Sunday, May 28, 2017

Train cake

Last week, Nick Brad was a concerned about the recent lack of cake action on this blog. Always one to keep my readers happy, I bring you details of a genuine railway cake.

Served by Chiltern Trains to commemorate the last day of the Class 121 "Bubble Car" DMUs on 19th May. As you can see, it's a pretty creditable model:


The first slices of the cake were cut by Chiltern MD Dave Penny:


And then served up to those who had made the trip to a damp Princess Risborough station to witness the final running of these venerable machines on the national rail network. 

Your corespondent had to taste the cake of course and can report it was a particularly delicious chocolate:


No I didn't save you any...

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Saturday Film Club: Meccano rolling tool



A rather nice little film showing a rolling and straightening machine made from Meccano. 

I own a couple of sets of rollers, but the adjustment handle is rather more handy than the alan key screws I have to use. Pity this isn't robust enough for serious work!

My formative years involved technical Lego rather than Mecanno, but I never fail to be impressed with the ingenuity of builders working with Frank Hornby's "toy". Nor do members of the non-modelling public, the models always attract interest even from those far too young to have played with the stuff in the past.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Garden Rail and Engineering In Miniature


Readers of the current issue of BRM who make it to the back page will find out that I'm going to be picking up some new work in a couple of months.

In July, I take over as editor of both Garden Rail and Engineering In Miniature magazines.

As regular readers will know, I have a long background of messing about in the garden. Admittedly this is mostly at the home-spun make and do end of the hobby, but I'm sure I can understand the high-end live steam world too, especially once I get to have a go at it!

Engineering is a little different. My visits to marvel at the exhibits on show at various ME shows through the years are documented on here, but I can't claim to any skills at lathe work. Fortunately, my role is to assembled the content rather than machine a casting. Mind you, if anyone fancies showing me how, I'm definitely up for it.

I've some big boots to fill with all this and in many ways it's a new direction for me. You don't get rid of me from BRM, I'll still be spending plenty of time building away there and I'm expecting plenty of cross-over between the three publications as well.

Now if you are reading this and thinking, "I wonder if Phil would be interested in an article on...", the answer is yes. Drop me an e-mail and we'll talk about it. After all, I have a contributors budget to spend. You'll not get rich but it's very satisfying to see yourself in print and you can be sure of support from an editor who remembers how he was helped along the way.

This blog? Hopefully all will continue as before. Overall, I have a full-time job with all this stuff and should be able to do a few more projects to fill it. I've 2 lined up once I've finished the Wickham for a start. There will probably be a few more newsy posts and perhaps some talking about places I've been for work. A similar mix to what we've had recently. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Barrels and bricks in BRM


I'm not sure who is writing the advert for BRM at the moment, but I need to have a word with them. 

" Phil Parker's fondness for a brew  is only outshone by his appetite for modelling. Here, he manages to combine both."

Seriously, I might have the odd sweet sherry at Christmas (not a whole glass, don't want to go mad) but there's no call for that sort of thing!

Anyway, I've been trying to work out how to load barrels in the back of railway wagons. This should be an easy job, but it turned out to be far from this. I had to build a wagon along the way to load, so there's bonus kitbuilding. 

Oh yes, I worked in two scales too.

The barrel loading is to tie in with one of the layouts - Woodlands Brewery. I've been out with the camera again and shot David Carr's model at Kettering O gauge guild show. It's a lovely layout, very much my kind of industrial scene.

 Last month, I built a laser cut kit signal box. Painting bricks made this way has always defeated me though, but I wasn't able to get out of it this time, so after a lot of head-scratching and some experiments, I've developed a method that is quick and easy. 


It's all in the mag, just don't expect to buy everything from a model shop...



The DVD is fatter than normal with over an hour's footage on it. In the practical section, you'll find me improving some diecast road vehicles.

In the extras areas though, you've got a ride along the Ecclesbourne railway with me chatting to the driver all the way. It's a bit of lo-fi "slow TV" that Andy and I shot as a bit of an experiment a couple of months ago. We'll be interested to know what you think. 


Oh, and I wrote the Tail Lamp column too, but we'll talk about that tomorrow. 


Update: If anyone fancies a nifty little workbench, there is a good subs offer on. I've assembled the kit here.