Monday, July 26, 2021

Hozelock reel frustration and resolution


This is a Hozelock retracting reel. It's a nice, neat way to have a hosepipe, and gave me a whole heap of pain on a very hot Saturday, trying to fit to the wall. Definitely one of those jobs that looks simple and descends into a nightmare. 

In theory, all you do is drill four holes, pop the rawplugs in, screw the support to the wall and it's job done. 

Of course, you have to get all the holes in the right place, and that's tricky as the plastic bracket gets in the way of marking things. 

The solution - make a cardboard jig. 

Ideally, do this before drilling a series of wrong holes and using up all the plugs supplied. 

This reel is heavy. 17kg as supplied, but it will get heavier when full of water and then even worse - it's the ideal perch for next-doors cat, and he's not small. 

So, you need really strong plugs. The ones in the kit have little barbs. 

None of the plugs in our garage had these, so when we hung the support on the wall and fitted the reel, they started to pull out again. I'd put all the supplied ones in the wall, so couldn't take one to the local DIY shed to try to find a replacement. I went anyway, and nothing they had in the very limited stock, was any better. 

Fortunately, Hozelock sell spare packs, and I don't care they are six quid for four screws and four plugs, I bought two. Delivery was quick, and the reel was soon fitted to the wall. So far, it hasn't fallen off, although one of the very long screws supplied has bottomed out in the hole, but it's at the bottom so doesn't seem to be effecting things at the moment. 

Fingers crossed, and let's hope the cat doesn't put on any weight...

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Manx night time

Douglas station at night

 It's three years since I was last on the Isle of Man, so here's a random photo from the last day there.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Saturday Film Club: Holiday 1961

This week, a plea from the producers of Look at Life for holiday weeks to be staggered to spread the season out a bit. 

Plenty of lovely footage of the British on holiday - I'm amazed at the number of heavy coats being worn in the summer heat. I know climate change has made a difference, but is it really that much hotter today?

Friday, July 23, 2021

Fixing the pink Mini


Long-term readers may remember a pink Mini I built for a friends' daughter a couple of years ago. Well, it's still around, but the wing mirror had been knocked off on one side. 

Looking at the damage, they obviously weren't strong fittings as bought, because I'd added a length of plastic rod through the middle to add extra strength.

Tasked with fixing this on a patio table while being plied with cookies, I drilled into both mirror and door (I had been warned about this so took a small toolkit) and fitted a short length of brass wire instead of the plastic. 

Plan A had been to refit with superglue, but on the offchance I could use something stronger, I took a tube of epoxy along as well. With a sharpened matchstick, I managed to mix up a tiny amount and quickly, and neatly refitted the mirror using it. In the sunshine, the glue set fast in 10 minutes as promised on the pack, and the mirror now seems as well fixed as ever. 

Only time will tell if the young driver manages to detach it again though. Still, being paid for repairs in cookies isn't all bad.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

"Hood" ready to sail


And there it is done. A fun little project which apart from a little hole cleaning, went together perfectly. 

The finished ship is 16cm long and 9cm tall plus base. Big enough to see the detail, but small enough to fit in a display cabinet. Too small for radio control though sadly. I'd quite enjoy sailing a version twice the size. 

Meng's designer has done a cracking job to produce an identifiable, but caricatured model. I'm sure that's a lot harder then making an accurate one. I wonder if they would like to do some trains...

One part I have left off is the name "Hood" for the base. Knowing the history of the real ship, and her fate, I'm a little uncomfortable with a caricature version, so have decided that this is a model of HMS Troutbridge instead if anyone asks.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Assembling the Hood


In theory, the Meng kit pushes together, but in the same way I don't do plastic kits without paint, I don't do them without glue either. 

Not that the model was likely to fall apart. Most of the holes into which parts are supposed to locate were on the tight side, probably not helped by a layer of paint. All needed to be slightly eased with a broach normally used for metal kits. 

The upper and lower hull parts benefited from some glue and clamping to avoid a tiny gap between them. These little clamps were just big enough to do the job. 

If you know the prototype, you can appreciate the effort the designer has gone into with the bridge area. Everything that should be there is there, just in cartoon form. The trick with the model is to pre-paint everything as the build (to my mind) needs to be very clean. I didn't plan on weathering the ship as I don't want any hint of realism about the finished product.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Meng cartoon "Hood"


My dad is still working on his scale model or the warship Hood - but when looking through the Meng website after finishing my Santa Tank, I spotted a plastic kit version and wondered if I could finish this before he had his on the water. 

