Saturday 21 November 2015
Tweaking the Art of Compromise plan
For anybody biting their nails and losing sleep over the progress on the Art of Compromise fear not, it's still going. There have been other things to do that have pushed it back slightly on the pecking order, but I do a bit to it once in a while. The basic green stuff and made up surfaces are on. There are subtle changes to the Link plan in detail, but the basic shape and size are still obvious - the main change being the long dock in place of the coal staithes. As I've mentioned before the width at this point is way too narrow to get everything in that Roy drew on the plan so 'compromises' had to be made. Therefore an open area for coal 'loading' with not too much storage is the idea. This is based on several photos of coal wagons being unloaded onto raised docks. The three bin idea for coal did exist, but I don't think it was as common as modellers often portray.
Already I think I've proved that the plan does work with a few tweaks.
Friday 20 November 2015
Terrier done. This is all (as usual) fairly old fashioned stuff - taking a RTR item and adding a few detail bits. Unbelievably the Dapol terrier has been around since 1986; I still view it as a new model. The Hornby remake is, as far as I can see, unaltered from the original.
The one I had was numbered 636. Not that makes any difference as all the numbers would need an equal amount of work. Here the bunker is fine as is, but the upper sandboxes need to come off, which is the scary bit. Then various bits moved or taken off and lamp irons added. The pipework on top is the fiddle. There are some painty bits around the cab to do and a crew to add. Hornby give you a few extras to add including the extension ring for the smokebox. This visually the weakest bit for me as the line is impossible to disguise. Lightly weathered by airbrush... yeah right. Like I could afford one of those... Tatty No 2 brush and some Ga**s Wo**sh*p acrylic dry brushed on. Far more of a Ford technique. All of this will of course be detailed properly in the next printed volume - in case you hadn't spotted the thread of late.
Wednesday 18 November 2015
There now follows a period of reflection and maintenance. There are no more shows in the book for any of the three current layouts only a few pencilled enquiries. It's nice not to have deadlines and gives time for some repairs. Svanda has been knocked about a bit and needs freshening up with scenics and new lights perhaps.
The two wagons are an NSB chip wagon and an NSB stake wagon carrying round fence post bundles. All we need now is a pea wagon...
Thursday 12 November 2015
The Westinghouse pump was another headscratch. There is an OK moulding on the loco but no feed pipes. the one going down was easy, but the one going up disappeared over the tank to who knows where, and while there are oodles of side views i couldn't find any from a high angle. Peter Bossom (also known as the wise man of East Sussex) came up trumps with an overhead shot. Now of course I realise that there's more pipework on top than I'd thought. The more you know the worse it gets. And people keep telling me freelancing is harder.... errr no.
Friday 6 November 2015
Thursday 5 November 2015
Wednesday 4 November 2015
Is it value for money? Depends. I've probably got approaching half the bits left over. So that would indicate not. I could have built what's above with one pack of brick, one pack of fancy tiles and one pack of plain tiles. The barge boards, gutters etc would have been no more difficult to scratch out of plastic sheet and mains cable or similar, The gents is the stand alone item with two sides left off. So assuming that you don't want the canopy and I doubt whether most would want the platform sections, your shopping list would be four packs @ around £4.50 each, which I make eighteen quid; not far short of half the RRP of the kit.
So there by hangs a bigger question: You do need a modicum of skill and tenacity to build this - it's quite a fiddle in places. Therefore if you have these skills, would you not be able to scratch-build it in the first place? The answer to some extent is that you are paying (like most things in life) for the design. In this case this is the templates/cutting list which is probably why they seal the box so tight so that these can't be nicked and copied.
The other point is that this is obviously inspired by the Mid-Sussex buildings that remain on the Bluebell. In that case (if you scroll down to the first post on this there is a photo) there are/is a lot missing: plinths, ornate chimneys, filigree ridge work and Arts and Crafts type wood work for a start.
However all that said it does capture the feel of the buildings and you could say that all those things are add-able should you desire. Then we come full circle and have to say, then why not start from scratch and not bother with the kit? Tricky to call. You pays your money...
Tuesday 3 November 2015
Morton Stanley behaved more than adequately and there are questions around it. It was only really intended as a bit of fun to use some bits up and to tick a box. There were though several future unconfirmed invites on the day, so there are the questions of what do we want to do with it and why?
Monday 2 November 2015
I got up this morning and found it so quiet that I thought I'd gone deaf. Then I realised that half term was ended and Mrs F had returned to school.... peace, and a return to a slower pace.
Small plug and while we're on the brickwork. Scale Rail International No3 which is out now, features Roger Jenner's very small G scale layout /diorama with some stunning scenic work.