Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Holiday time

Its that time of the year again when the inhabitants of Schloss dandruff set off for the yearly break. This year its back to the wilds of the south. Some would say its a step 20 years back in time, To do that you need to go to West Australia. The camera is fully charged, but I do not have a fixed plan of what to hunt out.

Updates when I get time.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Well, its a fine sunny day here, so its obviously too hot to do anything outside. Off to the train room.
I was not happy with the colour of the coal stage, so a trip back to the work bench for some black was in order. Now normally I just give models a wash with my smoke mix. However this time round it just wasn't adding enough grime for my liking. In a flash of inspiration I got out the black and dry brushed the whole thing. And it worked really well. At this point I would normally offer you a picture but......

I replaced the scene on the layout and suddenly wondered 'will a loco run past it?'. Onto the track with 1431 and the answer is (drum roll)

'Someone has blundered'
 Hmmm, what to do. The main problem was that the Da would not fit round the curve as the fuel tank was rubbing on the horizontal beam. At first I thought 'I'll just pare it back, that will fix it'

 It did almost fix the problem, but I knew I was not going to be happy with it. And what if those big 4-8-4's didn't fit past? There was nothing for it but to cut 2mm off and move the side in. Sounds quite scary, but in practice it took 10 minutes and was a piece of cake. The end result?

 So, after a bit of as touch up, the almost finished article looks like this.

Maybe still not grubby enough, but better than it was, and waiting for a heavy covering of coal.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Throwing away the past

DB says:

We're throwing out a lot of stuff at home these days and this includes a stash of magazines picked up over the past 20 years years and rarely looked at since (most of my older mags are hiding at various locations around the NZ countryside). 

Its interesting to revisit Model Railroader and Trains to see the changes in the rail world and how modeling has moved ahead, although a better lens on modern modeling is provided by the RMWeb links that R. Druff posted the other day.

Also interesting to look at what's changed in NZ's rail scene (Rails and NZRO mags) over the past 20 years, including:

The first CC wagons in the mid 90s - built to a 22.5 tone axle load yet 15 years later they still run around half empty - presumably despite the considerable efforts put into replacing and strengthening bridges we are still a fair way away off from that dream (which would also enable more tractive effort from from heavier locos)

The emergence of the DFT prototype 20 years ago - there might be people reading this who never saw a red DF running around.

Around the same time, DXR 8007 was completed, with grand plans of building more, and even retrofitting this 'new standard cab' to DCs. However, that cab became standard for only a brief period, as subsequent DX rebuilds including 5310 reverted to a design very similar to the original, and the eventual second DXR had a simpler (read: 'uglier') design that was also later retrofitted to 8007. 

The DXR seems modern to me, yet that was 20 years ago - a rebuild of a loco that at the time was less than 20 years old itself. The first batch of DXs turn 40 this year.

I've saved a few of these gems but the rest are being recycled.  

More interesting that Winston's wine box
I'm about to trawl through the NZMRJs as well and it will be interesting to see how much is saved from that haul. My membership is up for renewal at the moment and while I do enjoy getting mail and like to support the Guild it would be fair to say I'm not sure how much real value I receive from that.

As a pictures person, I am keeping all my Railfan mags - haven't missed one of those since they started in 1994. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Wearing it out

Having a bit more spare time after the previous post, I did the painting and weathering on the coaling area. We left this project last post looking like this.

 Out with the Valejo Brown leather ( my preferred dark brown for just about everything from track to brake dust) and a good coat. make sure not to miss any bits.

 Then its out with the old crappy large brush and dry brushing with Valejo Iraqi sand, which if you are careful builds up the highlights.

 The last touch prior to lots of washes of thinned out Tamiya smoke is the white around the bracing board, to scream out to the cream of the NZR crews that 'There's a honking great coal yard here, don't walk into/off it!'

After the Tamiya wash it will be time for the piles of coal to go on, plus one or 2 detail bits. I must dig out the plan of the NZR compressed air crane and buckets.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

One bored at a time

 After feeling like I had been in a 'Model Railway Craftsman' article (A magazine where it almost seemed to be obligatory to make the raw materials before you started), I have a Coaling area that will hold coal when I get round to putting it in.

