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All in a day's work - Part 3 (1914)

Posted by Mikkel , in The Bay, Rolling stock, Figures 02 April 2012 · 2,257 views

GWR Monster Figures Foul play
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"Francis, what on earth is that?"
"I don't know, dear"
"It says 'Monster' on the side. How terribly silly. Why on earth would they call a railway carriage something like that?"
"I don't know, dear."
"Perhaps it's for third class passengers? I don't suppose the working classes need much light."
"I don't know, dear."
"Francis, I do wish you were more knowledgeable."
"I know, dear."

As the Longbottoms fell silent, the Monster rolled past them in all its might. This was no. 484 of the P18 diagram, built to carry scenery and props for travelling theater companies. These carriages were recent introductions, and there were only six on the entire system at this time. No. 484 was the first of its kind to visit Farthing.

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Station Master A. Woodcourt was watching the approaching carriage with concern. It had arrived a day late, and the main yard was busy. So he had ordered it unloaded in the down bay. But he was worried about the loading gauge. In principle there shouldn't be any problems, but these new carriages were big, and they didn't normally use the bay for carriages of this size...

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In the cab of No. 835, the crew were also keeping a sharp eye on clearances. They had both worked this bay since it was built by the independent N&S many years ago, and they knew that the standards laid down by that company had sometimes been a bit, well, "optimistic". It would be close!

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Shunter George Mullins, ever the pessimist, was watching the scene with a sceptical eye.
"Well the drawing boys at Swindon have done it again."
"What's that then?"
"Drawn something too big and impractical! It may look fine on their fancy desks, but out here in real life it only leads to problems."
"It seems to be going well enough, though."
"Well they've been lucky this time. But with everything getting bigger and bigger, there'll be no work left for us shunters in the end.You wait and see, in a few years a whole train will just be one long carriage!"

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Much to everyone's relief, the Monster slid neatly into the loading dock, with just a few centimeters to spare.

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As unloading of the carriage began, Woodcourt was confronted by the director of the travelling theater company, Mr Crummles (Junior). Clearly of a choleric disposition, he launched directly into an assault: "Do hurry up! This delay is totally unacceptable! Are you at all aware that we have our opening night this evening? We shall be needing our scenery and props in just a few hours. This is not some petty local act, you know, this is Shakespeare!"

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Ganger P. Quince had seen it all, and was not impressed by the fury of the theater director. With the sarcasm for which he was well known, he muttered under his breath: "Shakespeare, eh? Well, I reckon Shakespeare will have to wait for the Great Western just like everyone else."

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It was at this point that a shout of alarm was heard across the loading dock. As everyone looked up, carter Tom Gradgind stared blankly ahead of him and exclaimed: "A murder, I think there's been a murder!"

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A murder? As he took a minute to gather his thoughts, Woodcourt couldn't help but consider who might possibly commit such a foul act. The Longbottoms? Or one of his staff? Or carter Gradgrind himself? Surely not! And yet....

To be continued...
  • Like x 27

Excellent again Mikkel...and how can you leave us on the edge like that?

Its so much better than Cluedo and the modelling and dialogue is spot on.

Shunter G Mullins with his shunting pole does look a tad shifty in that mug shot above...
Apr 02 2012 17:10
Lovely stuff as usual, Mikkel.

There's another intriguing mystery just below the surface too - theater instead of theatre, centimeters instead of inches (or fractions of an inch, or even just centimetres).

I blame it on that young upstart Churchward at Swindon, and his obsession with foreign practices...

Yes. All the worlds a stage Mikkel.You've just played your part.Brilliantly too.
Job's Modelling
Apr 02 2012 17:14
I like your idea of telling a story around the layout.
Think about using your idea for the design of my next project.
What people lived in the houses? Who is the grocer? What kind of laundry is hanging above the street?
By using different object you can also change from day to day.

One question?
How do you make it possible to set your persons on different places.
Those white metal models have all pins.

Great stuff again Mikkel.

I find your work and stories so inspirational that I have frantically been making space for my efforts long before I get the new shed to put it in. I just hope I get the time and that my skills match or at least get close to your work.

I look forward to the next part eagerly.

Apr 02 2012 17:54
Miss Scarlet in the Kitchen with the candlestick.................

Just love your work its time you tried 2mm :biggrin_mini:
Sidecar Racer
Apr 02 2012 18:16
Renee & Yvette in the cupboard with the egg whisk ........

Oooopppsss , sorry wrong story .

Mikkel , you have once again come up with a great little story , dont take to long
to finish it , I hate suspense . :-)

I'm now waiting for the next installment. All being well it will just be a mannequin that's fallen out of one of the crates and there won't be any scandal in Farthing after all :-)
Thanks all, it's fun to do a model railway whodunnit.

I'm taking notes of your theories, so we can elect the RmWeb Master Detective...

On the issue of centimetres rather than inches... Ahem, bit of a slip-up! But come to think of it, there's a clue in there....

I've tried various ways of fixing the figures in place temporarily. Mostly I simply use a small blob of bluetack underneath both feet. It's crucial that the soles are filed entirely flat. And that the layout is of the solid type! Some of the figures also have more permanent positions, where I use pins fixed in the platform etc.

