Saturday, 2 April 2022

Dad's Army gets another recruit.


Well here is another blast from the past a 1962 version of a Robinson GCR 11F or LNER D11.
1962 was a very special year for yours truly,,, firstly it was the only year at technical school that I managed to produce  school report that father was relatively happy with,,, the other 4 years reports were most definitely of the "bite the bullet" variety.

I do remember him being somewhat profound on reading the 62 report with "those who put in the work get the rewards" at the time it meant nothing.

Secondly,, come December 25th 1962 this appeared at the end of the bed,, and I have to be honest in 1962 not many schoolboys had a scratch built D11 and it became a bit of a celebrity and was instantly promoted to the vaunted position of "pride of the line".

Less than 12 month's later Mr Bec decided he would bring out a white metal kit for the same loco and to say father was not impressed was a bit of an understatement,,, his anger matched the level achieved on reading my school reports!!!

The D11 served me well but the purchaser was never happy with 2 things,,, the cab looked nothing like a Robinson cab and the chimney was miles out even to my untrained eye.
It starred on my exhibition layout "Clossett" for some time in the early 70's and on one occasion father and myself were sat behind the layout and he disclosed how much he had paid to have it built,, £45 and £18 to have it painted which at that time was a considerable amount of money,, he then announced he'd been had as it looked nothing like a Director,,, I reassured him it did "but" it could be improved,,, and agreed with his comments that the cab and chimney were well out of order.

Well you'd better get on and improve it then,, but I'm not paying you for it,,, "hang on I thought it was my Xmas present" cried I,,, "actually it was ours" replied father "you have the tender and I'll be responsible for the loco,,, which is why I have awarded you the contract" say's he with a rather large smile beaming through his somewhat extravagant handlebar moustache.

So in a moment of madness when the garage warmed up for a couple of days lately I set about improving the cab and replacing the chimney,,, unfortunately father shunted off to the great engine shed in the sky very nearly 20 years ago and as I've mentioned on several occasions I am not very good at doing things quickly,, but the contract will be honoured,,, eventually!!!

It was made in the early 60's and having inspected it without it's paintwork it shows,,, vice jaw protectors obviously hand not been invented in 1962,, you can still see the teeth marks all over it,,, but the paint always did a good job in covering such shortcomings and will do again.

It has a certain rough charm but the memory's it evoke's are priceless,, so it will be improved as agreed and it will then join the J52 in Dad's Army,,, as mentioned on an earlier post I bought an etched chassis for that but when it came to put it together I convinced myself I would destroy it's heritage of a Triang chassis and XO4 motor which is exactly what drives the D11 and so I will do what was agreed and just leave the rest alone.

Sorry it took so long father,,, but very soon the contract will be complete!!!

Sunday, 13 February 2022

and another thing,,, last post continued.


The world has gone mad,,, how do I know???,,it's easy,, I have this very morning received a written request for an update to the blog!!!

WHAT,,whatever happened to the freedom of information act,, I'll decide when the blog gets updated.

In fairness I may need a bit of reminder now and again that I haven't been active for some time,,mmm,,[and it's not only on the blog] but have you checked out the statistic's for this year,,, not to be sniffed at,,, especially when I'm in the garage!!

Where was I,, Oh yes,, the clandestine improvements to a foreign tank engine of questionable parentage and I forgot to mention,,, and let's be honest it should come as no surprise that this GW pannier is actually backward,,, I bet I shouldn't say things like that anymore so let's rephrase backward with erm,, special needs.

Why,,, well,,, if I put any of my LNER, GCR, GNR, NER, LYR, LMS engines [and I have a fair few] on the track and select reverse,,, they go in reverse,,, if I select forward,, believe it or not they go forward,, but not satan's chariot,, oh no,,, to fall in line with the ridiculous lamp iron scenario,, if you put this thing on the track and select forward it ignores you and go's in reverse,, and vicky verky.

