Archive for November, 2007

Chain of Fools

Posted in Uncategorized on November 28, 2007 by norvenmunky

A couple of weeks have gone by, with few opportunities to mess about until recently. One of my favourite types has always been the Brush Type 2 or class 31. I used to see these regularly as a kid, and throughout the 1980’s when working in London. Not long ago I happened on a Hornby variant at the right price so I got it, thinking that one day I’d dig it out and tart it up a bit.

I’d not really looked very closely at the model until I took it to bits, well being male thats what you do isn’t it? Without instructions of course. Overall it is certainly close enough for me, most things are to be honest, but as I have a Lima 31 and an Airfix 31 to hand, I had a look at body swapping, as some have advocated. Not quite sure why you’d throw away such a good body and change it for an inferior one but there you are, horses for courses etc. Most interesting was looking at the Airfix body. There seems to be a bit of a length discrepancy. I await the first interweb posting or magazine article of where the body will be lengthened or the chassis shortened. Either way an interesting excersise to be sure, and then there’s the windows and handrails to sort out too. Taking both the Lima and Hornby bodies side by side, there doesn’t seem to be a noticeable difference in profile, I didn’t go any further I couldn’t be @rsed quite frankly, and went back to scribing the Lima body and whittling the bits off that are wrong, ready to stick bits on to make it right. Or flush glazing the widows, or the roof handrails, or the cab interior, making one of course, coz there isn’t one. No one mentions that,… wonder why? I only wish I had more time. As it is, the notion that it’s a practical or worthwhile excercise went down the tube faster than the contents of a bog ostrich’s gullet…….

Still the Hornby body needs a change of stripe colors to start, thats been done with Halfords finest, and this weekend I can see me buying etched plates and decals to complete the face lift.

I may put sound in, having seen and heard the Mr Soundguy unit, it certainly captures the sound I recall, and it’ll be a change from the SWD digital units I’ve used before.

I’ve been thinking about wood quite a lot too, I used to spend a lot of time in them, so I am keen on getting trees right, always a thorny subject. So far so good though.


Four Seasons In One Day

Posted in Uncategorized on November 8, 2007 by norvenmunky


Well I certainly saw that today, with perhaps the exception of spring. Leaving home at four o’clock as the day begins, silently closing the bedroom door, I and another climbing/ photography companion set off for Cader Idris. (N.B. He set off from his own bedroom 120 miles away, just in case you were wondering….) Its quite a long trip to do in a day, there and back with an ascent and descent thrown in once we get there. I added to my tally of kill’s on the way there, with two dozy Pheasants, that wandered out into ‘Suicide Alley’ Near to Dinas Mwaddy. That adds to the total over the past few years of numerous rabbits, pheasants, a badger and a horse. Such are the pleasures of rural driving in the small hours. The climb up was good a realtively quick ascent to our vantage point lugging our cameras and day gear with us. For once the Met men got it right, and throughout the morning the effect of the Polar Maritime air mass made its presence felt, with a significant temperature drop and the high winds ripping through us on our somewhat exposed ledge. Just at the cloud line we occaisionally got glimpses of brilliant autumn colours in the valleys below as occaisional shafts of sunlight broke through the cloud layers.

At mid day the back of the cold front passed with one of the heaviest rain storms I have ever been out in, visibility dropped to yards and it was like being in a car wash. Both of us had camera gear out, neither of them ‘winterized’, putting them away would mean the rest of the gear getting soaked too. The wind veered through 180 degrees and was now full in our faces, the rain mixed at this altitude with soft hail. At this point the descent became a priority, instead of getting a yellow taxi ride off the hill and our own entry in the SAR idiots register 2007. We were fortunate in making a rapid descent to get to the cars so we could change out of our soaked gear and get the cameras into a dry environment. This we were able to do and this evening after a gentle drying out, all are fully serviceable, real testament to the quality of the Eos20D and 1DmkII, and their lens’.

Needless to say once back down the weather continued breaking, by this time the gear was to wet for a further ascent, and the effects of the cold morning would have made it uncomfortable and potentially risky. Common sense took charge and we returned home, a 400 mile round trip with not one snap taken, the things we do for art….


Not an entirely wasted day as far as photography goes though, awaiting me at home in the ‘inbox’ was a request to use one of my pictures in a national mag, so that was nice….

The 40 and 50ft HO freight cars arrived yesterday, all of them by Kadee, and of superb quality. You do pay a bit more for these models but then quality rarely comes cheap.

I’ve still a few more British items to complete, the most recent being a final weathering and toning down of this Bachmann 08. Always raises a grin this one, as despite several errors not least of which is the cab roof profile it gets a far warmer reception that other locos with similar errors don’t.


Losing My Touch

Posted in Uncategorized on November 5, 2007 by norvenmunky


Note to self, let the wife do the kids hair in the future…………..

I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For…

Posted in Uncategorized on November 4, 2007 by norvenmunky

That to a degree in my modelling is true, it’s one of the hazards of having a wide range of interests both within and outside of this hobby. It does however have some real benefits, it allows you not to get bogged down with the minutiae of concentrating on one subject. It does allow you to try different techniques and materials, and share and learn from others how they do things. For example I learn’t a good deal about resin, and resin casting from aircraft modellers, and some of them in turn were astonished to see me using solder for etched components,  for they had been using various superglues for similar tasks.
4mm NER Slotted Post Signal

My current search is due to thinking about what to do for my next projects. At the moment I’m awaiting the delivery of some HO Kadee 40ft freight cars, not my normal type of purchase of late, but the opportunity to show my layout ‘Albion Yard’ as a North American layout has lit a spark of interest to convert it to HO. It’s very near complete anyway, a huge leap from the original concept seen here, to how it is now.


The calling of N gauge has been getting stronger too and having messed around before with it, it appeals as being allowing me to be able to build and complete something relatively compact over a short space of time. There are two or three published track plans that have always held my attention, and the opportunity to build them, and re-visiting a former scale is quite tempting. Not as tempting as an evening in with half a bottle of Tequila and a Space Hopper, but tempting nevertheless….

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Posted in Uncategorized on November 3, 2007 by norvenmunky

Over recent days I’ve been working on diesel locomotives. Specifically in BR Corporate Blue colors as I find this an era I can particularly associate with. There is also a lot of good reference material around, and as modellers we are particularly fortunate that the era was captured so well by many photographers, and subsequently printed in albums by publishers like Ian Allan, OPC, and Bradford Barton to name just three. From these images I can get clear ideas of how the locos and rolling stock looked in service, and in particular the way they weathered. With the quality of todays models it’s far far easier than it was even ten years ago to make an effective and realistic model, sometimes its just a case of adding the paint. A case in point is the Heljan Western, its a loco with an incorrect cab roof profile, however the rest of the loco for me, ‘balances’ this discrepancy out, particularly when I compare it to the three previous versions by Trix, Hornby, and Lima. This is a Heljan version, from a year or two back, not quite as I wanted it so the next one will look better again.

Out of those three, the Lima version was in my opinion the better of them, you did have to be lucky as far as the motor bogie went, some ran as smooth as silk and slowly, and others were rough running and only worked on full throttle. Again the Lima version had severe dimensional problems around the cab, hence the Brassmasters improvement kit. Having spent the time and effort on two of those, I know which is the better and easier option to work on, and its Heljan every time for me.