Number of bits of wood cut;                        heaps and heaps
Number of bits of wood pinging off into the ether;    dozens
Nuber of bits of wood going into boots;                         2
Number of bits of wood glued to fingers;                       0
Numer of spare bits of wood left at the end;                   5

What it looks like at the end.

 'Taken from the same angle as this.'

Tatty and uneven. Who knew that the prototype could match my modeling skills so closely.

Oh, and 1200th post up for anyone thats still counting. Yah us....

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Saturday Morning

Well, its that time of the week to sit back with the morning cuppa and have a ponder.

This week brought a surprise visit from the chairman of Cabbage enterprises. It appears that I'm not the only one afflicted by excessive work at the moment. A wide ranging discussion was had covering a variety of topics. I can also reveal that an unnatural interest was shown in GWR broad gauge books. I was also shown some very nice etchings for an Om wagon.

From the wandering brain files this morning, why are their not more small shelf layouts built in the scale? For some odd reason any man (or woman for that matter) that moves to NZ120 seems to automatically think that they need to build a large layout to showcase the scene. I'm as guilty as the next man unfortunately. In England you get guys who happily model on a bit of 3 by 1 from IKEA and construct a small shunting layout, often in less time than it takes to say 'I think I could fit a layout on that'. OK, so its all RTR but they just plunge in with gay abandon to run trains for a couple of months, learn some stuff and move on to the next one. Contrast this with my 10 year project that is Paekakariki (and I'm 3 years in I think....). its going to work out in the end (I think), but there is a lot of water to go under the bridge before that happens, and it is hard to stay focused (and Imust take a trip out today to do some more on the coal yard. must get that wip cracking app, or indeed a phone that runs apps).

Maybe its time for another scale challenge; build a small layout in a year (2013), with a set maximum size etc? Its worked well overseas in slightly larger scales. Maybe for something a bit more left field that I did come across is a 'flexible' layout with removable scenes and a common base. With a standard size scene base everyone could have a go. Maybe small layouts have a hard time getting traction here because they don't look 'New Zealand ' enough (a comment I've heard about the currently stalled 9mm shunting layout in Auckland), or because its not overly easy assembling a collection of rolling stock and a loco to run (though that seems to be getting easier)

To charge off into the other side of the coin ie big layouts I have been thinking about designing larger layouts for operations. It helps to pass the time in meetings of the 'Just why was I invited to this when i have not been on this project for 2 months?'I missed a chance when I was asked 'So, what do you think?' to which the correct reply would have been 'Oh, I was just wondering how to feign my own death so I could escape and go home...'. Anyway, I was trying to work out how to do a 1950's west coast layout featuring a couple of branch lines and a loads in-empties out set up between a port and a coal mine. This very quickly got out of hand, but its left me wondering how much more people want to do in the scale, or if we are happy with a roundy-roundy set up to let the trains run.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

A slight adjustment

After a bit of thinking I decided that the coaling siding needed to be realigned so that I could fit a compressed air coaling crane on a parallel track. The existing track was removed and a short piece of commercial flex track was substituted. I also shortened the diesel tanks and the coal yard a bit to fit the (what I assume is the) pump shed in. There is now space for a 25 by 50mm building (10' by 20') which is a bit on the small side but should do the job visually.

I've compressed the whole area (the coaling area should be 3 times the length that it is) so its now a matter of making do with the space that I have. Another 30 cm would have been good (there's not quite enough space to move locos round in the depot area without fouling the passing loop on the hill side), but that would have meant space compromises elsewhere on the layout. At the end of the day It will work OK.
I'm just starting to like this area a bit more now. I sat for about 10 minutes thinking about the various scenic elements which will fit in this area. One thing that did strike me was how large even the loco depot would be in S scale. it could possibly be forced to fit on a 12' by 3' board, but you would not get the rest of the station in. The platform alone would be 9' long.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Broken River 6: Green Day

DB posts for the second time in living memory (although technically I wrote this a week ago but forgot to post it. Seeing papa Druff's recent greening reminded me of this):

After bulldozering some crap out of the train room (seeing Comrade Druff's messy room kicked me into action) I stared at my steaming Broken River folly and decided to do something about it.

