Friday, October 18, 2019

Classic Covers: Railway Modeller June 1953

Digging through some old magazines being cleared out of our clubrooms, I chanced upon this gem.

The editorial, by Cyril Freezer, starts:

We should like to begin this coronation issue by voicing the wish we feel sure is in the hearts of all our readers; that the reign of our Gracious Queen, Elizabeth, will be long, peaceful and prosperous. Much has been said of late concerning the new Elizabethan age. We are of the opinion that its glories will come from the efforts of the new Elizabethans. Let us, in our modelling, strike out into unexplored territories and discover ourselves the joy of true craftsmanship. 

The piece ends with suggestions that modellers during the previous coronation had decorated their layouts.

I wonder if a similar cover will appear when Charles ascends to the throne? 

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Peter Denny in Garden Rail

November's issue of Garden Rail has been on my mind for some time. A chance encounter at Railex sees me have the chance to photograph the rolling stock from the Rev. Peter Denny's garden railway, the TVLR. 

With this in mind, I had a word with Tag Gorton who dug out an article on a visit he paid to the line when it was in operation, complete with the 35mm slides he took then. Thus, we have an article on the railway and a follow-up explaining where everything is now from his son, Stephen. 

Even if the name Peter Denny means nothing to you, the rolling stock is interesting. Originally clockwork powered, it's been rebuilt more than once and dates from a time when you made everything. 

Thinking vintage, I have a feature on the changes to model buildings in the hobby which will be handy for anyone who turns up an old kit in the loft, or eBay. We also look at the development of the garden railway magazine. 

Back in the present, how about building a Sharpie on a Playmobil chassis? Or no less than three live steam loco reviews? 

It's all in the November issue of Garden Rail

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Waterborne Wednesday: Taroo Ushtey

Tarroo Ushtey 3 quarter view

One of my favourites, the Taroo Ushtey is the Isle of Man Infrastructure Department's workboat and seen here, earlier this year, moored at Ramsey.

The name means "Water Bull" in Manx and the vessel has been around for many years. It's very high on my list of models to make when I get the time. A generous guy from the Manx Model Boat club, sent me a plan and I've already bought the crane in kit form from Macs Mouldings

In theory, this should be a simple enough scratchbuild from Plastikard. I'm sure there will be problems along the way, but if I can overcome the "I don't have time" one, then I'm sure the others can be surmounted.  

It is a good looking boat though. Or is it just me?

Tarroo Ushtey

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

It's Wishlist Poll time again!

The 00 Wishlist Poll runs from 14 October to 2 November at:

The Poll provides railway modellers and collectors with an easy and informed way of indicating to makers and commissioners of 00 ready-to-run models which models they would realistically buy if made at some time in the future from all-new tooling (excluding models since 1 January 2005).

Voting covers steam, diesel and electric locos; DMUs; EMUs; passenger and non-passenger-carrying coaching stock; freight and departmental stock. The Industrial and Underground categories have gone, enabling many new items of ‘core content’. Pollsters can now make suggestions for re-makes of some items made since 2005.

The Poll has an accompanying Guide which is particularly useful for checking such as the build dates of the various BR Mk1 catering vehicles, or whether one particular diesel shunter will suit your needs better than others.

The Poll Team email is:

Monday, October 14, 2019

Night sailing

With the nights drawing in, last week saw the first evening sailing session at the model boat club. Needless to say, I've been far too busy to properly equip a boat with some lights, but the Richardson Tug I was given for Christmas does come with illuminations so it was pressed into service. 

On the water, the first problem was that I'd remembered tank steering and proceeded to wander around the lake with little control. After 5 minutes it dawned on me that the controls are conventional and we managed a lot better after that. 

Others had done a much better job with lights than me and their boats looked very pretty festooned with LEDs that should have been on a Christmas tree. It's not serious sailing, but then what's a hobby without a little fun? 

Star of the evening though, had to be the little dog who wore his special collar and insisted I provide him with a chip from my buttie!


