Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Warehouse Wednesday: Special cinema

I had planned a sensible post for today but as I stood on Birmingham Moor Street station, I spotted this building. 

First, it's a very basic brick and concrete structure with a flat roof. As a modelling project, you couldn't find much easier. Tucked beside a station, it's ideal for an industrial landscape. 

However, whatever the building was originally home to is a mystery. Now, it's a cinema for "adult" films. 

I'd have thought that including one of these on a layout would date it to no later than the 1980s. After that, surely the arrival of VHS cassettes would have killed the demand to watch grumble films in a room with other Macintosh wearing people? (Note: It's often said that VHS won the format war with Betamax because Sony refused to let those sort of films be sold on their format).  

There used to be a "Private Cine Club" opposite Gee Dee Models in Nottingham. It was there the first time I visited (the model shop) in around 84 or 85. Long gone as I recall, or at least the sign is. 

Now with the Internet and special films only a click away, how come this survives? Their website is pretty coy about the programme showing on the "2 main cinemas showing a wide variety of adult films". Perhaps the "seated area for you to relax and make new friends" is more important?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Adding doors

As far as body detail goes on the Cravens, MTK pretty much leave it up to the modeller. What you find in the box is a nicely pre-formed aluminium shell with the windows punched out.

Doors have to be scribed onto the surface following the plan. My CD marker pen is running out of ink but pencil works fine. First I marked a line for the top of the doors. This happens to be the width of a steel rule held against the rainstrip, or at least that is near enough and easy to do neatly.

Next, I marked 1mm either side of the windows for the verticals using a square. It's a bit fiddly around the tumblehome but with practise a straight line can be achieve. Better to get the hang of it with the pencil. Non-window doors are 7mm wide, possibly should be 1/4mm wider but I this is easy to measure and looks right.

A scriber ought to be the ideal tool but I found the line too narrow. The Olfa cutter makes a much better and wider line as well as being easier to direct down the side of the square. Any slips, and there were some, will be sorted with a smear of filler after priming.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Cravens chassis

Clipping a quickly assembled chassis into the body reveals an interesting problem - it's too high at one end. 

This is no surprise, the training bogie is supported by a casting but the instructions provide no clue which way up it should be fitted. I actually flipped it over half a dozen times trying to guess the orientation and in the end gave up, screwed it in place and then filed around 3mm off the support until the model sat flat. 

One "issue" with the kit design is that according to the instructions, the body is painted inside and then glazed and THEN you fit the chassis and build the rest. That's lovely, but how do you spray the outside?

My plan is to glaze after painting which means I need more finger holes, hence the large holes sawn out around the trailing bogie. The nut and bolt fixing of this and the driven end will also help as I will need to be able to remove these.

All nuts are fixed in place with Pound Shop epoxy resin. The whitemetal pivot for the bogie is replaced with a big, fat, bolt. I had to bush the hole in the stretcher with some plastic tube for this to work but I found some in my stocks that was about right - a little reaming in the middle opened it up enough for a slightly sloppy fit so the model handles less than perfect track.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

National Festival of Railway Modelling 2016

Wickham Railcar

With my shiny new DCC controller, I was looking forward to setting up Ruston Quays at Peterborough this year. For the first time ever at a show, I would be able to shunt the lower yard. With the station shuttle working, we'd have two trains moving realistically on the 6ft long layout.

As it turned out, the DCC device attracted a huge amount of favourable attention. The guys from the MERG stand wanted to see it, as did quite a lot of the visitors. I understand that several headed off to sign up with MERG afterward which makes me feel very pleased.

The other star of the show though, had to be Bachmanns Wickham Railcar. The BRM review samples had arrived a couple of days earlier and we gave them a workout on the shuttle service. While this might not be realistic for the layout, it IS entertaining and precisely the reason we have both DCC and DC on board.

Walking around time was limited, but I did manage to track down some excellent chocolate cake on the Saturday lunchtime. I certainly needed the sugar hit as by the end of day one, I was tired out.

HD Garrett box

Sunday saw me refreshed and with time to wander around a bit before the show opened. My star layout was the Faller Hit Train display for no better reason then it's utter barking mad. The fake Hornby Dublo Garratt was brilliant too, especially as they'd made both the loco and it's box.

Day 2 went well with more and more chat with visitors. The controller was fondled by many, one group even recognised the Inglenook yard design and successfully shunted a train for me - something I'd always wanted to see happen. Perhaps that means I've achieved everything with the layout and don't need to take it out again?