It really is very hard to find any positives about working on this thing,, and believe me I have tried.

                                            GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING.

The Ministry of Technical Advancement would like to advise any person using a digital soldering iron for either commercial or non commercial purposes that the pre-set temperature at the working end of the iron [that is the sizzly end for all railway modellers] is the same for all interchangeable tips,,,,,,,,,,,, SO BE WARNED.

What this means in practice is if you have a small spindly soldering tip in place  and set the temp for working with 145 deg's solder and work nicely attaching lamp irons to unspecified white metal lumps,, then life is fine.

If you then change the tip to a more substantial item which retains heat much better than a spindly tip then life is not fine,,, especially if you do not change the temperature setting to compensate for this fact,, and so if you then go into action, full of confidence, based on past successes, with the bigger tip without lowering the temperature then you can very easily burn wacking great big holes in substantial parts of unspecified lumps of white metal,,,,, OH DEAR WHAT A SHAME!!!!  just mentioning this for a friend.

PS: I do hope you all like the new header photo of the soon to be completed Jersey Lily.

Memo to manufacturing: 

Either lengthen the stone guard irons or rename them as boulder guards,,, how the heck did I miss that!!

A light to show us the way.

 "Bring out the smelling salts Mable,,,, he's done more posts before the end of February than he did all last year" I hear you cry,,,

And what is the cause for this sudden urge for endless blogging????

That's right LAMP IRONS,,, until recently they all looked the same to me,,, ha de ha ha,,, how little did I know and that was all before I won a spurious contract to affix some lamp irons to [puts paper bag over his head so not to be recognised] a GWR 57xx pannier tank.

Getting the wretched thing into the workshop without being spotted was difficult enough but to be honest I was surprised how restful modelling at 3am was but by 4am I was totally bewildered.

Everybody else in the railway world who wants to make a lamp iron takes a 10" x 2" piece of mild steel puts a 90 degree bend in it at 2" and promptly rivets it to the footplate, smokebox or bunker,,,, 
But not the loopies at Swinedon,,,, 
Oh No No,, life was never intended to be that bloomin simple.  

 There is at least 3, yes 3 right angle bends in a GWR lamp iron and if you attempt to go for the simple version  you can expect a visit from the horse hair shirted boys from the Scalefour Society,, so best not mess about going down that route.

Now it transpires if you want to get it right you have to purchase the Affixing GW Lamp Iron's Manual from "the SS boys",, a weighty little tome which gives you all manner of detail on how they are affixed properly and best you pay attention believe you me,, I had to giggle when they suggested I rang their coordination office to get a compass reading so I could get the smokebox correctly aligned with Swinedon before commencing the operation,,, that surely is taking it all a little bit too far.

Understandably perhaps,, if you are into horse hair shirts,,, all the bends have to face in a certain direction,, to the left,,, if you are looking at it from the back and to the right if you are looking at it from the front,, and WHY I hear you ask is it all so wretchedly complicated.

Well would you believe GW lamps don't have the fixing slot at the back of the lamp they have it on one side so the access door is easily opened,,, I'm not surprised all their engines looked the same,,,, they spent so much time inventing the most ridiculous lamp iron in the world they didn't have time to mix things up a tad when it came to the  aesthetics of the locomotives.

Anyway they are done,,, I am meeting the owner in a shady layby on the A11 at some ungodly hour on a date which is non of your business and after that clandestine meeting the whole sorry saga will be behind me,,, and as we started with a picture I will finish with one,,, this is what I think of GW lamp iron technology,,,  with one simple digit finale,, believe you me I won't be doing any more!!

Wednesday, 9 February 2022

Kindred Spirits

 Until recently Tuesdays have always been a sort of non-day,,,, but not anymore,,, Tuesday [or Toosdy as it is pronounced locally] is Squitters Day

Now your understanding of squitters may be different to ours but in rural Norfolk parlance having a friendly conversation with friends is to have a "Squit",,so as we get together on a weekly basis to have such a meeting Toosdy's have become a day to look forward to as it is full of Squit,,,, and yesterday was no exception.

