Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Colour, or at least black

Close-up photos can be cruel. On this loco, they exposed the horrible mould line up the front of the chimney.

Once scraped away, there was a line along the top of the boiler too. When that was dealt with I had loads of unpainted plastic showing. Time to break out the airbrush, or at least wait until the weather warmed up a little and Christmas was out of the way.

I'm pleased to say that sprayed Revell No.8 is a pretty good match for the weathered paint finish on this loco. I gave the top of the boiler and firebox a dose of dirty black to show the sooty grime that had landed from the chimney.

While I was at it, a bit of rust and track colour shot around the model helps blend things together nicely. A bit of work with powder will finish the job, but I'll fit the cab interior first. A wash under those buffers would be a good idea too.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Head scratching on the J72 cab interior

I don't understand the cab interior. The diagram and instructions don't really help me much. Maybe I'm just a thicko.

Fortunately, I know what I want to do - fill the gap so you can't see through the bottom of the floor. The old chassis filled the cab but the replacement is full of air compared to that.

So, I've folded it up as best I can. Cut a slot in the back edge to sort of correspond with the lump in the body moulding. I'll spray it black and then glue in place.

The plan involves a crew hanging out of the sides anyway so you won't really notice. While I'm not doing the fantastic cab interiror with all the controls of the Bachmann model, this will do fine.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Is it time to revolutionise the exhibition experience?

From Montignac Model Boat show report in Model Boats magazine:

I was aware of a large table being set up at the front of the hall and shortly after the hall opened to the public at 10:00, we exhibitors were summoned for a small glass of the local honey wine and some locally baked biscuits. Quite a start to the show!

What an excellent idea. Some libations and a little sustenance for those who have been setting up and will man the stands during the event.

The report continues:

A typical French touch was that the show closed for lunch between 12:00 and 14:00. 

Now that is a good idea. Imagine everyone being chucked out of Warley for a couple of hours so the exhibiters can get a bite to eat. 10,000 people head to the on-site 'spoons while those of us inside the barriers can have a stroll around the hall, chat and perhaps a bit more local drink (probably not honey wine in Birmingham)!

So civilised. I hope it catches on...

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Saturday Film Club: Painting a scene

It's holiday time, so spend longer than normal gawping at this video from many years ago. 

I love Bob Ross programmes. They are my go-to stress reliever - watching a scene gradually appear in front of my eyes is relaxing and fun. There's a bit of me convinced that I could do just as good a job thanks to his tuition too.

Practically, I'm sure those techniques for creating skies would work just as well on model railway backscenes. Maybe I'll try it one day. In the meantime, there are more pictures to watch being painted. Many, many more... 

Friday, December 27, 2019

Vote Turbocar!

Those top chaps from the Wishlist Poll are having a bit of fun over Christmas - they have set up the "Quirky Poll" - a survey of some of the weirder things that model railway fans might want. Hovertrain? Maglev? Paget Loco? All on the list.

It's just for fun, but if you could just nip along and vote for the Battlespace Turbo car, I'm sure Hornby will finally get the message.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

R3705 Ruston 48DS

No-one who knows me will be surprised I ordered a Hornby Ruston 48DS as soon as I could. This was after a few weeks of knowing it was coming, but not being able to rush down to my local model shop because of a pesky embargo on the information. What made it worse was that I had been told they were "on the boat".

As it turns out, the boat was slow because I've only just picked up the red version with wasp stripes, but no worry, it was worth the wait.

My model came from the local shop, Classic Train and Motor bus. Although I didn't expect any problems, I still had the model test run before handing over the money. Had there been an issue, it would have gone back with no fuss, and no tantrums on social media.

Anyway, you'll have read reviews already and know this is a good model, but is it as good as my kit built version?

Yes it is. And better still, my kit version doesn't look too shabby beside its plastic brother. There's no need for it to hide away. I'll happily run both.

But, does it fit the little engine shed I built for the Collectors Club magazine?

Not quite. I need to shave about 1.5mm off the top of the door. Not bad considering I was basing my measurements on the etched kit. I'm relieved to say that you can follow the instructions and make a mini shed for your 48DS from a resin building.

Anyway, I am very happy with my model. That's no less than 2 RTR locos bought in a year, something of a record for me. Will there be more ordered from the new range? Yes there will, but I can't tell you what yet...

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Using rollers

David asks:

I just ordered a set of GW rollers, which I have noticed you also use. Any top tips on their use, please?

