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,,,,,,