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Ian Kirk

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    Wide ranging interests in N through to O

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  1. Back in the mists of time I produced a 2Bil kit. This went to Colin Ashby but fortunately did not go on to the dreaded non producing them firm in Somerset like my LNER coach range. I believe that the moulds went to Phoenix so it is probably still available but for most people replaced by a RTR set from Hornby. There was a thread on here about building /detailing a kit a few years ago. best wishes, Ian
  2. In 1983 I bought a Capricorn Trade Directory for Model Shops and used it to go round trying to sell kits to shop owners. In the 80s most model railway outlets had a small display of the bright yellow packaging of my 00 Coach range. I never throw much away and I found the Guide recently. It is staggering how few of the class of 83 seem to be still extant. AS an example from the Guide: Lancashire had 33, London 34, West Midlands 34. That is just the ones the Guide found. I knew of one or two that they had missed. Lots of them gone now. "Sic in transit gloria mundi " best w
  3. White painted smokebox door handles and hinges, sometimes buffer heads too I always associate with an ordinary locomotive that was "bulled up" by the shed staff for working some special train. Back in the glory days of my youth there were a good number of enthusiasts specials, In Scotland worked often by one or more of the 4 owned by BR preserved locos that there were at the time : Glen Douglas, Gordon Highlander, Jones goods and the Caley Single. There was usually a "back up loco" allocated too, usually one of the 0-6-0 goods types specially cleaned by the shed staff. I recall for example a
  4. Aircraft have pre flight checks. I don't know about the modern computer driven ones but 50+ years ago RAF Service types, more recent light aircraft and vintage examples all had a well established series of checks in a book of words. I have never in all my time flown an aircraft without doing a full pre flight check and I would not want to. After all it was my soft little body that was going to be in it. I should imagine it would be the same with drivers on the railway. Old age catches up with you and I am no longer flying so now qualify for being an old pilot. There was a saying: "There
  5. As far as I am aware all of the British outline RTR (except for the expensive brass ones) produced recently have been designed to go around the set track curves. This has opened up the possibility of a continuous run layout in spaces under 12 ft wide. Problem comes and the same can be said about 00 layouts involving R1 and R2 curves if you want to try and run big locos and full length coaches in that they look decidedly unrealistic on the curves. The late CJF designed one 00 trackplan to deal with this, basically an oval with very tight curves in tunnels either end, fiddle yard at back and st
  6. Whenever I read one of these threads I am reminded of the difference between running a small business with 7 or 8 employees (as I once did) and being a sole trader (as I am in semi retirement). Someone being unwell can be an inconvenience for the first but it wipes the second out altogether so I am inclined to sympathise with "one man bands" when they are criticised for delays. Some of course deserve it, witness the threads on here about the current owner of my former4mm coach range but I am sure that some others do not. My Grandmother used to say "do your best. No one can do better than that.
  7. Looks OK to me and remember most goods wagons had a hard life and would have to have repairs from time to time . The local preserved railway has a van where soft, potentially rotted timber has been cut away and replaced in a similar way to yours. best wishers, Ian
  8. Not the "first" train set that I can remember but the first "layout" from Santa was on a sheet of plywood and had green "grass" grey roads a station platform, a garage and a circuit of very tight radius (1ft I think) tinplate track, more of a square really as there were straights as well. The "train set " bit comprised a green clockwork 0-4-0 tender engine and two very short bogie tinplate pullmans. (ostensibly 0 gauge) I think probably mettoy. I have no real memory of this, other than what I was later told. However being a "canny" family the " baseboard" was later used inverted on a 00 layout
  9. Another example from Scotland which I saw regularly in the evening (the morning train would be too early for me I only saw the return) was "The dockyard" This took civilian workers from East Fife to Rosyth dockyard. It was the only train I know of that stopped at Donibristle Halt as it also carried workers for the RNAS repair facility at Donibristle aerodrome. I think there may have been other trains to the dockyard from other lines. There were a couple of terminal platforms in Rosyth but the only time I remember them in use by "civilians" was for special trains on "Navy Days" . At one of t
  10. Thanks to all who contributed to this thread. In a way flattered that people still want stuff that I produced perhaps 30 years ago now. Great pity that it has ended up as it has but the LNER range has had two perfectly satisfactory owners before ending up with the current owner. Colin Ashby in Leeds and Tony Brown in Ilford both ran the range as I would have wished to have it done. I had no say on any later sale. I sometimes wish I had held onto the range and up dated it but the main part of my business was commercial moulding and this type of work had already started to move to Asi
  11. Ian Kirk


    Don't know about the venerable, certainly feels vintage or veteran any time I try to climb hills or run up stairs. It's funny these things used to be so easy! Still modelling though . Better qualify that, not for paintings or photographs. In the 80s when I moved into the new Factory I got a new phoneline. The business name was Ian Kirk Models. Yellow pages asked if I wanted an entry and I agreed. Shortly after I started getting messages from young Ladies offering to take their vests off , some sent photographs. I changed the name to Ian Kirk Model Engineering. The letters stopped. P
  12. Ian Kirk


    I have dealt with Slaters for something like 50 years (right back to when it was George Slater) and have never had cause to complain. My last order took a bit longer than usual but I am of a generation that did not expect instant gratification. These are not normal times. In a small business with a handful of employees there are no margins to cover if someone goes off sick. Similarly there may not be a spare pair of hands to contact customers who are waiting. The Post is a lot slower than usual. Lots of things could be wrong. We are accustomed in this computer age to get instant return of
  13. Still doing this in O gauge where my "modular" system allows different types to be built from standard parts. The First/third twin should be possible in 4mm with the standard coach bodies. I wish these were still available. Third/third would also. Just to tease you I can confirm that a Brake third/third is in the O gauge range as I made a couple of extra modules for the different brake. Don't knock Gresley's coach designs. The variety of types has given me a living for the best part of 50 years. best wishes, Ian
  14. Guilty as charged. It is half of one of my very early brake thirds. Perhaps someone else somewhere has a four wheel four compartment coach from the other half. I know some people did. The simplest way to stop something like this bowing inwards is to put a couple of partitions in but shortened so that they don't show through the toplights. Interesting to see how it turns out. The mouldings must be over 45 years old by now. best wishes, Ian
  15. Everything is "of it's time" . WE should also remember that initially some of these were aimed at the "train set" market and when many of these things were introduced the "real grown up railway modellers" were scratch or kit building . The degree of accuracy and detail achieved in RTR today could only be dreamed about at one time. The whole market has changed and is now aimed at the serious adult. Fewer and fewer kids want train sets these days so robust cheap "toys" are not needed so much. Over the years the lower quality and limited variety of the RTR available at the time gave me and oth
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