Friday 30 January 2015
The answer to the first question is varied. The angle from where I'm coming from is linked slightly professionally: how do you keep people in front of the layout? Not by chatting to them - that's cheating, that's conversation, but how do you keep them watching the layout for more than say a minute? What's the draw got to be? There are some who will shout that it's my layout and I build for me, and that's all well and good, but if you wave it in public then there has to be more to it than that.
There are really two distinct types that visit model shows and sub sects: Type 1. The modellers visiting to see a particular layout that's been in a magazine or what have you either singly or in groups. Type 2. Non or semi modelling families (i.e. no real interest or something at pure trainset level usually with one or two children in tow). There is Type 1a 'the blinker', those who will only look at layouts that match their company and their scale, and Type 2a the 'matrons not looking'.
What I'm really thinking of are slightly more the Type 2s - the casual visitors. The answer is basically: keep something on scene and moving at all times and create enough visual interest outside of that. The moving is the most important - I noted an RM reader taking a swipe at Warley recently in the letters page and he has a point; the NEC show is supposed to be the best and the best only, not the club shirt/scratch your arse and talk brigade.
How does this link to the above plan? Well yesterday it was dissected... over a four hour plus period, in a full size plan form. The result is it works perfectly. I'm quick to argue Roy Link's original article point about two bogie coaches not fitting the loop as they will. However, allied to the point I make in the above paragraph: if you are happy with the home operation/one engine in steam way of working then it works. The minute that you take it to a show it fails... big time. There is only capacity for one train at a time as while the loop will hold the train, it won't hold the engine as well. The minute the train leaves the station under the bridge after running round etc, so do the audience. Mr. Punch has left the building. Something more needs to be done.
Wednesday 28 January 2015
I was having a bit of a downer about exhibitions, but the weekend at Southampton went very well. So much can depend on whether you are left alone to get on with it and not overly managed (just point me toward the stand space and I'll do the rest please) and whether the day long trek to the cup of tea place is friendly and flexible. This scored well on both counts. Kudos to David Barker and his team for getting it right.
Which takes me to moving forward: so far Morton Stanley is working well - better than I'd expected. I'd struggled with 7mm NG in the past, but this has a certain charm. Whether that will extend to standing behind it at an exhibition is another thing. It's first trip out is to the Sussex Downs Group's member's day in March; five o'clock on that day will be a better time to assess things. In addition to that I walked away from the weekend not wanting to bin all the 009 and burn the layout. This is unusual. Forward thinking and various discussions revived my liking of the '5 year plan' (not that it's five years any more). This would mean that the GWR 'Art of the Compromise' plan (being item four on the list) could be the next one out of the traps...
Friday 23 January 2015
A pretty easy scratch-build, but I thought it would be a natural for an etch kit from Narrow Planet for either 009 or probably 09.
Thursday 22 January 2015
Wednesday 21 January 2015
Well at least it wasn't raining.
Tuesday 20 January 2015
Second instalment of Welsh bits. Seeing as we were only around the corner a visit to the Conway Valley museum seemed in order... oh dear. The shop at the front was very good; lots of bits to rummage through and stuff that I've not seen anywhere else. You pay a small entrance fee for the museum at the back and walk through a door which was all a little shades of Mr. Benn. Hmmm...not what I'd hoped for, and a bit, well, small beer. I mean I wasn't expecting the Flying Scotsman, but it all seemed a bit tatty. And there was worse. There was an N gauge layout centre-stage. Most of it didn't work, didn't look as though it could work, and the whole thing was covered in a thick coat of dust. There was worse still. Anyone who grew up with 1970's model mags will remember photos of Jack Nelson's dioramas (above). Several of these are on show. You would expect with the word 'museum' for that to translate into 'care'. Unfortunately not. Peeling brickpaper, overturned vehicles, broken lamposts, all very sad. All they need is a little TLC and a bit of glue on the end of a cocktail stick and a good dust. I mentioned to Mrs. F. that I'd be happy so spend a week or two sorting them out if someone provided the accommodation. The effort would be so small. But would anyone care?
I've had a couple of emails about the comment system here - it's changed slightly. You have to click 'I am not a robot' and the fuzzy number photo will pop up. Then continue as before.
Monday 19 January 2015
Sunday 18 January 2015
Friday 16 January 2015
Thursday 15 January 2015
Thursday 8 January 2015
There's still a fair way to go before March, but nothing impossible.
Saturday 3 January 2015
The wash of grey paint was a smart move as it made it a whole lot easier to see what I was doing as the red of the Das bled through the scribe marks. The buildings are just plonked on for the moment to check clearances and to make sure I've got the setts/slabs right. A buffer post needs to go in and then the painting.
Friday 2 January 2015
Thursday 1 January 2015
The Das was simply ripped of the block and thumbed into the surface after it had been given a coat of PVA which should help bond it all together. There is no difference marked on the packets other than colours (red or white) but this is definitely more clay-like than the white that I used before which has more of a papery weave feel about it.
From this point the track was in-filled and a Lima coach bogie with deep flanges run up and down followed by a Tri-ang wagon with wide ones. In theory there will be no powered vehicles down the far end of the siding so I could be sloppy with it, but ...