Sunday, April 18, 2021

Brain fog

I've made no secret that I've found the last year challenging - my modelling mojo seems to have left the building and despite trying various things, it's not come back. 

Then I read this interesting article: 

Brain fog: how trauma, uncertainty and isolation have affected our minds and memory

As I read it, the problem is that our brains demand stimulation, a survival mechanism from the days we were dodging dinosaurs. 

The problem at the moment is lack of stimulus. I'm not going anywhere, other than the same old walking routes. A year without shows means a year without much inspiration. I know there are magazines and YouTube, but it's not the same as seeing stuff for real. That's where I get my rush of enthusiasm from. 

Knowing all this isn't much help of course as there is nothing much I can do about it at the moment. Still, at least there is a reason.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Saturday Film Club: Adding rivets


An interesting technique - bit super fiddly! I might have to invest in some balls though. And one of those rivet maker things.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Steam tram


A few weeks ago, I mentioned some Atlas Editions trams that we'd bought far too cheaply for the quality of the models. 

All have potential for a diorama, but as I learned to my cost building Hellingly, overhead wiring is a pain in the backside to do properly. That limits the electric trams use as moving models, but there is another in the range - this attractive steam tram. 

Tram number 12 is 70mm long and 25mm wide. The small boiler, only 25mm above rail level, doesn't provide a lot of space to fit a motor, but this is narrow gauge, and I suspect an N gauge Tomytec mechanism could be squeezed in. 

Possibly, the biggest problem is the trailer car. The bogies are moulded integral to the underframe trussing, and obviously they don't rotate. Probably the easiest option would be to scrape the whole lot off and replace with new bogies and scratchbuilt truss-rods. 

My suspicion is that someone has already carried out this conversion already - can anyone point me in the direction if it's been written up?

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Class 13

Class 13 

BR's Class 13 shunter is one of those fascinating prototypes that modellers love, but have no real use for. Designed to powerful shunters for Tinsley Marshalling Yard, the chances of anyone building a suitable layout are slim to non-existent. You'd need a massive space for a start, and the best part of a years supply of rolling stock from Bachmann. 

This model was built for my bookazine Modelling British Railways Diesel Locomotives. We needed some practical projects and this is both simple and eye-catching.

 Class 13 

Just like the prototype, I took a couple of Hornby 08 shunters and pulled the cab off one. This was replaced with RT Models conversion parts. No soldering is really required, you can do the whole job with glue making it one for relative newbies to the hobby. 

One thing to be careful with is your selection of base models. Try to get some with wasp stripes on the end, making painting easier. And check the selection of cabinets on the side. I had to cast a set of grilles to fit in place of some originally hidden by a cabinet. I'm not telling you which ones, but it was a job that I'd have been happier not to have to do. 

The locos aren't linked electrically, but then the model hasn't really been used in anger so I've not idea how much of a problem this might be.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Waterborne Wednesday: Canal workboats


A quick trip to Hatton Locks for some research allowed me to grab photos of a couple of the Canal & Waterways Trusts workboats. I know they aren't as glamorous as the pretty canal cruisers, but I like them. Definitely on the "one day" list for a model or two.

The wide-beam boat is new to me. I didn't know they were in use around here, although I have seen a wide liveaboard in the middle of Leamington.