A typical South African train

My own attempts at railway modelling

In 1988 I visited South Africa and bought this as a memento in the museum shop in Johannesburg. I can't recall exactly how much I paid (and certainly don't have any receipts/paperwork now - a couple of house moves have lost all that) but 75 seems about right, probably worth more now but I won't be selling it

Eventually I decided to build a model of the locomotive for which I had the numberplate. This a DJH (Grandspot) kit bought mail order from a shop in Sheffield. One thing that I found to be of unlimited assistance was the existance of the SAR List, then run by David Forsyth, for advice. As I'd decided to complete the kit as a pre-war Borsig built 19D I needed more published photographs for the details so someone on the list (I recently discovered that this was Trevor Staats - I found the original email in an archive) ran amok with a digital camera around the Rovos 19D's because these are from the same builder. The results were emailed to me - a long download on 14.4k dial up! - (I've only just remembered who this was - see comment above) The numberplates were supplied by Craig Duckham - it's numbered 2711 (right builder/ batch) as Craig didn't have 2691. Assorted bits were omitted because the kit is for a post war vacuum braked example. Tasteful photograph chosen to hide the lack of ability on the part of the painter! The coal in the tender is real.. Note for builders - don't drop M1 bolts, you'll never find them...... It was built to run but wasn't tested until many years later when much to my surprise it did work!

A CMD DZ-7, I'd never encountered the dry transfers before and the other side doesn't look quite as good. It really needs a load - next time I pass the loco coal bin.... Kadee #58 coupligs

Modified Lima. I couldn't persuade the roof come off! Underframe detailing, some vents removed from the roof and added some others, but this was purely guesswork owing to lack of photographs, horrible coarse scale wheels painted dirty black. Roof repainted LNER bauxite, vacuum pipes added, Kadee #5 couplers.

More proof that I can't paint! A modified/detailed Lima coach - at first it was thought to be an E-2 but with the help of a diagram book from Sue Lawrence, and the roof off, it became obvious that it wasn't. Added interior partitions which showed (with the window spacing) that it was closest to a C-36. Added Penning detailing kit, CMD vacuum pipes, Interior partitions in the correct colours and corridor handrails (thanks to Les Pivnic). "Gummiwurst" corridor connectors from "Maplins" shrink wrap, designed with the aid of photographs from Geoff Pethick. Etched brake wheels from Craig Duckham. Still needs numbering but cutting up CMD transfers into individual numbers will probably try my patience & eyesight too far. Again LNER bauxite roof.

Lionel Penning C-25 kit. Finished in the 1960's livery which I like. Full interior paint - I wouldn't recommend these kits to beginners. The glazing is a bit thick (being intended for dolls houses) but adds strength and weight to the body.

GD-23C, Lionel Penning kit. The first one I built - if I built another I'd probably get it right. As each side is in three parts make sure each side in the same length - and both match the frame length. I also learned how not to apply decals - I'd discovered "Micro-Sol" by the time I built the next one! Geoff Pethick supplied some photographs which resulted in modifications to the windows in the van area. CMD vacuum pipes as usual.

AA18 dining car, Lionel Penning kit. Probably the best of the lot, lots of time spent researching Les Pivnic's "Railway Dining Cars in South Africa" and some additional help from Les himself when I couldn't find answers. CMD Vacuum pipes added to improve the look

Lionel Penning C-16 kit. Added etched brake wheels from CMD models. The balconies are slightly "wonky" but it looks just right in a display case.

Without the help of numerous people I wouldn't have completed this project. So Geoff Pethick for photographs, Craig Duckham for Transfers, etched parts, vacuum pipes & brake kits. Sue Lawrence for the diagram book. Les Pivnic for much advice. Mike Deyzel (East Coast Hobbies) for the Penning kits. Trevor Staats in Pretoria for the 19D photographs. Frank Collingwood for general hints as I started. No Thanks at all to the South African Postal Service or the Royal Mail, who between them probably caused this to take 4-6 months longer than it should have. (And anyone else who I've forgotten)

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