Monday 26 November 2012


Svanda mill
A quick snap on a dark day - what days aren't dark at the moment?
The mill building now installed on Svanda over the weekend. Cobbles and mill by Nigel, paint and flock by self. This is a project which has taken far too long and should be finished by now.
More trees....

Friday 23 November 2012

Narrow gauge station bulding

Narrow gauge station bulding
Chimney stack now done. The stack itself is a piece of square timber, wrapped in plasticard and topped with a bit of 60 thou and a length of plastic tube. The associated bit on the left (is this a breast back here?) is pure plasticard.
I have to admit that the design of this owes much to the Coopercraft platelayers hut; the slate capping is copied from the pub at the top of the road.
Now I have to work out a way to do gutters and down pipes. Umbrella ribs have been suggested, but I've not come across any yet.

Thursday 22 November 2012

Rails in the Fells

Last Sunday a trip to Tunbridge Wells with Mrs. F.
There's a s/h bookshop cum craft shop in the Pantiles which we usually wander into that has quite a sizable rail section. Browsing among all the John Scott Morgan titles I found something I've been looking for for years: David Jenkinson's Rails in the Fells. Published by PECO in 1973 it appeared on lists in RM when I was growing up and then was referenced in so many articles on the S&C, by which time it had slipped out of print. Easy to do internet searches I know, but I'm old fashioned and I like to find and feel a book before I buy. This therefore cost me a fiver... only two quid more than the cover price.
Now I just need to find Vivian Thompson's Period Model Buildings.

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Station chimney

 I seem to be chasing my tail at the moment, but did manage to get an hours modelling in earlier. I decided that the station building needed a chimney. Simple enough - narrow stack to clear a small office fire or a stove. Piece of square section timber wrapped in Slaters brick plasticard. Cut into the existing wall.
This delightful bit of lifting gear was spotted in Salisbury earlier in the year.

Sunday 18 November 2012

Portskerra at Portsmouth

Portskerra EM model railway
Yesterday  got invited out to play with Tim's Portskerra. To say that this was time well spent would be an understatement and threw up all sorts of questions later that evening. Well running stock and almost 100% reliability on coupling make for a pleasurable experience. Add to that working and interlocked signals and you have probably the best layout I've operated anywhere. Big smile...

Friday 16 November 2012

More East London Finescale exhibition

 In tidy up mode- here are a few more snaps from East London Finescale. One thing worth noting, with ref to my earlier question, is that three of the four have no backscenes.

Thursday 15 November 2012

Lisbon Trams 1

 I mentioned a week ago about the trams in Lisbon. As you can imagine there are a number of photos, but for starters here's just a couple. The above is the tourist route 28 which runs through the centre of town and even in October was packed... we didn't bother. They pull away quite smartly and rattle along at a fair old lick, but stop just a suddenly. The appeal of this is huge, but is probably a pain in the arse if you're a local.
This was a quick shot and hard to frame, but shows the dual panto/pole power pick-ups and the logical occupation of teenage boys in hanging on the back and not paying on the return from school. I'd have done exactly the same.
And the video...

Wednesday 14 November 2012

Card modelling

Wadebridge in O gauge
Wadebridge ply and card passenger stock.

I gave up on the Ruston. It was George Washington's axe - new chassis and rebuilt body... hardly seemed worth the effort. Painted the station shelter instead, all is right with the world.

Friday 9 November 2012

Ruston Cab

Oh dear.
I put the cab together. The use of 'together' implies that it's OK... errr no. The etching is OK in places, but the handrail holes are blown in a couple of places. The w/m back is sort of sqaure to itself, but not to anything else. The short cab floor is square on the out side, but the cut out (which I've now filled with plasicard) is not. Moreover the thickness varies from 6othou in one corner to 40 thou in the opposite. This in theory can't be altered without removing the lugs.

The footplate is in effect in six sections. This is bad design in anybody's book - it should be in one piece with the cab/rad/bonnet dropping on top.

It's a joyous piece of work which I approach with a heavy heart.

Thursday 8 November 2012

Ruston chassis frames

Frames all cleaned and squared up. Lucky thing here is that boxy 'modern' shunters have slab frames with no fancy cut-outs.
Before I go on I think it best to investigate the body further.
Photos of the 0-6-0 165s are a bit rare in fact t'internet only throws up one :

BTW if anyone has a few spare OO frame spacers they don't need and can stick in the post to save me cutting down some EM ones, please do so.

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Ruston chassis build

I return once again to the Q kits Ruston 165.

I'm in agreement with young Phil ... it's crap. However the body may be OK and I can use it for an experiment. Scratch build a chassis. Ingredients: a DS10 and mount from Nigel, some 20 thou brass and various tools.

Two strips of brass cut and tack soldered so that the better clean edges line up. Measure 9mm down from this and mark with dividers over marker pen coating.. Clamp rods to strips and centre pop drill out in three stages to 1/8" and then open out a little more with a broach to take bearings.
So far so good and if it doesn't work I've lost absolutely nothing except my time.


Tuesday 6 November 2012

East London Finescale 2

 I think that out of all the good stuff on view at Rainham, this caught my eye most, purely for being atmospheric and different. Tower Pier is EM, based around CJF's Minories plan as is not so much a layout with signalling as a signal box with a layout. On its own it would have been good, but with the addition of scaled down block instruments and lever frame dominating the whole thing it's... well, different.
 And incedentally was among several exhibits with no backscene.

Monday 5 November 2012

East London Finescale exhibition

Yesterday a trip across the river into injun country to visit the best kept secret of the model railway exhibition world, namely the the East London Finescale show at Rainham. This was discovered last year and promptly stated as being the best of the year.

A conversation early on with Graham Weller found him saying that he'd been behind the secondhand stall all weekend and hadn't seen the show, but he'd look forward to seeing pictures on the blog. So just for Graham, here's is a photo of the busiest stall in Essex... manned by one dashingly handsome and youthful chap from East Ham.

Saturday 3 November 2012

Saturday Ramble

'...and then I did my famous creepy cat impression. And that's how I met Lloyd-Webber'
I didn't get to ExpoNG this year due to a prior engagement in Lisbon - more on this later when I can extract the photos from an out of date memory card. Though by all accounts it was a show worth going to.

This morning I received a missive informing me of 'suggested B&Bs' to book while attending a show. The reasons for this are that there have been problems with lost deposits etc in the past. I would add that this is a show that I have no record of being formally invited to, and one has to ponder that, being that this is the second time I had this sort of letter from this particular show that if they can't organise the proverbial piss-up with the exhibitors then it's not surprising that the booking of B&Bs for same is beyond them.
Come on chaps... get your act together it can't be that difficult.

I'd like to thank the responses I've had regarding backscenes mainly by email re the post below; the opinions are of course varied, but seem to fall into three camps: no backscene OK, dual front and back controls, swap-able front to back or two different backscenes. There's a lot to think about with what I had in mind.