fighting procrastination fifteen minutes at a time

Tag: daysout

A note to End On.

#132 Llanymynech Lime Kilns. copyright Ordance Survey.

After a chat with a friend earlier this afternoon, talk came round to a discussion we had last year at the beginning of the COVID19 lockdown and was based around a heritage centre not too far from his home town. But what sparked my imagination was the intersection of boundaries.

Let me explain this a bit. The boundaries I talk about are both between land and water, standard and narrow, and nations. So in this small space of land, there is so much to model. It covers just about every one of my interests when it comes to narrow gauge. Those being rough and ready rails, canals, offloading and a bit of standard gauge thrown in for good measure. The other interesting fact about this location is that the boundary between England and Wales runs down the middle of the road in the village of Llanmynech and ran between the inclines that ran up to the lime quarries.

This is a project to be filed for another day, but I love stumbling across out of the way gems and noodling plans out of the landscape. Looking into the history of the location conjures up a very different picture of the landscape today. Once again StreetView helps research the remote location. The internet machine turns up so much information so that one can start to get an idea of how the proposition could be brought into reality. I think like a lot of these ideas I stretch and bend the truth but then I am not trying to remodel history, just taking parts of it to create a cameo. Something that will fit in my small spaces but will be of interest.

So a bit of Googling shows some background to the area and location to model. Flipping back to previous run-bys shows a better picture of the main wharf that would be modelled.

This second picture shows the view from the quarry looking down towards Llanymynech village and canal. It gives some colour to the monotone maps that give the operational detail. If we can ever get out of this motionless state, I will once again visit my friends in Wales and scope out this fascinating slice of the past industrial history.

I like the fact that this lends it’s self to an end on layout which is pretty unusual as most if not all are side to side. The fact that it combines several interests is just a bonus. This needs more research but is filed away for that rainy day.

Until the next one…

Showing up

Ebor  Group Of Railway Modellers Show 2020

Every now and then will need to push oneself to do things that one may not necessarily think about I want to do. This Sunday just gone, I decided to go to a model railway show in York. It is a small show has been running for nine years now and which I have been to a couple of times before around about the time it first started. As exhibitions go it is probably one of the closest ones to me but certainly not the largest. The main show at York is the Easter one which is situated at the racecourse in the Easter weekend. However I have been itching to get some provisions and also some inspiration. I always find going to a show usually triggers of ideas. This was no exception and there were three layouts that gave me a lot of food for thought. Talking to the owners the highlight of the show.

Much of what gives me inspiration is not the size of the layout for the number of trains, although there are some pretty stupendous large layouts; Copenhagen fields, Gresley beat, and Apethorne Junction. It may be just a quirky idea that the owner has had, or maybe some constructional solution that I haven’t seen before. In fact there was a number of these at the show.

Not for me the main line expresses thundering by, but a lone local shunting wagons around a small yard is far more interesting to me. I know this is not everybody’s cup of (insert beverage of choice) but I have long been fascinated by these bucolic scenes. I didn’t grow at the time when this was part of the living history but with the wonders of the Internet I can easily recreate these visual memories.

When one goes to a show there will always be a number of layouts that grab you and the majority that you may not find necessarily interesting to your interests and scale or scales. However I am trying to teach myself keeping an open mind is far more beneficial in the long run. One can learn from just about any body standing behind the layout as they have achieved something that I surely haven’t, yet. Whether that be an interesting take on creating scenery or a particular method of Electricals, there is some nugget to be teased out of a conversation. For far too long I have said and thought to myself “oh I don’t like that because… “However that was limiting my learning experiences that I could’ve been picking up from.

It is really all about the story. Whether that be the layout that you see in front of you or the person behind that layout. Both have interesting stories to tell and hopefully you can hear them. This weekend was very much all about this conversation. Thinking that I would pop in and have a look round take some pictures and video and then lead to meet up with family was far from the reality. Time flew by and in what seemed like a moment my phone was buzzing in my pocket with messages asking “where was I?“

For about three hours I had three conversations that were way beyond the value of the admission which was a poultry £4. I would’ve paid 10 times that for the inspiration and advice that I received from the very knowledgeable and gracious layout owners. I’ve always found that the best conversations I’ve had at railway shows have been with small layouts. I don’t know whether it’s something to do with the physical connection to their audience or whether it is that they have more time to be able to talk to people in front of the layout.

