Ive now done a series of mock ups of the buildings, really to et an idea of how generally the finished layout will appear. Whilst the results are a sea of white, I’m quite pleased with it – it also confirmed that the original configuration (in grey) of the Northlight carding shed was wrong, and resulted in a “rebuild” if you can call it that. But I need to move on and do something different now.


I’ve a few etched brass industrial loco projects to do, and its a while since Ive actually built a kit so I thought Id start with the easiest project and work up from there. As it happens, the easiest option is that of turning a pigs ear into a silk purse, or even harder in this case, a DJM Austerity that runs.

Lets face it, its all front, a bit like he who should not be named who designed and marketed it. Face value it looks good, pretty much accurate on the body size, injectors look a bit clumsy to me but that can be sorted, it looks fine. The mechanics of this are another story however, it really is the biggest piece of ordure ever made. My good friend Graham Bucknell got a couple shortly after they came out for his layout Kirkmellington. I recall sat with him at Ally Pally with the layout a few years back attempting to figure out how to convert them to EM, they were bad enough runners in OO. Form over substance is probably the kindest thing to say.

Anyhow, about a year and a half ago Hattons were knocking them out for a price at which had it been today you’d have thought the boxes contained COVID 19. Although at this stage Greenbooth was just an idea, I was going to do something industrial in EM for another club members project, so I bit the bullet and my principles and shelled out just short of 60 beer tokens for one. I daresay I could have pulled the wheels out to EM and tried it, but a test run on the grandkids OO layout upstairs confirmed my worst fears, it ran like the piece of shit it is. Wheel pulling was not, and in reality never was, an option. Luckily I knew by then that RT Models produce a chassis for it ( Graham had already gone down this route). I picked one up from RT last year and like you should do with all pieces of etched brass, put it into the kit drawer to mature. (I’ve a circa 20 year old Brassmasters Jubillee in there that’s still not quite ready lol)


So now it time to build and hopefully produce something worthy of the body work. Yesterday I folded up and put the High Level gear box together – that’s paired with a Mashima 2012. Hopefully the soldering iron will be out today to commence the frames.