Thursday, April 30, 2020

Lockdown Project: Glass animal repair

I've always loved my parents' collection of glass animals. As a child, apparently, I used to stare at the china cabinet for hours. If I was very good, I might be allowed to have the door open, but I never tried to grab anything from it. I knew these were precious and fragile.

Despite this, some of the animals have broken over time. The lamp post, bought on Brighton pier apparently, is at least 60 years old!

Sticking glass back together seems to defeat most glues, but recently, we've seen superglues that are set by UV light appear on the market. 

I think this stuff comes from the dental world. My dentist has set a couple of fillings with UV and I understand they have similar glues claimed to be incredibly strong. 

Revell's version arrives with two tubes and a marker pen with UV torch on it. In theory, all you do is apply the glue, fire light at it for 5 seconds and the job is done.  

In practice, I found that the 5 seconds thing is rubbish. Think nearer 30 for a workable joint. My first attempts fell apart quickly and I found that while the edges had hardened, most of the glue was still liquid. This is especially odd as the glass is transparent, although the colour may block the correct light wavelength. 

Where we had a clean joint, the glue worked well. The delay of a few years between breakage and mending meant that a few slivers of glass had long gone, but I did my best and at least all the pieces are attached. Not good as new, but good enough not to throw away. 

I've since tried the glue on a couple of other jobs and been reasonably impressed. Not cheap, but a very useful addition to the toolbox. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Waterborne Wednesday: Freedom on dry land


Want a boat, but don't need the hassle of modelling water? 

Allow me to introduce BK536 "Freedom". Built in 1991 in Falmouth, the hull of this trawler allows her to sit on the cobbles so the crew don't need to get their wellies wet when coming ashore. 

I'm kidding, boats sometimes need to be able to sit in port when the tide has gone out. I've seen older vessels with a leg on each side to achieve the same effect. The design of this hull presumably provides stability when at sea as well as supporting it on land. 

Model this and at least you are spared the worry of cutting a hole in the sea, or lopping the hull off at the waterline. 

Sadly, just after taking this shot, I managed to drop the camera on those very hard cobbles, something that did it no favours at all. Don't do it kids, unless you like spending money on photographic equipment.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The best laid plans

This thing is full of jobs I'm not looking forward to. Each time I think, "Well now that's done, the rest will be easy." and each time, it isn't.

So, I have to drill some holes and fit the handrails and door handles. Fiddly, but follow the plan and all will be well.

The plan though. When I measure it, doesn't seem to correspond to the model. A little work with the calculator and it seems it's slightly bigger. By about 5%

But only in one direction. Length-wise, it's pretty much right. Height. No chance.


Fortunately, I have a copy of A Pictorial Record of British Railways Diesel Multiple Units by Brian Golding. It's a pretty dull read, but the pictures are excellent. Loads of accurate* 4mm scale plans for the modeller to work from.


*If you are about to tell me something along the lines of "I think you will find that the plan on page..." then don't bother. They are near enough for me. These things are only motorised coaches and anyway, I'm building an MTK kit. Almost the definition of "If you want to go there, don't start from here."

Monday, April 27, 2020

It's the ends

Dry-fitting parts is always a good idea. Put things together without glue and you'll spot potential issues that won't be any easier to deal with when the adhesive is flowing and getting all over your hands.

As you can see, there is a part fit issue with the Cravens DMU floor. Basically, it's too long.

To be fair, this is mentioned in the instructions, but is a bit of a surprise when you see just how bad the situation is. The solution was to lop 2mm off each end of the floor and then thin the ends slightly s they fitted in the pockets in the whitemetal bits. 3mm would probably have been enough but I'm better at measuring whole mm, and the extra 1/2mm at each end wasn't going to be an issue. A bit of wiggle room is welcome.

First though, the interior. On a parcels unit, this isn't much, but I feel that something in the cab is a good idea and had picked up a couple of mouldings from Replica Railways. After a little trimming, they will fit in behind the cab fronts OK.

More importantly, they will fit through the holes in the floor the power bogie occupies. I'll need to fit them after the glazing goes in, and that has to be done after painting. There's a fair bit of thinking ahead required with this kit.

Ayway, floor trimmed and fitted with epoxy glue and I have a model that starts to look like a DMU.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

What day is it?

Is anyone else struggling to remember what day it is at the moment?