An interesting question which I've been pondering for a few days. First - good choice of tool. GW Models stuff is well made and will last for ages. If you are going to buy tools, it's nice to go for the best. Mind you, are there cheap rolling bars?

I'm not sure I'm qualified to answer as I'm not really sure I'm using them properly myself, however, if I tell you what I do, helpfull readers will comment below and tell us what I'm doing wrong.

Basically, I use the Allan key to slacken off the bolts at the end so the metal can be slid underneath without bending. Then I gently do them up so the metal is just slightly curved. This is rolled back and forth.

Once happy, I tighten them up a bit more, trying to turn both the same amount. More rolling and basically repeat until the correct curve is achieved. This is normally slightly more curve than you want as the metal will spring back a bit.

Is this right? Well, it works for me. I think the key is not to try to put too much of a bend in the metal in one go. Impatience is likely to result in flats or the metal sticking in the rollers. There is a sweet spot where they are gripping tight enough to move the metal but not too tight so it jams. That, you can only assess while working.

I hope this helps. As I say, more advice eagerly accepted.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Farewell Railway Magazine Guide to Modelling

Just before Christmas, some sad news - The Railway Magazine Guide to Modelling is to close after three years.

According to the letter sent to advertisers and distributors:

Unfortunately, this current January edition of the Railway Magazine Guide to Modelling will be the last, as the title can no longer sustain itself as a free newspaper.

You might think I'd be pleased to see a rival publication go under, but I'm not. I wrote for the magazine several times in my pre-BRM days and always found them very pleasant to deal with. They paid up quickly for a start, always something to warm the cockles of a freelancers heart.

I also got my first full cover photo back in April 2017 with them, the issue is framed on my office wall.

I didn't see the RMMGtM as a direct competitor. To quote the letter again:

We always saw the Railway Magazine Guide to Modelling as a first step publication, helping push enthusiasts to other established title, including our own monthly publications - including The Railway Magazine, Rail Express and Heritage Railway. So although this particular publication will sadly no longer be produced, we hope some of the readers will have been bitten by the railways and modelling bug, and continue to read some of our great content in those other titles. 

That's fair enough. The content was far more human interest than mainstream magazines. You didn't get extensive step-by-step pieces of the sort I write. They had the short of readable but light articles that you might enjoy while waiting for a train instead. If you had discovered your local model shop thanks to the GMRC, picking up a free copy of this would be a nice gentle introduction to railway modelling.

While I'm sure there will be plenty of people trying to work out what this means for the hobby (and deciding it means doom) I don't think it tells us much. The readers didn't desert the magazine, which was given away free after all, so you can't tell if the content appealed or not. Nor if the number of readers was falling as the hobby goes down the tubes and all the modellers die of old age as many delight in telling us is happening.

If there is a conclusion to be drawn it's that advertisers expect a return on their investment. Adverts should drive sales and maybe selling mainly to people who are only reading a mag because it's free means your ad is being seen by people who simply don't want to spend any money. I know that it's a very different situation with Garden Rail fortunately!

So, farewell to a brave experiment that will join a host of other long-gone model railway magazines (MORILL,, Practical Model Railways, Scale Trains etc.) into model railway folklore.

There are many local model shops who will miss this mag as it drew people in to pick up their copy, but how many of them were just hanging around and not putting their hands in their pockets? I know my local shop has a few of those...

Sunday, December 22, 2019

The social side of model railways

A couple of weeks ago, this video caught my eye on LinkedIn.

The maker explains how he knows lots of people, but has none he would consider a friend. This is sad, but not untypical, especially for men.

However, I think this is where model railways and boats can help. If you embrace, at least partly, the social side of joining a club, then you get to skip the end of this film where he goes off to what I suspect is an awkward session in a pub with people trying to come together to force a friendship.

Instead, a hobby gives you common ground. You have something to talk about. Yes, there are idiots that will bore the arse off you, and it's worse in a hobby home to many on the autistic spectrum and lacking in social skills, but that's life. Move on and talk to someone else.

I'm a massive fan of clubs. Joining one at 14 helped a very shy kid come out of his shell a bit. I'm a long way from gregarious (although I can pretend sometimes) but it helps. Maybe I know very few I could call at 2am with a problem, but at least I know that once a week I can go (to quote the opening of Cheers) somewhere where they know my name and sometimes even pretend I am interesting.

So, if you are feeling isolated, find your local club. Accept you'll need to muck in a bit and the members are not there to entertain you and you'll be fine. No skills are necessary - if someone is cutting a piece of wood, the person they like most will grab the other end to help. You don't need to be an expert to do this!

