Monday 21 July 2014

Double use board

A couple of posts ago I mentioned the new fiddle yard being built for Edge. This must go on record as the longest it's ever taken me to build a baseboard. This is due to the fact that I've just been doing bits as I've walked past rather than just sitting down for an afternoon and hitting it.
The eagle-eyed will have noticed that there is a suspicious cut out in the front edge not typical of fiddle yard construction and that I've used 4mm ply for the first time since 1990. This is dual purpose land as it seems daft to build a storage yard to just go out once, so it's destined to have a second life. The wine bottles are filled with water to use as weights while the glue goes off. Problem is, I have to take the wine out first.
BTW it's 32" x 8" before I get an email.

Sunday 20 July 2014


 Yesterday an epic trip down to Zomerset to Larkrail. Which is I believe a charity event run by the proprietors of The Titfield Thunderbolt bookshop in Bath. I was drawn by the number of modelling heavy-hitters and the prospect of what is always an entertaining dinner at CP's on the way home.
Stunning event. Quite church-hally in vibe, and the feel of a proper old-fashioned club show. Quality of stuff, very high and catering to match. I particularly wanted to see Maurice Hopper's public transport friendly layout, though came away more confused than enlightened. What I should have done was hang around and watch him pack up.
The surprise of the day was this beautiful Cambrian piece - very much in the Barry Norman school with a deep baseboard and hight scenery to track ratio. I don't normally drool over finescale layouts, but this was at a sensible hight and was perfect in all aspects.
Even outside there was things to see if you could dodge the downpours (note the accent over 'depot') The show seemed well attended even though it's not actually advertised in the normal listings and appears to rely on word of mouth. Worth a look if it happens next year.

Friday 18 July 2014

Moving Egg

 Generally pretty quiet on the modelling front with lots of other things to do; mainly boring stuff like accounts and ripping up asbestos laden floor tiles - well I didn't want to live that long did I?
Though a little work has been carried out on the Egger WW coach conversion. With the floor opened up, which took longer than I anticipated, the Kato chassis now slots in. The ride height isn't quite what I wanted , but is OK.
Some rudimentary seats are being added using a bit of scrap 30 thou, so far one one side, and a load of lead stuffed underneath. Note I've left one end intact for the minute to stabilize the sides. Once the interior is sorted and the new inner end is on, it too will face the wrath of the Exacto saw. So far, so good and the whole thing has yet to explode.
I've been pondering about taking a break. The modelling has been quite intense over the last few months and I feel as though I'm on a bit of a treadmill and trying to please everyone else. I may tidy up what's on the bench and to be published and take a sabbatical. It's hardly life threatening, but I do get tired of the various factions asking why I've given up standard gauge of why I not yet produced a 7mm ng layout, or started one in 3mm. Life would be easier if I just did one thing and just for me.

Sunday 13 July 2014

Eggy stuff

There is a little baseboard building going on in the form of a temporary fiddle yard for Edge. However never content with having just one thing going on in just one room I thought I'd tackle a project that I've had in mind for quite a while, namely the mating of an Egger Western coach with a Kato 103 chassis.

The inspiration for this is Graham Watling's two-car unit. His has a radiator strapped to the front; this though maybe electric or battery powered. This shift from internal combustion to a liking for electric traction, is the discovery of the Giant's Causeway line and it's development, and is also tickling my liking for street/horse tramways. The plan is to remove the roof and carve a hole in the floor for the Kato. The lettering is off on one side, but there is a window issue - as they're crap, but opened out? There is an odd number so a simple doubling of each one won't work. Small steps and see what happens.

Wednesday 9 July 2014

Saturday Ramble

It's funny how the mind wanders all over the place, especially when there is no 'must get it done now' project on the desk. Morton Stanley has taken residence in Crawley for a while to have some more buildings sized up by Nigel and there is nothing really that is urgent to do (this is a blatant lie as I have plenty to be getting on with).
One thing that does need doing, as it has a deadline (as if getting books written and completing my accounts don't) is a fiddle yard for Edge. This need only be a temporary affair as it has but one outing and this is where the mind wandering comes into play: why build a baseboard that will only be used for 6-7 hours? Why not make it do something else? Those that have witnessed my carpentry will suggest that firewood may be a good future option. Older readers, as PECO would say, will remember an earlier post here titled An Elderly Gentleman's Travelling Companion in which I toyed around the idea of building a public transport friendly baseboard. This is very timely as Maurice Hopper's piece in the current RM speaks very negatively about the experience, though my thought is to build something that is able to be carried by train, not that has to be carried by train, but is within the Euros**r maximum dimensions of 850mm - I started from this point whereas Mr Hopper has had to adjust to it according to his article. The idea then is this: the FY would be somewhere in the region of 32" x 8" with one of my usual 3-4 point plans in 009 on it. However as a first move, only the first throat point is laid along with two lengths of lightly tacked track, thus creating a embryonic tiny Krupa-bahn type layout and initially a two road FY for Edge. The former would be designed to have no FY therefore eliminating the need for the same problem again,

Then there is the subject matter. Again older readers will have noticed my liking for the bizarre and particularly the railway artistry of Emmett and more recently Peter Barnfield. Could all these ideas be bound together and would something be possible in 4mm/009 rather than the lately more common Gn15? the header is one inspiration being the Emmett line at the 1951 Festival of Britain (a quick you tube search throws up plenty of visuals of this). Something beachy? Sort of Far Twittering meets the Rye and Camber, meets the Cruden Bay Hotel Tramway? Maybe not...