Thursday, September 21, 2017

October in EiM and Garden Rail

Lots of good stuff in your local newsagent at the moment (or on your doormat if you've been smart enough to take out a subscription) in the larger scales.

Starting with Garden Rail, Tag Gorton is back, tangling with a Ragleth steam loco and adding details and features he likes.

We then take a trip to New Zealand for a very detailed sawmill model. Outside the UK, there seems to be more emphasis on realism in the garden and this is certainly a lovely looking model, all made from Kwila wood - something I don't think you can find in the UK although alternatives are available.

Loving odd-ball locos, "Wort, a shunting tractor obviously appealed to me as did the modifications to a vertical boiler Mamod "Brunell". Building fans will like the Welsh chapel, far more than a straight kit build, and the 3D printed kiosks protecting lineside electronics.

It's good to see a layout in print and this month we have The Shreen Valley Railway which appeal because there's a lot of detail bringing the scenes to life.

Finally, I'm getting to like 7/8th scale models and the Model Earth Tumbril's built and painted by Steph' Hicking really look my sort of model.

Garden Rail magazine

Moving over to EiM, much of the focus is on the Midland Model Engineering Exhibition which we preview. The first feature - a mine dump truck - is one of the entries in the show and a superb model I had the chance to photograph at Hereford SME.

We return to the Panter tank serial with the turret, Even if you don't want to build this model, the details of the insides are very instructive.

I'm keen to introduce a few simpler projects for less well equipped (both in skills and machinery) readers. We start with Putt-putt boats, the little candle power models that you can buy for a few quid or better still, make for even less. Great fun for old and young.

There are visits to Hereford, Burton and Statfold Barn for rallies too, so plenty of eye candy if you like small scale steam engines.

Engineering in Miniature magazine

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Warehouse Wenesday: Little concete buildings

Concrete buildings

Another photo from Quorn on the Great Central Railway, this time a concrete hut and coal bunker beside the signal box. Since they are all for storage, then they are warehouses of a sort, just small ones...

Railway companies loved pre-cast concrete, especially the SR. Made in factories and churned out in large numbers, they were cheap, rugged and standard, something that always pleases those in charge. 

The coal bunker at the front isn't necessarily railway though. I'm sure I remember one of our relatives having one behind the house so maybe it's a domestic product, or maybe the railway company didn't bother to make their own and just bought in from outside. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Wishlist Poll Takes A Holiday

The annual Wishlist Poll – which normally runs in October with the reuslts widely published on RMweb and in the press – is ‘taking a holiday’ this year but plans to be back in 2018.

The Poll Team feels that this short break will be helpful as the results have been consistent over the past few years and some manufacturers are in a ‘catch-up’ situation with their programmes.

Since publication of the results of The Wishlist Poll 2016 last November and up to mid-September 2017, 15 all new items have been announced in 00:
12 from the High Polling Segment – five of which are in The Top 50
3 from the Middle Polling Segment
0 from the Low Polling Segment

Full results from the 2016 poll can be found here. 

If you have any queries or would like further 

The Poll Team can be contacted at:

Monday, September 18, 2017

Don't interfere

From the club news section of Railway Modeller, December 1965.

The address appears to be a private house on a post-war estate. I'm not sure how they came to chose 11am as according to the Radio Times, this would interfere with religious broadcast Seeing and Believing followed by Better Photography on BBC 1. BBC 2 didn't start broadcasting until 7pm in those days.

How lucky we are to be living in a time when our tellies are full of stuff 24 hours a day and we can run toy trains (RTR ones anyway...) without causing interference.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

White Horse Model Engineering and Garden Railway Show 2017

Another weekend, another exhibition to visit. Batting down the Fosse Way for a couple of hours brought me to the White Horse Country park where I found model engineering and garden railway show. Pretty much perfect for me, especially when I found this sign.

