Friday, 11 December 2020

Confessions of an isolated shunter

 First a couple of pics just to prove I don't spend most of my life watching documentaries on the goggle box.


The D21 is slowly progressing ,, we now have some pipes fitted to the side of the smoke box and a Walshearts pump,,[that has to be the first time I have spelt that at the first attempt,,, I just hope it is correct,,,, I'm sure somebody will let me know if not]

The tender is very nearly complete,,, as it is now sporting  a coal hole [ pronounced Koyl Oyl in south Yorkshire ] a water pickup, a brake standard and matching water scoop standard plus a couple of distinctly NER tool lockers,,,the loco boiler now has all manner of lumpy bits stuck to it and it has also been spotted blasting through Epson and Ewell station ahead of a rake of Gresley teak coaches and apart from a little bit of tweaking it didn't let me down. Yoo Hoo.

 
The Jersey Lily has become a bit of an exponent of the  paintshop Oky Koky,,,, it was prepared for paint,, see previous pics,,, and painted,,, yuch,,, with Citroen automotive black,,, which was very shiny and according to some published expert was the ideal choice for using as a base before sticking lining and transfers/decals all over it,,,the trouble was the Gallic Lacquer obliterated all the detail I had spent hours installing,,,so after looking at it for 6 months and trying to convince myself it wouldn't be that bad after I had weathered it I had a sudden rush of the common senses and threw it back into the Nitro Mors,,,, again,,,, I'm convinced it would not have happened if I had used the old reliable British Leyland Austin Allagro/Montenegro Black but what's the point of dragging all that up again.

So here we are again,,, having destroyed most of the handrail wire whilst gently coaching the paint off with a soft tooth brush I am roughly back were I was in March,,,, but so what,,, I've nothing else to do.
 I am also pleased to report it has also been seen blasting through Epsom and Ewell station but with slightly less success than the D21,, in that it got a tad warm and started to smell like my father's old Bush radiogram after I had forgotten to turn it off,,, for a couple of days,,, I'm not surprised it got hot,,, those 1970's McGowan kit castings were sourced from the left overs from the Forth Rail Bridge,,, that is one heavy loco and a real ballast crusher,,, but on the pastures if it can negotiate 12' of track twice a day at exhibitions I will be happy with that,,,, especially considering I started it in 1994!!!!

THE CONFESSION BIT

When I entered the garage at about 5 mins past 10 this morning,,[having just watched The World at War for the umpteenth time,,, the documentaries are good but that music still gives me goose bumps] I had every intention of being productive and even got as far as running the D21 into the fiddle yard to allow me to pick it up and proceed to the workbench with it,,, that was my first mistake,,, I should have just picked it up but NO I had to clear a route for it and make some space as well,,, you all know what happened,,, 2 hours later I was still clearing space for it and having a great time playing with my trainset,,, for the first time in age's,,, do I have an excuse,,, NO and I don't need one,, I was having a great time and I cannot remember the last time I had so much fun being not productive!!!

WHAT A GREAT HOBBY THIS IS!!!


Quick memo to Mr Blogspot,,,, I don't like your up-graded blog insert image thing,,,, on the old system you could choose what size of pics you wanted,, standard, large or extra large,,, now on the improved system you have to fanny about with sliding digiwatsits,,, [that's 21st century latin] and if your not careful your Jersey Lily can suddenly become an inflated sausage loco or even worse a top heavy thumper,,, don't tell me,,, it's progress and what all your users have been requesting. 

Rubbish!!




Friday, 2 October 2020

Full speed Ahead, and Astern,,,, why not.

 Is it just me or is anybody else confused about what we are supposed to be doing????

I was getting all excited about treading the boards again at an exhibition,, Aylsham it was,,, and it should have been this weekend,,, but unfortunately due to the Kung Flu it understandably got cancelled.



Then within a couple of days of being told the Aylsham show is ORFT,,, I receive a message from Ipswich asking me if I would like to do their exhibition,,, YES YES YES I reply very posty hasty and they advise they are delighted to hear that I will but they cannot actually tell me when it is,,, due to the Kung-Flu,,,, ah well,,, a definitely possible show in the future has to be better than no show.

