If you were loitering around the BRM stand at Warley, you'll have seen this issue already. Hard work by the production team and a printing press a short stroll from the office allowed the January issue to be available extra early. For everyone else it arrives this week.
I'm doing quite a lot inside. For a start I've fitted Cobalt point motors to Ruston Quays. This isn't exciting to look at on the blog so we'll move straight on to one of my favourite projects for a while - an ARC models RS&H loco kit
Construction couldn't be simpler. The resin body needs a little assembly, mainly fitting the handrails and a few other bits, and then it sits on an Electrotren RTR chassis. Result: a very sweet running model that really looks the part. For me, the biggest problem was finding something to fill the pages as the construction is so simple! For a change I've been able to go to town on painting and weathering.
Modellers are always saying how much they want an industrial chuffer in wish lists. Well, here is a kit that anyone could assemble. It deserves to sell like hot cakes, as does the follow up Barclay on the same chassis. You don't get an easier way to watch a model loco run and feel the pride that only comes with having built it yourself.
Another beginner-friendly feature is the free card kit designed by modelrailwayscenery.com. Modellers will find it on the DVD. I built a pre-production version and ended up requesting a few changes to the design but these should make the build even easier. The complete model appears over 4 months and the last one will be particularly useful even if you don't build the rest as it's some excellent posters and building details suitable for all sorts of models.
Finally, I've added some Train-Tech lights and sounds to the new Bachmann/LT museum S Stock. The hardest part of the job is taking the model apart, although the suggestion that the lighting bars be held in with Blu-Tack has quietly been ignored for better, bust just as easy, methods.
Taking the final picture was fun. The lights and sounds are powered by internal batteries that detect motion to switch on. Built in lights on the front are powered from the track. Getting everything illuminated took best part of an hour. Eventually the driving bogies were set off the rails and then power applied. With wheels thrashing around uselessly, I managed to bag the required long exposure shots to complete the photo. Thanks to the L&WMRS Duxford team for letting me borrow the layout with all that lovely 4th rail for the background.
On the DVD I'm doing a bit more card modelling, demonstrating some basic techniques to support the kit. If you want to see me look stupid, you'll enjoy the piece on layout animations. For the record, I was NOT bouncing along to the music, it's that stupid chair that doesn't stay pumped up and our evil video guys...