Model Railway Kit Construction and Model Painting


Welcome to my web site, which is partially a record of over 20 years as a professional model maker, although I have actually been railway modelling for over half-a-century (yes, I'm knocking-on a bit!) - beginning as soon as I was old enough to be trusted with a soldering iron without burning the house down !  Indeed throughout the 1980s and 1990s, whilst also holding down a full-time job, I offered my services to other modellers on a part-time basis, as an extension to my hobby activities, becoming a full-time professional in 1999.  During my years in business, I advertised every month in Railway Modeller, so you may have come across my name before.  Over the years I developed a world-wide reputation for quality work, constructing and / or painting thousands of models for hundreds of satisfied customers.  If you have used my services in the past, you will know that this is no idle boast, but an accurate reflection of the service I offered.   I have always been very proud of the fact that once established, over 80% of my workload was in the form of repeat orders from previously-satisfied customers.   

Now, it is late 2023, and with Covid (hopefully) finally behind us, I am retired, and have, this year, started work on some sixty-plus kits (locos, rolling stock, and scenic items) that have been slumbering away in cupboards in my workshop for up to ten years (!) waiting for me to find time to build them.  So, this site will change over the coming years - as well as being a record of customers' commissions over some four decades, it will also mean I can now display more of my layout ''Coleston'' to the wider public, which, as will be seen later, is a multi-era Great Western Railway / British Railways (Western Region) affair.  The ''Coleston'' section of the site is still a 'work in progress', so please visit again in the coming months / years, to see how it is developing. 

Despite retirement, I intend to keep the web site running, and regularly updated, not only for me to display ''Coleston'' in its various forms, but also for modellers to use as a reference source, because it not only illustrates what is out there in kit form, but also what can be achieved by the way of making more unusual models by modifying or substituting a kit's components.  This site is also a valuable reference source for liveries which were carried by the real locos etc, during various stages of their working lives.   

 I not only built and / or painted locomotive kits, although most of the pictures on this site are of locos (it's simply what I got asked to build most often), but anything you could possibly want for your railway. Whether you needed rolling stock, a building, some platform furniture, personnel or a motor vehicle; in cast white-metal, etched brass or nickel silver, plastic, resin or plaster, I could help.

On this site you will see a selection of photographs of the models I have built and / or painted over the years. Previous customers may even see some of their models gracing the various pages - thank you. Most of the models are straight-forward (!), 'out of the box' kit-built, but as hinted at above, there are some modified kits, and also modified ready-to-run models just waiting to be discovered, which not only serve to indicate what is out there in kit form, but also what is possible to achieve in the way of individualizing your stock with a little ingenuity, whether modifying a regular kit or a proprietary model.

You will notice a difference in the style and quality of the pictures on this site.  This is because the early shots are all taken outdoors in natural light with a film camera, on plain board for the base and the background.  In the mid-noughties I bought my first digital SLR camera, which allowed me to pose customers' models on my layout - the digital camera's internal electronic wizardry automatically compensating for the odd colour of fluorescent lighting, which in film days, without filters, would have given the photos a weird colour cast.

Unless otherwise stated, all models pictured on this web site are 4mm scale. This is not because it is the only scale I worked in, but because it is Britain's most popular for railway modellers, and it is the one that just happened to make up most of my commissions. It is also the scale I model in, and so with the growing emphasis on this site of my own layout, an increasing number of the models featured will naturally be mine.

All models built for customers, were done so on a 'commission-only' basis, and are to their individual specifications, so no responsibility can be taken for historical inaccuracies - I just did what I was asked..

This site is intentionally simple and easy to navigate. I designed it myself (on a rather prehistoric - in IT terms anyway - web page-designing program), and I'm the one who has to update it, and to be honest, I'm a bit of a 'techno-thickie', so you'll excuse me if I stick with what I know ! There are up to six pictures on each page. I designed the pages like this so that if you don't possess broadband, it wouldn't take more than a couple of minutes to download each one. Please be patient - the wait will be worth it.

You will notice that I have titled the pages as BR (steam and diesel), and the Big Four, post-Grouping companies - this was done for simplicity. However, you will also find, many pre-Grouping railway company models, which have been arranged under the banner of the appropriate Big Four company that absorbed the smaller ones in 1923 (for example, Midland Railway, and London & North Western Railway models are in the LMS pages).