Birds in the bushes spring to mind, but these days we bloggers have to be especially careful about what we actually post as we certainly don't want to upset anybody,, so for all the wide awake enhancer's who may be reading I am actually musing about a turdus merala I spotted hopping about in my recently acquired ribes uva-crispa bush this morning. [that should keep them occupied for a bit]

You just can't beat a bit of culture,,, some modelling pages wax lyrical about,,, cricket scores,,, others find the various shades of battleship grey totally absorbing but here on the pastures we go for a bit of 4mm latining and why not as I've not actually done any modelling of late,,, in fact for Yonks,,, but you have probably noticed that,,,excuses,, crickey where do I start,,, just take your pick from any of this lot:

I got a blister right on the end of my blogging finger,,,or,, my blogging glasses fogged up and I just couldn't see what I was doing and before you could yell "self isolate" it was time for bed,,, or,,, my all singing all dancing model of an LMS dark and swarthy class 5 fell on my foot and I haven't been able to move since, or or or,, the real reason is that I just couldn't persuade my glutus maximus extremis to go into the garage,,, well to be quite honest  I have definite suspicions that if I go into the garage and indulge in some serious self isolating by the time I've dusted down the soldering iron I will find I am in contravention of the latest rules regarding self isolating and could possible incur a £10,000 fine!!!

What to do????

I have decided to throw caution to the wind and go in there anyway and if I get caught and fined then you won't be hearing from me for some time as the possibility of me paying off such a fine are about as remote as a politician actually answering a question.



As my old driving instructor used to say,, "u turns can be very dangerous"  as demonstrated above,,, and hopefully this long delayed blog has proved I am not yet kicking up the bellis perennis but could be quite soon as the 2 official reprimands I have received for a distinct lack of blogging have come from very dubious sauces,,, 1 models the GWR in 7mm and the other isn't even a modeller just somebody who lurks about in my murky highly confused past,, enough said,, and you both know who you are.

QUICK UPDATE

I have been in the garage today,,, have found my mojo which was hiding under the sheets of plastikard and all should resume very shortly,,, as we have an exhibition to get ready for,,, honest .. but there again I'm in no rush and sincerely hope you aren't either.

Monday, 18 May 2020

Kung Flu strikes again. Aylsham Exhibition cancelled. SORRY FOLKS!!!

Just to let all the avid readers know,, unfortunately,, the Aylsham show in October has been cancelled.

To be slightly serious I think it is the right decision,,, I hate to admit the fact but some things are more important than a model railway show.

The good news is we should have loads more engines to introduce to the public by the time we do all get back to normal!!!!

Just to cheer you all up I attach a few photo's to prove we have been seriously self isolating in the garage ALL WEEK.


The L1 now has brakes on the rear bogie,,, what a phaff that was!!


Jersey Lily looking decidedly nervous before she is pushed into the paintshop.



A long time ago a fortunate few could call this their office!!!



Keep Calm,, keep safe and SOLDER on.

Sunday, 10 May 2020

L1 Progress Report

Have had a couple of good days jousting with not only the rear bogie on the L1 but a couple of Leylandii roots in the garden,,,, the Leylandii is my least favourite weed of all time,, why people in the 70's & 80's saw them as trendy is a complete mystery to me,,, they are a pain,,, and if you don't keep on top of the pruning with the wretched things they take over.

When the 2nd one went crack / snap then pop I decided it was time for a celebratory refreshment,, such is my distaste for the bloomin things.

Onto more pleasant things,, the rear bogie on the L1,,, apparently the brakes on these things were just short of hopeless,, which is not ideal if you have 30 or 40 laden coal wagons behind you on a downhill gradient,, so it was decided to put brakes on the rear bogie wheels as well in an attempt to improve the situation,,,, unfortunately that didn't work either and so the reputation of not only being ugly as sin but difficult to handle was born!!! which is good co's that's just how I like my freight engines.

This has made it quite an interesting challenge for a modeller as component parts for rear brake shoes on bogies do not appear to be available so I have had to make my own,, what a phaff,, but now one side is finished they look OK even if I say so myself.

The first picture is of the bogie with the power cylinders fitted and fiddling the shoes into place,,, the tatty wheels are "build wheels" which I use when making loco's as bogie wheels go on and off umpteen times in the process of getting the bogie to look and work correctly.
The second picture is the bogie fitted to the loco with one side complete including the proper wheels and apart from a good clean up I am quite pleased with the result,,, it is also interesting to look at pictures of a build as I will have to put some dummy frames in over the rear bogie to hide what appears to be an enormous 10BA nut,,, as no discerning modeller wants to see that or daylight in the wrong places.
I do hope I'm not starting to take this too seriously as I have a manic urge to go and count my rivets!!

