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Everything posted by Les1952

  1. Yes- and in other sectors it explains how big names get "outed" for their expensive product being made by slave labour/child labour/unpaid prisoners etc. Very difficult to keep tabs on stuff on the other side of the planet- more so currently with Covid travel rstrictions etc. Les
  2. An awful lot of this stuff was outsourced to the far East at a time when UK Government poilcy was that the UK shouldn't relly be manufacturing anything as others could do it cheaper- and that stuff outsourced shoud be as cheap as possible. Not taking up ownership of the tooling transfers a chunk of your capital costs to someone else- sound policy in the eighties and nineties. It is basically time that has changed our perspective on things- and we are finding that backshoring is a vastly more expensive and difficult process than offshoring.... Just a thought Les
  3. Looking at the Hattons pics. Many years ago I built a Nu-Cast J21 and a J27 (having also referred to making one of these when talking to ?Bill? Stott at a parent's evening - I taught in Hartlepool at the time). This model is vastly superior to anything I could build at that time or now. Yes there are imperfections, but I could spend at least twice as much on a kit and bits and end up with far worse. Les
  4. I would find it hard to believe that the numbers were always dead straight on the prototype. Or was Ashford that much better than Doncaster and Horwich? Les
  5. Looking along the line as a WD drifts downhill from the screens round the back of the preserved sheds. Les
  6. Sorry if you feel under attack- the point was intended to be the opposite- as someone working long hours who will make time to model you are very rare. Evidence- look at the ages of those behind layouts and working as stewards at shows. A few years ago we had a new member join our club who lowered the average age. He was 62. Railway modelling isn't the only hobby suffering- amateur dramatic and operatic companies and choirs were closing at a steady rate (before covid) due to members getting too old to continue and no supply of twenty to fifty year olds to replace them. The tend
  7. There are very many who find 19.00 is well before the end of work time. Commuters are still arriving in Newark (or were until Covid) at 8pm and 9pm, having set off at 6am and 7am. I've been kicked out of remote marking at midnight when the system closed for the night, fortunately after Mr S and his sister had fled the nest... As I said, modelling time is something not always easy to find. Les
  8. You are lucky at age 40 to have "a lot of time to spend". At 40 I had a full time teaching job, and a 10-year-old Mr Simon and 7-year old Mr-Simon's-sister, and to make ends meet my wife worked weekends so we shared the childcare. Modelling was not quite nonexistent but was definitely on the back burner for at least another ten years. I suspect the 40-year-old with time to do much modelling is a very rare person. Our model railway club has three adults under 50 out of an adult membership of 30, plus 3 enthusiastic juniors we are very lucky to have. I hope that the G
  9. I would agree. When I first retired I put about half of the pre-retirement working hours each week into making my first exhibition layout, Furtwangen Ost. I got it onto the exhibition circuit as a "finished" item in 5 months. I also found a lot more time to sleep, visit friends and get a social life again. Even as a "winding down" teacher in the last year before retiring I was working most nights towards 10pm and putting in Saturday and Sunday hours- and teachers aren't renowned for working the longest hours. A friend in management was commuting daily at that time from Newark t
  10. My father wound a transformer when we were given a 3-rail tinplate train set in the fifties. I remember the motor giving off a nasty smell after a while. I was only about 5 or 6 at the time so can't remember the make. It wasn't used after that and we reverted to clockwork. Les
  11. It has been ever thus- when I was small "modelling skills" included winding your own motors and building your own transformers from bare wires upwards- what each generation sees as modelling skills are not the same skill set that the next generation sees. Oddly enough as I get older the idea of using a pavement scooter for longer distances seems more attractive- but not while I can still cover the range of one of these machines on foot.... Les
  12. As someone who builds his own exhibition layouts and upgrades as much as he is capable of I ask myself two questions. Are any of these coaches suitable for my layout? - in this case yes, for the next one, probably a pair of teaks to go with a pair of Hornby teaks to add variety. They will all get a light spray of muck on the roof to tone down the white, and a small amount of muck lower down for where the cleaners have missed. Is there any chance I can make better myself? - not in a million years. There are plenty of modellers of my standard around.....
  13. Talking to Andy at Dapol (when we gave him the Gwyn Humphries Award for it), the idea seems to have originated with him as the full-fat version now in Dapol's latest models, ie the slide-out tray behind the smokebox door. Andy suggested it to Dave and the stripped-down version on your Beattie was applied to all DJ Models steamers. Andy seemed bemused that Dave hadn't gone for the full system..... The EFE J94 has a slightly smaller smokebox door than the DJM, I have both and it is less easy to get lots of bits through an EFE smokebox door for sound or stay-alive. Is this also tru
  14. It will turn up when it arrives. No point in becoming impatient.... Les
  15. As Hornby amongst others have found when you find a new factory you find a whole new set of problems- do Dapol trade livery errors for the QC problems of the Hornby Thompson Pacifics or some of the self-disintegrating Heljans I have known, for example? Les
  16. Looking back to the original question I would be minded to think thus- Given a dozen or so million in the "can lose and not blink" pot- 1. Go detailed but not full of tiny add-ons that fall of as soon as you look at them- somewhere above Railroad standard but not full-fat. Get liveries right. 2. Get a CAD office and production facility up and running in the UK and keep ownership of CAD and tooling - hence the millions needed. Major on reliable models that work- and make sure they do. 3. Start with unmotorised- I have in mind something like buf
  17. If the livery prototypes were correct the errors in production are a) beyond the control of Dapol or Rails in the UK. and b) probably not able to be corrected. However, if your Mandarin Chinese is fluent enough to be able to present conclusive evidence in such a way that the factory manager is unable to imply that you don't know what you are talking about then I'm sure Dapol would be delighted to employ you to deal with their factories. If not, how about suggesting someone who has that level of technical ability and linguistic skills.
  18. Final layout confirmed is BRITANNIA MILL by Jay sanders in OO. Les
  19. The crest facing backwards on the tender is almost certainly a factory interpretation and indeed could be a change between the livery sample and the production sample. Even where minutely specified changes still occur. Getting errors corrected is not easy- the factory isn't keen on admitting it to be their error. Just a thought Les
  20. Three of my last half-dozen Hornby items have been disappointing- The good ones are the 0-6-0 Peckett and the generic coaches, though I'll have a couple of Hattons ones of the latter to mix the rake a bit. The Peckett may go down in my estimation once I try to get it sound fitted. Disappointing have been the J50, too track sensitive by half, the Terrier which I sold on after buying a Rails/Dapol one for comparison, and a factory sound (not TTS) 08 which admittedly was second-hand but doesn't actually sound much like an 08- yes it is probably a better model than my Bac
  21. I've suffered from a lot of split gears, including on A1s and A2s. I'd cleared the backlog last year but after a year concentrating on building Bregenbach and upgrading NO PLACE to 100% sound and better couplings I'm dreading what happens at the start of September when I begin getting Croft Spa ready to go to Farnham show in October as nothing has moved in about 10 months.. Les
  22. True- my children have lost a godparent each. I think I'd rather start from September 2021 in any case and look forwards.... To come back on topic, I'm going to add a sound-fitted 65817 when they arrive- and see if I can perch my N-gauge 65817 on the tender for a silly pic. Then as a J27 is too big for my layout, the next step will be to build a bigger layout....... Les
  23. I hope not- I don't fancy living through another pandemic............ Les
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