fighting procrastination fifteen minutes at a time

Tag: railway modelling

It’s all in a name

I’m crawling along with this project and have been told to scrap it and just move to the final build and be done with it. Then I can move onto the layout build, i.e the fun stuff. However, I feel if I don’t actually finish something I will never finish anything. Ok, it maybe is boring for others but then I am doing it to improve me! So the show will go on and another Yard Office will be produced.

I am certainly learning on the job. There are some things I hadn’t thought about that stand out now that I am on the second iteration and that is about the scale at which we model. As a 2mm scale modeller I have long thought and tried to model the minutia. Stepping up to 4mm suddenly gives that bit more room to breath. I am surprised at this as I hadn’t thought it would have made such a difference to me.

It doesn’t mean I am going to abandon my first love as I really enjoy the element of the “train in the scenery”. But my eyes have been opened to the potential of the type of modelling one can do. I guess we gravitate to a scale that suits our space on the whole. I know there will be plenty of views against this, but if asked “why do you modelling the way you do?” I’m sure the answer will come back, “I feel comfortable in it”

Now I know I’m a bit of a scale tart; I like many things in many sizes. But that’s because I get a different feeling from these scales. For the time being it is on with painting roofing slates, which unbeknownst to me have names, yes actual names!

I’ll leave you with this…

Scratch build Yard Office in Brick
#133 Brick Build Yard Office

Until the next one…

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…

Thwap on the mat

Model Railway Journal Magazine. #281
#130 Thwap on the mat MRJ 281

Look what arrived on the doormat this morning. I really thought that I had run the course of my subscription of the MRJ. But the joy of receiving this package of goodness on this day of freezing rain and general gloominess is one small pleasure in ones rather dull existence. I have to say that there is little that I am necessarily interested in but once again I enjoy reading about the methods and authors of these articles. However I did really enjoy Geoff Forster’s ‘Designs for Bleddfa Raad’ in O Scale. Also John Chick’s ‘My Brain Trains’ bring an interesting slant to modern layout control.

Then there is another one of my addictions that needs feeding on the opposite page from the contents page. Which is “Unconsidered Trifles” from Wild Swan books and I have always enjoyed Geoff Kent’s output.

So once again more food for thought from the great people at Cygnet Magazines. Now where’s my cheque book to extend my subscription for another four issues!

Until the next one…

Boldly going where no bench has gone before

Workspace workbench plans
#129 Workspace Workbench Wonderings

Just as it’s announced that England is to go into another nationwide lockdown I am thinking about all those projects that I have been putting off, mainly for friends that now can, should, will go ahead! I’m sure a lot of us are in the same boat or should that be wagon?! With now more enforced time at home should be a good time to progress our hobby projects.

One of mine it to get my workspace sorted out so I have all the tools I need near me and that I don’t have to keep moving things around. This is somewhat bigger project but think it will facilitate being able to just sit down and just model. Obviously there’s going to be a bunch of planning, which anyone who follows this will know I get just as much enjoyment out of that as I do building stuff. But at the moment I have a real Heath Robinson setup and would really like to make it a lot neater. Things like lights and mounts being permanently fixed would be good

I don’t make New Years resolutions but I would like to try out some different things. One of which is airbrushing. Of course one can go online and see a myriad of ways on how to do it but until one tries there’s no knowing. Then there is the debate of whether it is better to get better or start out with the cheapo kit and if one doesn’t click or progress then there’s no real loss. Anyway more of that story later..

So I guess there should be a wave of progress to report over the coming weeks, but then I may just get bogged down with following others with more interesting projects. Anyway what else do I have to do, well apart from all the jobs not finished in the last lock down! 🙂

Until next time…

That was 2020

Who would have thought, even eleven months ago that we would be in the grip of a global pandemic and that the freedoms and norms that we took so much for granted would have been stripped away from us. Just the simple act of going to a model railway exhibition would no longer be available to us, or standing around in a model shop shooting the breeze or purchasing that much needed supply would no longer be acceptable. Maybe some used the time constructively, but myself, I went in reverse. When we heard of people freed up from the daily routine that were flourishing at a myriad of pastimes, I seemed to recoil inwardly and struggled to motivate much activity in my hobby. I love that it has been like an old friend through time, both through the good and the bad times, but I seem to have this switch that gets flicked when seemingly the best time to make hay is now and I go in the opposite direction.