Good value blog this as this is the second post in a week!!!!! ENJOY



Sunday, 3 May 2020

I can't afford to be a rivet counter!!!

For many of us modelling is a serious business and you may be aware of my opinions on rivets,,, and as mentioned in previous posts the cosmopolitan breed of accountants that pursue them.

Now this may come as a shock but I have recently bought some more,,,, to go with the 19 which are  already in my collection.

The new one's are "special" as they are 7mm long and 0.5mm diameter dome head rivets.

A packet of 10 cost me very nearly 2 weeks spending money,,, and the really worrying thing is "the management" is not yet aware that I have invested in some more rather expensive "twiddly bits" [ her terminology,, not mine ].

I have to say I'm rather glad rivet counting is not for me as if I decided I did want to use them in prodigious fashion it would cost me a small fortune modelling even a very small modest tank engine.

Whilst being locked in the garage for the duration I have been resurrecting yet another white metal kit I started over 20 years ago,, back then I was a dashing young batchelor in the oil rich Gulf states who modelled not only in 00 gauge but shorts and flip flops as well.

Soldering was "character building" especially when one of those shiny little bullets leapt off the end of the iron onto your foot,,,, and that's how I learnt to do my version of a caledonian square dance.

This weeks efforts to avoid the Kung Flu have revolved around one of Mr J G Robinson's finest creations the 4-4-2 Atlantic,,, also known as Jersey Lily's,,, but we won't go there as it is getting dark.


Now I  know I am slightly biased when it comes to Robinson's designs,,, but if you don't find the above image ,,, elegant,, attractive,, special,, shapely,, then you have probably caught some nasty kind of virus,,, or even worse,, Swindonitus,, in my opinion the above image is "Edwardian Elegance" in it's purest form,,,, not only did they look rather special but they performed rather well into the bargain,,,, most of them lasting  for well over 35 years.

How this beauty ended up in an unmarked box on the "wot to do" shelf is a mystery,,, but when I found it again and looked at it I knew it needed finishing off and is there a better place or time to do such a thing as "right now".

As you can probably see when it comes to the look of a model I am also a bit of a stickler,,, I spend hours looking at my models and if  "in my opinion" it just is not right or perhaps more importantly conform to an accurate drawing then it's offending bits will be changed for some of mine,,, usually in brass,,, so quite a lot of the bits from Mr Millholme's model were consigned to the bin and I changed them for items which I felt looked more the part,, namely, cab, front footplate, cylinders, steps and whistle.

Now working with something as aesthetically positive as a "Jersey Lily" has put a real spring in my step and it won't be long before it is off to the paintshop,, along with the Q7, D2 and J3,,[my word we have been busy] and then I can get back to working on something slightly more challenging the L1 Zeppelin,,, you will be pleased to know the drawing is back on the workbench and whilst I will not  be able to replace any parts to make it look nicer as they were pigging ugly by design I have to say I find this avoiding virus's a lot more fun than spotting rivet's and so far I have no temperature,, sniffle or cough,,, so it is all looking good for the L1 from here in the wilds of East Anglia.

Monday, 27 April 2020

You don't have to be 2 metre's away to read this!!!!

These video's are getting very popular!!!!


As it is over 3 weeks since I last blogged I thought I had better update you on what has been occuring whilst I have been spending countless hours ON MY OWN in the garage,,, I'm thoroughly enjoying this self isolation stuff,,, and am getting so much done.

If you click on the whatsit above you should see that we now have bouncing signals,,, and even better they come with Delayed Uplift,,[whatever that is!!] 
Now I thought tram overheads were the stuff of satan but that was before I leapt into the deep end of the signalling pool,, ho ho,, the fact that they are up and working is something of a miracle,, they came so close on a couple of occasions to becoming wallpaper!!

Mr salesman at the exhibition when I bought the clever little box of tricks told me fitting them was [and I quote] "a breeze",,, really,,, I  did consider moving to Skegness on a couple of occasions just in case it helped getting the things up and running,,, but a breeze it was NOT!!

In fairness life would have been much easier if I had built them on the workbench as self contained units,, got them working correctly and them dropped them as a unit into  a suitable hole in the baseboard,,, but as track was laid about 20 years before suitable servo controlled systems were available [for a tight fisted Yorkshireman] that just was not possible.

