Thursday, 2 March 2017

March Events

We're only doing one event in March but it's a pretty big one!

March 25th & 26th 2017, The London Festival Of Railway Modelling, Alexandra Palace, N22 7AY. 10:00-17:00(16:30 Sunday) Early Admission for advanced ticket holders from 09:30. Tickets: Adults £12.00, Child (5-16) £6.00, Family £36.00 (2 Adults & 3 Children). Advance tickets £11.00 (£10.00 for BRM Subscribers). One of the UK's biggest and most popular shows we always enjoy attending this one. With over 40 layouts on display and more than 100 traders plus manufacturers Hornby and Bachmann in attendance it's a great event at a great venue. Full details and advanced booking info at:

Recently arrived from Bachmann is the long awaited Stanier Mogul. We have very limited quantities of the LMS and BR Early Crest versions in stock, with the late crest version due in the next couple of weeks....

Other recent arrivals:
  • Heljan 1361 Saddle Tanks and 1366 Pannier Tanks
  • Bachmann 57s in GWR and Northern Belle liveries
  • Royal Mail TPO coaches with nets in 60s livery
  • Re-release Autocoaches in various liveries
  • Plus much, much more.
Please feel free to get in touch with any order requirements or queries about stock availability.

Keep enjoying your modelling guys, Tony :)

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

looking ahead to 2017 releases....

Many of you will by now be well aware of the ranges announced by Hornby and Bachmann in their 2017 catalogues, but for those of you who aren't a quick run down of some of the more interesting items:


The undoubted star of Hornby's 2017 range is their retooled LMS Princess Coronation. Hornby have announced three different liveries for initial production:
  • R3553 6231 Duchess of Athol in as built condition with single chimney and without smoke deflectors.
  • R3509TTS 46235 City Of Birmingham in her final livery of BR green late crest and as she still stands dormant in the halls of the Thinktank centre in Birmingham. She comes fitted with TTS sound, although we are considering removing this addition for those who do not require it.
  • R3555 46256 Sir William A Stanier FRS in BR maroon late crest. Featuring Ivatt's modifications as made to the final two members of the iconic class, 46256 received the name of her original designer and had something of a celebrity status, Hornby reproduce her is what was to be her final days.

At the other end of the steam era spectrum is the SECR H Class 0-4-4T, one of which is preserved (and at time of writing in working order) on the Bluebell Railway. Hornby have announced three different liveries for this model again.
  • R3558 No.308 in original SECR livery.
  • R3539 No.31518 in BR late crest.
  • R3540 No.1324 in Southern Railway Olive Green.
There is also a train pack featuring No.31551 in BR Late Crest (a shame really considering there is a individual late crest example and early crest is yet to be offered) and a Maunsell Push Pull set in BR green.

Another new tooling for 2017 will be the BR electric class 87, like the LMS Princess Coronation that went before them, another loco that found itself earning a living on the west coast mainline. Two initial liveries will be available:
  • R3580 87035 'Robert Burns' in BR Blue
  • R3582 87010 'King Arthur' in BR Intercity Swallow livery

A few other highlights from the range include:
  • Hitachi class 800s in GWR livery and test livery
  • 'The Final Day' Collection, four limited editions of an express engine from each of the 'Big Four' companies in the liveries they carried on New Year's Eve 1947, the final day before nationalisation.
  • Overrunning from the 2016 range the Merchant Navy class locos in original condition are due out during 2017. They are joined by 35018 British India Line in rebuilt condition (a release which will hopefully coincide with the return to steam of the real 35018!)
  • The return of 8Fs, Rebuilt Scots, Std 4 4-6-0s and Q1s to the range.
  • A new livery Peckett, '883' Lilleshall Co. in what appears to be plain black livery.
  • HST power cars and matching coaches in the latest GWR green livery.
  • Class 60 60087 in the ever popular Colas Livery.
  • Class 50 D400 'Special Edition' in as delivered BR blue.
  • Maroon livery Collett Coaches. Along with reissue GWR livery.
  • Return of Maunsell coaches in 'ornate' Southern livery and the return of Stanier Period III stock in LMS and BR Maroon.
  • For wagon fans an all new tooling GWR toad brake van (seen behind the H class in picture above)

Many modern image fans will be feeling somewhat let down by the Hornby range and it's large focus on steam era models but the Bachmann 2017 will more than make up for that!

