Thursday, 4 June 2020

More declutter experience

I spent the back end of yesterday afternoon clearing things, and as you would expect it took substantially longer than I'd envisaged. We keep too much... of everything. I'd picked three areas - yes a bit random, but that's the way my brain is fitted. Magazines, a drawer and the side of the bench. The magazines mount up - RMs, CMs and the occasional purchase of BRM and Model Rail. The ads I don't want and there is often only one article that I want to keep, so these are sliced up, the to-be-kept bits put into clear file pockets and ring binders and the remainder is recycled. 

The drawer took the longest as it was the most eclectic and emotional. Five old pairs of glasses, six bow ties (in four colours) and three watches for starters. The glasses got binned, the ties were thinned out and the watches kept for when I find someone who wants watches. There were historical items: an address book (well two to be precise) dating back to my teens at least. Notably there were one or two sets of details that are still current, but most are not, and in many cases the people themselves no longer exist.... bin. Similarly a notebook where I wrote weekly details of a touring schedule. Briefly interesting to see how much I earnt (subsistence payments and travel payments varied) and also what I'd spent. Though how useful to me, or anyone else, is knowing the cost of a coffee in Middlesbrough twenty years ago? This is the sort of stuff that historians pour over to piece together the lives of those that have gone before us, and me putting this in the bin is why they have such a hard job of it. A short period of my life documented, now lost to the Newhaven incinerator.

A start on the desk was next and a box of business cards many from people who I can't ever remember working with; why I asked for, or was given a card. A sort through of the current (and living) their usefulness to me now. As expected the vast majority joined the address book. 

The modelling stuff is more difficult as it's hard to predict what will be useful or needed in the future. A whole cupboard of stuff and two hundred books... another day.

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

O Gauge loading platform

I was picked up today about being too gloomy on here, and I can't even blame Mr. Hill for it. On the contrary I'm very upbeat, but possibly just as many are at the moment -a little directionless due to some of life's corner markers being removed. Much of this may be down to the plan of retiring from hitting things for a living in the Autumn which would mark an unbelievable 40 years at it. The current situation has thrown this, forcing this moment to two months ago. What do I do? I didn't exactly want an exit party, but I did want to do it on my own terms. Now I'm wondering if I stick to the plan, which may well mean that it's already happened, or do I add a bit on and make it 40.5 or 41? 

The opposite of gloomy was my morning accuser Matt Kean who was ostensibly writing to plug the Wiltshire 009 Group's 'Skills Day' on the first of August which they are still hopeful for. Not so much an exhibition as a rolling masterclass. Keep your eye out for it. An email in the same batch from Tim Rayner informing me that I have a Comment piece in the next RM (regulars here will recognise it) and asking for payment details. Peco have not only moved from the collar and ties, but are now paying BACS rather than ten bob notes by carrier pigeon. My fear is now for their office tea lady. 

Back to the present and the current job (one of them. Bored? Moi?) and the loading/cattle dock on Tiley Road. The eventual use is somewhat decided by what fencing I can build/get hold of. The same card weave technique has been used as with the main platform, though after the warping in this I've made the cells smaller which will hopefully help.

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Decluttering the mind

Decluttering the mind

One of the things that defines my modelling is that I have to keep moving. I do get a gentle ribbing from certain quarters about selling layouts in a short period after building, but I need to move on. Part of this is lack of storage space, partly a restless mind. I need to find a new idea all the time; not a new model, a new idea. One thing that puzzles me about certain people is the continual recycling of one idea and often linked with recycling the same items of stock, but never moving on. This is not the same as the one man-one life layouts such as Buckingham; I find this fixed lifetime goal pre-set far more logical.

I hit certain points where I need to pivot and I'm in one of those moods now. If someone walked in and offered to take the whole lot away, I wouldn't object. It would give me a clear space and a clean mental sheet to work on. I wrote a short while ago about compressing the ideas/stock etc. This is all part of the same thought process - a reduction of stuff and a reduction of mental clutter. With no shows for the foreseeable future this is a good time to do this.

In all seriousness, if there's any existing layouts that you might like, I'm open to offers. Email in the top right box.

