Saturday, 18 November 2017

Gaugemaster controllers

I'm always a bit sceptical when it comes to guarantees and this was no different. Gaugemaster now state that their controllers are covered by a 'lifetime guarantee'. Is this really correct, and does this mean my lifetime or the controller?
I bought the above from them when they had not long been trading and this was their first feedback machine - very cutting edge at the time, that being around 1987. This particular item was used as a main drive, then used in conjunction with a handheld for many years and is still kept in the exhibition box as a spare. The trouble was that time had not been good to the internal mains cable clamp and it had worked loose leaving the three coloured wires exposed - not PAT friendly when doing shows in council run venues.
Last Sunday I noodled into Gaugemaster (open Sunday...) with said controller and said the above and was it covered? Much sniggering ensued over the age of it; it being older than most of them, but yes it was. They took it away and waved me off. On Wednesday there was a phone message: all done.
I do take the piss out of them from time to time for being expensive and all corporate, but this is rather fine service if you ask me.

Saturday Ramble - Arundel Quay

 A couple of snaps taken with my phone of Gordon Gravett's Arun Quay at the Uckfield show. This is rather inspirational for a least two reasons: firstly the utterly superb modelling which just does not get any better than this. Second, the fact that, like Ditchling Green, this is very much based on my patch. The Gravetts live in the west country, but oddly the modelling doesn't reflect this, and this being the second layout based in Sussex, the roots are surely hard to shake off.
This also digs straight into my thoughts of late regarding 'connection'. Try as I might I'm finding it very hard to get to grips with designing a possible American layout; it might yet happen, but I think this problem could be that I don't feel connected in any way to it as my only experience of it is though various media and not the real thing. So why is it that I'm usually known for narrow gauge modelling when they're a bit thin on the ground around here? Probably the repeated trips to North Wales and having a very good museum with a NG line. Arun Quay however hits the spot as I don't have to go very far to bump into similar architecture and in fact was in Arundel only yesterday on the river where this layout is supposedly set.
Going up against the Gravetts would be foolhardy in the extreme, but something similar in 4mm, may just have the connection that I need.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Ratio signal operating

Signals are a real fiddle and I can see why most modellers have a complete deliberate blind spot and ignore them. It is possible to jerry-rig a working system (even in 2mm, see Unnycoombe posts). Down at the bottom a Peco pin has been used again - drop of superglue on the other side and trimmed off. Stops for either end of the up/down movement can be made at the other end of whatever operating system you're using, but I start with something to get me into the game with a piece of 20 thou rod glued to the post. A drop of paint renders it invisible from normal distances and it can always be cut off later, but if the arm is going 'stop......stop' where you want it to first off, rather than doing windmills, you're in a good starting point.
All this would be better in brass of course.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Ratio GWR signal chop

With the 48XX conversion stalled through lack of correct paint (you'd think GW green would be easy wouldn't you?) I moved as swiftly as a mixy rabbit toward signals. The inspiration is a middling height starter at Towyn. There's a cracking straight-on shot in one of C C Green's Cambrian books, so after a bit of scaling, the standard post in the Ratio pack was hacked down to 64mm and a new lower hole drilled. The rest as yet is pretty standard fare using a Peco pin rather than the wire for a pivot. The blind at the back was fixed with superglue and worked right the second time.
The choice of the Towyn (Tywyn?) example meant that it's got two lives, one in print and possibly a second as the starter on AotC.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Fitting the Ratio signal box

I hadn't left quite enough space for the signal box with the original scenics. Clearance for stuff to sail past, but it looked too tight, so a chop back of a few mil and a new retaining wall from bits of scrap Wills kit. The Luftwaffe signalman is also now perched on the walkway ready to accept the token. Almost there now.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Peco OO bullhead

 I popped into Gaugemaster today to get a pot of paint that they'd sold out off. Second on the list was to pick up a length of the new bullhead track (which they did have) to see what it was all about. Here's a few findings:
1. It's quite flimsy. The old code 100 was built to last and to be relaid if necessary. This is much more delicate, in fact the next one out of the box got broken by the staff. For lightness of appearance, you get fragile. 2. The sleepers are 33mm long, 9.5mm spacings and 3.25mm wide. So 10" x 8'3" which is a slightly weird compromise size.
 The top photo shows the direct comparison in height to a copperclad point using the same 75 bullhead (though to EM). The overall difference is about 1mm, so a similar point would need a bit of packing. the lower shot gives a direct comparison between the EM and the code 100 streamline. Easy to see the gauge difference here, but without the comparison and more side-on I'm not so sure you'd spot it straight away.
I'm quite impressed with it. Fragile and the slight up in price to code 100 aside, it's quite a visual jump. The new matching points at £32 rrp are another story. An average six point terminus comes out at £192 against around £72 in the old stuff, so whether it will bite amongst most modellers is doubtful. I suspect most will mix the track with the yellow pack 75 points.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

