Tuesday 29 September 2020

LMS 16 ton mineral wagon


I tend to take a small project away to build to distance my self while Mrs. F is watching Strictly No Pets, or some other dire waste of licence payer's money. Often this doesn't pan out and I bring it home unbuilt, but this time all went well and this quite old run of a Cambrian Models LMS-built 16 tonner appeared. The time being provided as with a lakeside chalet to bed down in, Mrs. F amused herself by poisoning the local ducks.

The return has seen some 62 slopped over it as an undercoat.

Sunday 27 September 2020

Hornby Sentinel and shopping

Back from a few days in sunny Cornwall. Shopping is a rare and wonderful thing and since the demise of shows I'm buying very little. There are consumables to consider and I was down to my last three bottles of solvent and fifty one toilet rolls so something needed to be done. Under the cover of darkness and disguised as a sheep farmer I slipped over the border to Devon and Anything Narrow Gauge in Holsworthy. This is a misleading title as although there is a largish back-room operation of garden type steam, most of the shop is filled with 4mm stuff. The beauty was the old-world feel of it with rows of second hand boxes marked Airfix and Mainline etc. Try getting that in your mail order shops. 

The principal purchase of solvent was made along with a pack of couplings - because I'll always need them - then the Hornby Sentinels were pointed out. The price given matched what I had in my head that Hattons were giving so it seemed rude not to, and of course I could even run it up and down on some filthy track to test its roadworthyness. It's screaming for a new identity, some nameplates and detailing.


Friday 11 September 2020

O gauge sector plate

O gauge sector plate

 And to return.

Due to the build of the layout being halted due to Peco closing, Warley bailing and me not exactly knowing what was going on, or if it actually had a reason to be built, I didn't get around to sorting the FY. Last weeks photoshoot with Craig didn't really matter as it was all about the pretty side of the layout and it didn't need to run. However... in order for it to move forward in any shape of form it should do. A simple two-road sector should do the trick. Here dummied up with some code 124 bullhead, it will actually consist of some copper clad sleepers and code 100 - to compensate for the sector plate thickness. Trials have proved that this should work, I just need to work the switching out. As you can see there is not a lot of room and I don't want expensive locos dangling over the edge of the board so it'll have to be simple and neat, possibly a centre off DPDT to energise one rail the other permanently live.

Thursday 10 September 2020

Hornby magazine

 I picked this up yesterday while I was killing time waiting for an eye test. I have questions, so this is my unexpected review.

Looking at the mast head I note that Key Publishing use the Hornby brand under licence - is this a commercial brainwave or just cheating? I can't make my mind up. In any case the same mast head also states that the circulation is 26k per month which I think puts it a way behind, but in second place to RM.

There are a lot of ads, more than I expected, but a lot of unusual stuff that I've not seen elsewhere. This makes me think that either this is actively encouraged, or that the ad rates are low allowing some smaller cottage industries in. Notably there are no Peco/Ratio/Wills ads, so the flip of RM where they are predictably prolific.

Here's my main beef: I may have picked a bad example, but there is just one layout article (Gresley Beat, which is a bit like a music magazine featuring Sgt Pepper) and one shows-you-how, the rest is all about Hornby. More than that, probably 85% of the mag's written content is accredited to Mike Wild the editor; not only most of the features, but most of the reviews as well. From Key Pubs' position this looks dangerous, and from my position is deadly boring as there is only one voice and point of view.

The physical feel is OK, but not quality, but the general layout though quite in-your-face is well produced. If you just want reviews then it's worth a punt, If you want layouts, hints and tips and modelling encouragement, then one of the other three main mags are a much better bet. This then is my main question: taking all this into consideration, why is it number two and if you are drawn to a more glitzy page layout, then why not pick up the superior MR or BRM?

Sunday 6 September 2020

Saturday Ramble - O gauge lamps

O gauge lamps

 A month off. Sometimes there are other bits of life that need more attention. 

The final thing to go on the O gauge were these shorty platform lamps inspired by items at Bodiam. Nothing startling here: some roughly 4mm square rocket stick and a pair of Model Scene 4mm lamps with the posts chopped off. Tiny brackets from strip and gas pipe from layout wire. The layout has now been taken down to Devon and been snapped by young Craig. The original plan - and indeed its reason to exist  - was for it to appear on the Peco stand at Warley; it being sized to fit on the stand. Without this publishing peg point and due to the photoshoot being later than planned and becoming a little tight in the timetable, it now heads for the December RM.  What I do need to do is sort the sector plate out. This could be left off until now as it didn't need to be photographed.

Sales Department: Orne has now gone to a new home. There have been a handful of enquires about Hopwood, but no hard takers. The price is very modest - I just want it out of the way really. email me via the profile page top right. The O gauge will similarly need to be moved on at some point in the near future.