Sunday, July 03, 2022

Mini-Europe. The political model village

Mini-Europe

 Model villages are usually cosy affairs. Pretty little buildings, often with amusing shop names, and frequently set firmly in the same era as Agatha Christie dramas. The modelling will be slighly cartoonish, but that's what people enjoy. 

Not so Mini-Europe

For a start, the model-making is superb. Crisp building details, including hard to reproduce statuary. 

France - Arc De Triomphe

Amazingly, this stuff lives outside all year round. You can tell, because one building is missing, and another has recently been repaired due to the effects of a storm. 

Rather than a single scene, Mini-Europe brings together iconic structures from all corners of Europe. We have the Houses of Parliament, Eiffel Tower, Brussels Grand Square, Pont Adolphe and many, many more. You really can get a taste for the entire continent in a couple of hours - the time it takes to wend your way through it all. 

Kids will love all this as most countries have buttons to press. Much of the time this fires up the appropriate national anthem, but sometimes it kicks off an animation such as an archery competition, digger, train or even a volcano erruption. 

There's a clever scene with a theif carrying the Mona Lisa and a Policeman chasing him - which are operated by pads you run on. The fast you run, the faster your character moves. It's really clever. 

Austria - Melk Abbey

However, all this wonderful modelling will not please everyone. You see, Mini-Europe extolls the virtues of the European Union. The guidebook, which is available in several languages, including English, makes a better case for the EU than the entire "Remain" campaign managed a few years ago. 

Brexit does warrant a mention - there are pro and anti demos beside parliament, and the paths around the UK buildings have dotted border lines on them. 

Worse still, instead of being forced through the gift shop (which isn't very good) you exit through a display about Europe. Nigel Farage would be turning in his grave. 

All this is done very well. It's important to remember that most people on the continent have a very different view of the EU to the average Brit. We are mentioned in a "sorry you've left, please come back" way, instead of the agressive way our newspapers refer to Europe. It's quite sweet really. 

I really enjoued Mini-Europe, and it makes an excellent addition to a day spent at the Atomium next door. Finding out more about the model making is on my list for a future Garden Rail feature, it really is impressive, and worth investigating. 

Check out the rest of my photos on Flickr.

Saturday, July 02, 2022

Saturday Film Club: Duchess of Hamilton

It seems they have let my friend Anthony Coulls loose with a camera again. His subject this time is Duchess of Hamilton.

Friday, July 01, 2022

Layout in a day at the NGRS

Garden Rail garden railway in a day

This time last week, I built this layout. A 3m square garden railway. 

With two seperate circuits of 32mm gauge Faller/Big-Big track, I think it's my best effort to date. Thanks to my Mum's hard work producing the plants, it looks (IMHO) amazing. 

Feedback at the show was positive. I know this sort of thing isn't everyone's cup of tea, but generally, people seemed to be enjoying it. 

Full details will be in the August issue of Garden Rail of course, along with some thoughts about what I should do next year...



Thursday, June 30, 2022

Not quite a Class 37

Not a Class 37

Another random picture, this one from a folder named "Hillers". I'm guessing that this refers to the Avonvale MES Miniature Railway at Hillers Garden Centre

This is an "interesting" locomotive. More practical than beautiful, I fancy it would be an interesting modelling project. Mind you, I bet none of the commercial Class 37 noses would match, so it would be a full-on scratchbuild.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Warehouse Wednesday: Random Ramsgate Building

Strolling around the back streets of Ramsgate, I spotted this building and took a photo. 

This was months ago, and I now have no idea where it is, or even what it is. But I still think it's a really interesting shot and a fascinating building. Presumably an old factory or workshop. It must have been quite something when new - there's a lot of interesting architecural detail. We don't make buildings with this much effort very often nowadays.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

St Etienne-en-Caux in NGW

Tram

Wandering around Bristol show a few weeks ago, I spotted Charles Insleys delightful 3.5mm scale narrow gauge layout St Etienne-en-Caux. Since we've known each other for years, I twisted his arm to let me take a set of photos for a feature. 

That feature appears in the July issue of Narrow Gauge World magazine. Editor Andrew has interviewed Charles about the layout, and the words accompany a small selection of my photos. It's a lovely layout to shoot, with lots of potential angles to work with. There's also a wealth of interesing detail, which really comes alive when you get in close.