The biggest announcement regarding new toolings was the class 20/3, which Bachmann assure me is to be an all new tooling with (for the first time on a 20) working lights. The model is set to be produced in three different liveries:
  • 35-125 20306 in DRS Livery (as pictured)
  • 35-126 20311 in Harry Needle Railroad Company Orange
  • 35-127 20312 in DRS Compass Livery

For steam era modellers there is a slightly unusual choice, but a very charming one at that, in the Midland Railway 1532 (later LMS/BR 1P) an 0-4-4T loco designed by Johnson. The class survived into the 1950s before withdrawal and is represented by Bachmann in three different liveries:
  • 31-740 1273 in Midland Railway Crimson livery
  • 31-741 1303 in LMS black livery
  • 31-742 58072 in BR black early emblem
as always with Bachmann new toolings the '2017' tag should be taken with a pinch of salt! However, we can look forward to seeing several new announcements this year and several long awaited new toolings! Including:
  • Special Edition Avro Vulcan Set featuring 37558 'Avro Vulcan XH558' (actually 37424 as unveiled at the DRS open day last June) and 2 1/144 scale Avro Vulcan XH558 models of the aircraft.
  • Expected release of much anticipated models including LMS Stanier Mogul, LNWR Coal Tank and possibly the Southern H2 Atlantic.
  • Reissue of 9F as Evening Star and (from the same batch) 92211 in BR Black
  • A range of Railfreight locos to commemorate 'Railfreight 30' including an 08, 37 and 47s in Railfreight liveries and appropriate Railfreight liveried rolling stock.
  • Split Headcode Box 37099 'Merl Evans 1947-2016' in Colas livery.
  • DRS 37688 'Kingmoor TMD' and 37884 in Europhoenix (sound fitted)
  • 47245 in West Coast livery
  • 66739 'Evening Star' in GBRf/BR Brunswick Green.
  • 2017 should be the year we see LNER Thompson coaches and maybe SECR Birdcage stock.
  • The previously exclusive to Invicta and TMC, Mk1 CCTs and Horseboxes also join the standard range.
  • Due in very soon is the reissue Mk1 TPO with nets in 1960s livery.
  • All new tooling VEA vans, Carflats and Prestwin Twin Silo wagons announced.
  • 2017 should also see the release of the much anticipated Warflat wagons.
We are currently working on a payment scheme to help spread the cost of these products as we recognise that while Hornby and Bachmann are taking us to new levels in performance and detail, some of their range is getting beyond the resources of the common modeller. More details of that one to follow very shortly in another blog.

Full range details are available on Hornby and Bachmann websites:

Pre-orders are welcome on any items in the range (no deposit or upfront payments required!)

If I have missed any of your favourites from the new announcements please don't be offended and rest assured we can pre-order any item from either range, just drop us a line with your requirements :) Keep enjoying your modelling guys, Tony :)

2017 Events

As we are now into 2017 and with no events in January we shall jump straight into February and look at some of the bigger events we hope to be present at during the year.


The Festival Of British Railway Modelling, February 11th&12th 2017, Doncaster Racecourse, DN2 6BB. Saturday: 10:00-17:00, Sunday: 10:00-16:30 (09:30 for advanced ticket holders) Admission: Adult: £9.00 (£8.00 for advanced tickets, £7.00 for BRM Subscribers in advance) Child: £4.50. Family (2 adults & 3 children): £27.00

We make our return to the popular show at Doncaster Racecourse, organised by British Railway Modelling (BRM) magazine. This years show has over 30 layouts on display and over 80 traders. We will be in our usual position on stand 70 (I believe) this year.

