Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Time for a new loco cradle


I knew it was time for a new Peco loco cradle when I noticed how many bits of foam I was having to brush off models in front of the camera. 

What I hadn't realsied, was just how battered the old one was until it sat next to the replacement. I can't remember how long I've had the thing, but it's well past retirement age!

Monday, November 29, 2021

Catenary maintanance car

Even on a freind's German layout, I can't resist an interesting piece of rolling stock. 

This is a Deutsche Bahn overhead line maintainence car. It's a Trix model, and very fienly detialed. The pan can be raised and the working platform swung out with the handrails raised. 

All in all, a nice, compact unit. Why don't we do this sort of thing in the UK? It all looks so neat to me. 

Quickly searching on the number brings up a photograph of the prototype. 

I think the model looks nicer, but I'd definetly have photographed the real thing if I'd seen it!

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Saturday Film Club: Tugs. The most in-depth analysis of a kids TV show ever

Hat tip to Ben Buki for this monster video, which I'm still working through.  

A very deep analysis of the TV show "Tugs" with behind the scenes information and details of every character and every story. There is a LOT of work in this, both research and putting the film together. Amazing work.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Pete Waterman's (baseboard) legs

Now, this IS a very interesting leg system that could be easily copied for anyone's layout. 

What I don't understand is how this is a such a popular video with well over 6000 views in a fortnight.Is there nothing else on the Interweb better than me crawling around the floor for two minutes?

Monday, November 22, 2021

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Still busy, but not too busy to eat cake...

I'm still crazy busy at the moment, but as Warners have popped a few of my past videos on their YouTube channel, I'll post a few to make up for the lack of content.. 

First up, me being amusing with one of the new Bassett-Lowke "Brickpunk" models. There is cake involved. Of course.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Time for a break


I'm snowed under with work for our Virtual Show at the start of December, and the truth is I've not had the time or inclination for much personal modelling for a few weeks, so I don't have a lot to write about. 

Hopefully, I'll be back in a week, but for now, please amuse yourselves with the links to other peoples excellent blogs on the right hand side. Or you could dig back into some of my old posts - there are plenty of them!

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Saturday Film Club: Bond stunts

I enjoyed the new James Bond film No Time to Die - and like most of the series, the pre-title sequence is an exciting chase. It seems that the film crew wanted to do as much of this with physical effects rather than CGI (hooray!) and so there's some interesting behind the scenes stuff to enjoy, all of which is in this video. 

Obviously, some of it is real. I've got those guns fitted to my Peugeot!

Friday, November 12, 2021

Medway Queen

Medway Queen

On a recent trip to Ramsgate, I headed toward the excellent Peters Fish Factory for tea, and what should be on the slipway opposite? Famous paddle steamer Medway Queen.

Medway Queen

Obviously I couldn't resist taking a few photos - you don't see ships like this very often round my way! Medway Queen is well known to reailway modellers, as the preservation society often have stands at show raising money to keep her afloat.

Find out more at the Medway Queen Preservation Society website

Medway Queen

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Happy holidays in Garden Rail


Happy Holidays from Garden Rail this month - we head stateside to visit the breathtaking New York Botanical Gardens annual festive display. Not only is it amazing to see, but the natural materials everything is constructed from can be picked up for free. 

On the workbench, Lew and Lyn get an upgrade, a 7/8th building is enlarged to 1:12 scale, we tackle snowdrifts, and back in the warm, build a railcar. 

All this plus the latest news for garden scale modellers.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Warehouse Wednesday: Wonky building - for real


Hat tip to Duncan Young for this photo from Lavenham showing a building you'd never get away with as a model. He suggests subsidence as the cause of the wonkiness, but as the ground floor is still square, I'm inclined to the idea that the timber frame of the upper storey has twisted over time. 

Whatever, caused this plaster must have been restored a few times as it's good deal less flexible than wood. Surely, it would have fallen away as the supports move. 

Anyway, model this and people will look at you oddly. 

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Battery powered exhibiting

One problem we face at TGBMRS, was the lack of electricity. There was a power point in the floor, but just the other side of an escalator. It didn't seem sensible to run a cable accross this, so initially, it looked like there would be no movement on the stand. 

Then, an idea. 009 locos don't need much power, so could a 6V jelly call from a model boat do the job? 

With nothing to lose, I charged up a small battery and took it along. After a testing the various locos, my "Tin Turtle" seemed happiest on the available juice, so it performed during the show. 

The little loco ran happily from 9:30 opening, to about 3:30 both days. I did recharge on Saturday night of course. 

A rough calculation tells me it covered a real mile each day - showing how reliable the Tomytec chassis under the Meridian Models body is. OK, speed was a little high, but you can't have everything. 

Another battery, this time a 9V PP3 powered the LEDs in the car dealership. Hardly fresh when I first plugged it in on Saturday, the lights stayed on until the end of Sunday, including overnight as I forgot to turn them off!

Monday, November 08, 2021

Save the boating pool!


Storage has not been kind to the boating pool on the Handyman Hall Railway. The varnish had developed long white streaks. In a river, I could have told people these represented white water, but no-one was going to believe me here!

It's a long while since I built the layout, but my usual method for representing water involves coats of Ronseal Yacht varnish. Lovely stuff, but slow to dry and I was on a deadline. As well as the yacht varnish, I always keep a can of Interior floor varnish, and decided a coat of this might just cover up the white bits. 