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Saturday Film Club: Restoring old street lights

Apparenlty, even in 1963, Britons still yearned for the past. Then we were bust replacing our street lights with modern ones, but those old lamps were being restored and sold back to us as antiques. 

It all goes to show that nothing changes!

Friday, December 20, 2019

January 2020 Garden Rail

We head into 2020 with the latest issue of Garden Rail. The lead layout is a 7/8th scale model that makes use of the scenery surrounding the line to make the scene look huge in photos. 

We've also managed to drop in another layout construction piece. At this time of year, when you can trample over the flowerbeds with impunity, it's a chance to extend or even built a new line, so I've tried to provide a few examples over the last few months to help people get going. 

Of course, there is plenty of other construction going on and hopefully some helpful hints for modellers including some very clever fake steam generation that made a quick appearance because I fancy having a go at it... 

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Painting a Mini - In the pink

What did I buy on my first visit to Tornado Books and Hobbies?

Pink paint. Tamiya pink paint.

Well, it's not a colour I tend to keep in stock. I don't think I've ever painted something properly pink. Flesh colour, but not proper pink.

Anyway, I wasn't entirely sure of the paint codes, but reasoned that the firm wouldn't make different shades with spray and brushable versions.

That they produce it at all in impressive - I wonder what Japanese modellers use it for?

Anyway, the body received a coat of white primer and then despite it not being the ideal temperature to spray things, I heated the up the metal with a hairdryer and shot some pink in all the shuts.

It seemed to be covering well. Better still, the paint dried quickly. I'd allowed for coats to harden overnight but the stuff was handlable within minutes.

Covering the basic body worked well, but I was worried about the plastic bits. Out of curiosity, I hand-painted them without stripping the purple paint away. It was buffed with a fibreglass pencil to reduce the colour a bit and provide a surface to key to, but after this, a couple of coats did the job. I was impressed and relieved! OK, you can see a slight shade different on the wind mirrors compared to the doors, but it's a not enough of an issue to have me digging out the Superstrip.

Around the top edge of the body, there is a chrome strip. My bow-pen did a reasonable job here. Not perfect, but good enough for what is a toy. The silver paint might be going off and didn't flow quite as well as I might like, but it stayed where I wanted it and that's good enough. I'm sure the new owner won't be too worried.

After that, reassembly was (to quote Haynes), the reverse of the above. As I couldn't heat-seal plastic parts in place, there is a lot of epoxy glue holding them in instead. This is a toy to be played with and if possible I don't want bits falling off.

I'll admit to being quite pleased with this. The colour is great. The paints, a brand I've not used for many years, worked really well. I hope its new owner likes it as much.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Waterborne Wednesday: Fishing boat decks

Fishing boats

In the pile of model boats to be built is a 1/12th scale kit for a modern, small fishing vessel. Because of this, I've taken loads of pictures showing the back of these boats and no two seem to be the same. 

I'm assuming the basic mechanics of the operating bits work the same way, but the structures found vary so much. Some look a lot stronger than others, but I can't imagine the weight of catch varies that much on boats of similar size. 

Looking at these boats makes me more impressed when I have fish'n'chips. There's no way I'd want to be a long way out at sea in inclement weather on something so small!

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Painting a Mini - Disassembly

I've been asked for a model Mini as a Christmas present for a friend. It has to be a convertible, and the new owner loves pink things. She also doesn't read this blog, so by writing up the job I'm not spoiling a surprise.

The best I could find was this 1:24 version. Sadly, they only sell purple, so I needed to do some work.

Taking the model apart was interesting. On the positive side, the main bits are screwed together. Finding the last pair are under the rear wheels which have to be pulled out on their axle to permit access.

There are a few more screws for the doors and windscreen. Most of the other bits are clipped in place and come away with a bit of waggling.

Worst are the lights which are heat-sealed inside the body. Carving away the heated "mushroom" and then poking out worked pretty well. At this point, I realised that I needed to work in a box are things like the front spotlights are very tiny, easy to use and difficult to replace. I piled them up on the seats hoping all the bits would stay together.

Next, the metal bits found themselves in a bath of DIY store paint stripper. I'm pleased to say this worked a treat and the shell was quickly reduced to bare metal. The trick is to be patient. Let the stripper do its job, the poke at the metal with an old toothbrush.

Wear thick gloves too. I started with nitrile ones and my fingers started tingling. They don't offer enough protection it seems.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Hornby St Pancras pop-up store

In London for some beer, I nipped into St Pancras station with the aim of spotting the latest train operator there - Hornby.