4mm Southern Electric

About a year ago I was punting around for a simple structure to go with the electric section of my latest book. What I found was that Hornby and Bachmann had a lot of it covered, though there is some dispute whether some of it is actually to scale or not. While substations were out then, the more common, but slightly shyer TP huts didn't seem to have been done and were fairly simple. Finding anything out about them was a bit of a nightmare and photographing was worse - by their very nature the Track Paralleling hut is generally sited on open line and in simple terms, irons out the voltage between substations. With the drop in lineside clearance of the last few years most are surrounded by a sea of nettles. Good for the railway as it puts the scrotes off from nicking the cables, bad if you want photos for a book.
The basic walling is 60 thou plastic with the door and window from Wills. The vents are simply shaped from a lump of 80 thou. The roof is a piece of brick sheet from an indeterminable maker that was so brittle that most of it went in the bin. I just managed to get this bit done, covered with tissue and painted grey.
The cheat is that what you see, is all there is - the other two walls are undetailed.
The book - 'Modelling the Southern Region 1948-present' is available here and is ideal for a stunning Christmas present.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Hornby 14xx body

Another one of those old style conversions that doesn't seem to get done anymore. I note that there is less of this sort of thing going on and yet people are happy to pay £100 for a company to spray some muck on your loco and put coal in the bunker. Ho hum.
Anyway... Airfix/Hornby 14XX altered and backdated to be the first of the class i.e. 4800. So cabling scraped off, whistle shied removed, fireman's steps shaved and joy of joys hacking a filing the top feed away. This is an almost running Airfix example that I might swap onto a Hornby mech' as it'll run better and give more room in the cab. It only cost me a tenner, so not too scary to do. I might not be so happy with a brand new £70 ex
Plates have been ordered from Narrow Planet, which is a piece of cake - pick your scale, pick your number, type your card number in and they turn up. Perfect. Just make sure you get the number right... guess who didn't.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Parkside Dundas van?

A small update on the 'praying' post of a couple of days back. The wagon in question was the above. The provenance of which is that I picked it up at a show unbuilt for £1.50. It looked complete but there was no header card and no instructions hence the price. What we have here is a BR van built around 1952 to diagram 1/208 which is a total minefield as that were built all over the place and changed to ply sides from planks halfway though. That much I knew or could look up.
The kit included an unfitted chassis though photos suggest that it should be a fitted version. The one good photo I found backs this up. While in Cornwall I built up the bits that were included and on return have added rain strips, tie bars vac cylinder/pipes and cross rod from Ratio bits and strip.
The question is this. I assumed that it was an early Parkside kit, but in the back of my mind I had it that they bought some Ian Kirk kit moulds and this used classic Parkside plastic, but it is a bit more rounded than their usual quality. Not that it really matters much - just curious. 

I'd part painted it beforehand using my usual German grey and dried turd mix for the roof and underside, and G**s Workshop morfang for the body, which is a fair match for newish stock brown. I just need to source some transfers and dirty it slightly.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Saturday Ramble

Haven't done one of these for a while.
The Art of the Compromise is basically done, there are just a couple of detail bits to do. But then what next? This is a bit of a weird one: most of the layouts I build are loosely for exhibition - this isn't. Most are built with an end game target - this hasn't been. The only reason that it's been built at all was to see if the fourteen year old me was right and that it was buildable despite the first 1.5 attempts failing. Yes it can be done provided you tweek a couple of things and reduce some building sizes. The 'what now' is probably common to all modellers for once we've built something, what does it do? Despite appearances I'll bet that the percentage of modellers that actually take a layout to a show is relatively tiny, although if you peruse the mags it looks like that number is huge. The reality is that the exhibitors and mags are in a bubble and there is a vast swathe of the great unwashed modellers out there who build home layouts, the odd kit or two and the much derided box-opener/collectors.

