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t-b-g last won the day on November 26 2011

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  1. It is tricky comparing the hobby now with the hobby of, shall we say, several decades ago. Until Mainline upped the quality (in appearance if not in running) by a huge margin with their J72 and Standard 4-6-0, RTR models tended to be a bit basic and not all that accurate. Even a very basic kit like a Ks "Bodyline" J50 on a RTR mechanism gave people an easy entry into building kits and a novice could build something very easily that didn't suffer in comparison to the RTR offerings of the day. A decent kit could result in something superior to pretty much any RTR item of the time but even the superior kits were not that complicated and didn't have that many parts. Nowadays, the overall standards have changed so much that a basic kit for a wrong wheelbased RTR mechanism wouldn't really be good enough any more. I suppose the nearest equivalent to those "starter" kits is a 3D printed body or a one part resin moulded body designed to fit a RTR mechanism. Neither really helps anybody develop their skills in terms of soldering and assembling parts square and straight. I am not sure it does any good wishing that we could go back to the 1970s again. The genie is out of the bottle in terms of better RTR, a much wider range of RTR and a decline in the need to build kits. There was a time when if you wanted to model the ECML, you had a Hornby Dublo A4, a Triang Flying Scotsman, perhaps a Trix A2, then a Hornby Dublo N2 and that was about it. If you wanted to model the line with any degree of authenticity you needed to build kits. Now you can pretty much model it with RTR locos with just a tiny number of omissions and you have suitable substitutes for the missing classes. So the need for kit built locos has certainly diminished and those who build them usually do so now because they want to and because they enjoy it rather than because they have to. When I see a layout like Geoff Taylor's "Barmouth Junction", which is a superb example of a great layout with not a kit built loco in sight, I do wonder if the art of building locos is being held up as the "ultimate" in the hobby in a way that it no longer justifies. For those that do want to learn but think some guidance is needed, there are many books and articles, you can join a club, go to shows to see demonstrators at work (well hopefully one day) or there are courses like the ones at Missenden Abbey and there are online video tutorials. The best message I was ever given was by a chap who once told me to have a go and "Don't be frit" (translation for those not from Yorkshire - "Don't be frightened"). The worst that can happen is that you make a mess and need to either sort it out, or you learn from it and try again.
  2. I have a vague memory of the name Ken Pelham being associated with the production of the early track components. Could he be the K of K & L with Len Newman being the L?
  3. What a lovely idea. That would please everybody.
  4. It is this sort of query which makes modelling the railways of that sort of period fascinating and frustrating in equal measure. There is often some information but rarely all we need to be certain about anything. Certainly red ironwork on an otherwise black wagon isn't something I think I have come across on any of the wagons I have looked at in any detail. Mine have been mostly pretty standard with no real mystery to unravel apart from seeing the two wagons in blue Dinnington livery when only one was supposed to have been painted like that according to one source. Black ironwork on a red wagon, on the other hand, seemed to happen quite a lot. If I was building the wagon, I would probably go for red ironwork just for sheer novelty value. I think it would just look smart like that. If anybody says anything, I could always ask them to prove it is wrong.
  5. The question seems to be whether you prefer chocolate or liquorish. Nobody really knows for sure which version is correct. All you can do is look at the photos, read the comments and make a best guess based on the information you have to guide you. But it's black!
  6. Lovely job! I know that some C12s had the protective bars on the rear windows on the inside and some had them on the outside. Possibly changed over time but not something I have researched in any great depth. An interesting variation that has been catered for on the model. The inside bars seem to be in earlier times so correct for GNR period. A very nice touch!