So what did I bring away with me from the show, well apart from some Rocket glue for my card building models that I’m working at the moment, I had an affirmation that my small space, shelf layout space, was going to be more than adequate for my needs. I think that I will be able to pretty much get everything including the kitchen sink in if I so wish. I also came away with some ideas for layout operation like point and signal operation, and ideas for transporting layouts around if I was ever to be invited to a show. I was once again reminded that for myself “Playing is important“ and having a layout to be able to do this with his key. Even if I switch a couple of trucks around for an hour that is really what I’m looking for. Don’t get me wrong building things he is just as important as playing with things as after all we are just playing trains.

You can check out my visit to the show over on my YouTube channel. Unfortunately you never get the real experience of having been there but I have caught a bit of the essence of the show.

EGRM Heworth, 2020 – Full Video – MODEL RAILWAY

Awayday plus three

It is still some what of a frantic time with much dashing around but not much actually physical progress at the moment. I am however getting a lot done behind the scenes, setting myself up for what I really want to and need to be doing. In fact I’m not sure if it’s because I am being way laid from the hands on work or whether the gods are smiling on me at the moment but I am really fired up with all the projects I have whizzing around my mind. Maybe it is because the winter nights are drawing in and traditionally thats when more work gets done just need to find the time to do it.

One of those diversions was a weekend away in Wales that I referred to in my last post. I seem to be making the trip down to see my friends in North East Wales about twice a year which usually consists of a day of trains and a day of walking. This time however with an appointment on the Tuesday I spent an extra day there and as it was a school day we had the opportunity to slope off and take in an event that both my friend and I wanted to see, it being the last opportunity to do so. The event was a sister loco to the Snowdon Mountain Railway steam locos over from the Rothorn in Switzerland.

The first day was spent at Crewe Railway Heritage Centre, nestled right between four lines in and out of Crewe. It was once one of the epicentres of the railways but now is a shadow of its former glory. There is the one remaining train manufacturer left in town though not a resident rather a transient visitor. There is also the rather sad figure of the Brits efforts at an Advanced Passenger Train and like many of the ground breaking projects money was whisked away before the the project was allowed to mature. Even today with a new coat of paint and a spruced up interior it would cut the mustard, pass muster and any other phrase you car to think of. As can be seen from the pics though time has not treated it well left to its own devices and the elements. I wonder if one day some preservation group may come along and attempt to save a deteriorating piece of our past like others have, ATP-E, HST-P, H-BEL amongst others.

The second day was spent at the Seven Valley Gala and the weather gods shone on us! There was a lot going on even at the passing halt Hampton Loade. There were some pretty big celebs of the loco world there with Britannia and Royal Scot being the ones we managed to catch. I also finally managed to catch up with the NELG J27 Loco that had been on my local line for a month and somehow I had managed to miss it before it headed off down to Bewdley. No doubt it will be back next year on its more natural stomping grounds.

I have managed to piece together some video from the camera which seems to have decided to go mute at certain sections and introduce a certain amount of image stutter also. Maybe its trying to tell me something, but at the moment I have more pressing needs for the hard won pennies so I hope that the limping duo of camera and phone can carry on till point where they can be decommissioned.

I have also started learning a bit more about taking video and I can see that my efforts lag way behind my visions of what I should be creating. But then I don’t have large chunks of cash invested I’m my equipment unlike my friend. But  as the saying goes the best camera is the one you have in your hand and it’s also more about the shots being taken. I would however like to sharpen up my skills a bit. I week of watching some beautifully shot European railways has certainly given pause for thought.

I was going to post my first video but it would seem that the ducks are not in a row and it’s still uploading and on the basis that I post every Sunday I’ll add it tomorrow when the old laptop should have done its thing!!

Until next time..

Days Out – 2018 Seven Valley Railway Gala

It has been over a year since I visited the SVR for it’s annual autumn steam gala with my friends and again we took the walk through the xx country park ending up at Hampton Loade where we watched trains and ate cake. The was a star studded cast of locos with Britannia in the leading roll. There was also Royal Scott and the recently rebuilt J22 amongst others.

It was a beautiful autumnal day with distant whistles and the exhaust bark that could be heard up and down the Seven Valley.

Many photos were taken for reference such as tress and the general landscape in wonderful autumn colours. As I’m away from home I am absolving myself from 15minutes as I’m doing prototype reseach. I’ll post a short video once I’m home of locos going past!

Until next time..

