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A chink of light at the end of the tunnel!

Posted by andyram , 26 March 2012 · 191 views

The sun is shining, the weather is getting warmer and the clocks have gone forward. For some the better weather may actually bring their modelling time to an end, not for me! For me it is likely to be the beginning!

I admit it. I hate the start of the year. Not that I hate winter you understand, let's face it we hardly saw much winter this year. But once Christmas has gone and the schools go back I end up extremely busy. Our headteacher, in her great wisdom, decided that our school reports to parents should be sent out as the children break up for Easter. Most schools wait until the summer, not ours! So on top of the usual day to day teaching jobs, for me, the report writing marathon begins in January and runs until March.

Some people may wonder why it takes so long! Gone are the days when a single, handwritten page, giving an overview of progress would suffice. Now our reports run into 6 computerised pages with several paragraphs on EVERY subject of the National Curriculum. For 37 children it takes ages! And then you have to proof read them, hand them to the headteacher so that she can add her comments, proof read them again, print them off and then proof read them a THIRD time. Great stuff.

So my planned modelling weekend disappeared after a pile of printed reports were handed to me on Friday with the instruction to read and sign them! Lovely stuff! I am sure I will be dreaming such phrases as "could do better" and "needs to remember their full stops" for several weeks to come.

But job done! I handed them back this morning and so the marathon is over and the light has appeared at the end of the tunnel! I can now seriously get down to working on Skaleby West and attempt to get it ready for the show in November.

The show
Talking of the show! After the recent frustration reported in the last blog I can see a little bit of light at the end of this tunnel too. The visit to Mickleover allowed me to chat to a couple of traders and both showed an interest in the show. One booked two tables there and then, and another was 99% certain he could attend. That's five traders sorted. I am already close to selling out the tables I have available from the school's store. I am still waiting on another 4 or 5 traders to get back to me. Then on Sunday my father, who deals in Corgi and Dinky toys, text me from the show he was attending to tell me a railway dealer friend of his had also displayed an interest. Looks like I may need to get hold of the spare tables from the scout hut after all!
I have also had a few messages from another RMWeb user who thinks they may be able to bring their layout and a teaching colleague confirmed he would be able to attend. Perhaps I will have to measure up a classroom as well as the other rooms! I'd quite like that, it means the show will be growing and there will be plenty for visitors to see.

The layout
Obviously there hasn't been too much progress on Skaleby West. But, whilst trying to avoid that pile of reports, I did treat the baseboards to a coat of brown poster paint. I always do this so that I do not start scenic work on bare wood. The brown acts as a base colour.
This evening I temporarily replaced the track and laid out the station platform pieces, using a Hornby brake coach to check clearances. These pics show the layout as it looks today. More to follow....
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Sounds like great progress on the show as well as the layout (and school reports) :) Good luck with starting the scenics. I've just finished the scenics on my 1' test-board. It's very satisfying to see a piece of wood looking more life-like after an hour or so of modelling.

Andy.

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