Friday, 29 October 2010

I Can See Clearly Now

Courtesy of Pete Harvey at PH Designs was a neat little etch for 'wiper masks' which allow you to make masks where windscreen wipers would sweep. Once applied to the loco a very light dusting from an airbrush (and it must be very light unless it's filthy sandite loco!) will complete the effect.

With a bit of care to make sure the effect is nice and subtle and the results are very pleasing indeed.

Sarah Millican

Last night we saw the amazing Sarah Millican!

As with Ross Noble, it was part of the Hull Comedy Festival and was a new venue for us, iScream just next to Hull Truck. It's part of the Albemarle Music Centre and is a great venue with a really lovely intimate feel which adds greatly to the performance. Not that Sarah Millican needs any assistance. She has a wonderful rapport with the audience and interacts easily - the audience also seem very much at ease with this too. Many acts can put an audience on edge with the fear of what they may ask them directly!

Much of her humour comes from her own life which is perhaps a reflection of her taking up stand up much later than many acts currently on the circuit. And it's delivered with a real warmth - you almost feel like you're sitting down with a mad friend who's explaining how her week's been.

I first heard her on Radio 4's 28 Acts in 28 Minutes and have been wanting to see her live ever since! If you get a chance to see her live, you're in for wonderful experience!


Sarah Millican

Friday, 22 October 2010

"If you don't like Tangents, leave now!"

Last night we saw Ross Noble at Hull City Hall as part of his 'Nonsensory Overload' and the Hull Comedy Festival! I first saw him at the Beverley Comedy Festival back in, I think, 2003. That was a night I thoroughly enjoyed!

Ross Noble says he talks 'utter bollocks' on stage and he's right, but it's funny! He invites you into his world, a world where owls wear pajamas, penguins race motorbikes, and tangents prosper. In fact most of his act is heavily unscripted and you'll never see the same performance two nights running - as the title here says, if you don't like tangents you're not going to enjoy it! But most people will.

I think he's one of the best comedians currently performing on the circuit - he's original, weird but most of all he enjoys life and his work. And this shines through his act. He's just utterly brilliant and a sheer joy to watch!


Last weekend I went to the National Railway Museum's '37 at 50' event which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the Class 37, or English Electric Type 3 as it then was. Despite a couple of operators letting them down there was a good selection of locos on display as well as stalls inside from various societies along with a couple booksellers.

Sadly I had to go on my own - seems none of us have been anything approaching one hundred percent over the last week or so! Even so I enjoyed the event. It had a nice mix of enthusiasts and 'normal' people in attendance. Thankfully it didn't seem to attract some of the less evolved enthusiasts who seem to attend many diesel galas!

One of ther highlights for me was, strangely, seeing the locos moving around the overgrown parts of the Museum's South Yard. With the sound of the English Electric engines it was like watching a depot fifteen years ago!

It was a very well organised event which shows that the NRM has a real commitment to traction of all kinds. Not so long ago various magazine articles questioned the NRM's views towards diesel and electric locomotives but I think events like this should remove any worries enthusiasts may have had in the past.

Monday, 18 October 2010


This was a fun little project; Warship D840 as it was in the Summer of 1970 as it stood at Old Oak Common awaiting its fate. For enthusiasts it's a rather sad sight, once powerful locomotives standing motionless and silentwaiting to be recycled. But life will go and other stock will continue to rack up miles as time slowly forgets the fallen.

However, for modellers this provides something a little different...

At the heart of the model we have an ancient Mainline Warship, which Bachmann later re-engineered when they re-released it. The original featured Mainline's version of the 'pancake' style motor and it wasn't very good. There's a reason this loco was selected for this treatment! However the cosmetics are the same as the re-release which is rather good as it'll share a layout with other locos, including other Warships featured on here.

Consistent appearance is one thing but it must look a little different so the viewer knows it's withdrawn. This is despite D840 looking quite reasonable from a distance at this point. Its bodywork had various scars and rust patches but the paint still had a sheen to it. However for once I deviated a little in this respect as the loco has a few missing windows, including one windscreen. However the missing panel on the underframe is just like the slide!

I added various cab bulkheads so once the cab doors were removed there would be no daylight where it shouldn't be. Missing cab doors are very obvious and nicely adds to the overall look. However to finish off I gave the whole loco a coat of light dust over everything. Dust over the windows and the windscreens gives the impression that it hasn't moved for some time.

