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,,,,