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iL Dottore

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iL Dottore last won the day on December 28 2020

iL Dottore had the most liked content!

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    Model Railways (GWR!, ER 1960s), cooking, travelling, playing guitar (badly) and reading (anything except romances [Ugh!])

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  1. In regards to fitting bogies to the floor, I just realised that I have been a complete pillock: I actually managed to cement the floor in place on the sides but too high (although, in my defence, I must say the Cooper Craft instructions weren’t that good). Which meant that the bogies were actually positioned behind and between the solebars... This has now been remedied and I’ll require just a thin washer for the bogies sit properly (I wasn’t able to perfectly correct the error). Again my thanks to all for your help. iD
  2. My thanks to all for your replies, most helpful and greatly appreciated (who needs reference books when there is the extensive knowledge of RMWeb to draw upon? ) I’ll rummage through my box of bits for vacuum pipes, screw link couplings and the like. And I’ll cobble together a gauge to check ride height, However, and I know I am being obtuse here, but I am still at a loss as to how thick the washer/packing between the floor of the model and the bogies should be. If anyone has had experience of building one of these kits, I’d love to know how they built it. Again, my thanks to all for taking the trouble to help me out. iD
  3. First off, I must say that I did do a search of RMWeb to find something about this kit, but unfortunately I didn’t turn up anything (that’s not to say that there isn’t anything on on RMWeb, but I didn’t find it). For some obscure reason, many many years ago I bought two of these Cooper Craft kits and have decided, given that I am incarcerated in Schloss iD because of the COVID-19 situation, to finally make one of them. So far, so good. I am fairly pleased with the model: the side and the end mouldings are quite lovely, less so the fit and the bogies. And now comes my first question: having assembled the bogies I did a trial assembly and found that I will need a washer between the floor of the carriage and the bogies in order to get the bogies to sit in the right position. Of course, such a washer is not provided in the kit. Can anyone tell me how thick these washers should be? I may have a suitably thick washer in my box of bits, if not I will make them from scratch using offcuts of plastic card laminated together, shaped and drilled out. My second question concerns whether or not these vehicles were unfitted or had vacuum brakes. Although I do have the relevant reference books on GWR rolling stock, they are currently buried behind a pile of Mrs iD’s woodworking materials in my workshop and thus completely inaccessible for the foreseeable future (Hence the questions). Thirdly, am I right in assuming that these outside frame monsters had screw link couplings? (Again, I asked this question because my reference books are inaccessible at present). Fnally, I have to say that although a little gem in many ways, this particular kit is - in totality - not one of Cooper Craft’s best kits: poor instructions and poorly fitting sides and floor (not to mention the relatively poor quality of the under frame fittings). Given that I can only really justify one outside frame monster on my layout (and I am pushing verisimilitude at that), I will swap the second kit that I have for something else with someone who may want to give it a good home (PM me if you’re interested). In advance, thanks for taking time to help me out iD
  4. A belated reply, I know... I greatly enjoyed the modelling and thought that all the teams were very much on top of their game (not so much the production, but I've commented upon that elsewhere...) But what did puzzle me was why didn't The Railmen of Kent use any of the excellent Harry Potter models from Hornby (or did they? I don't recall seeing them...). Is my impression correct that only a small percentage of their products were available from the sponsors?
  5. I definitely get the impression that in this series of GMRC the modelling is getting better and better and the layout builders' imaginations and ingenuity getting sharper, whilst the judging and (especially) the production is getting poorer. I perceive a lack of "joined up TV making" with the producers pulling in one direction, the judges in another and the presenters in another (and am I the only one that feels that the editing and selection of shots of Kathy Millat and Steve Flint is creating a "good cop, bad cop" personae/dynamic for the judges?) To be very cynical I often get the impression that the directors and producers of this type of series (reality TV) have a very low opinion of the audience - leading to dumbing down of content and contrived "drama" (one of the most egregious examples of contrived drama is when one of the presenters says "and the winner is..." cue appalling long interval for reaction shots [which I wouldn't be surprised to learn had been filmed later and spliced in]) as the production company, consciously or not, doesn't believe the audience capable of watching anything more challenging. OK, I am being rather cynical here, but I do remember a time when entertaining and informativeTV shows didn't "talk down" to the audience. The very enjoyable Model World with Bob Symes or Connections with James Burke being two good examples of programmes treating the audience with respect. I seriously wonder what the viewing figures would be like for the show if the production team challenged the audience a little bit more. Or am I crediting the viewing audience with too much and the so called/apparently "dumbed down" approach is indeed the only approach guaranteed to get the all important viewing figures?
  6. Very good point, Phil. To clarify, I wasn't thinking of something along the lines of (say) "learn how to do static grass in one minute or less", but rather along the lines of "when railway modellers want to create grass they can use many things, from dyed teddy bear fur to dyed sawdust scatter.. currently very popular is Static Grass which......" So, not an explanation or mini (nano?) tutorial but rather an exposure to something most viewers would not have encountered.
