Monday, 30 December 2013

Yearly reviews??....Ha!

It seems to be a fashion these days to supply a yearly review of one's activities over the previous 12month.
Now that presupposes that one has any detailed recollection of activities that long ago.
Sorry to disappoint, dear followers, but I have always had a shite memory and couldn't begin to tell you what I did 6 months ago, much less 12.  I was going to mention my little job at CUP Classics and then just about remembered that it was over 12 months ago.

And who would even care what I did for a year?  I guess if I don't, sufficient to remember it, I can hardly expect anyone else to!

Suffice to say that I got the Bum's Rush from yet more forums, left Facebook pages I'd been on for ages due to an influx of foreign speaking posts and rubbish dressed as quality, hence the big increase in bloggery from late in the year, which I hope to continue.

Ththththat's all, folks.  Bored already?
Yuck, yuck, yuck.................See you next year, friends.  A Happy New Year to you all.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Diversity in interests

Reading Iain's old blog entries, I notice one about his father-in-law's many model interests.
It seems some of us stick to just one thing all our lives, but some can't stay with just one for long. I am of the latter persuasion and my work for customers reflects that, fortunately.

Currently on the bench for customers:-
2mm scale Kitson Industrial 0-6-0 tank loco master in nickel silver
O9 Cordite van master
Ferrari 312 slot kit build
Cooper T81 slot kit build
Lancia D24 slot kit modifications (x3)
1/32nd scale De Havilland Dragon Rapide master
1/72nd scale Pilatus PC12 master
1/48th scale Leopard 6 Bizjet master
Chevrolet Corvette Super Sports Sebring slot body master.

And for me:-
7mm scale M&GN brake van in pearwood
Lantern Yard set-piece in 7mm scale with a model of our old boat Heather Bell and buildings
KeilKraft Super 60 R/C model aircraft rebuild
1/16th scale model of the Victorian sailing Cutter, "Vanity" (on which I once lived)
1/12th scale model of a McLaren M8F Can-Am car
Cleveland race Spitfire Mk XVIe in 1/32nd scale
1/48th scale First Flight Spitfire set piece with photographer and camera
7mm scale set-piece of Ferry station down platform and shelter
Masters for Group 44 racing cars in 1/43rd scale and 1/32nd scale

And more besides, I'm sure, somewhere!

Then there's the Austin 7 Special I'm building with my son, with Coventry Climax FWM 750 engine, but that's for when the weather improves.

Have a Happy Christmas and a great New Year.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

One for Iain....

Just reading Iain Robinson's other blog, Losing Track and saw his Puffer.
I saw a photo of one in a book that made me want to paint this in watercolours, mainly Indian ink, when I was living aboard Heather Bell.
I love to paint smoke!

3D fashions...

Over on a forum I shan't bother with any more is this:-
Now clearly the person who did this on CAD knows his stuff, but he seems to think that people should be prepared to shell out £50 or more for it!!
Of course if you have a view of a Teak coach as something very close to a rough cast platelayer's hut, then I'm sure you'll snap one up if you have more money than sense, but how about stopping for a time to assess what you are being offered.  If you wanted a GNR saloon, with all its fine square cornered mouldings and beadings, you will be, MUST be, surely, woefully disappointed.  OR, will you be a fashion victim and accept this lousy finish in the name of being down with da kids and  up with modern techniques?
I don't care what they say about painting it with hi-build filler and sanding back, blah, blah...why the Hell SHOULD you?  I'll tell you why.  Because if you ever want a 3D printed item with anything like a surface finish that is acceptable, you'd better re-mortgage the house, for the only way 3D will ever give you the kind of surface finish that you would rightly expect on, say, a resin kit or even a white metal one, is if you shell out a massive wad of cash for the high resolution option.
To prove that I know exactly what CAN be done at a huge price, here is a picture of the Ryan PT-22 from Fisher Models and Patterns. I know Paul Fisher. He is a superb modelmaker, but he tried out a 3D print to get the incredibly fine detail on the cylinders of the Kinner 5 cylinder radial. He reckoned that he couldn't do that level of detail by hand, neither could I!
BUT...he described the cost of having JUST ONE of those cylinders 3D printed as "almost ruinously expensive".  For a £150 kit it was worth the financial punt.  He had just one 3D printed and then copied them as a stick of 5 which were cast in resin.  Yes, you can have all the bolt heads that hold the cylinder head on, every tiny fin and even the word "KINNER" on one of those tiny rocker covers, but don't forget..."almost ruinously expensive".

