Thursday, June 21, 2018

Cheap garden railways, dry-brushing, more Canada and some DCC in BRM

This month, special promotional packs containing BRM and the June issue of Garden Rail will be available in some supermarkets, and digital readers will get this too.

As part of the promotion, I've written about building garden railways on a budget. The truth is that large-scale doesn't have to be expensive, and in many cases, can look better value than the small stuff. In 3 pages, I can't go into great detail, but have done my best to provide pointers to get anyone who fancies railway building outside started.

 We've reached the final chapter of the Canada story with my trip to the show and the travails of travelling with a model railway, especially when Air Canada manage to damage it (they did say they should have been given the chance to repair the damage, but I didn't have time for that before the show). Digi readers get some extra prototype photos as a bonus too if they fancy photos of foreign trains.

While abroad and in the Rapido offices, I interviewed the team to get an idea how you go about producing a high-quality RTR model. They were very happy to explain the challenges involved - it's not a case of 3D scanning something, sending the data to China and waiting for a box of finished models to arrive!

Blog readers will know that I've a small collection of ancient DCC equipment and for Tail Lamp, I've explained why I'm interested and suggest that this is an interesting area for those who are keen on old model railway items. There's not a lot of demand at the moment, but values could rise...

 Getting practical on the DVD, I'm teaching our editor, Andy McVittie, how to weather wagons using dry-brushing. It's a very valuable technique but difficult to teach in writing. Being able to use video makes a big difference.

BRM July 2018 issue. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Warehouse Wednesday: Two track levels at Reading

OK, this isn't a warehouse, or even a building, but this sight intrigued and I suspect some blog reader can probably enlighten me as to what is going on.

Between the tracks for platforms 1 and 2 at Reading station, there is a marked difference in the track levels. Platform 2 is very slightly higher. To accommodate this, a small concrete fence made of posts and panels retains the ballast.

I've not seen this before and don't understand why it's set up like this. The height difference is very small, smaller than many steps down from a train. Both platforms are in use. Platform 1 does appear to have wooden sleepers and 2 concrete.

Why not just build up the ballast for the track in platform 1 and have them at the same level, surely easier than sinking a fence.

It's a mystery to me, but I suspect not to everyone. Please explain in the comments.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Box for a big loco

While we are talking about boxes this week, here's another new one for my collection. It's a sturdy wooden container for my Ragleth from Loco Boxes.

Handmade from good quality plywood and nicely varnished to protect it from the various leaking fluids that find their way out of live steam models, it's a good, solid box with strong latches to keep the model inside and a carrying handle on top to make moving the model easy.

Price (yes, I did pay for this one) is £36. Not cheap, but worth it considering the value of the contents and if you don't have a gear to cut this wood as neatly, or the time to finish it this well, worth every penny. Nice people to deal with too - I spent a weekend on a stand next to them at TINGS a couple of years ago and we had a great time.

Loco boxes website. 

Monday, June 18, 2018

A box for ideas...

This is a box. 
A laser-cut box. 
Assembled and ready to play. 

OK, leaving the Camberwick Green memories alone, what we have here is a Tim Horn photobox. Cut from birch-face ply, the dimensions are:

Depth - 25cm

Window - 74 x 21cm

Tim himself gave me this at DEMU a few weeks ago, the normal price is a bargain £40. I don't have a project lined up for it. He didn't want me to do anything specific. So far I've slotted the parts together without glue, just masking tape and Blu-tack to keep things together for the photo. 

But it's got me thinking. Let's face it, I have form at making model railway layouts in small boxes and this one has my creative juices flowing. There's no rush, this isn't (for the moment) a magazine project. It's a blank canvas.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Model Boat Mayhem at Wicksteed Park 2018


I'd never been to Wicksteed Park before, but a free Saturday and the promise of a model boat show saw me take a trip. Arriving at the east to find venue (follow the signs, not the satnav) followed by a gentle stroll to the purpose-built model boating lake saw my Dad and I enjoying a procession of floating models.

Pond panorama

Mayhem is the largest on-line forum for boat modellers, sort of RMweb for sailors. The "show" is a relaxed affair with several clubs putting up gazebos and then sitting, chatting and sailing. The pond is larger than our local water and benefits from a path all the way around the edge just above the water.

Wooden Launch

And that's basically it. We say and watched the boats and full size IC-powered train. Pretty good day out. We'll be back next year, but with something to sail.