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The tri-axle arrangement is articulated and well able to cope with tight curves.
 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Dec 16, 2013 05:55 PM:
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DAVE UPTON
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posted on Jan 1, 2014 07:31 AM:
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Here's something distinctly different and I admit is not O Gauge but rather '00' or Dublo as is said in the UK. Hornby Dublo to be precise. This is an extremely early Duchess of Atholl set made in March 1948 - the first sets after the war were released in the Spring of 1948. They were very eagerly anticipated, but the preserve of the wealthy only as this set retailed at 190s 6d at the time - something like a months wages to the average man. The price actually rose not long after! The locomotive was given a matt finish as were these very early coaches which are tin printed. The tin printed 3 rail track is from the same set. It was quite probable that the locomotive had not run properly in anything up to 40yrs so it has been completely stripped, cleaned, lubricated & reassembled so that it now purrs around as it should. Hopefully I won't get thrown off the forum for featuring something not O Gauge!






 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Jan 1, 2014 07:35 AM:
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DAVE UPTON
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posted on Jan 1, 2014 07:35 AM:
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One of the two coaches referred to.



 

   

DAVE UPTON
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posted on Mar 18, 2014 10:10 AM:
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Posting moved to outdoor railway blog.



 

   





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