Sunday, October 13, 2019

Inside a Clayton

Just a quickie today - a shot of the cut-away "Clayton" or Class 17 diesel modelin the collection of Birmingham Museum and tucked away in their store which I visited a couple of weeks ago. Click on the image for a closer look.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Saturday Film Club: Another micro narrow gauge railway from Germany

A few weeks ago, I shared an Austrian (I thought it was German) garden-based miniature railway that was part of a planning dispute.

Now I've found another, this time a proper narrow-gauge line around a swimming pool. The filming is sumptuous with some useful drone shots should anyone need a trackplan. It would make a fascinating model!

Friday, October 11, 2019

Saltford Models wagons

Saltford Models wagons

The next issue of Garden Rail will have a nostalgic theme and as part of this I've been digging out some of my earliest large scale models. 

This pair of 16mm scale, 32mm gauge wagons are built from Saltford Models kits. Basically, some white metal castings and a set of plans. 

The front one is pretty much as intended, a simple mine tub. The wood is balsa, coloured with rub-on wood dye. The couplings are my own design, but pretty close to what was intended. 

Parts for three wagons were included in the kit, which even though it was a bargain stretched my pocket money. By the third, I decided to do something different, hence the back wagon with corner plates and lower sides. That's the joy of this sort of modelling, even a beginner like I was could have a go at their own thing. 

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Finishing a OO layout, picking a train set and visiting Hornby in this month's BRM

Finally, I've finished my OO gauge Billy Bookcase layout. The buildings have been weathered and fixed in place. Ballast and other stuff have been laid to create a suitable yard and a backscene finishes it off.

There are quite a few tips and tricks along the way - not least Phil's hints on backgrounds and why photographic scenes aren't always the best solution.

It's a bumper Philfest on the DVD.

With Christmas in mind, I look at picking train sets - what to look for if you want it to be more than a 5-minutes fad.

I'm also wandering around at the Hornby open weekend.

I chat to loads of people and manage to avoid eye-contact with them for most of the time.

It's not that they are boring (far from it) or that I'm rude, the simple fact is that the show was busy and quite a few of the people were so excited by toy trainz that they were oblivious to me and the large camera on an even larger tripod.

Much of my time was spent trying to swat them out of the way subtly while presenting. We had to re-start the shoot with Simon Kohler on the Hornby stand three times are people lumbered across the shoot despite trying to be as out of the way as possible on the stand. Huw Edwards doesn't have this problem...

BRM November 2019 on RMweb.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Waterborne Wednesday: Orange tender

Sebourne Quest lifeboat

When we on the Isle of Man a few months ago, our apartment overlooked Douglas Bay. Several times, a cruise ship would anchor up and transfer those tourists who wished to go ashore to the quayside in the ships lifeboats - or tenders.

One day, I managed to race around the harbour and get a few shots of these interesting, if ugly, boats. Most of the time they are too far from shore for a good shot, but a combination of loitering at the far side of the docks and a mega zoom did the job.

Sebourne Quest lifeboat 2

A bit of digging on-line hasn't brought up many details of these particular boats, apart from this blog post about the fun of being transferred in them and that they are 10m long and 4m wide.

Video of a sister ships boat with more useful views, although I think the detail is different.

As a potential model the colour is good and you would have an excuse to run them on their own without a load of stricken passengers. 

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

The best vending machine in the world?

Spotted at the NEC, what may be the best vending machine in the world. No crisps, drinks or chocolate in this one. Instead, you can buy cable ties, many varieties of sticky tape, cables and other essentials. 

Obviously someone will point out that you could pcik up all of these for less money elsewhere, but the point is you use this when setting up an exhibit and all the somewhere's are closed. When that happens, money doesn't matter, getting the job done does. 

Would this offer the solution to the lack of model shops on our high street? How about a Humbrol vending machine? And a Hornby/Peco/Bachmann one offering track, pins, trees and rolling stock? 