The gods were with us and for the first time since last October I spent 2 happy hours squitting in the garage and DID NOT look like one of Ernest Shackleton's minions,,, yes folk Spring is on its way!!

We have been know to have so much fun that my neighbour recently asked me what we actually get up to in the garage on a regular basis,,,in the words of that well known maxim,,,,"you've either got it or you ain't" and when the weather is balmy and wind is in the right direction just like yesterday then we definitely HAD it all,,,, good friends, kindred spirits so to speak, worthwhile conversation and my repeated ability to prove quite conclusively that the various lockdowns have had a serious effect on my Mental Wellness as I had completely forgotten how my train set worked,,, and it showed,,, much to the delight of the assembled squitters.  

As the enforced isolations appear to have finished and without a shadow of a doubt my modelling mojo has returned,,, the L1 Zeppelin continues on it's haphazard dash to the finishing line,, I'll squit no more but leave you with a few piccies of progress so far,,,, Enjoy

Sunday, 23 January 2022

Happy New Year to all our readers!!!

 Well,,, [sorry,,, we can't say "Well" anymore apparently it has to be SO],, so I shall enlighten you with a little bit of progress from the frozen wastes of North Norfick.

Having found my crampons and bottled oxygen cylinder I today braved the extremes of the north face of the garage and made a concerted effort at getting the D21 finished off,,,,,[excluding paint obviously,, so there is another 2 year delay] and this is quite quick for me as I only started it in May 2020!!!

So having donned my crampons and Steptoe style fingerless gloves I ignored the Niagra nose and got stuck in to fitting all the twiddly bits,,, 2 whistles, lamp irons, balance weights etc etc I have to say I'm rather pleased with the end result,,, especially when you compare it with raw material I started with way back when.

There is something strangely satisfying in taking a crock of *rap [see the 3rd photo]and improving it to the best you can,,, and it only cost me a new set of driving wheels,, motor and gear set and a book on the Locomotives of the NER and as all the labour was thrown in for free it has turned out to be a bit of a bargain.

Well [apologies for that] it could have but this little project has kindled a bit of an interest in NER loco's and so to give it a bit of company I have bought it a Q6 as a shed mate,, and found an old DJH D16 kit which I invested in many years ago which needs a bit spare time throwing at it,,, but a bargain whichever way you look at it.

One quick tip,,,, when you are trimming all the footplate heights with bits of plastikard to get everything to line up nicely it really is a good idea to glue them into the body,,,, as you can see,,, I have learnt this lesson just this morning.

I had the body sitting nicely on the chassis and everything being square and equal etc etc until I separated the body from the chassis to aid fitting all the bits,,, there was this sudden avalanche of plastikard bits flying everywhere,,, which will need refitting and GLUING in place,,,, drat,,, no I think this deserves a double drat.

Am still waiting for exhibition confirmations but I'm sure they are on the way now we appear to be getting back to some form of normality.

Keep calm and solder on.



Friday, 5 November 2021

The Festive Season!!!!

 Rather than bottle it all up I thought I would have a little rant regarding the XMAS season,,,, mmm

Now back in my day it was always called Christmas,,, but in these uncertain Cov-Brex-itus days we have to be very careful that we don't upset anybody,,, heaven forbid,,, [perhaps that should be celestial restrictions,,, better safe than sorry.]

Since when did the festive season start in early November,,, WHY,,, we haven't even had bonfire night yet.

I listened to some plummy lady from the National Society for Maximising Seasonal Retail Profits on the radio yesterday basic blaming both Brexit and Covid,,,, reasoning that this and last years festive seasons had been obliterated by circumstances well out of her control and there ain't no way she is going to let that happen again so to give themselves a fair chance of getting back on the financial tracks they are totally committed to maximising the opportunity this year!!!!

