Sunday, 30 November 2008

A right useful new product from MMP

MMP (who generally focus on diesels and other modern stuff) have introduced internal detailing kits for the various Slater's PO wagon kits. They are also going to produce brake gear in due course. Apart from being useful for detailing the legions of PO wagons that GC modellers need, readers of this blog will be aware that the Slater's kits can also be used to make GC hired coal wagons.

Being etched brass these kits should also add a bit of useful extra weight!

(Edit - although they are made of etched brass, the amount of weight added is marginal as the etches are (correctly) extremely thin. This should have been obvious to me, but wasn't.)

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Painting Spec for a 9K (C13) 1903

This may be of interest to some:-

Tank, cab, clothing and wheels to receive two coats lead colour filled up with white lead mixed with gold size, rubbed down, followed up with two other coats lead colour, sand-papered, after which two coats brunswick green in oil.

Outside frames, main frames above platform near smokebox, buffers, footstep plates, same as tank etc., except two coats crimson lake in oil instead of green

Outside frames, wheels, sandboxes, buffers, footstep plates, tank, cab, and clothing to receive one coat under varnish, picked out with black and lined with white (n.b. not vermillion!), afterwards to receive one more coat under varnish, and two coats best finishing body varnish. To be flatted down with pumice stone and horse hair between each coat.

Numbers, in gold leaf, to be placed on buffer beam and back of tank (sic. - presumably means bunker) after first coat of varnish.

A brass number plate to be fixed on either side of coal bunker, to be painted vermillion between the numbers. (n.b. my understanding is that this later changed to black.)

Inside of main frames, frame stay and sidebar bracket to have two coats lead colour, filled up with white lead mixed with gold size, rubbed down, one coat flesh colour, sand-papered, two coats vermillion, and three coats hard drying body varnish.

Outside of mainframes, frame stay, and slide bar bracket to receive two coats lead colour, filled up, rubbed down, one coat ivory black, and then one coat ivory black mixed with varnish and one coat hard-drying body varnish.

Inside tanks and coal space to have two coats red lead, finished with black.

Webs of crank axle and body of straight axles, one coat white lead and one coat varnish.

Ends of axles black, lined with white, and varnished.

Smoke box, bogie, back of firebox, platform and brake hangers, one coat black and one coat japan.

Chimney to have two coats lead colour, filled up with white lead, mixed with gold size, rubbed down, then one coat black and one japan.

Inside cab, one coat lead colour, filled up, rubbed down, sand-papered, two coats stone colour (to sample) one coat under varnish, and one coat finishing body varnish. To be lined as per sample panel. (Not available)

Two days to intervene between each of the last three coats of varnish.

Buffer beams same as inside frames with the addition of being lined to sample panel, and finished same as clothing.

Brake pipes to have two coats of approved rubber varnish.

The above should not not be taken as an absolute guide for all green GC engines. For example, Robinson tender engines plus the 9N class (A5) had vermillion lining on the crimson lake areas. In addition, the early GC green livery was based on the old MS&L livery and was very different, not least in the use of a much paler green as the main livery colour. Brunswick green was one of Mr Robinson's changes.

Friday, 31 October 2008

New Wagon Kit

A new wagon kit is available for the LDEC 5 planker, a vehicle which ran on a steel frame. It comes from Furness Railway Wagon Co, 10 Duke Street, Dalton-in Furness, Cumbria LA15 8HH. A welcome addition.

I think I am right in saying that some of these were marked for coal traffic by the GC, others for goods traffic. However I'm too lazy to check right now.

The kit costs £30 plus £3 p&p. The first batch is sold out but Marc at Furness Railway Wagon Co says there should be some more in late January.

Meanwhile, Gladiator have announced a re-tooled 8K/04 kit for £275. While David Andrews offers his version of the same engine for £279 and promises an improved Director for £259.

I'm sure Mr Robinson would be gratified, though he might wonder at a market where some of his locos are duplicated while others are not offered at all... But that's a petty quibble, in loco matters at least GC modellers are blessed.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Heroes of the Footplate

I've had a link to Heroes of the Footplate on here for some time, but I think they deserve a special mention for the quality of their railway staff figures. Very reasonably priced too. Do have a look at the excellent web site - you will be impressed.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Slater's Printed PO Wagons

I notice from the Slater's Site that several of the pre-printed PO wagons are 'currently unavailable' including the iconic Manvers Main.

Aaagh! Could it be back to hand lettering PO wagons? Ah well at least the Round Green wagon is still available and it's ideal for the GCR up to around World War I. Better buy some while they're to be had...

POSTSCRIPT (October 2015) You can now get Manvers Main from Powsides. The bad news is you can no longer get Round Green from Slaters!

