DEFine Modellers Day – 2023

DEFine Modellers Day – 2023

We are back! After having to cancel the event last year due to Covid-19, the DEFine Modellers Day is back. The next event will be held on Saturday 7th January 2023 at our usual location in Risley Memorial Village Hall. The venue is easy to get to and is only a few minutes from J25 on the M1 and just off the A52. The postcode for the hall is DE72 3SU, on Derby Rd. The venue will open to the public from 10am and close at 4pm. There is free on-site parking and also on-road parking. Entry to the event is a flat rate, £5 per person.

The purpose of the event is to provide the facility for modellers to gather socially, discuss projects, view some good layouts and be with fellow modellers for the day.

As well as the usual line up of layouts and demonstrations, we are trying something a bit different this year. People that have attended our events in the past will know that we haven’t included traders or manufacturers in our line up. For the 2023 event we will have our friends from Cavalex join us to talk about current and future projects. Will from Stenson Models will also be on the Cavalex stand so if you want to order parts from Stenson you can arrange with Will to pick up the items at the show. We will also have the Shawplan/Extreme Etchings stand making an appearance selling detailing etches, Laserglaze and nameplates.

But these are not the only changes. We have decided that tea and coffee will be available free all day to attendees as well as our exhibitors! Other items such as food and soft drinks will be as per the price list on the day.

So what does the line up look like so far? This is what we have in store for the 2023 event.


Boston Frodsham………………….P4

Brook St (WIP)…………………….P4

Colwyn Bay Goods………………2FS

Templegate Wagon Works……..O

Cowley Yard………………………..O



Building wagon under-frames……………………..Robert Austin

Building and researching PGAs…………………..Rob Griffiths

Weathering rolling stock…………………………….Dave Roome


Shawplan / Extreme Etchings


Any changes to the line up will be communicated here as the event date gets closer. Any questions regarding the event can be submitted in the Reply section below, or if you prefer to

We hope you can join us for an interesting day.

The DEFine team

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Time to catch up – October 2022

It’s been a while since we updated the DEFine Modellers blog, so what’s been going on?

Since we emerged from Covid back at the beginning of the year we have continued our weekly meetings. With Bill having moved out to the Bewdley area it is difficult for him to attend the weekly meetings but we still see him there now and again. Dave is a prisoner to whatever shift he is on so his attendance is irregular and Brian is ultra-busy with the Shawplan/ Extreme Etchings business.

Back in August we decided to have a day out in Birmingham whilst the weather was glorious. The plan was to meet up at Derby Midland station and get the train in. When Pete arrived Paul was already waiting outside in the sun. On enquiring by text we discovered that Rob and Bertie were already on the platform. Just as we were about to join them, Mr Hanson was spotted heading in the station direction so all three of us joined them on the platform. We got a text from Bill to say that he was already resident in The Brewdog just outside the station in Birmingham. After the short train journey we were soon in Brewdog with Bill sampling some strong but very nice beers. It was packed, due to the weather and the Commonwealth games I suspect.

After Brewdog we headed up the hill to The Post Office Vaults. Again, a great selection of beers but a bit cramped again. Its got a nice atmosphere this pub but is always busy. Having downed our beers it was time to move on. We headed further up the hill to the square and saw a pub over on the corner called The Sommar Tap.

On approaching the bar it became obvious that options were slim as it seemed to be all girly lagers and IPAs and a few ciders, no men’s beer, with bits in it type of thing. With the menu on the wall studied we all selected a brew and waited for them to be poured. Paul noticed that his pint looked a bit iffy and asked the staff to try it and they claimed they couldn’t find anything wrong with it. We headed out into the pavement and a minute later we were followed by the barman that poured Paul’s pint. He was embarrassed that he had pulled what Paul reckoned to be a duff pint and offered to get him something else. By this time though I think Paul had got the taste for drinking Pledge polish, but some of the others weren’t too enamoured by their choices either, the tast of chicken stock was mentioned. At this point it was decided to exit The Sommar Tap never to return.

By this time the troops were getting a bit hungry, so after trying a few more bars we finally got a table in the Head of Steam. Having got the beers in it was food ordering next. From what I can recall the food was very good, but arrived at the table in instalments.

