Thursday 28 February 2013

7mm station building done

7mm station building
 The Morton Stanley 7mm station building complete as outlined in the resolutions.
 No detailing with fire buckets/posters etc.yet - I'll do that after it's installed. The idea is to get as many of the main structures done before the board is built that way the layout can live in a large shoebox.
BTW the right hand rear pipe will discharge into a hogshead or similar.
7mm station building

Tuesday 26 February 2013

Gutter snipe

 A few people have rather sneeringly questioned the existence of this page, or more to the point why I bother doing it. Well apart from it being described as 'entertaining and educational' (huh?) it throws the net of desire out to the wider world. One example is here: a few months ago I was bemoaning the lack of ideal material for gutters and pipes in 7mm. Lo and behold readers of this page subsequently pressed these materials into my hand. The above is umbrella rib with the ends blocked with a little sprue from the scrapbox, below some single core mains cable.
I pondered on the pipe clamps that hold it to the wall. According to David Taylor's Bridport articles, Sooty does whitemetal ones. However I don't really want to go there. Impressionistic being the watch word, fell upon using a sliver of 4mm  Slaters corrugated plastic - this giving an impression of the double rib on the clamp. It won't fold back, but that may look a bit fussy anyway.

Monday 25 February 2013

What I bought...

I'm still being good. While others on the locality walked away with several hundred pounds worth of German locos and the like, I stuck to my guns and bought only a bag of Woodlands Scenics fluff to go on Svanda and the above at eight quid. This was the sort of thing I used to read years ago when I virtually lived in the Sussex Room of Lewes library; the sort of book that doesn't get published anymore. That is; mostly text and a few plates, and if the preface is anything to go by, written with unforced humour as well. I'm guessing that while the Marx volumes may give more detail, this is the one to get for the LBSCR if you actually want to get to know the line. Anything which opens the proceedings with Wilde's Lady Bracknell, is worth pursuing.

Saturday 23 February 2013

Kerr Stuart -the almost final

Mick Thornton sent this shot of the Kerr Stuart through yesterday pictured on Tal Coed at Shepton last week. All there is to do now is fit a driver and a tissue weather-sheet to the cab.
This, and more from the show here:

Thursday 21 February 2013

An elderly gentleman's travelling companion

Over the weekend (Sunday lunch in fact) and then this afternoon, two conversations wrapped around the same subject: a) what does one do if exhibition are not do-able by car anymore due to age/eyes/back etc.? b) Would it be possible to build an exhibition piece that is carry-able in one hand? c) Could this, less car, be done by bus or train?

Ignoring flight luggage sizes, is the Eurostar length limit of 85cm (33.5") a go-er for a boxed/folded layout with a handle and all but stock inside?


ps. the layout mentioned in the comments here.

Tuesday 19 February 2013

Buildings worth modelling - Devizes

On the way back from NGSW and on the way to Sunday lunch at a secret location in Wiltshire this brick shed caught my eye, so much so that I turned round, parked up and took photos. I'm guessing  that as the floor is raised, that it maybe some sort of feed store. Being that it was on the approach track to a farm would make this probable, however how much of it is original is open to question. The footprint to height ratio makes it an ideal prototype for a non-railway building to use as a view -block.  Can anyone explain the style , use, or indeed the window shapes?
Further to the above: It would seem that the general opinion both here and via email that the structure is ornamental. With that I tend to agree, but I'm wondering if it is a two stage build; the floor being older, and above that a later upper structure added using the interesting bond and window shapes. Which still doesn't answer... why?
The building stands on the west approach to Devizes on the A361 at Caen Hill should you wish to google.

Monday 18 February 2013

Small and Delightful exhibition

Tal coed 009 scale model railway

Narrow Gauge South West is a bit of an enigma- to me anyway. I was approached to go with Garn (twice) then it went quiet. Then with Garn sold I was emailed, then it went quiet. Then I got a list of B&Bs which I had to book myself.

Mrs F and I turned up on the Friday night at the allotted time  with Tal-Coed and set up, but as there had been no power laid on we couldn't test, so gave up and went for a curry (Mugal Empire in Shepton, holes in ceiling and a spotty white waiter, but food good).

So, thus far you have no booking, no accommodation and no power, but despite all that it's a hell of a show. By the morning it had all fallen into place, the tea was flowing, I stood chatting for most of that days while Mrs F. did the bulk of knob twiddling. A good day of chat with old friends, lots of banter, three invites and I pretty much kept my wallet hidden, so resolution kept to as well.

Wednesday 13 February 2013

NSB 'white van'

Norwegian vans
To my left under the desk were two Norwegian vans that needed finishing. This is the first. It was handed to me with a small apology - it's not really up to standard.
It's made by Lima, probably 1980s production and is somewhat below current moulding levels. On top of that it came with a 'factory applied weathering finish... oh dear. This was a major problem -  I had to weather a pre-weathered van, what should be fairly bright white wood is covered in what I can only describe as turd brown paint. If it were British I could have re-painted and re-lettered, but I have no idea if NSB lettering is available and if if is, it's probably the same cost as a terraced house in Bolton.

