This post is partly to link back to the card Met Bo-Bo, which has certainly been on my workbench and bookcase even if it got a seperate thread of its own: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/63781-elementary-my-dear-watson/&do=findComment&comment=832586
It is now even more finished than before - the shoebeams are on, and a good deal of time was expended on the DOGA test track at Ally Pally trying to make the thing run. With very indifferent results until the wire detached from the back bogie and I bent the pickups away from the wheels. Then it ran fine. I'm still not sure why the MJT bogie etch was shorting out, but shorting it evidently was.... So much for my extra pickups to improve running. This fixed, it proved capable of shifting one of my Ratio LNW coaches and one of L49's featherweight Ashburys (front and back, like certain push pull trains) . I ended up buying a pack of card Ashburys , and although they won't be tackled in the forseeable future I will at least be able to build some suitable stock at some point. The pack also includes some detination boards , which should be a good deal neater for the Bo-Bo than any effort of mine . Thanks to all for kind comments on the model.
Ally Pally proved a rather expensive show, despite my continuing intentions to economise . Despite the push to provide stock for a steam period on Blacklade it has become apparent that I'm rather short of locos that can actually run on a DCC layout for this period. Assuming I don't intend to operate a suburban service with a Frodingham O4 , I currently have just one serviceable loco - my L1. I was therefore looking for something cheap and vaguely appropriate , but the Bachmann stand seemed to be devoid of tank engines , and I ended up acquiring an early BR Fowler 2-6-4T from someone - this appears to be "secondhand new stock" and cost all of £56. It's also more authentic than some alternatives - a quick look at photos seems to show E Midlands LMR locals in the hands of 2Ps , 4Fs, 2-6-4Ts , 2MT 2-6-2Ts, and more rarely 3MT 2-6-2Ts, 1P 0-4-4Ts and Tilbury tanks. Admittedly the 2-6-4Ts seem to be on heavier trains such as 6 coach Nottingham/Lincoln St Marks services, but the Fowler tanks , as the oldest 2-6-4Ts, do feature. The model is not DCC Ready - but as I have a small stash of TCS MC2 decoders and Digitrains couldn't supply any 8 pin harnesses for them this should not be a problem...
Another £50 went with Digitrains - two decoders (UK direct plug and a TCS Z2 to get the Standard 4MT up and running - having read Bromsgrove Models' installation guide I am not looking forward to this...) plus an NMRA plug harness for a T1
£30 more went with a trader who had some Kirk/Mailcoach coach kits - a 51' LNER non-gangwayed full brake , and a Tourist Brake Third . I need some Parcels stock , and for preference something short, and this fitted the bill (as well as Platform 2) - it looks a straightforward kit, so long as I can attach Kadees, and being a parcels van I don't have to worry about getting matt varnish on the windows. The Tourist BTO will be a bit more interesting , as the sides are moulded in clear plastic - the rationale is that I need something with Pullman gangways to run with the BSL Gresley steel CK on the day when actually pluck up courage to build it , and this is something you can't get RTR , is not too grand and new, and delivers lots of third class seats. Both were modestly priced plastic kits
Add in two packs of Modelmaster coach transfers - rumour had it that the HMRS can't get carrier film for their transfers , so I got what was available at the show - a replacement spray can of etch primer, flushglaze for the Dapol LMS noncorridor brake, nose door etches for an Airfix 31, bits for a possible NBL diesel electric Type2 and £25 in petrol and you get to quite a bit of money.... At least I have pretty well everything I want/need for the early period now.
As for the show in general - well, perhaps I'm biassed but it seemed a good one, though something about the atmosphere , remarked on by many can perhaps be explained by the weather. Instead of the joys of spring , Jack Frost had Ally Pally in his icy grasp - and I think the cold did chill the atmosphere. One factor in the perennial debate about prices is easy to miss and bears comment. Car parking at Ally Pally is free (and easy) and getting from the car park to the venue is a 5 minute walk through wooded parkland in daylight. Compare and contrast the NEC where the price of the car park is almost as much as admission, and getting from car park to show means 5 -10 minutes wait for a bus on what is often a cold wet night