A good sign

A restorative slice of cake and cup of tea later, I was able to enjoy the show. Inclement weather didn't put too much of a damper on things. For a start, there was a tent full of model engineering and garden railways such as this lovely DeWinton.


The owner had inherited it from another engineer and is busy replacing the crank axle so it can be returned to steam. Better still, underneath the table was a loco I really coveted.

Atlas works Polar Bear

A rare Atlas Works model of Polar Bear. Years ago, when this was being advertised, the maker sent me some photos but I didn't have a hope of affording it. Pity really, as the model looks fantastic.

Pillar drill

Alongside the tent was the garden rail track seen in yesterdays video plus a raised track and several stationary engines puttering away.

Moving to the hall, there was a tent full of Indian Hill Railway running with self-weathering locos.

Dirty Darjeeling loco

This was a work trip so there was much chat with the owners of this layout. My camera went for a ride here too, I'll try and get the results edited an on here next week. Much chat with the trade both here and in the hall. People are starting to recognise me, which is the point of all these miles on the road. 

The more I get into this end of the hobby seriously, the more I'm finding of interest. Look out for the results in an issue of Garden Rail in the next few months. 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Saturday Film Club: A quick trip around the Wiltshire MEE garden railway

Last weekend, I visited the White Horse Model Engineering and Garden Railway Show (photos tomorrow) and while there, enoyed a good chat with the guys running the 16mm and G scale lines.

Spotting a flat topped wagon in a train, I couldn't resist sending my camera for a little ride. To make more of it, I filmed some of the other trains operating and even managed to catch a few more in the background. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Scalecraft Traction Engine

August bank holiday isn't a great time to finish your eBay auction. It IS a good time to be bidding though. This year I snagged a Monogram TR7 plastic kit in its cellophane for £20 (usually £35+) - it won't stay plastic wrapped for long.

I also grabbed a Scenecraft Traction Engine for a tenner. This is one of the rarer and more interesting kits in the long defunct range. The seller said "Has been assembled and then taken apart. Believe all parts to be in box but cannot guarantee" so this was a bit of a risk. The photos showed the main bits appeared to be present so I stuck the opening bid on it and won. 

Back home, the parts were assembled, these are glue-free kits, and working through the instructions it became apparent that there were bits missing. Most of the valve gear for a start. Then there is a motor and some of the operating gears, but not all of them. 

Am I disappointed? A little but I knew this was a pig in a poke so it's fine. Looking at the drawing in the instructions, I might be able to scratchbuild replacements one day. The wobbly plastic parts might respond to a little warmth and with a bit of luck, one day I'll have a working traction engine. At the moment, I have a pretty box and some colourful bits to add to the collection...

Thursday, September 14, 2017

There's a lot of N gauge in BRM

We've lots of small scale stuff in BRM this month. If you've been inspired by a visit to The N Gauge Show at the weekend, you are going to be very happy.

My first project is building a lineside industry that could fit into the corner of any layout. Making use of the Kestral Designs factory building, but using techniques applicable to all scales, McVittie Mouldings could be from any era in the last half century.

If you have some old Graham Frish BG's, or spot some on sale cheaply, the all they need to come up to modern standards is replacement of the rather basic underframe. Handed a kit at TINGS last year, I finally get around to fitting it to the bottom of a vehicle. It's a simple enough job and certainly lifts the model.

Finally, while on holiday on the Isle of Man, I dropped in to Union Mills models to have a chat with the owner. Several of our club members are big fans of the range but I suspect many won't have heard of them. While more basic than the latest GF etc. they are built like tanks and will run forever. For the budget conscious, the loco above is the top of the range and only £85...

The DVD is a preview for the 10th Anniversary Peterborough show so Howard, Andy and I get in to the studio to have a look at our favourite layouts from past years.

More details of the October 2017 issue on RMweb.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Warehouse Wednesday: Bridgnorth railwaymans cottage

Railwaymans cottage

With an hour to kill in Bridgnorth a few days ago, I wandered over to the Severn Valley Railway. The last train had arrived and the loco was being put away, but mooching around, I spotted this little building behind the engine shed. 

