BLOG: Engineering train


Engineering stock has always caught my eye. The mixed formations, wagon names and assortment of vehicles make for interesting trains and a change from the revenue-earning stock which often features heavily on my layouts.

I’ve been building up a ballast train to run on the ‘O’ gauge garden railway. It had already reached the stage of having half a dozen ‘Catfish’ hoppers and a pair of ‘Dogfish’ – one of each repainted from ‘Dutch’ to BR black. With all those vehicles complete, I turned my attention to expanding the rake with kit built vehicles. First on the workbench were a pair of Parkside Models ‘Grampus’ wagons.

A Class 08 shunts ‘Catfish’ ballast hoppers on the ‘O’ gauge test track as a Class 31 passes on the mainline.

These kits come with everything you need in the box apart from paint to build the wagon. The Parkside Models range is well known for its quality and now resides with Peco. The high standards have been continued with the range’s new owner and we found these ‘Grampus’ wagons straightforward to assemble with crisp mouldings and decent instructions (though you will need some knowledge of wagon components to fully understand everything).

The assembly process was quick for each wagon. The first was completed last autumn and I finished off the second vehicle in the run up to the end of 2019. Both remained unpainted so I saw these as a goal for completion during the festive break between Christmas and New Year.

Fresh from the paint shop in BR black – the ‘Grampus’ will be weathered next.

Both have been finished in matching BR black to go with the ‘Catfish’ and ‘Dogfish’ which I had already bought or repainted into that colour scheme. For this I used Lifecolor Matt Black (Cat No. LC02) for the body and chassis. The couplings were blackened using AK Interactive Photoetch Burnishing (AK174) which makes the transformation from shiny brass to dull black metal coupling a quick task. The floor of the ‘Grampus’ is wood planks and I represented this through the use of the Lifecolor Wood Shades acrylic set working from a dark base colour up to dry brushed lighted shades to represent aged wood.

The final process was the addition of transfer from the included sheet and then weathering. The latter started with airbrushing of Lifecolor Frame Dirt (UA719) over the underframe followed by a wash of Lifecolor Liquid Pigment Dark Dust (LPW14) which was then toned back using the highly effective ‘Remover’ contained in the Liquid Pigment sets. Further weathering was then added using Lifecolor Dirty Grease Effect (UA262) around the axle boxes plus DCC Concepts Lime and Track Rust colours to further age and distress the bodies of each wagon. The finishing touches were a pair of spare sleepers and a few grains of loose ballast added in one of the wagons to suggest the remnants of its load.

These two Parkside Models ‘Grampus’ wagons are now ready for service.

Having completed these two wagons I’m now working through the weathering of the rest of ballast train. Half of the ‘Catfish’ now have their base layers of weathering applied and will be progressing through the finer stages to bring them up to the same standard as the ‘Grampus’ soon.

Posted in Blogs, Mike Wild Tagged with: , , , , ,


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