Saturday, January 18, 2020

Saturday Film Club: A ride on a Lego railway

Back in July 2018, we featured an amazing Swiss garden railway built by Varda Elentári Furre in Garden Rail

The line lives outside all year round and makes the best of some stunning scenery, and the legendary plastic bricks. 

So, sit back to enjoy a ride along the line and back.

Friday, January 17, 2020

MARS Propellorfahrzeug

LGB Flyer

Since Hornby has yet again failed to re-introduce the Battle Space Turbo car, I'll have to go for the next best thing - the LGB MARS Propellorfahrzeug.

I really don't know what posses the giant German train maker to produce something like this, but I'm glad they did. I'm even happier I could pick up this tidy second-hand version in a model shop near the Severn Valley Railway.
LGB Flyer

How does it work? 

Easy, you give it electric juice, the fan rotates and thanks to Newton's Third Law, the model moves forward. Even on a two-foot length of track, it picks up a respectable bit of speed. I can't wait to try it in the garden! 

Braking simply involves throwing the motor into reverse and since the model isn't that heavy, speed falls off nicely. Hopefully, before the model falls off at the corners. 

Obviously, boring modern health and safety rules mean the propeller is shrouded in plastic, but it doesn't seem to affect the propulsion in any way so I don't care. I love the look, I love the madness.

Don't worry, once I get this thing running outside, I will bring you a video.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Garden Rail February 2020

We've a bit of a wagon theme going on this month with some Wood Valley Works models, an amazing build of a Bole Lasercraft model in 7/8" and even I get in on the act with a 16mm scale kit from Slater's. 

Building a brewery from foamboard gets space on the cover as it both looks amazing and seems to be pretty easy to do. At least Rik makes it appear so, and that will hopefully persuade a few people to give it a go. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Waterborne Wednesday: 1965 Amphicar


Is it a car?

Is it a boat?

Nope. This is an Amphicar.


An amazing vehicle was produced in America between 1960 and 1963, but assembled from stockpiled parts until 1968. In total 3,878 car/boats were built, 99 of them converted to right-hand drive. 

Notoriously, the vehicle wasn't really very good on the road or water, but the film I've seen of them looks OK, if a little slow. No matter, a serious classic, if you find one in any condition it's going to be worth a pile of cash. And yes, I'd love one. 

The only model I know of was scratch built by a guy at our boat club and really looks the part. I've often wondered why we've never seen a kit of an Amphicar, surely it would sell? Even a 1/32 plastic model would be a bit of fun. 

This example is in the Manx motor museum and looks both roadworthy and seaworthy, although I thing "river" or "still pond" worthy would be more appropriate as I wouldn't want to get out on a choppy ocean in one. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Sticking the walls together

A real expert would spend hours carefully honing the chamfers in the corners of this kit. I am not an expert, I just trim them so the outside corner is OK and then glue things together using Pound shop epoxy resin that fills up the gaps. Buying the cheap stuff means you can slosh it on and it's plenty good enough for this job. 

The outside corners aren't perfect of course, but a bit of Deluxe Materials Perfect Plastic Putty soon sorts that out. Once dry, because I want to do this properly as a tribute to Peter, I cut each brick course with a thin saw. Yet again, I'm glad this isn't a warehouse...

The roof is joined with superglue and then braced with more epoxy. I'm keeping it lose as I have an idea that some furniture would be nice inside and since I don't have any suitable kits, or a desire to scratchbuild, I'll fix it on properly later. 

One area to be careful with is fitting the chimney. This needs to be slightly inboard as the roof extends beyond the walls slightly, and the stack should be on top of the bricks, not fresh air.