Saturday, 4 October 2008

6C etches.

I understand from Tony West that he has arranged with Bill Bedford for the etches for the 6C (LNER J12) to be made available in 7mm scale.

Certain parts such as framespacers may need altering for 7mm as this was originally intended as a 4mm kit. What comes will be a set of etched brass components for the basic structure including a piece of brass for the boiler (to be rolled by you) , etched nickel silver rods and the tender. This leaves all the usual castings to be sourced (or home made if you are an engineer) to say nothing of wheels, motor and gears and working inside valve gear to do a complete job.

This kit is for the belpaire rebuild version. Almost the whole class was rebuilt in GC days but if you are modelling the earlier years you'll need to get your RCTS Green Book out to be sure that you pick a suitable number. In late GC days these locos were mainly shedded at Trafford Park (with a lot sub-shedded to Wigan where they were the mainstay of the stud) and at Mexborough. So ideal for those, like me, whose main interest lies with the GC in Lancashire and Yorkshire. Particularly ideal for anyone wanting to work trains into dodgy colliery sidings where that 2-8-0 will not penetrate!

I stand to be corrected - please tell me if you know better - but I believe these engines (certainly in this condition) were always turned out in plain black, with GREAT CENTRAL on the tender side and a nice, standard issue oval brass numberplate.

There's some notes on these locos here but please note the photo shows one prior to the Robinson-era rebuild. A couple of unrebuilt engines lasted into LNER days but they were simple vacuum brake only and could only be used on goods trains. The Robinson rebuilds, like nearly all modern GC engines, were fully fitted and could be used on passenger services.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008


The source for these updates is the latest Gauge '0' Guild Gazette, so I'd better give them due credit. I'd also better state that if I've misinterpreted anything, it's my fault. I'll gladly correct anything that's wrong, just let me know. My mind-reading is really crap these days.

First a new supplier (as far as the GCR is concerned that is) Invertrain Models, is producing GCR 8ft bogies (their reference WMR032) at £25 each, including Peter Cowling cosmetic resin sides. Invertrain are at 33 Rose Gardens, Cairneyhill, Dunfermline, Fife, KY12 8QS. Should be useful for anyone with the relevant Bill Bedford kits.

Meteor Models, 34 Coppice Drive, Parklands, Northampton NN3 6NE, now produce the GCR 9N kit (LNER A5) that used to be made by MSC.

David Andrews has introduced or is introducing kits for the GCR 8K (LNER O4) and the O4/7 rebuild, along with the improved Director, the Sam Fay and the LNER D9 - I am being careful here as the text says 11B whereas I think 11D is more likely. One for you to check. It's also stated that other GCR kits are to follow. It seems in many cases we shall have a choice between Andrews and Gladiator versions. Take your pick!

Connoisseur Models now have their own website and you should find their GCR diag 17 covered goods van on there. I have almost finished one of these and it's an excellent kit.

Er - that's all folks!

Friday, 21 March 2008

Gladiator Site

If anyone hasn't noticed, I've linked to the new Gladiator site which is a must for anyone wanting to model the GC in 7mm scale. Of particular interest is that the former North Star 2-4-2t and 0-6-2t kits are shown as 'coming soon', a most welcome re-introduction.

Also I see that Gladiator have taken over the former Newbold GC signal parts. (Now item GLET027.) I have adjusted the relevant section of the blog to cope with this.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Joy/Stephenson Valve Gear

This link should help illustrate the difference. However I think I need to see a model, or the real thing, before it really 'clicks'.

Valve gear simulations are also available online. I haven't tried these as I am sure they'd make my brain hurt!

Monday, 17 March 2008

J9 or J10

Well it appears that a J9/J10 kit is on its way to us in 2009, news that makes my heart rejoice despite the inevitable impact on the old bank balance. Truth is I have to have one of these, even if it means selling something else. Ideally I'd like two or three, and the only loco I'd prefer would be the unlikely prospect of a Sacre 6C (J12).

I've already been looking at data and wondering what variations will be available in the kit. The first difference between a J9 and a J10 is that the former has Joy valve gear and the latter Stephenson. This is only visible if you look between the frames, assuming that is that you recognise the difference, which, to be bluntly honest, I don't at this stage.

In GC days these engines split into a number of classes.

9B 25 engines built by Neilson and Co 1891 (J9)
9E 6 engines built by Gorton 1894-5 (J9)
9D 12 engines built by Kitson 1892 (J10)
9D 6 engines built by Gorton 1893 (J10)
9H 66 engines built by Beyer Peacock 1896-97 (J10)
9H 40 engines built by Gorton 1901-02 (J10)

The 9Bs and 9Es were all built with round top boilers but were rebuilt with Robinson's standard No 1 Belpaire boilers from 1910-1921, the last conversion being 650.