Spoiler: Yes I can. 

The kit is designed as a push-together model that should be reasonably idiot proof. In theory, the modeller doesn't even have to paint anything as the plastic is self-coloured. Of course, I don't approve of not painting, so quite a lot took place before removing any parts from the sprues. 

As you can see, there are decks to paint at the very least - the box suggests half a dozen different colours. I decided that the pale grey bits could be sprayed Humbrol 64 and then dry-brushed with a paler shade as the detail is very impressive. The hull bottom gets a coats of Halfords red oxide primer, my standard anti-fouling shade, and as easy a paint to spray as you are likely to find. 

Then, everything was left to dry. For several months as it turned out...

Monday, July 19, 2021

New brushes

I paint a lot of stuff, and so am always on the lookout for modestly priced brushes that are good enough for the sort of work I do. 

£10 for 20 brushes counts as better than a bargain, at least if they don't fall apart after the first use. The pack came from Brushes 4 Models at the garden rail show recently. The make normally serves the art market, but also takes space at a few model railway shows. 

I've been using a both pointed and flat versions for a couple of jobs recently, and am very impressed. They have been cleaned many times and held both acrylic and enamel paints - and yet have held their shape and the attractive colouring of the bristles. I've certainly spent more and enjoyed less impressive results. 

The only problem? Brushes 4 Models doesn't have a web site, so you need to keep an eye out for him at exhibitions, but if you do, grab yourself a bargain.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Selly Oak sails away

Time to wrap up the Selly Oak story as the model has now been delivered to its new owner. 

The sharp eyed will notice that there are a few jobs still to do - laying the track being the main one. However, I've hit a really wall with the project and reached the point where I simply couldn't continue with it. I've never felt like this before with a project as far as I know, and it's not a whole lot of fun. Even admitting this isn't easy, but I know people will wonder what happened if I simply never mention the model again do I'll 'fess up to my failure. 

The guys from Rapido have been exceptionally kind and considerate about this. Fortunately, the model is at a stage were it can perform it's main function - acting as a background for model buses, so it's not a complete failure. Since you can't see the track from bus spotter eye-level, perhaps things are quite as bad as I think.

I'm happy with the modelling I did manage to carry out. There are several nice views to be enjoyed thanks to the complexity of the different levels. The general late 60s to early 70s griminess works - so the background won't detract from the model placed in the foreground. 

Lessons learned? 

1) I must never, ever take on a commission. Not a loco, not even a wagon, and certainly not a layout. I don't have the time or the stamina. My life is busy enough with toy trains without the added pressure of a build someone is expecting. 

2) Don't do long term projects. The only other layout I recall feeling this way about was "Melbridge Town" which suffered from lots of hard work that became a slog. The two aren't the same in many ways, but I gradually ended up resenting them both. Anything I build needs to be completed reasonably quickly or I just get fed up with it. Maybe this makes be a bad person, but we can't all have Peter Denny's commitment to a single layout. 

Anyway, the model is someone else's now and I feel better for passing it on. 

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Saturday Film Club: Dresden Suspension Railway

 I visited Dresden years ago, but no-one mentioned this monorail funicular - or I'd have sought it out for a ride!

More information on Wikipedia.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Pop-pop boat


"What did you buy at the National Garden Railway Show Phil?", I hear you ask. 

I bought a pop-pop boat. 

Well, it was only a tenner and I liked the look of it. You'd pay more for the power unit

I also recognised the model - it's a Hobbys magazine "Jungle Queen" plan. Sometimes, my encyclopedic knowledge of the model kit world comes in useful...

The 29cm long model is reasonably well built, and with a bit of a tidy up should be perfectly seaworthy. I need to find my solid fuel tablets to fire up that engine.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Garden Rail August 2021

Does building a garden railway take a long time? I set out to build a working layout, complete with plants, in a day for the National Garden Railway Show. See how I got on, and enjoy highlights from the event too.

On the workbench this month, we have a battery-electric Bagnall, classic Penrhyn railway brake van, convert an LGB loco to battery power and a stone engine house. If you fancy some technology, how about using a computer to generate freight movements for your line? Or if steam is your thing, we take a look at Roundhouse Engineering's' Darjeeling Himalayan Railway loco. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Camping coaches and buying kitbuilt locos in BRM

This months' project is one of those that grew the more I dug into it.