I'm sure plenty of people will be able to tell me much more about it, but at first glance, this looks to be a classic railwayman's cottage. Hardly a generous abode, it has a garden suitable for growing plenty of vegetables plus close proximity to the shed. 

It's definitely the sort of building anyone modelling a steam era MPD could use. Not too bad a scratchbuild other than the arched brickwork over the window tops (I'd use Wills) and fancy bargeboards.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Hattons, Liverpool

Hattons - best known as the largest mail order model railway supplier in the UK - actually has a shop. A proper shop you can walk in to and buy models from. Admittedly, the location isn't convenient if you use public transport, but for those using a car and in the area, it's excellent with plenty of parking and not far to walk from the door with your purchases.

Inside, the shop is well laid out and you can buy everything on the website. Most stock is in cabinets and if you can't see what you want, just ask. Not everything is on show. Having said that, it's probably in stock in the big room next door. 

Yes, the famous warehouse.  I wasn't sure what to expect but in truth it's just a very efficient warehouse but full of model railways.To be fair though, they are really putting some effort into customer service by being able to answer questions and help people out. Several of the team I spoke to are real enthusiasts, including one who is a volunteer on the Manx Electric Railway and recognised me from touring the sheds a few weeks earlier!

Yes, picking and packing is the core of the business, but this is really evolving as yesterdays announcements show. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Hattons announce another 2 locos I've built from kits

Hattons have announced a couple of new locos. Exciting news, but also frustrating.

Why? Because they are two I've already built from kits!

 The Southern P Class isn't a surprise, people have been sniffing around it for a few years now. I know one magazine editor who tried to persuade various publishers it would make a cracking RTR model - and he wasn't wrong. 

In the meantime, I have built the kit twice - once in BR livery for Hellingly (it was the only loco passed to run on the hospital branch) and more recently for BRM as an article, finished in wartime livery. 

Made from the South Eastern Finecast whitemetal kit, it's not a difficult build but the kit is showing its age. Painting the model into pre-grouping livery, or the rather attractive Bluebell colours is going to be beyond most of us, and now you can just buy one for £99!

 The second model is an industrial Barclay. Colourful locos that can appear in loads of liveries are the PO wagon of the engine world. Done properly, and by that I mean produced in sufficient numbers to satisfy demand, they should be a bit of a cash cow. 

Again, I've built the model, this time for Hornby Magazine. The kit is one of DJH's beginners range and a very pleasant build which I've recommended to many looking for their first steps in kit building. 

What I've shown you are moy models and you probably want to see the RTR versions. Working EP's were on show but my photos for some reason aren't the best. 

To be honest, both are cracking models and I'll admit to being tempted by both. Not sure which colours to go for but fortunately, neither is a limited edition so I don't have to rush. 

Better photos and full details (and much frothing) can be found over on RMweb:

 But, a little bit of me is grumpy as that's another 3 locos I can't run without hearing the words, "Is that the new Hattons one?" followed by, "Are you going to buy one to replace it then?"

Grumping aside, I did take some photos of the component parts because I found these as interesting as the running models. I'd love to get my hands on a set of bits and build my own (yes, I know this is impractical for many reasons) loco. 

Click on the photos for much larger versions. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Llanfair and Telford

Last weekend was another busy one. Saturday saw me visiting the Llanfair garden railway show.


My plan was simple - talk to all the trade and as many other people as possible. Oh, and photograph a layout and video stuff.

The show is bigger than you might expect with a couple of sports halls, two squash courts, a side room and stuff in the corridors. Lots and lots to see. Enough to entertain anyone for a day but oddly, the crowds seemed to tail off rapidly at lunch time.