Let's get real and stop believing all the crap shoved at us by the techie press.  If you like your Gresley teaks looking like they were painted and then dipped in caster sugar from 15 paces, you go ahead and swallow all the garbage trotted out about 3D printing.  If you want quality surface finishes, be prepared to put yer money where yer mouth is for at least the next 5 years and stop flogging rough cast crap until then...

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Blog-only days begin...

That's it, I've had enough.  I've just removed the last forum from my lists and will soon forget the passwords, knowing me.
I have had enough of the whingers, and apologists for crap models, crap methods and crap attitudes.  The lazy devils who won't even try, yet trumpet rubbish like 3 D printed items that all appear to be so much rough cast concrete in scale at massive prices.
I've had enough of those who criticise the last little detail of an off the shelf piece of overpriced Chinky plastic, yet if you so much as dare to suggest they have a shot at making it themselves they all cry about it being a hobby, so lighten up.  Well, it ain't a hobby for me, it's a living and I always try to do the very best I can for my customers, partly because they deserve it, but partly because my craft has always been important enough to me to do a bloody good job out of self-respect, satisfaction and fulfilment.
If the world is going away from those perfectly achievable and worthy aims then it can go and shove itself up it's own antarctic orifice.

Come the glorious powercut brothers and sisters..............

Friday, 20 December 2013

Dragon Rapide...some more done...

Amazing isn't it?  A bit of sunshine coming through the window and Bingo!  The camera behaves.  I couldn't do it outside as it would have blown clean away, but this is as good as I can expect and after an "auto-correct" seems just fine.
The lower wings are now done with the engine nacelles which attach so intimately to it.  Some parts are handed, some aren't so what you see is what will appear in the kit.  The fine masking tape on the starb'd tailplane is to make a depth of detail under the final surface where a stress bar is built in to the structure, over the ribs.  These have already been masked and painted.  The port tailplane needs final section shaping.  And by the way, they are tailplanes, NOT horizontal stabilisers and it's a fin, NOT a vertical stabilizer.  Why the Hell anyone should use two words where one correct one is understood as standard, I don't know.
Despite today's wonderful sunshine, it's just too windy to put the final self-etch paint on the parts.  The ailerons are separate, naturally as people like to pose them up and down, although most aircraft are left with the stick central, but the fact is, there are huge gaps between aileron edges and wings, so it was always best to make them separate.  In fact so many and large are the gaps in this airframe that it's a wonder it ever flew!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

True greats of modelmaking

I was just musing upon the really great modelmakers that were all around in my lifetime.  Mainly when I was a lad and into my teens.
I was thinking of that true gentleman, Geoff Pember.  He was an authority on the Great Eastern Railway and a most complete modelmaker.  So prodigious was he that every rivet on his superb 7mm scale model locomotives was a separate entomological pin, soldered into a Number 70 hole all made with not a minidrill, but a pin chuck, by hand.  He made his own wheels too, spoke by spoke.  Not only that, but he was equally good at scenic work, coaches and wagons.
He spent a long time once at a London exhibition describing to me, a 14 year old, his intricate methods and impressed me so much I bought a box of butterfly pins which I still have, 48 years later.

Ross Pochin, who made models of Furness Railway locos, all by hand, of course.  He also made his own wheels on, if I remember correctly, a Taylor Hobson Model H pantograh engraver, two examples of which I have owned in the past.  Most remarkable with Mr. Pochin was that he made his own motors with integral flywheels, long before most used that essential aid to smooth running.

Contemporary with these gents was, of course, George Iliffe Stokes, the finest scenic modeller to this day.
Nobody has come close to his trees or his sense of atmosphere, even though his track wasn't the finest.
He had once been a member of Cody's Flying Circus and it was the multi stranded flying and control cables from his aircraft from which he made his trees.

