Saturday 28 February 2015

Fresh heir.

The gentle move into the outside moved a wee bit closer with the completion of the first loco. It's all a bit experimental and I've made some enormous cock-ups. The most important thing is that I have something that will pull a couple of wagons around to at the very least use as a test machine. It's mostly 60thou plastic with a few bits and pieces from the materials box. One of the learning-curve aspects was to know where to stop. In the smaller indoor scales it's the detailing which defines the modelling, though most employ the 3' rule - if it can't be seen from three feet away there is not a lot of point. Here that jumps to 30', so it is very much essence of industrial diesel rather than exactitude with influences from Hudson, Ransome and Ruston.

Thursday 26 February 2015

Laurie Maunder

 The great tidy continues: The 16mm diesel is now finished, but I want to get outside to take photos and the weather isn't particularly appropriate. So instead, a far better set of Emmett-style creations from the late Laurie Maunder taken at last summer's party. Laurie had taken Emmett's ideas and expanded them with his wonderful humour and cleaver engineering, as despite first views they all run. My particular favourites are: the Christmas Turkey and the rowing boat. All are still in the care of his son Nick. Enjoy.

Monday 23 February 2015

Saturday Ramble

It has a three in it.
Been busy... no I'm lying; not busy at all. With Mrs F. on half term things get...well, disjointed. Meals get organised, wine gets drunk and all of a sudden the food shopping is the most important part of the day, whereas if I'm doing it, I'll organise it round a far more interesting trip to the dump. Apparently broken bricks, garden waste and food don't mix in the boot.... I've never noticed a problem before. She did though press a crisp tenner into my hand and send me off to the Tonbridge show while she explored the multitude of charity and 99p shops the town has to offer. Or maybe was it that we'd got to Saturday and she'd had enough of my engaging wit and repartee. We'll never know.

What I have done, partly as a bit of a dodge, is photo stuff. Mrs F. senior turned up to help the afore mentioned to wallpaper the lounge. That's two of them. I flatly refuse to wallpaper, doubly so in an 80 year old house with not one right angled wall in it. Dancing round the lounge with 7' of sticky tear-able soggy paper is something which seems completely illogical when paint goes on twice as fast and is half the money. So I hid. And as part of the 'big tidy' I sorted through photos.
When pictures came on nice easily manageable rolls of 36 they were sort of do-able. Now I have  million gig memory cards which seems to store all this stuff that I can't remember taking. So three of these needed looking at. While I was sorting and burning onto CD, I thought about chucking some of them onto a Flickr account that I'd opened last year. There's still a long way to go.

Monday 16 February 2015

Exhibition workstation.

Seen at the Salisbury show. I'm guessing that it folds or the legs slot in to the ends for transport, but even if they don't, its very neatly done and all properly jointed. Note the mains sockets and 12v power all plumbed in.
Everyone should have one.

Saturday 14 February 2015

Saturday Ramble The great tidy up

The smaller one is nearer and the bigger one is further away...

The faded white of my Argos work bench is 70% visible now. Pecketts have been painted and F&B coaches have had roofs covered in bog paper and couplings fitted. Now I'm in full flow with the relative bulk of the diesel. This is a bit of a jump even from the 7mm stuff and it's only a tiny loco.

I'm entering a modelling phase. Odd? There's a difference. Layout building is a set of ordered projects that are of a one and have a natural sequence: Baseboard, track scenery, buildings trees etc. Modelling is something smaller - contained. The above are an add on for Tal-coed and a little trial piece - not related and no specific reason... they just are. This is quite freeing. There is no deadline as such and I definitely don't need them. There are a lot of these in the cupboard; things that could be made just for the hell of it: 4mm wagon kits, signal kits even a Airfix Victory which I would insist on painting 'in service' black rather than the pretty stripes.
And so the tidy up continues, just for a while, just until I can see the bench again.

Wednesday 11 February 2015

Moving on slightly

...but only slightly.
Morton Stanley has been stood on its end and put to one side for a moment while I clear a few things and re-organise. So why is there a baseboard photo? Well, the old trimmed Rhiw boards had been sitting in the garage for six months getting all cold so I thought it was time to get them in, warm them up, give them some hot soup, and take a look at what I could do. A little track has been dumped on and moved about to see how it looks, but first they need a damn good clean and sand -down. There's still quite a bit of ballast/glue residue on the flat bit and the 'sky' will need sanding and re-painting. And that's just the start.

