Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Weight & see!!

This is a picture of a Great Central weighbridge office,,, and I am fascinated by the bow topped window,, typical GCR why put a rectangular window in their when with a bit more effort you can really add to the structure by giving it something a little bit different.

I don't need a weighbridge on the layout but I have had planned for sometime to give the engine shed a proper entrance and so I have taken the basic dimensions from this one and decided to add a mirror image to it with an entrance passage in between.

It helped when looking through one of my many railway books to find a drawing "with dimensions" of the above building so many thanks to Mr John Brodribb for his enlightened LNER Country Stations published by Ian Allan books.

Where is it going to go,,, well I have noticed at the last few exhibitions I have been to that everybody and his brother has the Ratio grounded coach body as a "workmens bothy" [that might be an Iain Rice-ism,,,well that's what he calls them ] and whilst mine has been gracing centre stage for approaching 20 years I have decided to retire it to exit stage left which will allow me to refresh the front aspect of the layout.

I have the shell already made in foam board, the first time I have used this medium and so far I cannot decide if I like it or not,,, when I have made a decision I will either finish it or start again in my usual Plastikard.

Thought you all deserved an update as I was horrified to see it is nearly a month since I last blogged,,,, thankfully we are now all feeling fully refreshed after washing all the Barrow Hill dust away and this is a nice little project which I can get on with in the warmth of the office without having to don my cold weather gear and venture up't shed.

Soon be Xmas,,, & I wonder what Mr Hornby will be announcing for a very prolonged/delayed delivery this time round!!!!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Dusty Hair!!!! [I wish!!]

Well after the lord mayors show we can all get back to normal.
How did it go,,,,,, well not unexpectedly some good bits and some not so good bits.

The not so good bits:
The hire van was less than reliable,,, it packed up an hour before we got there on the Friday afternoon which created problems we didn't need and just to even things up it packed up on the way home about an hour away from a much wanted bed.

This is the first time I have ever stayed at a hotel that could not produce a cooked breakfast for the 30 or so hungry railway exhibitors on a Sunday morning,,, either the chef had done a bunk or was just playing hard to get,,, the poor old night watchman who was taking all the flack put on a very brave and apologetic face,,,
"never mind mate said one of the lads from Scarborough we'll have cornflakes instead" a unanimous YES ran round the room,,, the night porter ran off to arrange copious quantities of cornflakes,,,,,,,,, only to return a couple of seconds later with an update,,,, "sorry guy's but we haven't got any milk either"!!!!!
Barrow Hill 2013 provided another first for the Salmon Pastures Crew,,, Beans on Toast for breakfast!!

And while we are moaning about the IBIS Hotel I need to mention that the lift is either clockwork or is powered by a 3 legged gerbil running round in a wheel,,, it is the slowest lift I have every been in,,, I now feel much better.

We knew before we got there that the atmosphere was going to be different,,, we didn't know different also meant caustic!!! to be fair we knew we were going to be in a railway workshop and should have expected a bit of dust,, we were not disappointed in this respect it was VERY dusty,, but I am concerned that we now have black chemical blobs on the track which are still there after you have rubbed them with emery paper!!!

The good bits:
I had friends coming out of the woodwork to come and see us,,, I hadn't seen Bob Meanley since 1977,,, it was that sort of show it attracted people,,,

Messr's Atlantic 3279 and 2750 from the LNER encyclopedia duly arrived with some wonderful models to enhance the Doncaster 160 theme,, see the picture above,,, and the picture below both taken by 2750 Tom!! his photography is as good as his weathering!!!!  Graeme and Tom,,, many thanks for your rather special assistance.

Richard and Fiona good friends from way back also arrived to offer support, and thanks to them.

For 2 days I had lunch, and an afternoon break in the company of Mallard,, by walking less than 25 yards from my own railway I could look down on a masterpiece of British engineering,,, and it put a smile on my face on each occasion,,,, and if that wasn't enough I could trek a full 50 yards and gaze into the cab of Butler Henderson,,, mmm,,, in lower moments I muse that all we seem to be good at these days is producing feral youth and massive deficits.

I had forgotten how big the Deltics were,,, in the Deltic Shed there were maybe 6 or 7 spare Napier engines and one had the end casing removed giving an idea of just how complicated the engineering on these beasts was,, 3 banks of 6 cylinders all using the same crankshaft,,, those were the days,,, but I feel a little cheated that not one of them started up for the occasion,,, for me celebrating Doncaster without a Deltic grumbling away in the background was an opportunity lost.

We had a Thai meal on the Friday evening which was absolutely wonderful,,, it certainly make up for the lack of breakfast on the Sunday morning,,, and to wash the dust from our throats we found an excellent traditional English Boozer  the Royal Oak,,,, no TV screens,,, a quiet corner and we laughed away the frustrations of the day,,, and thankfully we were not surrounded by people who had been in there all day,, unlike Weatherspoons!!! where we had 2 women sat on the table behind us who were literally screaming at each other in an effort to make themselves heard,,over each other,,,,so it was a quick one and leave, I don't care how cheap it is!

For me Scarborough was famous for 2 things,,, a decent pint and great fish and chips,,,, it is now famous for 3 things,,, lunatic railway modellers who play there own hybrid version of pool with a bush tucker challenge thrown in for good measure,,, thanks for the mamories guy's everyone enjoys a good laugh and I will never forget Geoff 's somewhat special cue action as long as I live,,,, wonderful.
Ah well it is done,,, all over,,, and all I have to do now is brush off all the caustic dust and start planning for Tonbridge,,,[ Feb 15th 2014 at the Angel Centre]
 I ENJOYED, it could have been "cleaner",, but the assistance with track cleaning was wonderful,, thanks to Alan and Paul and didn't Mallard Shine in that glorious autumnal sunshine!!!!!! Oh Happy Days!!

Thursday, 26 September 2013

We are off on our travels in about 12 hours!!!

We know where we're going and we know who's coming with us!!!! Can't remember who sang it but it is most appropriate.

Yes after yet another typical SAD last minute scramble the D9 will be joining us at Barrow Hill,,, not only that but Valour will be appearing in workshop grey as well.

The D9 photo above was taken about 10 minutes ago and the decalfix is still wet,,, I could say it had just run through the water troughs but that would be a big fib,, but it will be treading the boards with us!!! Yippeee.

I know we are supposed to be celebrating Doncaster but the required level of Gortonaura is just as important!!!

Valour as well,,,, cripes this is like copping 3 streaks on the same day,,, bloomin heck Valour making an exhibition of itself after all these years now that is quite an occasion co's I started the bloomin thing in Jeddah Saudi Arabia in 1982,,, I don't like to rush things!!!!
Lets crack the jubbly,,, well maybe not,, we don't need to the beer in Chesterfield is more than adequate.

Come along and join us,,, we are dead easy to find just listen for the giggling,, we really don't take it that seriously,, we usually have much more fun than the paying public,,,especially in the evenings!!!

Oh and the CLOP is also being tested on average Jo for the first time,,,, now that should be fun.


Sunday, 22 September 2013

The Paint Shop is alive and kicking.

Just to let you all know that I haven't just been sat dans my derrier,,, this is the view last night after the paint shop doors were opened for the first time in quite a few days.

The D9 is still in there and we will be moving heaven and earth to make sure it joins us in the fun at Barro'Ill.
This time next week it will all be over and we will be wending our merry way east,,, ah well not long till Tonbridge, Kent, in February next year.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

1 week and counting

I reckon I might invest in one of these robot painting gizmo's,,, I could have done with one over the last week,, I've also now decided that painting is not as big a chore as it was but the lettering and numbering is,,,, but it is something one has to do to bring everything to life.

I have to say they all look very smart in their new black suits and yellow lettering!!!
Won't be long before I decide they look too nice and have to attack them with the weathering gun.

Anyway treading the boards for the first time will be:
2nd Bec J11 Pom Pom,,, I know the magnet ruins the view from the cab but this is another of the old stagers that was with me way back when in the early 70's.

Bec J52,, yer actual Corporal Jones of Salmon Pastures,, is rebuilt, repainted and running & looking better than it ever did.

Lancs & Yorks Highflyer Atlantic,,, one of many started in the early 90's and then hit the dreaded "lets gather dust" shelf,,, not any more she is raring to go.