Jack Nelson, builder of the finest dioramas of the London, North Western Railway, the Premier Line.  These were true dioramas, where they possessed false or forced perspective and could only be viewed from one position.  He was also a protagonist of 3.5mm scale for British outline models, a rare bird indeed.
Jack had a small flat in Ilford, Sth. Park Drive to be exact and ran the Ilford Junior Model Railway Club, a kind of training ground for youngsters with promise who inevitably then went on to join the Ilford and West Essex Model Railway Club, one of the World's oldest, as indeed did I.  Jack gave me my first sheet of nickel silver to make a model of the LNER V1 2-6-2 tank that I was rather fond of at the time.

John H. Ahern, with his trilogy of "bibles" for railway modelling, Miniature Landscape, Building and Locomotive Construction.  I have them all and still use them.  He built the Madder Valley Railway, which is now at Pendon Museum.  It is generally reckoned to be the first truly scenic layout.  The atmosphere he created with brick papers and hand lettering, was an eye opener to me.

Peter Denny, with his magnum opus, Buckingham Central, a layout which I believe still exists.  He showed that if everything was done to a similar high standard it became unnecessary to work to the very highest standards in order to get a large layout built.

And although the layout was largely made from proprietary models, track, etc., Mac Pyrke's Berrow was one of the few Great Western branch lines I could ever look at more than once.  Atmosphere again.

And so, who have we today?
I can only think of Gordon and Maggie Gravett, who come close.  Many would say Martin Welch, but I'm afraid, I'm not impressed.  I once queued for hours to get into the one and only Model Railway Journal exhibition in London and then again, once inside to get onto the stage to see his Hursley layout.  I was so utterly underwhelmed when I got there, I said so and went to look at better work which had been handmade, not weathered and kit bashed proprietary stuff.  The layout had been so completely overhyped previously, but clearly Welch was an MRJ favourite, indeed he had his books published by them and ended up editor.  But Hursley was small, simple, barely scenic and all out of the box.  I could have knocked it up in 3 months without breaking a sweat.
You see, I am damned fussy.  And no, I don't think there are any true greats left.  And with the proliferation of kits and even accurate looking R-T-R, I think there never will be again.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Dragon Rapide

I am currently making a master for a high end multi media 1/32nd scale kit of a De Havilland DH89..
Since I have removed myself from all forums of late due to the propensity for kit bashing and the dearth of any real modelmaking, I have told my customer that I will keep him appraised via the blog.
So, awaiting hi-build  primer between the masking tape to represent slight surface variances and rib tapes, here is the wing prepared.
The other is now ready for marking up and masking as the engine nacelles have been made for both sides.

All aboard the Heather Bell...

Recently I started doing a 7mm scale model of our old boat, Heather Bell.  I'm doing it in steamed pearwood (naturally) and exactly as the real boat is built.
I am so sick of rubbish boats on model railway layouts!  They have no shape, no detail.  You wouldn't tolerate a loco or coach like that, so why a narrow boat?
Anyway, here it is so far.  A bit busy with aircraft for clients now, so nothing more for a while.
Here you can see the transverse bottom boards which were wedge shaped in plan, so they could be knocked in tight, before fixing.
The engine beds are massive baulks of oak 16"x5"x about 18' long.  At the starn end is the counter block, propped up into position, but not yet fixed.  And the stern post.
The stem post can be seen above the kelson, the long plank that runs inside the boat to strengthen it and to which the bottom boards are fixed.

Much more to come.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Is it Christmas or something?...

Anyone would think it's Christmas all of a sudden.

Today, I got a fat Jiffy bag from a chap I don't know, off a facebook O gauge page I've only just joined, full of wagon underframe components in different plastics and even a set of W irons/axleboxes in white metal. Enough for about 8 wagons I would say.  All for the price of postage.  Who needs ridiculously expensive photo-etch?  The axle boxes even have the writing on them!

In the same post came a lovely late model Romford Bulldog 5 pole motor, never used, in its original box as supplied by the wonderful cavern which was W&H, New Cavendish Street, London.  Remember them? They produced a catalogue which was big enough to keep in your pocket and read at every idle moment.
I do like to use as much British stuff as I can.  This motor, which cost very little, will go with 2 Romford Terriers, a Zenith and a couple of K's Mk 2s.  I like my flywheels in a loco. It smoothes out every movement and makes stopping more realistic.  My point being that these were the go-to motors for years for O gauge modellers especially and they worked perfectly then, so why not now?  It's just a case of gearing and a flywheel.
Of course in those days we worked perfectly well with unsprung, uncompensated chassis too. We did, however, make some seriously good track!  I think the most I ever did with "springing" was to elongate the axle holes a little and bung in a bit of phosphur bronze strip to give it a bit of controlled slop, a la John Ahern, in Model Locomotive Construction, my brass basher's Bible back then.
All I need to complete the set of Romfords now is the big ol' Phantom.