Working from home has been my thing for several years now. I'm so expert at it, I recently wrote some tips for readers of my writing blog. As such, I've no truck with weekends or bank holidays. If a job needs doing, it gets done at a time that suits me, but if I want to skive off in the week for a nice lunch or to do something for me, then I don't feel guilty about it. I have a phone, so if anything is urgent, and I don't think writing about toy trains is in any way an emergency service, then I'm contactable.

But without the daily school run outside the window, no chance to get out and about, days all merge in to one. I go for a paper on Sunday and a quick milk/bread stroll on Thursday, but that's it. The allotted hour's stroll isn't working for me as the silence outside is deafening, so I give it a miss.

What has this to do with the blog? Well, as some of you know, I write posts well ahead of the day they will be published. At the moment, I'm trying to keep myself two weeks ahead. My thinking was originally that if I fell ill, a couple of weeks gave me a chance to get through the worst of it. Enough not to leave a break in posting, providing both comfort and an incentive to feel better.

There is also a pattern to my postings - Mon/Tue projects, Wed Boats, Thu something random, Fri something historic or collectable and Sat a video. Sometimes a magazine appearance on Thursday drops in and maybe the current project demands more space, but generally, this is my timetable.

Except that it's not always working like this. I'm trying to plan ahead but sometimes it all just gets mixed up. That's why you didn't get a film yesterday. Not that it matters, but it niggles me.

All this extra time isn't doing much for my project progress. Lots of people are making things, sales reports from many of the trade tell us that, but I'm often finding it hard to focus. I know I want to make things, but after a day staring at the computer, my brain is fried. I have watched many telly shows with people spannering cars in the evening, just because I can't get into anything else.

They say every journey starts with a single step and sometimes that's the hard one to take.

The good news is I have managed to make a few things. As we adjust to the new normal, I'm getting better at ticking off a few jobs that have been kicking around for a while. These are appearing as "Lockdown projects".

I'm sure everyone out there is busy doing workouts, learning new languages AND assembling Airfix Spitfires. I'll be happy if I don't have to look at my phone to work out if it's Tuesday!

Saturday, April 25, 2020

J15 upgrade in Hornby Collector Club magazine

Hornby's OO gauge J15 is a really cracking model, but like all RTR, it can be improved IMHO with a bit of dirt and few personal touches.

In the Spring 2020 issue of "The Collector", I've taken the model and performed a few very standard tweaks - renumbering, adding a crew, coal and tools in the tender, light weathering - to provide a generic guide that anyone could follow on their own model.

To be honest, I can't get away from the idea that people are paying - handing over real money - to have someone put coal in the tender of their loco.

I get paying for DCC, that's witchcraft and therefore not something you should practise at home, but coal? People have been doing that for over 6o years.It's simple and fun. Don't pay someone to have fun for you!

Friday, April 24, 2020

It's the Virtual RMweb members meetup this weekend

Sunday should see the annual RMweb members day in Taunton. Obviously, this isn't going to happen.

Don't worry though - you can enjoy the Virtual RMweb members weekend with layouts, pasties, cake (I hope), interviews, an auction and loads of other fun stuff. All this will be raising money for NHS Charities Together, so a good time and a good cause.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Shunting, an office and track cutting in BRM - plus Melbridge Dock!

Time for a bit of loco kit building in the May 2020 BRM. Nowadays, people aren't so likely to dig out a few sheets of brass and a soldering iron so I was pleased to find a newbie-friendly alternative.

Planet Industrials new Planet Shunter kit provides a 3D printed body on to which you attach etched panels. This makes the best of both technologies and saves an awful lot of sanding to try to give a 3D print the smooth finish we see on modern RTR. Sat on top of a SPUD, it's as easy to build a kit as you can find. Superglue is the adhesive of choice, so the thing should be within the grasp of anyone capable of building an Airfix Spitfire.

Rather more involved is my contribution to the Runcorn Salt Union project - the office block is scratchbuilt and was my first serious use of the silhouette cutter. I'm pleased with the result and look forward to seeing the completed layout.

Sadly, having just brought the DVD back for all issues of the magazine, Coronavirus issue means we can't guarantee a supply for the time being, so BRM TV is only (currently) available to digital subscribers. Not ideal, but in a quickly changing situation, there's not much we can do. It will be back, but obviously, we don't know when yet.

Anyway, the expensive bit of the job has been completed - the content is filmed and edited. This month is one of my very basic pieces where I look at cutting track. We all do it, but it's another job that can be offputting to beginners.

