Monday, 31 December 2018

All life is here...

We now shop at Tesco's. Mainly because Morrisons had started going low on stock which is just laziness.
So, much as I despise Tesco as an organisation, it is the only place that has all we want, although we still check out the very well priced Lidl's every so often.

One thing that Tesco have here, which nobody else does (thank Christ) is a 24 hour gym up one end. This means that having ridden up either the travelator thingy or, as increasingly, the lift, because OTIS can't make a reliable travelator, you end up only feet away from the gym's entrance, where (usually) brutally ugly women stand around as if mesmerised by the light or noise or something, invariably staring at a mobile 'phone, having shoehorned their lumpy limbs into the most unsuitable, but equally ugly hosiery and wearing the kind of tops that leave their cellulite ridden flabby stomachs exposed to the vomit that I always wish I could project onto them.
I suppose there is some achievement in carting around the exercise machines the extra weight of eyelashes that would propel a small boat across the Atlantic if the rower lost his oars.  Make up so heavily and insensibly caked on that they appear to be mutated dolls from a singularly incompetent workshop.  Eyebrows that Graucho Marx would have been proud of and lipstick that looks like they've just eaten a Ferrari.
With all the exercise, they still have backsides like picnic tables and knock knees, bottomed off with pigeon toed feet that must catch on each other as they walk.  Why do these stupid females spend their precious time and money trying to look better when they are ALL hideous!?

Their shopping list will, of course, be on their mobile 'phone, so that they can stumble round the rest of the store staring at it, in the unlikely event that anyone will have sent them a message of any import whatsoever.  But they live in hope and so stare at the stupid contraption in case some misguided fool thinks them at all important or worthy of attention., thereby bumping into displays and people who are sufficiently well organised to have a small piece of paper between two fingers of the hand that pushes the trolley, containing all their needs for the expedition.

Fitness women...UGH!!!

The younger men all wanna-be hipsters. struggle round in jeans so tight, their balls have all but withered away, but their knees will be free to open air being stylishly cut at the factory by Chinese children who are paid specially for that particular and peculiar skill.
They will have visited the barber's shop which is squeezed incongruously along the vestibule of anger where we jostle twixt non working Otis travelator and lifts. In there, grown men have the kinds of hairdos that as small boys I and my friends were already grown up enough to fight against. The short back and sides which was all the carve up merchant at Austin's barbers could ever do.'s considered a special skill. It's what my Grandfather called a "tuppeny all-off"  "All ponsed up like a pox doctor's clerk" he would smirk at the merest whiff of hair oil or male grooming.  It's what I laugh at and call a Tesco's hairdo.  They're like droids in a row, as are the snip joint wallers doing it to them. Clones, sheep...Baaaaahhh!

With very few exceptions I hate people!!

Happy New Year

Friday, 21 December 2018

What am I up to?...

Well, I have now finished the Vanwall Transporter master. Just have the glazing bar masters to do in brass for a white metal casting. Trouble is, Eileen's Emporium have been super tardy in their deliveries so I was forced to soften and hammer 1/16th" rod into flat strip.
For some reason the guy wanted it to be motorisable for slot tracks rather than just scenery, so I had to make a chassis pattern to take the inevitable Slotit pod. All this does is weakens the chassis which I could so easily have designed to be strong without having to use the silly, over-rated, overpriced pod.

Then we have the 1915 Triumph Model H in 1/43rd scale as model railway scenery. All in brass and fiddly as Hell to do.  I'm now doing the riders for it. One, standing in uniform and one seated on it as a civvy chap with his cap back to front.

And the Vincent, subject of other posts?  Well, I sent the deeper parts that our normal caster couldn't mould to a company in Birmingham called Griffin Moulds who assured me it was all just normal work. After longer than they promised they sent me, without any communication of any kind, a bag of dust that had been the engine casings!  They had utterly destroyed the masters and made a shit job of casting the other bits. The wheel rims they claimed were a "perfectly normal casting job" weren't even round and half the spoke bumps were missing.
So, after Christmas now, I will have to remake the engine casings in brass this time to get a caster with the right moulds to do the work.

That's it for now, folks. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

The Vincent is into production at last...

The long running Vincent Black Shadow master for a 1/6th scale kit has reached the end and the parts are now with casters, moulders, decal producers, etc.
It won't be cheap, but regular updates with pictures I have sent Richard over the last year of master making are all going on his new Facebook page. You need to "do" FB to see the page. Just click on and you should  get there.
The very first parts from the very first mould.  Many, many more yet to come.  This is the first master I have made where it took two people to carry the boxes of parts safely to the caster!"

Wednesday, 24 October 2018


After a year I am nearing the end of the Vincent Black Shadow master. Obviously it doesn't actually TAKE a year. Other stuff has been done, other things have to be waited for, reference material gathered, visits arranged and made to sketch and measure real ones, etc.  Having made the components there is then, with such a big and complete model, a period of checking.  Checking that things fit in place, checking clearances and fits generally, checking that I haven't forgotten anything, and most of all....checking all the nuts and bolts.  Yes, nuts and bolts.  Whilst they are not actually threaded, they are obvious in their presence and most actually do keep things in place. They HAVE to be there and they are so easy to miss while you make bigger, more obvious , perhaps more challenging parts. It's perfectly natural top miss a tiny bolt when you've just sculpted a magneto cover or one of those ludicrously abstract cylinder heads.
These are relevant to the wheels and front suspension.
The essence of the front suspension,  the legs, bristling with dummy nuts and bolts, but if the legs are shiny black the polished faces of the chrome look nuts and bolts will contrast beautifully.