Finally, a chap off another forum has sent me 20 veneers from the tubes of his Cuban cigars!  Very useful on coach models.

People can be so kind.

Must be the season, seeping into some souls.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Final stages of the windows..

Here's the final stages.  The screens have been shaped with files and leave about 20 thou. all round for the clear PVC that will be vacuum formed over them.  There's the mess on the bench to prove it.
Then some more Milliput is pressed underneath them and they are pressed well down onto some greased styrene sheet to make it perfectly flat.

The blobs on the body front are to make patterns for the mud flaps some versions carried.

Here they are, turned over, removed from the car (also buttered) and will be final shaped and packed with Milliput underneath to make a formable shape.
Just a clean up and a scrape across a flat piece of wet'n'dry to finish off.
And that, in a nutshell, is how Milliput window patterns are made.

Window patterns, the main screens...

Ooh, look what a tripod can do!
OK, still got focus issues, but this was without really setting up carefully and I expected little from it, but my dear wife bought me a flexible legged tripod in Aldi's, the excellent value German supermarket chain.
A mere 7 quid, it has knuckle jointed legs in a soft plastic which "stick" to irregular surfaces and they are all I have in my workshop!  It even has a quick release system to save you screwing it in the camera every time.  Now, is there a remote trigger for the Fuji S5500, I wonder?

Oh the window patterns, sorry.  Popped out of the butter-slarred apertures once set and these are about to be filed up to shape.  Then it's just the mud flap patterns and they'll be off to my son for vac-forming.  More anon.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Window patterns, part 3

More crap photos!  But this is digital and is therefore completely without consistency or logic.

The side window patterns have been filed to fit the aperture, then been reduced by 20 thou. all round to clear the window moulding material.  There is a bar of 0.3mm wire set in to a groove so that the very fine glazing bar has a slight witness line in the vac-forming.

Here are the two patterns side by side.
The V grooves are there to help the vacuum reach the detailed parts.  It also helps stop "webbing" on forming.
Next the front and rear screens and then the finishing.

At last, a crisp photo, but...

At last!  But which set of variables did I use for it?  Gawd knows.
One light off, one on, hand held, ISO100 or 64?  Pff!  Maybe it's the white background. All I know is on holding the button half down, none of the shots had the green light telling me it was ready!!  I just took 'em anyway.
Anyway, this is what comes out of the window aperture after trimming with end cutters.
The front and rear screens are cooking and next time it'll be these all filed up and fitting sweetly.

Window patterns, Pt 2..

Just gently prized the window patterns out of the Celica body.
There's always a load of excess, so it's scored with a junior hacksaw and clipped away with the end cutters you see, right, in the pictures
And, with the contrast fiddled with to make up for the crap pictures, but getting a little crisper:-
These are now ready for filing to shape, once the front and rear screens are cooking on the digi box.

These are with room light and 2 spotlights, no flash, macro setting from about 12" away, rested on a solid object.  Still fuzzy, yet the background of the top one is crisp, as ever, even though the square on the screen is telling me mid picture.
More anon.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Windows of the soul...

I promised a chum a blog on how to do vacuum formed window patterns for model cars.  He's making some resin re-pops of diecasts in 1/43rd scale, a very promising new scale for slot racing.  As a pioneer, he is leading from the front and needs to know how to do windows for himself.

Having made countless window patterns for slot cars and static models of all scales, here's how I do it.

Firstly I apologise for the shite photos, but I just can't be bothered with these bloody digital cameras any more. They're all crap and clarity isn't important on this job. The method is clear and that's all that matters until someone proves to me that anything digital is worth a toss.  By crap, I mean it doesn't work straight off, like my trusty old Praktika and Olympus proper cameras always did, without fail.

Anyway, you'll need a pack of Milliput, grey/green.  Do NOT bother with any other grade.  If you think you need finer than grey/green, you're in the wrong hobby.
Some butter/marge from the fridge.