Finally, since this is an industrial themed issue, the Get The Look pages at the front feature my layout, Melbridge Dock. I provide a quick rundown explaining how you can produce something similar, sometimes with more modern kits making life even easier!

BRM May 2020 on RMweb

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Waterborne Wednesday: Wolverhampton canal with rail bridges

Wolverhampton Canal with rail bridges

If you fancy building a model railway layout without a station, this might be worth a look.

Looking along the canal in Wolverhampton, we see it pass under two different railway bridges. I imagine the layout would be mostly fiddle yard with a relatively small viewing window in the front. Trains would thrash over the bridges to entertain those looking on.

OK, that's probably a mad idea, but the view is interesting.

You can see an aerial view on Google maps here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Back to the Cravens

Time to pull a part-finished project off the shelf. I had a feeling that the Cravens Parcels DMU was last on the bench last year. It was shocking to discover that the last time it appeared on here was in 2016!

I seemed to remember that all (Ha!) I needed to do was fit the ends and door handles. I even remembered all the bits were in the box. There was also a question over the window frames, which the stamped aluminium body shell doesn't have, but then looking at photos, neither does the prototype so I can stop worrying about finding etched frames.

Digging them out, it's true the bits are in the box, and there doesn't seem to be that much work to do, but I have a feeling that there are still surprises in store...

Monday, April 20, 2020

Polar Bear

That's it - Polar Bear is finished and working. 

The kit is a bit of curate's egg. Some bits work really well, others less so. The end result looks OK as long as you don't really know the prototype. I'll enjoy running the model once the 32mm gauge line in the garden is finished, but I know the definitive version is still waiting for me to scratchbuild. 

What I have is a nice and rugged model locomotive that will look pretty on the track. It rumbles along at a fair lick, but in that respect is a lot like the prototype. 

Even with the limitations of the kit, I'm glad I added some detail on the wheels and brake gear. That was worth it just to add some relief. The Revell Anthracite black contrasts with the cream and scarlet bodywork nicely, just like the real thing. 

And why did I chose to model Polar Bear? Well, Garden Rail readers will know there is a 3D printed kit for Sealion awaiting my attention one day. 

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Test running the garden railway

I've been doing a bit of maintenance on the garden railway - basically, it's not seen much use recently, but work is going on to build some reliability in. I'll cover this in future posts.

Anyway, after building, there needs to be testing. I got a bit carried away and dug out every fun* loco we have for a few circuits. 

*fun locos are those that won't be damaged if they derail because I've not fettled the track yet. LGB Toy Trains, Playmobil and others. No live steam of the posh Accucraft Isle of Man locos. Those come later.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Saturday Film Club: Moon effects

Blog posts about the recent death of Bill Pearson pointed me at this interesting video. I saw "Moon" at the cinema and was really impressed with the effects. Here, Bill explains how they were done, and that models can be cheaper than CGI.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Lockdown Project: Flashing light

With plenty of time on my hands, I'm going to try to be motivated enough to work through a few projects that have been kicking around for ages. I don't know about you, but I'm finding staying focused on anything tough right now and have to resist the urge not to watch rubbish on TV when I'm not working.

Anyway, I have a flashing warning light that I picked up for a fiver at a car show. It attaches to your roof with a rubber sucker and has the hallmarks of a cheap 1970s or 80s accessory. Cheaply made, I'm sure it was sold as a safety aid if you broke down.

Tatty chrome and a busted battery box in the base seemed to be the main issues. While the chrome is beyond me, I reckoned the wiring would be fixable.

First job, remove the old box. No problem there, drilling out a couple of aluminium rivets saw the plastic bits and other remains removed and in the bin.

For some reason, power was to come from 3 D-cells. I wired one compartment out of a 4-cell AA battery box and connected it up. The bulb is a special old-style torch bulb that includes a flashing unit. I guess this is a bi-metallic device as part of the filament. I tracked a couple of these down on-line.

I was particularly pleased with my connection to the body - a hole drilled through a rivet and the wire poked through this with a blob of solder. All connected up, the unit worked, but not very reliably. I wasn't happy with the switch. Even afer a bit of WD40, it didn't seem quite right. Until it exploded.

Maybe exploded is putting it a bit strong, but falling apart into several pieces isn't as exciting, and the Interweb is all about excitement isn't it.

The rivets holding the switch in position were drilled out and I set to, to repair the slider with superglue, bracing the joins with the thinnest plastic sheet I had. This was glued and trimmed to shape later. Once happy, the unit was rebuilt with brass bolts. I did the connection to the case this way at the same time as there wasn't any point in trying to hide the repair any more.