The 9Ds also started with round topped boilers but were converted as above between 1910 and 1923. The 9Hs had belpaires from the start.

The Beyer Peacock engines had taller and wider cabs with a different cut out to match the 4000 gallon tenders. The others had 3080 gallon tenders. The Robinson engines had rectangular number plates and extended cabs. The others had short cabs but many (all?) were eventually given extended cabs also, although they kept transfer numbers.

Liveries? The early ones were in the rather sickly MS&L/early GC green. Having looked at what photos I can scrounge from my collection, my impression is that the engines built under Robinson were in the lined black livery, while the rest went from green to plain black. However this is a provisional impression and I may be wrong! Comments welcome.

So if the kit is indeed to cover both J9 and J10 it looks like it will have to come with a 3080 tender, while the Beyer Peacock series would need the standard 4000 tender and a different cab. There are of course various other details impacting on individual engines and I'll be surprised (and delighted) if the kit covers all the options. Certainly for the GC era it should be possible to have half a dozen of these locos and no two exactly the same. Great fun!

Sunday, 16 March 2008


I shouldn't have to say this, but I better had. I have no connection with any of the manufacturers listed here except as a customer, or in odd cases as a friend. My policy is to list anything that might be useful to GCR modellers. Nothing I say should be taken as recommendation or condemnation, except in so far as it reflects my honest opinion. Please make your own enquiries as to whether a particular product suits your need - or not. I am always willing to correct factual errors, provided someone tells me about them!

GCR Odds and Ends Suppliers

Peter Cowling, 377 Beaumont Leys Lane, Leicester.Sideframes (resin) for Robinson 8ft bogies and battery boxes.

Dragon Models, 9 Kingsley Close,Sully,Penarth, CF64 5UW. GC, CL and LDEC goods stock transfers. (No longer available.)

Exactoscale Ltd,20 Waterson Vale,Moulsham Lodge,Chelmsford,Essex CM2 9PB. Generic etched brake gear, levers, etc. Also a developing 7mm scale track system - the brass fishplates are brilliant, far better to look at than the "railjoiners" produced by PECO. They used to supply sprung axleguards (etchings only) for GCR CCT and wagons, we must hope these will be reintroduced!

Gladiator produces the former Newbold GC signal parts. Look under 'Parts -etched'.

Guilplates, 32 Wodeland Avenue, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 4JZ Tel 01483 565980 or 563156. For GCR number,name, works plates, etc. They also do special jobs - for example they produced GCR wagon number plates and "to carry" plates for me.

Isinglass - produce 7mm scale drawings for many of the Robinson era GC engines.

Keykits - milled chassis and rods for 9N tank (LNER A5) and 8K (LNER 04). (Understand no longer available.)

Kings Cross Plates - Name and number plates for GC engines.

Model Signal Engineering - Provides a range of GC signalling parts. If you want the electro pneumatic type used in the Manchester area these can be made up from combinations of other companies' parts.

Newbold Models (Peter Dobson), 57, Desford Road, Newbold Verdon, Leicestershire, LE9 9LG. Tel: 01455 823767. (To order only) GCR station canopy girders - I think these are London extension style, as used at Leicester Central, for example. Please check availability as it appears some items from his range have been sold on.

GCR Coach Kit Suppliers

The weakest area so far - you may, if you are lucky find some second hand products from Quainton Road or Trevor Charlton.

Otherwise we have:

Bill Bedford - A large range, but see my comments re Bill's wagon kits. Not cheap, no instructions, and lots of castings to make/procure. (Check for availability as Bill has significantly changed his way of doing business.)

GP Models, 44 Wolsey Way, Lincoln, LN2 4QH. - Barnum Brake and Third. 6 wheelers on the way - which is great news. (Sadly no longer available. Owner retired.)

D&S Models, Dan Pinnock,46 The Street, Wallington, Baldock, Hertfordshire, SG7 6SW - some Robinson stock, but check for availability.

Worsley Works, 19 Douglas Road, Worsley, Manchester, M28 2SR. Etched brass Parker coaches, sides, ends and floors. "Scratch Aid" type kits but a very handsome start for a coach project.

(Edit) See also Quainton Road Models. 6 wheel coaches.

GCR Loco kit suppliers

David Andrews, 20 Hillside Gardens, Woodmancote, Cheltenham, GL52 4QF. 01242 672744. Etched loco kits for "Faringdon" and the "Crab" 2-6-4 tank. According to a recent GOG Gazette feature, the 11B, 11D (D9) and Sam Fay classes are to be added to the range. Kits can be supplied in nickel silver at 10% extra cost. These kits have a high reputation. (Some, if not all, GC types no longer available.)

