Saturday, December 15, 2018

The Italian Job - in Scalextric form

"You're only supposed to blow the..."

A trip back to June where I saw this model at the UK Slot car show. When I was watching they seemed to be having all sorts of technical problems, so it's good to see that these were resolved and the "stunt show" as it was described went off properly.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Debonder to the rescue

Amazing result. My Dad needed a coupling for a boat project. Finding one in the stash of bits, the only problem was that the brass connector on one end was the wrong size. We had the correct version, but the old one was stuck in using superglue. 

I do this because these things slide in and out when you don't want them too. A drop of superglue solves the problem, but in this case, caused another one. 

More in hope than expectation, I tried a few drops of Zap Debonder around the joint, but remarkably, a couple of hours later, the brass piece came out easily. 

I'll definitely be keeping this stuff to hand in future. Well, I will when I remember where I put the bottle...

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Making holes in the side

Making some holes in the upper levels of Mohan's hull adds character and, depending on their purpose, lets the water run off the deck.

At the front, the holes are to let ropes through to the bollard at the front of the boat. Making these is simple, just drill a hole and then open it out with the largest tapered reamer in my possession. This limits the size of the opening, but as this is a freelance model, if it looks right, it is right.

A thin sliver of plastic is fitted around the inside of the hole and generously washed with solvent. Once hard, I sand it back with an abrasive stick giving a nice, neat finish.

The freeing ports at the back are a little tricker. After drawing the desired lines on the bulwarks,  I drill out the corners, then open them with the reamer. Then the straight lines are cut with an Olfa cutter. A little bit of filing and fiddling, then some strip around the edge followed by some filler and the job is done.

The general wonkiness of the hull hasn't made this job easy, but I'm happy with the results. To be honest, the freeing ports aren't going to let much water out as they finish 3mm above the deck, but I decided against cutting through the quarter-round strip bracing the side/deck corner. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Warehouse Wednesday: Highland signal box

Highland signal box

Sadly, I've no idea where this photo was taken, other than Scotland obviously, but it's an interesting shot of a fairly typical Highland Railway signal box. 

Presumably because of the "challenging" weather to be found in the area, the gaps between the wooden planking on all the buildings, even platelayers huts, were covered with rounded batoning.  I think the wiggly tin roof is a common sight too.

Like all the other boxes on the Highland line, this one was no longer in use in 2008. Radio signalling has replaced semaphores as the traffic levels are low enough for it to work, and you really don't want to be employing vast numbers of people to look after signal wires that can freeze up or break in the most remote locations. 

I'm surprised the box still exists, but wonder if it is a listed building by now. It would be nice to think that someone has found an alternative use for it. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Hatch cover

Moving on with the tugboat, I need to cover the big hole in the back, ideally with something reasonably flush to the deck, but as waterproof as possible. This rules out any combing around the edge. 

In the end, I've used a couple of layers of plastic to form a sort of seal. It's not going to be very waterproof, even if I run some Vassalene around the edges, but hopefully, most of the water will stay the right side of the hull. 

Along the back edge, a tongue locates under the deck. The other end is held down with high strength magnets. I can pull it up with finger pressure, especially once the towing post is fitted, but it seems to stay put pretty well, and may even be fine when hauling a light barge in the future.