The famous manufacturer has opened a pop-up store in the lower levels of the station, where the beer barrels used to be and now you find high-end shops.

It's an interesting move. On the stand, you find trains, Airfix, Scalextric, Corgi and other diecasts. There's no paint or modelling materials, this is all aimed at the souvenir market for those nipping over to France on the train.  Prices are all full RRP, and compared to some of the other outlets nearby, this seems cheap!

I'm told that the pop-up is working well. Sales are good and I suspect that as a brand with wide recognition, the chance to buy something properly British works for those walking by.

At the end of the stand there is a model railway. Nothing big - space isn't going to be cheap - but a train running around catches the eye. Enough that they could have sold it several times a week!

In addition to selling from the counter, the attentive staff hand out Welcome Cards which offer a discount at the Hornby Hobbies website until the end of the year. Presumably, since this is likely to be a new group of customers, that will get them interested later and spread the name further. I wonder how many will be carrying a train set or slot car track home that they hadn't planned on buying?

The pop-up is in place until Christmas Eve.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

National Festival of Model Railways 2019

Santa on a bus

It's Christmas time at the model railway show - and the layouts have festive features. 

My day at Peterborough was largely spent working with the Market Deeping MRC who were building a layout in a weekend. They didn't need much help from me apart from some panic shopping when materials ran low, but we did film a few progress reports which will appear in the mag at some point. 

I also shot a couple of layouts and filmed an interview with another owner. There was a bit of shopping for future magazine projects. I'm trying to plan ahead. 

And I really did need cake at one point, but couldn't find anything I fancied. I must have a word with the organisers...

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Saturday Film Club: Spray painting Minis

This is pertinent to next week's blog posts. 

In the meantime, wonder at the breathtakingly sexist comentry and enjoy the interesting industrial buildings in the background. 

Friday, December 13, 2019

R576 Tunnel

Classic train set. A random lump of hill for your trains to pass through.

Never mind that in real life, removing it would have been easier than making a path through the middle - that's for the finescale Taliban. Millions of young train-set owners have enjoyed watching their models vanish and re-appear.

The tunnel wasn't on my collector's radar until I was told by someone senior in the firm that the mould had worn out and wouldn't be replaced. Worse, the tunnel mouths are a separate mould and it's one that's gone missing.

From that point, I knew I needed to find a nice example, which I did in the basement of Hereford Model Centre. Mine has an 80s/90's box but it's basically the same bit of scenery that has been around since the 1960s.

As far as I know, there is no plan to replace the model. I'd guess that it's a low-value item that is bulky and expensive to ship. Fold up cardboard versions appear in the Junior Train Set and I think have been seen in the past elsewhere.

Me, I need one for my giraffes in their cars to bob under!

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Building flying Harry Potter cars

Harry Potter chasing a train

I've never seen a Harry Potter film. Not properly anyway. I projected one once when that was my job, but to be honest I was nipping in an out of the booth and cashing up so I didn't really follow it. 

Nor have I read any of the books. I don't do fantasy and magic fiction. Don't know why, it just doesn't work for me. Terry Pratchet books suffer this way, something I'm a bit sad about, but I've tried and failed. 

Anyway, I accidentally ended up volunteering to make a model flying car from one of the books. I've seen photos, it's a pale blue Ford Anglia, that flies. 

The first version uses a diecast model (Can't remember if it's Hornby or Oxford and have thrown the packing away) mounted on an old metal coach bogie of indeterminate origin discovered in the bottom of a drawer. The idea was this could be coupled to the back of a train for chasing purposes. 

The supporting plastic tube is set so the car is just above roof height, but it's still out of gauge. 

Testing at the railway club suggested that at speed, the model was just too top-heavy for corners, even with a slug of lead in the bottom of the bogie. 

Since this is for children to operate, I doubt that they will run the model slowly, so a static version was in order. This could be taller and is nice and stable thanks to the block of wood stand. I've coated this with green scatter and used more of the plastic tube for support. I had to buy ten lengths of this, so I've plenty of spare. 

All glue is epoxy to ensure the model stays in one piece. The tube goes into the car through a hole drilled in the floor and dipping it in glue ensures it stays put. Neither car flies perfectly horizontally, but then that's realistic isn't it?

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Waterborne Wednesday: Spud

Canal with narrow boat

OK, this isn't a classic 3/4 view of a canal boat, but it's interesting all the same. 