So then it was on to our final port of call for the day, The Wellington. This was a nice pub with a good selection of beers. After a lot of chatting and drinking it was time to head back to Birmingham New St for the train, with Bill heading to Moor St. Those heading to Derbyshire had an uneventful trip home but unfortunately Bill came up against cancellations but finally managed to get home OK.

A great day was had by all, with everyone agreeing that we need to do it more often.


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The Show Must Go On – Feb 2022

As our DEFine Modellers Day planned for 15th January had to be cancelled due to Covid restrictions this was the sorry sight that resulted from that action. The hall should have been buzzing with layouts and modellers but for the second year running we had to cancel. The restrictions opened up a bit a couple of weeks later but not in time for us unfortunately. But as the title suggests, the show must go on so we decided to keep our booking and use the small hall for a group workshop day.

Starting at around 9am, we had Bertie, Paul, Alex, Rob, Bill and myself all working away on our own projects. It was a great day with a few laughs and stories along the way, ushered along with copious rounds of tea, coffee and biscuits. Here are a few of the pictures taken on the day.

Alex and Paul taking a break whilst Paul gives Pete’s “Brunswick Yard the once over
Bill working on one of his 26’s, sound and Laserglaze if I recall correctly
Bertie on wagon building
Busy, Busy
Pete oversees a nuclear flask movement on “Brunswick Yard”
Bill using BY for a bit of loco testing
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DEFine Modellers Day CANCELLED

Please note that due to Covid Restrictions and availability of exhibitors we have had to cancel the even planned for the 15th January. We hope to host this event at the earliest opportunity

Apologies for any inconvenience

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DEFine 2021 Review

So as we say goodbye (and good riddance) to 2021, we can only hope that things improve regarding the pandemic and restrictions in 2022. Despite the restrictions regarding meeting up face to face weekly, the group have pulled together and managed to maintain our meeting schedule

From the beginning of the year through to May we managed to keep in touch via Zoom and enjoyed a few quizzes and discussions, show and tell etc., over those early months. Unfortunately, but unavoidably, we had to cancel the DEFine Modellers Day planned for January. We were disappointed, but understood the reasons and the need to keep everyone safe.

We continued with our face to face weekly meetings in late May and it was great to get back together and do some modelling, tea/coffee drinking and resume biscuit consumption. As in previous years we had some workshop days on the weekend so we could have a full day of working, layout running and a chance to help each other with our projects. We held these on Saturday afternoons in June and October.

We started planning for the 2022 DEFine Modellers Day in mid-year, and as the date for the event approaches (15th January 2022), we are hopeful that it will get the go ahead and as of today are waiting to hear if any new restrictions on meetings will come in to place after the new year celebrations.

In December we planned to have a Christmas day out in Derby but due to various reasons surrounding shopping, work and pandemic health concerns only Paul and Pete participated. We started off in The Brunswick, followed by a visit to The Alexandra and then The Smithfield. We then proceeded to The Exeter where we had “Derby Tapas” and a pint. To finish off the day we headed round the corned to The Tap. Great beer and a great day out.

So on to 2022. Let’s hope our Modellers Day can go ahead as planned and we look forward to starting our meetings again in early January

Happy New Year to all our followers and readers.

Here are some photos from the October Saturday workshop day.

Bill working on point motors for GQS
Pete starting to convert a RHTT to P4
Rob and Paul hatching another design project no doubt
Bill working on the underside of one of GQS’s boards
Bertie with a production line (shoal?) of Salmon wagons
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DEFine Modellers Day Jan 15th 2022 – Update

Covid-19 Update

As of today (16/12/21) we are still on plan to host the above event. This could of course change as we get nearer the date of the event due to the situation with the latest Omicron variant. We will keep everyone up to date via this blog and other channels should the situation change. We will probably have to maintain improved ventilation in the hall during the day.

