Monday 24 April 2017

Too many shows?

Late morning at an exhibition over the weekend. Almost empty rooms. Quality bad? No. Good publicity, name layouts and good parking etc. All the trade were complaining and I don't blame them. There were five shows on within a fifty mile radius of here and reports were that this was a similar occurrence on both days at all of them. Being that it wasn't Mother's Day or similar, I can only suggest that we have reached saturation point and either the interest overall is waning or there are just too many shows to choose from.

Sunday 23 April 2017

Healthy living

Never say my life isn't healthy. Lunch at the 7mm NGA Surrey Group's open day today, and later...
what constitutes dinner for a four piece band at 10pm. This was the vegetarian option.

Friday 21 April 2017

Phone box take 2

The last time I put this up here I got howls of protest from the BT engineers about land ownership and placement. As suggested by same, phone box now re-sited and with fence around it.
Would there be a pole and how high and how many insulator arms?

Wednesday 19 April 2017

Southern Region for the modeller

Pre-release copy arrived yesterday. Out very soon from all the usual outlets.

Tuesday 18 April 2017

AoC Signal Box 2

Moving slowly forward with this. Due to my inability to leave stuff alone I've replaced all the stonework on the base with brick. This meant I had to continue the theme on the chimney breast as well, adding a scrap of Wills sheet.
The instructions are the usual exploded diagram and a few scrap shots to back up. There is also a list of instructions 'Add part 1 to part 2' etc. This is all well and good and each part is sensibly numbered on this sheet. However this is where the planning stops as none of the actual bits are numbered on the parts or on the sprues making the whole text instruction completely superfluous. Shame. You are therefore left to identifying the parts off the diagram only. This may have changed on later batches of the kit, but is slowing things down a little here.
Cabin basically done though, and probably time to paint before the card interiors go in and the glazing is added.

Saturday 15 April 2017

Saturday Ramble.

Boston Lodge engine shed
Up to Porthmadog for a few days a week ago. Every time I go to North Wales the trip gets longer and I find it harder to come home. Just the thought of hitting the M25 barrier is bad enough, but as there is less and less for me here the draw gets bigger. The combination of quiet and scenery is plenty, but throw a slew of NG railways into the mix and it tips the thought process over the edge. Would I miss the traffic and the drag queens though?

Thursday 13 April 2017

'I cut the 2x1 and blew my nose'

Baseboard building. Not for a new layout and not for me, but for grandson 's trainset. He wanted something electric, so for Christmas a cheap forty quid Hornby was bought with included trackmat. His dad then reported that he was using it so much that it would be better on a board. Agreed, but who would build said board? Who do you think? His dad can strip Eurofighters and make them fly again but can't 'do carpentry' .

61" x 47" is too big for the car to get it to him so it needed to be split. It also needed to be robust enough to be dragged around, but light. I decided that a semi-traditional softwood frame would give the strength with an MDF top rather than chipboard. It's a bloody awkward size and needed three 2'x 4' sheets to complete. The softwood is best B&Q banana pine which is still deciding what sort of shape it wants to be. Thus I had to dance about a bit to pick out the best sections for the outer and  the worst for the bracing. The two boards will be bolted together with a brace of 6mm roofing bolts at their final destination. The final cost of just the materials being more than the train set...
We'll see how long this curve lasts.

Wednesday 12 April 2017

Art of the Compromise signal cabin 1

I'm slowly working my way through a Ratio signal box. Bought s/h from the club stall at the Croydon show a couple of years back. S/h kits are a bit of a gamble as there have probably been parts removed or lost, but this one seems to be all there ... so far. I'm guessing that it's around 20 years old and the plastic is already brittle in places; I've had window frames snapping. This is of course for the AoC layout and I was going to go for the full Welsh and have one side wall in slate, but bottled out. What I will do though is try and add window handrails and foot steps and a balcony and wooden steps to replace the stone ones in the kit.
Which brings me to a question: Were single line tokens given in at termini, or retained by the crew for the return trip? A simple thing which I should know, but don't.

Friday 7 April 2017

London bus

For those with the much missed Keil Kraft kit knocking about in the drawer,  a shot of the Chester Old Bill bus that tours the town. Of course the best thing to do is to turn the kit into a quasi Stephens railbus unit which is where my carefully stored side pieces are headed, but the original usage doesn't look bad.