Monday, June 27, 2022

Quickie coach

Green 4-wheel coach
Sorting out the rolling stock for last weekend, I found this little 4-wheel coach from Ash Models. It came to me as a kit for review back in 2019, and since building, has sat in various places awaiting paint. 

Ash Models coach

Quite what possesed me to tackle the paint job when I was already stupid busy with proper work, but put came a pot of Humbrol Grass Green paint. Not a good pot it turns out, the "liquid" needed a squirt of thinners to make it useable on a brush and not a trowel. Handy, as there wasn't that much left anyway. 

It took a couple of coats of thinned paint to produce a slighly careworn look that I've decided I quite like. There's the air of a workman's coach about this and they shouldn't be shiny. Mind you, had I realised the roof was loose, I might have taken the seat out and treated the body to a dose of primer so the first coat of paint didn't soak in as fast. 

Roof view

Once I had remembered the roof wasn't glued on, I set it aside for covering. A coat of PVA hold a sheet of printer paper in place. Once dry, a couple of coats of emulsion paint added the grey. One is a bit thick, but perfect for the job. The roof isn't perfect, but like the body, that seems to suit the model. 

Finishing touches are some nice Cambrian plastic door handles. At some point I'll add hinges too, but need to pick up a fresh pot of paint first. 

OK, so this was 3+ hours I didn't really need to spend, but at least the job is pretty much done, and I really like the results.



Sunday, June 26, 2022

Holiday photos: Brussels for the Atomium


Many years ago, I remember a poster on platform 2 of my local railway station. 

It advertised the delights of continental railway travel. To a youth who had been abroad only once, something many of today's kids will find amazing, it all looked very exotic. 

What caught my eye was the amazing silver building on the Belgium poster. In those pre-internet days, I had to do a little digging to find out what it was, but once I did, I decided that one day I would visit The Atomium.  

I've always been fascinated by tall buildings. On that one and only school trip to France, we managed to reach the second level of the Eiffel Tower. It was a highlight of the trip, even though I didn't realise the teachers had bulk bought tickets, and so handed my cash over to the attendant - he took it AND my ticket the theiving b***ard. I've also copped (to use the railway term) the mini Eiffel in Prague and CN Tower plus London Eye. The Shard is on the list for a future trip. 

Anyway, after only about 30 years, I finally got here:

The Atomium

And it was brilliant.

Arriving by tram at Esplandae station, a five-minute stroll soon had me glimpsing the shiny balls between the trees, hightening the excitement of finally getting here. (Note: I know Heysel is closer, but it's a dump and Esplanade has an fascinating tram-turning loop). 

Built for the 1958 World's Fair, there's a lot of history to read, and I drank it all in. Every information board, every film. When it's taken 30 years, and a very reasonable 25 Euros (including the Design Museum and Mini-Europe) to get to, I think it's sensible to wring everything out of the trip. If the art instillations are a bit pretentious, who cares when you are standing in a giant, silver ball?

Even coffee (4.50 Euros, not much more than Costa) at the top floor restaurant, was special. OK, mainly for the view, but also because I'd finally made it.   

What strikes me, is that the Worlds Fair that gave birth to this building was a facinating period of tremendous optimism. People looked to the future and were willing to embrace it. Part of the display shows some of the other pavillions, most of which are long gone, and they were properly radical. A future designed by Gerry Anderson. I wondered what happened the next day as I queued in the Eurostar terminal and realised the only poster advertising the UK was for the ficticious, rose-tinted history of Downton Abbey. Are we a country now retreating into a past that never really existed? 

Anyway, you want photos: Head over to Flickr for the full album

Next Sunday. Mini-Europe. An unexpected gem of a political model village.


Saturday, June 25, 2022

Saturday Film Club: The Model Engineers

A high-production value look at the Edinburgh Society of Model engineers. OK, not the most detailed look ever, so one for the general public, but it's beautifully filmed and worth a look for inspiration. And it treats the subjects well too. They come over as hard-working knowledgeable enthusiasts, which is what they are.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Getting ready for the NGRS

16mm scale model locomotives

Today, I should be heading toward the East of England showground for The National Garden Railway Show

As usual, the plan is to build a garden railway in the afternoon, which will run for the duration of the show. To this end, I've been checking over the 32mm gauge loco fleet. All seemed OK apart from some fiddling with Polar Bear to sort out the gear mesh. 

