Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Warehouse Wednesday - Amercian Diner

50s American Diner

I find buildings forWarehouse Wednesday by chance most of the time. There's always a camera in my rucksack and if pushed, my phone will do an OK job. On the way to DEMU a few weeks ago, I spotted this place in a village called Church Gresley. Heading back, I pulled in to take some a photo. 

What we have is a real American diner - all stainless steel outside and a long counter inside, just like you see in the movies. 

Apparently, the place was built in the 1950s to replace a wooden structure. It stayed open as Murphy's Diner until there were a couple of shooting incidents, and one of the customer's heads was found in the freezer. If you've ever worked with the public, this sort of thing won't entirely surprise you.  

From there, it was shipped over by Aston Martin as a customer care centre and then sold to be restored as a restaurant, which it now is. 

Having taken pictures, I decided to give it a go - the John Wayne burger is excellent, the soda a perfect accompaniment and the chocolate milkshake too thick to suck up the straw. Staff wear 1950s clothes and the decor is just as you'd hope. If I hadn't been full, I'd have tried the pancakes. Maybe next time.

So, even if you are modelling the UK, you can put a "diner" on your layout. Personally, I've always fancied building one from an old railroad coach. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Garden Rail July 2019


Issue 299 of Garden Rail has appeared and in it, I've been a bit brave.

Finding myself with a really interesting and well-writen article on 3D printing Victorian Gauge 1 rolling stock, I bit the bullet and gave it the 7 pages required to print without significant editing. Normally we don't go above 5 pages, but I hope this has enough general appeal for all readers. It's certainly covered the "3D printing rolling stock" breif for a few months.

Our layout feature did suffer some cuts, but hopefully good ones. The Bayfields Light Railway makes use of Filcris plastic wood for the track beds, but I've asked the author to turn the step-by-step construction into a seperate piece. We give the basics this time, but I feel it deserves two so we can have plenty of nice layout shots.

I've even been making things - building a Slater's skip wagon as a review. It's a simple to build kit, but produces a very fine model. There is a growing interest in more detailed large scale railway items, so it's a pleasure to be able to showcase some of this.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Finished oil bowser

16mm scale oil bowser

Job done - a nice simple kit that looks nice and wouldn't tax even the newbie-est of builders. 

I fancy that the oil drum will be changed regularly, so it's not as dirty as the rest of the wagon. It also adds a nice bit of colour to the model. 

The hose is supplied - a fat wire with solid enough core that you can bend it and it stays bent so it can droop properly. 

The only change I made to the model is replacing the little plastic hooks on the end with nails so the coupling chain won't fall off. I've also filled any gaps under the chassis rails with lead shot and superglue to give a bit more weight to the model.

Anyway, another addition to the 32mm gauge rolling stock consist. One day I must build a railway for them!

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Railcar idea?


So, there I am at the Accucraft UK open day with may Garden Rail jacket on. The stand of bargain factory seconds includes a Dora and IOM Pairs coach.

Now, I've always wondered if Dora could be turned into the power unit for a steam railcar. A quick re-arrangement of the shelves helped my thinking.


It's not such a stupid idea. The first change I'd make is to go for a shorter and taller coach.


My choice would probably be something from the IP Engineering range as plywood withstands heat better than plastic.

There's also the issue of Dora being a bit flighty (I'm told) so the model might benefit from some sort of inertia control. A Slo-mo wouldn't fit, but there must be a way.

It's very much a back-burner idea at the moment, but then it's nice to have some of those burbling away in the back of your head. 

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Saturday Film Club: Gyro X car



Gyroscopically balanced transport fascinates me. Railways have the Brennan Gyro-Monorail, an amazing train that really deserves re-creating. Not so hard as there are plenty of photos and the NRM has the builders original model.

The Gyro-X was a 2-wheel car that used the same principles and has been restored by the Lane Motor Museum, a place of amazing vehicles.

If you like this, there is more in this video.

Is it me, or does this remind you of a Star Wars Landspeeder too?