The latest layout line up is as follows:

Boston FrodshamP4Mike Knowles

Brook St (under construction)P4Phil Eames

SplottP4Paul Spencer

Templegate Wagon Works ODave Tailby

Unit Lane SidingsOOAshley Toone

Shelfie 2OOPaul Marshall-Potter

The latest demo line up is as follows:

Building wagon under frames
Robert Austin

Building and researching PGAs
Rob Griffiths

Researching Coach Stock for GQS
Andy Clayton

As in previous events, there will be no traders present. There is lots of parking and refreshments will be available to purchase on the day. Doors open at 10am and close at 4pm.

The venue can be reached within 5 mins off J25 of the M1. Take exit (Bostocks Lane) heading for Risley and then left at the lights on to A5010. The Village Hall will be signposted about half a mile along on the right hand side.

We are also pleased to announce that admission is being maintained at only £4 as this is a not for profit event.

Any changes/additions etc. will be communicated ahead of the event and we will keep our blog updated with any more news and reminders nearer the date. We hope you can come along and enjoy the day. Pictures and coverage of previous events can be found in the blog archive


The DEFine Team

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DEFine Modellers Day 15th Jan 2022

DEFine are pleased to announce that we will be holding our fifth DEFine Modellers Day on Saturday the 15th of January 2022. The venue is as previous years, Risley Village Hall, Risley, Derbyshire, DE72 3SU (beside the church).

Planning is well underway for the event and the line up of attendees so far is as follows.


Boston Frodsham……..Mike Knowles

Brook St (Under construction)…..Phil Eames

Splott……………………Paul Spencer

Unit Lane Sidings……..Ashley Toone

Shelfie 2………………..Paul Marshall-Potter


Building wagon underframes….Robert Austin

Building and researching PGAs….Rob Griffiths

Researching coaching stock for Glasgow Queen St in EM – Andy Clayton

As in previous events, there will be no traders present. There is lots of parking and refreshments will be available on the day. Doors open at 10am and close at 4pm.

The venue can be reached within 5 mins off J25 of the M1. Take exit (Bostocks Lane) heading for Risley and then left at the lights on to A5010. The Village Hall will be signposted about half a mile along on the right hand side.

We are also pleased to announce that admission is being maintained at only £4 as this is a not for profit event.

Any changes/additions etc. will be communicated ahead of the event and we will keep our blog updated with any more news and reminders nearer the date. We hope you can come along and enjoy the day. Pictures and coverage of previous events can be found in the blog archive


The DEFine Team

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Getting back on track – May 2021

Its been a funny old year as the saying goes but the time is now approaching for us to get back down to Risley for our weekly sessions. We have been told that from w/c 17th May we can start using the premises again. Over the various lock down periods we have been keeping in touch via a weekly Zoom session which has included quizzes, show and tell and illustrated research discussions. Its been a great way of keeping in touch and a lot of fun too.

The weekly activity is also sometimes interspersed with a visit to the Crewe station webcam if something interesting is passing through.

We have also agreed that having had to postpone our modellers day back in January 2021, we should start making plans for DEFine Modellers Day 2022. We will publish more information on that as it develops but its looking great so far.

So that’s it just a quick update to let you know we are still around and looking forward to a fruitful second half of 2021 and a successful modellers day in 2022.

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DEFine update November 2020

Having got back into the routine of our weekly meetings, things were looking good and then Lockdown V2 came along at the beginning of November. Once again we were facing the meeting hall being closed and reverting back to our weekly Zoom meetings. These meetings have been great for keeping in touch and usually consist of a quiz set by Pete and a general chat. The quiz sessions have been interesting with Rob using his knowledge of all things steam era to grasp valuable points.

So whats been happening on the modelling front then? The group have been very busy with personal projects and some great progress made. Here is a brief summary;


Wagon construction and painting has progressed with Highfit and HTV painted, transfers and weathered. Class 25s and 37 painted ready for transfers. Grampus, some done some nearly done.