For a start, look at how the boat sits tail-down on the water. The engine is presumably the heaviest part, or has the owner just tied it to the bank tighter at the stern? I've never seen this modelled before, model boats on canals sit flat. 

The canal is quite modelable too. This shot is from the bridge at Outwell village, home to the Wisbeech and Upwell tramway, or at least it was. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Rods on the J72

While watching the last episode of the BBC's fairly awful version of War of the Worlds, the one where the writer looked up the plot on Wikipedia and then decided he could do better, I fitted the rods to the J72. 

It's a while since I've done this but remembered to blacken all the metal I didn't want the solder to stick to with a thin permanent marker. Then some fag papers were folder either side of the rod and pushed on the crank pin. 

The retaining washer was fitted, rod cut to the length and then the pair viciously filed to reduce the washer to very thin. 

Finally, a drop of non-corrosive flux and a wipe of solder fixed things in place. 5 or the 6 went perfectly. On the last, the washer gripped the paper too well and so under power, the crankpin unscrewed itself. Digging the paper out solved the problem. 

After that, a drop of light oil on every bearing and I was running the chassis up and down my test track. Something more entertaining to watch than the end of WotW.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Crochet tree

Crochet tree

One of my favourite features on The Great Model Railway Challenge TV show recently was the forest of trees on the Loco Ladies layout, all created using crochet by team captain Carol. 

I know judge Kathy really didn't like these, but they are innovative and unusual. I've never heard of anyone knitting their layout before. As such, when the team announced they would be sold off in aid of breast cancer research, I was determined to get one and texted my boss to see what she could do. 

Later that day, I received a picture and have now picked up my tree.

Not a massive plant, it's 7cm wide and 5.5cm tall. Not sure what sort of tree I have, but it's lovely, and a bit of fun.

Anyway, this seems to have set a trend, as look what I spotted at the weekend. 

A crochet Christmas tree! Maybe this is the future. Will there be P4 knitting needles on sale soon?

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Who needs a "proper" camera?

Farm cart

You know what's special about this photo?

Or this one?

Pendon Cottages

Both were taken at Pendon, on my mobile 'phone. And both are really good. 

Unlike my "proper" camera, the phone has made a good job of the white balance. There's depth of field too thanks to the small sensor. 

It's not even a really good camera phone either, a Samsung whose model number I can't remember. No fancy iPhone or Hauewawi (I can't even pronounce it) for me. I know I have used 'phone photos in Garden Rail in the past, but how long before this becomes the norm? 

What happens to all those "proper" cameras? When do they become obsolete? And when will people lugging DSLRs fitted with wopper lenses at shows realise they are wasting their time?

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Saturday Fim Clubg: Leek & Manifold Railway

A short feature this week showing some running on the Leek & Manifold Railway in the 1930s. The highlight is right at the start showing the loading of one of the lines wagons for transporting standard gauge wagons - I've seen photos in the past but never moving pictures. 

It's strange to think that these were once everyday scenes. 

Friday, December 06, 2019

Peterborough this weekend

All being well, by the time you read this, I should be at the Peterborough Arena for The National Festival of Railway Modelling.

I'm there early for meetings and a layout shoot but Saturday will see me helping out the Market Deeping model railway society with their demonstrations. The team are building a layout for a local children's charity which promises to be an interesting and innovative design.

So, pop along and say hello.

The National Festival of Railway Modelling website.

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Supermarket, signal box and soldering in BRM

It's all the S's this month in BRM.

First, we have a supermarket diorama. Starting with a selection of Gaugemaster buildings and road products, I've assembled a scene common on the sides of our railways, or at least it is in Leamington where the local Morrisons provides an excellent location for trainspotting.

The main kit is really interesting as I've been able to use the self-coloured plastic without adding paint and it looks good. OK, some parts are supplied pre-painted but I'm very happy with the result.

After all that plastic, it's on to a card kit from LCut Creative for a signal box. A nice model and economically priced, perfect for the 4mm scale lineside. 

Finally, soldering, or in this case desoldering. 

Inspired by learning how to use solder wick, I've covered how you get solder off when it's in the wrong place. Dealing with mistakes is as much modelling and putting things together. Many people assume "experts" don't make mistakes. That's not true, it's just that they made then and learned how to fix things afterwards. 

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Waterborne Wednesday: Northern Star

Northern Star

Back in 2014, I enjoyed a couple of stopovers in Hong Kong as part of my Australia trip. On the second one, I was determined to visit Hong Kong island itself to rise on one of the famous double-deck trams and that meant a trip on one of the slightly scary ferries. 