A quick clean of the chrome with some Brasso and the lamp is ready for service. After a few seconds warm-up, the light starts to flash. It's a bit intermittent to start with but seems to settle down eventually. One day, it will live in the back of my Beetle as a decorative item. If I ever get the car back on the road that is - it's a bit harder to fix than this!

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Off to the Isle of Man in the latest issue of Garden Rail

Something unusual in the May issue of Garden Rail - a photoshoot by me for the lead layout.

While on the IOM last year, I got chatting to Ian Beech, builder of The Lighthouse and Gorsebank Railway. This amazing G scale line runs around his cottage and operates completely automatically. I don't just mean the trains circle as a procession either, they run at different speeds so have to interact with each other stopping as required to let others past.

The day I visited was a bit damp, and since the line is right at the northern point on the island (get to the lighthouse and you've just missed it) but even so, it looks great.

We've also got a conversion of an LGB Stainz to a steam tram, making your own people, building a sawmill, making FR Bugbox coaches and restoring a Caradoc.

Full contents listing, link to buy the issue and video content on RMweb. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Waterborne Wednesday: River container vessel

Not a great photo this one, and sadly not a shot of a real boat. This model in the Hong Kong Maritime museum shows a river container boat - the tiniest container boat you're likely to find and a definite candidate for a radio-controlled model.

Normal container ships are massive, but since I have seen these smaller versions in real life, even if I didn't get a picture, I could see the fun in making one. I'm pretty sure this isn't even the smalled variant out there, I'm sure I saw a 4 container version with them stacked at 90 degrees to those on this model.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Figure fitting

Like all the Groudle Glen locomotives, Polar Bear isn't very big. The cab is definitely compact and bijou. Fitting a model driver in was going to be interesting.

I bought a couple of Modeltown figures because they looked slightly smaller than most. I know cartoony people aren't to everyone's taste, but for a garden, I like them. Realistic people just look wrong to me in unrealistic live scenery. As I say though, this is very much a matter of taste.

Anyway, a bit of testing before the roof went on showed that even these people were fractionally too tall for the cab. However, if I reduced the thickness of the bottom and shoes, I'd get away with it.

I bought male and female figures and after some deliberation, decided that Mrs Engine driver would be best. She's not as broad across the shoulders and so can sit in the corner of the cab, leaving access to the control switch. A quick coat of paint gave her overalls and a matching (sort of) headscarf.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Wheel inserts

The camera is cruel. The paintwork on Polar Bear doesn't look that bad in real life.

Anyway, the photo is to show the wheel centres. When I look at prototype photos, the 5 holes in the wheels really catch my eye and so the filled in centre steel wheels weren't going to cut it.

My first thought involved plastic sheet and compasses. You can't drill through the really thin material, at least not with the bits I have available, you have to cut by whirling around a pair of compasses fitted with a point in each arm. That and an Olfa compass cutter for the bigger circles.

This was taking ages and if I'm honest, not working very well. However, with the silhouette cutter handy, I wondered if I could design something.

It turns out I can. OK, I've cheated and cut 4 holes not 5, but then there's a lot of compromises in this model anyway so one more won't make a difference. Lining up the holes was important and I'm not sure how I'd have done this with 5 holes - but then I'm a beginner with the machine and software.

A quick blast in the cutter gave me a sheet heavily scored with the design. A few minutes with a sharp knife popped them out and they fitted perfectly into the wheels.

Design and cutting took less time than doing the job by hand so maybe I need to think about using technology more often in the future.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Back to 1993

Number 1 in the museum

I've been scanning in a few old photos from my first trip to the Isle of Man. Things have certainly changed in 27 years:
  • Hutchinson in the blue livery I really like
  • Viking in action
  • No1 in the museum
  • Aqualand behind the MER
  • Strathallen depot, now rebuilt in original form
  • No cafe at Sea Lion rocks
  • Carriage sheds, with surprises inside 

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Saturday Film Club: Peel station & a walk around the sheds

This weekend should see the rush hour on the Isle of Man Railways. Sadly, all that sort of thing is now cancelled, but instead, enjoy a look around Peel Station in the company of Sam Knight of the Manx Transport Heritage Museum. I met Sam a couple of years ago and he's a really knowledgable guy, perfect for this. 

While you are getting all things Manx, try this amazing virtual walk through the Douglas Steam shed. Having been there for real, I can tell you it's the next best thing to being there. 

