Sunday, 17 October 2021
Thursday, 14 October 2021
I'm sort of happier now. There's green stuff.
Sooty and stained (nothing to do with Harry Corbett) brickwork and a blast of green. One of the reasons for the abandonment of the Mk1 N gauge plan was the lack, at the time, of static grass at Peco HQ. That is along with small radius points, Setrack and just about everything else that I needed. The abundance of Peco static grass on Squires stand at the weekend suggested that this is now not the case, and just in case it wasn't, I grabbed a bag of 2mm Winter Grass.
I'm working from the back, forward. This is good practice and this piece of dull retaining wall is about as exciting as it is going to get. I'm at the point where I have a layout kit with lots of built structures and just need to sort all the walling to tie it together.
Wednesday, 13 October 2021
'A tedious job, but well worth the effort' he said quoting a thousand layout articles.
Putting ground cover onto a layout is usually quite fun and signals the transition between the engineering bit and the artistic bit. This particular bit is a fiddle. All well and good when it's strapped to a few feet of timber, but bouncing around the bench while you try to stick soggy bits of paper down in a line wore thin after about 30 seconds. I'm not quite sure why I did it this way around... oh yes I do it was so I could take piccys more easily.
I think everyone should build an N gauge layout.
Sunday, 10 October 2021
Aldershot saw a couple of purchases. Aside from some static grass, a sheet of plasticard and two tuna rolls, I bought a book. This is odd these days as being on the review team of RM I get plenty of new books to thumb through. This one had been advertised though hadn't come my way. The hand went into the pocket and out came the card.
It's standard Transport Treasury fare; a couple of shots per page with extended captions and all by Dr. Ian Allan. Why is this unusual? Well back here I once again alluded to scale tarts, and book stands at exhibitions don't help. I've always had a casual interest in this area and while most books have one layout idea, this contains one on almost every page. The mix of smallish green diesels and grey wagons is such a draw and I do have enough bits in the cupboard to make a minor start should I choose to.
There have been conversations in the last couple of days tied to moving on with layout building. Unlike the many who fuelled the small radius point shortages during the lockdowns, I'm am fundamentally a builder of exhibition layouts and with no shows and no way of telling if there would be shows again, I did very little. Now that there is hope in the air, there are plans. And what do plans mean? Going round in circles working out what the best first move may be. The problems of the scale tart.
Before all of this is the Peco N gauge. This has been a cock-up from the word go. The first plan was dumped because of material shortages, then plan B back-burnered as the intended target point of Warley was cancelled. Now everything is back on stream and I could go with plan A, but plan B is already half built. So although it will work, I'm left with Frankenstein's monster, built with what I could get at the inception. My direction here is to pile into it with (slightly forced) enthusiasm and get it done.
Will someone please offer me a show for it so I at least have a build target...
Saturday, 9 October 2021
Although there have been a few weeks of exhibitions I haven't been able to get to them. Today it was nice to break the duck and go to the Farnham Club show in Aldershot. I think it normally clashes with Croydon so not a usual visit though we have attended with Svanda (notably not since).
It was a little weird being back in the bustle of a show which was busy (over four rooms) but not uncomfortably packed. Mask wearing was probably only 30-40% and almost absent with exhibitors. The standard was high with some big hitters in the room. There was little that I hadn't seem before and Peter Cullen's Mannin Middle was the deal breaker on travelling. What was absent was trade which was reduced to the smaller players with no box shifters; the biggest stand being Squires. This opened the rooms up considerably and left plenty of space to move around, but I assume will have hit the show's income substantially.
The year we exhibited there was a food issue but today no such problem with a fairly swift turnaround with a basic menu and card payment which I imagine will be the norm now.
The scores - not done this for a while:
Covid preparations 10, Covid masks and distancing 4
In the brave new world, this is probably about the best you could do, and this may be the model in the future. Great to be back and enjoying the general chat, banter and piss taking that we all love.
Well done to Farnham for sorting it out and getting something moving.
Wednesday, 6 October 2021
Tuesday, 5 October 2021
Modelling is slower these days but a concerted effort has produced this unlikely beast for the Dury's Gap roster.
Originally part of the AoC stock it sustained a little damage and has been repurposed. First by scratching the lettering off with a fibre brush, then repainting. The brakes were replaced with Mortons from the bits box - unlikely that it would have lasted into the 1960s let alone with the original Dean/Churchward mechanism. Like a lot of the stock it remains on the branch for semi-internal traffic.
Tuesday, 28 September 2021
Friday, 24 September 2021
A while ago I dropped the above photo into a post here which generated a few questions to where it was on the branch. The photo below nails the position. The spot in question is toward the upper left.
At this point is the junction for the stone works. Most of the buildings have now gone although there is some debris. The church is still extant and will position against any modern view such as google earth. The photo was taken in 1949 and previous snuffling about threw up the information that BR(S) anxious to rid themselves of all the old pre-group wagons that had hung on during the war, now used the redundant lower end of the branch as pre-disposal storage. The seemingly endless line of wagons (possibly reaching right down to the river wharf to the right) consists of older styles.
The stone works, including what looks like a ropeway, has a line which splits South from the branch and opens up into two curving sidings, one into the buildings and one toward the barges. There may also be a kick-back headshunt track below the junction point.
While not exactly micro layout fare, the general shape would be easy to compress and re-shape for an inglenook style layout.
Sunday, 19 September 2021
A trip out. It's good to try somewhere new and the Bressingham gala/steam rally seemed worth a punt. Without going into reams of back-history which you can get elsewhere, in a nutshell, it was a nursery with a small railway and is now a working transport museum with a garden centre tacked on the side. It doesn't take a genius to work out that for couples of a certain age, this is a damn fine combination.
This day all the toys were out and the air was thick with steam engine output from traction engines, steam threshing machines, miniature versions of these, three (2', 15", 10 1/4") narrow gauge lines and a short section of standard gauge. All good stuff... with one small issue.
Basically pretty good, but my tip would be to take a picnic.