Monday, 26 September 2011

Tall and tanned...



Freshly returned from a trip to Cyprus - sit by the pool all morning watching topless russian girls cavort in the water, travel to work as the sun goes down in a battered Ford Transit. It truly is a rock and roll lifestyle... not. Now faced with a month of unemployment, but with a fast ramping up of academic pursuits, and the modelling will have to take a back seat for a while so expect less here. That said there are two exhibitions for Garn this month. The first being for Fareham MRC at the Community Centre in Wickham, Hampshire this very weekend. this means at the very least that I have to get the layout off the shelf and give it a once-over. Plus get an Airfix chap to put in Susan's cab.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Dirty Susan gets covered in coal dust

Yeah, I'm on a roll now.
Susan in her final grubby glory, less the yet to be painted driver. Three coats of Simon Green, and German Grey for the black bits. Followed up with a lot of dry brushed Red Leather and a wet wash of G**mes Workshop Charondon Granite; all acrylic. The front-of-cab bunker area was given a covering of coal dust, brought in and applied with a tea spoon. Carrying coal dust this way over freshly Hoovered carpets has an air of high-pressure school sports day. And later puzzles Mrs F. 'What's this black stuff in the cutlery drawer?'
*shrugs* 'I dunno , pepper?' Maybe I should have washed the spoon...


There maybe a break in proceedings for a while.




Monday, 12 September 2011

In the mean time.

Susan needed a coupling on the rear (that should up the search results), but a check in the box revealed none made up. A new batch to be built. Since Wood End was built in 1999 I've settled on the 'Greenwich' for 009 use. By far the simplest and best designed of the etchy brass type. Tools required: one Stanley knife for removing from the fret and a small pair of pliers. The main body needs two bends to get the buffing face up and three tweeks to curve it slightly and make the hook more hooky.

I tend to batch build and create five pairs from the ten supplied: five hooks only and five with loops. The only fiddly bit is getting the small 'ears' that act as the hinge, bent tight enough to the body and getting the supplied PECO track pin through four holes at the same time. A small amount of adjustment, and the result of a freely operating loop. I don't know who actually designed the fret, but it's a damn fine effort producing a cheap and reliable Bemo replacement that can be worked with or without the available magnets or simply adapted for delayed use as per CP's 09 scale Brink Valley Tramway. If you work in one of the smaller narrow gauge scales or even 3mm/TT they're well worth a try.


Greenwich couplings are available direct or from Parkside Dundas.



Sunday, 11 September 2011

Worthing '11

As always a friendly show, lots of chat with some great modellers and a particular flood of information from an ex South Wales area driver who gave (after a little prodding) chapter and verse on signalling, exchange siding working and general safety practices. All useful stuff. Nigel operated . I drank tea. Probably the most relaxing exhibition for a long while.
And now, some music...


Friday, 9 September 2011

Shameless plug...

...for the Worthing MRC show this weekend and Llynfordd's debut.


I spent a large portion of yesterday setting up and running it and trying to iron out a couple of bugs. One of which was one of the MDVs falling off under the bridge (where else?) I think I've cured it by squeezing the point blade into the stock rail as it looked a fag paper further out than it should. But why does everything else with the same wheels and back to back run through OK?

If you're old enough you'll remember the Tri-ang wagon axles that protruded through the axlebox and had a wheel and long tube moulding that revolved on the axle. How everyone cheered when pinpointing became the norm. Well yesterday I stuck little bits of foam under the axles of alternate wagons to stop them bouncing around and make them act like real thirty tons of metal. The running now is... well Tri-ang-ish.

So if you are near the south coast over the weekend and fancy watching all the fun, do pop in and say I sent you. You could even tie it up with a visit to G****master who will be seving tea and cakes all day.
http://www.worthingmrc.co.uk/mrc/

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Sea Views

And in the interests of balance here are two shots of the sister loco Sea Lion at Groudle Glen in July 1993. The date I can be sure about as this marked the demise of wife 1. She's not dead, but this was the tip point. I like this shot even though the loco is partly obscured. the encroaching rock face, sleeper-built bufferstop and the tank make a pleasing combination.





Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Clockwork Bagnall

Trawling through the archive of prints turned up these out of a set of four or five. As this is a bit of a Bagnall season. This is the 240 Bagnall Polar Bear as seen, I think, after its basic restoration. Taken at Amberley Museum at least a decade ago. Looking at the photos it's interesting to see how much the site has changed. This shot of Martin Smith with key, out side of what (then)was one of the two small loco sheds.