Apr 02 2012 20:16
On appearance alone, it has to be that suspicious-looking cove Longbottom. You can just see him twirling that moustache in a Terry Thomas style, "me, dear boy, surely you jest"
? looks like captain of the titanic.
Really nice presentation with excellent images.
My vote is for Mrs Longbottom - she obviously couldn't wait to trade in her husband for a new model!

Congrats Mikkel - have you thought of becoming a screenwriter???


Apr 02 2012 23:23

I'm guessing Shunter G. Mullins is the culprit...
I reckon it was the porter. A set of whiskers like he has to hide behind. Plus porters tend to be everywhere but never where they should be!!!!
:laugh: Some rather extraordinary methods of deduction being applied, I see. But then there's not much to go on, is there. Not even a corpse! Wouldn't be very satisfactory if it was a real whodunnit (which is why I'll never become a screenwriter!).

I came across this model representation of a certain master detective . I assume it's Poirot, with an altered name to avoid copyright issues. Unfortunately he is 28 mm tall, which I think would look wrong in the company of the others (25mm is probably about the max height for an OO figure, I would say).
Chris Nevard
Apr 03 2012 09:29
A cracking tale - where will it end up?

Poirot; a shame he wasn't 7ft tall, but probably more like 5ft 2 in real life. I wonder if there's scope to shorten his legs a little (ok, alot)?
S.A.C Martin
Apr 03 2012 10:29
Brilliant! I love it Mikkel. Wonderfully creative, and atmospheric photography to boot.
Ta :-)

That Poirot figure from Artizan does have rather long legs - perhaps they could be shortened. And it seems the Poirot timeline allows for a certain flexibility around 1914... http://www.poirot.us/timeline.php

Hmm, maybe later. Doesn't quite fit this story, as will become evident...

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Apr 03 2012 12:08
I was sold on the opening dialogue regarding third class passengers - hilarious!
Wondeful stuff Mikkel.
I reckon railway staff teamed up for this one to bump off the theatre director for calling The Western's Greatness into question....
and keeping them from a well earned beer of course!

I was sold on the opening dialogue regarding third class passengers - hilarious!

Amazing to think that her sentiments were shared by the early railway operators, eg having 3rd class passengers travelling in rebuilt goods wagons etc. I wasn't aware until recently that some early 3rd class carriages ran in goods trains, not passenger trains!

I reckon railway staff teamed up for this one to bump off the theatre director

Angels and ministers of grace, defend us.
Apr 04 2012 11:37

Amazing to think that her sentiments were shared by the early railway operators,

and that they'd label them 'monsters' :jester:
Hehe, hadn't thought of that :jester:

? looks like captain of the titanic.

Not far off, he's originally a Monty's skipper, modified a bit: http://www.dartcasti...ontys/MSV50.php

Oh, and:

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Apr 04 2012 19:37
Par excellence, Monsieur.

Poirot confidently asserts 'Cherchons la femme!' - an old French proverb has led him to deduce that Mrs Longbottom is somehow involved.

Brilliant stuff as usual, Mikkel. Don't keep us waiting too long for the outcome.
That's two votes for Mrs Longbottom then. I wonder if your suspicion of her has anything to do with her somewhat tyrannical nature? ;-)

The two half pictures above of a certain actor in a certain role provides a clue (well, sort of!).

OK, I really must resist this faffing about and get back to modelling :-)
Apr 05 2012 12:14
I think it's Shunter G. Mullins. Whilst mulling over his future employment, he cracks. He mistakenly takes Mrs Longbottom's look of disgust at him for an amorous advance. He kills her poor husband, thinking that she will be so grateful that they'll immediately elope to Gretna Green and be married at once. He can then enjoy his new found wealth and take up that hobby he has always dreamed of; to model his beloved GWR in tinplate!!!!
Laughed out loud at that one! Great story. But why not Barrow Hill rather than Gretna Green :-)
See that big packing crate that Porter Saunders is about to topple over onto the obnoxious Mr Crummles (jr)? Of course it was a complete "accident", but that small coffin shaped box at the front there proved just too much of a good fit....but it took all of them to wedge the theatre owners body into it and despatch it on the 3.47pm local pick up...
Ah but Monsieur, you 'ave the mind of the devil 'imself !

These stories are much more devious than what I had in mind :-)

I see what you mean about those coffin-shaped crates though...

Welcome to Farthing!

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This blog chronicles the building of "The Farthing layouts", a series of small OO layouts that portray different sections of a GWR junction station in Edwardian days.


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How to eat an elephant
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Gallery (1900-1904)
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The honourable slipper boy (Part 1)
The honourable slipper boy (Part 2)
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Gallery (1904-08)
The trials of Mr Bull
A most implausible arrival
A parcel for Mr Ahern
Blue skies and horse traffic
The Remains of the Day
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Edwardian daydreams


Gallery (1914)
All in a day's work, Part 1
All in a day's work, Part 2
All in a day's work, Part 3
All in a day's work, Part 4


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Short trains for short layouts
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In loving memory...
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GWR 1854 Saddle Tank (1)
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A flexible layout
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