The AotC has one show in the spring - local and essentially for a mate. It's low pressure. I still have to build a couple more low trestles for this event. Low because it'll work better and because the overriding ethos for the AotC was to stick to things which were available in, and of a style of the late 70s and early 80s to match the 1978 plan. In other words before the 1995 turn of the Iain Rice driven high layout presentation which I've generally grown to hate - I've just spent a few days gricing a couple of lines in Cornwall and was frustrated by high walls and overgrown linesides with  reduced photo angles. I don't really want to play the same game at exhibitions. No I'm not a helicopter, but yes I do want to see your modelling.

Do I then do the show in the spring and scrap the AotC for parts? Job done. Or do I do something that I've not done before and extend it? Logically the later, I'm very contrary about doing shows anyway, but there is the showman element in me that likes to occasionally wave my bits around in public view. I could spend a long while detailing stock and locos, but I fear my heart won't be in it. I'm in that rut where anything else seems pointless once the basic idea has been achieved. At the moment it sits along the wall as a glorified 16.5mm gauge test track.

Quite neatly, blogger informs me that this is my one thousandth post on here. Well who'd have thought it?

Friday, 3 November 2017

Self leveling

A few days away - part business, part pleasure. I took a couple of kits with me to try and reduce the pile somewhat and a small tool kit. What I'm not used to doing is modelling with an audience. A bit of 'sighting up' on this BR van was found to be highly amusing by Mrs F. who of course is never without her phone...

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Santa special

Bluebell again.
I took this from the bridge steps to get the lamp detail on the LBSCR 4 wheeler. What I wasn't seeing was the early arrival of the staff for the Santa Specials.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Bluebell Railway

 As usual on a visit to the Bluebell I head for the smaller oddball stuff that everyone else avoids Yesterday I was in riding mode with two small people in tow and lucked out with the P Class and the pre-group four-wheeelers. It's a little cramped, but far preferable to something with a tender and a brace of Mk 1s. Howard (below) was having his carb emptied and closed for the winter and I had a brief chat to the guy working on it about the worry of declining engineering skills and the education of same. The BR run an apprentice scheme to try and fight this, but other lines seem to shy away, finding it easier just to moan about the lack of cash and young interest.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

B set coach

As hinted in the previous post there are issues. I went on a search for info. If you look at the RMweb and Scalefour forum there is a) more info than you'll ever need, and b) much argument about what is wrong with the Airfix coach.
I took a deep breath.
The problems are: length, one window too many, wrong headstocks, inaccurate truss rods an identity crisis: is it an E 140 or a 147 or a 145?
More deep breaths and a couple of decisions.
It basically looks OK, but I decided to change a couple of things. Firstly make the headstocks flat and not curved, change the buffers (most were close coupled - some weren't). The truss rods were a step too far as was the window - like I said before, there comes a point where starting with a kit is  the easier option. The rest is paint: ends, roof and underside get a coat of grime, droplights get touched in, interior gets a set of block colours.
So still not perfect enough for the P4-ers, but a different enough from all the other  00 B set coaches out there.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Airfix B set coach

The Airfix B set. What a bloody minefield this is. Basically everything that is right with it is wrong, and everything that is wrong with it can be solved by throwing it away and getting a Comet kit.
I shall persevere.  Oh for the piss easy world of freelancing where nothing is wrong and everything can be explained away by Miles Bevan.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Vale of Reidol coach

A break away from the GWR for a bit - well almost. A little more cut and shut this week with a Parkside (now Dundas again) VoR brake and coach bash with a few other various bits of scrap and whitemetal castings thrown in. This will make up the back of the branch rake for Orne which will be coming your way soon.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Ratio signal box - the crit'

Well it's done. Sort of. Not being able to run with anything as designed, there are obvious changes and a glaring problem that looks worse here than in real life.
The kit comes with stone steps - I thought his was a bit visually boring so diddled around with the 'extra' bits that come on the sprue. These are there as they are common with the kit for the larger box. With a bit of cutting and some 20 thou strip it's possible to knock up a narrow balcony, though this would benefit from a support or two.
The kit as bought goes together well if a bit fiddly. The fail is the guttering and down pipes. The gutter pieces are shorter than the roof by about 3mm. There must be a reason for this, but I can't quite work it out. Worse are the down pipes - beautifully made and designed to stand out from the building. The problem is that it's not enough. Any real pipe in this situation  would have a swan neck to bring the pipe into the building. When I summon up the bother I'll replace with some 1mm rod suitably curved and less jarring. The foot board is loose and would need adjusting in situ.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Warehouse Wednesday Edgebaston store