My plan had been to take a Hornby generic coach, paint it then plant the result in a field as a camping coach. 

Then I found a prototype and things spiralled. The chassis needed to be replaced with something simpler. The roof line was wrong. And there should be a travelling van as well. 

In the end, the project took more work than expected, but looks, in my opinion anyway, fantastic. 

On BRM TV, I'm taking a look at locos. 

With a growing number of second-hand kitbuilt locomotives hitting the market - if you've never built a kit before, what should you look for in a built-up model? After all, you can't reply on the manufacturer, and will probably never know the builder. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Monday, July 12, 2021

Birmingham bus stop

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that Brummie buses didn't stop at shelters looking much like the Merit concrete version. Birmingham had it's own spindly metal design, which appeared all over the city. 

As far as I know, none still exist in the real world, and I'm not going to tour the bus routes to find out, but Wythall transport museum does have one, and I've taken some photo and measurements. 

 A few detail views too, in case I want to try and make one. 

The shelter seems to be a mix of steel and fibreglass - for the roof panels. It would have been a revolutionary material when these things were built!

For modelling purposes, I can only think of etching. There's no other way to achieve the strength for a model that will survive, and delicacy of the window bars etc. Maybe you could cut it by hand, but I doubt the result would be particularly neat. 

The measurements for one bay (the stop photographed has two) are below in scruffy notebook form: 

I'm not planning to build one at the moment, but it's useful to have the information - and this post might help someone else!

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Painting the dragon

I wasn't confident I would have enough plants to fill my garden railway display and decided a little more colour would be useful, and ideally, something amusing. 

Our garden is home to a number of concrete ornaments, normally nicely painted by myself. I use cheap acrylic paints, the sort bought from The Works for a quid a bottle, and even though these figures live out all year, the paint usually lasts for three, before they look tatty. It then takes at least another two for me to do something about it. 

The little dragon climbing out of a manhole cover was well overdue for refreshment, and since he occupies a reasonable area, but without being too tall, I decided that his time had come to make a public appearance. He's always been one of my favourites too. 

An hour of painting with cheap brushes and some sponged highlighting and he really looked the part. The paint needed a little thinning for the black cover to make sure there weren't any bald spots, but basically, I squirt it on a plastic lid and use straight from the bottle. 

Although around the back of the display, a few people spotted him. Maybe I'm not taking the hobby properly seriously, but then I think it's all about having some fun!

lthough around the back of the

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Saturday Film Club: The ugliest loco on the Isle of Man

Much as I love all the Isle of Man railways, number 18 "Ailsa" is in any eyes, pug ugly. Built for work on the London Underground as a contractors loco, it was never meant to be seen much above ground. Moved to the island in 2000 to help with laying a pipeline under the railway, it transferred into the fleet as a shunter. 

Unusually, it ran the length of the line months ago, hauling a couple of steam locos to the place they were going to be stripped of asbestos. This video shows that train in operation. 

It also provides plenty of views of this ugly duckling. Handy, because it's so ugly, I'd really like to model it. There are already a lot of photos in my collection, I just need a plan (and some time).

Monday, July 05, 2021

Time for a break

I'm afraid there aren't going to be any posts this week - I need to take a bit of a holiday from blogging for a few days. 

Sorry about this. If you need a bit of my drivel, there are well over 5000 posts to dig back through, so please talk amongst yourselves for a bit. 


Sunday, July 04, 2021

National Garden Railway Show 2021


It's just over a week since the first large model railway exhibition since the start of the pandemic. All in all, despite a bucket-load of restrictions, it went very well. 

The challenge for me was to build a 3m square layout, complete with plants, in an afternoon. I managed this, and you can read all about it in the August issue of Garden Rail, on sale 15th July. 

It was weird being back at a show. The hall is large, tall, and had a big door open as both exit and to provide some air movement. On the day, (nearly) everyone wore masks, which made conversations a little tricky, but we all managed OK. After many months of face coverings, the crowd didn't seem that odd, even if you could only see the top of their heads. It was nice to put (part of) faces to names, and I had forgotten just how much information you get from chats around the stand.

Mask etiquette is interesting. When I arrived, I walked in wearing one, but was pretty much the only one. With around a dozen people in the hall, and a howling gale thanks to all the doors being open, I reasoned I could do without while lugging soil, stones and plants around. My own little social distancing square helped with the 1m+ separation!