That, and I'd forgotten to wire up the blue Simplex. When I wrote the mag feature, the focus was on whitemetal kitbuilding and painting, not electrics. Rectifying this too about an hour and a half - partly because I melted the end of a AAA battery box soldering things up. Hopefully, my bodge will hold as I don't have a spare and a heavy loco would be ideal for this job. 

Of course, what is missing, is a steam locomotive or two. I don't think I have anything suitable in the kit pile either. I wonder if there will be anything at the show?

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Cooper Craft 16mm station bench seat

 

Cooper Craft Bench kit
Considering how much I (generally) love Cooper Craft kits, and that I'm moderatly interested in garden railways (!), it's taken a long while for Kit 3021 - Station Seat, to land on my workbench. I think it's because my preference is for cartoony figures and accesories, and this is quite realistic. 

However, some lucky bidding on eBay brought three of these my way, two for 99p, so it's time to have a dable. 

The design looks to be one of the northern railway companies destinctive "rustic" benches. I thought Furness, but the photo I found online is South Tynedale Railway. 

Why something distinctive was chosen is a mystery, but it doesn't matter. The kit contains three uprights and a set of seat/backs. The latter have to be seperated and glued to the uprights. No positive location aids are provided, apart from some slightly raised lines on the back of the "wooden" parts. 

The plastic is odd. It discolours with Mek, and takes a while to set. 

The middle support needs to be trimed to remove the arm rest. Easy to do with some clippers, I left it until the bench was assembled, because I didn't read the instructions properly. 

Station bench
The model is 16cm long - 10ft in real terms. Not unatractive, when I find uses for them, I'll make up the other kits as a set will look nice on the railway. They will need to be fixed down though, as a plastic bench is very light!


Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Grand Palance Models - Brussels

Grand Palance Models

Of course I typed "Brussels Model Shops" into Google when I planned to visit. Sadly, the only one within striking distance in the time available was Grand Palace Models, but I couldn't resist a visit. 

Grand Palace are a high-end diecast models emporium with many superb vehicles in a huge variety of scales on offer. It might not be my sort of thing, but the range is impressive and it's all very well displayed. Prices don't seem particually outrageous either. Considering the pricey central location and quality shop, this is a bit of a surprise. 

Was there anything that tempted me? Of course. I'd love a 1/32nd (I think) Super Bugger Camper model, but even if I could have justified the price, I'd still have to lug the box back on the Eurostar and then work out what to do with it later. I'm just astounded the model exists at all. 

As it was, I satisfied myself with a bit of window shopping. If you are in the area though, it's well worth a look. 

Visit the Grand Palace Models website.


Tuesday, June 21, 2022

The new Garden Rail sales stand is open for business

16mm scale Garden Rail sales stand

And with that, the job was done and our sales stand is open for business. 

The posters, shrunk GR covers, bring the front to life a bit more. I should be able to peel them off for replacement in the future. Figures, who look nothing like anyone who will be around the stand (must do something about that) are from the Karas Kharicters range. Not the best, but with plenty of character which I prefer for a job like this. Caracature people work (IMHO) better for my sort of modelling. 

All being well, the next time you see this model will be on Saturday at the National Garden Railway show as part of our "Layout in a day".

Monday, June 20, 2022

Wiggly tin roof

 

Roof sticking
IP Engineering supply a nice laser-etched roof for the coach kit, but I'm not sure which way up it should be fitted. 

Etched lines up, and it will need covering with tissue, but would represent the planks found on real vans and carriages. I'm not convinced you can actually see these in real life, but modellers like to represent them sometimes. 

Etched lines down and the roof is slightly harder to bend, but the top surface is smooth amd ready for paint. 

I've gone for etched up, as I fancied covering the roof with some "corrugated iron". The sort of thing that might have happened to static vans in the early days of preserved railways. Well, it's my model and I think it looks fun.

Wiggly tin on

The wiggly tin comes from Bole Laser Craft, and is vac-formed plastic. I wound it around an aerosol to put too much bend in it first, then fixed to the roof with some gel superglue that promises and super-strong bond. 

