Sunday, May 26, 2019

Finding a railway at the slot car show

I've been trying to include more non-train events in my life recently. You can get rather too deep into the hobby, especially when it's your job as well and I've been feeling like I need a break over the last few weeks.

Sometimes though, you can't avoid the things. There I am at a slot car show (I go because my Dad is interested...) and what do I find? A G gauge railway!

Impressively, this is all Playmobil stuff, the sort of thing I would have dreamed of as a kid playing with my Playpeople. Sadly, they don't make the railway range any more and being based on LGB mechanics, it's popular with large scale modellers.

The track was interlinked with a slot car system. In theory, the trains and cars can't crash...

Elsewhere there were more tracks to try than ever before and a good time was being had by all. It still impresses me just how much younger the audience is at this show compared to any of the other I attend. Maybe it's all about reaction time?

One pleasant surprise was bumping into Kit "Mr Tilt" Spakman. He turns up everywhere including railway shows! This time he had a 1/32nd drag racing Hilman Imp in his pocket, a model of a real car he'd owned years ago with a friend. It just shows, some people are interested in all sorts of things.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Voltmeter repair

I picked this neat little voltmeter up at the Vintage radio fair. I don't need another voltmeter, but I thought this looked a bit nifty so punted a fiver on it.

Obviously the wire out of the top had had it, but stripping some insulation proved the meter worked. The 12V leg was a bit wobbly too.

Inside, there was some odd, rubbery, fibrous insulation tape on the top wire. I assumed this wasn't the best in the world and cut it away. The old wire could then be unsoldered and replaced with some new silicon cable complete with croc-clip.

The wobbly leg was fixed with lots of superglue run around the inside. Not ideal, but I couldn't take it apart to do anything else. The fix worked, so that's all that matters.

With the back back on, and a quick clean of the glass on the front, the job was finished. OK, I still don't really need another voltmeter, but this one is pretty good looking so I'm glad to add it to the collection.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Buildings in BRM

The Billy Bookcase layout makes progress in the June issue of BRM - I've built the buildings.

My plan was to use as many different manufacturers products as possible, but make them all sit harmoniously together. To this end, we have stuff from Bachmann, Skytrex, Petite Properties and Metcalf models arranged along the back of the layout.

You'll not be surprised to learn that I couldn't leave a nice Scenecraft building alone, it's been modified...

 On the DVD, I'm building and painting a laser-cut weighbridge hut kit - one of the freebies given away to advanced ticket holder at Ally Pally. Well, it seems like an interesting challenge and I'm quite pleased with the results.

Digi issue readers will also find a few interviews I carried out at the RMweb members weekend.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Warehouse Wednesday: Overgrown building

Overgrown barn front

Spotted in Margate, this was obviously a very well-built store of some sort, but it's fallen on hard times, and now nature is reclaiming it big time. 

The back would be easy enough to model, but the front would be more of a challenge. All those exposed beams and the remains of the featherboard covering make this well worth a look as a potential prototype. 

Overgrown barn back