Nice Appearance of GWR Passenger Train in The "Narnia" Movie

This weekend, I saw the Disney film "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It was quite enjoyable. (I do like the book version better.)

The movie gives a bit more prologue than the book on how the four London children end up at the Professor's house in the countryside during the London Blitz. In the prologue scenes, there is the train scene. I was pleased to see the preserved Great Western Railway steam locomotive and the chocolate and cream passenger carriages. I was straining to catch more details of the train but most passed by quickly. I could catch "Manor" in the name of the locomotive. Ah, a Manor class! (Now, I want to buy the DVD of the movie when it come out just to look at the train scenes.)

I was looking for more information on the GWR train shown in the evacuation scene of the movie and I found this trivia item on the Internet Movie Database site:

The motive power for the Pevensies' evacuation train was GWR 7802
Bradley Manor, one of the former Great Western Railway's Manor-class
steam locomotives. Nine out of the thirty Manor-class locomotives built
survive today.

A photo of 7802 Bradley Manor can be found on An even better photo can be found on Dave's Classic Transport site.

Jonathan D. Abolins

15 Comments 16.1.06 18:43, comment

Saw an Article on Building a Cargo Ship for O Scale Layout; Adaptable to Other Scales

Although I am working in N and OO, I sometimes find useful information from people working in other scales. Never get into "Scale Chauvinism", you can miss much useful information.

This weekend, I saw the nicely done cargo ship on the cover of the March 2006 O Gauge Railroading magazine at a local bookstore and had to check it out. I am interested in waterfront settings for layouts and had built a freighter for my NTrak module.

For a short time, you can see the "Run 213" of the O Guage RR magazine's cover at (Soon it will scroll over to the magazine's main page and eventually off the Web.) Alas, there seems to be no online version of the article by Tony English on how he built the freighter ship.

Here's some points I've gleaned from his article and photos:

  • For O scale, he had to shorten the model of the 300 foot long prototype. In N scale, the unshortened ship would be about 2 feet long. Quite workable for a layout or an NTrak module.
  • The waterline model's keel, bow, and stern were was built up from sandwiched layers of 1-inch thick pine boards. Eventually, these sections were sanded, rasped, and shaved to get the right curves. The overall hull's above waterline height is cited as 15 scale feet for a mostly unloaded ship. Much of the ship's straight hull sides was done the flat boards as the sides.  The article's photos and drawings do a better job of explaining the process than I can with this text. For N scale ship, I'd proably work with plain layers of wood all the way across.
  • The superstructure was built with wood and modelling plywood. In N, wood blocks and styree would work well. One of the good things that the article does is show how the seemingly conplex shape of a ship can be broken down in blocks and other simpler shapes than can build up. (This applies also to things other than ship, such as industrial equipment, cranes, etc.)

Jonathan D. Abolins

17 Comments 16.1.06 18:11, comment

How to Make a Rail Bender for Large Scale Track

site has interesting photos and descriptions of an outdoor layout. One
of the particularly useful sections for large train buffs is the Homemade Rail Bender. It uses a clever combination of various hardware items, including a cheap drill press vise and rollers from roller skates.

modelling scales are much scaler than this fellow's and the code 70 and
55 rails bend easily, sometimes too easily. But I can see the utility
of this bender for those using the heavier rails for the larger scales.

Jonathan Abolins

142 Comments 3.1.06 13:43, comment

Israel Model Railways Club

I came across this site in the midst of a Google search for "model railways". Yofi! Nice!

Israel is not associated much with railways, certainly not like the US
or many European countries. Yet, it has railways and people who model

A special challenge many modellers of Israeli railways is
getting the rolling stock. It seems to be a matter of adapting other
rolling stock and of scratchbuilding. Of couse, some Israeli modellers
choose US or European prototypes. Years ago, I remember a Model
Railroader article about a US railroad themed layout that was made for
children in a kibbutz. That layout was kept in a bomb shelter room and
set up to be easily stowed aside.

Jonathan Abolins

42 Comments 16.12.05 03:09, comment

On the Web: Photos of Minature Wonderland in Hamburg

A Mr. John Sing has posted a nice collection of photos from his recent visit visit to Minature Wonderland, an amazing HO model railroad in Hamburg, Germany.

The Minature Wonderland
features scenes of Continental European and American areas. The scenery
is impressive! There is also a touch of whimsey with the US Western
section with an "Area 51" installation complete with an underground UFO

Jonathan Abolins

11 Comments 25.11.05 03:54, comment

Web Pointer: Making Chain Link Fence in N scale

Good article with photos< on scratchbuilding N scale chain link fences.

The materials list includes "Silver Bridal Veil material". If the
fabric supplier gives a puzzled look, the material is also called
"tule" (pronounced like "tool").

I have used tool for model chain
links. It looks fine in N scale and will work well for HO/OO and
various other scales. I have been thinking of simulating the embedded
wire safety glass by affixing tule to glazing material. Haven't tried
that yet. A ship modelling FAQ elsewhere suggests using tule for fishing

Jonathan Abolins

14 Comments 16.11.05 02:59, comment

Liquitex's Helpful Guide for Using Acrylic Media (including Airbrushing)

On one of the model rail lists, there was a thread about airbrushing
and somebody recommended Liquitex's The Acrylic Book. Soon afterwards,
another list member pointed to a  PDF version of the book.

is a nice 93-page reference on acrylic paints, varnishes, and other
media. A particularly helpful section is the one on airbrushing with
acrylics. Although the guide is promoting Liquitex products, much of
info applies to acrylic media made by other companies.

The Liquitex site also has other educational references.

Acrylic media are nice... I gesso.

Jonathan Abolins

15 Comments 16.11.05 01:29, comment