The end result was that I had to fit the servo's and all the associated linkage under the baseboard on signals that were already in situ,,  but we got there in the end,,,, and then I had to programme the breeze laden microprocessor that doe's all the clever stuff!!!  For a digital Luddite like myself this is always going to lead to problems,,, it got so bad I had to get my coffee laden wife in to assist on a couple of occasions,,, that's how bad it got,,, luckily she is one of the few people who qualify's for my variety of self isolation.

That's not all,, we now have a finished D2 and a Q7 just waiting for a Cilit Bang bath and then it is off to the paint shop,,, now as I have mentioned before painting is not my forte,, but after the tram overheads and the digi-whatsit signals I am quite looking forward to a session in the paint shop,, at least I know I don't like painting so it will not come as a surprise like the overheads and signals did.



Due to the current bouts of Kung Flu I am having a concerted effort to finish off some long term projects that have been gathering dust since the last century!!! [fact,, both above were started in the late 90's] and another result of this clean up regime is,,,,
a John Day model of a Fordson Q7 bin lorry,, ugly as sin,, but lovely in it's own little way,, and during our recent sojourn to Malta I saw one,,, still running,, heaven,,,
and here it is,,, about as aerodynamic as an upright piano but for me it has buckets of character.
It will sit beautifully alongside my LYR Hughes heavy and the GC Zeppelin!!! 
Ugly is the way forward without a doubt,, it gives me so much pleasure,, when compared with overheads or signals!!! 

Now 3 weeks is a long time to not blog,, but there has been another reason for my absence from the ether,,,,wait for it,,,, YES,,, after approximately 10 years of doing exhibitions in nothing more than it's undercoat the tram has been treated to a satin finish topcoat,,, and very nice it looks too,, it certainly looks better than it did,,, but to be honest that is not difficult.

Take care everybody,,, and can I share a guaranteed way to alleviate stress,, during lockdown ensure you are never more than 2 centimetre's from an operating bottle opener,, it works,, I have tried it!!

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

As Elmer Fudd once said,,,"It Woyks"

HA HA. JUST CLICK HERE>>>   MP4 OVERHEADS

In these uncertain times it is all about trust AND THIS IS NOT AN APRIL 1ST JOKE!!!! HONEST

SO The above line of MP4 OVERHEADS is hiding some computerised piffle which is NOT my home brew recipe for defeating the Kung Flu but an access code to a rather special MP4 video.

Please give it a try and click on the line.

I sincerely hope you enjoyed that!!!!

Today is April 1st which is internationally recognised as a day of some importance,,,, it is also the day where it was that cold in the garage,,[lets not forget we are now officially in Spring],,, that I thought to myself,,, cobblers to this,,, I'm going to go inside and play with my digital camera/video thing and see if I can download it onto my inanimate piece of black plastic aka,, the compoota.

Well I eventually got there,,,, by the 11'sys coffee break I was convinced it was going to take as long to post the wretched MP4 file on the box as it was to erect the whole set of overheads but I can now categorically prove that the overheads are up and are working,,,, YOO-HOO.

Having working overheads is a definite case of  "mixed blessings",,, whilst I am delighted they are eventually up and running I was hoping I would be able to proceed constructively onto other things,,, but so far this is not the case,,, as they are now up I am spending vast amounts of time just playing with the tram and watching it go "wooosshing by",,, it is hypnotic how the sprung loaded trolley pole fluctuate/oscillates between the traction poles and then to see it travel smoothly through the reversing triangle is a vision of great joy,,,, [if only the tram knew how close it got, on several occasions, to being ejected into next doors front garden] and it really was well worth the effort.

I could easily write a full technical manual on how "simple" the procedure of erecting working overheads is,,, but as I am now categorised by the NHS as 70+ AT RISK & VULNERABLE
I am not going to bother,,, you can find out the hard way just like I had to!!!!

To be fair if anybody fancy's a go at overheads I would say DO IT,,, I wish I had jumped in at the deep end a lot sooner and as mentioned earlier I really have enjoyed the whole process,,, a very interesting challenge.

THE SERIOUS BIT,,,, before I met Mr Mark of Grime Street fame,,, having working overheads was always a bit of a pipe dream,,, he convinced me to have a go,,, I am glad he did and I also have to say the assistance he offered when I was in the planning phase was enormous,,, I even had to learn a new set of technical vocabulary.

MARK,,, a very sincere THANKS,,,, and in the words of that well know Oscar Acceptance Speech
"I really could not have done it without you",,,,, [but be warned,,, one day I might get you back!!!]