Make sure the body for which you need the windows is cleaned up in the apertures where the glass is going. Slar some butter round the window aperture and for a little distance around, especially on the inside.
Mix up the Milliput equally and very thoroughly, then squidge it into a rough plate shape and with a wet thumb and fingers push it in the aperture from both sides so that it just sits in there with the outside surface just a little proud of where the glass should end up.  Keep the digits wet (spit'll do) and you won't stick to the Milli.

Don't worry about any great regularity as you'll be filing it all smooth later. This is the stage where you establish your material supply in its place.

Repeat on tother side, being careful to leave the first undisturbed.
The excess all round the Milliput will be clipped off with end cutters when it's set.
At this point, you can't do any more because they'd all stick to each other inside, if you tried to make all four windows, so now park it under a desk lamp or leave it on the digi box to warm gently overnight, as I will do, because the bloody useless camera has left me in a foul key-hammering mood and I'm not doing anything else tonight.  Lloyd, if I hadn't have promised you this blog entry, I'd have taken a sledge hammer to the camera and saved myself any future hassle.  It is very rare that I contain my foul temper.

Friday, 6 December 2013

By contrast....

Just a quick experiment.  I always prefer scenery photos in black and white.  They have all that '50s atmosphere that made me a modelmaker in my childhood.
Here are the cafe pics in b&w.

Too cold last night in the workshop so I made the doors for Tony Moss's workshop and cut out the main walls for the Ferry Station down platform waiting room.  Pics later.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Lock, stock and a few smoking paddles...

Finally, I found my little old tin of lock gate stuff.  Just as well, as I need them for the lock element on Lantern Yard.
I made these a long time ago.  They started as you can see, from steamed pear, my favourite wood.  The gates are made exactly as the real ones. I was lucky to see some being made at Tardebigge on the Worcester and Birmingham Canal.
I chose the pattern of lock furniture to be like that I'd seen on the Welsh Canal.  Little riots of the founders' and early machinists' craft.

Brass master patterns were made and a colleague did me some sets of very fine castings of them.  I have just enough to finish this job.  Although, for some reason I have way more staggered tooth paddle racks than I need.  Teeth are staggered to make slippage much less potentially catastrophic for the wooden paddle if they dropped suddenly.
With the lock gate parts are a wooden mooring stump, also made in steamed pear, with splits, rotten centre in the top and rope grooves and a fence panel, which will give a little privacy to the outside toilet door on the end of Tony Moss's garage office.  This was made from steamed pear veneer, cut into slightly irregular strips and fixed to pear strip posts and battens.

That's it for a while, chaps.  Off tomorrow to pick up bits for yet another Special, a Burlington Arrow, made of a Mk IV Triumph Spitfire, but that's for another time.

Taking stock...

Tantalisingly, during my week of forced absence from the ether, my son brought round the remaining buildings I have which I have started over the years.  All 7mm scale.

These were all made for my lantern Yard set-piece.
I wanted to play around with corrugated iron and made a small press tool from styrene bits, located with some styrene tube.  This makes a scale sized sheet of Corrugated iron, or asbestos, dependent on the finish.  I use Chinese takeaway trays foil which is just thick enough to have some strength.
Just put the scale sheet, a little over width to account for the forming using up some width, in the tool and squeeze in the vice.
Paradoxically, having made flat sheets, I decided to make a much modified Nissen hut as the small car workshop and general mechanic's place, so had to curve the sheets.  Easily done over a curved form. Be gentle and it will take up a shape, without kinking, keeping it nicely.
High up windows necessary for the light needed to fix anything and everything.

Needless to say, like most mechanics, this guy started as a blacksmith and just spread his skills, the way of most country garages.
He does however, still do a fair bit of smithing and lives in the original smithy's cottage that he was born and raised in.
This is the cottage, with the brick and slated forge building an add-on to the side.  The back additions are so typical and based on a cottage in Upwell.  The kitchen is the first addition, brick, with a pantile roof and an old chimney coming up from where the washing copper was once installed, but now replaced with a small Raeburn cook-and-heat stove. Then, deciding that a grubby blacksmith/mechanic needed a bath that didn't always have to go on the living room floor in front of the fire, he added a blockwork bathroom, rendered, under a simple cement tile roof., with a second hand window frame, "relieved" from a building site in the nearby town.