Welsh cakes

For you dear reader, I tried the local delicacies - Welsh cake and Bara Brith - which were handily packaged together for a quid. The cake was nice, if small, and the Brith tasted like a fruit loaf. Both very nice and I could have enjoyed seconds has I the time. 

As it was, the show passed in a blur of chatting and photography. Sadly, the video was less successful. The main layouts were in a dark hall and nothing much seemed to be running one the crowds lulled.

The reason, I suspect, was the terrific weather. On the way back we made the best of it with a quick stop at the Welshpool and Llanfair railway. Long enough to see a train depart and take a look at the little model railway exhibition in one of the sheds. That and the largest collection of second-hand railway books on sale I've ever seen. There was a days rummaging if you wanted it!

Sunday, I was back along some of the same motorway (hello M6) for the Gauge O Guild show at Telford.

Farm buildings

This time I was on the hunt for new products and news for BRM. 

Well, there was plenty. My day was spent running between trade stands and the Guild's photo tent. Apart from 20 minutes for lunch and half an hour at that end of the day looking at layouts, I didn't stop from the moment the doors opened until chucking out time. There wasn't even time for cake!

Whisper it quietly, my favourite layout wasn't British.

Laramie engine terminal
Laramie engine terminal is a "micro" layout. Well, as micro as you can be when the rolling stock consists of US "Big Boy" locos. One side allows you to look into the engine shed. The other a coaling tower. Operation involved locos lumbering out of the shed, on to the turntable and then off to the fiddle yard. The locos are stunning and nicely weathered. You can't go wrong...

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Saturday film club: Fast train to Sheffield

Blue diesels in the 1970s. ELO soundtrack, what more could you want?

Seriously though, it's a pertinent reminder of just how much the railway world has changed in a few years. A lot of this stuff was really modern when it was filmed, although not the forest of semaphore signals. The APT-E is though!

(Hat tip to Ben Jones for spotting this)

Friday, September 08, 2017

The impossible photo challenge

Sometimes it's good to have a bit of a challenge. When Paul Martin of EDM models put a request on his newsletter for people to take photos of his new NBW range of cosmetic bolt heads, I thought I'd have a go.

A few days later a box arrives containing packed of really tiny plastic bolts. It took me a couple of weeks to have a go and the results are getting there. See what you think:

1/2" stud, 3/4" Square Nut & 1" Washer

 1" bolt, 1/2" nut & 3" washer

  5" bolt, 11/2" nut & 2" washer

All were taken with my Canon G12 and are shown here smaller than full size. To get an idea, this is the last photo straight from the camera with only a crop and touch of lightening up. 

Not bad. I think that light matters as much as focus. The really tiny bolts are translucent making them harder to shoot. 

Best of all, I get to keep the bolts for use on future projects. All I have to do is take pictures of many packets. Looking at them, I already have some ideas for their use.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

There's Bin a revolution on my workbench

I've mentioned in the past that I'm a messy worker. Every so often, the workbench needs to be mucked out to remove the detritus from many projects. Gradually it builds up until it threatens to overwhelm the inch thick wooden cutting board I operate on.

For a while, I had it in mind to get a pot or something to chuck bits in for easy transfer to the bin. I didn't just want an old tin though, I fancied something more stylish. And I've found it.

From Flying Tiger comes the tiny little desk bin. 160mm tall and 100mm wide, it's small enough to fit on the workbench without swallowing much space. What it does swallow is all the little leftovers that previously had to be gathered up. A spring loaded flap keeps them all in place if the bin gets knocked over. It's tall enough to stand out and has enough capacity that I'm not emptying it all the time. Cheap too at about 3 quid. 

Best of all, it works. I've got into the habit of chucking stuff in here. The sprung flap actually makes this more fun, providing a sense of satisfaction every time I keep tidy. Well, until it fills up anyway...

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Warehouse Wednesday: Sailors shelter

Peel Sailors Shelter

Spotted on the quayside at Peel, this nice looking Sailors Shelter that now appears to be in use as a sort of village hall. Looking on-line I find it being used as a gallery and shop for the traditional boat weekend. 

