Monday, November 30, 2015

Crowd control

Crowd Control

All being well, I'm asleep after a busy weekend at the NEC for the Warley. Hopefully the wooden device above has made my weekend a little easier.

It might look like a shelf but in fact it's a major advance in crowd control.

One of the problems I found at Peterborough was that the tarmac area at the front of the layout is very inviting to visitors. Several used it to lean on and one chap actually plonked down a sheet of paper and prepared to write some notes until I requested he do otherwise.

Had I now stopped him, I'd have had to replace the cardboard which would have been embossed with his scribblings. Not an easy job as it goes under the arches and is well glued in place.

It's almost as though people lose the ability to think when they come in the door. Quite what posses you to think that using someones model as a desk or something to prop you up I don't know. It's not just at shows either - I've seen people merrily dump boxes on the track of our club O gauge layout. Indeed, years ago, we had one member who would come in every evening and deposit his toolbox on the layout, even when people were working on it.

Every. Single. Week.

So, £2.56 of plywood cut into strips will hopefully keep wandering hands at bay. I did think about putting a covered slope on top but that makes inserting the bolts difficult. Instead, I plan to cover it with cake to eat over the weekend.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Northampton & District Narrow Gauge Modellers show 2015

Tractor shed

Small shows can be just as much, if not more fun, than larger ones.

45 minutes drive from me is the village of Weedon Bec and in the hall was a little show for the narrow gauge fan.

There was a reasonable selection of layouts or varying qualities and a few trade stands. Catering was good with delicious tea and cake.

The main joy though was all the chat. We spent just over 2 hours at the show and had a thoroughly good time. I met people I know and people I don't who know me. We talked about unusual little railways. It was very, very, friendly. In fact everyone seemed to be having a good time.

If you wanted tail-chasers, there were a couple of Ffestiniog layouts to keep you happy, although neither was home to trains hurtling around as the real thing doesn't do this.

Yardley Wharf

Layout I wanted to build was Yardely Wharf, a minimum space model with only 2 points. Tall buildings and a deep quayside were right up my street. I'd like to do it with the atmosphere generate by Chris Payne's excellent Brink Valley Tramway.

Brink Valley Tramway

A fun day out - more please!

More photos on Flickr.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Fun on Dr Who day

November 23rd marks the date when Dr Who was first broadcast on the BBC. To celebrate this, Twitter and Facebook fills up with fan pictures. This year, I joined in.


Scene 1: "Do you happen to have a Police telephone box in there?

During the week I picked up a mini K9 model from a pound shop. In the pack were a couple more people including Sarah-Jane Smith and so I thought it would be fun to pose the two in front of one of the railway arch businesses on Ruston Quays.

The in-joke for BRM folk is that Chris Duffill is one of our video guys (along with Martin Tempest) and a real sci-fi nerd, and he does have a Tardis!


Scene 2: "Are you my mummy?"

The other figure in the pack was the child from the story "The Empty Child". This spooky character spends the show looking for his mother having been transformed by alien technology.

Handily, I just happened to have a couple of Egyptian Mummies from a set of plastic figure bought many, many, years ago. It just shows, if you hang on to this stuff long enough, you'll find a use for it.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Packing for Warley

Today is all about heading to the big tin shed at the edge of Solihull and setting up Ruston Quays for the Warley Exhibition.
I'm part of the BRM stand, which according to my guide is A9, right behind Hornby. That should be interesting.
Anyway, assuming I make it there all right, please come along and say hello. With a bit of luck you'll be able to have a play with the train set.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Minic panel


Preparing Ruston Quays for its trip to the NEC this weekend I've been tidying up the control panel. One job is to remove the buttons for the electric uncoupling system as we've moved on from it.

The little panel is a bit of a classic from me - a sheet of white plasticard with lines from vinyl tape. In the past I've used go-faster-stripe from car factors but it seems this has fallen out of favour so it's harder to get. Fortunately, most model boat and aircraft supplies do rolls with loads of widths with more than enough for panels and you can have funky colours too. I'm not funky, so I stick with black.