Bill has been busy working on his coaching stock and locos for Glasgow Queen Street. This has involved reworking a 2nd hand Heljan 26 that had seen better days, prepping 8 Oxford MK3 coaches with Exteme Etchings window frames ready for paint and converting 16 Oxford MK3 bogies to P4 using the Stenson Models inner brass frames . He has also been updating Airfix MK2 coaches under frames using Dave Roome’s castings


Pete has been working on his Bachmann Class 37 and 66 bogies that don’t like P4 running. Using the “PaperBits” bogie technique this has leveled-off the axles and they run great now through P4 track. He has also been putting the finishing touches to “Brunswick Yard” by building, adding and fixing a lot of the scenic details. Next thing is to get back on to stock P4 conversions, weathering and detailing


Paul has been working through some RTC stuff. These pictures show the Tribology train, Mentor and Prometheus on the go. He has started the structure gauging vehicle too. He just needs to finish the chassis now then a splat of black, throw on some transfers and done! Just the 2 coaches to do after that- the easy bit hopefully.


Something different from Dave, a custom bass guitar build. Its a kit but the absence of instructions made it a challenge. The image of Phil Lynott on the back was applied by Dave, employing his painting skills.

No reports this time from Brian or Rob.

Rob is probably too busy swatting up on his steam knowledge for the weekly quizzes and Brian assures us that although he has nothing to present he has been very busy keeping the wheels of the hobby turning!

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DEFine Workshop Day Oct 2020 and Catch Up

As previously posted on this blog, COVID-19 lock down didn’t deter the group from meeting up albeit virtually, but when restrictions were relaxed a bit at the end of August we resumed our Wednesday night meetings. Strict rules were in place though and social distancing and clean-up procedures were in place. It was great to meet up again face to face and spend some time modelling.

During the lock down period some of the group challenged each other to produce a small diorama in time for the AGM in September. The only rule was it had to be no more than the surface area of A3 paper. Only Bertie, Rob and Paul took up the challenge.

Bertie went for a small loading dock design and only got so far

Rob got a bit further along with his embankment design which bravely included one turn-out (point). Another good effort.

It was unanimously agreed that Paul had exceeded expectations with his excellent diorama of Lincoln, complete with Battenberg box and cakes. A great display.

We managed to hold our AGM in September and that month, 23rd September to be exact, marked our tenth anniversary as DEFine. Although any of us had known each other a lot longer than that it was a significant milestone for our small group of friends.

With the model railway exhibition season wiped out for 2020 due to the pandemic, and for the foreseeable future, its been a very strange year. These events are great social occasions for our model rail community and we hope things get back to normal soon. Given the opportunity to hire the large hall at our meeting venue on weekends, we decided to have another DEFine Workshop Day on 10th October.

Working within the COVID-19 restrictions of distancing, cleanliness and 6 persons maximum, we met up early on the morning of the 10th October and had a very enjoyable day. The whole group were there except for Dave who was off on his birthday weekend jaunt to Whitby. It was great to see Bill again now he has moved a bit further away.

On the modelling front, Bertie was mainly busy modifying hundreds of plastic sleepers by removing the “Costain” branding. His patience knows no bounds.

Paul was constructing a version of “Mentor” out of an NSE donor coach and some brass sides. There was a lot of surgery going on!

Rob, was modifying a stock of wagons he had brought along as well as supervising the tea area.

Bill had brought along the main boards from “Queen Street” and following some repair work he had to catch up on, spent time running stock through the P4 track work to test it out. It is looking and running great.

Pete had brought along “Brunswick Yard” complete with fiddle yards. Most of the time was spent moving stock around but he also found time to fit Dingham couplers to “Caroline”. The layout is really bedded in now, even the Class 66s are flawlessly running.

Brian joined us around lunch time and brought himself up to speed on all our projects as well as sharing some of his recent non-railway related modelling projects too.

It was a great day modelling, chatting, drinking tea/coffee and not forgetting the chips at lunchtime

So that’s us up to date. We will continue to meet up so long as we are permitted and hopefully we all remain healthy. Its a pity we have had to cancel our DEFine Modellers Day in January 2021 but it will be back when the time is right.

I will close this post with some photos from our workshop day on Saturday 10th Oct 2020.


Robb working on wagon modifications
Paul’s workbench
“Brunswick Yard” having a rest whilst Pete takes the photos
97304 and “Caroline” sit in the stabling point on “Brunswick Yard”
Brian takes the controls on “Glasgow Queen St”, which seems to be amusing Bill.
“Glasgow Queen St” running session.
Pete back playing on “Brunswick Yard”

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