Tuesday, May 22, 2018

George's Trains - Toronto


Handily situated for both the back of the Rapido Trains office and a main line real railway is George's Trains, which describes itself as "Canada's Greatest ModelTrain store!".

The shop is pretty sizable compared to many UK stores but not mahoosive. The first thing that struck me was the amount of O gauge 3-rail on sale. This is very popular in the US, far more than finescale it appears. Quite a few of the working Lionel sets were on sale in pre-owned form, but fortunately (for my wallet) not the giraffe car.

Moving through a short connecting corridor we find the magazine section which could rival the railway section in WH Smith, but with Canadian and American magazines. On the walls are some "classic" old boxes.

The second half of the shop is HO rolling stock and kits plus some N. Great range of building kits and also scratch building bits. Far too much for me to remember or even properly take in on one visit. Moving back toward the front, it's paint (no Humbrol), glue and other materials.

There's also a cabinet full of Korean brass models, probably more in one place than I've seen in my life. They look very impressive, but against modern RTR? Probably more a collectors thing now.

Obviously, I couldn't come away empty handed so as well as a building kit and HO scale Yeti, I bought the most horrible thing I could see packed in one of the shops own bags - it's an O scale plastic car that I wouldn't let near a layout, even a tinplate one. But it only cost $3.95 - £2.27 at time of writing.

It makes a nice souvenir though of my trip.

A final point, I understand this is where Rod Stewart drops in when he's in town for a gig, so you never know who you might bump in to.

George's Trains website.

Monday, May 21, 2018

I un-DCC'd a loco

Last week, I had the chance to save a locomotive from the curse of DCC.

Pete had lent someone an old Lima 0-4-0 diesel shunter to test some Dingham couplings on the O gauge layout. Putting it on the track, nothing happened. A quick check with a German loco showed there was power, so the problem was in the model.

Looking inside, it had once been fitted a DCC chip but this had been removed a blanking plug  replacing the electronics. An unwired blanking plug.

Since this section of the layout uses God's own DC, all I needed to do was use the wires on the plug to joins the pickups and motor. Simple enough - just strip the ends of the wires and twist them together.

Result - the loco now works as intended. And I understand how a blanking plug works!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Doncaster Model Engineering show 2018

Foden steam lorry

Finding myself needing to make a trip to Doncaster, I managed to arrange this for the same date as the first day of the ME show. Well, they are less than 10 miles from my appointment, so even though it's no longer an essential visit, why not?

The show is held at the racecourse which means the light isn't great for photography and so many of my pictures aren't great. There are a few though and certainly the exhibits were well worth a look.

1/32nd tractor

I did have the chance to chat with Garden Rail advertisers KM1 and enjoy another look at their terrific Gauge One layout. The whole stand is incredibly professional and should give many UK traders pause for thought. Even if you don't like foreign prototypes, it's worth a look just to see what large scale RTR can look like.

Shrimp boat

Being a multi-disciplinary show, there were plenty of boats ans planes. This lobster fishing craft is a work of art, absolutely choc full of detail and beautifully modelled.

On the aircraft front, I had a go on a radio control 'plane simulator. After 7 broken models, I managed to get one back on the ground in one piece, confirming that some hobbies are just not for me!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Saturday Film Club: The Great British Train Show 2018

If you want to see the show I travelled all the way to Canada to attend, here it is in this rather well made video. 

For added bonus excitement, you even find a short piece from me at the end of it. Don't worry, you can switch off before you get to that bit...