The pantiles were made by bending two strips of thickish litho plate to act as a press, then cutting strips of thin card, soaking them in the steam from a kettle and laying them in between the plates and weighting them down.  When dry, the individual tiles are cut with scissors and laid from right to left, bottom to top.  Seems to have worked.  We all think we know what pantiles look like, but actually, they are rarely what you'd swear blind they are!  These are carefully measured from slipped tiles on a local semi-derelict building.


Today the wee PC man came and worked some magic, so I'm back on at last.
To be honest I can live without Facebook, despite getting most of my work with it, but my customers know my e-mail and phone number.
But I am enjoying the blog lately, filling in with some stuff old, some stuff new.

In the enforced absence from the ether of choice, I have finished the Lantern Caff.

Some gutters made on my little press tool from pewter foil and a downpipe from 3/64th" KS Metal Centre brass wire.  I also made the mounting brackets by impressing two ribs in a strip of pewter foil with the rounded, well worn end of my steel rule, then simply wrapping round the brass rod and securing with a tiny bit of superglue. The ribs remain just enough to show even after curling round the rod.

Nice pale chalky matt blue Vallejo paint which I usually use for painting racing drivers' suits, mixed with a little off white.  The Vallejo didn't set quite matt enough for me, so I went over it, when set with Gouache.

A bit of sooty discolouration around the stove flue.  Don't ask me how that happens, but it does. Ask any caravan/narrowboat dweller, so I gave it the boaty look secure in the knowledge it's right! That muck gets and then runs everywhere!

A bit of hand lettering for the TEAS on the roof and the name on the shiplap completed the job.  I haven't got round to the powdered pastel yet, but I have had to do some "earners" this week.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Lantern Cafe, almost done...

The Lantern Caff got a few hours spent on it today just for a break in car work and here it is.  Tiles from cartridge paper, with a few split and broken ones, even a couple of broken pieces slipped down the roof. The ridge tiling changes with the wooden extension, as will the character of the slates when I'm done with them.
Some weathering done to the slates, but more individual colouring yet to do.  Mortar is brushed into the bricks, but doesn't show.  The woodwork is done in a washed out pale blue.  I like that colour along with pale greens too. I remember them being used on various wooden buildings of my childhood, so faded they were almost chalky in their deadness.  Lintels and cill are treated as concrete.

I would love to point out more, but it's hardly worth it when I just can't get a decent close up picture. I've just got this camera and it takes great daylight pictures, but close up is shit!  Macro, rest it on something, put a couple of lamps on, blah, blah. I really am sick of this digital crap not working. This is the first time today the internet has worked, too.
When I had a proper camera it showed me if the damned film would be blurred. Digis always show a pretty picture in the screen on the back, then put it up like a blurred dollop on the PC.
So, this was the only shot worth a toss and likely to be the last until someone who can be bothered with all this binary crap can explain to me how to make it work.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

So much to do, so little time....

The reason I can't always keep up with the blog is that I don't just do model buildings to please myself.
Rather, I do master patterns for kits and the occasional one-off for a collector, etc.  Not many of those recently, but patterns for model slot cars, aircraft and some model railway stuff have come thick and fast.

Currently this is nearly finished.
Invicta S-Type Low Chassis.  A 1/32nd scale pattern for first, a white metal static model and then, with some simplification, a slot racer in resin.  The Gauge 1 model railway people would, no doubt like the static model.

Then there's this:-
1/32nd scale, also.  A De Havilland DH 89a Dragon Rapide.  Pattern for a very high end model kit for a new French company.  So high end that this tiny photo-etch fret of 3 thou. thickness had to be done from my artwork to put not in the kit, but on the master.  Even finer p/e bits will be in the kit, including the flying "wires", bracketry, cockpit detailing, etc.  The artwork for this, by the way, was done by pen and photo-copy, NOT computer. Fortunately, my client was able to use it. He has his own photo-etching machine and process.  BUT, no British firm will now accept pen a/w for etching any more, even PPD, so I don't know how to get any, as I cannot make head nor tail of computerised artwork!

                     And this:-
Pilatus PC12 master in 1/72nd scale for a British kit manufacturer of rare and interesting civil aircraft.

Along with a cordite van in O9 from Waltham Abbey Gunpowder factory and a 2mm scale Kitson 0-6-0.
The latter is in nickel silver and brass to fit the excellent N-Drive 9mm gauge chassis.  Here are similar masters I made earlier. A Quarry Hunslet in OO9.

and Effie, a Hayward miniature loco in O9
Both in nickel silver and brass to fit the N-Drive chassis and now cast in white metal.

