Ahhh, sunny Kingsbury in the spring. Time for a trip into Brum to go and buy some more 3mm goodies. Last year I managed to acquire an etched Tram engine kit and RTR power bogie, the resulting model was on the tracks in record time, under a month !
A school in the suburbs of Birmingham might not seem an obvious destination for a day out but Kingsbury is very special for the Midlands based 3mm modeller - it's where we can find all the suppliers of products in the scale under one roof. 3SMR, Finney & Smith, Geoff Gamble Books, Worsley Wagon Works, The Society Shop and Second Hand stall were all there. I noticed a new guy promoting an etched kit for a Southern Mogul too but didn't take much notice I'm afraid. 7mm modellers have a similar event in Telford in the autumn, but they need a much bigger hall for it ! For me this is a chance to stock up on bits for the next years model making. For the trade it's a way of presenting their wares to a targeted group of customers.
This year there was money burning a hole in my pocket. When one of my layouts appears in a magazine, once the tax man has his cut of the fee, the rest goes on buying the layout a new locomotive as a reward. It's a tradition I started years ago and seems only appropriate since the layout deserves a treat for looking pretty in photos.
Anyway, what I really want for Flockburgh this year is a Class 37 or Class 17 (Clayton) diesel. Sadly kits for these are promised (threatened ?) but never seem to see the light of day. Next choice is a CoBo (Class 28 I think) which while not really appropriate, ticks boxes for me as I love ugly locomotives. Now there IS a kit for this.
In fact I strike lucky. On the second hand stall, the hole in some many peoples bank accounts and the place where people who buy 3mm stuff on eBay really ought to be looking, I find the kit for a tenner less than the normal manufacturer price. And next to it a resin body for a Class 33 that I think will make up into a nice Scottish Class 27. Obviously I umm and ahh over these for a while but since they are still there after an hour, fate has obviously decreed that they are to be mine.
Next stop, the 3SMR stand for some power - a couple of Bullant motor bogies. Since I had time to chat I discover that the 12mm variant of these and 14.2 version differ only in that the wheels on the later have a finer flange. Since my 3mm diesels run on OO wheels that have been regauged, I have decided to go for the deeper flange on these too. If I'm honest this is partly forced on me because the range in 14.2 doesn't cover the wheelbases I need. I'll just have to pull the wheels along the axles by a couple (OK, 2.2) mm.
So I leave with a lighter wallet and heavier bag. And also remember that that tram loco hasn't appeared on here yet. Perhaps I need to rectify that.