Sorry Phil.
Entering offence #2 . Just down the bank from the carpark at the ERA show last weekend was a quite attractive canal basin that looked worth a further look. So once the rain had stopped, I noodled down there. NO ENTRY EXCEPT ON BUSINESS - was what the sign said. Well after my gate vaulting escapades of the previous day, I wasn't letting a sign stop me, so I ambled nonchalantly in, camera clearly visible and working out that I was wearing a shirt and a pinstripe jacket and not a hoodie and ripped jeans, so more 'I'm taking photos' rather than 'I'm nicking your cables'. The basin was full of barges and tugs; all very freight leaning and less pretty pleasure craft. This is the first building inside the gate. I'm thinking feed and tack store in it's original usage. The location is just east of the Edgebaston reservoir.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Eardington Halt crime scene

On the way up to the ERA show a few stops were made to grice the SVR. Eardington wasn't on the list, but it was spotted as we drove past and a quick U-turn was made. The whole site was firmly padlocked up. So photography was tricky. Throwing caution to the wind and ignoring the 53 year old body, I worked out that I could bounce myself over the gate. So breaking, no. Entering yes. But all in the cause of photography as an art form.

Tel me this isn't the perfect minimum space station building.
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Sunday, 1 October 2017

European Railway Association show

I had my doubts during set-up, but by the late afternoon de-rig it was fairly clear; the push for the hobby at the  moment is a) British diesels and b) continental. My slightly negative comments of late re: exhibitions were reversed - the ERA show was uncomfortably full at times and there was money being spent in large amounts from what I could see. This wouldn't normally be my sort of thing, but officially 'assisting' on Svanda meant I had time to compare and contrast. The general shows and the finescale are on a downward shift and the events like this are on the rise.

What was most evident was the chat and enthusiasm through out the day. I'd often thought that the continental modellers were a bit of a tribal bunch -it appears not. The team reported a better than expected day and we were well provided for. Halal chicken tikka sandwiches were a new item on the exhibitors lunch menu, but were eagerly snaffled up by self. 10/10

This was technically Svanda's last show; not that it is being retired, but simply that there is nothing else in the book. Time to consolidate.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

European Railways Association show

Svanda is at the ERA show in Birmingham this weekend. Drop by and say hello.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Ratio signal box roof

If not at the finish line, I'm definitely in sight of it. The roof section now done complete with a bit of paper flashing around the chimney. The footsteps next.

Sunday, 24 September 2017


Off to Scaleforum today, mainly for a bit of shopping and a general nose around. Not my usual haunt or social circle, but there's usually some good trade.
First off, the food (compared to Woking) was top notch, good basic fare and plenty of it, so that's a relief. Just shows that it's not that hard to get it right even in a leisure centre environment.

The show... hmmmm. 10 layouts (Though you had to search a bit) obviously of the P4 variety - that much is expected. The rest however... quiet. Sparse. The first time I went to the new venue, after the Society left its usual Leatherhead home, you couldn't move, couldn't park, and couldn't get near any layouts. Today? Well the picture says it all. I wonder if they are suffering with the UKIP effect of now having shouted for higher standards and got them, they are in a wilderness period.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Old photos

Quite a while ago now I realised I'd got locked out of my flickr account. I tried all the usual dodge arounds to no avail. So I just left it there. Then a series of research escapades found me lurking on other people's flickr pages and finding it all quite useful. The upshot of which is that a new page has been opened up. Most of the initial uploads are things that were closest to hand, but I'm in a steady process of loading all my Seaford branch shots from the 70s forward. Seems a shame to leave them hanging around in a cupboard when they may be of use.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Art of the Compromise on the road

Now that the AotC is semi-booked for  the WRG show in the spring a little work was needed to get it to a point where it could be shown. The basic premise is that it is front operated at home, so there was no provision for rear operation. An earlier trial on the usual trestles proved that they were too high to reach over, and the alternative would be to stand right in front of it- not ideal. As this will probably be its only show I didn't want to do too much, but a set of shorter trestles have been knocked up out of lolly sticks set at a traditional, and to my mind a better height. Wednesday saw the trial to see if that would work. Now I just need to get the stock sorted.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017


Note for younger readers, at least anyone under 30. This is an engine. Not your weedy, DCC, sound, detailed Bachmann crap, but an ENGINE. I got some of the old Rhiw stock out and this was second in the pile. Still in its box with Triang-Hornby branding. I make that the thick end of 50 years old. Plopped it on the track BRRRRRRRRR......... Flick switch, BRRRRRR....... Who needs sound chips -next door were hammering on the wall thinking I was drilling.
It doesn't say 'made in china' on the bottom, but 'Built (built!!!) in Britain'. This was something that you could thrash round for hours even after your Dad had stepped on it.

