Tuesday, October 27, 2020

The great Selly Oak canal near-disaster


In model form, the Selly Oak canal is filled with Woodland Scenics "Deep Pour" resin. It's excellent stuff, but you really do need to keep it in the canal. 

I did my best. The ends were dammed with plastic and gaffer tape. The baseboard joint had a thin strip of plastic stuck in it. I'd filled all the gaps underneath. 

But the stupid stuff still seeped out. I spotted a small puddle but it was too late. The layout has stuck itself to the MDF worktop. And, I realised, the boards had stuck together. 

I did not sleep well that night. 

In the morning, it was time for drastic measures. A couple of wallpaper scrapers were sharpened and slid under the board. This helped a bit, but the boards still didn't move. 

Desperate times demand desperate measures. Out came a chisel which was hammers under the boards. Eventually, they moved. Phew. 

Next, the chisel was "gently" hammers in between the two boards. Three goes later, these also came apart. 

As you can see, the results aren't pretty, but it proves these White Rose baseboards are tough. 

At least the canal looks fantastic.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Watch straps

I like watches.Wearing one for many years, my wrist feels odd without one. Truth is, my collection of pretty cheap* watches is huge and some of them actually work. 

In recent months, the need to know the time has pretty much evaporated so my day-to-day watch was attached to a pretty unhappy strap when I recently had a chance to put it back on. The leather had dried up, the loops for the strap had broken and it was in a poor way. I know it went with me to Australia 7 years ago, so I suppose that's probably not too bad. 

I'd also bought a new watch with a nice looking face recently. When I bought it, I felt a green strap would suit it better and as it turns out, the supplied one feels like it's made of cork and has a cheap and rubbish catch. Amazingly, it's the right length - I always need long straps - so I'll stick it in a drawer as a spare.

So, over to eBay for some shopping. For under a tenner I picked up replacements and when they arrived, spent a happy few minutes changing them over. A pair of pointy tweezers compresses the bars through the strap nicely and the results look like much more work than they really are. It's one of those simple and satisfying jobs that we all need at times like this. 

*I like watches but can't get my head around something costing hundred of pounds. You can't do DIY wearing one of those can you?

Sunday, October 25, 2020

My top 5 tools


A few weeks ago, James Hilton posted about his favourite tools. Well, I thought I'd do the same, but used the idea as a chance to experiment with some video. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Saturday Podcast Club: Kids Making Kits (with Maggie Gravett)


Not a video this week. Sit back and enjoy a Railway Mania podcast with Maggie Gravett talking about how she runs the kids making kits area at Warley and York.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Layout mascots

Layout mascots 

Digging in my stock box last week, I found my layout mascots. These travelled with us to hundreds of shows and occupied the rear corner of our stock display box. 

Lots of layouts have mascots - odd things that cart around and display to amuse themselves and confuse the public at exhibitions (remember them?). 

The little metal Edward is because he's my favourite Railway Series character, and I have been known to write under the pseudonym "Edward de Blue Engine". I don't remember where he came from, probably a second hand stall. 

The monster doesn't have a name, but I dug him up in our garden many years ago. Once the earth was cleaned off him, I decided that rather than adding him to landfill, I'd apply a coat of paint and varnish. That and an "I love Playing Trains" badge. 

Come to think of it, he looks like he might be a member of RMweb...