Fowler 2-6-4 tank WITH  limousine cab,,, have actually amazed myself with how this one has turned out,,, hard to believe it used to be a Hornby toy train type.

Cotswold GCR F1 2-4-2tank,,, close companion of the Highflyer but not any more.

Nu cast GCR C13 4-4-2tank the 3rd musketeer from the dust shelf,,, but now looking pristine. 

Anyway now we have an extra 6 lumps of motive power to take with us to Barrow Hill I can see I will have to start smiling at the management again in an effort to get permission to extend the shed, we quite simply do not have enough room to store them all the way things are,,, and looking at the "to do" shelf in the shed there is about another 6 that need finishing off,,, my word we are going to be busy before we set off for Tonbridge & our first venture sarf of the river in February.

And talking of exhibitions it is now only 1 week till we are "up em an at em" at Barrow Hill if you are looking for an excuse to visit then forget all the brownie points just get your act together and come and help us celebrate something worthwhile,,, 160th anniversary of Doncaster!!!!

What more could you want for an exciting weekend away,,,, I know we'll have one.

See you there!!!

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Barrow Hill Live 2013

Apologies to all our happy readers but the above graphic should give you a pretty good idea of what we have been doing with ourselves.

Not to mention of course the fact that since I last blogged we have successfully negotiated the annual pilgrimage to the Great Dorset Steam Fair and spent a happy few days in the caravan at Baltic Wharf in Bristol.

Now that was very interesting,,, I've never been to Bristol before and I can confidently say we will definitely be going again,,, what a fascinating place,,, I also took the opportunity to wander up the river to have a look at yer mans suspension bridge,,,, IMPRESSIVE,,,, IKB was undoubtedly a very clever fella being able to string that lot over the gorge before either electricity or JCB's had been invented!!!!  Hats off to him,,,, and his steam ship,,,, and I also enjoyed the architecture down in the old town.

14 days from now we will be half way through our Barrow Hill bash,,, we have been very busy,,, the Webbens  mysteriously appeared with the CLOP,,,, and we spent a happy couple of hours playing with it last week,,,, we have quite a long way to go but I think average Jo at Barrow Hill will have his experience of the pastures definitely enhanced by the digital display of what has happened,,,is happening and possibly about to subject to all them bytes and ducks being lined up in a suitable row.

Today I have been coaling, coupling and painting all manner of exhibits to also enhance the experience and tomorrow it will be damn similar,,, I even cleaned the track the other day and it was surprising what a difference that has made.

The Photographic Druid,,, of Westerner fame also arrived last week suitably armed with some new shop and factory signs,,, they have been applied and look much better than the old ones,,, thankyou Mr Alan,,, you can all meet him at Barrow Hill,,, he will be swanning about with that air of unflappable confidence and probably musing about why none of the engines are painted Brunswick Green,,,, the Webbens will also be in attendance doubtless armed with his micro chippy toolbox and focus meetings and cognisant generic tables,,, each to his own.

Anyway enough of this,,, we still can't wait and if you do attend please come along and say hello,,, I'll probably be on my own as I know the Webbens wants to enjoy at least 20 brake van rides,,,[he's actually a qualified guard on the Mid Norfolk I just can't wait to see him in his daft hat] and The Westerner claims to have never heard a Deltic so that's him truly mesmerised every time they crank one into life,,, that reminds me I must sort out my breathing apparatus,,, I well remember just how pungent a starting Deltic can be.

Hopefully see you there!!! ENJOY

Thursday, 8 August 2013

We are still here.

As way of an apology I thought I had better do something so I changed the backdrop picture,,, yet another from Alan "Hasselblad-Westerner" Davies extensive collection,,,, [he's Welsh,,, which answers all sorts of questions!!]

I've not forgotten the blog but I've been so busy getting things ready for Barrow Hill,,, it's only 7 weeks tomorrow and we'll be sat in the hostelry of choice, and probably nearest to the digs, priming ourselves to enjoy the 160th anniversary of  Doncaster.

I understand at least one A4 will be in attendance and I'll be taking my gas mask just in case they decide to crank up a Deltic for the first time since goodness knows when,,, but it's worth it,,, the noise they make [if you survive the start up] is life changing and it's guaranteed to make the hairs on your wotsits sit up,,, just like a Merlin at full chat but definitely more industrial.

As an update on why I haven't had time to blogsyerheartout,, well since I last pressed the keys with serious intent we have,,

Primed: J52, F1, C13, Highflyer, J11 D9 and Valour,,, am hoping to get them all finished, well presentable to the average Po Jublic but you may have to bear with me on some of that.

I've also got  a full A4 sheet of Hit List that needs attending to before we tread the boards once again.

Have also heard from the WEbbens who said,," weeeetreeee whip whip beep" which is digital for the CLOP is almost ready,,, now ready to you and Luddite me may be slightly variable to what the WEbbens see's as ready but as he is going to be in attendance as well if it dosen't work we can publicly humiliate him anyway.

Enough already it's well past my bed time.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013


This cool looking dude with the racey shades could be mistaken for just another innocuous insect,,, this is a horsefly and is FAR from innocuous,,, I have spent the last few days camped out at some sunny Suffolk lagoon where all there was to do was sit in the sun and occasionally crack another tinnie from the cool box,, over the considerable time we spent whiling away the hours in this relaxed fashion various members of the insect world settled on my pink bits and were gently brushed off with the back of my knotted hankie,,, then a squadron of cool dude horsefly's decided they would join in the AleSwilling fun and they obviously swiped far more ale than they could handle,,, it all got a bit roudy,,, and then a fight broke out between them and my upper thigh's and I have to report they won hands down,,, my legs now look like some educational aid for 1st year dermatology students,,, what exactly is it that these miniscule characters fly round with in their poison tanks!!!!

Potent,,,, it's blooming horrific,,, if we could can it and sell it believe me the worlds trouble spots would be resolved in hours,,,"listen guy's if you can't behave then we'll just plaster you in horsefly juice,,, now what's it to be????"

Anyway back to modelling,,,, since returning over the border I have doused various brass & nickel silver bits in a very heady solution of  soda crystals and warm water & then attacked them with an old tooth brush,, the experts in the book I bought claim this is the best way to cleanse anything you want to spray,,, I hope they are right as I only have 8 weeks to go before we tread the boards at Barrow Hill Live 2013.

The van has been hired,,,, and we are making solid progress on getting everything ship shape and Doncaster fashion in preparation for a pretty special weekend.

Hope to see you all there and if you do attend then please make yourselves known,,, I will probably be hiding under the layout with a soldering iron but don't worry as Alan "Hasselblad Westerner" Davies will be swanning about above the layout probably pushing the C12 about for the umpteenth time,,,, plus,,, The Webbens should also be in attendance with his much improved MkII Clop,,,, if he say's "weeeebipbipchheep" then smile co's that's digitalk for hello.

Not long now!! ho ho we can't wait.  

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Mallard: 3rd July 1938 !!!!!

Some things really are well worth remembering,,, so lets consider a few facts about Mallard.

1, It was not conceived, designed or built in Swinedon.
2, It's class looked completely different to anything built previously or since.
3, 6 of them are together this weekend for a bit of a reunion,,, & they are expecting massive crowds.
3, It gained a world record 75 years ago today,, which still stands to this day.

I can hear all the chorister's in unison,,, "yes and they had to take it off at Peterborough and ship it back to Doncaster in the dead of night for a complete overhaul",, chortle chortle chortle,,,,

And my response is,,, "Correct,, and we DON'T give 2 hoots"

As Driver Duddington apparently said,,,, "come on old girl,,, you can do it"

Talking of remembering things,,, don't forget Barrow Hill September 28th & 29th,,,, we'll be there,,, the Hasselblad will be westerning serenely and the Webbens Clop is also expected to make an appearance,,, as is Valour and the recent D9,,,, I know what I've got my money on,,,, crikey that's only 12 weeks away,,, I'd better go and plug the soldering iron in!!!!

Saturday, 29 June 2013

The Naughty Tortie!!!!!!

Any avid readers of the Salmon Pastures Blog will recognise Brillo as she is one of my devoted assistants!!!!