There were a couple of spare locos for Rhiw, this being one. But when it came out the grins appeared. It's basically dimensionally correct, but lacking any obvious finesse, and is everything MRJ railed against - however, have we taken a wrong turn? Cos this has presence like no Heljan Hymek ever could.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Lever frame

And more or less done. Here with the upper structure dropped on.  Once you start scratching the surface, you open up the worm can. I started asking how many of each colour? AotC has four points so that's the black ones done, and I reckoned two FPLs and at least four signals. That filled the frame with no spares. I re-read Tim Rayner's excellent article in RM from a couple of years back and now I get the feeling that I probably needed about 15 levers as opposed to 10. Too late now, I shall never sleep again. Maybe some clever person could draw up a signalling diagram for the layout.

Because AotC is a 'model' and not really drawn from real practice, it probably needs ground signals on both sidings, which in essence means three FPLs as they exit the running line . There would be a Home beyond the bridge, plus the starter and another ground at the far end. Would the crossover be worked on one lever? Questions... but then it's barely visible anyway.

Ratio signal box interior

Another stall point, so another sideways jump. The signal box has been hanging around on the bench for weeks, so I fired myself up to do the interior. This is one of those 'why are you bothering' moments. By the time the roof is on and it's all dark and gloomy, and there's a bit of reflection off the glazing, you won't be able to see anything in there. Plus its final position on the AoC will be at the front facing away from the viewer. However... with nothing in there it just looks wrong.
Regulars will know that I'm not one to splash the cash if I don't need to, no 12 quid interior kit for me, so a bit of subterfuge comes into play. What is needed is shapes, not hyper-detail. A table was knocked up out of a bit of 20 thou and some strip and the instrument bridge from lengths of square sprue  and the pips from the same. A sloppy coat of dark browns and all is done. Rough? Absolutely. But behind the glass there is just enough visual information to suggest more. A bench seat has also been done from the original doors on the pagoda. Levers next.

Lever frame done. Piece of 80 thou rounded off, a few holes and some strip. Most of the visual info will be colour - black blue and red with  touch of metallic on the tops. I did include the kick plate even though it'll be invisible. Below the basic inspiration

Monday, 11 September 2017

Ratio four wheel GWR coach bash

W1 van done, less transfers which I have yet to source. Though would such a lowly piece of kit received a crest? There are many questions about this as there is only limited information and you tend to fall into the trap of looking at other people's models. The footboards for example: the Russell book suggests that they stopped just short of the second to last panel, but no one else has done this, so does this mean that it's wrong? It would mean that the end supports would crash through the springs so...  And don't get me started on the roof lamps. Oil to start yes, but at the end of its life? The post war photo suggests that these weren't replaced with gas, so I've gone with this.
A fiddly but quite fun project, and by using a spare set of plastic sides, much cheaper that the Shirescenes option of brass replacements.

Sunday, 10 September 2017


 A trip up to the Woking show this morning. Mainly to do a little shopping, but also because it looked rather good. One of the draws for me is Thirdly (above). I think this is a joy as it is pure 60s modelling with brickpaper, SMP track and mainly tweaked proprietary stock. I reminds me of all the black and white shots of layout in my early RMs - mainline running that felt busy and purposeful; something I've still not reached. The rest of the show was excellent. Full marks to the manager for getting two halls full of great layouts. The catering though.... shite. Council run venue, probably 1,500 plus trainspotters through the door over a weekend and a notice. 'Sorry the sandwiches ran out on Saturday lunchtime'. Err, were you not expecting us? Can you not make sandwiches? There was nothing else save a few ends of cake and nothing looking like lunch. Utterly appalling service and planning. If you go next year, take your own.
One thing that did make me smile was the first book stall inside the door.  a couple of titles by some bloke called Ford... whoever he may be.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Burgess Hill show

 The first of a couple of outings this month for Nigel's Svanda. All behaved fairly well though I started drawing up a list of repairs and improvements. Bouncing it in and out of the car has induced a few knocks, and there are odd bits of ballast missing and edges of scenery that have lifted and need sorting out. A phone discussion this morning about it's future and if any, which shows we would like to do with it in the future.
There were two small purchases, both off the club stand - I tend to home in on these more these days as the technology is older and I can't find three figure sums for the new stuff. This Airfix autocoach was on the list for AotC though I'm mentally back dating it a bit from this. Anyway... at nine quid it was two thirds of the price of the Triang clerestories on the dealer's stand (how much?). The previous has added a light via track skates on one bogie which are an easy remove. Now to find the MRJ article (30 something?) which tells me all the things that are wrong with it and how to fix them.
The other purchase was a Merit delivery cart which may be closer to HO than 4mm looking at the figure. Again a princely two quid.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Cutting and shutting

This is proving trickier and taking longer than I thought. The roof shows the amount of cutting of all the parts.