I'm rather pleased with the finished model, it's a little different and perfect for a depot layout. It becomes more of a scenic item too and took more time than the other Warships I've featured on here but I think the effort was worth it.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Birthday Outing

As part of the process of advancing another year (I feel that the gap between my mental and actual age is progressively widening) we had a family outing to Grosmont on the NYMR. Grosmont, I feel, is as near as heritage railways come to recreating a country junction station especially with through services to Whitby. All that's missing is freight punctuating the passenger trains.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Don't Look Back Into The Sun

I noticed this earlier today.

The glazing on this loco, a Bachmann Class 47, has gained a rather milky appearance. It was an impulse purchase at the start of the year and has been on the window sill in my workshop for some time and, even in Yorkshire, has been exposed to sunlight. Now, it's not always a good idea to leave a lot of things in direct sunlight but what worries me is that even in the 'railway room' at my parents' this could happen very easily.

Being a normal room, many of the models could easily be exposed to sunlight through a window at the side of the room - it may not be as extreme as the duff here but the effect could still be very disappointing for people. Many plastics don't take kindly to UV light and I suspect that this is the case here. I would be replacing the glazing anyway, but that's not really the point. And it has made me wonder about the stability of materials used - the last thing any modellers would want to find would be that a model which has taken many hours to construct was ruined something like this. Just something to bear in mind.


Don't Look Back Into The Sun

Friday, 8 October 2010

Project 31 - Getting There

Well, it's nearly done!

It has been an immensely satisfying project and I'm very pleased that I decided it was indeed worth trying. Combining parts from all sorts of different sources can be a lot of fun - the result is often very personal as it becomes your own interpretation of the subject.

I think that this is a much more pleasing model than Hornby's out of the box model - though if you're happy with the Hornby model, that's fine! It didn't really require a huge amount of work or effort to complete it either. Detailing wise, with a new fan grille, handrails, glazing and roof grab irons it's easily on a par with the Hornby model, plus I think it looks much better. You could easily incorporate the Hornby lighting units too with you wished (I'm rather off most LED lighting packages though, they don't look right to me on older locos and stock). I will leave it up to the reader to decide if it was worthwhile.

I certainly think it's well within grasp of a competent modeller with care - and it is a nice way to show that if you're not entirely happy with something you don't have to put with it, you can get on and do something about it.

Maybe there should be more of this?

Further Reading

Project 31
Project 31 Fades Away

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Scaleforum 2010

The other weekend the East Yorkshire Area Group made the annual trip to Leatherhead for Scaleforum, the Scalefour Society's main event of the year. It’s a show I really look forward to every year – it has a unique atmosphere which is very friendly and welcoming. It’s not an elitist event at all and if you were wondering about P4 but were worried by rumours you’d heard of such things, there really is nothing to worry about as the society isn’t like that! And that’s one thing which is great about the Society’s shows; people are very willing to offer help and advice if you ask.

A highlight for many at the show was St Merryn which was very nice indeed - I saw it at Scalefour North a couple of years ago when they still had work to complete and it was good then, but here it was superb! For most of Sunday it was three and four deep! And Sunday was the quiet day too! Superb stuff!

Portchullin represented diesel and electric modelling very well indeed - the nice thing about the way things are going now, and Portchullin is a prime example, is that D&E modelling is now just another era. That's not to put it down at all, but it's an accepted part of the finescale scene and now people are making huge efforts to model non-steam motive power with as much care as many have with steam for years. The results here speak for themselves, even if my photo doesn't do the layout justice.

Similarly Brimingham Moor Street is a great example - it is also nice to see DMUs modelled to a high standard. They've been part of the railway for years but never seem to attract modellers in the way more glamorous motive does.

I must also mention Colin Craig, who is not just a very knowledgeable man but also very kind and good natured! I bought an etch for some brake levers, but he didn't have change for a ten pound note. It should have been £2.00 but I had just £1.27 in change so he smiled and said "Just give me a pound and let me know how you get on with them!" A very nice man!

And finally I'll leave you with another view of St Merryn. This is what the Scalefour Society is all about, people modelling to the best of their ability and aiming high. There's not a wheel in sight but this is unmistakably 'finescale'.