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.