At the moment she is not my favourite feline,,,, as I may have mentioned on several occasions lately we are doing the Barrow Hill live bash in September,,, 160 years anniversary of Doncaster and all that,,,

Now I have gone public with the fact that I want to get Valour,,, finished for this show:

Enough is enough I started the bloomin thing in 1982 and it still isn't finished,, it's older than my youngest son and he is now gainfully employed and rapidly reaching his 30th birthday,,, anyway I digress,,, I have been making steady progress,,, it could have been finished years ago but it met with an accident which resulted in it needing a new boiler and when all that happened it hit the "things to do but until then lets gather dust shelf" and it has sat there an extraordinarily long time,,,, anyway having fitted the new boiler I then had to start going through the running tests to make sure everything was tickety boo before I start replacing all the hand rails and chimney and domes and all that clever stuff.

So I placed the loco on the track and started a serious set of running in operations,,, as it's wheels actually hit the rails again for the first time in quite a few years I thought I had better remove the chimney and dome which were only blue tacked on as they would almost certainly fall off during the forthcoming tests,,, I removed them and put them somewhere safe!!!!!

On top of the fridge freezer to be precise as what harm could they come to up there!!!!
The running tests got prolonged and then I got lured into having a bash at further work on the D9 and various other things I want to get finished for September and the Barrow Hill Bash.

Good progress was made on several front in the intervening 5 months and last weekend I was all geared up and rearing to go to finish Valour,,,, right then here we go,,, a bag full of handrail knobs,,,, an ash pipe,, the nameplates and valancing plus fitting the chimney and dome and all will be well!!!!

I could find everything in the Valour project box except the chimney and dome,,, where the hell did I put them,,, the search started about 4.30pm last Sunday afternoon,,, since then and over the last 5 nights I have blitzed the modelling shed,, the garage,, the workshop area of the garage, the van,,, been to a mates to see if I left them there,,,, NOTHING.

Resigned to the fact I would have to dust off the unimat and start again I thought to myself before I do that I will just finish off tidying the operating area round the back of the layout,,,, it is pretty dim and dingy round the back there and so I pointed a portable spot light in the general area to make the sweeping up easier to do and see,,,, SUDDENLY through the black plastic duckboard sort of thing that the fridge freezer sits on I spotted something glistening like recently worked brass,,,, what's that I thought,,, I donned the eyesight and bent down to investigate and lo and behold look what is sitting there in the gaps in the plastic duckboarding but 1 chimney, 2 dome's, 1 oil feed pipe, and 1 signal arm,,, all doubtless knocked off the top of the fridge freezer into nearly impossible to find oblivion by my very own trusty assistant Brillo the naughty tortie,,,

God I love that cat,,, in fact I love all cats,,, the only animal I know with a sense of humour,,, she has had me running round getting decidedly grumpy for very nearly a week,, and all I have achieved in this time is the garage is a darn sight tidier  and the shed compared with this time last week is a modellers palace!!!!

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Zodel Moan !!!

Further to my moan on 12th April after the recent pilgrimage to Doncaster and what a certain multinational had to done to an above average model shop in the town,,,,,, well,,,,

Now I'm not one to gloat,,, but,,, according to the BBC news this morning,,,, and they are never known to get anything even slightly wrong it appears that Deloitte have been appointed administrators to my non favourite model shop Zodel Moan,,,,

Oh dear what a shame,,,, the "one stop supermarket for serious modellers" appear to have got their marketing plans all farce about ace and the end result is that in pop the faceless wonders in pin stripe suits.

Sorry but you don't need to be a genius to work out what went wrong there,,, full retail price,,, if it didn't come in a bubble pack they didn't sell it,,, the guy I spoke to knew a lot about all sorts of things other than railways,, and I have a thing about corporate wear,,, they all perhaps know they know diddly squat and so try disguising or distracting us all by wearing red and black polo shirts!!!!!!

I asked him if he sold Romford or Markits wheels,,,, "mmm" considerable pregnant pause,,, another "mmm" & then a response,, "sorry do we sell what".

Airfix kits,,, do you sell Airfix kits,,, "oh yes sir over there behind the vast array of chatty chinese tools in strikingly visual bubble packs that  nobody ever needs or buy's.

Thanks a lot,,,, OH and have a nice day!!!!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Horticultural Diversions!!!

Sincere apologies to all concerned but it is with some considerable delight I can announce that the greenhouse is now in situ and we are back to the more interesting bits of spare time activity.

I only have myself to blame,,, it was purchased in February last year and for a variety of reasons it didn't get put up as quickly as expected,,, holidays, caravan, nfi, Chelmsford exhibition!!!!!

When I sensed it was becoming "a real issue" I thought I had better get stuck in,,, to find that the wall we intended hanging it on was about 3 courses of bricks short,,,mmm,,, so before we could get close to frightening Percy Thrower we had to pretend we were Bob in jeans with a cleavage.

Anyway it is up,,, it is watertight,,, it is causing considerable amounts of endless entertainment for the management,, and cat and everyone is happy,,,,, to prove it I was in the shed last weekend for the first time in the best part of a month and to get my eye in I decided I'd finish off one of a long line of nearly finished loco's,,, and here it is,,,

H.A.Ivatt J52 Saddle tank.
A Bec kit built in 1972 whilst a serving member of Her Majesties Royal Air Farce and it did me proud on my then exhibition layout for several years,,,, I was lucky with this one and in it's day it was state of the art,,, bog standard Triang Jinty chassis,, single start worm,, MW 5 pole armature and it ran beautifully,,,, I then went abroad and father borrowed it for his layout as it was always one of his favourites.

I returned to wash the sand from between my toes some 15 odd years later to find it didn't run as well as it used to,,, and it was looking a bit tired,,,, so I ripped it apart to find out why.

We have all got very used to the amount of "slop" on current model driving wheels,,,, well I reckon it had about twice as much as is normal and there is a fair chance the gearwheel which protrudes through the bottom of a Jinty chassis was hitting pointwork,,,mmm,,, that much slop.

I know father liked it but there was that much wear I reckon he may have gone on holiday in it!!!!

Anyway it now has new top hat bearings,,, new driving wheels,,, a real earth magnet [as long as it isn't from Mars I don't really care] and although it is still very stiff it is getting back to it's previous levels of performance,,, happy days.

I was going to put an etched scale chassis in it but decided against it,,,, after 41 years as a member of the family I reckon it deserves to serve out it's days without too much major surgery,,, aaahhhh.

Oh and don't forget only 15 weeks to Barrow Hill,,, Doncaster 160 years,,, can't wait,,,,

Friday, 17 May 2013

Westerner Exposes himself,,, Again!!!

As you can probably tell "Alan Hasselblad Westerner" has paid us yet another visit suitably armed with his electronic box brownie,,,, he certainly knows how to take a good shot,,,, here's another one of the man himself SNG accompanied by his trusty sidekick, Tetley, taking time to look at one of his finest creations!!!!!

Just click on the photo to get the full effect.

I'm afraid I don't have much to report on the modelling front as the management advised "I would" assemble the green house purchased last February or,,,, there would be reprisals,,,, as I am well versed in when the management is not messing about I'm afraid the D9 has had to take a back siding until the horticultural extension is complete,,,, would be a lot easier if it would stop raining.

Was going to do a bit more tonight but then it was decided we could go for a pint seeing as how it is payday,, what a devil,, and I was really getting set to give it another good bash,, ah well maybe tomorrow!!!

I'll post some more of the mans latest shots in due course,,, but whilst I am on don't forget we are going to be at the Barrow Hill festival in September to celebrate the 160th anniversary of Doncaster,,,, OH YES we just cannot wait for that one.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

The Cockles of your heart!!!

Now here's a picture to warm the cockles of any true steam enthusiast,,,, it looks like someone has run amoc with the exacto knife somewhere down in the duchy!!!!

I actually have quite a few diesel models and they come into their own with all this high fangled sound wizardry,,, very impressive,,, but,,, alas it isn't for us down on the pasture's.

I was listening to a School's with steam sound last week and the fireman's activity with the shovel was all you could hear,,, Mr Bullseye was a very clever fella but I'm surprised he never actually managed to get round to fitting silencer's on his shovels!!!

Anyway we are all getting rather excited as we are off on a boy's day out on Sunday to visit Retford,,, the model not the Nottinghamshire town of the same name,,, can't wait,,, I have seen it in various magazines and have heard it is even more impressive in the flesh than on glossy paper.

Ti's true I am using up countless brownie points but some things are important.