  7. Some utterly superb modelling going on in Episode 3. But do the presenters have to be so dismissive of anything that lacks an all singing, all dancing, all exploding "animation"? I wonder how Steve Flint and/or Kathy Millat (both superb modellers in their own right) would react if their work was rated as "OK but lacks excitement..." as they so cavalierly describe some very good modelling efforts (assuming that what we see on screen is not edited down from a more nuanced assessment). Now I understand the need to make the show appealing to a wide audience, but the BBC2 show "The Repair Shop" manages to attract audiences without dumbing down and resorting to reality TV parlour tricks. And, as I am in "Mr Grumble" mood, can forthcoming episodes (or failing that, the next series) minimise or do away with the interminable filler shots? Too many are repetitious (how many times do we need to see a diesel shunter???). And as the programme is (ostensibly) about Railway Modelling, why not have a short (1 minute?) segment about a modelling technique - such as static grass laying (infinitely more interesting than yet another shot of a Peacock).
  8. Thanks for clarifying why a volcano appeared in the British Isles.... But your comment about constant layout and rule changes intrigues me. Layout and rule changes on the instigation of whom? To my mind it has a whiff of some producer or director type - with no knowledge of (interest in?) railway modelling - "needing" to inject "more drama" or "more excitement" into the programme (but I could be wrong...). Could this be a "jumping the shark" moment for GMRC?
  9. Finally caught up with my recorded TV backlog (thanks to Mrs iD having filled up the HD with crime series ) and watched GMRC Season 2, Episode 1 and my overall impression - like for series 1 - is that it is very much the proverbial curate's egg. Well done to the participating teams, some exemplary modelling done under what must be immense pressure. This year a distinct improvement (at least - so far - in Episode 1) was the selection of items given out for the scratch built challenge: there was nothing that I would regard as "you're havin' a laff, aren't you" although I think that there was far too much tutu tulle doled out (1 tutu could probably meet the needs of a dozen or more layouts). I wonder how much feedback there was, last year, about the suitability of the items given out for the scratch built challenge. For me, the major negative of the competition is the expectation of multiple "animations" on each layout and rather "over the top" ones at that (a volcano in the British Isles? Be serious). My personal perspective is that animations on a layout should be like salt&pepper, CGI and swearing - used sparingly to help showcase everything else and not used just for the sake of it, But aside from my personal preference, I think that emphasising the animations is doing the non-railway modeller viewer a diservice: how many non-railway modellers will - after watching this programme - go to a model railway exhibition and be disappointed by the dearth of flying saucers, erupting volcanos, animated Daleks and the like? Surely the programme should highlight the middle ground between the finescale 4mm replica run to a prototypical timetable and the all singing, all dancing, exploding toy train set? I know that C5 needs viewing figures (and - to paraphrase PT Barnum - Nobody ever lost a pound by underestimating the taste of the British public), but surely - with the success of things like the Slow TV movement - GMRC could be a little more challenging and informative in its presentation? Still, it is compulsive viewing and thanks to the miracle of digital audiovisual technology I can fast foreward through the filler shots and talking heads to the modelling (and there is some great modelling being done). Again, well done teams: you are far braver than I would ever be! iD
  10. I know, but I was greatly simplifying to keep my post short. I think that to really understand how Japanese Railways work you have to be Japanese. But we Gaijin can enjoy their railways nonetheless
  11. I too have become an avid JRJ viewer and I do agree that the presentation is more than a little stilted, with no obvious chemistry between the presenters (I think Russell Totten came across as a railway enthusiast, the current presenter - Nathan Berry - doesn't seem to have [or project] that enthusiasm). The episode on the Tokyo Metro should become obligatory watching for ALL London Underground staff (and at all levels...) I loved the various episodes they have done on the various Japanese Luxury Trains (such as the Seven Stars in Kyushu, the Twilight Express Mizukaze [love the Art Deco look], the Royal Express or the Shiki-Shima Sleeper Train). They make some of the other luxury trains (no names, no pack drill) look rather shabby. Interestingly, Japanese Railways are privatised - yet manage to be light years ahead of what we've been able to do in the UK. An ASLEF acquaintance of mine said "Japan privatised the right way, Britain the wrong..." I've been fortunate enough to ride the Shinkansen, the Tokyo Subway and a local line in Japan - all exemplary! iD p.s. NHK World is also good for no-nonsense cooking programmes (where the emphasis is on the food, not the presenters) and their Sumo highlights (Mrs iD and I are fans of both Tochinoshin and Enhō, whilst Hakuhō is an amazing wrestler)
  12. Hi Phil Well, that's what I assumed (although isn't Betamax [and the cameras?] still used a lot at the professional level?), However, the point is that digital camera closeups are not very kind to modelling (scratch building a lot myself, I often take close-up digital photographs of what I am working on to show me what I can't see is wrong with the model..) and there must be ways - lenses? filters? digital de-enhancement? - to better present a model in close-up? Of course, as you have rightly pointed out, even the long and medium-shots of the layouts - taken by team members - are taken on digital cameras. I think that that is the paradox of digital photography: in medium and long shot - things look better than they are "in real life"; whilst in close up - things can look worse than they are "in real life"