You may recall from my previous field dispatches that some time ago I had built a hillside with silly foam meringues all over it. In the intervening months I have slowly turned that whole scene matt black with the help of a small paint brush. This was a pain, but I didn't want any white bits to show through subsequent scenerising.

And this is where things have sat for a while.

Yesterday I went at it with a dull green spray - "safe for plastic" it said on the can... and it was over a layer of paint anyway... so after a test patch, I went wild.

Can you guess what happened next? Melting? Noxious fumes? Fires? Explosions? Plagues of locusts? Nope. Nothing but healthy greenliness. Within seconds my collection of black dog turds had been transformed into green dog turds - something that would almost pass as really bad model railway scenery if viewed through a welders mask under candlelight.

Buoyed by this success, I started applying second-hand scenery material to the droppings:  brush with mildly diluted PVA, blow on some fine turf in a variety of leftover shades from the bottom of the scenery box, plenty of recycled foliage net in three colours (like applying toupees to my round mounds), a little fine leaf foliage here and there, some crappy old reused trees press-ganged into service...

Layering in Action. From L to R: Black blobs; black blobs with diluted pva bushed on; black blobs with foliage blown on; black blobs with foliage netting; black blobs filled in with other misc scenery items.

I still need to spray on some matt finish and touchups in patches as the glue has left some of the underturds a little shiny, but suddenly it doesn't look completely awful.

Apologies for cellphone pics. Next: some ballast.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Pushing on

Thanks to the bad weather it was time to get back into the Man-sion.

I carried on from last time and covered the rest of the hill. More glue, pins and a bit of waiting. I'm reasonably happy with how it is turning out.

 And after locating a plentiful source of NZ120 scale coal, I thought it might be time to make a start on the coaling point at the loco depot. It will not be a 'running' siding which will make things much simpler.
 I had a short piece of track made for something or other and so I just bent it into shape and glued it down. seems to do the job OK.

 The thinking at the moment is to have 2 wagons, a full one at the bottom, and a partly unloaded one at the top. I also have to work out how a standard NZR coaling crane fits in.

There is also a shed between the fuel tanks and the coaling compound, with a visible lack of space for it to slot in. A bit of clever thinking will be required there.

Sunday, December 02, 2012


Since I've been pottering round working on the station platform I also though that it was time to do something about the hill behind the station. I had purchased a Grass mat by Busch (though I see every man and his dog seem to make them) at Railex for this purpose, and at $37 for a mat 80cm by 80cm it seems like a good idea. Essentially it is static grass stuck to a crepe paper base.

So, after a bit of land form sculpting (which will not satisfy all readers of this blog)....

 It was time to have a go so i cut out as first piece and glued it down with the good old PVA.

First thoughts are that its easy to work with. it looks OK, but I will still be doing a bit more colouring to lighten it up. The inside bits in the roll are a bit flat, and I'll leave this spread out from a couple of days to see if it improves.
The huge plus for me is that it has saved a vast amount of time, given that I would have to acquire a static grass dispenser, get the grass, then spend time learning how to do it all. Add to this the fact that I don't think static grass works visually (it just doesn't look right to me, especially when some seem to think its the bees knees).

I also added some offcuts from the mat to do some other areas at the Wellington end of the layout.

 These pieces will allow me to have a bit of a play with ballasting, plus I will have to do some work on the shaping of the main road.

However, I could not resist having a bit of a play
'The back one probably is broken down'
This reveals that I really need to add the cowcatchers to the Ed's, and that from close range code 55 rail still looks too big. Oh, and I need to do something about those cars (colour wise)

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Saturday Morning

Well, it seems to be the only time I get to blog round here at the moment. My large project is winding down now (just the analysis to finish up) so there should be more time for summer pontificating.

Time for a further episode of 'whats in my room'.
This morning we have the workbench and surrounds.