These are tiny locos and this is worth bearing in mind for anyone modelling the loco's home Groudle Glen's 2' line or the Rye and Camber's 3' as the locos were fairly similar in shape and size.




Monday, 5 September 2011

Off the church roof.

A bit of last minute stuff on Llynfordd before the weekend.
End boards out of hardboard for transport and a bit of weight in the SSA scrap wagons. These are Cambrian kits and although there is weight under the middle, occasionally the ramps flip the ends up. So some slices of lead sheet (next door haven't spotted the leak in their conservatory yet) at either end in all three vehicles. And some foam to stop them moving.
These have the same problem as the US boxcars that I used on Einsford Mill, that being that they run too well - there's not enough dead weight. Result: loco draws up to couple and just cannons the wagons up to the buffers. So a little foam PVA'd under one axle of the rake brakes them just enough to stop this.



Sunday, 4 September 2011

Saturday ramble on Sunday

I had an argument with Mrs F. a few days ago about when the official end of summer was. She was entrenched into thinking it was the 31st August, I was sure that it was more the end of September. Yesterday I was sticking my tongue out at her with temperature still in shorts level, now with the rain pissing horizontally across my field of vision I not so sure. What does all this mean? Well it's the start of the modelling season; or what used to be the season. Deck chairs back in the shed and craft knives at the ready. Now, like football, it has no break. Possibly too many shows and not enough modelling . What I haven't done much of is sit outside in the sun. Reason being the pressure to get Llynfordd done for this month (Going to have to change the name, it's already mis-spelled in the RM listings).





Can it take over? Well with some people it does and you have to wonder if they can function on any other social level, I certainly don't want to just be a modeller/enthusiast, but it can be easy to let it take over now that the main thrust of the hobby is to go out and wave your bits at the public rather than quietly wave them in the privacy of your spare bedroom. Those people who seem to be increasing looked down upon for generally going round in circles with the same layout over a period of decades in some cases. But is this not really the true way? I'll put money on the trade liking these modellers more rather than the exhibitors and if you scan the list of 'influential' layouts more than a large number are home-birds: Craig, Buckingham, Ashdon and Midport, Madder Valley, Berrow. Yes they were sometimes taken out, but they were mainly for the pleasure of the builder. Have we gone wrong in all building endless punch and judy stands where the presentation of the modelling to the public takes an equal if not greater thought than the modelling itself?
Although I like doing the odd show there is a danger that this angle takes over and you become nothing but an amateur busker. Except in certain circumstances exhibitions pay nothing but fuel and maybe accommodation so there is no money to be made. What I am realising is that while a few invites a year is good, more than four or five intrudes and I run the risk of becoming a little one dimensional. To that end I feel that a break would be a good thing; not a break from being a modeller, but to take a breather from building yet another exhibition piece before it becomes a treadmill. The 'five year plan' still exists, but it may have become ten.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Two Bob

I got passed this today. Now I'm not sure what I want to do with it.
ps, for lovers of sub-standard track check out Tom's blog http://hlrco.wordpress.com/blog/


Friday, 2 September 2011

Two inches of cute Susan.

Basically done. Balance pipes (plastic rod) suggestion of reversing lever (brass etch scrap) whistle (ballpoint pen) and another light coat of primer to show up all the gaps and glue runs. I had an issue with the front coupler. To use the usual Greenwich which has a long flat tail to mount it, I would have needed to cover the screw that holds the entire thing together. Yes I know people do this all the time... In the end I found a stepped whitemetal casting from a kit that could be superglued to the bufferbeam at the right height and leave the screw clear. I think all 2 inches of it looks quite cute and not as distorted in the flesh as the macro lens makes it look here. My thanks to CP and the husband of the real Susan for their barrage of critique over the last few days.

So only to paint in dirty green and ready for ExpoNG.




Thursday, 1 September 2011

The happy couple

Miles and Susan perched almost coupled on the throat at Garn.
With chimney and brass roof superglued on and a whiff of Halfords Premium Primer blown over the loco and next door's roses, I found it hard to resist posing the pair together. Both from the same root of Ibertren chassis, Chivers front ends, and plastic rears and footplates. Just whistle and steps etc to go on before a final dirty paint job.
This has been a lot of fun, as has the parallel discussion on cab door heights via email, and cheap too. The original kit and chassis were bought for £9 and £12 respectively in 1991 and this would be their third layout. Plus a few pence worth of plastic and about five hours of fiddling. But it's a hobby ain't it?
Note new updated mast and Llynfordd page.