OK. So here we are at the threshold of a new era. I've passed the point of no return and committed myself to 'putting pen to paper', so to speak. This is my soapbox and Speakers' Corner has shifted from near the site of Tyburn Gallows to a terraced house on the edge of eastern London towards Essex.
These days I spend time at 4D on Leman Street in E1, The Engine Shed on Leytonstone High Road, Modelzone on Holborn and phoning up traders for kits and bits. Brian Roper, Colin Snowdon and Peter Rumbelow dropped in a few weeks ago and you can see Brian's pictures of THORALDBY to accompany my article for the DOGA Journal in the next issue which - I am led to believe - is March 2012. Thoraldby is the result of many years' research, head-aches, kit-building (wagons and carriages) and scenery bodging.
4D is a good source of materials, not necessarily railway-oriented, but the stock a fair range of scatter and other scenic items as well as cans of plastic weld. The Engine Shed is owned these days by fellow Teessider Dave Haswell. He's useful at times, I'll give him that, even if his kit stock is a bit depleted! Modelzone is handy for things like Parkside, Wills or Ratio kits, scenic items and stuff Dave's run out of. The traders I tend to call are handy for buffer heads (Alan Gibson), Parkside (Modelmaster decals Dave's run out of as well as Parkside kits both Dave and Modelzone have run out of), and a few up and down the country on the DOGA list at the back of the Journal. I stopped off at the Monkbar Model Shop at York once to loo around and came away with a bargain Bachmann K3. She's since been entered on the visitors' list for Ayton Lane shed on the Thoraldby layout downstairs. The number she's carrying was a Mexborough allocation, suitable for inward coal workings.
J27, KI, Q6
Do we have any LNER/BR(NE) modellers out there? Don't you think it's about time either Bachmann or Hornby came up with a J27, K1 or Q6? Considering Hornby delivered the L1 - and we all know they weren't exactly successful, yet they got about most parts of the ex-LNER system. There's a full stable of LNER/BR(E) Pacifics now available and they didn't get everywhere, did they? Yet the more widespread workhorses are under-represented. Look at any set of pictures of the NE area of LNER/BR and what do you see? J27's and Q6's up to about 1948-50, and then K1's even as remote as Alnmouth for the Alnwick shuttle! Who do we have to see/talk to to get them 'on the stocks'? Are there any of the Bachmann/Hornby bosses who look at these blogs? So come on, getcherfingersaht! I've got three J39's that would likke to see at least on J27 standing shoulder-to-shoulder with them. I've got a Nu-Cast Q6, but she's an old growler now whatever you do to her motor, a nice, quiet Q6 would come in handy for working in the opposite direction on mineral traffic, not to mention a K1. My two B1's are probably looking forward to seeing a shedmate of the same calibre. There used to be someone at Pudsey near Leeds converting B1's to K1's, but that's not exactly a suitable conversion, there's so much to cut out and the motion's different!
Well, that's one rant taken care of...
What else is there? Why do Hornby's Gresley non-corridor coaches have to be so expensive at Â£30-odd? Good job i've built some Ian Kirk stock at half the cost, even after adding the cost of Comet bogies as well as white metal underframe detailing from Comet/MJT! What price are the Bachmann Thompson non-corridor coaches? It's getting to be a rich old codger's game. The one thing my few LNER-liveried Gresley coaches haven't got are the pre-war NO SMOKING stickers in the windows, and HMRS doesn't do them.
*September, 2012 I've heard HMRS is re-doing their sheets in another format and won't be in production for a while. Meanwhile there's Fox Transfers, a bit on the expensive side but these days everything's pricey!
Saw on the news yesterday Hornby may just break even this year - could be something to do with being overpriced? How many can afford their coaches @ £35 a throw? It's got to be cheaper buying and assembling brass kits, let alone plastic ones!