Gladiator, - supplier of a wide range of etched loco kits for the Great Central, with more to come! Some kits are listed on the Tower Models site and can be ordered from Tower Models as well as from Gladiator direct. (Now has new owner, gradually reintroducing range.)

GP Models, 44 Wolsey Way, Lincoln, LN2 4QH. Class 5A 0-6-0 tank engine (LNER J63). A loco kit for the 2/2A class (LNER D7) is promised, but is now long awaited. (No longer available, owner retired. 2/2A never materialised.)

Haywood Railway (Geoff Gill) 29 Litchfield Drive, Great Haywood, Staffordshire ST18 0SX produce a cheap kit for the N5 0-6-2t which I am told is very easy to build. This can also be bought via Tower Models. (The kit is not very accurate, as I am told.)

Leinster Models, 28 St Peter's Road, Phibsboro Dublin 7, Republic of Ireland - Leinster do quite a range of GC loco kits, I think it's fair to say that they are rather old-fashioned and basic, but startlingly cheap. I have seen some nice models built from these, but feel they are mainly for people who are not afraid to do some serious metalbashing and willing to make or buy many details. (No longer available)

MSC Models, Kit for 9N 4-6-2 tank (LNER A5 class). (EDIT - This model now with Meteor Models.) (Check availability.)

GC Wagon Kit Suppliers

Current GCR Wagon Kit suppliers that I know about:

ABS Models. Does a very nice whitemetal GCR bolster wagon kit. Has a 3 planker in his catalogue, but not yet available. Can be had by post or (rare) exhibitions. Delivery can be slow as this is a one man band who is likely to retire soon. Also does some very useful 'bits'.

Bill Bedford - (Revised 2016) As available now a small but useful range of GC wagons and some NPCS.

Connoisseur Models, 33 Grampian Road, Penfields, Stourbridge, DY8 4UE. Diagram 17 van - see BRM October 2005 p 36. This is also suitable for the CLC, but note it was not introduced until 1912. Raymond Walley has written a review which you will find in pdf form here. (See under GCR 10t sliding door van.)

D&S Models,Dan Pinnock,46 The Street, Wallington, Baldock, Hertfordshire, SG7 6SW. Probably the best etched kits in the world, certainly very good anyway. Diag 15 15 ton van, diag 61 milk van, diag 64 4 wheel brake van, ex LDEC horse box. GC Meat Van, diag.58. The instructions are sometimes a little sparse.

Dragon Models,9 Kingsley Close,Sully,Penarth, CF64 5UW. Kit for GC single bolster kit in white metal.

The Furness Railway Wagon Company (Mark and Geoff Dobson, 9 Parkfield, Swarthmoor, Ulverston, Cumbria LA12 0HW) produce a GER box wagon kit for £35 plus £3 p&p. This looks to be very similar to the ex LDEC vans (GCR diagram 144). I only know of one photo of the LDEC van, which was published in Great Central Link 12 (Jan.1997) and it isn't a very good one. Numbers if anyone wants them, GCR 33123-33142, formerly LDEC 76-95. (The NRM drawing shows the LDEC van's brakes were Morton, with brake blocks on one side, while the axleboxes were Attocks Patent, with a rounded bottom. You can bet that some were modified by the GC later, so it's still anyone's guess barring a better photo.)

Gladiator,  - produce a kit for a GCR open wagon, which I think is diagram 9. (Gladiator Reference GLW012.)

GP Models,  Diag 5 three plank wagon, diag.16 van, diag 53 fish van, diag. 66 6-wheel brake van. The wagon kits have resin bodies with nickel silver underframes. No longer available

Just Like The Real Thing, 26 Whittle Place, South Newmoor Industrial Estate, Irvine, Ayrshire, KA11 4HR. - produces a diag 12/diag 13 GCR van kit. I understand these now include castings.

S.Spare, 82 Clifton Way, Hinckley ,Leics. Diagram 22B coal wagon. Body £13, castings £4 and postage £1.25. A diag. 8 has been available also. These are limited run kits, please check availability before ordering.

Slater's 10ton side and end door Charles Roberts and Gloucester 7 planker with S/E doors can legitimately be finished in GC colours as hired wagons. Do not shave off the moulded PO registration plates as these were carried by hired wagons.


This blog is really a substitute for a website I used to run. I've recently jacked Orange as my ISP, and so the site, which was on their free web page, had to go. I can't be bothered setting up a straight replacement so this blog will have to do.

Please don't expect something new on here every day. There will be the odd thing, but the first task will be to try to put back most of the information that used to be on the old site.