Building the layout was 5 hours work, and boy, my legs hurt. Putting the plants in was particularly painful, next time I'll do some muscle stretching exercises first!

Numbers were planned to be down. The 16mm Association had planned on the basis that, as they guessed, we'd still be under restrictions. Extra space had been allowed around the hall and I never felt any more at risk than I would in a supermarket or shop. Hopefully, we won't have many more shows like this, but if we do, they can work. At least if the organisers can make the financial numbers work, easily the most difficult thing at the moment. 

By 6:30, I was all loaded and heading home, ready to process photos and write some words for a very imminent deadline. All being well, I'll do the same next year.

Saturday, July 03, 2021

Saturday Film Club: The secret life of the sewing machine

Not the most obvious choice perhaps, but this is one of the films from Tim Hunkin's wonderful "Secret Life of Machines" TV series from the 1980s. Each one explained, in simple but not idiot terms, how different devices worked. 

It's worth checking out the other videos in the series if you are too young to remember them, even if someone has to explain what a fax machine is!

Friday, July 02, 2021

Meccano Clockwork Motor No.1A

I sometimes get calls asking how and where to dispose of old model railway items. I'm no expert and usually recommend the local model shop, or MRC Second-hand sales, unless the items are especially valuable, in which case a proper auction house is the place to go. 

A recent request saw me conclude that some 1970s/80s Hornby wasn't going to set the world on fire. There were a couple of kitbuilt locos that suggested the MRC, and so that's where they will be heading eventually. My thinking is that there might be collectors of hand-built models interested in them. It's a niche collecting sphere, but I've dabbled, so I'm sure others do. 

Anyway, in the collection was a Meccano clockwork motor. I've wondered about buying one of these for a while to power something boat shaped. A quick check on eBay showed these aren't worth much surprisingly, so I made an offer. This was turned down on the generous grounds that I'd been helpful, so I could have it as a thank you. I am a "good home" as I'll be interested in the item.

My new motor certainly IS interesting. For a start, it's big. The main part is 4.5 by 3.5 inches and 3/4 inch thick - all this plus leavers and drive shafts.

Fortunately, the key is in the box so I can have a go.

The motor smells of 3 in 1 oil, and runs silkily, like a mechanical device that has been kept dust free, but probably treated to a bit much lubricant. Not to worry though, it works in both forward and reverse. Cogs spin satisfyingly, but for only 15 seconds. Is this right? Would it run longer with a load? 

I'm new(ish) to clockwork motors, so suggestions are welcome. 

Thursday, July 01, 2021

Rusty bridge sides


A bit of gap filling on the high-level rail line. Using some Wills Vari-girder bridge components, fairly heavily hacked around, I've joined the bridge parapet to the canal bridge at last. 

There's some very heavy hairspray weathering going on as I wanted something very rusty, so nearly all the topcoats has been scrubbed off. It took a lot of toothbrush work though, possibly because I left the hairspray for a few days and it over-hardened. I do like this technique though. Even with limited skill, the results look (to my eye anyway) great. 

I'm now thinking the canal bridge side needs to move a bit so it doesn't stick out as far, but that's for another day.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Big posterboard


Photos show a pair of large posters in front of the wing wall on the Selly Oak bridge. After a little measuring up, billboard poster being standard sizes, I worked out that my modified version could only accommodate a single board. OK, one and a half, but that's not very helpful. 

Details are sketchy, but boards tend to be pretty simple, it's all about the poster after all, so I made up a simple frame around the display area and allowed a kickboard at the bottom to keep it off the ground, as per the prototype. 

"Dinka pinta milka day" is a cracking design. Strictly speaking, it's mid-60s rather than late, but I'm going to stretch things a little because it looks so good.I have a photo of a Brummie bus passing one anyway, so I'm not totally mad. 

Around the back, there's not much to see, as this side is against the wing wall, but some supports will be visible from certain angles, so a little made-up detail is called for. The whole thing is Plastikard and quickly made. 
Wires fitted in the supports will anchor the model in the pavement - I considered extending the "legs", but would have to drill oversize holed in the pavement. This will be neater I hope.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Coupling chains

One aspect of garden railways that has always amused me, is the very pragmatic approach by the 16mm scale community, to couplings. 

