Monday, 31 October 2011

All our yesterdays.

The highlight of the day for me happened quite early on pre-opening. A cheeky of-the-cuff remark to Rod Allcock generated a small package containing two items to run on Garn.



Anyone over thirty five with a glimmer of interest in narrow gauge grew up with these locos within P D Hancock's articles in RM and in his 1975 book. To have the real thing trundling up and down on Garn was a joy. So thanks to Rod for the few minutes of lend.



Sunday, 30 October 2011

Stand well back!






A bit of double-headed fun with Miles and Susan during the ExpoNG set-up which makes the layout seem longer than 1metre.



An interesting day with a lot of high points and a couple of annoying ones. Garn seemed to be surrounded with cameras for most of the day and judging by this and the comments, went down well.



My thanks to all concerned in setting the show up. A grand day.


Check out Tom's blog for more photos including one of yours truly chatting to Albert Einstein...http://hlrco.wordpress.com/blog/

Friday, 28 October 2011

Expo NG 2011

.... will be appearing at Expong tomorrow.
The layout has been a bit of a curates egg since its inception. The name comes from the word uttered by Eliza Doolittle as she sits on the kerb replying to Henry Higgins' claims to turn her into a shop girl. 'Garn!' Thus it follows several layouts with a twisted link to My Fair Lady, Wood End included. When asked if it's based in Wales I've always said no, placing it near the Snailbeach in Shropshire. Wood End and Brookside were spotted on an OS map of Shrewsbury long after the layout had been sold, and yet Garn resolutely and repeatedly pops up in Wales - the above near Blaenavon. Maybe I should move it.
For students of Welsh, garn means 'cairn'. So the above sign translates to 'cairn the plot' or 'cairn the acre'.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

I name this ship...



Waiting on the doormat on my return from Wales was a small brown envelope from Narrow Planet (aka Steve Fulljames) containing two pairs of nameplates for the Bevans (I can't believe I just wrote that)

They are exquisite.

Only a couple of mill high and so small that my point-and-shoot camera won't focus that tight, but perfectly readable to the naked eye.


For better photos of his range of plates see Steve's blog link to your right.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Boards for a small slice of Norway



Mr. Hill's Norwegian project has been a long time coming, but at long last is underway. I'm only acting as assistant as this shows, however this may not be the last time the nameless project will appear here.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Doug

The latest oddjob in nearly built mode. It's fair to say that if you can't say something nice, then say nothing. Most of this is parts from a Gem 'Douglas' kit.... ahem.
Even with the roof replaced with brass, it did wheelies. So there is as much weight up the front as possible including half of Mrs. F's jewelery.
There is still much to do before Expong.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Inspiration 2

I touched on the Groudle Glen briefly in the Bagnall-build epic. Below are a few more from the same set taken in the 1990s. For those unaware the GG is a short 2' line running from a wooded area (below) along the clifftop to the site of a 'zoo' hence the names of the original locos Sea Lion and Polar Bear. As far as I can recall the line has only influenced one model - Laurie Cooksey's O-16.5 Fairlight Glen which appeared in RM in May 2002. Laurie's piece was not much over 4' x 2', but what about bigger?


We tend to think of small simple plans like this in terms of small board portable layouts, but they would actually be perfect for a small system running around that otherwise useless 8x6 boxroom over the stairs. With say the sylvian station and loco shed on one side and the 'zoo' on the opposite, with the clifftop section in the middle in front of the usual window.
The pleasure would be in the gradual build of the layout and the (scratchbuilt?) stock. Operation would be limited, but not if you apply American carload principle and use a card or dice system of loads to available stock. If the rather politically incorrect zoo was changed to some sort of small industry (fish?) then this would work very well for a one-man den layout. Any scale from 7mm to 16mm would work in the space.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Inspiration 1

Regulars will know that I have a bit of a thing about brake vans and signal boxes, both of which are rapidly disappearing. This little beauty is, or maybe was at Barbican station. Not much to add only that I'm reminded of the little cameo models that featured on covers of early MRJs. There'd be a lot of work in here, but what a joy to build.