British Railways Standard Steam Models page 1 / page 2

Great Western Railway and BR (WR) Models page 1 / page 2 / page 3 / page 4 / page 5 / page 6 / page 7 / page 8 / page 9 / page 10 / page 11 - The 'Atbaras' / page 12 / page 13 / page 14 / page 15 / page 16 - A 'Duke' Restoration Project / page 17 / page18 / page 19 / page 20 / page 21


London Midland and Scottish Railway and BR (LMR) Models page 1 / page 2 / page 3 / page 4 / page 5 / page 6 / page 7 / page 8

London and North Eastern Railway and BR (ER) Models page 1 / page 2 / page 3 / page 4 / page 5 / page 6 / page 7 / page 8 / page 9 / page 10 / page 11 / page 12 / page 13 / page 14 / page 15

Southern Railway and BR (SR) Models page 1 / page 2 / page 3 / page 4 / page 5 / page 6 / page 7 / page 8 / page 9 / page 10 / page 11 / page 12 / page 13 / page 14 / page 15  / page 16  / page 17

British Railways Diesel and Electric Models page 1 / page 2 - The Blue Pullman / page 3

Industrial, Military, and Minor-Railway Models page 1 / page 2

Road Vehicles page 1 / page 2

Buildings page 1


My layout as it has appeared for almost 20 years, in circa-1960 guise page1 / page 2 / page 3 / page4 / page 5 / page 6 / page 7 / page 8


  In the latter half of 2020, amidst various Covid lockdowns, plans were devised to make my layout into a multi-era one.  So, in addition to the circa 1960 ''Coleston'' (pictures of which can be accessed using the links above), and with an already-purchased (over many years) loco / rolling stock collection in liveries from different eras in history, the idea was to be able to ring the changes as and when it suited me.  Therefore, with a different set of rolling stock, and a few changes to the scenics (station colours, road vehicles etc), I can, quite effectively, run my layout in 1920s / 1930s period, or late 1940s / early 1950s guise too. 

Backdating the layout scenically is not necessarily that daunting a task, because despite Nationalization in 1948, it would have taken some years for the newly-formed British Railways to get around to repainting all of the stations and their environs into the new colours, so the old GWR livery for infrastructure would have persisted for some time into the 1950s, even though the rolling stock livery, and ownership markings, would change.  In fact historical photos show that some stations were never repainted at all, and stayed in the 'old company's' colours until closure by Beeching in the 1960s !  So, the layout will feature GWR-coloured railway buildings for the 1920s / 1930s era, and for the late 1940s / early 1950s era, but have late BR colours (chocolate and cream) for the 1960 era setting.  Road vehicles will be appropriate for the various eras, and things like shops etc will also vary - after all, you would not have seen a rock 'n' roll-era coffee bar in a town in 1930 !  So on this pretext, I have begun the process of acquiring a duplicate set of railway structures to be painted in GWR colours of light & dark stone to help affect the transformation, whilst still retaining the BR-era collection of buildings to change things again as and when it suits me.

Mention of my not-inconsiderable collection of rolling stock above, is a significant one.  As time passed by, as indeed we all know it must, the railways' continual scrapping of old stock, and the designing of new, more modern replacements, altered their look considerably with each passing age.  For example, 'Dukes', 'Bulldogs' and 'Aberdares' would have been a common sight on the GWR in the 1920s and 1930s, but the last of these particular classes of loco were withdrawn from service soon after Nationalization, and would therefore not have been seen in 1960 at all.  On the other hand, the Hawksworth designs (the 4-6-0 'County' class, the 94XX, 16XX and 15XX pannier tanks) did not appear until the late 1940s, so would obviously not have been seen in the 1920s / 1930s era.  Also, main line diesel power was a late 1950s development, so 'Westerns', 'Warships' and 'Hymeks', and indeed the Blue Pullman, would not have been seen in either of the earlier eras.  So, each of the three eras will have its own historically-accurate, and era-specific set of rolling stock, which will give each era its own individual appearance and flavour, so the coming developments are going to be very interesting.   

A small start was made on this project during my traditional Christmas break in 2020, and has continued during the last three years.  Links to the first few pictures, featuring ''Coleston'' in its late 40s / early 50s guise, are below.  The 1920s / 1930s incarnation of ''Coleston'' is a future development - watch this space !

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Why build kits?

Please spend a couple of minutes to find out why kit-building is so important to our hobby.


Links :- Why not visit my links page? It has access to websites of various kit manufacturers, shops and dealers, component suppliers etc, that I have used over the years, and magazines too.


Happy Modelling