Switches are fitted into holes drilled in the plastic, something easier to do neatly than it is in wood. The are designed to clip into a thin material, normally metal, but 2mm thick sheet seems OK.

Best of all, the plastic stays clean, or at least can be wiped clean if covered in mucky finger marks!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Warehouse Wednesday: Weedon Ordnance Depot

Weedon Ordnance Depot

If Napoleon had invaded Britian, where would the Royal family and Government decamped to?

Weedon Bec of course.

Which is why the fabulous Weeden Ordnance depot exists. Eight brick warehouses set around a branch from the Grand Union Canal. I'm stood on a bridge in front of the pavilion - from here the canal carried on to the main canal with the entrance protected by a portcullis.

Bonepart not making it to Britian, the fithy Frenchie being defeated a year before the building work was completed, the site has been used by various branches of the military until the 1980s and is now being converted to industrial units. Grade II listing means these fine buildings cannot be demolished and so will remain a prominent feature on the landscape forever.

Obviously canals are great but once railways appeared on the scene, a connection from the London to Birmingham line was desirable. The exact date this took place is unclear but appears to be around 1890. Both standard and narrow gauge lines ran around the site.

Put simply, this has terrific layout potential. It's a big site but built large enough, ought to provide plenty of operation. The buildings are attractive and for the most part - intact. There is security so I didn't explore other than to take the photo at the top (click for a bigger version).

The best on-line history I can find is this PDF from the council.

Subterrainia Britianica has more photos and history

More information about the insides of the warehouses here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Challenge Hull

Chairmans Challenge Hull

Chatting to one of the clubs at the model boat show, they mentioned a "Chairman's Challenge" that involved every member buying a standard hull and having to make a boat from it. The design was up the individual member and several different models were produced.

Thinking that this was a good idea, I had a chat with our club secretary who seemed to be up for it. An informal meeting of a dozen members at the stand showed the idea had legs. If we could find a suitable hull for a fiver then we'd give it a go.

On the Sarik Vacform stand, there was a nice 13 inch long hull and after a bit of cajoling, I managed to get the price down below a fiver if we ordered 20. That's what we did and a few days later a big cardboard box arrived with the hulls in. Each one is moulded in 1.5mm thick plastic. Not sure what sort yet but it seems more styrene than ABS.

Half the pile were snapped up by members at the last meeting and hopefully the rest will soon find homes. Several ideas have already been mooted so I'm hoping that come the open day we'll see a variety of interesting models.


I have two hulls. Once I fancy turning into a pocket tugboat. The other, I'll explain when I get started.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Pointless graph

Doing a little painting this weekend, I spotted this graph on the side of the can. I'm assuming it was drawn by someone who thinks graphs are just clipart because it's meaningless.
Essentially, what it says is that gloss paint is shinier than eggshell. Who'd have guessed that? Disappointingly, matt paint doesn't make an appearance as I'm fascinated to know how it would score.
I wonder what the methodology is to produce these results? There must be some science surely?
I'm imagining boffins wearing lab coats shining lights on specially prepared painted panels and then using the glare-o-meter to measure the reflected sheen. The glare-o-meter will have a readout, probably a big swinging needle, that points at the three universally agreed levels of reflection.
All this will explain why Satinwood doesn't reach the giddy heights of High and misses by more than Eggshell fails to reach Low. At least Gloss has gone all the way through High, although there's no indication of how many coats of paint are required for this, nor the colour chosen. Silver paint would presumably be glossier than black for example.
Or maybe the glare-o-meter can tell the difference between different sheen's. Must be quite a tool.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Behind the scenes brickwork

If you've watched the latest BRM DVD then in the Ruston Quays chapter, there is a little footage showing the smoking chimney looking from the back of the layout. As you can see from the screen grab above, this highlights that the smaller warehouse didn't have a back to it.
From normal viewing angles, this doesn't matter but if I think like this, I'd not have bothered with the point rodding or the backs of the brick parapets. I have a feeling that there are some interesting angles for photographs to be taken from back here so a bit of detail is required.
Which is why, before I fixed the building in position, I've added some back wall brickwork to fill in the gap. I should have done this as part of the construction originally but the bodging doesn't seem to look too bad.