The D9 is coming on nicely but I cannot offer any pictures co's I haven't remembered to take any,, in short I am still jousting with the tender and it's connection to the engine,, we are getting there and it was trundling round Epsom last Thursday quite nicely until this "noisy neighbour"  Schools went flying past with the fireman working his socks off and the shock wave it left blew us off the track,,, ah well experiences like that remind me why I enjoy being an Analogue Luddite,,, god bless Mr Hammant and his uncle Morgan.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Coo,,, what's that mister.

I start with another of Westerner's excellent pictures of rural life at the pastures!!!

In a quiet corner of Salmon Pastures sits my small tribute to that happy band of South Yorkshiremen who get their leisure time kicks out of pigeon racing,,
Now I have never been a member of the racing fraternity but I do remember them visiting the local hostelry of choice on the build up to a race with their massive "O Gauge" clocks and it becomes very clear quite quickly how serious a business it is too,,, and rightly so.

I also remember the pigeon racers had built their own Coo Sim Town on a hill near the Bertie Bassett factory,, if there was one loft there must have been about 20,,, no 2 the same and I don't think anybody had actually bought any of the materials to build their loft,,, they probably occasioned upon them on the way back from the meeting at the local,,, or it fell off the back of a passing lorry,,, distinctive does not do these creative constructions justice,,, in their own way they were works of art.

Sheds are very personal things,,, I probably spend more time in mine than I do the lounge,,,, I'm not allowed to solder on the dining room table as I might have an accident,,, or glue,,, or paint,,, or cut out bits of plastic.

Anyway you are probably wondering what all this has got to do with the price of rice in downtown Hyderbad,,, well yesterday was the annual anniversary of another year closer to full time modelling and I was presented with a lovely model of an LNER pigeon van,,, to sit in the sidings at Memorial yard right beneath the pigeon loft.

This wonderful act of benevolence was from my old Southern railway mate David Orton & we have been modelling together for quite a long time,,, since we both had hair and were defending the empire against the onslaught of the Russian Hordes,,, not to mention the regular & obligatory Force 9 hangover's the day after
Thank you mate,,,and your timing is perfect,,, there is currently a 19 page expose on the LNER website forums thingy that is disecting in very close detail all manner of pointless trivia related to pigeon vans,,, and I hope for my sake the roof stays attached to the body or we are going to have people measuring the distance between the pigeon ladies and gents toilets in relation to the vestibule window on the left hand side facing north and if they carry on they will be outbidding War & Peace and get a life will yer!!!

Just as a small comparison you have a picture at the top how lofts are possibly done in Yorkshire and I finish with a Californian equivalent,,,, ha ha,,,, more money than sense,,, could only happen in the US of A.

It looks nothing like a shed,,,, I bet it's got carpets and if your not allowed to get legless with your mates in something like that!!! What is the point.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Progress in the 21st Century

Well the annual pilgrimage to Doncaster is over and to commemorate this occasion I offer a picture of a very nice locomotive in a very nice setting.

Now the Gresley pacifics are a particular favourite of mine and I will not be churlish and comment that the german style wind deflectors should not be coupled to a locomotive in its pre 1948 livery,,, if the people who pay vast amounts of money to keep this thing entertaining thousands want it like this then that is fine by me.

For me the real point of this photo is as much about the building in the background as it is the engine.

That is the famous Crimpsall Works in Doncaster where Flying Scotsman and thousands of other locomotives were actually built,,,,mmm,,,, unfortunately this building is no more and where it was now looks like an industrial wasteland,, in fact it looks just like the steel working area of Sheffield has for the past 20 years,, a flat, empty, dusty  barren wasteland.

I am sure that in a few years this area will be yet another "Simtown" industrial or housing estate and I am also sure that it will bring about lots of jobs and create lots of rubbish and graffitti.

Having sat on Donnie station for about an hour smiling at all the other "baldies" who were also wandering up and down the main platforms in quiet contemplation and reliving their youth I took myself off round the back of the plant to wander down other area's of my personal memory lane and the scene of many earlier conquests,,, seeing that Crimpsall had finally gone was distressing.

Surely knowing what had taken place in their since the mid 1800's somebody could have done something with it,,, obviously not,,, and if this is progress then in my book progress STINKS.

To add to my personal gloom I decided to lift the spirits and go and have a look in Doncaster's model shop which in the past has supplied me with all end of goodies and hard to get bits,,,NOT ANY MORE   that also has suffered a severe case of the progress and has been bought out by ModelZone,, who will sell you anything you like at full retail price only and if you want any useful bits that don't come in a blister pack then they don't stock it.

Anyway now we are back we will be pushing on with all manner of improvements and that should take the nasty taste away,,, hopefully.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Bank Holidays are for weeding.

Time was very well spent over the recent bank holiday.

I was informed by "the management" that although it might be cold and windy it should not stop "us" from being very productive on the "weeding" front.

Ha ha, how right you were dear,,, before you knew it "Westerner" had arrived with his highly lethal electronic tea strainer and we let rip,,, now I'd seen the adverts in the modelling press about the Alkatraz tea strainer but hadn't gone much further than the usually dissmissive,, "what the hell's that for" and "bloomin Johhny Foreigner" phase.

Having one in my hand was a completely different experience,, especially after the Welsh Flockist hit the magic GO button whilst I was holding the other end,,, ho ho,,, he's a joker that Westerner.

We primed it with grimy green [nearly dead] and tan [definitely dead] grassy bits,,, hammered a 6" nail into the baseboard,,, promptly drowned the nail and surrounding area in pva glue and away we went,,,,,, mmm,,,, the grass slowly allowed gravity to take over and it started to resemble the Royal Albert Hall on rememberance Saturday the way it meandered down to the waiting glue,,,, I'll be honest after the shocking experience a few seconds before I was expecting the grass to race towards the glue like some demented exocet,,,,,

It must also have been GWR grass [what a surprise] as by the time it reached the awaiting glue it was extremely tired and needed to lie down,,, none of the advertised sticking up like Grenadier Guardsmen grass,,,, mmm,,,, a discussion took place and we agreed on 2 points:

1, The height of the strainer above the glue is probably important.

2, I would not sue "Westerner" providing he leaves his tea strainer with me for a bit of experimentation.

The following session I did experiment and unwittingly smothered another area in white wood glue not pva,,, I now have some lying down grass growing out of snow drifts not earth,,,, mmm it dawned on me why I really do enjoy brick work and soldering,,, this horticultural, agricultural, bucolic paraphanelia really is starting to get me down,,, unless of course you can smoke it,,, but not through a highly exciteable tea strainer!!!!

An old nursery rhyme springs to mind:
Roses are read,
Violets are blue,
Grass is green,
And a right pain in the raspberries,,,

Watch this spacial awareness.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Homeward Bound

Oh what fun we've had,,, the arctic weather put paid to the first caravan weekend of the season down at my favourite nuclear power station at Sizewell on the Suffolk coast.

Not that I have a thing about caravan sites near power stations, but, this one is a bit special as it is in a pub car park which basically means everyone is happy, the dog is only 50 yards from one of her favourite beaches where she can run riot for miles, I am 20 yards from one of the nicest pints of Adnam's Best Bitter in East Anglia and if we get bored we can always wander into Leiston to the Garrett Museum where they used to make traction engines,, what more could you want!!!

So instead the D9 has had some serious attention and I can proudly announce that we have definitely got past the half way stage and  now have a locomotive which works and is even powerful enough to pull along it's very own tender which is also coupled to it at the obligatory 9 inches, and even if I say so myself it really is starting to look like a half decent model of one of Mr Robinsons finest edwardian creations.

It is very easy to "knock" the computer age and all this technology which to be quite frank I don't really understand, but, during the phase of starting to build the tender I quite rapidly hit a knowledge gap on how certain aspects of the tenders were actually built, but not for long,  before you could say "James Ridell casts his spell" a very knowledgeable nucleus of friends on the LNER Encyclopedia forum were sending me drawings and photo's of the real thing,,,, that reminded me of how lucky we are to live in this technological wonderland, that we don't understand, but even so you can benefit from it.

Perhaps the Webbens is right after all,,,, bleep, squeek and high pitch whinings to your hearts content is the way forward.