The desk has been partially cleared of debris and work done on the 009 F&B coach and the second Peckett for Morton Stanley has been 90% dry-brushed weathered just to tone it all down. Only the cab roof needs attention and some plates sourced. The biggest item to shift is the IPEng based 16mm diesel, this is primary this week.

Monday 9 February 2015

Morton Stanley

 All done now. Just awaiting a couple of buckets from Scandinavia and a Roxey bike. It's been quite a fun build - more than I had anticipated and very low cost which to an extent was part of the brief. M. Stanley was/is very much a test piece and although it is exhibitable and was designed as such, I think a two day-er would be a little too far. Cosy one day-ers and members days are more it's style.
And now? Well there are tidy up bits on the bench; in fact I could spend the rest of the year just doing tidy up bits. Without leaning in any direction I can reach an 009 coach (actually plural) an EM Y6, a 16mm diesel, some fencing for Tal-coed, Langley cow-catchers to go on an 009 railcar and something in 3mm. That's just what's on the bench; lean  6" to either direction and the whole world opens up into a modelling vista.
Just send me paint, glue and commissions.

Friday 6 February 2015

Lady pleasers 2

Still with the same title. Mr. Hill will remind me that my ideal exhibition layout is one that is set low with lots of details for Mums to bend to look at. Preferably in the summer with the wearing of loose strappy tops... I'm not denying this, but it's only part of the reason. The AoC plan is still bugging me. It should be the next project, but I'm not satisfied with how it will work at a busy exhibition. Trouble is if I move the plan around, then it becomes something else altogether. And with 6 x1' baseboard space - which are already in stock the options become limited. Now I'm the first to point out that limitations are a good thing; they focus the thinking. However, in this case the frustration is mounting.

1. If you run AoC as it is (see plan below) then it is only possible to run one train in at a time as it's not possible to hold both the train AND the loco in the loop. Max complete train length is 27" (Pannier and B-set). In an ideal world I would want to run one in before one departs.

2. If that is changed and you look at an absolute max of 5-6 points on the board then you end up with one of three shapes: a) the Gammon End - loop and a siding off each end (Edge the last 009 piece, or Svanda above, start from this point)
 b) Seaton - platform with release road and one or two siding roads/bay behind platform. Mr Parker has used this for Edgeworth. Which is also the classic light railway plan.
Or c) Ashburton. With the kick-back off of the bay. What these give you are a longer platform road that will hold the entire train - passenger waits in platform road, goods arrives loop etc. You can add odd sidings here and there, but remember there's only 6x1' to play with and if you are not careful it becomes all pointwork.
Goods only is a different proposition. CP's Sutton Wharf is smaller in size and is a lot busier track-wise, but he ain't trying to run round 27" of passenger train. Going freight only is another possible.

3. Any of the above will work and improve the density of traffic, but then as the Irishman on the horse replied when asked directions, 'If I wanted to go there, I wouldn't want to start from here.' The plan has now ceased to be AoC - you are now starting from scratch.

Tuesday 3 February 2015

Life's a bench

Firstly have a look at these; Swansea docks sidings over a long period. Lovely.

I guess most people would buy a seat. I needed a bench to stick at the side of the station building on Morton Stanley. Nothing too ostentatious, just a simple rural seat that would have been knocked up out of old bits of fencing or similar. 15 mins and some scrap 60thou 28mm long, 8mm high and hacked at with a craft knife. Two triangular fillets stop our tubby gent crushing the whole thing. 
I note that whenever I put anything related to the Art of Compromise plan up here the viewing stats go off the scale. So how come you never ever see any being built?

Monday 2 February 2015

Nobody loves a fairy when she's forty

Bit of a hectic weekend, though I did manage to sneak into the shop at the Lavender Line where the above was purchased for the princely sum of four quid. For younger readers I will explain: this is a 'Bradford Barton'. Before the advent of sensible desktop publishing and the multitude of books that are available now, these were the absolute bollocks in reasonable price rail-photo books. Unlike the digital processes where photos can be dropped into text at will at any size, you were lucky to get a half dozen pages of 'plates' in a 250 page tome on your particular interest. The BBs were different; standard format of around 100 pages of just full page B/W plates with captions, very much the predecessor of the Middleton Press range; but bigger format. And with a publication date of 1976 this one is just about to hit 40. There were thousands of BBs printed, but where did they all go? This is a bit of a rare one and at that price irresistible.