Wednesday 30 May 2012

Kerswell, the ideal small terminus?

Kerswell model railway
Photos: AW Knights
The 4mm light railway is a subject that I've had a bash at before (see Froxington in the sidebar) and it didn't really work. However this Twickenham MRC layout was at the East Grinstead show a few weeks ago and proved to me that not only could it work in a small (sub 4') space, but it could be done with PECO track.
It was pointed out that something similar could be done at least stock wise from what is in the cupboard. Goods stock is a mix of kits and RTR, the coach a re-roofed Triang and the loco the obvious Terrier.

Kerswell model railway
Which brings me to a question. When the Dapol Terrier was launched in 1989 (yes that long ago) I expected a rush of light railways and Haying influenced models - it didn't happen. Why? It's such a logical small space idea and perfect for the builder of esoteric wagonry.

Sunday 27 May 2012

Aylesbury and Brewhouse Quay chain shunting

A bit of a disastrous day all round; a near miss, the Magna Carta, a kebab, no pubs and too much M25. The show was umm... probably OK on another day.

Inkerman Street was a bit disappointing. We bumped into Stig on the way out - he felt the same  and suggested that it was because it wasn't in Wild Swan black and white. The same sort of thing could be applied to the Mini MSW, which loses some of its effect in the fact that you can see all the way round in your field of vision. However I found the opposite with Brewhouse Quay which is for all intents and purposes a photographic backdrop for stock built by a photographer which works beautifully. Though I though it takes a brave man to try rope shunting in 4mm on a two day show (There will be video soon).That and Canada Road get my votes for the show.

Rucksack count was high - always a thumbs down for me, but the catering got 10. The rucksack count is very much a ratio game: the more people are encouraged to take public transport and the more 'finescale' a show is, the bags increase.

Would I go again? Probably not. It's in that grey area of distance between leaving very early and avoiding the traffic, and being just round the corner. Meaning you have to take the long pretty route or spend four hours on the motorway for a two hour trip round a hall.

Friday 25 May 2012

Revolving Gershwin

The reason why modelling has died for a while is me hammering up and down the south coast with very little time off (feast or famine).
Mrs F took this a few weeks ago - it sort of bounces along....

Sunday 20 May 2012

Thursday 17 May 2012

Thornycroft 3

All done bar the cab supports, bumper bar and the paint. The box art shows a dreadful step between the roof and the cab sides that is strangely absent in the prototype photos (BTW thanks to those who offered help with these) so I added a length of 10x20 thou strip to even up. This jars in the photo, but doesn't notice so much on the real thing. The roof is still loose to aid painting.
Not a kit I'd rush out and build again. As I said below the parts are very brittle and although it fits together OK it lacks a certain something.

I had a email this morning from local lad 'Dumpman'. Chris specialises in trackbed and tunnel films. The email this morning was about his new IOW series. For more on this nutcase that rides trackbeds on a 1970s Chopper with a video camera...

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Scandi-leaf mold

A trip to Crawley yesterday afternoon where a little scenic work was carried out namely titivating the rock faces and covering the ground above with a basic 'under the trees'  coat of Woodland Scinic fluff and a concoction of various tea leaves. There is a concern. The ELC pva has change it's make-up somewhat and there was a little worry on the 'grab' factor. We'll see how much falls off when the boards are tipped upside down. Then there was the matter of the overgrown tarmac. I ended up mixing grey flock and atheletes foot powder.. Very London 2012.

Monday 14 May 2012

Thornycroft lorry kit

I've been sorting out a couple of year binders of RM that I picked up at Luton and slicing out the articles I want to keep. One thing that I'm noticing is the regularity that this little kit turns up on layouts. Probably not surprising being that it's a Peco agency kit and is so readily available, but where are all the conversions? They are all to a man built with the canvas tilt and the standard W/B. No flat beds, box bodies, cage sides or even as this one will be with a high headboard and sans canvas. Not a very imaginative lot are we?

What I am noticing is that the plastic is very brittle and even with the requisite amount of care a lot of bits are being broken coming off the sprue or in the clean up.