Talking of which "the Webbens" and "Westerner" that well known "Welsh flockist" of this manor will be in evidence at the Barrow Hill Steam Extravaganza Sept 28th & 29th just in case you forget, and all things being equal, and in my experience they very rarely are, the D9 should be making it's first public appearance!!

Only 6 months to go before this one and my hit list is growing by the day,,, not only on the layout but on the D9, Valour, C13, F2, and for the LMS afficianado's amongst us the  L&Y Highflyer Atlantic and Fowler tank, with limousine cab, ha ha I've been building that for the best part of 10 years as well and it wasn't until I occasioned upon my old pal Bob Meanley of  Vintage Trains Ltd that I realised I was even building one of the famous limo cabs,,,, thats technology for you again,,,, you bump into each others ether space and the world improves quite quickly.

You've got to make it to Barrow Hill Mr Bob,,, not so you can offer copious quantities of constructive comment but it must be humpty odd years since we smiled at each other through the bottom of a pint pot, and believe me I know from past experiences that there will be a lot of that going on at Barrow Hill.

What a wonderul hobby this is!!!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

D9 Update & Webens Clop Mk 2

Have decided a quick update is probably valid.
We now have the start of a tender, Alexander kit GC 4000g with the usual compensated home built chassis.
Am currently playing around with an all singing all dancing drawbar link to go between the loco and tender,,, the road down to the turntable at the Pastures is slightly inclined and some locomotives do not enjoying going down there without serious remedials on the draw bar linkage,,,, Bachmann A1's in particular.
Anyway we will give it a go and see if it works, the plan is that the link will pivot laterally and vertically and hopefully keep the tender at the required distance behind the loco,,,, well thats the plan.

Anyway on to more interesting items,,, guess what this is?????

He's a very clever fella that Webbens,,,, as soon as I mentioned that we may have to hire a bigger van he wandered off shaking his head, huffing & muttering about focus groups, priorities and other best censored commercial phrases which I suddenly remembered from my dim and distant past.

But before you could say "I fully understand the pressure you are under and perhaps the best strategy to deploy at this difficult time is" he reappeared with this the Mk 2 CLOP,,, a miniature version which is obviously much easier to transport about.

Now it transpires that this one is valve driven and therefore probably analogue but still a BinarY bean counter & display type system and so being it occured to me we perhaps now have a BinarY Computerised LOco Programming System,,, or BYCLOPS.

Ha ha,, I found it highly amusing,,, the Webbens just looked skyward and started making those high pitched screechy noises that you used to hear with a dial up system,,,,, they're a strange bunch I.T.wallah's,,, but at least his energy pack is in the right place for sure.  

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Progress so far on the D9

Just to prove we haven't completely forgotten what modelling is all about I offer a couple of pictures of progress made on the D9.

I was informed by my lovely employer that if I didn't use the holiday I had left by start of new financial year in a couple of weeks then I would lose it.

SAY NO More,,, I don't need a better excuse than that to secrete myself away in the shed for 3 days.

Have to say it is coming together nicely,,, but we still obviously have quite a lot to do.

Although not shown in the pictures the chassis for the tender is nearly finished and I have made a start on the tender body,,,, so hopefully it will not be long before it joins the rest of the gang on the layout and increases considerably the desired level of "Gortonaura".

Watch this space.


Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Webbens Clop Prototyping Phase ends.

Well hear it is the Webbens Clop Mk 1,,,[Computerised LOco Programme] and I am advised by the Webbens himself that fault diagnosis should be a doddle as all the main cables are routed externally [click on the image and you can see them] so it's just a case of pull out the plug,,, test with a pre-moistened digit or tongue,,, and replace, simples.

And as you can see all the wiring is colour coded as well,, some are black, some are white,, but the vast majority are varying shades of grey,,, what a great name for a book,,, [memo to self,,, work at it].

The Webbens himself is busy as we speak jostling and cajoling his microbytes and currently resembles a cocktail waiter on the QE2 frantically shaking an old typewriter ribbon tin above his head within which he stores a multitude of electronic ducks in a slightly disorganised linear row. I can't wait,, he's adamant it will work and we intend releasing it on the world at the Barrow Hill Live Steam Doncaster 160 years Extravaganza which is on Sept 28th & 29th just in case you forget.

Just had a thought,, we are going to need a bigger van to get the Clop and the layout to Barrow Hill!!!!

Am also pleased to advise at long last that I have managed to defrost the padlock on the shed door and I will be in residence for the next 3 days, along with my 2 assistants who will doubtless be jousting for a front row seat next to the gas bottle heater.

The D9 will be taking a pasting over the next week, as will the bicycle and I will hopefully post some progress pics as soon as they are available.

For all the avid computer types who may have inadvertantly fallen into this blog through some digital quirk of fate be advised the very small sign at the bottom left hand corner of the 2nd mainframe unit from the left reads, "now feed the monkey".

You guessed ,,, it's bloomin freezing up't shed this evening,,, but me and the gang have had a very productive day,,, watch this space,,, I'll attempt to post some pics when my microbytes have stopped shivering.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

T ' ebay Complaints Department.

Three weeks it is since I personally delivered my complaint to t'ebay and to date I have heard nothing.
The BIG Zero,,, Zippola,,, Diddly Squat,,, not a Richard Sparrow.
I also ruined a decent pair of trousers shimmying up the drain pipe to post it all,,, in fact I notice the drain pipe is no more,,,, ooops.

Anyway more interestingly this lovely stone building is obviously miles from anything like a polluting chimney,, it is also of considerable age as at the top of the wall corner the bricks are at right angles to each other and the bottom or below the door line they are rounded to allow easy access for horse drawn carts I would imagine.

Dosen't surpise me that t'ebay get cart loads of complaints to be honest, probably something to do with their complete lack of interest in swindled vendors,,, anyway I'm not going to bang on in RedNose week!!!

And all this was designed & constructed long before Blu-Tac and MDF had even been thought of, and it's still a mystery to me why people use them,,, for me Blu-Tac always seems to stick to what I don't want it to and has very little grip on what I do want it to hold on to,,, and MDF is an even bigger mystery,,, you can't screw into it,,, if you try you just generate an O gauge mole hill which the screw seems to settle down in nicely,, completely detached from the rest of its self but at least it's comfy,, somebody's making a fortune out of selling these DIY aids,,, why didn't I think of them!!!

And as it's RedNose week I was delighted to here that Coca Cola are currently spending an absolute  fortune on a GLOBAL campaign to highlight to their "core customers" [ie 4 to 25 years of age] the importance of a healthy diet!!!!! YO HO HO Yeh Right,,,, Coca Cola are to healthy diets what King Herod was to babysitting,, that's nearly as tasteless as the Super Slimmer Mac,,, get real people do you honestly think we don't know what your really up to and can't see through you little ploys to make europe as blobby as you lot are!!! NoWay Jose,,,oh and have a nice day!!

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Red Nose Week Modelling!!!!!

Feeling depressed, tired of life's humdrumedness,, are you lacking a certain Gortonaura,,,well here at the Pastures we are confident we can put a smile on your face at least one day a year.

For the serious Modeller

I have been aware for a couple of months of various comments on modelling forum's about some of the staggeringly "amusing" prices people are asking for stuff on our old friend t'ebay.

Tuesday night Mr Mourinho was correct "the world did stop" for a couple of hours from around 7.30pm,,, I went on t'ebay just to see what was appertaining,,,,, now please enjoy some of these veritable bargains,,

OO Graham Farish LNER suburban coaches,,,, 3 on offer,,, a brake end and 2 standard,,, all are available on the "Buy it Now" scheme,,,, the brake end at £165,,, the 2 standards at £150 and £145,,,,
YO-HO ho I don't know what they drink in the lake district but can you send me a couple of gallons as a sample.

Now I have a couple of these myself and I have had them since about 1968,,,, when they came out they were a definite improvement on Tri-angs coaches,,, you remember the one's,,, one side was maroon,, the other side was also maroon but not quite the same shade or warpedness,, and the roof looked like a relief map of the M62,,, anyway I'm glad I kept my Farish items if they have appreciated that much,,, and,,, if anybody is interested in buying these 2 obvious collectors items you can have the pair for £75,,, including postage!!!!!