 Here we have the top of the 'railway bookcase'. The Bosphoran army is on the wrong side, but appears to have made a hostile takeover. There are a collection of loco mechs (a couple of SD-7's and I think the remains of my first DFT). A wooden train whistle from a preservation site in The British isles. There are some etched birds, and then containers of 'once were models' that I've got so far with. plus a collection of old wheels and bits which quietly wait their turn for fame. Also note part of the poster from Sir Peter Jacksons first film. I still wonder if the movie men would have advanced him so much money for the lord of the rings if they had seem 'Meet the Feebles'. The Pith hat is for BBQ's

 My actual workbench. not a lot to see here. More UGA's ,a British 2mm good shed and some random tools. Also some 1/2 assembled microtrains couplers. I seem to have found my knack for firing the springs off into the never-never again. In the plastic case are a collection of Teddy bear cowboys. The less questions asked about those the better.

And the layout, which is where most of my projects are kept/left to die. I've been doing some work on the station platform in the last week. The side has been filled and painted, which lead me to notice that the paint wasn't sticking to the foam board very well (at all). this has lead to a bout of sanding and repainting, but I think I'm going to have to mix some talc in to get a decent asphalt surface.I also have a quick solution to my hillside scenicing, which I'll look at deploying tomorrow afternoon, when its rainy.

Right, its sunny, I have my end of year bonus so apparently its time to visit the local garden shops....

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Ribbed for her Pleasure: Now available with fewer inches

DB Says:

It must be a while since I last posted anything here since I can't work the blog software anymore.

Among my email inbox of black friday sales spam I see that PSK Modelbouw now makes wee 20 foot containers. I enjoyed their 40 footers in this episode so I must order some of these fellows and give them a spin in a last-chance effort to get myself into the trainroom. If I can still find it.

TT Containers

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Saturday morning

Annoymous writes;

"Completing stuff and not starting additional new layouts is a good policy. I'm in the process of completing a number of unfinished projects at present. It's a real buzz to have modelling projects completed rather than having lots of partly done work hanging over one creating a lingering long-term feeling of dissatisfaction."

 I thought I should examine this further. So, with out further addo, the Man-sion as it stands this morning.

I suppose its easiest if we start from left to right. On the desk out of shot are a collection of 1:105 scale models for the Fell museum in featherston. Visible on the desk is my WW2 early 1944 Russian army that I have been working on since 2007. Back left is Paekakariki, which has been absorbing/sucking time since 2009 (though given that its a 5/10 year project I'm not overly worried about it). Sitting on top of it are too many 1/2 finished projects to mention. OK, I'll try. Engine shed, turntable, more wagons for Fell museam, DCC controller sockets, module connecting tracks, Loco servicing depot, 2 signal boxes, railway station, various wagons. This is just the stuff that has actually been started....

Middle far end of room is a collection of 25-28mm colonial war gaming terrain that I build for something different. Most of it has been used once. Back right is the collection of loco and wagon bits. More 1/2 started projects than a goblin could shake a stick at (unless you can find a goblin who is particularly adept at the art of shaking sticks). Further right is the work bench, with surprisingly few projects on it (possibly making it the cleanest surface in the room). A collection of war gaming armies (WW2 1944, 1980's central front, 15th century western Europe). Finally on the sofa there is a possible base for the smallest NZ120 layout yet, as seen at railex, and Wahio Forks, which is in the middle/start of a point blade replacement project as all the first attempts were not good enough for fine scale track. Oh, and in the Garage is my bush tram layout that needs work.

So, I feel that there is plenty there to create a lingering long-term feeling of dissatisfaction. Maybe lingering should be removed from the previous sentence?

As an addition to this post, I suppose I should 'unvail' my current reading pile.
(in no particular order)
The 4mm engine, a scratchbuilders guide.
landscape modeling.
Signaling in the age of steam.
The broad gauge of the GWR, BER, NDR and SDR.
Modeling the broad gauge.
Broad gauge broad sheet No 68
Broad gauge locomotives.
GWR 0-6-0 standard gauge locos

Not a shread of NZR reading material is there, though maybe a tip towards my next project (but in 2mm, of course). Maybe I should exchange it all for copies of Railfan in the hope that I can get back on track?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Snowed under

Well, a slacking off of postings in the last few weeks. A few big projects at work that have slowly chewed up my enthusiasm over the last month. I was going to be largely shot of them today, but due to a few hiccups they grind on another day. Then hopefully (which it appears is not a scientific term) things will slow down for christmas.