I started off the YouTube channel to really push myself to produce something, anything really rather than the endless planning and doodling on back of envelopes and generally talking about doing stuff rather than doing it. However after a solid start at the very point when I could have doubled down on it, I went into modelling hibernation. I didn’t start the channel for any self promotion reasons and it all came about due to a friend saying why didn’t I put up a video of all the footage I had taken over the years of our trips out to shows and real railways and I thought huhhh, you might have an idea.

Then the whole fifteen minute modeller idea took form and the idea was to pick a project and move toward this by little steps each day. Well at least consistently every week. Somehow, out of nowhere I decided to model in 4mm and use a gift given to me the year previously. But the ground work needed to be laid in order to get the modelling space that I had envisaged. All of this took longer than I had planned, and I still have a load of ideas that I want to put in place, but they will have to wait till next year now.

The common theme running through 2020 was starting things but not finishing. So 2021 is going to be about completion. I have a load of the projects for friends that are in varying stages of completion. But I am going to try using some new age productivity guru get things done. The irony is that when I get myself sat down at the modelling table I really enjoy it and the time flies by. So I will be taking a dose of my own message and just get something done on a regular basis toward getting first layout finished in 2021.

Some things are not on camera as I feel that its just having fun and I really enjoy getting out the Kato track and switching round some wagons in an imaginary industry. I think its important to play as ultimately I think most of use started out with a train set on the floor, maybe? and its just fun. I think this can be done with any scale or gauge and can be a few minutes or a few hours depending on you opportunity. I think it adds to the serious bit of model making.

And finally I thought I would just add mentions that have given me a joy to follow over a difficult year and really enjoy the journey both these inspiring modellers take. I think that 2021 may be a bit more of the same but I plan to enjoy my efforts and hope that I can achieve at least a bit of the plan.

So as we wave goodbye to the current year just leaves me to wish anyone following my ramblings here a peaceful and productive year ahead…

Until the next one.

Could have been

#121 FRMR Magazines

Since I decided to part with a jewel in the modelshop stock room as I need to finance some upcoming projects they have now found a good home, I am assuming, and will wend there way to Cumbria on Monday. FSMR unfortunately never passed the three issue count due to the untimely death of Bob Barlow. I had always admired his work and was excited to find out that there was going to be another fine-scale mag on the scene. Along side the journal (MRJ) it was soon to become a very firm favourite, much like the Railway Modeller of my youth which I couldn’t wait to collect from our local newsagents once a month. I remember the chores and later weekend work endured to wait with anticipation for the next magazine. Had I known of the existence of MRJ back in the 80s I would have happily sold my grand mother..

Again like the journal, not every thing was to my taste. But that did not stop me enjoying it and learning from many accomplished modellers. But the spread of topics was a good mixture of old and new and the more in-depth look at topics helps focus ones mind on the subject. I have relatively recently come round to the idea of using techniques from other modelling scales and genres. There is a lot to be gained from understanding how others approach common issues that we all face such as weathering and land forms amongst others. I have recently been on a bit of a spree watching military, marine and air craft modellers. All of which have unique takes on tasks we carry out on the railway. This is a bit of a digression from the Review but there I leant of S is for Small and white metal soldering..

I really liked the more in-depth format that covered subjects usually glanced at by popular press and Bob Barlow and team certainly had the direction of the magazine mapped out from the beginning. I would have grown into a firm favourite had it continued. I’m a little bit sorry to be passing these on but I think building something out of them and making memories is a big part of why I started getting rid of the hoard before it was too late. Better to build now than browse tomorrow.. or something like that.

Until the next one..