Ruston Quays back view

Next time you see the layout, ask nicely and you can look around the back to see my efforts!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Underground video

Well, I had a box of Bachmann S Stock and access to a model railway with fourth rail. It would have been silly not to give one a run on the other wouldn't it?

Friday, November 20, 2015

Painted barge

Vac formed Barge

Painting the barge took longer than building it.

First, there was a spray of Halfords matt black.

Next the cover received a coat of Railmatch Weathered Black to contrast nicely with the hull.

With the Humbrol paint from the Bantam tug still on the bench, I used the red and green on the front and back. Where I needed white, it's 147 as usual. All needed 2 coats to cover, event the thick red.

Finally the we have what I thought were stickers but turned out to by vinyls requiring cutting out and fixing with UHU. To be fair, they are very flexible with no problems on the curved bits.

The finished model has a certain charm. I'm not sure I'd want to use it on a layout as it's not very sharply detailed, but that's more to do with my style of modelling. Lots of people would be perfectly happy and it easier to produce good results than with the balsa wood kits on the market since there's no grain to hide.

Another option might be to just use the hull and scratchbuild the top. Since these parts are a pretty good shape yet hard to make from scratch, compared to other options, it could be a cheap move for anyone wanting canal boats.

Finally, there would be space for radio control in there if you used small and light batteries. Just a thought.

Kit from Sarik Vacform.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Vac-formed barge kit

I can't resist a reasonably priced and interesting kit so at the model boat show, I came away with a couple of things from Sarik Hobbies. The first of these is shown above - a vacuum moulded barge kit.
The model can be built with or without a cover over the load. If you prefer it open, square plastic tube is supplied to make up the model's interior. That's quite a bit of scratchbuilding but looking at the photos, the results are nice.
I'm inclined to think that if you go to those lengths, the vac-formed kit might not be to your taste. Corners are necessarily rounded and the detail isn't sharp. This is due to the process not the makers, in most respects, it's as good as any vac-formed kit.

The worst part of any kit like this is cutting the parts from the main sheet. Because of the curved corners, you have to guess where the waste stops and parts start. A little lateral thinking and this kit is pretty good. I cut oversize and then sand back using a large block.
After this, assembly is simpled with liquid glue. A piece of tube provides the chimney and a bent paperclip is the tiller arm. Should you prefer to make an unpowered butty boat then a template is included to cut the larger wooden tiller from plastic.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Warehouse Wednesday - Birmingham engineering works

Brimingham Engineering Works

In Birmingham, 5 minutes walk from Snow Hill Station, and just over the road from The Wonderful World of Trains and Planes display is this building housing an engineering works.

It's a reminder that Brum used to be all about making things. As it is, 5 more minutes stroll puts you in the Jewelery Quarter among dozens of tiny workshops with people working precious stones and expensive metals.

Modellers will like the simple windows (scribed perspex would work for these) with occasional RSJ dividers. Also the massive door (why so tall?) with peeling paint and finally, the weathering beneath the windows

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Tarroo Ushtey plan

You meet some top people in our hobbies. Chatting to Brian King on the Manx Model Boat Club stand at the model boat show, I admired his model of the working boat Tarroo Ushtey. I said I fancied making a model of it. He said he had a plan and would send me a copy.

A week later, a fat envelope arrives from the Isle of Man and in it is a copy of the plan. Brilliant!

At 1:24, the boat comes in at 63cm. Looking at it, I think I might reduce this a bit but the deciding factor is likely to be one of Macs Mouldings crane kits. Everything else is a scratchbuild but I've wanted to try one of these for ages.

Construction will have a wait a while, but I'd like to think I can complete it for next years show.

Incidentally, Tarroo Ashtey is Manx for "Water Bull" - quite an apt name for the boat.

Monday, November 16, 2015

A working model dredger

One of the highlights of the model boat show was the working model dredger on the Manx Model Boat club stand. It looks great and operates superbly and automatically. With plenty of taime available, I shot some video of it on my compact camera as an experiment.