Full details of this show and advanced booking information can be found at:

Rugby Evening Toyfair, Tuesday February 14th 2017, The Benn Hall, Newbold Road, Rugby, CV21 2LN. 19:00-21:00. Admission: Adults: £1.50. Senior Citizens: £1.20. Children: 50p. Barely giving us time to draw breath from Doncaster we return to our local fair in our home town. An enjoyable small fair albeit on a rather unusual date this time around.... why not treat your other half to a new loco for Valentines Day?! Full details can be found at:

Coventry Toyfair, Sunday 26th February 2017, The Connexion Leisure Club, Leamington Road, Ryton-On-Dunsmore, CV8 3FL. 10:30-15:00 (Early Entry from 08:00). Admission: Adults: £3.00 Senior Citizens: £2.50 Children: £1.00 Early Entry: £5.00. Our first appearance at another local toyfair in 2017. The Coventry fair is twice the size of Rugby Evening and offers far more in the way of choice. Another one we still enjoy attending. Full details at:

Looking further ahead

A quick look (with no major details given at this stage) at some of the other events we are set to attend during the year (some are subject to final confirmation):

March 25th & 26th 2017: The London Festival Of Railway Modelling, Alexandra Palace

May 27th-29th (Late May Bank Holiday) 2017: Gloucestershire & Warwickshire Steam Railway, Cotswold Festival Of Steam

June 17th-19th 2017: The Model Event, Great Central Railway

August 12th 2017: Silver Fox DCC Exhibition, Milton Keynes

October 14th & 15th 2017: The National Festival Of Railway Modelling, East Of England Showground (Peterborough)

November 25th & 26th 2017: Warley National Model Railway Exhibition, NEC (Birmingham)

We will also continue to attend toyfairs at Rugby, Coventry and Bridgnorth throughout the year. As well as looking to increase the number of show bookings and events during 2017 and even into 2018.

More blogs coming soon. Keep enjoying your modelling guys. Tony :)

Thursday, 8 December 2016

December News Round Up

Hi all, as we head into the festive period there are a number of minor things that we need to update you all on. Opening hours, events, announcements, etc.

Right, starting off with the opening hours. Up until Christmas Eve we will be open as usual, Tuesday to Saturday 10-5(4 on Saturday) with Christmas Eve actually falling on the Saturday, we will be closed Sunday and Monday as usual. However this is where the changes begin:
Holiday Tuesday 27th: CLOSED
Wednesday 28th: 11am-3pm
Thursday 29th: 11am-3pm
Friday 30th: 11am-3pm
Saturday 31st (New Years Eve): 11am-3pm.

Then a return to business as usual from Tuesday January 3rd 2017. We feel the hours between Christmas and New Year will suit both you the customer and us as a business as last year we found it to be a rather quiet week but at the same time offers a chance for those who want to come down the chance to do so. If you are planning to visit on one of those days during the usual opening hours please give us a call and we'll see what we can do with regards to making sure we are there.

On New Year's Day we will be attending Bridgnorth Toy Fair. Bridgnorth Leisure Centre, High Town, Bridgnorth, Shropshire WV16 4ER. 10:30-15:00. Entry price £2.00 (all ages). A chance to blow off the cobwebs at the ever popular Bridgnorth Toy Fair, why not combine the visit with a trip to the Severn Valley Railway and what could quite possibly be the final days of steaming for their popular little 45xx tank 4566 which is 'out of ticket' at the start of 2017.


As I'm sure many of you are already aware, at Warley show (which we attended and were very proud to do so) Hornby announced several new products. Including the Modified Duchess as 46256 Sir William A. Stanier FRS, also 46235 City Of Birmingham in BR green with TTS sound and Duchess of Athol in LMS livery. There will also be new tooling class 87 electrics and the new Hitachi class 800 units being delivered for use by GWR. All will be available for pre-order from us, just let us know any requirements.