  13. Firstly, well done to all: production company, participating teams, judges and presenters. It's also good news that a second series has been commissioned, given the drivel that has lower viewing figures and still gets re-commissioned, I am pleased that the viewing figures were more than robust enough to support a second season. Given these robust viewing figures, and knowing that the production team, presenters and judges have all "popped in" to RMWeb, I'd like to suggest some changes (improvements? refinements? make of it what you will) that could be taken on board: Perhaps less emphasis on the gimmicky. Having been to numerous model railway shows - from local affairs, to finescale society meetings to Warley - I have the very distinct impression that - on the whole - railway modellers are fairly conservative (whether modelling the Big 4, BR 70s or the railways today). This may come as a big surprise to a neophyte railway modeller when he/she turns up at his/her local model railway club expecting to see lots of the sort of animations featured on the programme. Yes to a scratch-build challenge - but make it based on those things that are frequently sourced for scratch building: teddy bears (for fur); hard, clear, plastic wrapping (for windows and the like), offcuts of plastic, metal and wood, knackered toys (for motors, wheels, wiring, etc.). Don't underestimate the intelligence of the viewers. It wasn't quite "Jackanory - The Railway Version", but at times I felt that it was far too simplified, fortunately without tipping over into condescending (but having said that, it does seem that much of current programming today- of all types - does, too often, veer into what could be called "CBBC Territory" ["can you say ecosystem?" "Good! That's a big word, isn't it?"]). I don't envy the production team one bit in trying to walk the fine line between being incomprehensible to "outsiders" and simplifying to the point of "dumbing down". But I think that perhaps for season the producers could "up the complexity". Revisit the cinematography, I don't think that it does the modelling justice. I would assume that digital cameras are being used and digital camera closeups are incredibly cruel to models. Things that look good "in the flesh" or at normal viewing distances, look horrible in extreme digital closeup. I noted, on more than one occasion, the judges were saying things along the lines of "that's great modelling" whilst what they were admiring looked incredibly crude on close up (as viewed on a home cinema screen), yet when presented at normal viewing distances (as posted on RMWeb by some of the participating teams) looked very, very good indeed. With such robust viewing figures, perhaps the production company will now be able to jettison the numerous "filler" shots and exclusively focus on the modelling. Finally, I do hope that the RMWebber's comments and contributions (whether critical and curmudgeonly or upbeat and pollyannish - and everything in between) will be source of knowledge, inspiration and support for the production team in making the next series of GMRC even better than the first. iD
  14. I continue to watch the series because, like the proverbial Curate's egg, parts of it are excellent. I really admire the courage, modelling skills and tenacity of the contestants, as well as their diplomatic skills (alas, I suspect, when confronted by some of [admittedly few] inanities said on or required by the show, my responses would easily make me the "villain" of the episode...) I think that one can possibly argue that one contribution to some of the less "real modelling" aspects of the series (if one could put it that way) is the insistence on including "animations" on the layout. Regardless of whether or not one is for or against "animations" on a layout (I have mixed feelings, but lean slightly more towards being against), it does look like it takes valuable modelling time and resources away from completing the layout in the allotted time. And, to be generous and diplomatic, some of the animations do appear to have a very tenuous link with the railway being created (I also get the impression - correct me if I am wrong - that for some the animations are included because they have to, not because they want to). I have commented before on how "sneer-free" the series is (and kudos to the whole production team for that), but the one place I really do think that they are "extracting the Michael" is the scratchbuild challenge: a lady's shoe?, a washing up sponge? a sink plunger? "Puh-lease" as our American friends would say. Why not a proper scratchbuild challenge? a few sheets of plain and embossed plastic, some clear plastic and assorted wires and plastic strip - that would be a true test of scratchbuilding. And, to do the scratchbuilders justice, start the challenge on the very first day. Finally, to emphasize the (generally) positive view of railway modelling this programme is promoting, it would be nice - in a future series - to spend a few minutes in each programme highlighting pinnacle modelling built by some of the hobby's top practitioners; from a single building from Pendon to a whole layout such as Copenhagen Fields (a bit like motoring shows doing a puff piece on the latest Rolls Royce or Ferrari: something inaccessible for most but nonetheless interesting to learn about).
  15. Thanks for that clarification. It was mentioned so fast in the introduction that all I got was that he is the editor of a "railway magazine" Apologies to Steve for missing this (and my critique will be suitable amended). But I'd love to see him "strut his stuff" and show off his modelling knowledge (not much sign of that, yesterday).
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