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Jol Wilkinson

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Everything posted by Jol Wilkinson

  1. Lovely models, great work. You have set yourself a bit of a challenge modelling the 1870s, most of the LNWR 4mm kits available tend to be from the later 1880's and 1990's.. I chose 1907 as a date for my modelling as it has the widest chioce of earlier and later locos and stock (even then it gets a bit bit variable if their is a kit for something I like).
  2. I an happy to tell people what my hobbies are, but usually say I am a model maker rather than that I am a railway modeller. That usually provokes the question " what sort of models?" and I respond that I make models of what was the WCML in Edwardian days. I find people then either change the subject (so as not to show their ignorance?) or become a bit more interested. It is a shame that railway modellers haven't always had the best press and that the traditional stereotype view seems to live on. Other hobbies (painting, playing an instrument, potting, sculpting, gardening, knitting, etc.) don't seem to suffer from this. Is that because they are seen as productive, whereas playing with trains isn't? Of course it is sometimes difficult for others to understand what people get from an interest. Today my wife collected a donation for the charity shop in which she is involved. Eight "Reborn Dolls", extremely lifelike to the point of making us both feel uncomfortable. Apparently popular as surrogate babies for bereaved mothers and comforting for people with dementia, but why people would want to collect them neither of us can understand. They are however, extremely well made, eerily lifelike and cost less than the latest RTR locos.
  3. By using the single stage motor mount, such as supplied by Branchlines and London Road Models with a worm and gear, it was possible to mount longer Mashima motors low down in the frames. The 10xx was good for all gauges and the 12xx for EM and P4. Getting the motor lower down also removes the need to always cut down the motor shaft Another way of shortening motor shafts is to tape up the motor ends to prevent dust and filings getting in and then fit the wanted shaft end into a mini or ordinary drill. Spin the whole lot up in the drill and with a good quality triangular needle file (Valorbe or similar) machine a groove where you want to cut off the unwanted shaft end. You don't need to machine/file all the way through, about two thirds or a bit more to get right through the shaft case hardening. The shaft can then be be easily broken off. This method doesn't seem to create so much heat.
  4. I found that moving to P4 from OO made it possible to improve my modelling considerably. Firstly a set of published standards, readily available jigs, tools and components to build trackwork and models guided me in the right direction. Joining the S4 society and a local Area Group brought me into contact with modellers who were happy to share their knowledge and experience.
  5. Don't get hung up on Mike Sharman versus Perseverance, the object of both is to achieve a three point compensation system. For an 0-6-0 that can be one (end) fixed axle and the other two axles on a single centre beam or two side axle beams and the other axle on a single central pivot. In the first case the motor and gear mount is attached to the fixed axle. Easier to fit the motor, etc. but the rigid axle will impart movement to the chassis/body on poorly laid and jointed trackwork. In the second the motor is attached to one of the twin beam axles. The motor therefore moves with the axle and needs a flexible attachment/restaint to the chassis but the loco will be less prone to movement on poor trackwork. Going back to the OP, I don't have a chassis jig but simply use the tapered end axles jigs from London Road Models. My locos are all compensated, usually with one fixed axle and a single centre beam. I follow Iain Rice's approach to assembling the frames. After fitting the fixed bearings and cutting out the other hornguide slots I solder an end spacer to one frame, the other end spacer to the opposite frame and any centre spacers to one or both depending how many are in the kit. With a long piece of 1/8" silver steel through the fixed bearings I tack solder the frames together using a setsquare to check that the fixed axle is correctly aligned. After finishing soldering I fit the hornguides and bearings using the coupling rods and taper end axle jigs. It's a technique I learned before the HH or Avonside jigs came onto the market so I continued, having got good results. It does help if the kit designer provided L or U shaped spacers and half etched slots in the frames to take them.
  6. What sizes do you have? I might be interested in some.
  7. London Road Models also supply the chassis from their Jinty as a separate kit. How easily it can be adapted I don't know. It will have half etched guides for cutting out the bearing holes to fit hornblocks if required but not the coil spring mounts and cutouts above them as shown on the Comet chassis.
  8. As development and tooling are the greatest costs for any new model the usual way of dealing with it seems to be offering different liveries and names/numbers. That works well for something like the NRM/Rails of Sheffield Precedent 2-4-0 with four "versions" available when introduced, especially as some people are willing to buy more than one version at RRP. The W1 however seems a less potentially profitable case as the was only one. However as collectors/modellers seem enthusiastic about buying almost anything that is new and different, the sales volume could well be much higher than would otherwise seem logical.
