Saturday, 16 January 2021

Saturday Ramble


Moving forward at a rapid snail's pace. I managed to get a dry spell yesterday lunchtime and it was out with the pre-warmed rattle cans. A waft over the backscene boards with a little white and the track was coated with the now standard camouflage brown from the side and grey from above. Now some platforms.

It's been noted in certain quarters that there are shortages of various bits and pieces. In some ways this is a good thing as it's forcing modellers to delve into the cupboards more and actually build things that were originally bought for this purpose, but because we are driven by the 'new', often languish. I'm guilty of this and there are at least two or three complete layouts that could be put together fairly quickly from stock. Not stuff I've used before, but a totally new subject. More on this later perhaps. There is also a wide consensus that  we should be using this stuff up. The above platforms are a case in point. I'd logically slightly over egged the setrack platform section for Hopwood as I wasn't sure how it would pan out. This left me a couple of packs over which were stored. It now seems churlish not to use them up, but of course this means topping the stock up to finish the job. Is this a skew way of doing this? I may now be in a situation where I can't get these top up items. The customer demand is sky high due to the sudden availability of modelling time, and on the flip of that the manufacturers are in a socially distanced production mode which slows availability. My hoped for mail order set from one of our nice retailers may not be as successful as I'd hoped for.

Thursday, 14 January 2021

Railway Modeller February

 Out now. The last instalment of the O gauge.

Monday, 11 January 2021

Sticking wires

 With the layout tested it was time to tidy the wiring and fix it to the bottom of the board. I now do this with blobs of hot glue. It ain't pretty, but it works. My wiring is functional and is colour coded, though to some is pretty crude. This doesn't really matter. There are some who I think only use model railways as an excuse to add complex control systems. Me, I just add two wires to the rails and it all works. This is how DCC is often described to me and then the explanation drifts to high voltage bus-bars and stay alive systems. then they wonder why I'm happy to stick to two rail analogue with bits of second hand cable glue gunned to the board.

Sunday, 10 January 2021

Wills slate walling

 One of the jobs for this week is to build something out of these that turned up on Friday from Devon. The new Wills slate walling. First impressions are good, my only reservation is that the slate pieces are at the large end of the spectrum so may mot be suitable for small buildings. However on the flip of that if you have large areas of retaining walls to do, then these are ideal where a smaller pattern wouldn't be. The large-ness may well make them ideal for some cross-scaling to S or 7mm and I could easily see small buildings being build from this in the larger scale.

Saturday, 9 January 2021

Rhiw 2 runs


With the track and wiring done, time for a test, before the wiring gets glue-gunned to the baseboard and tidied. All went swimmingly until the straight-out-of-the-box Hornby Mk1s appeared. The last thing that you expect to find and track issues. However a slightly out joint was located despite everything else from Lima to Gibson wheelsets having no problems.

This is proving slow gong for some reason not least my inability to pin a particular date on it with a stock choice running from green to Sprinters. I managed to get away with it with Hopwood probably because it was a) a commission and built simply for the articles and b) I'd deliberately left a certain vagueness about it. This is different.

Friday, 1 January 2021

2021 ramble

 New Years Eve was weird. No work and even the cut-down home celebrations were muted. I haven't drunk anything all year anyway aside from a couple of pints of 'I'm-driving-shandy' in beer gardens in the summer. As the son-of-a- brewer, home drinking is strange at the best of times so I just haven't bothered. Does a drink-free year mean that I'm tea-total? 

I tend to look forward rather than back, so no real need to say anything about 2020 (except that it's easier to type than 2021). The plan here for the next period of jolly Jonny Foreigner-free modelling is the above, with track from Devon and MDF from Wales to the fore. The track is very slowly inching its way toward the stop blocks. I'd normally work a lot faster than this, but I keep being distracted by said track people in Devon asking me to sort words out. Discussions in the last few days have mooted a further sister layout using a similar, but wider, styling. There is also the idea in the back of my head for a whole family of similar pieces to use the bits that are in the cupboard - something Californian is a possible as is something Franco-Germanic, if we're still allowed to do that now that we are at the complete mercy of the Eton educated and Mike Ashley. There is also a distinct possibility of something in N gauge for the above. In all, 2021 will be busy. All I have to do is survive.

Monday, 28 December 2020

Brush wire

 Probably not the kind of thing that most people have in the house. I've had a pair of these in my hands for more than 40 years. When they lose their spring and get too bent, I bin them. Surprisingly I've never taken a pair apart. Today is that day. Simple crimped construction, so a few minutes with a pair of side cutters produced all the signal control or handrail wire I'll ever need.

Sunday, 27 December 2020

DPM backscene

 I'm about 2/3 of the way though the track; just these last two points to do on the platform roads. As usual it's a little squeezy and there is is a lot of the Hopwood mentality in the approach. There is space for a 37/47 in the headshunt. No point for anything grander as it will get too big for the other end. To recap: these are the standard 43" long boards plus the Rhiw/Svanda fiddle yard, taking the overall to around 11'. Still not big, with the idea to be able to take the good bits from Rhiw and Hopwood and run some DMUs and parcels stock.

The building units are DPM and have been in Mr. Hill's care for probably 25 years waiting for a suitable use. Ideal for a non-specific industrial building that is only an inch deep. The area to the left will house another bland structure of a post office parcels building of the post war block type. his will drift away from the usual Wills sheet and probably move to a card/ Slater's brick to blend better with the DPM mouldings. Most of this will be masked by some tatty platform canopies still un-purchased from Ratio.

Predictably, due to space considerations in what is a small house, the O gauge layout currently running in RM is up for grabs and will be advertised in due course. Before I do that I'll wave it here to see if there is any interest. Email me through the profile page to your right.

Thursday, 24 December 2020

Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Modelling the Welsh narrow gauge

 An email from The Crowood Press yesterday informed me that my final tome for them was published yesterday, slightly earlier than expected. Decoded this means that the container was released from being holed up in Rotterdam and has been unloaded in Felixstowe. Anyhow, it's now available to purchase should you wish  by clicking through the box to your right. It's the usual format: over a hundred pages of themed projects from the simple slate wagon on the cover, though etched brass kits et al. Actually the finished wagon on the cover is by Martin Collins in case you thought that I could get to that standard.