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Smallbrook Studio

Smallbrook Studio

News Blog

Welcome to my blog


I have decided that the NEWS page was too cumbersom in it's current format to continue and so I have changed to a BLOG format and here it is!


You are most welcome to make comments and constructive criticisms but anything that is deemed offensive will be removed.


Thank you - Michael Rayner

By m1ker, Mar 4 2018 09:13PM

Anyone who has had a rummage through the peripheral areas of this web site will have found the 'Nellie Chronicles'. The pictures therein were taken in our local woods and my original intention was to continue to take models to locations there and over time photograph them in some quite exquisite natural locations.

Oscar Wilde famously said that 'the road to Hades is paved with good intentions' and in this case he was spot on. The problem was finding the time or things were dry and the mosses were lifeless or something else but we continue to vist the woods because we have three dogs that need a walk.

A few years, yes years ago I spotted amongst the trees a very rotten tree stump, which I thought I might liberate and plant somewhere up the garden, allow to grow in and use as a home grown photo shoot location. I got it home but it went in the shed and nothing else happend, after a while it occurred to me that as the stump had pretty well dried out, if I stabilised it I could use it for a working diorama. The appearance of a circular table outside the charity shop at the end of our lane clinched it and 'Stump Island' was born.

Due to the demands on my time work has been slow on it but I have now made sufficient progress to go public with two waggons built for the line now on sale and more to come.

The idea is simple - it is an island in the middle of a marsh somewhere where gem stones are mined and somehow conected by a railway line to somewhere else.

By m1ker, Dec 31 2017 07:22PM

Here is to wishing all my customers and friends a very happy , healthy and prosperous New Year for 2018 and thank you for your custom and friendship in the past twelve months.

I am not making any world shaking resolutions other than to try and add a few more blogs to this site in the coming year, which hopefully folk will find of interest.

With very best wishes Michael R.

By m1ker, Oct 25 2017 06:26PM

Earlier this summer I needed to make a fresh mould for the two 4mm LBSCR 5 plank open waggons that I offer. On close inspection of the master I realised that and I misquote Peter Sellars here 'time had passed it by and so should I'. So I returned once more to my modelling bench and here is the result.

The new chassis are cast in a tough load bearing resin, that needs no axle bushes for a free running, long life; a little fine lead shot is now added to the resin before vacuuming for a little more weight and the brake levers and brake rods and shoes are separate castings. The body is in our new and stronger white resin, which is a joy to work. As usual the kit is complete with wheel sets and couplings and good clear illustrated instructions, infact all you need except for glue, paint and transfers to make the model.

Have fun Mike R.

By m1ker, Apr 20 2017 08:48AM

Some of you are probably aware that I master and make kits in 4mm scale of Irish railways for Leslie Mcallister of Provincial Wagons. My latest kit for him is the rather odd looking CIE 'Double Beet' wagon, the kit is a development of the Bulleid corrugated open wagon that I mastered last year.

The original steel Bulleid open wagon chassis, which was unusual in itself with diagonal sole bars, rotted out fairly quickly but the bodies made from hot dipped galvanise lasted so the CIE stuck two of the old bodies on top of each other and put them onto redundant 20ft container chassis to produce high capacity wagons for carting sugar beet from the fields to the factory.

The model has required a lot of work to get it into production but I am happy to report that it is now well underway and will be on sale this weekend (22nd &23rd April) at the Bangor Show in Northern Ireland; along with a Skeleton Container Chassis Kit from the same wagon.

In the meantime, to anyone who has wondered why my normally prompt supply of orders has not been quite up to the mark, please accept my apologies but you now know and I hope that you understand.


By m1ker, Nov 14 2016 07:24PM

Yesterday I added a coach/waggon chassis to the website to run behind Super Nellie, this will give customers something to build on to run with the loco, as soon as the 'Festival' style coach body is finished - and I am working on it - it will be available. I am sure that it won't take a huge amount of imagination to come up with alsorts of bodies for the chassis; I have in mind a four poster bed and a testor bed for starters.

The chassis has my own wheels which have a profile similar to the Bachmann 'G' scale Thomas range diecast wheels, the wheels are cast in a black, tough, high impact resin impregnated with iron powder and the 4mm dia. axles run in ball races set into each axle box; all this is included in the kit.

One problem that the bearings have caused is that the chassis will not stay put on the slightest incline, so an effective releaseable brake has been designed and comes as standard.

The wheels and axles will also be available as a separate item and it is intended to offer a Gauge 3 axle option as well.

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