Setting time was short enough I could hold the plastic in place, saving messing around with elastic bands. I know I'll knock the shades off if I do too much of that!


Sunday, June 19, 2022

Le H&M Duette

H&M Duette

I spent a three days in Brussels last week, and am currently paying for it in trying to catch up with my work. I promise I will bore you with photos later. 

Anyway, I stopped off at the flemarket that takes place at place du Jeu-de-Balle, and what do I find on one of the stalls? A vintage (is there any other sort?) H&M Duette.

No, I didn't buy it, I had enough stuff to lug around. The idea of a Belgian toy train controller did appeal a little though.

However, has anyone ever bought model railway stuff in an unusual place? 

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Saturday Film Club: Original X-Wing Model from Star Wars

Star Wars was an important film for me. Aged 7 when it first hit the screens, it was like nothing I'd ever seen before, but I was captivated. 

Looking closely at the props from the days when they weren't all found in a computer also fascinates me. This X-wing fighter isn't a hero model, but a less detailed version that could have been blown up. As it is, the studio have modified it, they aren't precious with the props, unlike collectors!

Friday, June 17, 2022

Warehouses, telephone boxes, dirty buses and lots of photos in BRM

It's a busy month for me in BRM July 2022.

Shunting yard

Starting on the workbench, we have part two of the layout in a box refurbishment. This time I'm working on the buildings and developed a technique to turn laser-cut MDF into realistic, weathered red brick, using very basic materials. 

Telephone kiosks

Then, I provide a guide to street furniture and its modelling possibilities. Basically, this was an excuse to go and look at telephone boxes at Avoncroft Building Museum, but I have covered other stuff too. I know a lot more about post boxes than I used to, for a start!

The big news is, for the first time, I'm responsible for all the layout photography in an issue. 

Kannotburn

Kannotburn is a stunning 4mm scale layout set in Scotland. It wasn't on my list to shoot when I visited the show, but as soon as I spotted it, I knew I had to strong-arm the owners to let me point my camera in its direction. 

Wimborne

Wimborne is also 4mm scale, and one of the largest I've shot to date. This proved to be more of a challenge for me, I'm happier with tiny layouts, but the results look great. As a bonus, subscribers get a video interview with the owner and lots of train movement. 

Peasevern Yard

Finally, we jump to 7mm scale and Peasevern Yard. It might be small for an O gauge layout, but it certainly doesn't lack interest. 

I should thank Andy York at this point. Mainly for post-processing all the images - it looks better if all the photos are handled by the same person so we get some consistancy - but mostly for being poorly so I got to take the photos. Hard work at the time, but seeing the results on the page is very special. 

Oh, and on BRMTV, I'm making a mess of a Brummie Bus. 

Brummie bus on a bridge



Thursday, June 16, 2022

Safety first in Garden Rail

 

Junly 2022 Garden Rail cover
 

As we spend more time in this hobby, our interests can change, and so it was that Richard Barwick transformed his line from its typical LGB-based German theme, to something that reminded him of happy holidays in North Wales. The Amber Valley Light Railway makes use of much of the rolling stock, but you wouldn't know it...

On the workbench we build a wartime diesel, ex-GVT carriage and row of shops as well as look to keep you safe while running live steam engines.

All this and our comprehensive round-up of the new products for modellers in large scales ijn the July 2022 issue of Garden Rail

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Warehouse Wednesday: Central London

Warehouse through an arch in London

So there I am heading towards Borough Market, and passing through an arch, I spot the most magnificent warehouse. If it wasn't for the museum sign, and all the people, this could pass as a photo from the 1950s. 

Warehouse

OK, the doors, landings and hoists will have been restored, but so well. I can imagine goods being hauled up and pulled in for storage. It's nice to think that there are still some glimpses of the past that make it into the modern day.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Wheels on

 

Closeup of wheels

With the bodywork nearing completion, it's time to add the wheels. 

Solebars are made up of two plywood laminations to produce a nice chunky piece of wood. Onto these, the whitemetal axleboxes are fitted, once their brass bearings have been instered. A fraction fit (put them in with  hammer) seems sufficient for these, especially on a model that isn't actually going to run. 