At the time of going to press we are expecting Peckett 0-4-0 tank engines, LNER (and BR) B12s and original condition SR (and BR) Merchant Navy pacifics in stock by the end of January.

We had a recent meeting with Hornby which outlined their future plans and strategies. Personally I felt the meeting was very positive and Hornby are certainly looking to improve their relationship with the dealers, it has to be said there were a lot of cynical voices in the room and there is clearly a long way to go for Hornby to rebuild their shattered reputation in this industry. I am not going to disclose exactly what was said in that meeting though in public. Let's just say the future looks a lot brighter.

Finally (in case this turns out to be the last blog of 2016) may I take the opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. A massive thank you to everyone who has supported us over the last 12 months and beyond, I couldn't do it without you guys. Keep enjoying your modelling. Tony :)

Friday, 11 November 2016

A Train Set for Christmas and other gift ideas....

It's that time of year when we start looking at the Christmas market and the obvious place to begin is with the classic gift, the train set. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing a set for someone but it helps to know what they like when it comes to railways and what they'd be looking for in a starter set.

Kicking off with the above pictured set Military Manoeuvres by Bachmann. I've made no secret in the past of how great I think this set is. For a first time railway modeller the great plus point of this set is it comes with a siding as part of the set so instant 'play value' as shunting can begin straight away without the need for additional track. However, the set being based on Military practice does make it a bit specialist for some modellers especially those who are just starting out....

If you want something a bit more traditional then The Midlander Express gives you exactly that. A very classic set, featuring an LMS Jubilee and two Maroon Mark1 coaches. In BR livery, it represents the period that is still the most popular amongst most modellers as it was the time when both steam and diesel ran side by side. Although as we've touched on in a different blog, the preservation layout offers the same benefit and the chance to mix regions. One negative of this set is it's very much an oval of track and a one train formation, even if there was a siding included it wouldn't be the kind of set you'd want to go shunting with anyway. (As a side note, I remember when I was a kid a friend having have a HST set that came with 2 sidings and a goods shed but looked completely ridiculous with HST coaches being shunted into them by the HST power car!) 

The last Bachmann set we are going to feature is The Permanent Way, a bit different to the other two this one comes complete with Digital Sound fitted to the loco and the entry level Bachmann digital controller. The liveries are very much set in the 90s so only really suits those who want to model the more contemporary scene. Like The Midlander Express it also features just the basic oval of track. Although there is a degree of shunting options that would be available here and being a class 20 it would be well suited to hauling and shunting wagons.

Some good points that all Bachmann sets have to offer are:
  • High quality products, the locos, coaches and wagons are all as good as the best products the range has to offer.
  • Good quality, durable, control systems. We have been using the same Bachmann controller on our test layout for the best part of a decade and it works just as well as a new one. One word of caution regarding the basic Digital Controller is that it only accommodates nine locomotive addresses and can be easily outgrown. Having said that it is also a good quality, durable controller.
  • Excellent value for money for the contents included.
Military Manoeuvres RRP 169.95, Our Price £145.
The Midlander Express RRP 209.95, Our Price £178.50
The Permanent Way RRP 274.95, Our Price £220.

Other sets in stock (not featured):
The Western Wanderer (Pannier Tank and 2 wagons) RRP £99.95, Our Price £85.
The Thames Clyde Express (Midland Compound and 3 Coaches)
RRP £174.95, Our Price £149.
Rural Commuter (105 DMU) RRP £99.95, Our Price £85.

We're not very keen on Hornby Sets here (even though they are the brand name most people are familiar with) but we have got The Postal Express in stock. Which with it's working mail coach and siding offers a great deal of play value and is great for the younger modeller, although we don't recommend it for the serious modeller... Sadly Hornby don't tend to offer their highest quality products in sets, usually it's products from their RailRoad range. Their controllers aren't the most robust of items either... This set RRPs at £119.99 we have it on Special Offer at £80.