Re-bent paperclips are perfectly acceptable, but if you want to be really post (and I have a tweed jacket, so I do) then bath plug chain is the thing to use. 

Needing to replenish my supplies - the current stock all living in the box with 45mm gauge tipper wagons - I headed to the local hardware store. £1.08 pence later, I owned 3 feet of chain. Large scales aren't expensive!

Half an hour in front of the TV with a pair of pliers unbending and bending links, and I have a couple of bags full, ready to use. I've 3 and 4-link sets so I can chose depending on the stock to be joined. 

As I say, I love this hands-on bodgey aspect of the hobby. It's probably a very British thing - or is it? In the States, I think these are called a MacGyver. Can anyone confirm this?

Monday, June 28, 2021

Worth its weight in stones


A big show like the NGRS means a bit of preparation. All the stock I planned to use needed to be checked over, batteries replaced, and bearings oiled. 

Along the way, I found a surprise. The little IP Engineering diesel that did so much work at the last event was full of gravel. I'd forgotten that when I first set it off around the track, it struggled to haul itself along with two coaches. The solution was to add weight over the driven axle - and all I had to hand was the stones sued to ballast the line. 

Of course I meant to do the job properly eventually, but as the train worked a treat for the show, no more was thought of it. Until now. 

The stones were put on the scales and then replaced with slightly more weight of lead. It's not dusty and should stay put better. Of course, it's also the "right" thing to do. Sometimes though, bodge repairs will do the job!

Sunday, June 27, 2021

National Space Centre


Something a little different, and without trains - a visit to the National Space Centre at Leicester. 

Thanks to Covid restrictions, visitor numbers were low, which made wandering around and looking at stuff much easier. There is certainly plenty to see too. 

As you would expect, there is a lot of stuff to enthuse kids. Buttons to press and fascinating displays explaining the solar system such as Saturn sitting in a bath because it would float in water apparently. For nerdy grown-ups though, there's plenty to read and some interesting artefacts to look at. 

I learnt for example, that I'm too tall to go into space. That Russian capsule above - 6ft across and it accommodates 3 people. Not much chance of me getting in a Mercury capsule either. 


There are several full size (I assume) cut-outs of Tim Peake, who is a good foot shorter than I am. Never mind, I don't fancy all that sitting on an exploding rocket thing anyway...

I was visiting with a friend and young daughter and that meant we got to sit at the craft table, and build a rocket each. 

Phils rocket

It's a clever design - colour in your model, then assemble (harder than it looks, folding the cone is tricky) and fire. Yes, you put it on a plastic milk carton, clap to squash the bottle and the air makes the rocket fly. Great fun and something you don't get to do as a 50-something bloke on your own. 

The highlight of the trip is the planetarium, the largest in the UK. Sitting in your seat, the screen fills your view and then we head off for a tour of everything from the Big Bang to evolution of humans. There's some amazing visuals as the creation of planets etc is explained. The tone is aimed at youngsters, but not patronising for adults. Young Phil would have loved it, and old Phil enjoyed it too. 

A terrific day out. The tickets covers you for a year, so I plan to head back and have some nerdy time reading all the captions and looking at things like all the rocket engines on display at some point. 

There are a few more photos over on Flickr. 

And, NO railway? Look what I spotted next door...

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Saturday Film Club: Building working Lego submarines

 OK, it's Lego, but there is some interesting construction going on here with custom made parts for hydroplanes, and devices to fire rockets. I'm amazed how much kit can be soaked and still operate. If you didn't know about the issues of radio transmission underwater, there's some clever animation to explain it too.

Friday, June 25, 2021

National Garden Railway Show prep


All being well, by the time some of you read this, I'll be setting up at the National Garden Railway Show in Peterborough. Yes, an actual model railway exhibition!

My stand is a repeat of 2019s "Garden Railway in a day", which means I'll fill the car with compost, stones, plants and a few trains. All of which means, last weekend, I had to service all of my little 32mm gauge locos to make sure i have sufficient rolling stock/ Will five locos be enough for the day?

One challenge is that in the past, I've borrowed the plants used on the display from a local garden centre. This isn't really appropriate in the current circumstances, so there's a bit more work in that area, and possibly less greenery - but I'll do my best and hope you like the scene if you come along.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Book Review: Birmingham Buses - Route by Route 1925-1975

This is the book that made me abandon my bus stop. A book, chock full of high quality photographs showing Brummie buses in action all over the city, much of the time during my lifetime, or at least not much before it. 