Sunday 13 May 2012

Plane as the nose on your feet

My stepson visited yesterday afternoon. He's serving in the RAF at a secret location next to a field of leeks. After a spot of tea I changed ready for work. He watched me tying my shoes.
'They're very shiny', he said.
'I polish them' I replied somewhat sarcastically.
'Mine are painted', he said.
'With what?'
'Tornado nose cone paint.'

Saturday 12 May 2012

O gauge Ballast wagon

O gauge Ballast wagon
Yesterday was a bit of a mixed bag. I hit 48, which was bad enough, but added to that Laurie's funeral in the morning and the fact that I seemed to have been struck down with some sort of sleeping sickness - I just can't seem to keep my eyes open.

Nigel rolled up in the afternoon with his latest build, a Ragstone Models GER ballast wagon. This is what may be called a rather advanced piece for the planned Gauge O pre-1860 project. We had anticipated having to scratch-build absolutely everything for it, but this appeared on Roxey's stand at Epsom and looked well within period even though the instructions stated an 1870s build which in terms of this project could be termed modern image. However it does look the part and being whitemetal weighs a ton. After a little rolling up and down the dining table it was rushed outside on the cake stand and given a couple of coats of primer.

Friday 11 May 2012

Thornycroft 4 tonner Pt 1

Thornycroft 4 tonner kit
A few months ago Nigel and I were wandering round the Eurotrack show. I'd given this kit the glad eye a couple of times and by the end of the day Eeyore gave up and bought it for me. Now is the time to build it.
The Merit Thornycroft lorry has been around as long as I can remember and this is what I managed in half an hour or so. Chassis, body tray and the bonnet.
I did debate whether to cut it back to a shorter W/B, but decided that I didn't know enough about the prototype to start messing about and I didn't have any photos to refer to. So this is more or less as instructions. Problem is, this is a second hand kit and there are bits missing, so it's a bit of an adventure.
If anyone has photos... do send.

Thursday 10 May 2012

Porthmadog 2

NGG 16

I can stop for breath now. Having put all the things I should be doing on hold in order to play with the train set in Wales, I've had to play catch-up with all the life bits since the weekend. Now I can get on with the stuff I want to do like writing the rubbish on here.

I'd have to say that the weekend was one of the most rounded and complete exhibition runs I've done. What surprised me was how quiet Porthmadog was in overall terms for a Bank Holiday - I wouldn't normally have considered going away on that weekend. Saying that, the show was busy - up on last year I believe. Fun was the watch word. This spilling into the pub on harbour station post show with the catering department. There were some cracking exhibits in the room and the banter factor was high. John Coulter's Llanfair in S was opposite and had me drooling all weekend as did Angus Watkins' Tan-y- Bwlch.

Either side of the exhibition were rides on the FR up to Blaenau on the friday and a little train chasing on the TR on the monday. Both I may hasten to add at Mrs F's suggestion who was quite serious in saying that we should race Tallyllyn from Dolgoch to Abergynolwyn.

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Porthmadog model railway exhibition

An overview:
  • Layout ran well. Even though Mrs F. was new to operating and I hadn't actually tried it out.
  • Only the punters noticed that it wasn't Garn
  • Slate fencing well received to the point that I considered putting up a 'how I did it' sheet.
  • Being that the whole thing was inspired by a Roy Link plan from 1980, it was nice that Roy rolled up and took the piss on Sunday.
  • CM editor appeared at 9am on Sunday just when I should have been cleaning track and wheels and spent an hour an a half taking photos.
  • I continually missed the Garretts going over Britannia Bridge.
  • I had a pee in Dolgoch Falls on the way home.

Tuesday 1 May 2012

Tal-coed build

There's nothing like being ready for an exhibition... and I'm nothing like ready.
I'm not generally in favour of the 'work-in-progress' layout at shows; it's like a half written song.  Here's a new song folks, we've not written the chorus yet, but here's a few lines from the second verse.' ...nah. All this means that I'm working at getting everything done by the bar the human figures which will have to wait. However the ground is all covered, the trestles have been altered with a couple of battens and The emulsion queen in the shape of Mrs. F. jumped in and painted the fascia while I was out making a noise. Nos da.