Monday, August 29, 2011

What was he daydreaming about?

Now it may just be me and my filthy mind, but this book seemed a bit inappropriate for kids...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Building a model railway part 4: Wagons roll!

And actually my wagons do roll because my layout is a little bit lopsided.

I have 11 wagons and a brake van currently, but some of them belong to my Dad I think, so I'll introduce them here, but I don't know whether they are all part of the SCRHC manifest.

Two of these three are definitely mine. The tanker I bought off eBay recently. Both it and the Cambrian open wagon are 1980s vintage Mainline wagons. I bought the ventilated van second-hand for a few quid. It has opening doors, which is quite cool. It doesn't seem to have a make on it, but I think it's by Trix.

These three private owner wagons are by Dapol. They all have coal loads in them. Two of them are local to SCHRC, but the Tom Milner one is from Oswestry, so I think that belongs to my Dad as he collects wagons local to him. (All three might be Dad's.)

This 'rake' of Great Western Railway wagons and brake van are all by Bachmann. Personally I think Bachmann produce some of the nicest and highest quality wagons on the market, although these are a bit dull and grey. I know my Dad bought these, but I think they were a gift. I'm going to try and keep hold of the brake van at least as it is printed up from Dowlais. One of the ventilated vans has 'Fruit' written on the side, which you can just about make out (click on the photo to make it larger).

And finally a splash of colour - these private owner wagons are made by different manufacturers. The Thrutchley one is Dapol and has Cardiff along with Liverpool and Manchester printed on the side. The Trimsaran one is made by Hornby (this one is definitely mine). The Harry Whitehouse one, with the white wheels, is by Bachmann. It doesn't really fit as it's based in Stourport, which is a bit out of the area. But it's a nice wagon.

As an added bonus, here's a collection of lineside huts I've built and painted in the last few weeks. They're small, but add some fun to the lay-out. I even painted the oil drums outside the lamp hut.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

You know you want it!

Do you remember the fugly bunny?

Well, that was just for Easter, but this beauty you can enjoy all year round. Introducing the mother-of-all-that's-fugly* poodle!

Yes, that's right - it's a metre high and bright red. What's not to love.

And all for a bargain £149.95. Because you can't really put a price on 'art'.

*Or as I like to say, motherfugly.

Friday, August 19, 2011

All or Nothing

I've been looking through the archives and found this poem I wrote in January 2009, which kind of meshes with a lot of things I've been thinking recently.

All or nothing

We may get it wrong
As we travel along
And stamp on the brakes
If we make mistakes

We may get it right
To our utter delight
But we’ll have to move fast
Or the feeling won’t last

We may hear the words
And think they’re absurd
Or apply them in detail
And somehow still fail

Do we miss the point
As we sit in the joint
Our prison, our minds
As we numb our behinds?

At the end of the day
We aren’t what we say
What’s really true
Is that we are what we do.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Building a model railway part 3: Locos

I have been doing a few bits and pieces on my railway recently, including soldering (burned fingers - ow!), gluing plastic model kits (fumes - mmmm), and painting (only one accidental transference of paint to clothing -so far).

I have also been exercising my creativity regarding the layout, and stated thinking around a backstory for it. At the moment I'm calling it the South Cardiff Railway Heritage Centre (SCRHC). The idea is that it is based in a smaller industrial yard on the west side of the Taff along the old railway spur that ran parallel to Clive Street in Grangetown.

At present the SCRHC has two locos - one steam and one diesel.

The steam loco is an ex-LMS 0-4-0 'Pug' in ealy British Rail livery. In the SCRHC manifest, this engine is called 'Snoopy' even though the famous cartoon character was a beagle, not a pug.

The model itself is made by Hornby. It runs quite well, although as the current set up is rather heavy with points, the actual running isn't too smooth. It's a cute little loco, though. In fact, it's shorter than many of the wagons it shunts, as shown in the above picture.

The Diesel is a Class 8, which are ubiquitous on the railways even today. Sturdy shunters of this type are still in operation. This one is called 'Pitbull' by the SCRHC enthusiasts, partly to continue the dog theme, but mainly because it's a brute. It's in early BR Green, as found on the Western Region of the national rail network.

This model is made by Bachmann, and features an amazing 'creep' feature. The model can move very slowly, which is a challenge in model railways. At some point I will shoot some video so you can go 'Wow' too.

You may notice that behind Pitbull is a platform, which is a relatively new addition to the layout.

In this view, it's a bit clearer to see. The platform is a Knightwing kit. The shelter had to be built and painted. I have chosen a sub-GWR beige and olive colour scheme for the SCRHC, and have painted the platform fencing to match. The benches are Peco and were originally bright green. I have painted them olive so they look better, and match, of course.

As yet I haven't named the station. I'm thinking of calling it 'Grange Gardens' after the park in Grangetown, but it may yet be 'Ferry Road', 'Clive Street' or even something totally fictional. It doesn't matter at the moment, as it's deserted. There are no passenger services running on the SCRHC line yet. That will change when I buy / build a coach.

The two wagons in the picture are both vintage Mainline wagons made by Palitoy in the 1980s. I'm not sure where the Cambrian one came from - I think it was a gift from my dad when I built my first layout. The tank wagon was a recent purchase off eBay. (More pictures of wagons will be posted another time.)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday, August 05, 2011

To boldly Lego

These little guys, representing the Roman God Jupiter, his daughter Juno, and the astronomer Galileo are being sent by NASA to Jupiter soon! (More details)

Kinda awesome, but at the end of their trip they'll be crushed under tremendous gravitational forces into nothing, which is kinda sad.