Saturday 30 November 2013

The pile of wagon kits

The pile of wagon kits
Leading slightly on from the last post and more following a couple of conversations with Nigel I've been pondering on few things regarding what's in stock. There is the remains of the five year plan to think about, the destruction of Rhiw in the new year to save on timber and the epic build and description underway at present. But it comes down to two angles at the moment 1. I like making things  (and I'm puzzled by so-called modellers who don't) 2. I have a stock of rolling stock items in my back pocket which I really should tackle before long. But why should I?

There is the cash angle: in these days of austerity and with a step-son bleating about wanting a car and cash for same - Jeez, he's never even built a go-cart with pram wheels, what does he think he's going to do with a car? - and building thirty wagon kits up would be cheap. I also have a real thing about wagons - hence the pile in the first place. The imbedded problem is that they're a bit eclectic so what would I do with them? The conversations with Mr. Hill suggested a neutral back drop, possibly quite small where wagons could be pottered about with and have snaps taken to put up here. But how small could that be?

Wednesday 27 November 2013

Death and taxes

I've mentioned this before and it got a small howl of horror, however the spectre of death and modelling has raised it's head again this week. More specifically the problem of disposal. The item in question is a loft layout with some ten boards in total. Problematic enough for the widow, but a bit of a logistical nightmare for those who have offered to help.
In short no bugger wants it. Result: it has to be broken up and scrapped. You may well be saying that the poor old boy isn't alive to see it so it's OK, but is that what he really wanted to happen?

After my last mention of this people split in to two definite camps: the 'keep going and not get rid of anything' and the 'I'm being sensible and getting rid of the fat, and only keeping what I need on a sliding scale to where I think I can manage'. I will be firmly in the later at a future point.

Of course you may think that death is the only instance, by which time it doesn't matter, but what about failing health - a point where you are fully aware of things, but are unable to stop your layout being broken and dumped by a third party in front of your eyes. Time and time again I read the preamble in articles: retirement, loft, more time. Rarely does the issue of just at the time where we have more time and space we may be unable to climb the loft ladder at all. Or work out why we went up there in the first place.

I hope that's cheered everyone up...

Monday 25 November 2013

Railcar 009

  A quick snap of the railcar - seats in and a boxy bit at the front, tram car style, which reflects the DHLR version. Photos/dwgs of this show two gear levers, what I assume is a clutch and a dirty great brake wheel. This I knocked up with a bit of rod and a steering wheel from a bus kit. Seats are 'saloon' style to clear the motor.

Sunday 24 November 2013

Saturday Ramble

A few points to ponder:

1. There's been more than the usual comment on the question of the Bembridge turntable. This is very informative and leads to a little more research on these things. This does have a point; if the O gauge project gets built then the plan was to have something similar a) to save space and b) because it screams 19th century.

2 Just to make people feel old, I note that it is twenty years since the British railway system was privatised. I still think that all the pretty liveries that came on the back of the sectorisation programme are new - it seems like I blinked for too long.

3. On the same tack: I'm still sorting through stuff and came across the first issue of Morill. The cover date? November 1993. Exactly 20 years ago. For those too young, Modelling Railways Illustrated was Irwell Press' pitch at the market hitting at a point just below MRJ and a bit above 'the average modeller' with Iain Rice at the helm. All started very well and I subscribed, however as with a lot of things with Mr Rice there is the feeling that he bites off more than he can chew and it slid until they parted company. At which point the tits went up.
There is possibly still a market for this area although have we moved on? Where it did score with me was the long narrative style prose that used to be the staple of the model press, but has now given way to the Janet and John, paint -by -numbers style of model journalism that dominates the market now. In short is was a good read.
Maybe we've forgotten how to do that.

Friday 22 November 2013

Railcar glaze and turntables

 Work on the railcar continues apace. Basic box complete, floor in and Kato chassis temporarily  clipped on. Next problems are rigging some seats up and working out how to glaze it. The DHLR had no partitions and a central motor with underslung rad' so a fairly clean machine will result.
A second view of Bembridge with the swivelling plate end. Question: If it is pivoted in the centre, but doesn't turn 360 deg is it a turntable or a sector plate and why?

Thursday 21 November 2013

Bembridge and 009 railcar

 Things are slowing for a minute so at 1.45 this morning I got back to a bit of modelling - the neighbours have mentioned that they don't like me drilling in to walls at that time - bloody day jobbers...

