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PatB

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    Perth, Western Australia

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  1. I've used Molotow, and other "street art" paints on (legitimate) mural projects and been very impressed. They stick like crazy to pretty much anything, with no more preparation than a blast with a pressure washer, and seem to last very well. I recently drove past one of our projects that's now 8 years old, and it's still looking good. The colour choice is excellent, too, and includes shades that don't appear in more "conventional" ranges. Well worth a look.
  2. Interesting. I admit that it's been some time since I bothered to look at Oz retail pricing, as it had always seemed to follow the usual Australian situation, for any goods out of the mainstream, of poor range and swingeing markups. Perhaps the distributors and retailers have caught up with the Internet era and are adjusting to the realisation that their markets are no longer captive, and it's better to have a small cut of something than a larger cut of nothing.
  3. Although given typical Australian model railway pricing, and the cost of shipping back to the UK, someone is going to have to really want them.
  4. It's not a completely daft idea, and, given a degree of user discipline (so not in public service, then) isn't as uncivilised as you might think. Google "composting toilet" or "dessicating toilet". Such systems are becoming increasingly popular on boats, where discharge of waste is becoming similarly unacceptable, and where a traditional marine toilet dumping overboard also carries a significant risk of sinking your vessel if it goes wrong or is misused.
  5. I gave up on the RAC here when I realised that their patrol guys knew less about my vehicles than I did and, yes, were likely to actively endanger expensive electronics. The towing service was handy a couple of times, but as my vehicles have become newer and more reliable, the necessity has dropped off. If I were to chuck the annual subs into a pot, I'd easily accumulate enough to cover a (massively overpriced) private tow on the rare occasions it might be needed.
  6. Perfect for one of those CJ Freezer main line tailchasers with a 3 coach platform capacity and turntable(s) for Pacifics.
  7. Probably knackered. Replacements are now so cheap that, if you (mentally) charge your time at any kind of reasonable rate it's probably not even worth taking it for repair, let alone opening it up for a look yourself. The thing with cordless drill-drivers is that, big ones particularly, produce so much glorious torque, that it's dead easy to overload them on a regular basis without them complaining. At least until something finally haemorrhages and all the magic smoke comes out.
  8. PatB

    EBay madness

    When I open the listing I get a brief flash of something that looks like a price list for the individual items, but it disappears as the page loads and I can't seem to get it back. My conclusion is that it's a legit(ish) listing but isn't working for some reason.
  9. True. Attention to overcurrent protection is important if using computer PSUs, but needn't be over-complex. 12V bulbs, polyswitches, fuses and mechanical circuit breakers (depending on preference) are all cheaply and easily available. However, in the context of the thread, I was more thinking of stuff like phone chargers, small printer and scanner supplies and the like. A quick rummage through the discarded tech drawer suggests that typical maximum outputs are between 0.5A and 1A at whatever voltage, so not too frightening, but ample for running most accessories. As they're essentially free, it's not a major problem if you need to plug 3-4 of them into a gang socket to run several individual items. In such a case their lowish outputs assist in avoiding high currents anywhere.
  10. Given that the photo linked upthread is dated 1917, I suspect the WD would have been requiring a vast number of vans at the time, and, given the strictures of wartime production, the wagon builders' production capacity may well have been limited. I think it's quite plausible that the WD may have needed to go to 2 builders. Not saying they did, just that it's plausible.
  11. One of the useful aspects of the tech revolution is the vast surplus of old wall-warts of various outputs, leading to an almost infinite supply of small power sources, available for free from friends, family and ones own stash, or for pennies from any junk/charity shop. All nicely marked with output voltage and max current rating. Very handy.
  12. Was an element in Triang's success also that they (or the parent, Lines) were, at the time, a huge company with many product lines? Meccano Ltd, as far as I'm aware, had Meccano, Dublo, Dinky and the last, limping remnants of their 0 gauge range. Nothing much else springs to mind, although I daresay Meccano experts are aware of other ventures. Triang/Lines, OTOH, had trains (with far more accessories, like OHLE, lineside kits and scenic materials), 3 flavours of slot-car (Scalextric, Minic and, IIRC, Magicar, aimed at younger children), prams, tricycles, diecast cars (was it Spot-On?), probably a Lego clone (everyone seemed to be trying that in the 60s) and no doubt any number of things I can't remember. Such diversification would have been useful in weathering downturns in the toy train market, especially that caused by the slot-car explosion in the early 60s, as a significant amount of lost sales in Triang Railways would simply have moved across to Scalextric, keeping the company's overall sales roughly constant.
  13. During my etched kit building phase, I used two methods. For long folds, I had a couple of lengths of heavy brass angle, which I put over my vice jaws to act as bending bars. In theory they would be a little fiddly to set up so they're accurately level and parallel, but I found that with my particular vice and angle combination, they settled into place naturally. For smaller folds, I found a brilliant tool on a tool stall at a show. It's a pair of pliers, but with very broad (50 mm or so) smooth jaws. Very quick and handy for small stuff. I think they were about $20 or so. They're a bit like this, but the jaws are wider relative to the rest of the tool. My own aren't accessible for a photo at the mo.
  14. Something else to think of is the geology and history of your kingdom, as this will, to a significant extent, influence your freight traffic. Is it rocky with mineral deposits (mining/quarrying)? Are there large areas of good agricultural land (heavy seasonal livestock and crop traffic)? Is it a seafaring nation (fishing and cargo ports)? Is it an imperial/militaristic society (military traffic, troop trains, munitions factories)? Does it have land suitable for forestry (timber lines, sawmills)? Of course, Britain ticks all these boxes in various places, which helps to make it such a rich source of prototypes. Southern European countries like Spain or Greece would tend more towards agriculture. Eastern Europe or Scandinavia might be more forestry oriented, whilst much of Scandinavia might also have a heavy emphasis on the sea.
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