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,

Tuesday, 8 January 2013


Apologies for the delays in regular blogging but we've been very busy enjoying the festivites.
This years main resolution is to blog at least once a week,,, but you've probably noticed that already this one is last weeks.
Actually I've been very busy D9'ing,,, never mind the weather,,, as long as we're together,, that's me, the cat and occasionally the dog and WE have to say the festive season saw us being very productive on the elegant edwardian locomotion front.

I have spent hours detailing the boiler back plate including a working regulator and thoroughly enjoyed myself,,, the next challenge is where to find some 1mm square clear plastic or acrylic rod for the water gauges.
We also now have a front buffer beam and and the back plate for the 4 loco steps,,, & it really was great to get back to work,,,at least it will give my digits time to heal before the next bout of tingle finger this coming weekend.

Another resolution is I will try and concentrate on the modelling aspects and cut down on the spasmodic peripherals,,,, that is until either the Guatemalans/Mayan ministry of humour kick off again or Max Clifford decides he's going to entertain us all further!! Yo HO thanks for that Max.

I also have to say I have been spending an enormous amount of time on the forums of the LNER Encyclopedia,,, who needs Brittanica when you can view and learn from some of the artisans involved with that little lot. MIND Boggling.

If you ever feel bored,,, just think to yourself you could be modelling something,,, it dosen't matter what.

Anyway we all sincerely hope you are as prosperous as we feel,,,, and only 10 days to payday!!!