Although we don't keep much N gauge in stock we do have two Graham Farish sets available, being made by Bachmann they are of similar quality to the Bachmann sets.

We have The Night Mail for modern image fans featuring a Class 47 with 2 mail coaches and a basic oval of track, RRP £199.95, Our Price £170.

For the steam fan, we have A Day At The Races (not pictured) featuring a BR Std 3 tank engine and 3 horseboxes in BR green. This set also has a siding with it.
RRP £189.95, Our Price £162.

Both sets come with the excellent Bachmann Controller that the OO sets also come with.

That's the sets end of the market looked at, now a time for a look at the other end of the market for 'stocking fillers' and 'cheap' gifts.

 Starting off with the excellent range of Oxford Wagons, at the time of writing all of the single 4 wheel wagons from Oxford come in at under £10 each. Wagons from Bachmann generally range from £12-£22 so there's a significant saving buying Oxford wagons even if the range isn't quite as big.

Another ever popular gift are the Metcalfe range of cardboard building kits, easy to put together and of solid build quality they are popular with those new to the hobby and experienced modellers alike. Prices on these kits ranges from £8 up to £20. We also keep a small range of N gauge Metcalfe products in stock.

Another suitable avenue for the cheaper gift is the pack of figures. We have stocked (and still do stock) the excellent range of figures from Bachmann and Modelscene. But recently have taken delivery of a new range from Woodland Scenics which feature many different scenarios to those we have seen before including Golfers, Fishermen, Cyclists and much more. Prices range from £7-£12.

Last up in our selection are the excellent range of road vehicles from Oxford Diecast. The range includes, cars, buses, lorries, farm vehicles, emergency services vehicles, even Ice Cream vans. A lot of the vehicles are represented in real life corporate colours (including all the railway companies) plus TV and film colour schemes too, the Anglia (top right) is in the same colours as Vyvyan's in The Young Ones! Prices range for £4 for a single car up to £25 for certain lorries & Gift Packs.

And for the man who has everything......

The stunning Bachmann Midland Pullman, which we have featured heavily in a previous blog. A truly magnificent model but costing an eye watering £509.95 (with discount!) it certainly doesn't come cheap!

These are just a few ideas we have for suitable gifts for Christmas. We do, of course, stock a comprehensive range of Locomotives, Coaches, Wagons, Buildings and Scenic accessories to suit all budgets and tastes.

Plus of course, if you're really stuck for what to buy we still do the good old Gift Voucher! 

Thanks for reading this, hope you enjoyed it. Please contact us if you require any advice and what to buy for the Railway Modeller in your life! Keep enjoying your modelling guys, Tony :)  

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

November Events and New Releases

Hi all, sorry we've been a bit quiet in recent times (all I seem to say in these blogs of late!) but here's the traditional month opening blog regarding our upcoming events.

We only have one event to bring you news of this month, but it is a VERY big one!

November 26th/27th, Warley National Model Railway Exhibition, National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham. 9:45-18:00 (9:15 for advanced ticket holders, 17:00 Sunday) Admission: Adults: £15.00 (£13.50 advance) Junior (5-16): £8.50 (£7.00 advance) last advance ticket orders 11th November so act fast to save money. Available from the NEC box office 0844 5810737 or

Our debut at the what is still the UK's biggest model railway show, in it's traditional venue of Hall 5 of the NEC. With 90 layouts to see and 150 trade stands there is a lot to see. Plus support from the majority of major manufacturers, there is nearly always a 'big' announcement made by one of them! As you can see from the picture we are stand D17, hopefully if you come you'll find us ok! Full details at

New Releases

Bachmann have dropped out a few new releases including a much anticipated new tooling.

 At long last the first of the new Bachmann Wickham Trollies have appeared, 32-992 in yellow. Still to follow are 32-991 in BR Maroon and 32-993 in yellow with wasp stripes.