  9. Well, they look different. The skirt looks lower on the SEF model and the firebox details near the cab are in different positions. The cab side profile is also different or at least appears so. Which is correct a poor pre-group modeller can't say, but I am sure someone better informed will be able to provide some a more informed view.
  10. I picture you on a stand mounted Raleigh bike with a dynamo, pedalling sedately to charge up a lead acid accumulator to run your models.
  11. "I see this condescending attitude all over the place. The self-identified "real enthusiasts" and "serious modellers" patronising newcomers and younger enthusiasts, then blaming them when they decide they don't want to get involved in clubs and societies where they're clearly not wanted." You may not consider that as stereotyping people who are serious about their railway modelling but I do. However, this isn't advancing the discussion that the OP set out, so I suggest we leave it at that.
  12. Or, just to depress you if they don't turn up, here is one somebody built a while ago.
  13. While you may consider you didn't say those thing that you have denied, you implied it. Clearly you and I won't see eye to eye on what you believe as the impact of YouTube in this instance. I simply think that the influence on this hobby that you believe YouTube has, is unproven and can't be measured to an objective degree.
  14. While creative hobbies have seen a boom in the last two years, it is interesting that most of those you mention are traditionally women's activities. Locally, there is one model railway shop, one large Hobbycraft store, more than a dozen sewing and knitting shops, several pottery cafes and teaching studios, many "cook shops", etc. In Hobbycraft there is little modelling stuff, mainly Airfix kits and Revell paints. During the occasional visit the customers I saw were almost all women or children. There isn't a model shop locally that supplies RC aircraft/boats/buggies or Airfix/Tamiya/Revell plastic kits, etc. kits. So there seems to be a definite shortage of on the ground places for "men's" hobbies (apologies to any lady modellers here). I also noticed, when exhibiting my layout at shows, that the women visitors were the ones that showed the most interest in the smaller modelling detail, while the men were mainly interested in the trains. So my take is that any increase in creative hobbies is probably easier for women than men, given the way that "modelling" retailing has developed. The cancellation of local shows clearly hasn't helped either. I agree with you last point entirely. A lack of confidence/fear of failure in today's achievement focussed society in taking on a new "challenge" may also also relevant. That is something I have increasingly seen at first hand over a decade or more.
  15. Much as you stereotype "serious enthusiasts" . As one that you would - possibly - consider of type because I make models to P4 standards of the LNWR railway set in 1907, I find that most unfair. Despite Simon Kohler's repeated statements on the recent Hornby tv programme that modellers want accurate detail (or words to that effect) there seems to be a not uncommon common desire in this hobby to denigrate those who seek that in all aspects of their modelling activity. You appear to believer that YouTube "presenters" contribute positively to this hobby. Well, perhaps that depends upon what they present and where you are in your modelling "journey". I know quite a few modellers, with different levels of experience, interests and time in this hobby, who haven't looked at YouTube videos (other than old railway films posted on it). Does it attract newcomers, who can definitely say? The statistics show that people follow/look at content but does it motivate them to visit a show, or local club, navigate their way to RMweb, visit a local model shop (if there is one)? I recognise that I am not qualified to answer these questions objectively - I expect very few are - and I have watched very little YouTube or other similar platform model railway content because I found it of little or no relevance. Some of what I have seen I thought facile, ill informed or misleading, although clearly the presenter felt otherwise. If it makes them popular and monetises their activities than I expect they will be very happy. However, I don't see it as relevant to the hobby as forums such as RMweb where there is more social interaction, genuine knowledge exchange, shared ideas and experience.
