Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Who are the Post Office kidding?...

I ordered some more nickel silver to finish the bodywork of a loco model and eventually, 4 days late, it arrived in a Royal Mail clear bag saying it had got damaged coming from abroad!  Even though the envelope in which it started its journey had a Birmingham address on the back.  It was buckled, rippled, dented, curved two ways and had been heavily hit on the end.
This supposed to be delivered flat and smooth.
This crap is what it arrived IN, with the PO trying to wriggle out of any responsibility. Fortunately the company said it started off in Birmingham and have assured us of a a replacement.
Meantime, I can apply my lovely English wheel to it and take all the dents and ripples out.  They don't need to know that!

Monday, 30 October 2017

You gotta love a hut...

Just painted the roof slated on the Lengthman's hut and put some powder weathering on it.  Enamel first, then various mixes of Vallejo acrylics, which have an unusually fine and dense pigment. Slates vary twixt dull grey and a bluish look, which I've hoped to capture.  The stucco render on the end was painted with a stone enamel and then powdered with a few likely streaks.  Gutters and pipes to go.

This is between work on the Vincent engine, which, having cooked a bit in the oven, now needs some sanding before paint.
And a few holes drilled round the edge.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

The Hell with forums, FB pages and all that trash...

Two posts in one day, already! Oi Vay!

Ha!  I've had it with forums, (fora is it? if you're a pompous arse).  And FB pages.  And every shade in between, not that are any, but you know what I mean.  The last forum I was on for all of a fortnight before some little Hitler claimed I wasn't playing nice as he ungrammatically put it. All because I slagged off RMWeb, like all other well-thinking people on the same forum. What hypocrisy!  It's OK for the established ones to slag off RMWeb, but woe betide a new boy they don't know who actually MAKES stuff from scratch to use his immense experience to criticise the most widely criticized model forum ever.  And the Stormtrooper accused me of even more posts that people had allegedly complained of my tone on, even though nobody had spoken to me about it.  So I said goodbye to that one. My last forum. No regrets, they ceased to be of use or interest to me.  Some of the members were delightful correspondents and helpful and generous to a T, but the bosses?  Oafs to a man.

FB pages, the last claimed to be for scratchbuilders, like me, because it was good to swap news of cheap ways to make stuff, but when I dared complain about the cost of wagons, either kit or RTR being silly, somebody got snotty about discussing personal finances!  These turds tell themselves something and then believe the bollocks.

So off I come. I also killed the pages I started because nobody ever left a comment, so FB, for me now, is just chat with one or two people, a way of relatives and friends sending me pictures.

Forums?  Go stuff yourselves you silly little kit snobs.

As I don't give a shit what any of them think, I will just put pictures up on here of stuff as I do it.  or maybe I won't even do that!  Does anyone really care?

I must go down to the mud again...

In keeping with my lovely old set-piece of Paglesham with the dinghy, I have been making some Fishermens' sheds, huts, whatever you want to call them. All are intended for a set-piece based on Southwold Harbour, where the little 3 foot gauge Southwold Railway had a small branch, which came to nought really, although a bit of light flat-bottomed rail survives at the edge of the land next the River Blyth.
All are based on real buildings, but may have some slight changes of detail, finishes, etc.  So far there is a small, well kept hut, a larger, neglected one and a smokehouse/fresh fish seller.
All are made in Foamex, a wonderfully compliant material which is a self skinned PVA foam . I use 3mm as it is nicely self supporting but not long winded to cut. I mitre the corners just by laying the scalpel over to an estimated 45 degrees and glue with Evo-Stik impact adhesive.  The planking can be impressed with a scalpel-scoring and the corner of a steel rule, leaned over and run along so it represents shiplap.  On brickwork, you can impress the courses and do the verticals to place the bricks with a narrow home made chisel or a sharpened piece of brass.  Stucco can be done by pressing some 60 grit sandpaper into the surface with a small hard roller, like a wallpaper seam roller.  I use it for the doors too.  Cut it out, score the planks, set it back and glue it.  Done.
Bare Foamex, with planks scored with the back of a scalpel blade. Door cut out, scored and replaced. Styrene strip framing.
Painted with enamels, wiped off with a finger and re-painted with designers' gouache in patches to represent where the tar has weathered away.  An attempt, not too much, has been made to paint wood grain on as that shows up strongly when the aged wood silvers with no paint on it.  These are the two main weathered walls. The other 2 don't get so much wind and rain and so have a little more tar left.  The door is painted in a different grey with some bits of Foamex left unpainted to represent where the grey top coat has flaked away from the primed wood.
The finished hut, with styrene roof, covered in 240 grit wet'n'dry paper and real wood hold down strips, all weathered with ground chalk pastels. Some evidence of junk inside with some fine netting representing old fishing nets and the odd wooden block and notice from the Harbour Master.
The littler hut is a better kept example. He's been flogging that dinghy for years, if there's owt left!

The smokehouse/ fishmonger's stall.  Menu boards inside.  "A" board for outside. Varnished plywood for the counter and blue marbled Fablon covered top.  If you know what that is, you ain't no spring chicken!  There will be a bricked paved area out front when it's finally set in it's scenic position.

Another set-piece that's even older, but not so muddy, is Lantern Yard, for which I just made this to give a bit of extra interest in the canal lock area.  It's a canal Lengthman's hut in brick. Foamex, with hand impressed bricks, individually painted, just now requiring a slate roof and some rainwater furniture.
Oh and a door knob and some glazing!  Note the correct brick bond, including Queen closers at door and window reveals.  I trouble over such things.  And who's to tell me otherwise?

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Greasers rule...

When I lived in Devon, there was a gaggle of greasy haired, leather clad feckless youth on bicycles who used to hang around the village clocktower in the middle of the triangle which we all called the square. Indeed our address (one of them) was The Square.  The other was 1, Market Hill, as we lived on the corner.
These lads were collectively known as The Grease.  To be elevated to the giddy heights of the name Greasers, they will have had to obtain, learn to ride and maintain and be seen everywhere on high powered motorcycles, which means they couldn't have gathered under the clock tower as there wouldn't have been space.  But as a demonstration of terminology in those days it will suffice.

Greasers could also be known as Ton Up Boys, especially if they rode any of the then very few 'bikes that would actually do the magic Ton.
One 'bike that would, every time, no sweat, was the Vincent Black Shadow, the Lamborghini, in the 50s, of the motorbike world. Poster boy of the world of leather jackets, big boots and white scarfs.

And it is one of these that I am engaged in making a brass master pattern for in the big 1/6th scale.
Getting the pictures you really need, rather than a proliferation of those you could do without is a complete pain as these things are so very valuable now that people are loath to admit ownership, lest their premises are raided by theft gangs with Hyabs and smart trucks.
Eventually I found one in bits amongst no less than 8 others in Norwich and photographed and measured to my heart's content, til I had enough to start drawing one up.
Work began and we now have a lot of little bits and pieces that will one day make up into a little replica 6 times smaller than the real one.
Left hand crankcase and primary chain case nd clutch cover.

All the wee bits and bobs so far, including painted seat and tank in Ureol, front and rear forks, upper frame member/oil tank, susension, etc.
Upper frame member/oil tank with headstock in place.  Everything hangs from this simple assembly.

I am now concerned with making the right hand side of the engine, which is very much more complex in shape that than the left side.  I am making these crankcases in Ureol and they are being cast in silicon moulds come production time.

More as it happens