To me, it's a very Celtic looking structure. You'd easily get away with it set in Scotland or Ireland. 

Simple enough from a modelling point of view. If the windows are bought i n, the result of the model could be made from plasticard roughened slightly with abrasive. You'd need to keep things subtle or the result would look like an adobe building that had melted and this definitely isn't made of mud!

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

School woodwork lessons

Wooden car

People tell me that the reason we don't seem to be growing railway modellers is that kids don't learn woodwork or metalwork at school any more.  

I did a term of woodwork and here is the result. A car shaped lump of pine. The wheels go round, sort of, the red line was obviously masked but I didn't bother to do this when painting the wheels, or taking them out for that matter. 

It's quite a pleasing object so I can't throw this away, but can anyone explain just how my abilities as a model maker stem entirely from making it? Or could it be that a lack of practical skills taught at school isn't the only reason da kidz don't make toy trainz any more? 

Monday, September 04, 2017

Signwriting course

Spotted at Carfest, a course I would really like to go on, but probably can't because of all the other things I have to do at that time of year -Signwriting

On offer, by signwriter Joby Carter, is a 5 day course which covers all the basics from layout and design to shading, lining and brushwork.

Yes, it's 500 quid and you still need to find somewhere to stay, but what a great holiday. Fascinating and you come out of it with the beginnings of a useful skill.

More details on the Joby Carter website.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Carfest South

Honda Type R

I'm not completely sure how I ended up at Carfest South. Something to do with mentioning it in EiM a few months ago resulting in an offer of a free ticket to the northern show for the (current) editor. I couldn't make that show due to my Manx trip but they promptly invited me to the southern version. As it happened, it's a bit closer to home, something that was very handy on the day.

An even bigger surprise was to be asked by Honda's press office if I'd like to drive a Civic Type R up the hill.

For non-petrolhead, the Type R is a hot-hatch version of the standard Civic. Basically, a lairy version of the family shopping wagon. I know this because I looked it up to try and answer the second question (I said yes to the first on the basis I might as well), which version? The web didn't help but NGW editor Andrew Charman did - he said to go for the latest one, V5, as it's the most docile. V4 was a full on track car that could be a bit tricky. 

So, after an early start, I find myself making it into the Friday drivers briefing by the skin of my teeth.The trip from home should take an hour and a half. I allowed 2. I should have allowed 2 and a quarter. This wasn't helped by the briefing taking place at 9 am when the show didn't open until 12. It seems that driving up the hill requires rehearsal.

To be fair, the guy in the queue ahead of me did have a steering wheel in his hand as well as the obligatory blonde racing drivers girlfriend by his side. I wasn't nearly as serious, in fact, the instructions from the press office were pretty clear:

The drive up the hill is part of a parade and as such it will not be a race situation. You will be driving around 40mph and in a procession. No overtaking, no racing.

The cars you are driving are part of our heritage fleet and we are unable to get spares for some of them. So please don’t trash them or drive aggressively. Or I will have your major internal organs as a desk ornament.

Fair enough. I'm no racer and the idea of driving up what appeared to be (we had to watch a course video) a straight road, around a loop and back down, didn't seem so scary now.  

Despite not being a "proper" driver, I still collected wristbands for participating and being a driver. Definitely a badge of honour. I got a cheese and ham croissant too. 

One problem was that press were supposed to stay in the drivers marque until the show opened. The organisers were worried that we might take a photo of Chris Evans or something. Half an hour later I was ignoring this and wandering around the paddock taking photos. No sign of Evans but when I checked the pics, I did see celebrity chef James Martin, and much more impressively, Ed China.

In fact, it was China who was responsible for the best tannoy announcement I have ever heard.

"Will the driver of the orange please return to his car as it is blocking in the sofa."