I'm hoping one more day should see it done, then all off to the white metal caster, resin moulder and tyre maker.  And I can take a break.  I have some boats to restore.
Oh and a 1/43rd scale 'bike and N gauge locos and a Gypsy Moth aeroplane and, and, and...

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Make do and mend...

At the weekend I've decided to leave the big stuff behind and just do jobs for me.  Of course that usually morphs into Kanyerjustas. You know...Kanyerjust sort that door out, Kanyerjust top up the pond, etc.  Today the light seems to have run out after all that lovely summer and Indian summer and it's pissing down with rain.
I did get a bit done yesterday. I finished the carrying case for the Crash Tender and painted some bits on the wee Star SY 3 yacht restoration.  I'm really getting a taste for this restoration lark. It has more challenges than making new.  And making do and mending has always been my main interest. I know I can make new. I've nothing to prove there, but restoring is always something new to think about.

The Star yacht with the first coat of enamel on the lower hull.
Tinplate fittings scraped free of rust and mast repaired from 2 broken halves.

The front slides down hammered aluminium angles.  The case will eventually have stands to keep the boat's prop and rudder off the floor.  Now I have to make similar for the Vanity yacht,Chris Craft, the Darby One Design and the Greavette.  Then where do they all go?!

Friday, 5 October 2018

Give me strength!!...

Tonight I watched less than half of a new TV series called the Great Model Railway Challenge.  It had been advertised for weeks and I'd had time to ponder how awful it would almost certainly be.  But, Ye Gods I hadn't bargained for the disaster that met me at 8 o'clock on Friday evening.  To think my dear wife had foregone Gardeners' World for this drivel.

Three teams of baggy arsed, pot bellied old farts, recently ( or otherwise) pensioned off from, no doubt, well pensioned jobs got together to be given completely predictably stupid and irrelevant tasks to acheive with an 8x4 roundy roundy train set. I do NOT consider any part of their magnifying headsets, overpriced Noch electro static grass applicators or round ring desk lamps to be anything whatever to do with model railways.No amount of airbrushery where a paint brush would do will make a bodger into a modelmaker.  The one encouraging scene was where one old boy on being shown the scratchbuilding challenge, declared with some disgust that he was a modelmaker, not a clown.
That challenge had to be explained by the producer/presenter so that people knew what was scratchbuilding. It too had nothing to do with modelmaking being the insistence on the use of a high heeled shoe and a lipstick!  An ugly ginger denim wearing token female, more at home on Big Brother, I would have thought, warned she would be looking for creativity.  God forbid!

I have to confess, at that point, I too was missing Monty Don and told my wife to switch back to something realistic and interesting.

This debacle follows another model series that was bloody rubbish, where a team of British (always has to be a team doesn't it?) model flyers challenged a team of German model flyers to relive the Battle of Britain with models. For the most part the models, all built to one standard...low, were appallingly badly flown to the point that one could not discern what was happening, except for one pilot and SHE (HE...IT) was a transgender!  How thoroughly Media of them.  Apparently, on that occasion "we" beat the Jerries.  How would we know.  I have not watched that again, either.

There seems to be a kind of terminal unwritten statement in the Media that modelmaking must be pilloried and ridiculed out of existence and since the screen is everybody's modern bible they will do it by TV.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Sudden loss...

I learned suddenly the other day of the death of an old friend.  I had known this gentleman since the first week of my internet presence, on my old Mac, back in the late '90s.  We met over his superb set of web pages called Model Boat Wizards.  Rich loved many things, but woodies and models of them (mahogany classic speedboats), motorbikes and the Islands were his passions.
7 years ago he had to have a lung removed. He never really found out why and that, I imagine, as much as its removal and subsequent disabilities annoyed him. He was not a smoker.  Maybe it's true what they say about wood dust, for his models were all wood.  He could make a Liberty aero engine in a boat that you would swear was made of metal.

Attitudes to hand made models changed recently and he lost his interest, especially when aol summarily removed all the websites they hosted and we lost Model Boat Wizards.  Rich never really knew what to do after that.  He passed on to me two lovely jobs I'm sure he would have done himself previously, a Miss America X and a Baby Horace III, which are now in a restaurant in Fairfax, Virginia, called Artie's.  He sent me books on woodies which I treasure, but when he found little or no interest in all the hundreds of drawings he'd amassed over the years he made a huge bonfire in his garden and they were gone.  That, is the fault of the model world. No club or museum could be arsed to answer him. It was out of disgust and despair for the hobby that he burned them. For all I know he might have done the same with the kits and books he had remaining, because they would have been too expensive for him to send or me to receive, thanks to sudden huge increases in postal charges.

I'm lucky to have some CDs he recorded, telling the story of an old Allard J2X that his chum once owned, which seemed to be jinxed. His rumbling voice is both restful and amusing.  He went under the handle of  Chatham on my followers list. He could rarely leave a comment due to blogger being difficult, but he'd always mail me instead.

                                           Sock it to 'em up there, old chum. Give 'em Hell.