It's a sign of something - not a good something - that I find myself doing my New Year stock take /resolutions in the middle of January
Twelve months ago I set myself a fairly ambitious programme of catch up and finish. This was tempting fate, I suppose, and Fate duly obliged, wielding a large blunt instrument. At the end of that January, my then employer embarked on a third major round of redundancies . The redundancy process and jobhunting took up most of my time and energy in the first half of the year, and railway modelling didn't happen. Nor did a lot of other things. I then decided, as a preliminary, to try to get on top of the piles of debris and the backlogs which had built up on various fronts. Since I had been seriously overcommitted anyway for several years this has taken a lot longer than I'd hoped, and I haven't been around here very much in recent months.
Come to that, I've been to my club twice in the last 6 months
It's still not done. A trip to IKEA after Christmas produced a small bookcase, what is billed as a DVD tower but which can also serve as a narrow bookcase (good for society magazines, Oakwood branch line monographs and old combined volumes) and two magazine boxes - that wasn't sufficient to clear up the piles of books and it will be back to IKEA for another DVD tower and a lower DVD case (for use as a book shelf) to finish the job. The clear up went as far as removing the long defunct board from Ravenser Mk1 which has been cluttering up the study for an appalling numvber of years. I still have a few shelves with books jammed sideways in the top for want of space but I can see and find things and the study looks like a habitable room not the scene of an explosion. A trip to my Mum's at Christmas removed the last salvagable bits of my teenage efforts at buildings from the Blacklade Corporation Tramways, and the BRMs have disappeared into a box.
So what's been cleared and what's to be done for the new year?
There's little or nothing outstanding on the air-braked front. As I said last year, I don't really have much use for airbraked wagons these days . I duly bought a Dapol KQA to support the cause and handle the couple of 40'HCs I'd acquired. Although the container train has no immediate use at present, it's one thing I'm definitely keeping regardless, and (in a very desultry, unurgent way) I may quite possibly acquire a Realtrack FLA set at some point to complete a train from my own resources. Otherwise this front's been closed down for the foreseeable future
I made further progress with the steam era wagons in the autumn - I really must post the results and fit them with Sprat and Winkles. This leaves those stubborn perennials the ex WD road van and the DOGA COV B on the bookcase. The road van will have to wait till the spring because resin has to be worked outside on safety grounds- for that reason I never seem to get on with the kit , and the awkwardness of using this material puts me off exploring it further. A Cambrian Dogfish and Shark for early period Engineers trains might be on the cards, and perhaps one or two more wagons to round off the collection for the boxfile. I need to fit Kadees or Sprat and Winkles to a few more of my older models to get them back in service. And that, essentially is all that needs doing on the wagon front
So this year really needs to be the one where I finally move on beyond wagons into achieving things in other areas . Starting with -
The Ratio Van B needs finishing , top priority . The sticking point was that the roof needs shortening at both ends. And 2 of the brake blocks have disappeared along the way. An upgraded Lima CCT might be a sensible follow up. Then there's the question of sorting out some loco-hauled coaches from Blacklade as a DMU replacement/steam special set. This is not urgent , and given the complications of fitting Kadees to Bachmann Mk1s, and the fact that DMUs are much more important, it may quite possibly not happen this year
The Ratio ex LNWR BCK got as far as one teak undercoat on the sides and stalled. Unless the group BLT shows signs of progress , there seems no point diverting my efforts in this direction.
I shall probably get rid of the rake of Mk3s I acquired: I can't see I'll ever have the space or need for an HST, and it would reduce the clutter in the study
Now we get serious. Immediately behind the Van B comes finishing the Provincial Pacer I started and which I haven't touched in over a year. This one's needed for the layout, so must take priority. Behind this comes finishing the Bratchill 150/2. Now I have laser cut windows, the last major stumbling block to further progress is removed. A "quick and dirty" rewheel of the Skipper + DCC installation + Kadees may not be not far behind
About the one thing I did get done on this front last year was to buy a Provincial 150/2 from Trains 4U. Retail therapy is quick and easy..... I fitted a Bachmann ESU decoder , and added Pete Harvey's sillhoutte seat etches which look a treat. Unfortunately the Bachmann decoder doesn't seem to support consisting - awkward when the whole point of the 150/2 is to work in multiple with a 153 joining and splitting. So I've got to take it out , replace with the rather pricy TCS 21 pin decoder I bought at Warley, and weather the underframe. The recovered Bachmann decoder can go in the ROD. As I don't propose modelling Worsborough bank before electrification I can't see I'll ever need to consist my O4
Other modest jobs in this area include populating and weathering the 108, and sorting out the 101 - the replacement underframe mouldings are to hand.
And if I've got time on my hands, a DC Kits Cravens needs building
On the RTR front, a Wagon und Maschinbau railbus would be ideal for the group BLT , and a Realtrack 144 in the earlier W.Yorks red and white would be ideal for me. However as that livery won't appear before 2012 , it can be parked until then. As can the railbus unless a) the BLT makes progress and B) no-one else in the group gets one
Plenty to keep me busy on this front
The one bit of "progress" on thisfront is that I bought a discounted 63601 at Warley. A Frodingham O4 withdrawn in 1966 is as good as I'll get. Its a bit over the top for the group BLT , and if that doesn't make progress it's way over the top for Blacklade , but it's a very fine loco and I've redeemed my pledge on the LNER Consensus thread. I now have 2 kettles in need of chipping. And if I succumb to a discounted L1 (Hornby have done one from one of the local sheds.. perfect for the BLT and suitably compact for a steam special - yes I klnow none are preserved but Blacklade doesn't exist either - we're talking alternative realities) that'll be 3...
The Baby Deltic kit has gone to a good home - someone brave enough to build one
The 57 seems best candidate for aType 5 to trip one TTA, so that ought to be a priority for weathering, followed by repairs to the hapless 60
Beyond that, DCCing and upgrading the old 03, and trying to finish the Drewry 04 for the boxfile are the obvious targets, followed by a detailed bodyshell for the Airfix 31 if I get ambitious
That should keep me busy
Layouts require aseperate posting