Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A little diversion...


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Exhibition report

Yes, that's right. A model Railway exhibition report. A British model railway exhibition report to boot!
I was recently in the UK visiting family and I discovered that my visit coincided with the Grantham Rail show. I needed to see a good old British model railway exhibition. See what I've been missing all these years. As luck would have it the show was even being attended by some old friends from Mablethorpe and district Model railway club. So we had a meeting behind the layout. Overdue membership fees were mentioned...
So to the show. Even though it was in a smallish hall, the organisers fitted 13 layouts in there and as many trade stands.
Every layout had something to recommend it, from N scale to O scale. All the layouts were well finished and presented. Even my American wife mentioned this fact.
So to my three favourite layouts.
3: Cromer (00 scale). A very atmospheric depiction of Cromer railway station in North Norfolk. The builder had got the modern atmosphere spot on even though it was a very simple track plan the standard of detail gave you a lot to look for.
2. Winterschlaf (0M scale): OK, so it's Bob's layout from the M&D MRC but it really is a cracker. The scratchbuilt buildings are super and the detailing is great. Oh and he let me operate the trains as well... :-D. My first experience with DCC and it all ran very nicely.
1. Rowlands Castle (00 scale) What can I say? This layout blew me away. A depiction of Southern England in 1944. Excellent running and once again a staggering level of detail. Perhaps everything was a bit too clean.

The show was so refreshing to attend. Compared to the US shows I've attended it pretty well beats them all. The sheer variety of layouts for a start. UK modellers seem to have more imagination about subject matter for their layouts. Here we had French and Swiss layouts, a model of a steelworks and a wartime England layout. Most US shows centre around large modular layouts or Lionel. Also the layouts are invariably modern image. I'd like to be proved wrong on this. Perhaps its just the Midwest.
My only criticism of this show was the amount of motive power depot layouts. No less than three of the 13 were TMD's. One in N scale and the others in 00. In my memory I can't tell the two 00 scale TMD layouts apart now. Alas there does seem to be a plethora (or plague) of TMD layouts on the British exhibition circuit these days.
No P4 layouts unfortunately but that didn't matter. I enjoyed myself anyway. I even came way with a book of layout plans for inspiration and ideas but that's a story for another day...

Friday, May 7, 2010

It's time...

... to do something. Don't you think?
It's not that I haven't been busy railway modelling. I took my H0 scale layout to a local show and was very well received. I've been dabbling in T scale still. On top of that I bought myself a new camera.
While I was working on some T scale stuff I became aware of the UK outline kits and bits that are being produced in T scale including a Deltic, of course that got me thinking about my UK outline project - this one. I've got to get started and kill this inertia that has built up.
Taking the 7 day layout to the show taught me one thing. Saltfleet Haven CANNOT be 4'6 long. It won't fit in the back of our small car. Four foot is the maximum length. No two ways about it. All previous sketches and designs have been based around a 4'6" length that will have to change, hopefully it won't kill the atmosphere of the design though.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Quiet on the 4mm scale front

Just in case you're wondering if I've dropped off the face of the earth . No I haven't. I'm working on some stuff in T scale 1:450 including the worlds first scratchbuilt piece of T scale freight stock this 65' mill gondola is only 45mm long

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Field Trip!

Anytime you can find a return plane ticket between the USA and the UK for under $1000 you snap it up. So I did.
Got to wait 6 months for the flight mind. But for sure one thing I will be doing will be heading up to Saltfleet Haven and taking some pictures for atmosphere.
We arrive August Bank Holiday weekend. Well it'll be raining then. global warming or no global warming. One thing you can be fairly sure of is rain on August Bank Holiday. We even used to plan the Mablethorpe & District Model Railway Club Exhibition for August Bank Holiday Monday because of the rain and folks wouldn't be on the beach. Didn't we Yan?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Paid up

Ironically, I was working on a 1:450 scale (T scale) model of a midwestern grain elevator and I realised that I hadn't renewed my subscription for the S4 society yet.
So I quick as a flash got online and did it.
Got to love being able to do these things online. Two minutes and it was done just like that.
Another years worth of S4 help and inspiration is mine.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Something different

More T Please is the name of my blog about my activities in T scale. The worlds smallest model railway scale. Pop over there to see some inspirational examples of work in this tiny scale

Friday, February 5, 2010

Something Tangible

I'm sure there are some of you out there in P4 land that think.
"That Ian, he's all mouth and trousers. He'll never get that Saltfleet Haven layout built".
I don't blame you I do tend to run off at a totally unrelated tangent and go modelling somewhere else for a time. But it keeps me fresh I feel and skill that I develop in the other scales, I can use here. But to prove there is some tangible progress being made towards the layout. Here is a progress shot of the tin chapel.
Still a ways from being completed but I'm feeling pretty good about it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Scalefour News Day!