I think it looks pretty good but what do you thing? Should I do more of this?

The soundtrack had to be replaced though as the hall was very noisy. Trust me, that Ukelele music is much better than the alternative!

If you want to see the working bits in operation, there is a video here.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Model boat show 2015

Tarroo Ushtey

Ahoy there! With the Bantam tugboat finished, I was on the lookout for the next project. While there are several kits in the Parker stash, I've really enjoyed sctachbuilding this model and I want a bit more of that.

Next project wants to avoid the compromises forced on me by the commercial hull but I don't fancy a full plank on frame construction. The solution might well be the Tarroo Ushtey seen above from the breathtaking Manx Model Boat club stand. Chatting to the man who built it, the plans should eventually be on their way to me. I'm sure I've either seen this model, or even the prototype before and liked the look of it in the past.


Elsewhere there was more inspiration in the form of a chairman's challenge competition run by another boat club. Members had been given a standard hull and told to go away and do something with it. This sounds like great fun, the hull was pretty simple and left loads to the imagination. The speedboat above was one entry.

Chatting to our club secretary and then some of the members, we thought it was a great idea. Casting around the hall, I've done a deal with Sarik Hobbies for some excellent vac-formed hulls with a discount for quantity. Mind you, I also managed to buy a couple of kits off them and was horribly tempted by a 3D printer...


Apart from this, well there were lots of boast to look at. More than last year I think as the trade stand numbers had dipped a bit. Better get used to that as the rumours are a couple more won't be there next year either.

Taking photos, I began to recognise some of the models on display. On many stands, it seems that the same guys will display models and they show the same ones as last year. And the year before. There were a couple of instances of multiple models by the same people that appeared to be there to fill space than showcase the best modelling. I'm not snobby enough to only want to see perfection but I do think if you are going to show a model, you might dust it first.

Deo Volente

Some of this is down to me being a regular at this event. A friend visiting for the first time managed to spend an enjoyable day there looking at everything so there's obviously plenty to entertain. My feeling was that numbers were down slightly and ages were up. Compared to a model railway show, I'd reckon the average age was about 10 years higher.

More photos on Flickr.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

International Plastic Modellers 2015


Telford was wet. Very wet. And it's a 20 minute walk from the station to the show. Driving wouldn't have been any better as by the time I arrived, about 10 past 10, the car park was full so you were in for a tramp from your vehicle to the hall.

Watching from inside, I was amazed at the number of modellers bringing in items for display who didn't have a box for transporting something they have ploughed many hours of work in to. Sprinting through a downpour trying to keep your pride and joy dry seems a bit risky - one trip and you'll be buying glue...

The reason I was waiting was that I'd managed to persuade Howard from BRM that this was a show worth a trip and he was bringing along a video camera so we could bring a taste to our magazine readers.


For a while we wandered around chatting to people to plan some shots. This is a big show and we were after 5 minutes worth of footage. By the time we'd lunched - me with a luke-warm dog that claimed to be the best in the world, it was time to get serious.

Luke warm dog lunch

We had a chat with a car modeller asking how they achieve flawless paint, also the guys on the Airfix stand who were encouraging kids to have a go at building plastic kits. We talked about tools and finding unusual plastic kits on stands too. As a regular at this event, I knew what to expect but Howard was a bit wide-eyed at the scale of the whole thing - perfect as I suspect this will be the reaction of a lot of viewers.

Bridge Garage rescue

One thing we noticed was that the age range of the modellers attending was much lower than that you find at a model railway show. Backpack etiquette was much better too.

My shopping list included an Airfix TR7 but I failed to find one, even with all those kits available. Determined not to leave empty handed, I bagged a couple of bargains - Revell kits for a Trabant and VW van. There were also some tools and a load of details for Ruston Quays from specialist suppliers.

The show closed at 6 and I left five minutes before the end. I probably could have done another hour as it certainly was a full day. I did take plenty of photos though, which you can enjoy over at Flickr.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Launch the lifeboat!

