Evening Star - A Side Project

Hope everyone's recovering from all the New Year festivities - back at home now and throwing myself back into modelling, and I have an awful lot to do.  As well as the ongoing Palladians (of course) I have:

  • The Chaos Renegades to finish
  • My new Penal Legion
  • The WW2 Germans and Brits
  • Several Airfix kits I got as Christmas gifts
  • A 20mm Force on Force army I'm painting for a friend (more on this in a later post)

Building the tender was actually really easy compared to all the pistons.
The instructions all made reference to 'eccentric cranks' and 'coupling rods'
like I should have known what they were.  Boys in the 60s
probably knew and understood everything.
So now isn't really the time for me to be taking on new projects.  But at Christmas my Dad mentioned he had a dusty old Airfix kit of the Evening Star, the last steam train build by British Railways.  I said I'd have a go at it ... oh how foolish I was!

I know that Airfix kits, as opposed to wargaming models, require a great deal of skill to fit and in my youth I build a lot.  So I thought this would be easy.  It's by a long shot the most complicated model EVER.  Individual pistons, connecting rods, crankshafts ... all need to be attached, and the idea is that the wheels and pistons all move freely.  Unfortunately, after MUCH swearing, I realised that moving parts wasn't an option and I reluctantly had to glue it all in place.  But that's okay, this is going to be a display piece really.

You can see how the transfers are starting to peel
off in this photo - but overall I'm pleased with it.
I really wanted to get on to the painting.  As a child most of my kits were ham-fistedly painted with big brushes and looked pretty bad (by today's standards - they were okay for a 10 year old I suppose).  I wanted to apply my new modelling experience and get things like shading and weathering in.  I was helped by the fact that the Evening Star shares the exact same shade of green as my Palladian tanks, so I knew the exact colours I wanted.  Painting was really easy - Catachan Green, drybrushed with Knarlock Green - then just a few small details, a healthy application of weathering powder, and the transfers.

That was the biggest problem - they were good transfers, very detailed and they brought the model together and 'finished' it really well.  But after 30-40 years tucked away in a cardboard box, the paper had started to peel a bit.  I wet the transfers and got them on okay, so I thought I'd have no trouble.  But after the varnish had dried on top, I noticed that they had started to peel.  I've not done anything about it yet - I was going to wet the edges and flatten them again, before giving it another coat of varnish.  Any thoughts on how I could repair him?

Anyway, an interesting (and very challenging) little diversion to get me back into the thick of it.  More soon!  Thanks for reading,

The Colonel

The Last Days of British Steam, in 00 scale.


  1. I think my Grandfather had a model of that very train, though not looking half as good as we used to paint with enamels....

    No idea on the transfers though I'm afraid mate, sorry.

  2. As I said before sir, tis a thing of beauty. I've not built any airfix kits for a while, but I still break out in a sweat trying to connect the tiny pieces and delicate fittings. Did you ever see the episode of James May's Toy Stories where they built the 1:1 Spitfire Airfix kit?

  3. Oh that 1:1 Spitfire was awesome. My old man is a mega train buff and I recognised the name Evening Star immediately. I still play the C64 Evening Star game but I only occasionally get to Bournemouth on time.
    The weathering powders look amazing on her. Full points on the build and paint job. - what a cool distraction from the regular projects.

  4. @Dai: Yeah I have strong memories of faffing around with turpentine and ruining brushes, the water based paint certainly helps. I think I'm just going to have to be careful.

    @Headologist: Ta muchly. No, haven't seen that - must have been easier in a way, at least you could get a few people in to hold stuff rather than trying to balance something on your finger while it dries.

    @Col Ackland: Ah you and Headologist would probably talk for hours about those games, he's a Train Simulator aficionado :p You're too kind - always nice to go out the ol' comfort zone once in a while!

    1. Ah, curses I've been rumbled :P

      Here's that episode I mentioned, as it's been uploaded to YouTube by someone else already, it's completely legal to share and watch :P https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zID8rnZcshs


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