Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Caribbean layout

New Caribbean layout almost finished.

Palm trees and typing

Consolidation day. Time to tidy up a few bits of text. With a small amount of push I should be able to get 4-6,000 works inserted into the main body. That and take photos of the water tower and lamp hut.

Foe some reason I plonked some plastic palm trees into some blu-tak and dumped them on Orne... madness lies that way.

Monday, 23 April 2018

Orne - 009

This is a bit of a funny one. A bastard child from the beginning and I can't make it feel right. Regulars will know that I value feel over accuracy any day. Maybe it'll sort itself out. Is it too narrow? Too simple? Or have I somehow managed to get the South Downs feel so well that it is too close to home? The problem is that it started as one thing, then became another and I've not thought it through properly. Add to that, that it has been very much a small side project with no final destination either in publication or exhibition terms.

It is basically done bar the detailing and I'm wondering whether to box it 'cameo' style rather that the open way that I would usually display. This is totally the wrong way around though and would cause no end of problems especially around the exit. Nah...

Sunday, 22 April 2018

The trouble with water towers...

... is that you can't see the top of them. I have to admit that I'd not given these things an awful lot of thought until this week. There are photographs of water towers by the thousand on the internet, but to a man they are taken from the safe position of standing with both feet firmly on the ground. I can understand this; for who in their right mind wants to  climb a ladder and perch at the top with camera in hand, thinking: this'll be useful to someone building a Ratio kit of one of these.  The net result of all this is that I still have little understanding of what's going on up there except that it is vaguely resembling a very large toilet.
Then there is the painty thing. Thinish coats of paint (so that the rivet detail stays) don't like the battleship grey plastic - four light coats later and it's just about acceptable. This is the last of the  single items to do before the gargantuan effort of jumping full belt into another layout. An attempt was made yesterday to buy some MDF as I happened to be passing Homebase, but true to form they only stock things I don't need like lawnmowers and BBQ things, not stuff to make things with. The concept of making something seems to be fading  - making things is what other people (mainly Chinese people) do. We seem to be less curious and less creative as a breed now. My childhood was full of weekend project taken on by my parents and grandparents. There was always something to make, something to fix, the garden to sort. Now we have weekend events and experiences at weekends and moan that there is no money left. The world turns slowly...

Friday, 20 April 2018

Ratio water tower

A lot of these are turning into mini reviews. Ah well.
I was told that this kit was a bit of a bitch. It doesn't fall together, but I've encountered no major problems thus far. Getting all the parts square with each other is the worst bit when you are working from the start point of a tapered post.
I elected to work backwards with the exit pipe and mount the pivot shelf last, thus avoiding the situation of having the pipe bracket dangling if the resulting gap is too wide. I also adopted the 'Tiley method' of wrapping the brace wires around the boss rather than fitting them separately.
The tank it self has been reduced in height. There are marks inside to help do this, but it would have meant making two cuts, which I thought was pushing my luck slightly. Instead I worked from the central join line on the outside, cutting on the waste side and filing back.
So far so good except I need to re-do the photo.

Monday, 16 April 2018

GWR layout


After a bit of mental push and shove yesterday it looks as if the GWR layout is go. Target point is mid October for a finish, which in theory should be no problem. The buildings are done anyway and so is the basic stock requirement. This means we are talking about two standard length baseboards, points, track and some scenery. Svanda fiddle yard and supporting woodwork, taking it to about 11' 6" total length. All pretty normal then.

On with some paper planning then and to twist a couple of arms at the Croydon club.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Horsham exhibition

At the Horsham show today operating Giles Barnabe's Peurto Paseo. Which is Our Man in Havana meets Minories. I love it. Double exit junction station with no run rounds so each train needs to be pulled in by one loco and removed by another. The railcar needs to be shuffled around the station and turned. It's got a lovely vibe and a warmth. Someone said 'you can almost smell the dust and dog shit'. It's retiring soon, to make way for more early Victorian themes.
Show: 9/10 Catering: an enthusiastic 7/10. Portion controlled baked potatoes aren't really my thing, but the apple crumble was.

Wills kit

I talk a lot about compromises here and this is another. Requirement: small GW lamp hut, plastic. What's in the kit: Four walls, a door with no lock, a weird shape window and a roof section which is about 1.5mm too short. The fix would be to take a smidge off the side length. That means that I've had to alter the window, cut down and alter the sides, take the vent off the roof  and add things to the door. At half the kit price (there are two in the pack) of about £3.00 there is a basic question now that by factoring in the extra time, I could have knocked one up out of Slaters sheet for less money with a more logical window and it wouldn't have taken any longer.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Wills lamp hut

In my world of endless sidestepping over projects, it was on to lamp huts to finish the auxiliary items section. There was no lamp hut in stock, so I had to wait to visit Gaugemaster and pay top dollar before I could move on. The roof vent and bucket shelf have come off and the landscape shape window (like no other lamp hut) has had a couple of extra bars fitted.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Wills taximans shelter

Up to London yesterday with Miss V. A couple of these along the route. It's notable how close these are in feel to the Wills kit and yet how far away in detail. Yet I've never seen one fully worked up to this working example in Kensington.