If you want more: Walk around Fenella

Friday, April 10, 2020

The railcar that almost got away

I don't have many regrets as far as buying RTR models are concerned, but one that did bug me was the Ixion "Coffee Pot" railcar.

The prototype was found on the Pichi Richi railway in Australia. I've travelled on this, although not in a railcar, but that wasn't the main motivation behind me acquiring this model. I just liked the look of it. One day I aspire to an On30 model, and while it's likely to be a bit American, this would fit right in.

Why didn't I buy one when they were available?

Because the coach looks horribly plasticy. Compare it to the prototype photo here and you can see what I mean.

But, I still liked the model. It's lovely to look at, and maybe I can fix the coach with some paint. By the time I worked this out though, the model had long since vanished from our shelved. Made in a limited run, it took a long time watching eBay to find one at a price I liked. In the end, I liked paying 30 quid or so less than the new price, so perhaps things do come to those who wait.

OK, the self-colour plastic coach body is pretty horrible, but the rest of the model is a joy. The waggly bits waggle as the model moved smoothly. If I wield the paintbrushes (I recall there is a Tim Shackleton article on it somewhere) apply a little dirt and add a crew, I reckon I'm glad I filled this gap in my collection.

So, does anyone fancy admitting to a model they wish they had bought when it was available?

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Tenterden shop kit

Another model from the kit stash. This City Streets kit came my way a few years ago, I think from a blog reader whose name I can't find no matter how long I dig through my e-mail. I remember soma happy holidays in Tenterden as a child. A few trips on the Kent & East Sussex railway and a lovely main street to walk down.

This kit is made up of some nicely cast resin parts. The detail looks pretty good and there's not too much flash to deal with. I found the stuff there was needed to be sanded away, the material being too hard to cut with a knife.

Resin models can be "entertaining" as the parts are rarely spot on square. I've cut up enough ready to plonk model buildings to know how wonky they can be once you attack them. This seemed pretty good, but fixing with epoxy resin was the order of the day since a bit of gap filling was required.

I made up the two corner sections, let them dry and then brought them together and that's when it all went a bit wrong.

Noticing that the building wobbled, I tried to tweak it with my fingers with the clamps in place. Normally, you can get away with this if the glue is soft enough. It might have been, but the old resin sides were brittle.

Suddenly, I was left with many bits of building.

I did contemplate getting the superglue out, but couldn't find all the jigsaw and really, this wasn't going to get any squarer or flatter. Sadly, this building is now in the bin. I have more examples and so one day I'll have another go as this range is worth the effort.

It all goes to show that modelling doesn't always go quite as well as I'd like every time!

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Waterborne Wednesday: Boxy house boat

Canadian House Boat

OK, this isn't a beauty this week - a houseboat found on the river that runs through Toronto Island

While not an obvious choice for a model, I can see a good reason to have a go. These things are moved using tugboats or workboats so one would be a real eyecatcher in model form on the lake. 

Construction wouldn't be hard. There are plenty of plans, and it's all squares and boxes. 

I wonder what it's like to live in one. I'm thinking that moving around the upper story must make the vessel wobble about a bit. Do you get used to it, or is there ballast I'm not aware of for stability? 

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Luggage rack

A prominent feature of the real Polar Bear is the set of handrails on the top of the battery boxes. In the instructions, these are described as a "luggage rack", although this seems odd as the railway didn't actually go anywhere other than the cliff edge. You wouldn't take your suitcases along as you'd be back at the start an hour or so after you'd left.

Whatever it's for, I didn't like the split pins supplied and had a dig for something better. I found 6 nice Gauge 1 short handrail knob, but need 8. They would have been perfect, but I decided to settle for some O gauge medium handrail knobs. I had 8 and they look OK.

I'll admit that it helps I'd realised the limitations of the kit compared to the prototype in some areas but am happy to build what the model boat world calls a "standoff scale" model.

The knobs were reamed out for 0.9mm wire (I didn't like the wire provided with the kit either) and the sides fitted. Some careful snipping and soldering saw the fronts in place too.

A bit of a polish with fine emery and it's job done. I've had to paint some brass bits on the model and am undecided at the moment if I paint these. Still thinking about that one so feel free to express opinions in the comment section.

Monday, April 06, 2020

Polar Bear paint planning

How to paint the wooden Polar Bear?

I had some ideas, but handily, sides are provided for both locomotives on the line, so I could use the Seal Lion one as a test piece. Painting wood can be "interesting" so a practice run seemed wise.

