Sunday, September 27, 2020

Bing tabletop train set

 A random photo from my collection. This one, taken at the Brighton Toy and Model Museum, shows a Bing Tabletop Train set. I'm pretty sure that isn't an authentic GWR loco, but hey ho. 

You can read more about this model on the museum website.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Saturday Film Club: Matchbox cars to slot racers


Here's a neat little conversion - take a couple of battered Matchbox cars. Add a micro Scalextric set and you have diecast slot racers!

Friday, September 25, 2020

More stock boxes

My dad id really getting in to this box making lark. After the success of a box for Willi, he moved on to the Piko "Clean Machine". 

Satisfied with this, it was on to a couple of Playmobil models and my LGB Flyer. 

Both the diesel and Flyer had boxes, admittedly the train set box it came in for the former, but these are much easier to use. Because they don't need to survive a drop-test, the models come in and out more easily than when they are encased in tight-fitting polystyrene. 

I know that I should revere the original boxes because, according to the web, the only reason to buy a model is to maintain it's value for future sale, but I don't think like that. I want to run my models and if they ever come up for sale, its probably because I'm no longer in a position to enjoy them that way. If that happens, I probably won't care.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Photos you didn't expect to take

When I was at school and considering my future, at no point did I ever consider it would involve standing on a Birmingham roadside taking photos of  double-decker buses passing under a bridge. 

However, I've done just that. Because as I watched them, I realised that there isn't a lot of gap between the top of the bus and the bottom of the bridge. 

A best guess is between 2 and 3 feet, nearer 2. People who have travelled on the bus through Selly Oak tell me it's quite an experience the first few times. You generally wonder if your journey will end in the local news as one of the "bridge slices the top off a bus" stories. 

Anyway, I have a fine collection of photos. The locals probably think I'm weird, but that's just how my life panned out. They didn't tell me that at school.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Why I'm adverse to camber

Time for a controversial blog post. 

A properly made road will have a camber - the slight slope from the centreline to the gutters to persuade water to drain off properly. If you want to know the details, watch this not very exciting video

Since the real road is shaped, the model road should be shaped too. But I've decided to keep the Selly Oak road flat. 


Many reasons:

  • Model camber needs to be done really well. On my model, there is a T-junction and a side road as well as a considerable slope. I can mess around with plaster all I like, I think the result will look rubbish because I'll never get it smooth enough to satisfy me. 
  • The alternative method of putting a strip of something down the middle and then bending the road surface over the top is fine - until we get to the junction when it's back out with the plaster to try and blend things together. 
  • On the real road, when you are standing on it, the camber isn't very noticeable. 
  • I want to take photos on the model and the buses should be upright. Real vehicles have suspension, model ones don't. The bus in the photo above might be right, but would look odd in a model pic. I think the effects of the lens are more responsible for any lean than the road too. 

In conclusion, the road will be flat because I believe I can make a good-looking, flat road and I don't believe many people will notice. This probably makes me a rubbish modeller unworthy of owning a copy of MRJ. That's fine. I'm a long way from the world's best modeller. A very long way. 

But I am determined to finish this project in the time available and so shortcuts are going to be taken. If that makes me a bad person, I'm a bad person.