Friday, 31 January 2014

Where have all these people been???...

I have recently grown so tired of, so very weary with all the idiots, know-it-alls, politicos, trolls and half-wits who refuse to learn how to spell or use the English language on the various forums of which I have been a member over the years, that, apart from Club Triumph's helpful club forum, I have left the lot.
Of course, unless one is actually kicked off a forum by the little Hitler who runs it, leaving means simply failing to either contribute or even look at them, since one cannot insist on the owners actually removing all evidence of one's appearance in their midsts.

So, I am here, I am on a few very specialised Facebook pages as it makes sense professionally to be so and I follow a few other blogs, mainly those of a scenic model nature...where it all began for me.
And it is in that connection that I ask the heading question.
In recent years I have read a great deal about "weathering powders", a phrase so commercial in its immediate "hit" that I assumed, correctly as it turned out, that some intrepid entrepreneur of the modelling world had jumped on the ancient practice of using not paint, but, effectively, the main constituent thereof, to final colour a building or scenic part of a finished model.

Now, forgive me if you have in fact been on Planet Zog for a few decades, but how did you ever miss the fact that good old fag ash dulls down too much brightness on a model, or talc. OR...pastels?  I've had a box of pastels (Rowney Greyhound, without checking) for about 50 years, a little more, I think.  I have only recently re packeted them with those my Mum left me in a nice tin.
Out of absolute sentimentality I have never used them for scenery (well, OK, maybe a rub with a pastelly finger), but I always buy a stick or two when I go to any kind of arty farty suppliers and have only to give them a light rub on a bit of 400 wet 'n' dry and I have enough for a small town of dulling down colours, suggesting green mossiness under windows or round the bottom of walls.  Or the slight difference in tone on model roads where the tyres go ( a personal hobbyhorse).

Why, oh why would anyone go to all the trouble of buying this dust from the aforementioned business in dinkydoo potlets, when for almost nothing it's all there for you to use only when you want it or store away for over 50 years, like me?  If you don't smoke, find someone who does and ask for the contents of his ashtray in a wee zip-lok baggy.  Because it works a treat and is completely free!

It seems to me that model fans are being hyped into all this off-the-shelf stuff and seem to have lost all ability to regard "product" as worthy of assessment.  Some of it really is very silly.  And before the cries of "Oh, but..." come screaming in, I have it from the importer of some of these pots of dust that he regards it as ridiculous too!  But Oh, so lucrative.  Refreshingly honest of him. I was quite flattered when he said, "Ah, but you're a real model maker, you'd know".  Well, yes I am and I would, but why can't others work it out for themselves too?  Fashion, that's why.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Wet, cold, what to do?...

It rained most of the night and is still raining, the wind is howling, it's bloomin' freezing.
I can't paint the Cooper and Ferrari 312 bodies or the Renault Undine or Broadspeed Jag, so I can't finish those off for the customers.  The workshop's chilly...hmmm, nice and toasty in the lounge, PING!!  draw something.

I have a model to make for an American customer of a Corvette SS Sebring in 1/32nd scale, but I have, for reference, an Auto Art diecast in 1/18th scale.
So, out with the fold up table, the calipers, the clicky pencil, the French curves and the calculator and let's get drawing.
Measure the model, multiply by 18, divide by 32.  Every dimension!  But we get there slowly and stay warm and dry.

Just the side view to do, if I can stay awake after a very nice roast dinner.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Going, going...

Well, the GT6 is almost gone, sold to somebody from somewhere we know not yet.
I have to pick his wife up from the station so she can drive the car home...somewhere.

No matter, it will be replaced by one of these.
Not this one, but one very like it, same type, same colour.

My family when I was kid had one in black.  Very stately. Coachbuilt body by Mulliners of Birmingham, taken to the Triumph factory and fitted to a modified Standard chassis with an engine that served in these, Vanguards, the TR sports car range up to the 4A and even the famous "Little Grey Fergie" tractor.

Should feel like Royalty when we go to car shows later this year.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Forums? Nah thanks.

That's it, that's me off the last forum.  Done and dusted.
I thought I'd try and get a bit of response to a very slow and barely active model slot car one, by adding some news and a bit of help with a different attitude to paint.  Half an hour later, I get an email from the guy who "owns" the forum telling me he'd deleted my last 2 posts because one was in the wrong place (so bloody move it, moron!) and the one about paint was a rant!  Haha, he ain't never seen me rant has he?

No skin off my nose.  I have lost all interest in toy cars and now just make shapes for the clients.

The Lotus 25 is done and loved by the client, so on to the next one, and on and on and.....

No more of them on here from now unless it's something I'm actually interested in, which is less and less these days!

Back to scenery, me thinks.....Boy! what a relief.  Now at last I can say what I want and to Hell with the rest of the anal little fools.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Jimmy's little green racing car...