We had one out on our test track to see what it was all about on Monday and they run very sweetly. Although we found it struggled with the long insul frog Hornby points. The unit drives off one axle on the wagon, which is fitted with a traction tyre (Bachmann kindly supply a spare pair of tyres). At the present time we are yet to find a solution as regards chipping, Bachmann have stated it isn't possible. My first instinct says that the best bet is to build up the load in the wagon to accommodate a very small chip (like the Gaugemaster DCC22). I will be keeping an eye on the usual forums and in magazines for other solutions.... RRP on this one is £79.95 our price £68.

Bachmann have also released another item in their Network SouthEast 30 collection. The Capital Commuter Train Pack comes with:
Class 416 EMU in NSE livery
Low Relief Art Deco Station with NSE decals
2 x Platform sections
Network SouthEast Publicity Postcards
Reproduction NSE 'Network Card' and holder (in the name of G.J Churchward!)
Certificate of Authenticity

Bachmann have also reissued the ever popular 9F, this time in weathered black livery with double chimney and the large 1F tender. As we have touched on in a previous blog weathering can be a bit hit and miss but this one has turned out very nicely, with some lovely subtle tints and a non uniform look to it. A very smart model. 92189 has been given her 40E Colwick shedplate so it's quite possible she performed on the legendary Annesley Runners from time to time

Continuing the weathered theme (and the reissue theme!) Bachmann have brought the popular little 64xx back in the same three liveries they carried last time around. 31-635a is in GWR, 31-636a returns in BR black early crest and 31-638 (pictured) appears in BR green late crest but this time weathered. Personally I'd rather have seen a bit more variation. Possibly shirt button crest on the GWR version or Early Crest on the BR green version (whether they carried Early Crest in BR green during their service days I'm not sure) but they certainly have in preservation. Maybe the weathering would have been better applied to the black version?

Prices: Capital Commuter: RRP £209.95, our price: £178.50
9F: RRP: £164.95, our price £140.50
64xx Pannier (GWR & Black clean): RRP: £95.95, our price: £81.60
64xx Pannier (BR green weathered) RRP: £105.95, our price: £90.10

And finally! One last arrival, we don't usually feature Second Hand models in the blog but we are selling a SanCheng brass King on behalf of a customer. It could do with a slight touch up but underneath it is a beautifully made all brass locomotive. We are asking £1,000 for this one :)

Thanks for reading, hopefully see some of you at Warley and hope some of the above items are of interest to some of you! Keep enjoying your modelling guys, Tony :)

Ps, more blogs coming soon, I promise! ;)

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Recent Arrivals - Bachmann and Dapol

We haven't done a good old fashioned recent arrivals blog for a while so to address that we are bringing you a series of blogs which are pretty much just pics and prices! Bachmann's latest offerings is a range of BR Standards and a mucky 40. While Dapol offer a 2nd bite at their excellent Terrier :)
Weathered 40 Aureol RRP £154.95 Our Price £130.75

A selection of Standard 4s (2 preserved examples) RRP 129.95 Our Price £110.46

Now onto some more reissues but this time in O gauge and the excellent Dapol Terriers make their re-entry to the market.


This time round they have been provided in four different guises:
GWR green No.5 Portishead, a real livery for the loco following purchase by the GWR of the stock and assests of the defunct Weston, Clevedon and Portishead Railway. Would be a nice stable mate for the upcoming Dapol Panniers....
Southern Olive Green No.9 Fisbourne, a reissue of Olive Green but this time representing an Isle Of Wight resident.
LBSC Umber Brown No.643 (Gipsyhill) another new livery from Dapol, this time the impressive LBSC brown livery as has been seen in recent times on the Bachmann E4 in OO and for fans of full size locos as carried by 672 Fenchurch on the Bluebell railway before withdrawal for overhaul.
BR Black Late Crest No. 32636 and finally a straight forward reissue of the ever popular BR black late crest.

RRP is £220, Our Price is £190 each.

Well that's the majority of recent arrivals covered (see separate blog for Hornby announcements) Please feel free to get in touch if any are of interest. Keep enjoying your modelling guys, Tony :)