Persons of a certain age will remember these collecting tins for the RNLI in shops. Put a coin in the slot in the top of the boathouse and you launch the lifeboat!

Once launched, you had to carefully slide the boat back up the ramp until it catches and stays put. Naughty boys can push it most of the way up, let go and see it roll again. I never did that.

Fantastic fun.

Don't forget the RNLI still needs donations to keep them afloat.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Burtons scenics?

Pete asks: I found this label in a fold over label in a box of scenic items, no idea what its from and no idea of the address in Brum. Its from the mid to late 70’s given what was in the box. Can anyone tell us more about them?

Interesting. I know nothing of Burtons (Model Importers) Limited but it's the sort of packing that fascinates me and I'd probably have bought it out of curiosity.

Can anyone tell us more?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Warehouse Wednesday: Latif & Sons

Latif & Sons

Birmingham is a short train ride away for me and as we approach either New Street or Moor Street stations, the line is carried on a series of viaducts through a district that used to be heavy with industry.

The buildings still remain, but most have been converted for other purposes.

M Latif & Sons occupy a building on Bordesley Street in Birmingham. Now, they are a wholesalers but what was the building before? It has a definite 1930s feel and was presumably quite a prestigious address in its time.

According to the book Birmingham: History and general directory of the borough of Birmingham 1850,  84 Bordesley Street is the premises of I Marshal & Sons, railway wagon builders, slate & timber merchants. At the same address, but in 1830, are Marshall, Cox & Tibbs, coal and timber merchants. Presumably Marshall bought the others out at some point.

I like the clean lines and modular design of this building. You could copy it in model form pretty easily. Even the details are achievable with layers of plastic sheet. Those folding metal doors would look better in wood but I can't see obvious modifications to the building to accommodate them.

The alarms and associated wiring are a nice detail. I'm going to try to include something similar on some of the Ruston Quays buildings I think.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Bantam Tug - Done!

Bantam Front

By the skin of my teeth, the Bantam tug made the model boat show last weekend. The paint was dry, but only just.

Having built the boat, I've decided to stop work for a little while. I'm going to sort out the weighting and just enjoy sailing it. It's small enough, even in its box, to live in the corner of my office as a "Thursday morning boat", suitable for a late decision to go sailing. The jelly cell will hold a charge for ages so I can leave it ready to go.

Bantam Back
Longer term, well some weathering would be nice, but having spent a long while looking at the real thing, I know how much of a cartoon my model is. I'm still proud of it but know that if you want a realistic Bantam, you don't start with the Mastman hull. In fact I saw their model on the stand painted in the same livery and wondered how many people would see all the work I've done.
Still, if you fancy something more accurate, my Bantam plan is available to download from RMweb.

Monday, November 09, 2015

THAT'S why I kept it!


There was some midnight oil burnt to prepare the Bantam for its appearance at the model boat show last weekend. Hurried glazing and a quick cabin roof went on in double-quick time. I'm not wild about the plastic "glass" but it looks better in real life than the photo.

A missing element was the exhaust stack found at the side of the windscreen. I could have left it off but that would annoy me so I knocked something up from plastic tube and filler.

Around the prototype exhaust is some mesh that presumably protects workers from touching the hot pipework. A quick dig in my box of etched parts uncovered the foil from an old electric razor - stashed away to be useful "one day".

That day had arrived and after quite a lot of pre-bending, I glued it in place around the tube. Quite a bit of thin superglue was required and combined with some enthusiastic aerosol work, the effect of the holes has been reduced. Still, it's better than nothing and a lot easier than drilling hundreds of holes!

Sunday, November 08, 2015

A hen's tooth

Battlespace Turbo car spike

Some things are rare.

Hen's teeth. Rocking horse manure. Battlespace Turbo car spikes.

This one is found the on the model for sale (currently) by Metropolis Toys in Warwick. Earlier this week, I was taking some photos of models for Ramsay's Guide and couldn't resist grabbing a closeup shot of this rare part. I own two tatty examples of this most fantastic of models, but neither came with its spike.