The lower shot is a very dinky ground frame taken the same day and I think at Farringdon. The subject of trains running in 'oles is one that is rarely done with this sort of scene in mind. Shame. In the right hands it would be a terrific model.


Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Oddjob 4

It would seem that sooner or later most unmade 009 loco kits end up on my desk. Oddjob 4 has been in the drawer for a number of months and it's time to attack. Probably 40 years old, made by GEM I think, it consists of the contents of an old sweet tin which are: some whitemetal parts, a motor and something called Arnold. We'll see what I can bash out of it. Maybe by Expong 2011...

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Paint

It was pointed out yesterday that as far as 7mm narrow gauge is concerned I have two locos and a van so 'it would be rude not to' build a layout. Actually there are a couple of coaches as well. Does that make it more or less rude?

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Brakes

One of my pet peeves with larger scale narrow gauge is brake gear. Yes it it more tucked away than on standard gauge stuff, but if you are using a RTR chassis at least chop the existing stuff off and leave alone or add something simple and narrow gaugey. To this end with the PECO van: the Hornby chassis has been chopped right back and a 15 thou solebar overlay has been added with a few representational bolt heads from strip. Simple brake gear added - mainly from the left-over sprue from Unnycoome's station kit - just a vertical pivot post, lever, crank and shoe and the pin bracket. Mostly inspired, funnily enough, from a Hull and Barnsley standard gauge open in Peter Tatlow's LNER wagon book, but the Southwold and W&L used similar arrangements.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Canvassing

Back in the 80's I glued a dummy canvas roof to O gauge wagons. I still do it where appropriate today. And the PECO van is no exception. Simple enough. Take a single square of bog-paper and de-laminate the 2 plies so you have a single piece. Plonk over your roof and with your solvent of choice, wash liberally along the ridge. Then making sure it stays un-ruffled, work down to the eaves. Trim with a pair of nail scissors leaving a couple of mil to wrap round the edges. Keep trimming and solventing until complete. Paint light brown as a base coat and then your chosen top coat.
I tend to do the sticking in stages 1. to let it not get too soggy and 2. to stop to much fume build-up as you have to slosh quite a bit of solvent about.
Andrex is best avoided unless you want little puppy holograms on your roof.
If you're clever you could pre-scribe planking onto sections of the plastic and create a tear/flap on the canvas to show damage.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Oddjob 3

There is in my loft a small-ish box marked '7mm ng'. Strictly speaking it should say 'discarded Hornby that no-one else wants'. However (and you may notice that I'm working my way through it) there was a small plastic bag containing what I think are the 7mm NGA packs for the PECO van and two coach sides. A little raking around found a fairly modern body-less Hornby wagon chassis. I think I'm right in saying that it is punishable by up to three years in prison for not having a PECO van, so I thought that I'd better hurry up and build it. The components are as above: 2 sides, 2 ends, a roof, some wire and the afore mentioned chassis now topped with a piece of 40 thou plastic 71x 37mm using UHU as liquid solvent won't touch the slippery plastic.


I believe that the original chassis for the kit is 40mm w/b, whereas this is is a little shorter and I've mounted the body quite low. A brake handle and shoe, plus dummy solebars to do.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Laurie's Loft



Laurie sent me this If it doesn't make you laugh, then you have no soul.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Oddjob 2

A few years ago now there was a rush to make things for 7mm narrow gauge out of the Gnomy toy range. I wasn't immune to this upsurge and chopped the little coach into something that suggested a European steam tram. In order to keep the balconies I had to resort to using a Tenshodo spud to power it and wrote the whole thing up for RM in 19 hundred and frozen to death. Moving on a few years I stole the spud unit to power a whitemetal J70 to use on Froxington (see link on right). Now seemed the right time to restore the spud to its original home. Spuds are generally attached from above via a central screw. This wasn't easy when I built the thing and was less so now involving using all my gynaecological skills, poking the flat screw down through a hole in the top of the 'tanks' with a bit of blu-tack and a small screwdriver.




