Monday, June 17, 2024

Beetle, done


Back in January, I mentioned I'd bought a battered Matchbox VW Beetle, mainly because I felt sorry for it. At the time, Paul B pointed me in the direction of repro engine bay covers. I bought one, and it then sat around for months, until I got around to finishing the project. 

Drilling though the rivet, the model came apart, and I decided to try to strip the old paint off, before a respray. Well, half an hour in full-fat Nitromors didn't shift it. That stuff was put on properly!

In the end, I sanded what I could and then sprayed the car with Halfrods paint. Anoyingly, I didn't have any satin black, but the matt isn't particually matt, so that would have to do. I'd reached the stage where I wanted to finish this more than I wanted it perfect. If I change my mind, more paint won't be hard to do. 

The whitemetal engine bay lid isn't a bad fit. Not worse then then the Lesney original. I don't pretend this is a full restoration. If I wanted that, I'd find the proper plastic polish, something else that has hidden itself. A quick go over with Brasso improves the glazing a lot, but (again) it's not perfect. 

What it is, is back in one piece. As Voltaire said, "Perfect can be the enemy of good" and in this case, it doesn't help that the camera is a bit cruel. The model looks OK, and most importantly, is finished. It's easy to end up with half-built projects because they aren't going to be perfect, but sometimes, ir's better to push on and get the job done.Well, that's my excuse. 

Look, an engine!

Sunday, June 16, 2024

7mm Narrow Gauge show 2024


Roundhay Roundhay

In the sunshine, the area around Burton-on-Trent town hall is really rather lovely. I wasn't there to enjoy the architecture though, it was the annual 7mm Narrow Gauge Association event, and I was there for inspiration. 

Favourite layout - Roundhay Roundhay. 4ft by 2ft, continuous run. Easy winner of the "Layout Phil wants to build" prize. I took some photos for BRM later in the year. 

Gants Hill

Gants Hill is a model of Plesy's undergroud factory, and won the best layout prize. A really interesting prototype, and well modelled. 

The Heart of England modular layout managed to look like a proper narrow gauge station, not something always achieved. 

Welton Park has been in front of my camera before - but more vehicles and people have been added. 

And for the life of me, I can't remember the name of this loco. I know I've seen it on 16mm layouts a few times, and have even published something about its build many years ago in Garden Rail. Can anyone remember? 


And the cake. I know this show will offer an excellent selection from previous visits. The chocolate scared me, it was massive, so I went Victoria sponge, which tasted fantastic, but was sufficient for the day. A friend who did risk the chocolate confirmed my fears...

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Saturday Film Club: Then and now: RNLI lifeboats over the years

Lifeboats are brilliant, and this is a film about their development. Seriously, how brave did you have to be to go out in a rowing boat? I wouldn't fancy it much in a modern vessel!

Friday, June 14, 2024

Over on the outdoor track



While all the model boating took place, the team behind the L&WMRS Outdoor track, put on the bit of a show, and of course, I couldn't reist taking part. The back of my car was pretty chocka!

Anway, first up, Ragleth. As ever, a good, soild session, although she seemed more lively than normal. The regulator never went much above half way. Pulling skips wasn't the most reliable activity as they bounce a bit on the points and crossing, bouncing sometimes meaning leaping off the track. 

I did manage a couple of circuits with a train on the second boiler fill, but it wasn't the most relaxing time. 


The Peckett worked perfectly, but by this point, ideas of putting some coaches behind had gone. The wind would have lifted them off the track. Never mind, we enjoyed many circuits light engine in forward and reverse. Oddly, running out of gas backwards, the loco stopped quite close to my position, not like when this happens in forward motion, that's always on the other side of the track!


Star of the day though, had to be this Gauge 1 A4 on a train of Mk1 coaches. A lovely loco that was running well, it's owner kept it going most of the day too. Best of all was the noise as the coaches found the rail joint at the end of the bridge, superb. 

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Back on the water - Pigeon Pie


Pigeon Pie

2007 was a good year for my boat modelling, not only did I build Little Miss Minty, as seen yesterday, but it also saw me finish the pride of my fleet, Pigeon Pie. 

The model is from a Metcalf Mouldings River Star kit, and you can read about the build in some of my earliest posts.

I've built many boats sinve this, but Pie is still my favourite. I love the design, and don't think I did a bad job building her. There are other kits of this quality in the stash, and I hope that some of them meet this standard. 

Anyway, I hit a problem with getting Pie on the water.  Power is supplied by a modest 6v gell cell battery. One that hasn't seen a charge in many years, and was dead as a dodo. 

I improvised with a couple of the smallest gell cells you can get, but they offered only five minutes on the water, followed by an embarassing wait while the model drifted to the bank so I could retrieve it. 

She still looks good on the water, and I can always buy another battery.