To my surprise, the spike is made of plastic. I thought it was rubber, hence the lack of surviving ones. Presumably production changed over time. On my best car, the spike is a replica made of wood. Just keep your head out of the way.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Yellow lines part 2 - :-/

Yellow Paint

Desperation time. Out with the bow pen and a tinlet of Precision Paints Railtrack Warning Yellow. My plan was to draw the edges of the lines and fill in between with a fine brush. The lines are 3mm wide so I couldn't just do the job with a pen.

As with the yellow tape, the straight lines worked well enough. The paint is a bit thick but I managed to get it to flow.

Curves needed a bit more work but when masking up to spray the main colours, I'd made some templates. These weren't prefect but since any wooblyness was going to be covered with yellow tape, that hadn't mattered much.

A little tidying up, mostly cutting extra holes to they fitted over handrails, and I gave it a go. There was still a bit of working by eye involved but assuming if it looked right, it was right, I ploughed ahead.

Some of my parallel lines were a bit iffy but using a damp brush, I removed the worst errors. Then I found that often the second line wasn't needed as I could do a reasonable job by eye with a pointy brush.

The results are OK. Look closely and they aren't great but from normal viewing distances, they are fine. If anyone points this out, I'll show them a photo showing that the prototype isn't much better in this respect, some of the real lines aren't as smooth as they might be!

Friday, November 06, 2015

Yellow lines part 1 - :-(

Yellow tape

The prototype Bantam's striking livery was one of the features that attracted me to it originally. However, now the chickens are coming home to roost and it's time for me to see if I can match the design on the model.

After much messing around, I decided to paint the red and green slabs of colour and apply yellow tape for the separating line. Truth is, I couldn't work out a way to mask this properly and even if I did, my lack of skills in the area means the body colours would seep into it anyway.

Anyway, I sprayed the red, then the green. First attempts at hand painting this were thwarted by dodgy Humbrol quality control - green very thin, red, porridge thickness. Spraying sorted this out and while the finish isn't prefect, I can live with it.

I've used a lot of yellow tape in the past and been very pleased with the results. The straight lines were easy and looked good. Those curves though - well even pulling the tape so it stretches to get it around the corner and slitting any puckers, still left it looking lumpy. The curves on the side are especially tight and even when the tape was down, the curves looked horrible.

So, off it all came.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Canal boats and a Class 70 in the festive issue of BRM

"What?", I hear you cry, "surely it's not time for BRM already?"

Yes it is dear reader, from this issue there is an extra BRM every year - if you've signed up for a subscription, that's 13 issues instead of 12!

Anyway, you're on my blog so the next question will be, "What top articles have you written this time Phil?"


First off, I'm having a go at some blue diesel action with the Ajay models resin kit for a Southern Railway "Booster" loco. These became TOPs Class 70, although none ever carried the number, and were amusingly nicknamed "Hornbys". Perhaps the boys from Sandwich should be looking at these for for a future project?

Ruston Quays is all naughtical (but nice) thise time with the canal basin recieving some attion,

Ruston Quays basin

The ever pokable water is laid down and then a selection of suitable boats built to float on it.

Since RQ isn't a pretty waterway, we have a steam dredger built from a Lagley kit, the same firms lighter and to move these around, a scratchbuilt Bantam tugboat. The Bantam won't be a surprise to regular readers of this blog, but freed of the constraints imposed by a ready-made hull, baby Bantam is a more reaslistic shape.

"What about the DVD Phil? I'll be needing something to watch on the telly over the festive period."

You're in luck. A day spent in the studio sees me talking about RQ and demonstraiting some of the new features. I'm also looking at the Heljan LT loco and a something a little different from Marklin.

All this contributed to a rather longer DVD than normal, something to keep you entertained on the long winter evenings.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Warehouse Wednesday: Leamington workshops

When I started this series, in the back of my mind was the need to include a building in the north of Leamington Spa, about 5 minutes stroll from the town centre.

Leamington workshop 1

Obviously it's not a warehouse as such, but despite being at the back of a residential building, it's definitely industrial in some way. Possibly a workshop of some kind?