Somebody else is selling a K's LNER ROD 2-8-0 which looks as though it has spent the last 3 years shunting uphill with Mike Tyson on the regulator,,, and yet again this is another bargain with a starting price of a mere £245,,,I'm pretty sure this will be one of those K's ROD's where you get a chassis block forged out of old banana skins and 8 driving wheels which if you are really lucky will have 3 which are roughly the same size, shape, and concentricity,,,,or how about a Bec Director in Brunswick Green [surely not even a Bec kit deserves such a fate,, British Railways even agree with me on that one ] at a cool £165,, oh and add a chassis, wheels and motor to taste,, not only that but this one apparently is "vintage"!!!!
I'm going to have to let Bachmann know their advertising is obviously not hitting the target audience.
Or perhaps I've got it all wrong and these jesters are also entering into the Red Nose Spirit!!!!!

For the not so serious modeller.

Whilst lying in the prone position in bed one morning this week in that wonderful layby land between sleep and "ah well here we go again" I heard my old friends on the BBC breakfast programme wittering on about the 2 panda's in Edinburgh zoo,,,, apparently the female is so hot to trot she is now doing handstands and we will have to be quick as she only lets him get amorous 2 days a year,,,, reminds me of a girl I knew from Rotherham,,, she was very similar,,, from memory it was Tuesday's and Saturday's.

Unbelievably in the same bulletin they advised that some prince in Saudi Arabia has thrown his toys off his camels back as Forbes the publishers of  the Top 100 Wealthy Hit list have under played his wealth by around £10 Billion!!!! and he is not happy,,, he is getting all aeriated and litigious,,, & having lived there for about 8 years I bet the camel is pretty nervous as well.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Exhibition Calender

Now here's a novelty,,, me attempting to get more organised with the exhibition info,,, so,,, I hope you have aleady noticed we have now included on the main page the basic info of our next outing and will be updating THIS page on a regular basis with more info on exhibition bookings as it becomes available.

Anyway to date we are booked in for the following:

Barrow Hill Live Steam. Chesterfield Derbyshire,,,celebrating Doncaster 160 years!!!!
Sept 28th & 29th  2013
Now that has to be worth attending,, I wonder if SNG will be adequately represented!!! He'd better be.
We also hope by then that the highly sophisticated Webbens CLOP "Computerised LocO Programme " will not only be fully functional but in glorious technicolour,,,hopefully,,, it will tell you what your looking at,, what your going to be looking at and what you've just missed,, it really will cater for all tastes,, so bring your old Ian Allen compendiums and relive your childhood with a bit of spontaneous trainspotting.
My parents lived in Chesterfield, father was a member of the organising club,, Little Midland Society and therefore I know we will be needing the CLOP as it is almost guaranteed I will be feeling socially jaded on both days before about 13.30 hours!!! Can't wait.

Tonbridge MRC Kent.
Saturday 15th February 2014
Our first foray south of the river,,,,, sinkplunger will you be attending,, can you translate if required??
I met a bunch of the Tonbridge lads at another show and what a happy/friendly bunch they were too.
It's also nice when people invite you to their show, mean it, and confirm as much in writing, unlike some!!
We have also been assured by our resident medico that penicilin will protect us against the highly contagious  "sarf of the river malachiteous"!!!

Norwich 2014
EasiPeasi lemons and all that guff,,, it's our home show,,, was booked to do it in 2008 but since then my regular movements have quite simply got in the way,, I will be offering more info when I know what it is!!!!

TrainWest Melksham Wiltshire. 11th & 12th April 2015.
Frighteningly close to Swinedon,,, but we are always game for a "larf",,, here at the pastures. As it's that far from Gorton or Doncaster I will probably get one of my hefty nose bleeds,,,, so be warned.


Needless to say along with just about every other modeller in the land with an exhibition layout I have a list as long as your arm of people who invite you at one show,,, you give them your pre-printed blurb,,, and then you just never hear from them ever again.  So if it's you,,,,,Swivel!!!

Monday, 4 March 2013

Missing,,,, Boris the Spider!!

We were doing rather well until Boris the tame shed spider decided he'd had enough of making bicycle spokes and just wandered off under the work bench.

I tried originally with very fine wire which was relatively easy to solder to the brass rim but I couldn't get wire fine enough to get the correct number of spokes or more importantly look right.

I then had a flash of inspiration what about Boris the Spider,,, [The WHO,,, A Quick One Album,,, 1966] and we were getting on famously until I inadvertently got the super glue nozzle a bit too close to his excreting gland and he took instant umbrage,,, also found the Joe90 magnifying helmet ran out of puff when it came to working the extremely fine thread which Boris was providing in I have to admit COPIOUS quantities,

Also tried separating used bits attached to the shed window from one of his earlier webs but it had gone brittle and wouldn't bend round the axle anywhere near as nicely as the fresh produce,,,,mmmm,,,, I never realised web went brittle when it got old,,, that's perhaps why  the wing mirror on the van never actually falls off,,, it's held in place by the 2 or 3 of his firm webs!!!

Ah well back to the drawing board on that one,,, mind you the frame looks the bizzo and unless you are extremely well endowed in the opticals you probably won't notice the spokes are missing,,,, but it would have looked a lot better,,,, all I have to do now is fashion a saddle out of some old piece of leather I have lying around,,,, very adjacent to one of Helen's old handbags actually!!!!!!

Isn't modelling fun,,,,,,

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Who remembers Sturmey Archer.

I have long held the belief that OO gauge finescale modelling could really do with a half decent representation of a pushbike,,,, the black plastic offering that we all use has it's Merit's but for me that is part of the problem every pushbike on just about every model looks exactly the same and having taken a measuring stick to one recently it appears that in OO land all adults ride a kids bike anyway as it is definitely on the small side.

I do remember seeing an LMS layout based around an inland port/waterway that had a "proper" pushbike leaning against a shed and it was one of the finest pieces of modelling I have seen,,, ever,,, the layout was wonderful but the pushbike casually leaning against a shed was even better.

Now this may transpire to be compete madness but I have offered myself a challenge to make a pushbike which will hopefully look better than the one's I already have and I am already toying with the idea of it having spokes, as after playing about on the workbench in my lunch hour recently I reckon it can be done!!

Not without the usual assistance from my Joe 90 magnifying helmet,,, the milk bottle was a challenge, so were the spectacles in the opticians window, but we shall see,,, I will also keep you abreast of developments,,[that's more like it],,, but this is something else to keep the old grey matter confused and it is also a little project I can fiddle with on the kitchen table,, in the warm.

Another bit of good exhibiting news is we have been invited to the Steam Open Day at Barrow Hill in September,, ho ho,,, all them chuffs and puffs wandering about to give it all a bit of 12" to 1' scale realism,, and the beer in that part of the world is more than half decent as well!!!!

If you don't hear from me again the little men in their white coats have probably taken me off to meet Messr's Sturmey and Archer,,, who apparently sold out in the 1980's to some Egg Noodle manufacturing company in Taiwan!!!!! Is nothing sacred. 


Tuesday, 19 February 2013

N.U.J,,,,,,He look's sort of familiar!!!!

Was it something I blogged???,,, I do hope I haven't upset anybody at the AuntieBeeb.
After my light hearted rant last week on the "Weather Forecast plus some Blog" we appear to have hit a raw nerve!!!
All them autoqueue readers,,, sorry journalists,,, have thrown their toys out of the mineral wagon and gone on strike.

Doubtless it's all about a fair day's pay for a fair day's autoqueue reading,,, we have no idea how hard it is sitting on the sofa reading a hard days night,, especially at 6am,,, "they have no idea have they Billie".

Journalist's,,,, mmm,,, Banker-W's,,,, Estate agents,,,,politicians,,,, they are all in the same pontoon as far as we are concerned,,,,, wasn't the same in George's day,, now he was a proper journalist,,, had his own pencil's and sharpener on him at all times,,, and he knew how to use a them,,, he got that good at it the NUJ named a river after him,,, those were the days,,, black and white characters,,, smokey scene's,, factory's,, canals,, and L.S Lowery scribbling away on an old envelope in the middle distance.

I wonder if anyone ever told him he looked like Oswald Mosley

Monday, 18 February 2013

That's more like it.

Shot's like this I find quite emotional,,, silly old sod,, but click on the pic please.
What a lovely scene,,, and I know exactly where this shot was taken,,, in fact my brother in law was brought up in one of those houses in the background, progress has seen fit to demolish all these atmospheric dwellings to make way for a synthetic ski slope!!!!! Come the revolution brother's someone will pay!!!