I wanted more then glue to hold the axleboxes, but was running low on really tiny screws, so each 'box gets a load of superglue and single screw, which seems pretty strong so I've be happy with this on an operating model. 

The steel wheels aren't the ones supplied with the kit, I can't find them at the moment, but some random wheels given to me months ago (thanks Earl) of unknown manufacture. It all comes in useful in the end!

Monday, June 13, 2022

Striking lucky with transfers

 

Coach body with Garden Rail logos
Here's a bit of luck, or perhaps my penchant for not throwing things away finally paid off. 

The coach needs Garden Rail logos. In the past, I've printed them on one of the special sheets that can go through an inkjet printer. It's a reaonably easy process, but I work on the basis I'm probably going to muck things up, and so make more then I need.


Looking in the transfer (not decal) store, I found the ones leftover from my last job and they turn out to be the perfect size for the new carriage. A dip in some water, bit of Microsol and Set then a spray with Halfords satin laquer.

Adding the branding starts to bring the model alive too and keeps my interest up if it were flagging.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Random thoughts about new TT


The news that Peco are going to re-introduce a TT range came as a complete surprise to me. There have been rumours that Hornby has looked at doing this, and even that one of the newer manufacturers has sniffed around the scale, but despite my prodding, we've heard nothing official. 

Suddenly though, Peco has jumped up and announced some track, a set of GWR buildings and even a 5-plank wagon. All from nowhere. 

Obviously, I think more model railways is a good thing, but as a 3mm scale modeller in the past, I have mixed feelings. 

For a start, this is continental TT, NOT British TT. The former uses 12mm track and the correct 1:120 scale whereas, we used 12mm track and 1:101 scale so 1960s motors will fit in our little locos. As such, I'd say that this isn't re-introducing the scale, it's doing it again from scratch - at least as far as Blighty is concerned. 

Is this a bad thing? Well, IMHO, no. 

The only problem is that your ancient Tri-ang models won't run on the new track, and if they do, they will dominate the new correct scale rolling stock (OK, I know there is only the promise of a wagon at present, but let's assume more will follow). Does this matter? With the exception of the Class 31 diesel, the range is pretty crude by today's standards. Trying to support that legacy stuff would have held the new scale back. Tri-ang collectors can carry on running thier models on old track, or even the newer Peco stuff for HOm (I think). Anyone wanting something more realistic can junp straight in with the new models. 

The other option would have been to produce 14.2mm gauge track and enter the 3mm:1ft 1:101 world. That way, the "new" scale would have been supported by a load of very nice Parkside kits supplied through the 3mm Society. Personally, that's the direction I'd have prefered, but I'm not taking the commerical risk. 

By going 1:120, there is a lot of continental hardware available, even if it doesn't look very British. That support makes sense, and also the track can be sold into those markets where TT isn't a forgotten scale. 

What we are going to end up with is, for British modellers, a brand new scale. While I'm sure the 3mm Society will welcome newcomers with open arms, I suspect those wanting to try TT won't be the sort that join scale societies. They will be hovering on forums and demanding ever more models RTR. The 3mm Soc. will continute to support 3mm modelling - slighly larger than "new" TT, as well as "old" TT with a Tri-ang badge on it - as well as, ironically, Peco badges from the 1960s!

Tri-ang and finescale Jinties

A lot depends on a major manufactuer breaking cover with some rolling stock. Hopefully they have already talked with Peco and weren't planning New-Tri-ang with 1:101 stock on 12mm track. That would be a little embarassing. With no new trains, the scale will barely become a seedling, never mind blossom. 

TT, in all flavours, is a lovely scale. Rolling stock to the standard of modern OO or even N would be wonderful, but is there a big enough market willing to jump ship from another scale?

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Saturday Film Club: RH&DR 95th Anniversary Steam and Diesel Gala - the team!

Time to look at the Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway, but instead of focusing on the trains, although there are plenty of these, look at the people who run the line.Without the people, there are no trains after all.

Friday, June 10, 2022

Catalina spotting at Wellesbourne

G-PBYA

I'm not really an aircraft nerd, but I do find them interesting. My dad is much more of a fan and a particular favourite of his is the PBY-Catalina seaplane. Not a common 'plane at the best of times, and one he had never actually seen. 

