Friday, 26 October 2012

Card sharp

The 7mm B&E station building is making slow but positive progress. Corner rails are now on as is the front door. Aside from the glazing and the pin door handle, I haven't deviated from the scrap cardboard brief that I set myself.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Back scratching

I've been pondering over the last couple of days about the use of backscenes. These are obviously not a new thing; The Rev was using them in 1949 according to the Wild Swan book. But are they really necessary? Off the top of my head I can think of only one well known layout that left them off , that being Rice's Butley Mills and there must be a lot more. And that underlines my point - if I didn't register that there wasn't one, did it matter?

The reason for this questioning is the long problem of the home v exhibition layout, the issue being that if it's rear operated (which I tend to favour) then if stuffed and mounted at home you are viewing the grotty back, or more to the point the back of a piece of hardboard. Not very visually pleasing. If we remove the fishtank boxing that has become so popular in recent years and have no  backscene at all, then the layout becomes, to all intents and purposes, double sided; viewable from the now open rear at home, and from the opposite during the 5 days of the year that it's on public display. Or what about de-mountable backscenes that can be swapped back to front?
What are trying to achieve with backscenes and why?

Tuesday, 23 October 2012


I took these a few weeks ago on Romsey station. Two things occurs to me: firstly it's very similar to the station building on the Snailbeach Railway and two it would make an ideal first venture into scratch-building. Count the bricks, sketch it out and you're off.

Monday, 22 October 2012

The beeches of Normandy

 Visited the Normandy O Gauge open day yesterday. I smiled a lot.
It would be very easy to take a pop at the God's waiting room aspect -I was one of three under fifty and there wasn't many more under seventy which raises all sorts of questions. However the couple of hours spent in two rooms both containing large test-tracks as above were thoroughly enjoyable and the atmosphere with several 7mm passenger locos running at once at a reasonable speed was wonderful. OK the operational aspect was basic, but fun factor? This is what club exhibitions used to be like before the rented travelling circuses of pissy little layouts in boxes became the norm; I suppose you could liken this to town football clubs starting to buy players in post war. There was though an element of friendliness's that you don't get at shows now. An exhibitor may talk about his layout or scale, but will rarely encourage you to play or join the club/group/team. Here it was different, though looking at the demographic it would have to be said that it ain't working.
A start has been made. There are now 19 trees built and brandy drunk. Scrubby is what he asked for and scrubby is what he got.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

And then there was...

Another one of those quick finish-off jobs. I couldn't find any suitable lamps for the 009 inspection car at the time of building, but once again Nigel's scrapbox came to the rescue. The parts are completely un-recognisable, however have a lampness about them, so on they went.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Finish stuff

Actually Norwegian... arf.

Today is a bit of a finish stuff day. After the purchase of some top quality Halfords wet and dry to do the roof, the gods shed is done. Weathering? Nah. All the photos I get thrust at me show spotless buildings. This is the major difference between the NSB and the ex BR, everything looks clean and well cared for.
I also picked up some white primer. Not something I normally use, but I reasoned that I may as well prime the LBSCR coach in white and by default do the top coat for the roof at the same time.

Standing the above on its head; I've just written a piece for RM arguing the case for long-term layouts as opposed to the quick exhibition animal. I am of course more guilty than most regarding this. However if there is an underlying structure to it it's a good way of doing things - the important thing is to get things finished, be it a goods shed or a layout, and to achieve what one sets out to do. I still have an itch regarding the Art of Compromise plan from Roy Link's 1978 plan and looked forward to a build of it in the recent RM. Oh dear... it missed the point somewhat. I hope that if I do it in the near future that I can make it somewhat 'lighter' in feel. But I do want to do it. It is an itch that needs to be scratched. But what of the long term? Life is short and modelling life shorter and I think it's important for me to streamline what I do as much as possible, use things up that are in the boxes and achieve all I want before I shuffle off.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Internal investigation

I could relate to Phil Parker's comment about being a project butterfly a couple of days ago. Not are there only layouts in 009, OO, N and HO either done or being built, there are all the associated small pieces to be done for future layouts. What I should be doing is methodically working through these in some sort of logical order, but like Phil I will do a little to one thing and then move on, or back to another. This does stop the tedium moving in, and does work for me.
Hence the above is a bit more work on the B&E station shelter in 7mm when I should be working on Svanda stuff of the industrial loco for Rhiw. Windows are in, and glazed with packing plastic which is the first bit of non-card used. This assembly is now fitted to the other three walls and sits roofless.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Feeling sleepy.

After a long night CF forgets which layout he should be operating and curls up to sleep.

I have to admit that I do find the whole exhibition process exhasting. For someone who works only in short bursts and then firmly on my arse, having to stand up for seven or eight hours wipes me out. There must be a better way. Although here, I'm actually photographing Andy Cundick's rolling stock. My thanks to Steve Driscoll, 3mm Society secretary and Croydon club's girl Friday for sending me this.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012


 I make no apology for another photo of Andy Cundick's EM layout showing the very simple single track sector plate. Pete Wilson smiles in the background.
I made the decision to stick with all card construction for the 7mm station even for the window units. I had nothing that was adaptable in plastic, but I have stored a large amount of card. It's not as forgiving as plastic and getting a clean cut for the 1mm strips used here is not easy. This is turning into a very low-tech project (what do I do that isn't?) and despite teasing Greg it still has no name.