Outspan Orange
Because, of course, his motorised sofa was parked in the paddock, behind the orange. And along with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and a Lambretta micro car, it was to be leading the first section of the parade.

Anyway, after a while, I had photographed all the fancy cars and with the sun beating down, decided that with opening time only a few minutes away, it was time to go and get my press accreditation. It was a hike across the substantial site but I needed the loo (hadn't realised we had special posh bogs) anyway. Hopping over a fence I made my way to the music field, where there was a massive stage. It was at this point I grasped just how big a festival this was and also how varied.

Having bagged the third wristband of the day, and stocked up on some crispy duck wrap (Yum!) I wandered. My theory was that I'd get some good pics over at the steam fair but I couldn't resist a quick look at the food field first as the brochure had promised something called "Custard World".  This turned out to be a promo for custard and so pudding was sticky toffee pudding covered with lovely yellow goo. Both delicious and free. 

Carters steam fair is brilliant. First of all, for a small donation to Children in Need (the whole event supports the charity), you can have a ride on a traction engine. If you are very good and have a vague air of competence, you can steer too. 

The Burrell

I couldn't resist and enjoyed a turn around the field on a Burrell. Steering was more direct than I'd expected - no spinning the wheel furiously to make the thing change tack, it was closer to a car. This was at the price of kicking every time the thing went over a bump, which as we were in a field, it did a lot. 

Oh, and they are mucky things with no coal-dust free space to hang your rucksack. Never mind, it was great fun.
Generating electricity

I'm not one for funfairs. No fan of rides to make me sick, or terrified, it's all a bit lost on me. When said rides are powered by honking great steam engines though, I love watching them. Beautifully painted in traditional style, this was a sight worth seeing even if you don't like things that go chuff. 

Walking around with my camera at nearly 2 pm, I was surprised to get a call to head back to Honda. We were due back an hour later but it seems the timing had slipped a bit. Sprinting isn't my forte at the best of times and long distances over rough farmland don't make it any easier, but I did my best and got back in time.

Plenty of time as it happens since we then waited for an hour before getting in the cars. No worry, it was a lovely day and my fellow drivers including Neil from Road and Race, were chatty. It seems that most of the cars came from the press fleet maintained by a team of two. You'd think this was easy but it seems that spares are getting hard to find, especially for the earlier cars. They try to only use NOS stuff and that means ordering anything they can find at the back of the shelves in various stores. 

All the cars were immaculate, especially mine which turned out to be a pre-production model. Something that was appreciated by the people in an ancient French open-top as we eventually pulled up to the line.
View from the start line

Now when you get in a new car, you take things gently as you feel your way around. No such luck for me. First I had to negotiate it out of the tight marquee and then follow the others on an undulating plastic roadway to the display road. 

Dodging a McLaren P1, I was marshalled up close to the car in front. Close enough for the parking sensors to scream loudly. That's not ideal when you have the phrase "don’t trash them" running through your head and you know they need the cars for the next two days.

Then we sat there. I pressed all the buttons, got the aircon under control and waited to go. 

And then we were off. Each car crawled to the line and was flagged away. Now, I hadn't taken part in the rehearsal and although I remembered the directions and mentioned there would be signs, really didn't want to get lost at the top of the track. So, despite my nerves, I did my best to keep the car in front in view. 

What I didn't know was that the runs are filmed, shown on a big screen and commentated on. I think I heard the man say something about suspension but I wasn't really paying attention. 

The run is only about half a mile then a series of tight, when you are trying to go reasonably fast, bends take you around the massive dungheap and pointing back down the track. We were held there for a few seconds and then released in one go. 

Conscious that I was driving the latest model with full boy racer appeal, I decided I ought to try and rev it a bit. I think that's what the crowd likes and since I wasn't going to do a burnout and the only doughnuts were in my bag bought from the fairground, I hung back a bit to try to put on a show. 