Monday, October 07, 2019

A gentle tap with a big hammer - how does that work?

Writing something a few days ago, I came across this picture and was reminded that I meant to post it here and ask a question.

In the photo, I'm forcing a Wills Cattle Creep wall into a foam baseboard. By gently tapping it with a big hammer several times, I was able to shove it in to the foam without damaging the plastic part and with plenty of control.

Had I used a smaller hammer, I'd have had to whack it hard to get the same effect, smashing the plastic.

The question: Why is easier to give things a gentle tap with a big hammer than a small one?

Something to do with momentum? I can use the principle, but can't entirely get my head around why it works. That bothers me, which is why I'm asking you.

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Elsecar 2019

Groudle Locos

Groudle Glen locomotives in 16mm scale. There was other stuff at Elsecar show, but I pretty much only had eyes for these. Now I'm trying to get a print from the maker so I can build my own. 

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Saturday Film Club: Amphibious cars

I love amphibious vehicles. Such a fascinating concept. So here we have a flotilla of different designs on parade. 

Top marks for the umbrellas too!

Friday, October 04, 2019

Kirk N gauge kits

One of the highlights of TINGS is always Colin Allbright's display of vintage models. 

This year, he brought along a huge selection of early Ian Kirk plastic wagon kits. I knew of Kirk's models in OO, that were the seed for the Parkside Dundas range. I'm pretty sure I've got a few in the kit stash somewhere. 

Some will recall the coach range in both 4 and 7mm which were the mainstay of many a layout years ago. There are still models in the range not available RTR such as the  LNER Twin and Quad-arts. I built the former for Melbridge Town years ago and have a quad still to do. I'm not much of a coach fan, but I do like these. 

Looking at the N gauge wagons. I think that many would still stand up today with more modern examples. Maybe this is just the small size and my eyesight, but I can't see why not. 

It's certainly an interesting display. I'm always fascinated to find a new range I didn't know about.

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Lundgreen Wood in NGW

Building the Billy Bookcase layouts for BRM has been fun, but as nearly every picture needs to be a construction shot, there's not much chance for something "pretty".

Fortunately, for my 009 layout, I persuaded the editor of Narrow Gauge World that a feature would be a good idea, and it's now in the October issue.

This gave me the chance to dig out all my 009 stock to pose on the model for some photos, most of which ended up in the article. 3 images didn't make the cut though (I don't mind, I always provide too many) so I'm putting them on here for you to enjoy.

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Waterborne Wednesday: Work barge

Work boat

After several years of bringing you building photos each Wednesday, I've decided to have a bit of a change of tack. 

Wednesdays will now be Waterborne as I've a massive stack of interesting boat photos while my collection of buildings not already used, is a bit thin. Don't worry, the buildings will be back, but for the moment, get used to boats. 

The first in the selection is this working barge I spotted in the centre of Birmingham. It's a pretty simple outline, but if you build a model, you'll need to make the front of the hull hollow to fit the skips. Then there is the challenge of adding the rubbish inside them. 

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

009 flatbed wagons

Fed up with putting a couple of ancient Colin Ashby 009 5 foot wheelbase flat wagon kits back onto the shelf they kept falling off, I decided to spend an evening sticking them together. 

The plastic is surprisingly hard, removing parts from the runners is definitely a job for sniper rather than a scalpel. Once free and cleaned up (there is little or no flash) everything fits together brilliantly. 

Even the plastic wheels seem OK. If they find themselves used in anger, I might put some metal sets in, but these will do for now. 

If you know your wagons, then the 7 different brake gear options will appeal. I just picked something that looked OK and didn't have the brake lever poking up above the floor. My wagons have brakes on both sides because I like value for money so use as many bits as possible. No vacuum gear though, that just seems wrong for NG stock. 

Finally, loads of lead was tucked under the floor. 

Now the models reside in the 009 stock box. At least they will stay put there.