The underframe was straight forward with the usual gunk of German Grey and oxide colours. The top half with a little dry brushed ruts and a wash of GG on the ends with a lot of finger rubbing.

The problem with 'factory applied dirt is that it's in the wrong place - dirt collects under things. In the main the sides get washed with rain. This was also sprayed at an angle so there are white lines behind body strapping where the paint flow has been stopped. Not the best effort.

Tuesday 12 February 2013

Kerr Stuart 5

 Painted and coupling-ed. It's taken a bit longer than I thought, but I'm actually quite pleased with the way it's come out. The fact that it was shortened makes the loco very boxy and workman-like so plain dirty black seemed to be the order of the day.
Just a driver to fit when I can get to the box with the figures in, and a nameplate. Which is two I need now: Doug for the Barclay and Alf for the Kerr Stuart. Maybe Steve Fulljames will roll into Shepton Mallet with something suitable for me to buy.
I must set the layout up to see if it runs...

Monday 11 February 2013

Kerr Stuart 4.5

 One of the problems of a big airy cab is that it looks empty. I looked at the photo collection to see what I could do for nothing.
I ascertained that while something was needed it could be pretty rough and still feel OK. A delve into the scrapbox yet again threw up some 40though, 20thou, some sprue, microrod and part of an undercarriage. Yes I know it looks rough and impressionistic...
Young Parker gives cause for some thought on his blog today, most of which I wholeheartedly agree with. Is it time for a re-evaluation of the model railway exhibition and a return to basics? I personally am slightly shy of the big shows such as Ally Pally and Warley though I know a couple of people who like to think themselves above anything less. I feel that the 'open day format such as the recent Beds and Bucks is just about the most ideal situation for most of us.

Wednesday 6 February 2013

Kerr Stuart 4

 And onward with the fiddling. Sand pipes have gone on from a bit of microrod from the scrapbox as have what I take to be remains of draincocks from more of the same. The operating rods from the wire of a defunct pair of brushes (google- drum brush). Note the chimney was absent at this stage - it would only have got knocked off.
 There was only one bufferbeam so a replacement was cut from a suitable thickness piece of plastic (originally part of an N gauge Lima shunter I think) again from the scrap box, using the available one as a pattern.
Chimney on, and test fitted to the chassis complete with bufferbeams and steps.
The roof needs some thought still, as does the cab interior which obviously is very open.

Tuesday 5 February 2013

Kerr Stuart 3

With roof and chimney balanced and not fixed, the story so far. The roof I'm not sure about.
 I'm fiddling now - prototype photos show stub pipework at the front of the footplate (draincocks?) so holes are drilled to add this. It looks very tippy-toes at this point before the steps and bufferbeams are on.

Sunday 3 February 2013

Tree hour

A Saturday night off and I treat Mrs F. to a spot of scrubby tree making - what a lucky girl she is... Actually it was a tight hours worth of time before the Ken Follet thing turned up on the telly. A bit of foliage before the sex and longbows turn up.
This morning I was going to grab an ice cream tub to store , but thought that was stupid and planted them instead. There is still so much to do with this, and I keep forgetting that it's not actually my project.

Incidentally no concrete answer to Nigel's NG diesel identification query.

Friday 1 February 2013

The one hit wonder

Following on from the post two days ago about resolutions, a series of thoughts dropped through my shrinking brain. The first as mentioned was the pile(s) of unbuilt kits. Now I know that all who read this will be in the same position - we just can't resist that shiny new kit or the 'that's a bargain, I won't see that again' scenario. But the truth of it is most of these will outlive us; witness the kits on club s/h stalls. We just don't get around to building the project they are destined for, and we die before opening the boxes. Sad? Yes. True? Yes.
The problem is often that production techniques move and the kit we have becomes 'old'; something better replaces it... now we have two kits, and so on.
Over the panto period I picked up Phil Parkers 'Guide' (this is out of the shops , but young Phil can probably supply) This is mainly reprints from his column in the Hornby mag, a lot of which are straight kit builds. This got me thinking...

Why do we need to have a 'project'? By that I mean a layout. The plastic modelling bunch can change tack on everything they build - a 1:76 tank to a 1:32 MG. Why do we as railway modellers tie ourselves to one thing a lot of the time? Answer: because of the layout. Phil's book started a train of thought which terminated with: why don't I treat every thing in the boxes in the loft as a stand alone project? Just because it doesn't fit with the layout doesn't really matter. They can be as it were, one hit wonders.

Note for the above photo: I am at present car-sharing with the wrinkly bass player. He's a Southampton boy (or Scummer as Mrs. F who is from Pompey shipwright stock would say) Naturally a lot of the conversation is sea based and Victory came up. I mentioned that I'd seen kits for same in The Works that week. Yesterday said wrinkly bass player presents me with the kit.
Even if I buy nothing the bloody things breed...