Scalefour News No. 166 lay inside my snow covered mailbox on my arrival home from work yesterday. It had been a long slow commute home. So I was in the mood for a good read and News 166 didn't disappoint.
How to convert a Jinty to P4. A good solid beginners article. To show just how easy it is to re-wheel stock to P4. Having just done my own Class 08 re-wheeling. I can testify that it really is that easy.
I also enjoyed reading about converting a Bachmann loco to Irish P4 standards. Not something I'd even thought about before. Irish broad gauge for model railways that is.
This is the Scalefour North issue so there's lots of lovely photos of the layouts to be on show there to drool over in the pull out guide section in the middle. Being 4,000 miles away from Scalefour North good quality photo's of the layouts in question are always appreciated. Super.
There was one photograph that really intrigued me. Page 29 the snow covered scene from Ian Everett's "Royston Vasey" layout. I like snow scenes. I've tried (and failed miserably) to create my own snowbound models. This looks really neat. I want to see more.
So there you are, another grand issue of the News.
If I have one criticism. It's the front cover. It looks like the typography was just thrown on there. I'd like to have seen the "Scalefour News" title at the top so it didn't obscure some of the very nice cover photo. I don't think we needed the date and issue number bar on there both horizontally and vertically. But that's just me. Actually I don't even like the title's typeface. But I'm an out of touch graphic designer who hasn't done the job for 5 years so what do I know about current trends. I'll go and do some model making....

p.s I found some more pictures of Royston Vasey on Ian Everetts blog.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Green Paint!

I never thought that I would be happy to see a bottle of green acrylic paint. But there you go strange things happen in the model railway world.
Why was I so happy to see such an insignificant thing?
Well, over the past couple of weeks I've been doing a bit here, a bit there on the Wills tin chapel kit. Steady progress in small increments barely worth reporting until the kit was finished. It is such a simple kit. "I'll have it finished in no time."
Or so I thought. I reckoned without the purchase of some green acrylic paint to do the outside of the structure.
It seems that there are still hobby shops that persist in the misguided ideal that enamel paints are the only sort of paints. They've never heard of acrylics. Even in shops that do stock acrylics, the water based paint is outnumbered 3:1 by the oil based stuff.
Acrylics are so easy to work with. Barely ever needing thinning in my experience, a bit of water does the job. They brush on so easily (spraying is a topic for another day) . Enamels you always have to thin, If you don't it's like painting with treacle.
Don't get me started on clean up. Water people! That's all you need...
So all in all it took about 3 weeks to find a colour of paint that I thought would be suitable. I hope to gosh it is suitable because the lighting in the paint aisle was so poor it was difficult to tell. Even looking in the daylight was risky as it was a very overcast , grey day. I'd paint the structure tonight except the "new" series of Top Gear starts on BBCAmerica.
So there you go "4mm scale agonies" come in all forms

p.s. The episode of Top Gear concerned the race between Tornado, a Jag and the Vincent motor cycle

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ice to see you...

Some of you will have seen this already if you're on your toes.
Otherwise http://railwayeye.blogspot.com/2010/01/ice-to-see-you-to-see-you-ice.html
What I find fascinating is that the icicle is pretty much shaped to the loading gauge...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Proof

Here we go then following requests for a picture (usual apologies for the wallpaper). A straight out of the box Bachmann 08 converted to P4. Yes, the tension lock couplers are still there. But look, you can barely see the wheel flanges as it should be.
So after a bit of weathering, some detailing and some new couplings. I'll have a very nice P4 loco.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

First P4 Loco!

Yes that's right.
I now have my first P4 converted locomotive. My Bachmann 08.
I've had the Ultrascale wheels for long enough and there was nothing on the TV so, spurred on by Yans progress with his first P4 conversion with the thought that my 6 coupled 08 couldn't be any more difficult than his 6 coupled Pannier Tank. I pulled the model out of the box.
The P4 wheels are just a straight replacement for the old ones. It's as simple as that. You don't have to do any major disassembly of the chassis. Just pop out the plastic strip that holds the brake gear in place and unscrew the keeper plate that hold the wheels in place. Take the old wheels out. Put the new ones in and swap over the connecting rods. Though you do have to drill the crank pin holes out to 2.1mm to fit over the new crank pins. Not a difficult task just be careful. Pop the keeper plate back in place and the brake gear strip and put it on the track turn on the power and...
It doesn't go.
Because these wheels are narrower and further apart than the old ones the contacts on the backs of the wheels for current collection don't. Contact the wheels that is. So you have to undo everything you just did. Remove the wheels bend the contacts so that they touch the back of the wheels.
Reassemble everything.
Pop it on the track. Turn the control and...
It works! it runs just as smoothly as before.
Got to admit to feeling pretty pleased with myself tonight.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Interesting video

The following video at the link below came to my attention.
For those of you who think that P4 layouts are slow running terminus to fiddle yard layouts that have trouble with stock staying on the track.
This video of the "Mostyn" P4 layout disproves all that.
The trackwork is excellent and the running is outstanding.
There is nothing more to say.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Rev. Peter Denny

I'd thought that the first post of the new year on here would be about some modelling. But alas no. I am saddenned to report the passing of the Rev. Peter Denny age 92. Railway modeller and pioneer of finescale railway modelling.
His EM gauge Buckingham Great Central layout was an inspiration to us all. He was a founder member of the EM Gauge Society.
I can still remember how taken I was by the pictures of his Buckingham Great Central in one of my first issues of Railway modeller that I bought in the late 70's. The layout had everything, detail and atmosphere.
Reflections of the man and his legend will fill the model railwaying internet soon from people more knowledgeable about him than I.
I'm just going to remember a huge influence.