With a decent gap ahead, I decided that I wasn't likely to break anything going in a straight line. Thus, I did what I normally don't do and hung on to the gears. Half way was reached in third and briefly at 50mph (Don't tell Honda). Some serious braking and it was time to wind our way back to the paddock. 

There, all I had to do was reverse an unfamiliar car into a tent. This I can do although there was a bit of a panic as I nudged a wooden table that didn't show in the mirrors or reversing camera. The shelf on the boot lid sustained no obvious damage anyway.

I suppose I ought to give a verdict on the car - It's very nice. Comfy, easy to drive as far as I could tell. The cabin is really comfy and will obviously go fast. You can apparently take it to Tesco (there is Isofix for a child seat) and also run it on a track without embarrassing yourself. 

Am I going to buy one? 

No. I'm a long way from the target market. Anyway, the space in the back is good, but you'd not get much of a model railway layout in there. 

After this, it was back out to the show. I found some model engineers running a short ride-on railway, radio control car racing and a tent full of robots.Then I wandered back to the music field and enjoyed Deacon Blue for a few songs. 

An excellent and unusual day. If you like cars and festivals, it's a great family day or weekend out. Perhaps for the hard-core petrol head, there's not quite enough action but at least you can keep everyone entertained while getting to see some serious vehicles, from micro cars to Formula One batting their way along a road. 

Thanks to the Carfest organisers for inviting me and Honday for letting me have a go.

Carfest South photos on Flickr 

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Saturday Film club: When kids liked trains

This isn't the clip I wanted to show you today. That one was shared on Facebook and shows how to make your model railway fold away.Since you'll need to be signed up to Facebook (I think) and I can't embed it here, I did a bit of searching and turned up this piece instead. 

Sharp eyed viewers will immediately spot that that isn't presented by John Noakes, but by Christopher Chase. Presenting the show from its first episode in 1958 until 1967.

His love of model railways actually got him the job. From BBC Trivia: Chris won the role when he bonded with the producer John Hunter Blair over their love of trains. Whilst being interviewed, Trace enthusiastically played with the OO gauge layout in Hunter Blair's office. The Blue Peter train set would become a regular feature of the series, and was often brought out of retirement long after Trace's departure.

The train set remained a feature of the show but wasn't always that reliable. 

Chris on the Blue Peter train set: "I remember a particularly complicated layout that I had gone through in great detail with the director... before we went for a tea break. But when we did the show, trains were coming from everywhere except the places I was expecting. It was chaos. I just couldn't understand what had happened. Then I discovered that during the tea break someone had sneaked in from the next studio and had been playing with all the trains. There was a big enquiry. The culprit was... Richard Dimbleby"

Anyway, enjoy the clip from the days when children cared about railways so much that they would write letters in to their favourite TV programme in an effort to save them. 

Friday, September 01, 2017

Railbus - done

On30 Railbus front

Job done. The 20 quid "pig in a poke" railbus kit is finished.

There were a few little jobs to do. The headlight has been filled with Krystal Klear - eventually it will go something like transparent but that's going to take ages because I ladeled it in rather than pouring thin layers. 

Looking at the photos, the roof fit isn't very good but it doesn't show from "normal veiwing angles" thanks to the massive overhang. I'll probably fix it at some point though. 

One job I should have done is test the model. As it was, some poking and prodding and cleaning of wheels was required to get it working. This involved taking the freshley glued roof off. One to remember for next time. It now runs sweet as a nut though thanks to the lovely Bachy mechanism. 

Finishing touches were a dusting with weathering powders (dark brown, soot, 2 shades of rust) and a bit of pencil rubbing where the paint might wear through the metal. A little cleaning with cotton buds kept the powders in nooks and crannies where they should be.

On30 Railbus back
Anyway, a nice little model, well worth what I paid for it. Once day there will be a layout for it and my other On30 stock to run on, but not straight away. For the moment, this can be a showcase queen while I find something else to do.