One question in my mind was whether a coat of sanding sealer would fill the etched lines and hide them under the cream coat. With this in mind, I only sealed the right-hand side of the piece here.

Both sides were painted with Humbrol cream enamel and if I'm honest there wasn't much difference between the sealed and unsealed results. A light same and more cream. The good news was, all the lines were still visible.

My stocks of maroon enamel are out and I'm pretty sure the government wouldn't consider a trip to buy more essential, even if the shop was open. Mail order might work, but I was impatient for progress, so tried some cheap acrylic.

Two coats were required, but the results look good. Each to apply accurately and a nice not-quite-matt finish. Time to move on to the model.

Sunday, April 05, 2020

I might as well build the b****y thing then!

I've been trying to thin down my stash of unstarted projects. Like most of us, I've accumulated kits that no longer fit into my future plans. Kits like this Airfix Peugeot 206.

I bought it because I had a Peugeot 206 and thought it would be nice to build a model of it. The 206 is a surprisingly unloved car and miniatures are thin on the ground. The Airfix kit appeared like it might offer an option but looking at it, mine was quite a long way from the rally version and I'm not convinced any conversion would look right - so the kit went into the stash.

A few weeks ago, I decided to clear space and put it up on eBay. This week it sold so I packed it and headed down to the Post Office. I'd arranged a pre-paid slip so minimal handling would be required, important in these unusual times.

But the Post Office was closed. For the foreseeable future. Staff shortages apparently.

Now you might think I could just take it to a different Post Office, but we've not enjoyed one of those on Leamington for well over 6 months. When the PO was given away to the governments mates, ours shifted from the purpose build building to the back of a supermarket. Which then closed down.

The PO re-opened for a week and then a leaky roof caused it to close again. And that was that.

Now I could wait for the local office to re-open maybe, but I'm not convinced this is going to happen. Therefore I've refunded the buyer and called it all off.

So, with the eBay fees and postage I can't seem to get back, had I thrown this kit in the bin, I'd be around 4 quid worse off. So, I'm now thinking I might as well just glue it together for fun, and then chuck it in the bin.

So much for clearing out old projects...

Saturday, April 04, 2020

Lego Wuppertal

Yes, I know it's another Lego post, but how amazing is this Wuppertal monorail? ]

OK, it's a bit slow, but fascinating. Well, I liked it anyway.

Friday, April 03, 2020

Beware geeks bearing gifts

Some time ago, I was on the receiving and of a load of chunky plugs and sockets. I love these things as they are far easier to wire up than micro versions from the IT world, and there is something very satisfying about using connections as old as a H&M Duette.

Anyway, as they are getting hard to find, and despite the fact I've not used the last lot, when offered more I said yes.

The box was collected at our show and dropped in the back of the car.

It's only when I got home I realised, THERE ARE NO SOCKETS!

Yes, I have some very nicely assembled wires fitted to some lovely chunky plugs. But nothing to plug them in to.

I suppose the wire will be useful...

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Cleaning the airbrush

One thing I am rubbish at is keeping my airbrush properly clean. I blast cellulose thinner through followed by airbrush cleaner. I even leave some of the later in the system (some in the cup) when it's out of use, but the thing still isn't as clean as it should be.

I read on t'internet that popping the important bits in an ultrasonic jewellery cleaner was the solution. I have one in a cupboard so dug it out and stuck in some batteries.

According to Eileen's Emporium, water is perfectly good as a cleaner (they could easily have sold me something "right") so I toped it up and left the bit in for a soak as the ultrasonics did their thing.

The results were unimpressive.

Assuming the paint was too well attached, I gave them a bath in Supastrip paint stripper then back into the ultrasonic water.

Results were a little better. I then tried the stuff that came in a packet with the cleaner. It looked suspiciously like washing up liquid, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Even after a good working over with paper towels, the results still aren't as sparkling as I'd hoped.

Someone tell me what I'm missing, please.

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Waterbourne Wednesday: AB160


I like this boat because it's so normal. You'll find dozens of similar vessels on any quayside. 

According to the registry, she was built in 1984 and is called Lillian. 

Her actual use is a bit of a mystery to me - looking at the lifting gear I'm thinking tending to lobster pots would be a good guess. You aren't going to want to go very far offshore in her when the weather is poor. At least I wouldn't.


There's some nice detail on the side with wooden fenders to protect the fibreglass hull from bashing against the quay wall. Blue anti-fouling paint too, not the red I normally expect.