  16. It's odd that, having been a modeller about sixty years and a member of a Historical Railway Society and two 4mm gauge Societies for at least half that time, I have rarely found the things you describe. No doubt there are those that criticise others for not agreeing to join in their way of thinking/doing things but they are very much in the minority. Too often the "real enthusiasts" are people who talk the talk but haven't walked the walk. Why people don't join this hobby is often something other than experiencing the condescending attitude you see all over the place, although the only places I have actually experienced that has been in a couple of local clubs, where the modelling was quite average and any attempt to promote anything else/better was met with antagonism. We live in a society where creative hobbies aren't as popular as they used to be. Busy lives with little recreational time, family responsibilities, time spent worrying about your social media rating, following Facebook, Twatter, Youtube, etc. all prevent people from thinking they have time to sit down, relax and do something creative. Thinking back to my yoof and early working years, life seemed more relaxed with time to spare. Add to all that the lack of the local shop where you could go and get practical advise and the stuff that enabled you to do some modelling must have an impact. Through assisting a trader at a number of shows for over twenty years, I found that most people joining the hobby were in their forties+. They usually discovered model railways by taking their own children to local shows and, when they were able to find the time/money to spend on themselves as the offspring went off to college or university, they started to look at railway modelling. Whether Youtube is a force for good in all this I don't know. Clearly there will be those that think it is, but the few videos I have watched didn't seem at all inspirational or educational in a worthwhile way. But then, I have been at it for a long time and the Youtubers probably can't offer me anything I haven't already learned elsewhere, from books and videos by "series modellers", face to face conversations with friends and like minded modellers, demonstrators at shows, etc. As for Sam, what little I have seen of his activities makes me think it seems like a model railway version of Top Gear. "Fun" if you are so inclined but not railway modelling as I have come to see it.
  17. I usually put my name somewhere on the etch, as well as that of the kit producer, for copyright reasons. With one exception, the loco kits I designed were inside cylinder or outside cylinder with internal valve gear. The one exception has Joy valve gear, but that can be built as not or partially working if required. As the photo shows, the valve gear is partly hidden by the valance. Supplying that ready built would put the cost of the kit up considerably. The bodyline kits as supplied by Wills/SEF and others were sometimes of rather poor quality and sometimes compromised to fit a particular RTR chassis, which often weren't that good either. My first ever "kit" loco was one such with which I failed miserably (mind you, I was a teenager at the time). However, times have changed and a good quality 3D based kit on a "modern" chassis might be one route forward. However, with the increasing range of excellent RTR models available and the worsening confidence/competence of many in this hobby to assemble, paint and transfer line anything, would it attract enough interest to make it viable.
  18. Talavera and Lucknow both now listed on eBay by ROS, so presumably not so popular as Lucknow in LNWR livery.
  19. Ah, the use of the phrase "not you specifically" would appear to include me with all the "conspirators", un-named or not. Or do I misread your intended meaning? Never mind, recent events mean that I have really got to cease designing stuff anyway.
  20. Success at last, Neal. Interesting video, I was surprised at how noisy the TT drive was, but I don't think I have heard a stepper motor version in use before.
  21. Firstly, they can do harm if they show unsafe practises. Secondly, why do we have to believe this is a niche hobby? Perhaps we should take a more positive stance - which doesn't necessarily mean embracing YouTube to show what we do - but simply be more open and proud of having a creative hobby.
  22. The straightness of softwood appears to depend on a variety of factors, including how and where it is stored. I now get mine from a local builders merchant who store it in a warehouse and it is stored horizontally "flat" on its wide edge. B&Q (stored in an "open" section of their warehouse), Homebase and Wickes all store theirs on end. I have usually found that I need to go through at least three strips to get one that has only slight curvature (but is very rarely totally straight). By comparison the decorative mouldings B&Q et al sell is stored in horizontal racking.
  23. The casting may be okay, it just looks poorly fitted. A shame as the loco otherwise looks well made.
  24. Having watched that video I would suggest that the shop owner is not maximising his sales opportunity for the available space. There are too many spaces where additional items could be displayed and empty hangers would indicate that he is running on rather lean stock levels. It may be that his available capital or cash flow doesn't enable him to hold more stock. That is a vicious circle if it limits sales.
  25. I built three baseboards for a portable exhibition 4mm layout, measuring 6ft by 2ft, from 4mm birch ply girders and 6mm birch ply top. These were rigid, light and robust. Despite setting up/breaking down at exhibitions and transporting in a Transit they suffered from no warping, etc. The ply was strip cut to size by a local supplier and the softwood for the girder spacers and legs was from B&Q. I have embarked on building another set of baseboards and am following the same approach but no longer get softwood from B&Q (or Wickes) as it is poor quality and badly stored). A local builders merchant has much better timber, properly stored so straight. Even so, I wouldn't use softwood for the baseboard frame as it is too likely to warp. Hardwood less so, but it is much more difficult to find and much more expensive.
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