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. 

Monday, December 10, 2018

Changing sticks

One of the more useful things in my bag after the IPMS show was a new pack of abrasive sticks. I'm terrible at changing these things when they are badly worn as you can see from the state of the old ones. In my defence, they still worked quite well when handled properly, but you couldn't sand up to the edges of the stick. 

I'm like this with knife blades too. I know a sharp blade is a joy to use, but the parsimonious bit of me (I have both Polish and Scottish blood, neither nation is known for throwing money around) wants to make it last just a little bit longer. 

Anyone else do this?

Sunday, December 09, 2018

IPMS 2018

Bathtime fun

Travelling to Telford can be interesting. Or more accurately, frustrating. A couple of years ago, I arrived at Birmingham New Street to find all the trains to the town cancelled. On that occasion, I turned around and went to the NEC classic car show instead. 

This might have been my plan this year as well, but I'd visited the cars the day before, and enjoyable as it was, didn't want a second dose. 

So, after consulting the staff, I pressed on with a change at Wolverhampton. This would add over half an hour to the trip, time I knew I'd miss trying to get around a big show. Still, I carried on and an hour later than I had planned to be at the event, thanks to more train pain at Wolverhampton, I arrived somewhat grumpy. 

Grumpiness was dispelled almost immediately when I saw the fantastic boat in the bath model above. It made me smile and the rest of the show was brilliant. I still haven't seen the modelling competition, but then I did leave about 10 minutes before the end, tired and with a bag full of kits I don't really need...

Note: If you are wondering why I don't drive instead, it's:
A) A rubbish long jouney
B) You need to be there well over an hour before opening to get a space in the car park. Either that or park somewhere in Wales.