  7. Couldn't agree more Jerry. I have also built locos knowing that they are wrong because that was what the customer wanted. I built a DJH Duchess once from a kit I was provided with, which was for the wrong batch for the name and number the customer wanted. It looks fine but any LMS expert would spot it a mile off and think that I didn't bother doing the research to get it right. There have been others too, including some fictional liveries. The hobby is indeed a place where the ego comes into play. I also know some superb modellers who have tiny egos and have no ambition to be well known in the hobby. They just build great models and that is their satisfaction. I know some who actively seek recognition and want to be a "name" too. Roy Jackson used to to put people who offered to do things on Retford into two groups. Those who wanted to help him build the layout and those who sought "Glory by association". I thought he was a bit harsh but he was convinced some people offered assistance just because they wanted to be able to say that they had contributed to Retford. I can just about understand why some professional builders identify the locos they build, especially the more prolific ones. It avoids confusion in the event of a problem or a repair needed. There can be little doubt about who is responsible for the work if there is a plate or an identification mark. I don't build enough to worry about such things! I remember each loco and each customer.
  8. I have been asked a few times about the monetary value attached to Buckingham and its associated locos and stock. I always duck the question. In terms of accuracy in construction and livery, the locos were often based on a photo and are nowhere near 100% accurate. They are EM, which reduces the potential market and they have coarse wheel standards which mean that they won't run on modern chaired track. So the locos, stock and layout really need to stay together and the number of people who have the desire, the space and the skill to keep the layout running must by tiny. As I find myself unable to put a price on it all, I always answer that they are "priceless" in the true sense of the word. They have no intrinsic value, just being bits of wood, metal etc. Their worth is purely in the pleasure they have given me and others over many decades and no price can be put on that.
  9. I think all any of us can do is to give our opinions. There is no reason to suppose that your view is any more or less nonsense than mine!
  10. Have you got the article in British Railway Journal No 40 on the line? It is not too specific about 1907 but covers the period with a broad "Prior to the 1930s" but mentions that the locos were shedded there for the Malvern branch and the Ashchurch to Redditch line and that you could see 0-4-4Ts, Johnson and Kirtley 0-6-0 types, various 2-4-0 types and Kirtley Well tank No 1206 which was on the Malvern branch "for many years". If there are any published works on those lines with early period photos that may give some pointers.
  11. What an interesting comparison and thanks for posting. It is nice that at least one or two folk think that I may not have been totally daft by suggesting that it might be black. I think somebody messed up getting the right board in front of the right wagon. The "Small" wagon looks exactly how I would expect a dark brown wagon, with white lettering shaded black, to look in a black and white photo. The shading is only slightly darker than the body paint. So I would be very happy with the "Small" wagon being brown. Seeing the better quality image and hearing from others convinces me that the "Healing" wagon is black with white lettering shaded red. I would also suggest that the strapping and ironwork including the corner plates, plus the ends of the solebar and maybe the ends of the bufferbeams are possibly red too but that is more speculative and I could easily be convinced otherwise. The tone of the colour just matches the shading on the lettering much closer than it matches the body colour but it may just be down to how the different surfaces reflect the light. The round door "banger" plate near the "o" in Flour really does look like it isn't black and other places are fairly convincing too. I wonder if the two photos were taken on the same day and that there was a third photo of the Healing wagon with the correct board in front of it but the wrong one got retained. Once you were in the darkroom printing them up, it wouldn't be easy to see that you had done the wrong one. We will never know!
  12. I would agree with that very much. Whether it is a backscene or some very low relief scenery, adding height certainly creates an illusion of extra depth. Running the tracks along a shelf with a drop at the front, such as an embankment, can have a similar impact on increasing the visual appeal. A few people posted suggestions, including me. The thread moves so quickly that a response an hour or two later can be so far away from the original question as to get a bit lost.
  13. I am not so sure. I have seen some almost sensible postings from some of the same people elsewhere on RMWeb. Whichever it is, it certainly raises a smile from me. Some people take the hobby (or themselves) so seriously that a bit of daftness is a very welcome antidote.
  14. I thought I would dip in to see what Mr Bonwick gets up to. I should have known better. The place is bonkers, in a nice sort of way.
  15. That would certainly make a big difference at that end of the layout. I recall some discussions about that signal quite a few years ago as there was some doubt as to whether any of the commercially available etches were just right for it. The talk was about whether they could be adapted or whether it would need some new etches producing or whether somebody was brave enough to scratchbuild it from brass strip. I can't recall the outcome but there may have been an offer from somebody to "have a look at it". I don't think it ever progressed further than that.
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