A D9 on it's home shed,,, Sheffield Neepsend I guess mid 1930's,, wonderful.

I am hoping my efforts do the original proud and we are even more pleased to announce that due to the sudden rise in shed temperature:
the gorilla has replaced his private's back in their fur lined box,,,
the cat has returned and taken up it's favoured and relaxed position in front of the heater,,,
I have been soldering with fingers that have a new found sense of the infamous touchy feely.

This weekends efforts have seen a complete set of reversing rod apparatus appear,, we are well on the way to having some safety valves, and a smokebox door, and a large steam pipe down one side of the boiler, and after a quick rummage through one of my many bit's boxes I have found a chimney and dome which after some judicious fettling should add to the general Gortonaura of well being.

I also occasioned upon an Alexander kit for a GC 4000 gallon tender which with many of my other projects has been gathering dust in the office for a considerable number of years,,, but it has now most definitely shot past the,, "will come in handy one day"  category.

This is what can happen when we have a working temperature and perhaps more importantly there is no rugby on the box at the weekend,,, still don't really believe what I saw from Dublin last weekend.

As mentioned on one of last weeks epistles [just thought I'd drop that one in,, 2 entry's in one week] the management have now committed in public that both the D9 and Valour will be on show at future exhibitions,, not necessarily finished but they will be on show!!!!

Also found out last year that attempting to spray paint in damp murky sheds is not conducive to acceptable paintwork,,, which is a bit of a mystery really co's when I was gainfully employed in the the motor trade just about every body shop I visited worked out of a damp and murky shed,,,, but I don't have the benefit of one of those industrial heaters that when turned up to regulo 5 look like the blast pipe of a BAC Lightning on take off with reheat fully engaged,,, those were the days,,, 56 Sqdn Akrotiri,,, taking off at dusk,,, a sight and sound I will never forget.

Anyway enough of all this sentimental cobblers,,, I would have included a picture of the aformentioned model but for some reason my digital box brownie has hit a phase of not wanting to play,,,,, hope it isn't temperature related???

Thursday, 14 February 2013

I know I know we are lagging behind target.

This should come in handy especially at a future bash,,, somewhere "south west" of the capital.

It's the board from that well known party game  Swinedonometer,,, a favourite of all the RCTS lads from down Wiltshire way.

What you do in a quiet corner of the exhibition is stand 7' 9" away from the board,, which has been previously mounted at 58" from the centre of the bull to floor level, and you throw darts at it,,, now this is where it get's quite complicated.

If you hit a 14 you have to shoot round all the layouts and take the numbers of class 2251's you can see.

If you hit a 20 it's King's,,, 19 is Castle's,,,, 18 is Hall's,,,  17 is Grange's,,, 16's is Manor's and so on and so on and so on.
Now it all gets a little bit hyper and arguments usually ensue because by the time you have worked down to 12 or 13 people are getting a bit confused primarily because it has suddenly dawned on them than without a magnifying glass they all look pretty much the same,,, excluding the weathering of course.

Still it keeps them entertained and is certainly better than modelling in a cold shed.


Are we back on track yet?? Please let me know.

This game is the copyright of Salmon Pastures Wind-Up Productions Limited.

Time for a rant

You know who this is I'm sure,,, it's the dotty blonde caledonian autoqueue aritiste from the early morning BBC weather forecasts and she has a lot to answer for,,,, she gave me her personal assurance last week that it was going to start warming up.

I'm not her biggest fan,,, far from it,,, and it's not because she's caledonian,,, BUT,,, I do remember her from about 3 years ago on some early evening chat show rambling on about hobby's,,, another guest was Pete Waterman,,,, now you don't need to be a genius to identify what Pete was going to talk about,,, her reaction was very predictable,,, she scornfully announced she prefers rugby players, he-men and anything muscular,,, probably or preferably by the name of Billie!!!! and she thought Pete should grow up and get a life!!!!

What a muppet.

Another thing I could easily have a good rant about is why have the BBC decided to turn the early morning news programmes into some informative hybrid youth club,,,, it's all so predictable,,, here's the sports geezer,,, before he or she tells us what he's got to offer they have a little light hearted banter with Billie or Soozie,,, get on with it fer chrisakes,, me porridge is congealing,,, oh and here's the business geezess,,
EY-UP playmates,,, tha'll never guess whats 'appened to thee shares,,, they've plummeted,,, bloody plummeted,,, I'll be avin a gass wi some fella from't BP just after break,,, well I'll gu to foot of our stairs,, ee seems to gnu wat he's onabout but I can't tell abloddy word he's saying!!!

I'm not surprise dear,,, I'm from north of the trent myself,,, but,,, what are we trying to achieve with all this appeasement now we have moved everyone to Manchester,,, Andy Capp was and is a cartoon character,,, not an accurate image of your typical north country working chap.

I feel much better now,,, I really do.

Anyway back to Jockina's inaccurate forecast,, Ha ha,,, I ventured up't shed and she was right,,, the ice was slowly melting on the inside of the windies [after about half an hour of me having my gas bottle heater on regulo 3],,,, but it was still cold enough to affect the gorilla's privates,,, so I donned my steptoe modelling gloves and the only reason I knew I was soldering something was due to the acrid aroma of burning flesh,,, I certainly couldn't feel anything.

The cat who is a seasoned campaigner in arctic modelling came in,, rooted about under the workbench for about 3 minutes and then even she cleared off,,, the next time I saw her she was relaxing on top of the fridge with that "you must be mad working up their look".

I called it a day and so not much to report on the modelling front at the moment..

STOP PRESS,,, Oh yes we have,,, we have been invited to Trainwest Exhibition in Melksham Wiltshire. Only about 20 miles from Swinedon,,,,, I hope it's not contagious.
Which year??? to be confirmed,,, that's always a good sign when they don't know which year they can fit you in.

I am assured security will be adequate to tight but I'll be taking my aluminium underpants just in case,,, they are a strange bunch these types that are instinctively attracted to Swinedon,,, I've already got a visa but I may need professional help in ironing out any wrinkles in translation.
 I can also see I may have to invest in some corporate flat caps for this one!!!!!
Just hope I don't end up next to the Morris Dancers!!!! Only joking Geoff,, only joking.

Anyway when I know when I'll let you know,,, we will have to start saving though,,,, I'm sure by 2015/6 my mate Max will be treading the boards again and as it's a 2 day bash I'm bound to upset somebody and I may  need his help,, and from what I've heard he don't come cheap!!

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

My Assistants !!

The snow has vanished,,, overnight almost,,, Brillo the cat is alive and well and patroling her patch and that only leaves the other part of the dynamic trio,,, Tetley Tea Bag.

On the first day of the snows as the temperature inside t'shed was less than inviting I decided I'd have an admin day,,,, I needed all manner of things for the airbrush,, some MekPak and various other odds and sods that always come in handy,, or hopefully they will,, one day,, as the shed and garage seem to be inundated with such objects which I am convinced will come in handy one day!!

Anyway I ordered by email from 3 different suppliers and within hours had received confirmation of orders from all 3. GREAT,,, in a couple of days I can get cracking.]['

A couple of days became 3 or 4,,, then a week,,, then 10 days,, and nothing from any of them,, which I saw as odd as I had used all of them before and reordered due to excellent service and communications.

On day 12 I sent all 3 an email advising their confirmation of order numbers and in return they all sent the post office shipping numbers to trace parcels,,,, one of them however did mention that due to the recent snows he was aware that some orders were taking longer than normal as postman these days are not obliged/allowed to deliver in the snow due to our old friends Elf & Safety,,, mmm I thought I'll give it another couple of days and then let them have it.

The next day I return from work and the first question is,,, has any stuff arrived????
"Well not exactly but I have found this",,,says Helen handing me a red card from the postman advising that I have 3 parcels to collect from the post office,,, dated 12 days before!!!

Now the red card from the postie was also quite distinctive in that it had about 50 odd small terrier type teeth marks in it and it did look a little worse for wear.

Now Tetley Tea Bag loves everybody,,, except the postman,,, and every day he attempts to push something through the letterbox she sets off and is at about 30,000 feet and still climbing within about 15 seconds,,,,
the message from the postie was found behind the settee,,, now I'm not a fileaholic, far from it, but even I don't file things behind the settee,, we sat down together on the same settee and I confronted her with the chewed card from the postie!!!!