Apparently Pokaka was just this last weekend gone. I completely forgot about it.
Reports/rumours that I have received appear to indicate that a range of 9mm wagons was unveiled using 3D CAD and resin printing. I have yet to come across any photos  though. Probably they are on face book.

I'm currently trying not to purchase some 2mm society wagon kits. I really should as it might indicate to me once and for all that the scale is far too small and I'm wasting my time. I can live without trying to build another layout, given that's there are currently 3 on the go.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


So, there's an excursion from Fielding to taihape and back hauled by Ab663. Now I have many failed attempts under my belt to actually photograph excursion trains, and this one started no differently. I keep forgetting that to go west out of Palmerston North, one first has to traipse across Palmerston North. To cap it all off the chariot demanded fuel. So, the plan is to get to the Rangitiki bridge the other side of Halcome. I had previously scoped out this spot, and it seemed like as good a time as any to try it out. The train is due at Marton at 4:15, and Fielding at 4:40. So, at 4:15 I'm at Fielding with the target location being the other side of 1/2 way to Marton, and the sky a selection of shades of grey. Optimistically I continue, but decide to take a back road that follows the railway just in case. an interesting drive and I pull up at a commanding spot and ponder waiting here. No sign of any smoke so I decide to push on. The kilometers wind off with no sign of a train round any of the road corners and so I make it too the bridge. Wonder if I have missed it somewhere in passing. . The plan is to walk down the west bank and onto the river flat. Its so windy that I can't hear anything train like coming down the hill.

1st problem.... theres a bit much water around

'Its flat, but....'
 However I do notice a track down onto the flat from the other side. Away we go.

 As I'm crossing the bridge, I notice a car ahead of me pull off the road. A guy hops out of the car with a camera the size of a small south pacific nation. So, I'm not too late. I barrel down towards the river past them, and turn off. Some bastard appears to have blocked the access way. There's nothing to it but walk.

 OK, so here's the view.

Walking a bit closer gives me this.

 I decide on a spot about 1/2 way between the 2. All the time I can hear the train moving down the hill. These steam excursions do not make much noise and suddenly here it is.

In retrospect Its a bit far away, but at least the suns out.

 Returning to the car, I find this spot which could well have resulted in a far nicer picture, if only I had looked behind me.

The decision is then made to head back to Fielding and catch the train along the railway reserve at some point. And this works too.

'Classic leaving shot there'

 Down at the station the train is moved off the main line. I was going to write quickly, but by the time its headed down to the far end of the yard and back a good 20 minutes have passed.

 The sound of crossing bells announces another train, this time an express freight from Dorkland that barrels through at a great rate of knots.

'Its OK, I'm standing in a carpark'
I decide to try something arty, despite the fact I only have a 1 in 5 chance of shooting at the right time between moving 40' containers

'Ta Dah'
 Finally the loco gets put away, and I head home.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Well, the weather was sufficiently inclement to allow me to spend some time in the shed. after a bit of aimless pottering around I decided to make a start on the module join that I had not sorted out due to a lack of track joiners. With the track saw the offending bits were quickly removed and its now ready to properly sort out the track across the joins.

Further progress was held up by the lack of a charged power drill to fix the hinges to the boards.

Thursday, November 08, 2012


Another short job in the Man-sion tonight. I was cleaning up the road crossing that I had filled at the start of the week, when I cast my eye wider to see if there was anything else that I could fill. I noticed the platform that has been sitting there for quite a while with no work done on it. It was planned to be temporary until I could replace it with something more solid, but given that its now been there for year, it seems to have won the battle. So, it was out with the filler to tidy up the ends and also fill the holes in the sides.

 I then did some alterations at the north end. I have not really been happy about the height of the hills, so it was out with the craft knife. Taking 2 inches off the top (Its been a while since a barber could do that to me) has opened up the loco depot nicely.

Must get something done about that empty turntable pit.....