As regular readers will know I am not specifically a model railway modelmaker.  I am more of a painter on a broad canvas.  I have to be in order to earn my crust at the game.
The great bulk of my work in recent years has been making patterns for slot car resin bodyshell kits.  I've done nearly 50 now and a LOT of F1 cars, despite my not really being interested in the overpaid pansy mob who have done that side of motor racing for decades now.  But I always liked the look of the tiny 1 1/2 Litre cars of the early to mid sixties.  I have now modelled most of those and always wondered why the most famous and successful of them all had never been done, or at least convincingly.  That it is almost universally considered the most beautiful (I don't agree) made that fact even stranger.

Jim Clark was for ever connected to the Lotus 25.  In 1963 he won so many races that there could never be any doubt as to his World Championship that year.
He started to make that clear a year earlier, by losing the championship to Graham Hill in a BRM (my favourite) at the last race when a bolt fell out of his Coventry Climax FWMV-8 sump and he lost all his oil when leading the race.

This model, therefore starts the "stream" of Lotus 25s that I am doing for Mel Ault's PreWing series of cars that didn't wear those ugly aerodynamic devices that spelled the death knell of elegance in motor racing.

We will go through the run from this, the Aintree 1962 British Grand Prix winner, through the iconic 1963 car to the last gasp 33 model which was a slightly developed 25.  That should keep everybody happy.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

She's got to go...

My son is selling his Triumph GT6 Mk3 to fund a different car that doesn't need his damaged back to get so low down!

It has overdrive, Caterham rose jointed uprights, Canley Alloy front hubs (massive difference in steering), oil cooler and filter mods., fully restored chassis and engine, very tidy body and many spares.

£4500 ono.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Burlington pictures...

The weather behaved long enough yesterday to allow some pictures to  be taken of the Burlington bits.
Here's the basic chassis with body frames made up and welded on.  It also has the front towers and wishbones, steering rack and the entire rear suspension and diff.
You can see I'm still having camera problems!  Except on the shots in a dark storage building without any lights where I simply pointed the thing using the flash and hoped!

Here's the boxes of bits.  Front springs, discs, uprights and an overdrive gearbox.
All those sticks are my ash stash for body framing on the Austin 7 Special.

Here's the bellhousing and cylinder head, all cleaned up and in fine fettle already.

And finally, the engine block with its nice new re-bored cylinders and brand Johnny Spankers +.020 pistons, all fitted, strongly implying new bearings too.

Today I phoned a number I was given for the man who has the Beretta body moulds.  Imagine my surprise when I realised I was speaking to the very same guy I used to deal with for all our GRP mouldings when I ran the Burlington company, back in 1984!  He even offered me the moulds!  It's a possibility....

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Why do I do it?...

Today I toddled off to Shipdham in Norfolk to pick up a Burlington Arrow chassis, which was offered to me for a donation to the British Heart Foundation.  The charity seeks to help research into heart illness of all kinds.  The old chap who had started the car had died of a heart complaint, as had my Dad, so I was happy to give the charity a cheque.
Turned out,the car was a bit more than a chassis. In fact it was a chassis with body frames made and attached, wooden body panels cut and varnished, a GRP scuttle, suspension both ends, steering , an overdrive Spitfire gearbox and an engine in which the bores had been rebored and fitted with a set of brand new bearings and pistons!  The plans pack was also with it.
It was effectively up the road so we borrowed the neighbour's flatbed LDV and picked it up.  Little Owen's first trip in a truck and he helped all the time.  Calls himself a mechanic, bless him!  6 years old.  Meccano and aeroplane junky.

Offloaded and wheelbarrowed round to the workshop where we covered it up, against the the rain that seems to be daily currently.
I have no idea where to put it, I certainly have no garage, but hey, that won't stop us.

I had the first Burlington chassis ever sold. Took it the factory with me when I ran the company in 1984 and came back with less of it than I took!  Son took it over, then lost interest, so I sold it in a fit of pique to teach him a lesson.  The guy I sold it to still has it in much modified form, but has just got it back on the road after an accident.  I ran the Burlington Owners' Club, then the company.  I drove the Arrow prototype for miles without ever realising it had never been even registered, never mind taxed or insured!  It drove beautifully and was totally reliable.  My best mate had one built for him, which he used to go to work every day. 108 mile round trip every day. For him and his Mrs.

So, folks, that's why I do it.
My chum's Arrow with the Ginetta G21 belonging to the man who built it for him, Clive Davies.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Clear the decks, crack on Carruthers...

OK, the Christmas stuff is down and packed away, the room Hoovered, the crap that has filled the workshop is sorted, packed away, thrown away and the floors Hoovered.
No excuses now.  Onwards with the list of outstanding models.  Well, the list is outstanding, the models?  I'll do me best as always.

Aircraft masters first alongside some F1 builds for a customer who likes his F1 slot cars put together by the guy who made the masters!  Fair enough.  My little pocket money line.

So, there won't be much of a model railway nature for a little while as that's always just for me and after nearly a fortnight off, I can't indulge for a while, but progress on the other stuff will be covered on here meantime.
Modelmaking is really all much the same and only the subject changes, so any tips that I can pass on whilst knocking out the odd airyplane or slot racer, so much the better!
I hope you can glean some ideas, materials knowledge, tool uses etc.

Happy New Year to all.