Monday, December 04, 2023

So, what did you buy at Warley then?


The thing with working at Warley, is there isn't much time for spending money. I mean, I don't need any more toy trains, but not to leave a show without the odd goodie is just weird. 

We'll ignore the stash of materials from Squires, because piles of Plastikard and paint don't look exciting in photos. Just know there was a bag-full. 

My first buy was a whitemetal kit for a Liverpool class lifeboat. No idea how I'll make it float, or fit the radio control gear, but that's the fun of it! (I've actually got several kits from this range. They don't appear that often, so I grab them when I spot them.)

Next, a door paper from a Scottish train. The seller had many of these, but I've travelled this route, so it's three quids worth of nostalgia. I remember when these were introduced to carriage doors, and know I wasn't the only trainspotter to surreptitiously remove them for our collections. 

Finally, a couple of 32mm guage Swift Sixteen wagons for six quid each from th Ellis Clarke stand. There were a few more, and looking at these, I really should have spent more time digging, and brought a few more home. 

A reasonably restrained haul then. 

Oh, there was one more thing. 

Flying Scotsman Duck

Stuart at Locomotion said he had something I'd like. It turns out this means a "Flying Scotsman" rubber duck. And he was right. It's just the right level of stupid for me!

(And before you ask, yes, they are going to do a blue one called "Mallard")

Sunday, December 03, 2023

Warley 2023

Deep breath. Let's tackle the Warley national weekend. 

Firstly, if you are expecting a detailed rundown of all the 90+ layouts, then you'll be disapointed. My limited trips out from behind the BRM stand were me on a mission. A mission that didn't involved much gawping at model railway layouts. OK, I kept stopping off at Bron Hebog, but it just happened to be on my route when nipping out. 

Friday, we were able to get in early - 10am. This meant no messing around, a quick trip to lorry park N12, and then stright into the hall to drop off my models. Other shows meant parking was in E4, not the normal E1, because it was full. Still, only 10 minutes stroll back to the stand, and I was there before the van arrived. 

I'd been asked to bring the Wagon Kit in Every scale display. As it's now in its ninth year, I dressed it like a Christmas tree with some tinsel. The cake cover layout, and Ferness Quay would provided some movement, and Grandad's trains is always a crowd pleaser. 

The plan this year was to give out 7000 mini-BRM magazines, a really excellent freebee that ate my bosses time, but the result was worth it. To do this, we had five people on the stand Saturday, plus me, the resident nerd who could try to answer all the model railway questions. Mind you, 7000 mags takes up a lot of space!

Saturday started early. I like to take the train to the show, for no better reason than I can. Well, that, and it saves messing around driving. A cold and clear Leamington station at 7:15 with a regular hot chocolate (hot chocolate for breakfast, very continental!) wasn't a great hardship. This deposits me at the show plenty early enough for a mouch around too. 

The day passed in a blur. Much chat. Many mini-mags given away, and a load of product photos taken. Mind you, when 6pm arrived, we were all ready to leave the hall. My usual plan is a trip to the airport for a meal, then back to the station once the crowds have passed. 

At the airport, disaster! where once there were restaurants, now a building site. Apparently this work continues until August, so it was back on the train and a McDonalds on the way home for me. Followed by a load of photo checking, and sleep. 

Sunday worked the same way, except I drove in, early enough to get as close to the hall in the car park as possible. My eventually successful plan, was to take all my stuff out in a single trip with my sack truck. Then a little fight with the traffic, and back home. 

So what about the important stuff? The cake. Well, Carol of the LocoLadies had a delicious chocolate confection in the shape of a tunnel. I didn't scoff the whole slice shown, although it was so nice, I probably could have. In two sittings anyway!

That was Sunday, but on Saturday, I was due to try ModelU's new scanning machine, and the requests on social media was for me to be pictured eating cake. Well, Alan had some, so how could I refuse? 

The new kit is pretty smart. Within minutes of the scan, a link appears on your phone to the 3D model so you can check it out. Better still, the model can then be superimposed on the camera view, so you can be seen in the scene!

I know people moan about Warley, but I had a tiring, but terrific time. Lots of chat, many modellers helped. If you saw me, and came over to sya hello, thank you. Several new ideas and plans were hatched. I managed a small layout shoot too, so a productive weekend. I'm just glad I don't have to do it again for a while!

Saturday, December 02, 2023

Saturday Film Club: Britains Space

I remember this toy, at least from mail order catalogues. Never particually interested, but this is a nice dose of nostaligia. 

Kudos for using a brown sofa as a background, and doing a good job with it.

Friday, December 01, 2023

APT-E matches

APT-E Match book

A new item for the APT collection - a book of APT-E matches!

The only other example of these I've ever seen was at Fawley Hill in the museum. They have two, and I was dead jealous. To be honest, this is one bit of memorabilia that I didn't expect to track down. Let's face it, if I'd never seen one, and I've looked at lots of APT tat, then they must be rare. 

APT-E matches

Anyway, this book appeared on eBay, and obviously I put a bid in. Just a low one, my intention being to see how crazy they went and perhaps up it a little. By the end of the auction, it turned out that maybe I am the only one daft enough, as the winning amount was a mere seven quid!

APT-E Matches

OK, the book isn't mint, but it's not bad. I was prepared to bid a little harder, and I wouldn't have felt badly done by. 

For those who like numbers, the book is 32.5cm long and 5cm tall. Hardly surprising that someone has partly folded it at some point. 

To me, this is proper collecting. My APT collection has a focus, and I'm happy to look hard (the thrill of the hunt) for items to put in it. It's not easy, but if it were, where would be the fun?

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Danger: Boat club auction

The annual model boat club auction can be dangerous. Since the members never want to spend any money, I've picked up rather more "stuff" than I should, because it's fun to bid. I also feel sorry from the auctioneer as he struggles to extract money.

This year, I wasn't only planning to buy, but had four boats in the sale too. One had a reserve, but really, they just wanted new homes. 

And it worked. Well, nearly. The Star pond yacht didn't sell, but everything else did. Some cash in my Dad and I's loco slush fund. 

And I manged to pick up some useful goodies. Three Planet recievers - the ones I use in boats and can't get now unless you pay really silly money. 

Oh, and a radio control Duck. 

My excuse - I like ducks. So, for a fiver, I've given it a new home. Building one has long been on my plan, now I don't need to worry. If it works anyway, far too cold for testing right now!