Her ears turned to jelly,,, her expression went back to orphanage,,, which is where we got her from,, and she lifted a back leg offering a wonderful display of pink bits which she usually offers when needing a bit of solace,, 2 minutes later she was back to normal and wandering around as if nothing had happened!!

Life was bad enough with the cat assisting when soldering,,,, but I certainly don't need the dog causing confusion in the goods inwards department!!!!

Anyway the good news is myself and the cat spent the whole day D9ing on Saturday and it won't be long before we have some worthwhile pics to display,,, just watch this space!!!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Train Sets BBC4

I don't watch much TV,,, as compared with others,,, but I am glad I was informed by the management that there was a programme I might like to watch on Train Sets last night on BBC4,, as the gorilla in the shed and his teste's still haven't thawed out I thought I would keep warm and be "enlightened".

To be quite honest I was expecting the usual condescending tone's endorsing the average Jo's perception of railway modelling & in particular modellers, you know the sort of thing,,, never grew up, anorak's, school blazer's,, caps and short trousers,,, and I qualify on each account.

I WAS PLEASANTLY SUPRISED, most people interviewed & commenting on the hobby were either professor's,  informed journalists or Pete Waterman,,, and not forgetting our old friend's Iain Rice &
Bob Schultz-Symes, [apologies for spelling Robert but it would have been a lot easier if you had been called, Wolshea, Walshart, Walchear, Smythe].

In short it was a history of railway modelling from the early 1900's to date, sure I knew of Bassett Lowke but I never realised he was such a towering influence on the hobby,,, thank the lord he was,,,more than that he just about started the whole thing,,, Frank Hornby provided me with my first blistered fingers from winding up a very crude 0 gauge clockwork mechanism, and I never knew Iain got started by making steam engines out of old toilet roll core's at the age of three,,, shep, Valerie and a baby elephant urinating all over Johnny Morris's pit boots spring to mind,,, I never knew he was on Blue Peter,,, but should it surprise us,,, NO not really.

It was a fascinating insight into the best hobby in the world and hopefully BBC will put it on a video and sell it through the NRM.

For me the highlight was a comment made right at the end by some guy who is obviously a railway nut but seemed to suggest he didn't have either the time or patience to turn his passion into models,,, his view was something along the lines of  "thank the lord for railway modellers,,, it won't be long before all the people who worked on steam have shunted off to Valhalla Railways and without their efforts being regularly put on show at exhibitions the future generations will have no idea of what a steam railway even looked like".

Thank you sir whoever you were,,, another lady from Manchester University also commented that young boys in the early 50's trainspotted in daylight and modelled in the evenings, and every dad  [except the one above] used in Frank Hornby's advertising smoked a pipe,,, and guess what,, so did mine!!!

I will also view Thomas the Tank engine in a completely different light in future,,, and Lord I wish this snow would disappear as I now know what cold turkey is like,,,, I haven't been up't shed for over a week!!!

Don't know what I said but the stats on last weeks offering rocketed to 56 in 48 hours!!!!! and most of them emanated from the good old USofA perhaps that's where my pal has cleared off to with his NuCast kit,,, whoever you were your support is much appreciated,,, and I shall wear it at all times.
Thank'yall, enjoy the rest of your day, missing ye'ralready and,,,,, where did you get "gotten" from????

Thursday, 17 January 2013

t'internet,,and t'osser's on t'ebay

A sorry tale I'm afraid this week,,,, over the festive season as the shed was cold enough to freeze a gorilla's teste's I decided to get active on t'ebay,,, working on the theory that as it usually takes me 3 or 4 years from start to finish on a locomotive kit,,, with the current collection I am going to be about 156 years old by the time I've finished them all off.

So a selection was made of various kits which were purchased when I could afford them and have since been superceded by something much better by Messr's Hornmann or Bachby.

I sold the lot and joyous tidings were felt all around,, I can now obtain the wheels, motor, gearbox etc for the next project I thought,,, & only a phone call away,,,, "wheels, motor, gearbox and ancilliaries that will be £84 70p sir,, thankyouverymuch,,, and thankyou for shopping with us",,,, yeh-right,,, my joyous tidings had evaporated in an instant,,,
I know I enjoyed the festives but I don't remember going "O" Gauge I really don't,,,
£85 to "enhance" a kit which actually comes with a motor,,,, sort of,,, and a set of wheels,,, and these wheels really are special,, they are collectors items as not 2 are the same!!!!

We all know why Mr Keiser decided to retire to his kibutz,,, his kits were a challenge to say the least,,, I know I should know better,,,but when I was a lad the mantra in the local model railway club was it was impossible to get a K's kit to run properly,,, I've done it several times,,, by replacing the wheels, motor and bits that were miles out,,, but I proved the doubting burgers wrong and I still enjoy the challenge.

Anyway one of the kits I sold was duly checked and posted,,, "somewhere in Southern England" south of the Thames where they have a garden apparently.

48 hours later I receive an email through t'ebay advising the item is not as described in that there is no valve gear fret or parts for a tender!!!!

"WOT,,,,There bloomin was when it left here",,,
"well they aren't there now,,,anyway not to worry I've got a solution,,,drop you pants a little bit further on the price and we'll call it quits"
"I've got a better solution,,, send it back and I'll credit you"
"OH NO,,, I want the kit but it's just a pity about the valve gear fret and tender"

My theory & the moral of this story,,,
Mr Nucast stopped making his kit's just after Mr Keiser retired and if you mess one up whilst assembling you are up a gum tree without a koala co's you can't get bits for them.
Unless of course you spot one identical on ebay,,, purchase for a song,,, take the bit's out you need,,, and then either renegotiate or send it back,,, easy peasy.

I spoke to Mr Ebay negotiations department advising of my suspicions,,,,,
"did you take photo's of the kit sir"
"did they show all the ancilliary bits laid out and recognisable.
Well not really,,, I didn't want to disturb ALL the lovely 30 year old tissue paper,,, that kit has never been out of the box,,,
"Well it has now sir,, and technically the purchaser will receive out support if it comes to a dispute.
OK Mr Monotone,,,Can you advise if matey in southern england has a history of disputing what is in the box after he has purchased it,,, does he have a habit of sending things back after the event?????
"No I'm afraid we are not allowed to discuss other members track records sir"

FleaBay,,,, your history,,,, and dear readers if you do sell a kit,,, take piccy's of every conceivable bit co's I reckon matey has written the rule book on the "how to obtain spurious spare parts for out of production kits" he's turned it into an art form.

You see,,, I told you we were going to concentrate on the modelling!!!!!!!

One day bonny lad,, one day,, THERE IS divine intervention,,, after the sad demise of my mate Max Clifford I now believe in all this sort of thing,,,, and if anybody reading lives in the garden of England and gets bored one night and fancies a bit of fun then I have an address where you could really enjoy yourself,,,,,on my behalf.

The next one will be more instructive,,, hopefully,,, it could well be about how you put Nucast kit together without any valve gear or tender!!!!!.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

This is this weeks,,, hopefully

SAD's guide on how to make a 4mm/1' scale steam locomotive water gauge glass.

Take one piece of 1mm acrylic sheet and slice off a manageable lump.
Take one Swann Morton deadly serious surgical blade in suitable holder.
Turn on favourite piece of music, last night it was Django Rheinhardts Djangology.

Take a deep breath and,,,,,,,,,, WITTLE,, ensuring you keep the hideously sharp blade away from the recently singed digits.

I was surprised how quickly I managed to trim it down to an acceptable size.

Mmmm,,,relatively pleased with my roughly 1mm square acrylic rod the next question is how am I going to mount the pipes onto each end,,,mmmmm,,, trim rod to 3mm length & take one 0.30mm drill,,, don Joe Ninety magnifying headband,,, now wittle whilst rotatoring,,, mmm it's drilling a small hole.

Superglue suitable piece of 0.30mm nickel silver wire into each end,,, stand back and let set.

Before standing back to let set DO NOT drop on floor,,, they dissappear under the workbench never to be seen again.

Ah well we will try again tonight,,, whilst also donning the apron which is pinned to the workbench so as to catch minute bits when they wriggle from my rather large digits whilst wittling.

Anybody know why we actually do this sort of thing!!!
Confused and bemused,