A visit to the Hayling show over the weekend which was set up just celebrate the 50 years since the Hayling branch closed. Nice little show, old school club feel to it with a good spread of layouts. Nice to see the model of Bembridge (above). It's been around a while, and is such a lovely track plan with the sector plate (or is it a turntable?) that I can't see why it's not been used more often.

 Up on the bench at the moment is a bash of the Parkside FR Bro Madog coach into a railcar inspired by the 4 wheeled example on the DHLR. Two sides are shortened and one stuck to the ends, now time for the floor section cut around a Kato tram chassis. Not pretty, but functional.

Tuesday 19 November 2013


Don't move house.
Well do, but accept the short term consequences. Leaving the old house in sunny Rodmell was good: I'd been there for thirteen years and had tired of the semi-rural existence where it is necessary to get in the car for every single thing, there were memories of bad days and I'd gotten fed up with the game of fire cleaning/no central heating and sleeping in the loft which had a temperature variation from -5 - +90 deg.
Moving back into town seemed like a good idea - it still is, but even if you are even slightly contemplating a shift think on.

I have a book project underway and I need to practice at least a little. Since September the whole thing has gone tits up as I'm spending my whole day on house stuff which at Rodmell had all been done. I'm still working on the bathroom project, while Mrs F. is  slowly decorating my workshop/study. This has completely curtailed any modelling as as soon as I do anything it gets moved while she paints skirting or something and by the next morning it's all vanished. I have books spread over four rooms, and as for tools and modelling material... it could be anywhere at any given moment. The whole process is quite frankly a pain in the arse.

You have been warned.

Monday 18 November 2013

Hayling Island bus

Hayling Island bus

In the post 4pm gloom the Bedford waits for passengers that don't come. Sad really.

Wednesday 13 November 2013

Furness Railway signal box three

Furness Railway signal box

Furness Railway signal box
 If you wondered what to do with the Wills crazy stone sheet here's your answer - the box at Ravenglass.
Furness Railway signal box

Thursday 7 November 2013

Water Tower Furness Railway

Most of the buildings on the Maryport coast run are timber and a pale random stone (Miles will tell me exactly what it is). When you get to the southern reaches nearer Barrow it turns to slate, so much so that when driving through the area you could be lulled into thinking that you've taken a wrong turn and ended up in North Wales.
As I pointed out earlier, there is less of a rush to sweep away older buildings here, and at Foxfield there is a cracking station/signal box combo and this lovely water tower.

Monday 4 November 2013

009 bogie flat wagon

'Ladies and Gentlemen, in the blue corner the very exciting white tiles with anti-mould grout, and in the red corner the rescue flat wagon. A cleanish fight, not too much grout on the dressing gown, and despite the lack of super glue the rescue flat wins by a hair!'

...there  still being12 boxes of tiles in the kitchen, and here is the flat perched on TC with couplings stuck on with UHU. Despite it's length, being based on a Sandy River drawing from David Evans, it rolls round TC without hitting anything.
Any reason why this batch of Greenwich couplings has flaky blackening?

Sunday 3 November 2013

Askam signal box

Furness Railway signal box

The above is Askam through a rather grimy 158 window. I like the fact that the vestibule/cupboard is almost as large as the main box.

The building work continues - well bathroom refit. Suite in, pugging done and skirting cut. I just have the mammoth tiling trip to go on. All this is pushing the modelling into the background somewhat, which is a little frustrating, though I do hope to get some couplings made up for the flat wagon in a bit.
Mrs F has complained that she is absent from this page of late, so I will just mention that while I was taking this photo, she was down the other end of the coach mugging the ticket collector. Well, we've got to eat...

Friday 1 November 2013

Furness Railway signal box Bootle

Furness Railway signal box

After the excitement of Expong the only thing to do was to take a few days of from the bump and grind of the music biz and take Mrs F. off to the Lakes. Yeah OK so there are railways in the Lakes and I had a small camera with me.

Not only did we stay five minutes walk from the Ratty ('What I surprise, I couldn't have guessed our B&B was so close to a railway. Well fancy that'. *cough*) which I needed a couple of photos of, but also five minutes from a great pub that used to be Ravenglass station and therefore the old Furness line between Barrow and Maryport. What a nice change from dahn sarf with most things gone and fences everywhere. Here there is lots left to photograph and you are free to wander where you wish. The above at Bootle - I have all elevations of this and the boxes at Foxfield and Ravenglass, plus a few other ex Furness buildings. Expect more.
Needs a return visit...