This changed last Saturday as I was browing Twitter and spotted a photo of a "Cat" that said it was parked up at Wellesbourne airfield. That's only 15 minutes away, and has an excellent cafe to boot. 

A quick check showed that the 'plane had landed the day before, but didn't show a subsequent take-off, so we ranced over in the car and were delighted to see the aircraft parked up behind the cafe. Air nerds note, the route includes what the satnav should describe as "turn left at the Vulcan bomber". 

Better still, as we gawped and took photos, the crew arrived and told us take-off would be in 90 minutes. Well, Wellesbourne is a busy little airport, and we had tea, so decided to wait. 

The aeroplane is G-PBYA, normally found at Duxford air museum. It was taking part in the nearby Midlands Air Festival, but that's just buzzing the crowds. We were seeing it close-up. 

Just over half an hour before departure, the engines were fired up and final checks made. The craft taxied out to the runway, but had to wait - for a Vampire jet to take off, and those things are really noisy!

Both of use were a bit surprised how small the Catalina is, but then when you've only seen models, it's difficult to judge. It's an odd looking aircraft really, but maybe that's what's so appealing. The only question is, Airfix, Revell, Academy or another for the plastic kit? 

More photos and video on Flickr.

Thursday, June 09, 2022

Paint and green lines

 

Coach parts

Stuffed with newspaper and masking tape, the coach body was treated to a couple of coats of Halfords white primer, followed by some satin clear laquer from the same source. This went well, and showed no significant sign of yellowing. 

The results might have been neat, but looked a bit insipid. Something else was needed, so I took a deep breath and dug out my bow pen. I'm not a confident user of the tool, but reasoned that if I didn't like the results, the laquer would allow me to wipe them away. 

As it was, a couple of lines down each side of the raised beading, carefully joined up so they looked like a fat one, went on pretty well. The thing with large scales is the lines are wide, and I'm not sure I could do them in one hit with the pen. Two passes seemed to work OK. 

This still wasn't quite right, but rounding the inside of the corners with a brush, even if a long way less than perfect, makes a massive difference. At that point, I decided to quit while I was ahead. A bit of skill aquired, and results I can live with. That will do me!

Wednesday, June 08, 2022

Warehouse Wednesday: Menier Chocolate Factory

Menier Chocolate Factory

 A recent trip to London has furnished me with a few "Warehouse Wednesdays" that actually meet the definition. 

The first is the Menier Chocolate Factory, now a performing arts venue, but owes it's existence to the decision by the French Menier Chocolate Company, to expand overseas, They built a five-storey factory and warehouse of brick with stone dressings 1865 and 1874. The company found themselves in truble after WW1 and eventually, after a series of buyouts, became a tiny part of Nestle. The factory was listed Grade II in 1996.

As a modelling prospect, it's not that inviting, being a large, ornate structure. My guess is that this is a job for 3D printing as all though ornate windows would be very fiddly to reproduce by hand. As a series of identical "units" though, they would be perfect for CAD design as once the first is worked out, it can just be copied into each position on the drawing. 

Mind you, there's still the challenge of printing - that curved cover will be the biggest obstacle. Maybe a break line in the raise brick "pillars" so the model could be produced as a series of flat(ish) parts?

Tuesday, June 07, 2022

Power sanding in the odd corners

 

Proxxon 28594 power sander
The trouble with sanding sealing wood, is that it raises the grain, which then has to be sanded back for a smooth finish. No complaints, that's how the stuff is supposed to work, but sometimes it's a fiddly job to get in all the nooks and crannies. 

Under the shelves on the back wall of this coach are just such a problem area. Pondering this, I remembered that some time ago, I'd aquired a Proxxon 28594 power sander and perhaps this might be just the tool for the job. 

To be honest, I'm not that good at resorting to power tools - something more profesional modellers do at the slightest opportunity, for speed, and often accuracy. I'll carry on hand working something, partly because the tool isn't set up and doing so takes effort, but mostly because I'm not in the habbit, although I probably should be. 

Using the sanding tool

The first snag is that while I'm sure I once had proper self-adhesive sanding pads, these are long gone. No worry, some normal 240 grit sandpaper attached to the sanding head with double-sided tape worked perfectly well - I was soon smoothing away under the shelves and in all the hard to reach areas. 

