Thursday, March 01, 2018

Building a cottage from a carriage in BRM

Talking about the Spring 2018 issue of BRM, I have to start with the DVD feature.

Howard and I visited the North Norfolk Railway on a freezing cold day last year. Shivering was well worth it though as the first thing we saw at Holt station inspired me to build my main project this month.

The railway have preserved a 4-wheel coach, but not as a coach, as a cottage.

Homes made of rolling stock were very common. Daisy, who looks after the education side of the railway, explains that for a fiver, the company would deliver a vehicle to your land. After that it was time to get the woodworking tools out to make yourself a habitable building.

The NNR version is beautifully fitted out inside as a home from 1943. All the detail is there and visitors can wander around in it's admittedly confined interior. School kids are brought in to get a feel for the way people used to live.

I had to build a model of it.

Using a Hornby 4-wheel coach, I produced something pretty close. It's not a hard job but that meant I had to have a go at the vegetable patch from the "Dig for Victory" days. That took rather longer, especially the potatoes.

Didsbury Green continues with a simple Stick fiddle yard to hang off the end of the model.

Fiddle yards don't need to be massive, especially if you are operating at home, so why over complicate matters?

Finally, in the Tail Lamp section, I'm being provocative by suggesting that you don't really need rolling stock models that are vastly superior to the rest of your layout. In fact it migh be better if you didn't...

Spring BRM on RMweb.


Huw Griffiths said...

"You don't really need rolling stock models that are vastly superior to the rest of your layout. In fact, it might be better if you didn't … ."

Let's get this right. Are you seriously trying to suggest that one über posh wagon or carriage might look out of place amongst a sea of tat - or even that, against a backdrop of trainset track and wall-to-wall, unmodified "Big Big" Hymeks and 70s Lima goodies, that professionally built brand new JLTRT Brush Type 4 might not fit right in?

Perish the thought … of introducing high quality models somewhere they clearly don't belong.

This assumes, of course, that the "good stuff" could ever be available, off-the-peg, from somewhere like a local Poundland - which I don't see happening any time soon.

Anyway, isn't this really an overdue rehash of an old point about scenery - that you probably wouldn't choose to plant a posh new model of a building (complete with recessed mortar between brick courses) on a layout where every other building is effectively a cardboard cutout?

Incidentally, I'm not having a pop at card models - some of them are actually rather good - and, on real buildings, real mortar, between real bricks, doesn't tend to be recessed 6 inches into the surface.

Ultimately, the real message here is about consistency - a message that isn't lost on most modellers - is it?

James Finister said...

I was looking at the fiddlestick article in BRM (yes I do sometimes buy it, this time because of Leighton Buzzard) and it struck me that with some modification it could be made much easier to interchange with keyhole slots for the bolts and also using them for power. Or, if it was only going to be used on a desktop perhaps use powerful magnets to join it to the baseboard?

Phil Parker said...

I've used bolts for power connections on the Melbridge Box Company. It sort of works but you need the right hardware to be able to solder wires to it. That's proper brass, not monkey metal which is what I ended up with.

For this layout, I've developed a bit of a plastic bolt fetish partly because I bought a lot of them and I'd like as little as possible metal in this thing for airport security. OK, I'm probably overdoing it, but it makes things more interesting.

Magnets might work but you'd need a way of aligning things anyway and I'd be loath to work without a support on the end if the layout is sat on a box. For the desktop though, it certainly has potential...