Before I get moaned at, the above shows the whole loco. For students of this sort of thing it comprises of: the £2.99 coach, a till roll, some wire, Gibson brake handle and filler caps, a cocktail stick and a washer and a chimney from the clicky bit of a ball-point pen which is a force fit and actually holds the whole thing together.



Class stuff.


For a bit of inspiration, though electric, try this.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUZBXr_VLWM&feature=related

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Railway type Sentinals

I was gently berated a couple of days ago by Miles Bevan for only showing a part photo of the 7mm Sentinal. Built on a cheap Hornby 0-4-0 mech from plastic sheet, a till roll and a Wrightlines chimney. For a 7mm loco (even for a narrow gauge one) it's small and the chassis has been cut-back to its limits. Other than that it's quite a simple build; as Miles put it, '...two boxes and a bit of trim.' I worked from a Tony Harwood drawing in Narrow Lines and from a mix of two prototypes: the first the 2' gauge Whinstone Quarries version,



and the 3' Clee Hill Quarry example, adding inspection flaps over the skirt cut-outs to hide the big wheels and over-length wheelbase.



The cab interior is semi-detailed but with the figure (who appears to be throwing up in the corner) blocking the door it seems hardly worth the effort.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Mount the Tri-ang

A couple of triangles of scrap and half a dozen slivers of micro-rod sloshed liberally with Simon Green, rust and Charondon Granite and at least it looks like a piece of ironmongery that belongs on an industrial locomotive.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Isn't this nice?




Whatever happened to flat caps and short trousers?

Oddjob1

I often get a sly remark about sticking firmly to 4mm scale narrow gauge and not moving with, lets say, the rest of my social circle and working in one of the bigger scales. I'm quick to point out that there has been a 1:24 project which met it's end in an unfortunate manner, but can be viewed in the list at the top. I've also dabbled in 7mm ng and though a full layout has yet to emerge, there are a few unfinished items lying around. The above compact Sentinal being one.

Built from plastic on a cut-down Hornby chassis and otherwise finished, I'd not decided on which couplers to use, at the time swinging between T/Ls and Kadees. As most of the people I know stick to the T/Ls it seemed logical to follow, so the odd job was to fit.
The front end is a problem. there is zero clearance behind the bodywork with the bulkhead of the chassis sitting tight behind, so a lump of plastic and a self tapper do the mounting work. What I hope to do now is diddle with it visually and blend it in with the rest. The rear end should be less thrusting as there is space to set it slightly into the body. As it is this only sits about 5mm forward of where the coupler was originally.
Anyone know of a supply of Tri-ang pressed T/L couplers?

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Post Wickham

There was much talk as always during the Fareham show about next projects. The one thing about the loose association with Nigel is that the two of us bounce ideas off each other continually - most of which will never see the light of day. This, coupled with the fact that both of us have bouts of bargain-itis, means that there are often many odd bits of material and kits that can be used.
This Sunday just gone it was trams. Not a new idea, but lifted to the fore with the purchase of a book from Kevin Robertson's stand titled Twilight of London Trams. Lots of drool-worthy large plate photos of London streets between 1949-52 many showing the conduit system which has always appealed. A small layout had been mooted a while back (I have kits in stock) for the Wealden Railway Group's competition of a layout in the space of three linear sheets of A4. Now Chris Nevard (link to your right) is building in the same sort of area.
This small area modelling maybe the way forward for these 'bargain' kits that I have stacked up. In the meantime there is the Norwegian to test and work out.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Fareham Exhibition

Fareham at Wickham. Garn ran without hitch apart from clumsy operators. Definitely shirtsleeves even on October 1st as this snap of a warm Nigel will prove.

I was rather taken with the other 009 layout in attendence, Julian Evison's Khan. An unashamed large scale rabbit warren which was deservedly popular all over the weekend.

Again thoughts to the future of Garn and although it is being advised against in certain quarters, I have an idea to sell in the not too distant future. One, because it has done what it set out to do, and two, I have bills to pay.



Saturday, 1 October 2011

Miles - the movie







A quick bit of Miles shunting three shale wagons on Garn at Fareham. Nice show and unlike a lot this year, very busy despite it being the 1st October and beach weather.