Chronicling the development of my 5-gauge 4mm scale model railway with a few off-topic insights thrown in for free

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Spanish Ladies

I’ve just got back from a few days in Valencia. Unfortunately as it was a work trip, although I was at a manufacturing plant, I didn’t get a look round. Next time hopefully…

The gate keepers at the site are these (the locos not the motorbikes!)

Such a shame they don’t make them like they used to. 

As they were behind a fence I didn’t get any closer but should I go again I’ll definitely be asking to have a proper look. 

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Print run

Saturday night wasn’t done after I’d sprayed the milk tanks with primer. Oh no! 

I then went to my office / railway room and printed out first the transfers / decals for the milk tankers. This was pretty straight forward and I took the opportunity to do a few in case of mishaps and further future use. 

I then printed the vinyls for my Dapol track cleaner to become a pseudo siphon. This wasn’t quite so straight forward with the printer for a long time refusing to print to scale and chewing up a sheet of vinyl in disgust at one point, but all came right in the end after I had told it what I thought of its antics and leaves me with plenty to get my teeth into. 

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Propelled into productiveness 

I’m not quite sure what has come over me. Whether it was staying up until 5.30am Friday morning to watch the drama. Whether it was getting 12 hours sleep last night to recover. Whether it was conducting a 5 year old birthday party. Well whatever it was I’ve had a burst of activity. 

I’ve had my eye on a knackered old plastic tub that t’missus has had since before we were married. It was cracked and assigned to the rubbish but I couldn’t part with something with so much potential could I?! 

Instead I cut it as shown to remove the cracked bit and got myself a spray booth. 

It even still has one handle as a handy carrier. 

Add in the milk tankers and off I went. 

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Yes, I know it’s Friday but not that kind. Chippy in this case is the Chipmunk.

The De Havilland Chipmunk makes me go all misty eyed because I was in the RAF Section of the Combined Cadet Force so I did some flying with No.9 Air Experience Flight at RAF Finningley with Chipmunks. Not only has the Chipmink been retired from RAF service with the exception of being used as the conversion trainer for the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, but RAF Finningley is now Doncaster Airport.

Now if I had one in No.9 AEF livery it would look like this:

Chippy 9.jpg

© Robert Nichols


But that’s not suitable for 1948. But… the Chippy first flew in Canada in 1947 and the prototype was sent to Britain for evaluation so that is suitable. It looked like this:

Chippy 1

Airfix do a kit of the T.10 version but it’ll still take some painting to get this livery. Here is the 11th ever Chippy as flying today (one of about 500 still flying of the thousand odd built in Canada, Britain, and Portugal).

Chippy 11



It’ll look very pretty though if I can pull it off.

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Mother’s Pride

As part of my research for Penlowry, I’ve been looking at other forms of transport. Having already done some previous research I’ve now done a smidgen more, and the following vehicles are (just about) acceptable for the period, and I can also tell you that the Mother’s Pride brand of bread was first recorded in an advert in 1936. Aren’t you pleased I looked that up for you?!

Ford Thames ET6 – actually introduced 1949 but close enough for me

Ford ET6


In the late 1940s, production of another commercial vehicle, the ‘Jen-Tug’ began. It was a 3 ton articulated vehicle, available with a wide range of trailers, including a flat trailer, a wire-sided trailer, a box trailer, a tipping trailer, a shallow tipping trailer, a high-sided trailer, a swan-neck trailer with winch, and a container.

The cab had an Austin A.50 four-cylinder, overhead valve petrol engine, with a capacity of 1.5 litres, and an output of 50 b.h.p. at 4,400 r.p.m. It had a built-in four-speed synchromesh gearbox, a Borg & Beck, single dry-plate 8 inch hydraulically operated clutch, and was mounted on an easily removeable sub-frame. It also had powerful Girling hydraulic brakes with 11 inch diameter drums on both the tractor and trailer, a Jensen patent tractor coupling, operated from the cab, and a turning circle of 22 feet. (More info:

Jen tug

Ford E83W Van – introduced 1938

Vauxhall 10hp ten-four of 1947


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Awning chasm

Continuing my occasional look at reality being stranger than fiction… While on the train the other day, I noticed the awning at Newark Northgate. I presume  it was originally the same height all the way round and was modified as part of the electrification of the East Coast Mainline to ensure adequate clearance for the spaghetti. 

Another one for the files of “if you did that in a model people would think you’d made a mistake.”
And since this post only has one picture, here’s a free one of an IEP Virgin Azuma on test at York. 

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A matter of circumference

Having got the unpainted milk wagons I’ve set about making the transfers for them. 

I’ve dismantled the tankers and got them ready for painting. In sizing the transfers I could, and perhaps should, have measured the diameter and then a quick pi x d and got the circumference and then reduced it by the amount not needed for the underneath. 

But being lazy, I wrapped a piece of paper round the tank, marked the size, measured it, and reprinted the transfers on a piece of paper to test the size, cut them out, and lo and behold they fitted. 

Back in my youth I’d have made a right maths exercise out of it with angles and whatnot, but honestly, I haven’t the time, and the only person I know who’d still do that now would be the Patriarch. He’d probably be really disappointed I didn’t do the maths. And probably just as disappointed about starting the sentence above with “but”. Not to mention “and” in the last sentence.