I'm sure these things are safe, but they do look a bit top-heavy to me. In rush hour on a stormy day, the short trip must be "interesting". With 70,000 people carried a day, I assume there's not much sinking involved anyway. This boat's been sailing since 1959, which I find reassuring.

What it is is cheap, the token to travel costs pennies and just in case, I kept one as a souvenir. 

Model-wise, I found a diecast model, but nothing bigger sadly.  

In case you wondered, I did get a tram ride. 

Hong Kong Tram

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Tornado Books and Hobbies - Birmingham

The loss of Ian Allan was bad news for modellers in Birmingham city centre, but all is not lost. One of the managers has stepped in to fill the void with Tornado books and hobbies.

Situated beside the Law Courts and beside a multi-storey car park, it's only 3 minutes walk from the nearest Wetherspoons pub so not great problem to get too once you know the location. OK, it's not right in the town centre, but pretty close.

Inside, the place looks like a cut-down version of the old shop. There are plastic kits, transport books, a good range of paint (Humbrol, Tamiya and Viello), Woodland Scenics, magazines and glues. Not bad for the early days.

I came away with some Tamiya paint, but will be back in the future.

Tornado Books and Hobbies website.

Monday, December 02, 2019

Wot I bought at Warley

Internet law tells us that after you have been to Warley, posting photos of the stuff you have bought on social media is essential. ESPECIALLY ON N GAUGE FORUMS WHERE YOU HAVE TO POST IN CAPITALS AND GET VERY EXCITED!!!!

So, here we go:

Narrow Gauge Album 1965-1985 - I have the previous volume and it's basically a book full of really, really good quality photos of narrow gauge lines. Easily one of the best picture books out at the moment because the shots aren't all pretty ones.

I bought it, and the earlier one, because there are some cracking Isle of Man pictures inside. This scores an added bonus for the rail blue chuffer on the front. £25 well spent.

Ye Olde Huff N Puff HO scale boxcar kit. Part started, but I only paid 4 quid for it and I thought it worth that just to have a proper poke around in the box.

The pre-painted sides look interesting and it's made of wood. The manufacturer doesn't appear to exist any more either. One for my "one day" American backwoods layout.

Finally, no surprise to anyone who spotted this story I posted on World of Railways.

Rivarossi has re-released the old Lima Leopold rail gun and while I'm not into military stuff normally, it has enough novelty value that I'll add it to the collection for £25. There's a plastic kit for one of these bought from Derby show many years ago in the stash, but when I built it, I'll go for a simpler livery!

The biggest surprise if you read the story is that I didn't get a rail crane too, but even for £30, I couldn't think of anything to use it for.

Apart from that and a couple of booklets, my Warley spending was minimal. Not that I wasn't tempted, but I don't need any more toy trains and anyway, there wasn't time for moping around with shopping ideas rumbling in my head.

Oh, and I didn't even buy cake, by Chris took pity on me and tossed an M&S crispy thing my way.

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Warley 2019


Warley this year nearly didn't start for me. Arriving on Friday afternoon on the train, I walked across the bridge connecting the NEC to the station. Passing through the security scanner, I set off the metal detector.

Not a real surprise, I've usually got metal things on me so I opened my bag to show the guards the collection of cameras and stuff I was lugging. All went well until they found my penknife.

Oh dear. It seems they had confiscated one earlier in the day.

I wasn't about to give it up. For a start, I bought this in Canada. It's a long way to go and get another.

Besides, it wasn't like I was going anywhere where sharp tools were rare.

Plan A formed. I could nip back to Wh Smith, buy some stamps and a jiffy bag and post it to myself.

Plan B. Just walk around the hall and go in the big doors.

Plan C - They radioed for someone to come and escort me to the hall. It seems that there was a kids event taking place, hence the enhanced security.

Anyway, once in the hall I met lots of people and did lots of chatting and took photos of models.

And I did the same on Saturday. Lots of chatting, and even more product photography.

On Sunday I processed all my photos and wrote many stories for World of Railways. With a Warley roundup newsletter going out on Monday, I needed to come up with at least 6 pages - I managed more than this!

All of which means I didn't see the show. At a guess, there is at least 1/4 of the hall I didn't find at all. There's a layout and 2 significant traders I missed entirely for a start.

So, all the photos I took were pretty much in passing. You can see them on Flickr.

Except, one job was to find some weird stuff - and you can read all about this here.

At least it wasn't an expensive show. I'll tell you what I bought tomorrow.