Monday, 15 October 2012

7mm station build/Croydon

A long weekend, one in which I got lightly reprimanded for not mentioning the Croydon show which is where I've been all weekend. Sometimes things get a bit too busy.
To summarise: last week's modelling consists of the above which is the basic carcass for the station building for the 7mm NG project - three walls done, the front is underway. Unnycoombe went to Croydon. Not so many children as Fareham the week before, but proof that 'care in the community' is working well. The layout behaved as well as could be expected for N gauge, nice show, pencilled in for next year. favourite layout for me was Andy Cundick's Tallyllyn Road with Andy Shillito's Wantage a close second.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Rhiw at Fareham

photo: Jol Sargent
The last couple of weekends have been a compare and contrast game: Scaleforum is serious and naval-gazing, the punters are very much in the mould of the typical modeller - middle aged and male. Mrs F. asked why people were staring. It was suggested that it was because she was probably the only prototype version female in the room. Looking around I could see that there were at least two cut-and-shut rebuild versions in my immediate vision.
Fareham, in this weekend just gone, dumps you straight into the reception class with a bump. You could count the modellers on one hand the rest are family groups with an abundance of Ommpa Loompas. Having a fairly high mounted, front operation layout has its disadvantages here and has no rabbits to count. I've noted in the past that this sort of show favours the pretty, low mount, rear operation beast. Not for them, but for me - small child approaches, points, Mummy drops down to child level, CF gets the deep cleavage view right down to breakfast time. However with the front op' I move straight into teacher mode and hand the controller to any passing ten year old who stops for more than a minute. At first they reel back, but pretty soon they are reading the sequence, changing the signals (where I forget) and easing back to uncouple without any problems at all. After all it's sub-PS3 intelligence so they should find it easy, but if we don't let them, then they won't join the club.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Stockings and glue

With the side and end wall cut out it's time for the overlays. I quite like these small jobs with card - some Early Learning Centre PVA, a small brush and some card from the stocking packet left over from Mrs F's last bank raid.

For those with time to spare over the weekend Rhiw will be at the Fareham show in sunny Hampshire. Do come and throw fruit and have a chat.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

All creamy like.

Svanda's goods shed with a basic paint job of cream and brick red. As usual the cream is a bitch to get to cover and as with the station building, I mixed a sand and cream from Humbrol direct onto the plastic.
Now awaiting some wet and dry to 'felt' the roof. Am I the only one who calls this 'emery cloth'? My metalwork teacher always referred to wet and dry this way and it's stuck with me.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Card building

 A few days ago I put the Roxey coach to one side for 'more pressing projects'. The Q Kits industrial is one, but I need to sort motors out. The other is all the trees for Svanda, but I need to be in tree mood as its all a bit messy. The other is the continuing drip,drip of small projects for Upper Dodsworth - the 7mm ng plan. I'm hitting this from a reverse direction to normal. I felt that what I've usually done is build baseboards, then track, then other stuff. This time I wanted to get a nucleus of stock and the buildings finished before the track went down. This is largely a matter of real estate - what I don't want now is another space grabbing bare baseboard in the house.
So this morning a bit of cutting of waste 2mm card. The ends of the station building. That sounds rather grand - in fact its a Bristol and Exeter platform shelter. Big enough to look like a station and small enough not to over-power a small layout. The design taken from Bob Phelps article in the August 2010 RM. Warning! it's not to a recognised scale. The implication is that it's 4mm so I blew it up on Mrs F's copier by 175%...huge! It's actually nearer to S at somewhere around the 4.8mm mark. so I converted the measurements manually.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

My exit bridge please...

In the box with the NSB goods shed was this small foot bridge. Built from scrap bits of kit, Wills sheet and plastic strip.
I've thrown various browns, greys, cream and silver at it. By the weekend it should be dangling over the exit hole on Svanda.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Gods shed

 Gods being the vernacular for goods so I'm told.
I have to paint the above. Not the the real thing, just an HO scale replica scratch-built from Evergreen by Nigel, and not in this colour scheme, but in the 80's cream to match the already built station building.
Swinging the camera around fills in the detail somewhat. The location is Mael and the object dead centre is a train ferry. Apparently the site is famous - something to do with heavy water and Kirk Douglas. Quite attractive I think and quite modelable to boot with the ferry and the slip arrangement.Both photos - Nigel Hill

I note that it's the 1st of October: the heating is now on and I'd like to point out that it's Liz McLeans birthday. I haven't seen her since I was 15, but she had black spikey hair and very big tits... I can't think why I would remember that.

A vist to Scaleforum yesterday. Not a great show but lots of chat with friends and a bit of shopping (book on the Taff Vale, 7mm brick sheet, w/m 7mm dome and more 56xx info). The best exhibit was probably the 2mm Wansbeck Road which is wrong for the premier 4mm show. The 80s blue diesels? Sorry I'm not usually layout competitive, but...