The stuff normally dries within 20 minutes, but of course as I was on tenterhooks, it took well over an hour. 

But - it worked!

I'm now wondering if I used interior varnish in the first place. Yacht varnish is slow drying enough not to show brush marks, and these are definitely evident. I wonder if I can get away with a coat on top now?

Saturday, November 06, 2021

Saturday Film Club: Put it in the garden

A few weeks ago, I gave a talk at the Model Railway Club on garden railways. This was both live, and streamed - and the recording is now available online, complete with technical issues. Hopefully, these won't detract too much, and you can enjoy my waffle.

Friday, November 05, 2021

Use the good wood

When working on my little industrial layout recently, the sides needed covering with something to smarten up the model. 

The obvious material for the job is thin plywood. It's easy to cut with a sharp knife and when varnished, looks good.There are stocks in the Parker material store, so it's even handy. 

But, part of me thinks the good wood should be kept for something special. A project worthy of quality materials. 

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it's that this sort of thinking is rubbish. It's only bits of tree. I can buy more. I need to stop waiting for the "special" project to come along. 

I'm glad I did - the result looks really nice. Maybe this was the "special" project? 

At the very least, it gives me an excuse to buy more wood next time I see it!

Thursday, November 04, 2021

Huts, couplings and Thomas in BRM

 I've been out with the camera this month, to visit a very important, and very old, model railway. 

Ffarquar Junction was built by the Rev W Awdry well over 60 years ago. As well as being the earliest form of Thomas the Tank, it's also a fascinating time capsule showing how model railways used to be built. 

With the limited materials of the time, a pleasant scene has still be created that would still please many modellers today. 

Many of the locomotives are built from kits that disappeared from the market long before I was born. Now in the care of the Talyllyn Railway, the stock lives in this home made case which has also survived many years use. 

On the workbench, I've built a trio of small hut from the Intentio range of laser cut kits. One has been turned into a weighbridge on the industrial scene featured in the last two issues. It's nice to be able to set a model into some scenery, but not always possible because of deadlines. Here, there are a few extra tweaks showing how to alter an existing model railway. 

Finally, on BRM TV, I'm looking at couplings. 

Since the Rev Awdry's layout uses Sprat & Winkle couplings, I took the opportunity to explain them more fully. I show how they work, and how I have fitted them to rolling stock. 

There's also an interview with the guys looking after the layout giving a bit of history to the great man's model railways. 

All this in the December 2021 issue of BRM. 

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Warehouse Wednesday: 1930s Bungalow

Spotted in a Bourne back street, I suspect something bad is about to happen to this rather attractive bungalow. I'd date it as later 1930s to 1950s, and pretty much unchanged since then. The door and window look about right, even down to the colours. If that Disco wasn't in the way, the garage looks pretty typical of the period too. 

My guess, and hope, is modernisation. The house opposite was also a bit of a time capsule, but has been sympathetically brought up to date. I know you can't live in a museum, but it's still nice to see unmolested buildings.

Tuesday, November 02, 2021

Weathering the Dublo Scammell

The Scammell weathering turned out to be a lot more involved than that for the VW. 

For a start, while the trailer is screw assembly, the tractor is all rivets, so much work with the drill to get the thing apart. 

The glazing was particularly difficult to remove. Eventually, I just broke it up in the cab since I planned to replace it anyway. 

After a spray of matt varnish, and being left to dry for a couple of days, work started with a bit of dry brushing. Humbrol 25, let down with some 147, proved to be a nice soft shade to match the original paint, just highlighting the detail and making the model look worn. 67 did the same for all the black areas. 

Then it was powder time. The plan had been to dust the model, then wipe it down and finally, dust a little more. In the mostly plastic trailer, this worked perfectly. 

The tractor though - well, wiping down with water caused the varnish to lift away. Obviously, it didn't like sticking to the really smooth paint on the metal. Eventually, I wiped it all off, set the model aside to dry and then shot some of my precious Dullcote on it. 

Running out of time, the model was warmed on a radiator for a few minutes and then powdered dry. Lots of brushing, but no water. The result is a dirtier tractor than trailer, but not unreasonably so. 

Reassembly involved superglue followed by Glue'n'glaze glazing. The result isn't bad. OK, it's not the amazing weathering possible if you have lots of time. I didn't, but sat on a layout, it will look fine, and upset the collectors.


Monday, November 01, 2021

Weathering the Dublo VW

A show deadline persuades me to stop messing around and get this "valuable collectable" properly ruined. Or improved, depending on your point of view.

A single cross-head screw is all that holds the chassis in place. The glazing is held in with a rivet, so I ground that away with a fat drill bit. 

Nice to see we have a full microbus interior. Since you can't see it in the van, it makes sense for Oxford not to do another moulding. Pity the steering wheel is on the wrong side though!

Around the window edges, I filled in the gap between the chrome moulding and the glass with some black paint. It looks better than the yellow body colour appearing where no yellow should be visible. 

After that, a dusting with weathering powders was followed by a wipe with a damp cloth to make the powder slushy and get it into the crevasses. I didn't want this van too mucky, just to look like a working vehicle. 

After that, a glazing with Deluxe Glue'n'Glaze and the model is ready for service.