‘Duff’ Update

Work on the ‘Duff’ has started this afternoon. It’s only baby steps, but it’s work none the less. The main aim was to remove the moulded grab rails off the front of both cabs in preparation for some proper rails to be fitted.

All in all, it was a pretty simple job; remove the glazing from the inside (to protect it… but then I’m toying with replacing it with Shawplan lazer cut windows anyway) before sanding it gently down with a sanding stick. Five minutes spent on each side and the job was done, as you can see below.

You’ll notice I’ve nicked the black cab window surrounds, but again, I’m very tempted by the etched cab window surrounds to improve the face of the loco. Initially, I was thinking of only doing very minor changes, plus the renumber, but already I’m beginning to think about a few more bits and bobs such as the lazer glaze and cab windows. Watch this space, I guess…


Duff Love


My loss of modelling mojo has many factors, I believe. One of which is the absolute bonkers way that
prices in the hobby have gone up. Recently I’ve downsized my stock, selling lots of items that were just
gathering dust on a shelf. One of the items included a prized class  47 locomotive that I own. Why was
it prized? Well, I ‘cabbed’ the loco when I worked on the railway. However, just sat in a box, I decided to
sell it on rather than let it go to waste… which, ironically, the real version of the loco did!
So with my stock list at a low ebb, I decided to add a loco to it. However, I knew what I wanted but
couldn’t bring myself to pay the – to my mind – extortionate prices asked for it. Therefore the decision
was made; go low-tech. Or retro, whichever you prefer. Going retro meant buying a Lima 47. I love
them and already have a chassis (and a good runner at that) which I could have used for this project,
having bought a body shell for it. Despite that, I found myself a bit of a bargain, getting a full loco for
a little more than the cost of a spare body.

The Lima 47 is low-tech, particularly by today’s standards. Very low tech in fact, however the tooling
on the shell is really rather lovely. I’ve seen many examples of people ‘up-cycling’ them and they
always look pretty swish. I’m not going to do too much to it really but it should make a difference.
The plan is to add the front end details on the buffer beams – pipes, etc – and then file away the
moulded details on the front of the cabs, fitting proper grab rails. Finally, I want to renumber the
loco to 47489 ‘Crewe Diesel Depot Quality Assured’ before adding some weathering to it. I want it to
look ‘lived in.’
Old school? Yes. A ‘Duff’ on a budget? Very much so. Excited? Yes, more than I have been by
the thought of modelling for a long time. 

A trip on the Telford Steam Railway

Amy (SWMBO) lives in Shropshire and I’ve long fancied a trip on the TSR. So, with me moving in over the summer we decided – finally – to go and pay it a visit last Sunday (19th). It’s not a huge heritage line by any stretch (but they do have big plans of expansion down to Coalbrookdale in the Ironbridge Gorge) but it was a most friendly and enjoyable trip. We were pulled by ‘Rocket,’ the mainstay of the fleet, and housed in one half of a DMU. 
I thought I’d include a few snaps of the visit.


Not a big railway by any stretch, but well worth a visit! I shall certainly be back over the summer!

A Change Is Coming…

One thing that has happened whilst I’ve ignored this blog is that I have got a new job. I’ve not currently started it but will be doing so in September. The new job has necessitated the house move although, in a way, the new job came about because I wanted to move house so that Amy and myself could move in together – after three years we’ve both had more than enough of just seeing each other at the weekend!

So despite not starting until September, today I spent the day at my new place of work.

Loved it!


Recently, I’ve been struggling with motivation for several of my hobbies. Firstly, I enjoy writing music, but the urge to write just isn’t there. I’ve arranged a few bits and bobs, but as for creating my own music… forget it.

It’s the same with something else I’ve always enjoyed. As a kid – like many – I had a train set. As I grew up this got left behind until I started working on the railway. When I left as part of my leaving gift I decided to spend a part of the gift on a model of a class 66 locomotive as a memento of my job. This led to me rediscovering the hobby and since then I’ve built a few small models. However, the last model I built was ripped up in 2014 and I’ve built nothing since.

I don’t really know why. Space, or severe lack of it, is probably a big reason. I’ve downsized the stock I own and spent lots of time planning micro layouts however nothing has stuck with me and made me want to continue.

I’ve got a house move coming up in late July/early August and so can’t really get too stuck into anything in the meantime anyway, but Amy has granted me some house room for a model.

If only I knew what I’d build!