Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Waterborne Wednesday: Radium Yellowknife

Radium Yellow Knife

Spotted moored in Toronto, the tugboat Radium Yellowknife has an interesting history according to Wikipedia.

Built in a Southern Canada shipyard, she was dismantled and transported by rail to Vancouver for re-assembly. Basically, she was delivered as a great big boat kit! An interesting train to model too.

The Radium name is because she and her sisters worked out of Port Radium where they hauled, among other things, uranium for Manhatten Project.

At 40 metres in length, she's massive compared to most UK tugboats, but on the great lakes, you need something large for those long loads.

More photos of Radium Yellowknife at work.

Tracking details.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Bargain eye protection

When doing anything involving a cutting disk on camera, I feel I should say something about wearing eye protection. Those disks will shatter and fly off in all directions no matter how carefully you use them and while I've been lucky so far, a face full of cutting disk chunks isn't funny. 

As a glasses wearer, I'm a little more protected than someone with 20:20 vision, but even if I don't care about my health, it wouldn't be hard to scratch a lens requiring a pricey bill for a replacement. 

On camera, of course, I want to look good (!) so those rubbery goggles aren't going to cut it. No, I need something sleek and here we have the latest in fashionable eye protection - a pair of Overspecs from Screwfix


£1.39. Cheap enough I can afford to leave them lying around to get lost. Which is what happened to my last pair...

Monday, January 27, 2020

Cleaning track in a tunnel

A recent magazine project involved me building a layout with a tunnel. After construction had finished, the track needed a bit of a polish, but there was no chance of my hands fitting through the tunnel mouths.

The solution was to take a Double O Gauge Association track rubber and stick it in a long clamp used for model boat building. The resulting rubber on an arm was more than long enough to do the job.

In the past, I've glued one of these rubbers to a length of brass for working under the Hellingly Hospital Railway overhead wires. Needless to say, I can't find that device now...

Sunday, January 26, 2020

London Model Engineering Exhibition 2020

Alexandra Palace view from the organ

A lovely day to visit the big smoke for the first trip of the year to Ally Pally. The show seemed busy with visitors, but a little thinner on exhibits and trade this year. Looking around, I seemed to recognise several of the models from previous shows.

One or two looked distinctly dusty. I know it's a struggle to persuade model engineers to put their work on display, and so those putting the stands together tend to rely on the same old faces each time. If you are a model engineer and care about your hobby, maybe you need to consider putting something on show, just so the paying public doesn't think the hobby is grinding to a halt.

Big Jets

One change was the replacement of 3D flying in one corner of the hall with a static display of large scale model aircraft. There was some grumbling about it being a "health and safety" issue, but my guess is the worry was more about damaging the organ they flew beside. That said, the replacement was something new in the hall and could develop into a real crowd-pleaser. 

Still, and enjoyable event as it always is. There are more photos on Flickr. 

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Saturday Film Club: The Rocket

Stephenson's Rocket is an iconic locomotive, but possibly more revered than it deserves to be. The famous yellow livery didn't last long for a start. The yellow fades and as the NRM have found, the white chimney pretty quickly turns mucky.

It was an important part of a development process for steam. OK, the livery may have turned green and its cylinders were lowered to improve stability, but it was a basic blueprint. Very quickly though, the design was superseded and the loco relagated to minor duties.

Despite this, several replicas have been built and the film linked to above shows a 1929 version running. It's an early James Cameron production, although it would be a good few years before he made Titanic.

My finding this film came about by following discussions on the newly announced, and ordered by me, Hornby model on RMweb.

There have been loads of replicas, but another famous version is from the silent film Our Hospitality.

This is an amazing sequence and I'm wondering how it was done. According to Wikipedia, the loco is fully working, but I'd suggest the lack of steam from the cylinders makes that untrue. I doubt a loco powered through those big wheels would be able to bump over some of the obstacles encountered either!

So, how was this done? I'm sure I've read details, but for the life of me, I can't remember them. Looking online and in a couple of books doesn't help either.

One thing I'm sure of is that I can lay track better than that!