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Back to the shed

I finally made it out to the man-sion tonight, the first time in a week or so. I must sit down at some point and make a list of potential projects to work on the get some momentum on this project. I did a bit of pottering on the road crossing filling in some of the gaps where the DAS had shrunk. I'm not sure how to use this stuff. Theres plenty of people on RMweb that seem to make it work, maybe it needs PVA mixed with it.

While I was working on this, I noticed a purchase from Railex that I have neglected to mention. Found in a box under a table was a collection of TT scale cars. Sifting out the convertibles, I found these 2 models which fit for my 1960's time frame.

 These look like 1960's vintage European cars, possibly of an eastern bloc persuasion. The one on the right is fortunately too long to be a Trabant, but does bear a passing similarity to British cars of the period as well. The one on the left has more of an American look. It reminds me of this shot from the Western Langford collection.

This however looks like a Fiat of some sort (I have no idea, I just make things up as I go. Both a good thing and a bad thing in my profession). It does give me some ideas for a group of photographers on the layout, though the hairstyles will be hard to model

I brought 4 at $5 a pop (which is OK I thought). I'll paint the tires black, and give them a wash of Tamiya smoke and a matt varnish, which will tone them down nicely.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A question

Pondering time today. There has been a rush of work on the 3D CAD printing lately, with quite a few models produced. The quality of the print is not easy to make out at the moment, but for those of us wanting a 'close enough' model, the future does look bright. I must admit to being unconvinced but far be it from me to stop anyone making models, as long as they are in the right scale. It even has me wondering if I really need to put wires on the insides of my J sheep wagons (they are a pain in the ass to do and there are quite a few of them to finish). The inner finescaler seems to be rather quiet on this one as I'm keeping him occupied with dreams of 6 and 8 coupled loco mechs. I'll have to find a coin to toss.

This also raises the question about the state of S scale at the moment. Is there anyone actively modeling in the scale? Is there any progress? Is there a forum that we don't know about or has the scale fragmented into small groups isolated from each other? Likewise for the 'other' 9mm scale.
Enquiring minds do wonder....

Monday, October 29, 2012

RailEx - Day 2

 RailEx, I'm back at RailEx. Back in the horticultural hall where 19 years before Darryl and I built our first NZ120 layout together, the night before the show.

Since I don't do religion, getting out of bed on Sunday any time before 10 is a struggle. 7:30 was a bit of a stretch. Especially when you get to the hall and get asked  'what took you so long?' and 'why do you live in a hick town?'.

Arriving at the hall, I was type cast as a forward thinking adhesive user by soldering iron wielding Luddites and so held up the front end of the demo tables with Michael. My detailed explanation of why one uses adhesives and that heat will not melt 2 pieces of wood together were completely lost on Mish, but she did bring lunch for all, so it sort of balances out. Sitting down,  I followed the instructions I had been left, which was reach into the bag and start whatever came out.

'A lightbulb moment, Just as well I wasn't bending over...'
Fortunately the options were UGA or J.
Anyway off I dived and grabbed a couple of UGA laser cuttings (as I wanted a couple more for the layout). These merrily went together with pauses only to play 'hunt the piece I want' in the bag of bit. Oh and interacting with the public....
This seemed to go well. I didn't scare any small children that I could tell.

I knocked together 2 Uga's and then cast round for something else to do. A J seemed out of the question (I only had an hour left) so I went for the only think left. An enquiry received the reply 'You mad rash fool!' which is technically not a 'No', so I assembled a G scale Uga as well. If there is another one cut, I think I could do it blindfolded.

Also on the table was a 5" radius cirle of track where the Cb and rail truck put in a good day in their first real test run. I started off with running them singularly, but since I had the DCC box I discovered I could run both of them at the same time without too many collisions. The railtruck ran a bit hot, but the Cb was fine after running in circles all afternoon.

All in all not a bad show, I had a quick wander round the layouts but nothing overly grabbed me again. had an interesting chat with a fellow RMweb member about operating show layouts. He had not brought his British OO layout as operating it for 2 days was quite exhausting. A roundy roundy was far easier to deal with. Maybe my grand plan to run Paekakariki is a layout too far after all?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

RailEx - Day 1

Am_Fet writes:

Well, obviously a full weekend leave pass was never going to be a goer, but when MD stated he could only make it for Sunday, I quickly volunteered for its a family tag team, as it were.