The less than plummy interviewer [seems to be the norm these days from Auntie Beeb] asked if this was just going to be a one off seasonal market adjustment,,,,, "well one never knows does one,,, if this years campaign proves successful we may well decide to start next years Festive Season early as well".

I bet you will,,, any excuse to maximise profits,,, this wretched woman has obviously never had kids as if she had she would realise the virtue of  keeping the festive season at a very low profile for as long as possible,,, get a grip woman,,, my legs are still tanned and this years summer was hopeless and your starting Xmas,,, RIDICULOUS,,, why am I sitting here in shorts and a T shirt watching adverts about mince pies flushed down by the odd pint of Bailey's,,, the world has gone mad.


How has some 16 year old Scandinavian bint suddenly become an expert on the worlds problems,,, it's all about life experiences apparently,,,, that's rich,, I bet she hasn't cruised the Valetta Gut or Hero's Square in Limassol on a Saturday night,,, now anyone who has been there will know exactly what sort of life's experiences are really important,,,, life forming,,, that's what they were!!! 

Having said that having listened to her in the Glasgey flag wavers sing song she could be a very strong contender for one of the many vacancy's at the Beeb,,,,"I fink shid do rite well and she shud seeze the opertoonity"

Just to prove that I have been spending some productive time in the garage I offer a couple of shots of this weeks efforts,,, slowly slowly,,, I'm in no rush,,, and am still waiting for a formal exhibition invite.


Wednesday, 13 October 2021

My Mojo won't come back,,,, is it Covid,, Brexit, or just me???

 I have no photo's to show of any recent progress,,, and the reason for that is I haven't done a damn thing.

At last nights assembly of the local G.O.G club [that's Grumpy Old Git's,,, not the 7mm mob] I was interrogated as to why I haven't posted anything on the Salmon Pasture's Blog for very nearly a year,,,, 

C.B.A, was my first thought for a witty response,,, "Can't Be A**ed" but later when my air of indifference had passed I had a good deep ponder and thought "is it that long ago" and the answer is YES,, very nearly a year.

Don't take it too personally as I haven't posted anything on RMWeb or the LNE site either!!

With even further thought and perhaps a bit of soul searching it is apparent that my Modelling Mojo has not so much weakened but quite simply vanished,,, the last time I did anything like constructive in the garage was mid spring,,, I was in shorts and a T shirt and all was well with the world,,, I was cobbling an N5 chassis together and it was going well,,, and as we type today it is still sitting their upside down in the testing cradle and 5 months has elapsed!!!

When I first got the layout back after it's holiday in Sunny Surrey I went beserk,,, understandable perhaps as I hadn't been anywhere near it whilst we were trying to realign ourselves in some Maltese Sunshine,,, on returning to the ancestral home it was quickly retrieved and bashed into shape,,at this stage it was suggested by the management I consider putting a sleeping bag in the garage to save a bit of time,, a sure sign of how high my level of enthusiasm had reached!!

Anyway this morning after fighting my way through all the cobwebs and "spider guano" I actually cleaned the track a bit and had a play,,,, then I was overtaken with a timely flash of constructiveness and put a new battery in my wristwatch!!! then returned indoors to find my sawn off winter modelling gloves,, I know it would have been much easier to continue throughout the summer as against mid Autumn,, but I learnt a long time ago if you aren't in the mood it is best to leave it alone co's if you don't you end up doing things 2wice which in it's way is worse than doing nothing at all.

So dear readers prepare yourselves,,, we are about to start again.

Perhaps this is a good time to mention the dreaded Covid,,, let's hope all those who are reading this have either managed to avoid it or if not recovered from it,,,, now I don't know why but I have this funny feeling in my flux that the exhibition circuit is about to start getting back to what we all desire and if so then hopefully Aylsham, Immingham and Ipswich will be in touch,,, be assured at the moment I am Covid FREE!!