Anyway, it's nice basic and easy to model building. By now it's been attacked with the Farrow & Ball but once I suspect some rather more rustic doors would have adorned it.

See this on Google Streetview.

Once out with my camera, I took a wander through some of the back streets. Despite living here all my life, apart from the first year in Luton, I don't know every little street as they tend to be place you pass through rather than visit unless you have a purpose.

Leamington workshop 2

This one is very short but still has loads of character. One day it will be gentrified but for the moment it could be straight out of the 1940s. I can't help feeling it's not the greatest advert for a carpenter, but then nowadays, how many would have a shop front anyway? Surely the ubiquitous transit van is more practical?

See this on Google Streetview

Leamington workshop 3

When a building is improved, the results can be a poncey but then I suppose this is a clinic full of special therapies so it fits. The building itself is about the same size as the last one but being slightly nearer the town centre, benefits from some decorative (and impossible to model) fancy brickwork around the ridge.

See this on Google Streetview.

Finally, near the local Quickfit, is this larger establishment.

Leamington workshop 4

Which has a proper yard to drive in to and a canopied building to back the lorry under. I'm thinking a builder yard or similar many years ago.

See this on Google Streetview

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Bantam wasp stripes

Wasp Stripe Masking

I really wasn't looking forward to this bit.

One of the main features of the Bantam tug is it's colourful paint job. Starting from the front, we have wasp stripes. Now, I've done these on model locomotives and it's a whole load of no fun. I've not found a method that is easy or enjoyable. Purgatory is black and yellow lines that all have to be the same width and spacing, or the error stands out like a sore thumb.

Anyway, at the aircraft show I bought a metre of masking film. It wasn't with this job in mind but after consideration it proved to be ideal.
  • First, cut the film so it fits the front of the boat.
  • Mark the lines on with a fine permanent marker.
  • Peel the backing off the film and stick it in place.
  • Cut all the lines with a sharp knife and peel every other stripe away.
  • Spray with Matt black paint.
  • Peel the rest of the stripes away and marvel at the result. OK, touch a few bits in with a brush, but generally marvel that it worked so well.
Still not fun though.

Wasp Stripes

Monday, November 02, 2015

Stash of Zap


When I said yesterday that I'd stocked up on glue, I wasn't kidding. I've been a fan of Zap products for many years and am always interesting in acquiring something new from the range. If the price is right, I'm also interested in making sure I have a spare bottle or two lying around.

Thus when the 1oz bottle is sold for a fiver, I'll have a bit of that - it's quite a lot cheaper than at toy train shows. I assume the large aircraft boys use so much they only want the big'uns.

More interesting are these 0.1oz "Free" samples, which I paid 20p each (6 for a £1) for. They will be great for chucking in the toolbox for emergency repairs at shows. Even if the glue leaks out, it's going to do less damage than the bigger bottles can. Better still, the screw lid should keep the contents under control in the toolbox.

While I was at it, I finally remembered to buy debonder for when sticking goes wrong, kicker refill (should have remembered that my kicker is in an aerosol though, need to get the pump bottle) and Zap Goo - which I've never seen before. Apparently this last gunge will "bond virtually anything" while remaining flexible. Sounds like UHU to me but we'll see.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Large Model Flyers, Gaydon

Weathered orange

Winter approaches so it's time to stock up on the modelling basics. I know I could buy many of them at a toy chuffer show, but the Large Model Aircraft event at the Motor Museum, Gaydon is handy and the exhibits a bit different from the ones I normally see.

Mosquitto pilots

Basically this was a shopping trip with the chance to get close to some of the magnificent models I'd seen a few months ago flying at Cosford. It's all very relaxed. Models are left lying around with little or no supervision in most cases. Were it me, I'd be hovering over the things poking anyone who got too inquisitive with a sharp stick. I suppose the ability to fire the results of many hours and not a little cash into the air and then bring them back down breeds a confidence in their strength.

Yellow gnat

Anyway, both my father and I enjoyed the show. He bought many sheets of high quality dead tree and I came away with an unfeasibly large number of bottles of glue. Happy days!

There's a few photos over on Flickr.