I rocked in Saturday afternoon and found Michael, Mish and Cabbage already setup around their "Kai Iwi" layout and hard at work, although I do think there was a severe case of discrimination involved; Obviously those will soldering irons and panel beating tools wanted nothing to do with those using adhesives, and so we sat back to back all afternoon......snobs....

Luckily Mr Laser had called through earlier in the day and dropped of a bag that, after what looked like a trip across a narrow rutted road at speed, contained several loose J and Ug jigsaws.  After taking 15 minutes to sort out and set up, I got on with it.

Or to be more precise, I didnt.  A lot of interest was shown in what I was doing by the paying punters, so in the first 2½ hours I had succeeded in finish a side and an end....and was beginning to lose my voice in the process.  I had printed out a screenshot of MD's award winning J5, and most people were astonished that the bits I was squinting at actually made up into the model pictured.  Cabbage also folded up one of his brass underframes in a spare 30 seconds and, along with his Nz120 container wagons, created a lot of interest.  More screenshots of Peters burgeoning Shapeways creations featured regularly in discussions on how our scale was being helped by technology (Here is his shapeways shop).

A few highlights:

- "So, what are you doing?"  (My answer was "Going Blind!")  (I got away with using that joke all afternoon...)

- A women and her two teenage daughters (Hello, girls!) spent a good 10 minutes talking to us before admitting her husband had his trainset in a box and in 28 years of marriage it had never made an appearance....and she dispaired if it ever would.  5 minutes after she left, said husband appeared and sheepishly admitted he'd been sent over by his wife....and then stayed for 10 minutes himself!

- Michael nearly getting into fisticuffs with one of those "special people" who inhabit exhibitions (although, apparently, not as many as follow steam excursions which seem to double as Asbergers Conventions) over what scale we were modelling in...."So, its 3mm?" "No, its 1/120"....apparently its all the Poms fault (of which this gentlemen was one) and their inability to do scale conversions properly when it came to make model trains.

- Giving away my meagre collection of business cards (okay, I only had 3!) to serious punters who I hope to hear back from.

- Mish producing (as if from nowhere) a 44 gallon drum of V (or similar sized can) just when it was required.


-Can people please stop using sound???????????  PLEASE???????  Sure, it looks great when you stop and look at it for 20 seconds, but hearing a f***ing CHUFF CHUFF CHUFF noise for 4 hours would have St Francis of Assisi kicking babies....I think it was the monotony more than anything else.

-Realising that I couldnt remember how to put together my own kit (Doh!).  Only had to backtrack twice.....

- Getting a sore back from a bad I think I've picked up some communicable disaease, probably from the aforementioned strange punters.

Well, no doubt MD will provide a writeup of todays experiences....and regrettably I have no photos to show you, as no one thought to capture on film the rare sight of me actually doing some modelling (what were they thinking!).  So I'll leave you with a shot of Cabbage providing a creche service to some children of a stall owner....although whether youd get creche registered that involved soldering irons is a bit doubtful....although we only had 1 minor burn from a soldering iron (something you only do once!).

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fooled me...

Saturday afternoons modeling session started with the forced eviction of an interloper who obviously couldn't tell the difference between the New Zealand bush and my highly detailed (though incomplete) replica.

'Looks like it might be a bit harder to shift than Hone'
'Seems to have the right number of legs left'
 I'm happy to say that it is now enjoying the exotic delights of an old woodpile behind the garage in the company of its mate who I found trying to bum a lift to work in the back of the car on Friday morning.
This incident has now added 'Weta creek' to a list of possible names for this scene.

With that out of the way, I decided to have a crack at highlighting the Cliff faces. This was done by dry brushing shades of grey starting with a mid grey and working up to a light grey. I will still have to to a wash of dilute black to add the shadows to it, and then glue on some foliage.

The only problem is that it now screams 'bad wargaming terrain!' at me when I look at it. I may as well be playing warhammer.