Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Not an ideal maiden voyage

Look closely at these two photos taken 2 minutes apart.

You might think they look like a pretty boat sailing on the water at our boat club, and you would be right.

The sharp-eyed will notice that the model appears to be sitting slightly lower in the water in the second shot. I was not sharp-eyed on the day.

Fortunately, by the time the model had made it halfway around the lake, even I realised something was wrong and pointed the model at the bank. It made it, but then sank.

Running around the pond I reached the boat which had lodged on a ledge, I'm glad I left the handle in place, and I was able to haul it out. Popping the deck off, I emptied out the water and took the model back to the bench for further drying.

Back home, the good news is that the electric seems to have survived. I just need to work out what's gone wrong.

For what it's worth, the advantage of brightly colour models is you can spot them underwater.

Monday, July 22, 2019

2 by 2, they went for a sail

Loading the ark with figures proved to be interesting. I tried a few different arrangements but ended up with something very close to the first version. I wanted to keep the pairs of animals together, but there's not actually much deck space. As it is, the giraffes had to look over each other than the front legs of the elephants aren't on the ground.

Sticking them down was essential. I had considered fixing wood in their legs and screwing them down, but eventually simply glued them in place with UHU on some feet and clear silicone sealant on others. I might go for solvent eventually, but like the idea of being able to remove them if I decide, I don't like things later. UHU/silicone can be peeled away, or at least I hope it can.

After this, a quick trip around the pool was called for. All seemed well...

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Warley MRC open day 2019


Sunday morning - an industrial estate on the outskirts of Birmingham - model railway journalism is full of glamour!

Andy York and I had taken a trip over to the club behind the biggest model railway show in the UK every year for the day they throw open their doors to the public. The are railways, cake and most importantly, a competition for YouTuber's to build tiny dioramas in 5 hours.

This went really well, with some amazing models built from scratch. You can see the results in our film:

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Saturday Film Club: Landing on the moon

50 years ago, as my parents watched from a Scottish village where the milk was delivered by horse and cart*, man landed on the moon. This video takes you through the descent and landing with all the radio communications and plenty of explanation as to what is going on. I'm a bit of a space nerd, so it's fascinating. 

*this continued for at least another 8 years.  

Friday, July 19, 2019

Sewage, scenics and an interview in BRM

Lots of stuff from me in the latest BRM. I kick off with a photo session at South Bierly Sewage Works.

I spotted this layout at Lancing show a couple of years ago and was really taken with it. OK, we have an odd-ball subject in an unusual gauge (O14) but it's very much my sort of model. Highly detailed, different and small. OK, it's not OO, but I hope the readers can enjoy a trip off the beaten track occasionally.

Next, I've been to see Finescale Model World, purveyors of some very interesting tools. Steve and I had a very enjoyable chat for about 4 hours talking about model making, not just railway modelling either!

As well as being a tool and scenic material supplier, he also builds models on commission and has a really well-sorted workbench. Far tidier than mine and with a Microflame torch that I covet, even if it's well out of reach financially for someone who isn't soldering professionally. One of those tools that save its cost if you are charging by the hour though.

My big project this month is a complete, albeit tiny, layout.

The latest Billy Bookcase model is the 009 layout and starting with the baseboards I built a couple of months ago, I've completed the project apart from wiring and fiddle yard. It's a really pretty model and I'm very pleased with the way it looks. There's a real variety of products used too. 

Finally, on the DVD, it's time to take a look at electrostatic grass. 

Regular viewers will know we've been here before, but it's one of those subjects that is so fundamental to our hobby now that it's worth a re-visit every so often. This time, the demonstration centres on the new Woodland Scenics system which includes some really excellent colours that deserve plenty of attention from those looking for quality greenery.