Thursday, 31 August 2017


Nigel and I are at the Burgess Hill exhibition with Svanda - the little slice of Norway - on Saturday. Do come and throw things.

Monday, 28 August 2017


I had the opportunity to wander around bits of the named air base last week. Although you obviously have to be fairly careful with cameras in such places, this did spring out at me. Now downgraded to the office for the scuba diving team it's a cracking 30s-50s piece of utility architecture that I'm instantly drawn to. I have no use for a model, but doesn't this just cry out to be done?

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Ratio 4 wheel coach side

A W1 parcels van conversion from two Ratio brake third sides. Yes it has bowed very slightly - not a problem. The painting though is. There is no easy way around this. I chose the black framing first then the brown, now onto the cream. I might go cream first next time. The only way to do it is to take a deep breath and a new brush.
It's enough to drive you back to the easy option of freelancing.


Ever so slowly managed to get one side done. If you play the 3' rule it looks OK, but I'm wowed by people who can do this well - one chap in Denmark in particular. Just a coat of varnish over this and then just touch the handles and grabs in with brass before building. I'm not looking forward to the tiny numbers. It is quite a cute little vehicle though.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Wills Pagoda

All done and perched on the loading dock on the AotC. Finished in the paint style of the Didcot Museum example which is basically in the 'official' colours; not that most examples actually ended up like this. As pointed out earlier it's five scale feet short and would need a cut and shut operation using two kits to get it perfect.

Pedants Corner:
Apparently the doors are upside down. The reference: Llangollen Railway.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Pagoda doors

In the great variation of life there are wooden doors. The Wills pagoda also has an under width doorway. I opened it up to 16mm (original drawings show 4'4"). The doors on most are wiggly tin, but I was quite taken with the wood doors on the Llangollen Railway example  - vertical boarding and chunky framing. so I thought these would be nice. 8 mil wide 25 mil tall, all 20 thou. Note the pencil marks to make sure I get the diagonals right.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Wills Pagoda variations

The Wills pagoda is a bit of a curate's egg. A shade too deep, but a scale 5' too short for the standard 'A shelter'. The doorway is also a mil under width. Sticking windows in the front therefore is awkward as it underlines the length issue. You could bash two kits together. I elected not to.
Some of the pagodas had side windows added either initially or later in their lives. In fact there are a surprising number of variants up to triple length sheds. The windows are fairly simple: a Wills small window unit has had its bars thinned and a hole has been hacked out to fit it. A small strip of 20x40 adds a shallow cill.

Monday, 21 August 2017

The trials of half writing

One of the problems of putting a book together is getting the order right and then finding that getting all the physical bits for this is a problem in the short term. As this is my third crack at this I've got used to suddenly shuffling about and moving to another section in order not to waste time. This is dangerous as it's at this point that mistakes are likely with photo numbers and the like.
This has just happened while I was researching coaches. As usual the more you know the more there is to know, and being one of those people who is happy to accept that I know nothing in the first place I keep looking. I was happy to use the buffers that I had on the next section, but a read of various tracts and forum posts made me uneasy and desirous to improve the situation. Then the question: Do I mail order the bits from Dart Castings, or wait until I probably go to Scaleforum a month away? The second question is, if the latter, what do I move onto in the mean time? And is this dangerous? It might be time for a bit of pagoda work...

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Hornby Brake Van

The obvious. RTR Hornby ex Airfix. Basically a painting exercise. The ladder is really only for S&T vans, but I quite fancied the detail.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Southsea East station

Before a job in Southsea a while back I was driving round the block looking for a parking space and tripped over this in a new-build close. The close is the site of Southsea East station of which I was completely unaware. Opened in 1885 and only lasting until 1914 the site became an engineering works and then more recently modern housing. I take it that this was the old curtain wall of the station A nice touch I thought and quite unnecessary, so someone stumped the money up. Always good to find something surprising tucked away.
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