Swag mags

Whilst away visiting my friend Andy in Wales we had a day out to the mixed traction gala at the Seven Valley Railway. Having walked down through the Seven Valley Country Park, a lovely shaded path next to the railway and the river Seven with some great places to stop and take pictures of passing trains, we arrived at Hampton Loade for tea and cakes. After a flurry of activity of passing trains my attention turned to the bay platform where there’s a few wagons on display and one of which has a little shop inside it. In there I found a stack of MRJ mags way bigger than I could either afford or more importantly carry back to the car. So I selected out around a dozen and handed over the princely sum of a fiver. On talking to the man in the shop he said that lots of people come with lists of what they want. Doh! Why didn’t I think of that! Oh well better armed for next time.

I love the old MRJ’s and although it seems aimed at the larger scales there is so much to take from the content even if it’s not my cup of tea. Anyway some nice bedtime reading to keep me going and until I can return with my list I will take inspiration from some great modellers. So until the next one.. when I promise to have some modelling to show.

Once again…..

Ok, so this time I looked it wasn’t so bad in the length of time since my last posting to my blog though no physical work has taken place since then mainly due to a move of house that took some doing. However on the plus side I now have a dedicated, warm and comfortable space to inhabit and model. I will add more detail about space and plans in future posts as I am still wrestling with a ton of home chores including build my own bed and a stack of book shelving. So that in turn leads to other ‘dependencies’ in the works i.e. clear out the garage to make space for the tools that making things with are needed then that will lead on to works starting on the railway front. Well that’s the plan.

I am quite excited as I have a space of around six foot six inches, so a typical shelf layout space however I have some ideas for this to help combat my attention span deficit. Then there is the work bench that needs to be planned and as this is a multifunctional space it is going to need to accommodate a computer space too, more of that story later.

This spurt of effort comes about from attending the NEAG35 meeting for the NE Area Group of the 2mm Finescale Association, to mark 35 years of their illustrious group. I met up with the guys from the group I use to be in when I lived in London and got to see their layout fully operational for the first time. I can only claim to have soldered a couple of wires in the control panel but it is a truly great layout in many ways but not least for the architectural modelling and a really talented bunch of modellers they are. For more and better pictures take a look at their blog as I was too busy having fun playing trains! Following on from that my friend Richard and I, who was up with the operating team but stayed over for a day, had a day out at the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway where they were part of a 1940’s weekend. The railway had taken on the appearance of one at war and there were loads of people dressed in period clothing seemingly taking it really seriously. This as a roundabout and longwinded way of saying I came away inspired and ready to fire up 15minutemodeller again and to actually achieve something.

So the mean time I will leave you with a couple of pics from last weekend and will start put down plans and progress, though typically Summer has come to this corner of the world and the desire to be outside may outweigh the need to model 😀




Grand day out

Yesterday I ventured out to the 2mm Scale Association annual AGM meeting over t’other side ‘o’ pennines in (cough) Lancashire.. I had hoped to have set off in reasonable time but the usual family timekeeping or should that be time-wasting factors construed against me. So off I set for Burnley as I thought.. The routes out of the Dales are two, a long one and and a long one! The weather was rather Autumnally grim and so I op’ed for time over distance. This meant a trek over the moors and as the mist swirled around the slow moving car labouring up and down its way up the Dale I thought of American Werewolf in London.

Thankfully I realised I wasn’t meant to be going to Burnley and sailed past via the rather ominously numbered A666 to end up in Bolton, apparently pronounced Bo’ton. By this time I was late for the AGM but managed to catch the tail end then it was down to socialising and catching up with friends and meeting new people. Although I missed the last Lancashire and Yorkshire Area Group Meeting I am endeavouring to go to the next which will feature lathes and lathing! woohoo is all I can say. One of the group members is now a dealer for Proxxon and had the lathe and milling machine on show.. drool is not the right word, but German engineering comes at a price, maybe santa will be kind 😉

So after much chatting, making new acquaintances and a slice of very nice Lemon Drizzle Cake and tea I set off back t’Dales invigorated and feeling a bit better about get on with modelling and life.

Here are some pics of the day, not as many as I would have liked as forgot to charge the bats! But a selection of some exquisite modelling. I ♥ 2mmFS 😀

First up Bafferton, a lovely circular layout based on a real location, but adapted. Run by father and son(s)

2mmFS - Brafferton

2mmFS – NER Barberton

2mmFS Micro Layout

2mmFs Micro Layout – Water Lane

Water Lane

Water Lane

Tivotdale Station

Tivotdale Station

Micro Dioramas

Micro Dioramas

Micro 1 - Station name unknown
Micro 1 – Station name unknown

Micro 2 - 1. Station unknown

Micro 2 – 1. Station unknown

Micro 2 - 2. Station unknown

Micro 2 – 2. Station unknown



Corrieshallock - closeup

Corrieshallock – closeup

and finally 🙂