Monday, 1 June 2020

Hole in the sky

Hole in the sky o gauge
Pushing on with the dog-leg bit of the sky boards. The hole-in-the-sky was sized using the borrowed Dapol 08 and seems utterly huge, but then I've been working in 009 for the last year or so anything would appear large. It was pointed out that I don't normally like this dog-leg sky arrangement - this is true, but there is little else to do in the available overall space. This piece is glued to the back and the edge of the middle board with the final 900mm section butting up to this and fixed down the centre of board three. There are packing issues that I thought that I'd got round, but apparently not. Once this last centre split section is on this packing will be attended to.

I note that lock-down essentially ends today and that the government are 'reasonably confident' about safety. This from the same mouths that said that if we kept deaths down below 20,000 we'd have done well and that Dominic Cummings didn't break any rules. If you were buying a car and asked about safety and the salesman said that he was 'reasonably confident' that it was, would you proceed? I'm reasonably confident that we had a mild dose of it back in February/March, but I'm also reasonably confident that I don't trust anything that they say and am taking no chances.

Sunday, 31 May 2020

Saturday Ramble

Planning and plotting. Like most I'm continually rethinking things at the moment. Personally, I believe that it's madness to open up this early when infection rates are still rising. Mrs F. (who follows these things) has been watching the graphs on the Gov site and has noted that the rates peaked two days ago, but just before the 'Happy Monday' announcement the graph was altered to show a flatter line before reverting back yesterday. Make of this what you will. They want us working again, no matter what the cost. Remember who funds them for the next election.

The mojo has returned slightly and some work on Tiley Road has resumed with the final sky boards cut, and then sprayed with the usual Halfords primer. This all needs to be done by the end of August, but what then? The possibles that existed pre lockdown have fallen away and there is now a cliff edge to fall over. Sitting in the garden until September might be possible, but after that... who knows?

Wednesday, 27 May 2020


O gauge ground frame hut
I don't know if mojo is a thing, but if it is, it can be a slippery item. A combination of the afore mentioned building work (now ended this afternoon) the loss of the workshop to set the current layout build up, the continuing WFH situation all add to the lethargy. Part of this may be the social aspect: people asking questions, the blokey banter and my regular show attendances all act to keep the interest up. Social media has helped of late, but I found myself falling down a rabbit hole with it and have now withdrawn from the internet save emails and here. I miss the good stuff, but not the ungood. Even the hardened pro's go through this version of writer's block so I'm not alone, but it's thrown into sharp focus when there is a deadline and I can't frankly be bothered. Maybe the boost of a show would help, but that's impossible right now.

Deep breath and sit in the garden I think.

Friday, 22 May 2020

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Thursday Ramble

Everything ground to a halt for a while. Thank you to the several people who emailed and asked if I was OK.
The builders have now gone, but the scaffolding has not. It took a little longer than they anticipated and the noise and people bobbing around in front of the windows makes it hard to get anything done. Normally I would have escaped somewhere, but with the current situation the beach and the downs were already full. Result: the mojo disappeared. This morning I managed to get the ground frame hut mentioned last time finished save the weathering, but I need to wind myself up into a routine again. As the scaffold is here until Wednesday and they will need to go through the workshop to remove it, I can't be bothered to set Tiley Road up, only to take it down again.

The target is now to do the final building which is the small goods shed based on curved roof GWR type - a pagodaless pagoda.

Thursday, 14 May 2020

O gauge ground frame hut

O gauge ground frame hut
A quite disjointed week thus far with the builders now turned up and working outside. Although I'm in and they are out I've had to dismantle Tiley Road and work in the study. This has been hard as I find the constant noise distracting. Mrs. F. who is still WFH has also moved inward and now decamped from the kitchen table to the crossover point in the house meaning avoiding stopping to talk is impossible. I'm used to being on my own during the day and find this disconcerting and can't settle anywhere, so production has slowed somewhat.

I required a small building for the top-left of the layout, just before the exit. The ground frame hut at Tenterden was chosen as the basis as it fitted style and shape wise and I had a drawing available. It was actually smaller than I thought at only 6'6" wide so it was increased very slightly to a footprint of 70 x 50mm. This meant it would cover the switch as needed, but still be far enough from the track not to get in the way.

The now emerging standard method of Peco door, Wills asbestos sheet and window pack items have been employed. with extra framing from various bits of strip. Probably worth the effort, but the sliding sash took far longer than I'd anticipated. For me as a modeller rather than a purchaser is the main disadvantage of 7mm. I now have to building-in detail that I could simply suggest in 4mm with the outcome of a much longer build time per item. In 4mm, I could have probably knocked this up in under an hour and here we are into day two - I'll blame the building work.