Saturday, October 01, 2016

Scaleforum 2016

Sidmouth signal box

You know you're in the right cue at the station when everyone at the bus stop also looks like they are going to Scaleforum. Let's just say there wasn't much designer wear or backward baseball cap action going on and the average age would have been over half a century...

My reason for visiting wasn't a desire for finescale action but shopping. Scaleforum has excellent specialist trade and I was in need of some bits'n'pieces. That and I fancied a train ride. 

It's a not a show full of layouts, but those that are there are interesting. My favourite was Richard Harper's Sidmouth, not because it was operated by members of my local club, nor that some of the buildings on the model should be home VW motorhome converters Devon. No, it just looks right and is beautifully modelled. 

Garden shed

My snaps don't do the model justice, and if I'm honest, I don't think the recent MRJ piece did either. One feature that works well for viewers, if not those carrying it in and out of a show, is the baseboard depth. The station looks spacious rather than cramped, exactly how it should. With this basic feature right, the really sharp modelling only guilds the lilly. 

Next door was my other favourite - Shelvington. 

Unit on canal bridge

Well modelled and with bucket loads of eye-catching detail, I didn't think that a Unit based layout could be so interesting. Seeing the trains next to each other almost convinced me that they don't all look the same. Just very similar. Interesting though. 


Shopping was good with stocks of all sorts of odd stuff replenished. There was a huge amount of chatting too - another good reason to make the trip. 

Friday, September 30, 2016

I've got an E-type!

Scalecraft E-type Jaguar

Thank you eBay. I don't remember how this happened, but in recent months I've been watching out for plastic kits by the firm Scalecraft. 

Railway modellers will know them for producing a OO gauge Roadrailer kit sold by Peco back in the 1960s. Not a bad model and still commanding money second hand, no matter how many people rattle on on RMweb about there being a demand for a RTR version. 

But, they also produced motorised kits which are far more exciting. Looking at these, I realised that I'd owned one as a kid. Specifically, I'd owned an E-type Jaguar. Looking at the photos, I remembered the slightly rubbery plastic, and for no real reason, the headlamps. 

Now, after waiting for something at a price I can justify, I have another. 

I've always loved the E-type. While the real thing will always be out of my price range, and I know all the horror stories about it's machnicals if I ever do come into money, it's the most beautiful car ever made. Even prettier than a Beetle. 

The Scalecraft version appears to be a rally car with its numbers and roof-mounted spotlight. Did anyone ever rally these? It would seem to be like attaching a thorougbred horse to a dray. 

Anyway, like it's prototype, the model is rear wheel drive with a motor that was probably slick but cheap for it's day. I need to fix the door-mounted switch before I give it a run but that looks like a little soldering a bodgery should do it. 

OK, it's not the best model in the world, but it looks nice on the shelf and means something to me. At least that's my excuse for spending money on toys. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Handy sanding sticks

For months, I've had some handy sanding sticks knocking around. 

Each is around 3mm wide and on top and bottom, has some  abrasive material. Each packs contains a variety of grades of abrasive. The sticks are a sort of foamboard but plenty stiff enough for the job and very pokable into places other abrasives find hard to reach. 

Of course, I wanted to blog about them, but couldn't remember where I got them from - not very helpful. 

Well, at the weekend, I managed to buy another pack - £2 from Ambis Engineering. I can't see them on the website so they might be a show only product. Worth seeking out though.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Warehouse Wednesday: Chris's mower repairs

Chris's Mower Repairs

Regular readers will know my enthusiasm for corrugated iron, or wobbly tin, buildings. 

This beauty is found on the edge of the posh Midlands town of Knowle. Sitting on what must be prime building land 5 minutes walk from the high street and it's excellent artisan bakery, how this slightly shabby structure survives is a mystery, but I'm glad it does. 

Peeling green (of course) paint doesn't go down well with the residents I'm sure, but it works for me. I'm sure that in a few years time there will be an identikit executive house here with a BMW on the drive, but for the moments we celebrate a building of character.. 

Have a look on Google Street View.  It looked a lot smarter in 2008!