So, progress on the model buildings might be a bit slow, but then again?....

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Lantern Caff contd...

Done a little more on the Lantern Caff today.  I thought I should put a bit of interest inside the little establishment, so I knocked up a table and chair and laid the table with knife and fork squashed from thin solder, a mug of frothy cocoa and a salt cellar.
The windows are simply framed as main pane and fanlight, as befits a "conversion" done more for profit as a Cafe than an architectural gem.  The frames are styrene strip sliced off some sheet.  I'm far too tight to order and pay postage on Microstrip!
The glazing is some spare clear from my son, who has a big old (1963!) vac-former and makes all sorts on it.  I'm never short of food quality glazing!
The facia boards are also added, ready for the roof slates and subsequent guttering.
The strap hinges and latch pate are from my old etchings, shown earlier.  Slates tomorrow.

I also cut out the openings on the Moss garage workshop frontage in Foamex, which I am really getting to like.  Note the crispness of cuts. Much easier than thick card.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

At Ferry station today

Well, since Am Tec seem to think that they can flog you 10 hacksaw blades that have bent ends, misplaced pins and rust on them, I had to go into town to pay through the nose for some from B&Q.  So, while I was there, I thought I might as well go outside town to visit the wonderful station in the last post.  I didn't realise Ferry had a station house till after I'd posted, but the house is still there and beautifully kept.

So off we toddled down a tiny dead end lane and there was the Station house right in front of us.
I knocked on the door and a very nice lady welcomed me in and offered to show me the old ticket office and waiting rooms.  Original tiles in the hall and evidence of the original M&GN green paint.  Amazing.
I took pictures and she showed me her own collection of photos, of which this was one, showing the general layout.
The cobbles, bottom left are there to this day.
Note how the rails don't actually go by the station house platform, which is also still there, though it is and appears to have always been, very short.
I understand that changes were made to the house during M&GN ownership as the M&GN Circle have plans which I will send for.  Clearly, the portion of the building to the right of the front door is built in stretcher bond, clear evidence of a cavity wall, whereas everything else is Flemish bond.  A wee mystery to solve.
The main brickwork is surprisingly fancy, with yellow string courses.
I would think the square gutters and downpipes are not original.
The lady thought these were the original chimney pots, but couldn't say for sure, but they're very fine.
And she also thought the stained glass door window was original, but I really think that's pushing it a bit too far.  Nice door though!
So, now I need to find track plans and details of the goods yard and that building that is no more.
This is where it was. The concrete posts are originals, made by the M&GN at Melton Constable, the railway's main depot.  William Marriot, the Chief mechanical Engineer, developed re-inforced concrete back in the mid 1880s and made a good separate business of it.  Even the station name board was concrete as were signal posts, bridges and even the very first concrete sleepers, something which now blights our landscape universally!
The building I was really attracted to was just where that little tree grows now

Monday, 18 November 2013

Why do I do these things?...

I was just mardling through some searches for a 7mm scale version of Iain Robinson's model building blog and I came across these.

Now I was always aware of the existence of a Ferry Station on the old Wisbech North - Sutton Bridge branch of the Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway, because I've been a huge fan of that lovely old railway since I was about 13, but I'd never seen a picture of it.
It's just too damned gorgeous to resist, so I won't.  It was also only a few miles from where I live now, but I'm sure there'll be nothing left of it, but that ain't going to stop me having a damned good look for it, possibly tomorrow!  I know there's a road just outside Wisbech that goes towards the river, called Ferry Lane, so that must be a start.
It's clearly timber framed, on a blue brick footing, nice!  Then there's that lovely portico on the platform door.  A gent's at the end, which implies a ladies' inside.  The platform lamps are just itching to be modelled as is the whole thing.  An ash platform too!
The full McCoy.
Stone gate posts, telegraph poles, brick-on-edge at the crossing and could that be a bit of platform garden I see?
This would make a nice thin set-piece, enough for a loco and a 6 wheeler or two.  I once made the Hudswell Clark 4-4-0 tank in 4mm when I was a kid.  I think it's time for a 7mm scale one, if I can find the drawings somewhere.