Lets start with the basics: A4 size, hardback, 175 heavyweight, glossy pages. 

Price is £25 and it's one of those books you handle and know where the money has been spent. It feels quality.  

Rather then focus on the machinery, author Malcolm Kelley takes us on a tour of Birmingham by bus route. This is a cleaver idea as many people reminiscing about buses remember a specific route they took every day and the sights they saw along the way. 

I remember helping out on the Rapido stand at Wythall bus museum and while the quality of the model bus was important, the route number was the clincher. If it was the one you travelled on, then that made a big difference. 

I'm fascinated by the views of bits of Birmingham that I know, but have changed a lot over the years. Often, I can recognise the basic buildings, but the details such as the signage are completely different today. A good example are those shots showing buses by the town hall - a pedestrianised area as long as I can remember, and one only now admitting trams to the street. The city has changed. 

All the suburban shots are interesting too. We have a world where not owning a car was common, and two car families were rare. Streets are traffic-free and showing the care lavished on the homes and gardens. In many pictures, there is evidence of late 60s development with clean lines and concrete - stuff that didn't age well, but at the time spoke of a new optimism. 

I'm sure there will be people picking captions apart, but not me. I'm not even really looking at the buses, I bought this for street scene inspiration for Selly Oak, and as such, it's proved invaluable. 

If you like buses, or love Birmingham, a worthwhile addition to your bookshelf.

Buy Birmingham Buses - Route by Route 1925-1975 from Amazon (Affiliate link)

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Review: Clear PVA glue - The Works

It was an exciting moment when I dropped into remaindered book shop The Works, and found they had bottles of a clear PVA glue on sale. 

We all know that PVA is supposed to start white and dry clear, but this stuff is properly clear in the bottle. I mean, seriously clear. What witchcraft is this? 

In my modelmaking, I use gallons of PVA. Sometimes it's used neat and sometimes thinned with water. I use so much I actually have a favourite brand from the building trade

So, is this new stuff any good? I had to buy a bottle to try it out. 

First impressions

It's clear. And slightly runnier than the 502 PVA I normally use. Slightly shiny too - a bit like one of the cheaper PVAs which always seem plasticy to me compared to the matt stuff of 502 or resin W. Maybe, this is because it's sold as a "craft" product rather than a wood glue. 

Sticking things down

Good - the clear glue stays clear and dries nice and matt. I wasn't too careful about the pieces shown above and yet you can't see any splurges around the edges. 

I'd say the drying time, or at least the time to grab, is slightly slower then other glues, but not enough to worry me. 


Thinned with ordinary tap water plus a couple of drops of washing up liquid, the odd thing was that the mix appeared slightly blue - then I realised this was the detergent put in to break surface tension. 

For test materials, I used some Woodland Scenics beige ballast and random granite stuff found in the bottom of the ballast tub. Both have stuck, but are still slightly spongy unlike the rock hard result from traditional glue. This might confer a benefit for sound deadening, but I haven't tested that.

Drying time seemed pretty normal and the granite hasn't turned a green shade as it does with normal glue. 

Modelling water

The test piece is some DIY wall filler splodged on car, painted with brown emulsion and then treated to several thin coats of glue. 

Obviously this stuff should have an advantage over traditional PVA, what with it being water-colour to start with and this carries on when dry. The results are nice and shiny. I poured about 1mm each time for four pours. I reckon it looks OK. 


I like this stuff and will keep a bottle in stock in the future. Some tests to compare joint strength would be interesting, but really I see the "sticking things down" test being the key and there joint strength isn't much of an issue. Well worth a look - has anyone else tried it?

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

The wrong bus stop


I thought the bus shelter at Selly Oak would be pretty simple. Pre-cast concrete would be the way to go. Utilitarian and ugly would be perfect, and handily Merit produce something that fitted the bill. 

The only snag is that my pavement slopes, so the legs need to be extended by 3mm at one end, but that's not a too tricky with some plastic and ABS strength glue. After that some Precision Paints concrete colour - weathered followed by a wash of new. 

Finally, a wash of black emulsion added staining and engrained dirt. Blu-tacked in position, I was pleased with the look. It sits in the scene very nicely. 

Then I bought a book on Birmingham buses, and realised that in the period modelled, the corporation had bought a job lot of spindly metal shelters. So I need something different after all.