A technique is required - when using the tool, put your finger in the indented area, a bit further forward than you see in the photo. I kept my pinkie back for clarity, and also because I hadn't worked out what to do at that point. 

Another thought - use coarser sandpaper. 240 grit is fine, literally, but I could have gone for 120 and been fine. 

I've not worried about a second coat of sanding sealer, but the resulting bare wood look works well inside the coachs, so I'm happy, and will try to keep this useful tool closer for future jobs.


Monday, June 06, 2022

Raised panel detail

 

All the raised panel details are supplied as laser-cut card frets which need to be carefully removed and stuck into place. The instructions suggest using spraymount, but that pongs, and I've only got the repositionable stuff anyway, so they would peel off again. 

Instead, I used runny superglue placed in the wood/card join and allowed to run into it by capillary action. My Zap thin glue is passed it's best, but with some kicker sprayed on it, did the job. Mind you, the kicker stinks too, and probably isn't good for me to inhale. 

Although the position of the raised detail is etched into the wood, at the ends, the top horizontal is either too high on the card, or too low on the end. I just used a bit of spare fret to double the depth of the moulding, but on balance, I should have cut and lowered the horizontal part. It would have been easy to do, but only before the glue had dried. 

Another coat of sanding sealer will hopefully provide extra hold, and I'm still not convinced about superglue and wood...

Spare fret is handy by the way. No hinges are provided, but a bit of leftover fret does the job nicely. Waste not want not!


Sunday, June 05, 2022

Chuffing up Fawley Hill

 

Phil in an 03 diesel cab

A couple of weeks ago, thanks to a contact from Garden Rail, I managed to get myself into Fawley Hill, the late Sir William McAlpine's estate. The place is amazing. Most railway enthusiasts managed to accumulate a bit of railwayana which they display randomly around the house. Imagine you have the budget, connections and space to aquire chunks of, or even complete, buildings. Then put then in your substantial garden. The place is littered with fascinating artifacts. 

Almost as soon as I arrived, I found myself in the cab of an 03 diesel shunter for trip down the hill and along the line. 

Class 03 diesel shunter

Now, I'm not one for blagging cab rides, but I've a soft spot for 03's and wasn't going be rude and complain. First impressions are just how roomy it is in there. 

This particular loco is one with a cut down cab for operation on the Burry Port & Gwendrath Railway. Which is going to make building a model interesting - someone must have done this before, can anyone point me at an article? Yes, a cab ride means, I want a model. Those Canadian air horns are going to be a challenge too. 

But, it's not the diesel that excited people, it's watching steam tackle the fearsome bank. You'll be pleased to know I recoreded a video of that.

Of course, there was cake, and very good cake too.

Sausage batch and Victoria sponge cake 
 
I'll try and post more photos in future blogs, I just need to go through them. Watch this space.

Saturday, June 04, 2022

Saturday Film Club: 100 years of RNLI tractors

We always look at lifeboats, but for the technically inclined, the machines that movel them around are even more fascinating - and would be frustratingly difficult to model!

Friday, June 03, 2022

Let's get royal this weekend

The Queen, Charles, Edward and Diana in model form.

As we trundle through this weekend and its two-day bank holiday*, I thought I'd better enter into the spriti of things with a few royal photos.

We'll start with the 10cm tall plastic figures of some of the family. No idea where they came from, or who made them, but I paid a tenner for the set on a second-hand stall years ago (the price is still on the bag, I can't actually remember where I bought them) and occasionally use for amusing photos.

Little plastic The Queen isn't impressed with the new austerity royal train.

Then there is the 3mm scale version standing on the platform at Flockburgh. 

This is from a Preiser set and comes with Prince Philip and Teddy Roosevelt. To be honest, they aren't labeled on the box, but are, or at least were, sold seperatly and so if you look closely at the 90 figures in the pack, you can work out who is who. 

I think we need to finish with this fantastic magazine cover, from an era when even a model railway mag felt the need to comemorate the occasion. 

 

Railway Modeller Coronation cover

*Hello to all those people fairly new to working from home who have discovered that the office might be shut, but that doesn't mean you aren't expected to deal with your e-mail. Doesn't seem like such a panacea now does it?