It's officially a day for quiet reflection and I'm back from Warley after what inevitably seems to turn into a spot of retail therapy. And since I've not actually made or done anything - I've simply flashed the plastic in various directions - it seems inappropriate to muse on the fact on a workbench blog. That's for making things.
I finally succumbed to an order from Hattons a week or two back . I'm now the proud owner of a Central Trains 158. It needs a decoder fitting of course, but that is one of the shortfalls in stock for the late period covered. There were also two new Skaledale buildings because they're from my home town and I knew the businesses concerned (strictly speaking Mawer & Plenty is actually Rubery's the Chemist where I used to get the meths for my Mamod traction engine, and Rubery's isn't , if you get my meaning , but I digress) . And while I was about it I had a quick hunt through the bargain list and splashed out on a Base Toys 70's lorry because it was only ??2-50 and spreading the postage across more items helps. Just the sort of thing that might come in handy one day - and then you won't be able to find one for love nor money
How much stuff do we buy "because it 'll come in handy one day" even though at the moment we don't, strictly speaking, have any use for it all?
I've got a cupboard full of the stuff .And a small chest of drawers. A hasty check behind me reveals an S-Kits air-con unit etch sitting on top of a card kit for a building in Barcelona (in 1:100) and one of the Maurice Bradley Bilteezi sheets which was intended for the light rail project.
Which has been stalled for at least five years. The heavy rework of a Bilteezi semi detached (cut down to 3/4 relief) is still in a plastic bag in the topmost of the chest of drawers, unfinished. There were supposed to be two pairs of semis. I can't remember if the second one was started or not. If not , the sheet is presumably in the same pile, underneath the building from Barcelona . Along with the part used sheets for a firestation , started but not finished for a competition, and destined for a club project which may have been overtaken by events. The bulk of it is safe in a shoebox cluttering up the sitting room. Now I've got a bit more time - if you ignore the fact I've been out the last 2 Saturdays and will be out next Sunday and the Saturday after that , and then it's almost Christmas - I may actually get it finished and out of my life
On top of that lot is two Knightwing oil tank kits. They were bought for the fuelling point on Blacklade but proved far too big so were never built. They could well come in handy one day..... Or , more realistically, I forgot to get them into the second hand stall at the last club show. A set of C+L plastic windowframes seperates them neatly from a yellow box containing a Ratio Southern bogie brake. This is meant for the parcels train on Blacklade - along with the LMS BG I've already done - since 2 x 50' vans + 31 will fit neatly into the middle platform without hanging off the end. 50' van + 57' GUV won't - though it didn't prove a real issue when I had the last operating session. I sprayed the sides BR blue when I was starting the SR PMV kit - and that's as far as it got, though I have sourced transfers .And on top of those are some blue and white ABS packets newly bought at Warley. They had axle unit castings for a BR CCT along with clasp brakes , and MJT supplied some suitable etched BR plate W-irons. Somewhere in the depths of the pile of stock are two boxes with twenty -odd year old Lima CCTs from my first modern image layout , which I'm hanging on to, with a view to upgrading for parcels use on Blacklade (tail traffic perhaps) . Though now the PMV's built, the need is less urgent.
The light rail project does see occasional use as a DC test track, by the way - though the electrical connection onto the second board has broken and so it is temporarily only 3' of test track. Another job , midway down the list, that needs sorting. Which is why, when I succumbed to the siren call of the Bachmann stand at Warley and bought a medium sized black kettle, cheap, it went round the test track, to check it worked and run it in before chipping.
Yes, I know I shouldn't have succumbed to a loco I don't strictly need. The idea was that it could serve as a sensible sized railtour loco on a club project (it's a preserved example) - I'd resolved I wasn't going to succumb unless and until I saw it heavily discounted : and there it was. Thank you! Which way is the cash dispenser?
The fact that the project in question is a bit up in the air at present , and things could go in a direction where the kettle wouldn't be needed isn't a great objection. It was "only"??50 , and since it has a tender cab it could - I suppose - appear on Blacklade with a 2 or 3 coach steam special without looking completely stupid. And I could actually use the small number of Mk1s and Mk2s I bought when the local model shop closed down . Not to mention the BCK I bought off the Bachmann stand a while back for a tenner, or the unbuilt Kitmaster Mk1 someone in the local group gave me. Or - assuming we ever manage to build the thing - the little Eastern branch terminus the group intends building. I shall probably find the ER never had any.
Anyway , it's a nice loco. And I don't strictly need it. And in its last 3 outings, the Bachmann stand has caught me 3 times in this way to the tune of ??150 in total. All of these locos might run on Blacklade - but strictly speaking they're not necessary. They're nice locos and they run well, though....
And in the top drawer, on top of the plastic bag with the unfinished semis there is now (since last night) a bag with some laser cut sheets for red pantiles, and some laser cut doors and uPVC window frames. Which I'm sure will come in very handy for- something. These are from a new firm York Modelling , and are some of the first British outline products I've seen using this technique. Its been around in the States for a little while I think. He's also done a low relief terrace kit in 4mm as laser-cut MDF. It requires you to add your own brickpaper or plasticard cladding but that's no problem. Unfortunately I've no obvious use for it at present - Blacklade's far too narrow for such luxuries . So I managed to resist it. (We don't seem to have a smiley with a halo...)
I've also sourced 20 swg piano wire from Eileens - who seemed think Xurons could cut the stuff without damage to themselves. This removes the one obstacle to fitting the last few point motors, unless you could the inertia unit fitted to my drive.
And it looks as if I'm going to have to paint my 150/2 myself, somehow. Anyone know any Halfords car colours that match colours in Regional Railways livery?
The two major omissions were a lighting unit for the Pacer - no sign of Express Models - and a replacement underframe for the 101 , though E. Kent gave me a list , which shows this as a spare. However I risk buying other bits to make up the order.
I'm trying to be good and not buy stuff I don't need, or start more projects . But I reckon I must have spent close to ??150 yesterday - excluding travel
(And I'm not even mentioning the tram habit. 4 kits (etched LCC F, whitemetal LCC snowbroom, Keilkraft W Ham balcony, Streetlevel LCC M) in 4 months. I'm not committed to building Highgate Archway circa 1936. Honest. I haven't got room or time even to consider it. I keep telling myself this, at regular intervals)