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    Both 1:1 scale and model. Main line, preserved, steam, diesel, electric, UK and abroad, anything that has wheels and runs on rails - all good! :-)

    Modelling - mainly TT both UK 1:101 and Continental 1:120 scale after coming back to them from OO/HO in 1999;

    But changing circumstances mean I've come over all a bit HO Luxembourgish of late...

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  1. A lovely model to be sure and I'd love to have one, but not at that price.
  2. Back in 2012 when I was still trying to find something that might interest my son enough to motivate him to put down his phone for 5 minutes (tried 1:1 and various scale motorbikes, planes, cars, trains as well as guitar, rugby, even Xbox gaming - all failed) I tried something I had been very keen on in the late 70's - 1/35th military modelling. Nope. He now claims "watching you tube videos" is a valid hobby... Anyway, with him now finished school and off on gap year/studies I looked at the part-started Revell 1/35th Panzer V Panther and realising that he is now never going to want
  3. It's heartbreaking seeing the remains of a beloved layout you spent months/years of your life on going up in flames on a bonfire at the end of the garden, kind of like a Viking funeral pyre. As my Dad said when he had to break up (literally) his over 100 model aircraft collection when moving house; "It's like drowning kittens".
  4. I've only used the oven to heat up needle files that had become clogged with whitemetal filings (when hot you rap the file against a hard surface and the whitemetal blobs fall off), for desoldering I use desoldering wick: https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/solder-wicks/3829832/ You place the wick over the part to be desoldered and put the iron on the wick, as the solder melts it gets sucked up/absorbed by the wick. Pull the wick away, snip the end off the wick, move forwards, repeat... A bit laborious perhaps, but the advantage is it does one part at a time and you can go over again on
  5. Not just "popular" music, as a child I heard my Dad's 1970's vintage recording of Holst's "Planets" by the London Philharmonic, a scratchy 1960's vintage Wagner's "Tannhauser" and Gershwin's "Rhapsody in blue" a million times and they are so etched into my memory that no recording I've heard since sounds "right" to me; the tempo of certain sections are too fast, or too slow, or certain instruments have more, or less emphasis, or too loud, or too quiet; overall they just don't sound as good as I remember...
  6. Aah, memories. We too would take the RMT Ostend-Dover ferry in the 70's/80's, a four and a half hours crossing if memory serves, and all because Dad's dislike of France and the French was such that he refused to set foot in the country and so we couldn't take the quicker crossing from Calais just down the coast. Mind you, he did work for the European Commission at the time so that's completely understandable :^) I had a quick spin through Ostend when I went back to Luxembourg by car last year, some bits are the same, but the station/ferry terminal area is completely re-developed and unrecogni
  7. Going down the tip I noticed that the line-up of defunct hoovers had a few single brands like Panasonic or Electrolux, and at least 5 Dysons. Some 4 months later our one joined them and I bought a Henry for under £100 which is still going strong.
  8. This is my phone: It does everything I want and was bought for around £15 no idea how many years ago from a secondhand shop. Despite (or perhaps because of) working in the IT sector since the late 80's (or maybe that is past-tense worked given my situation and the current state of the job market) I have watched the march of technology with increasing unease and scepticism until we have arrived at a surveillance society that the Stasi could only have dreamed of and I have become a technological refusenik. I used to love watching the expressions and reactions when I
  9. First off, an inspirational shot: The North of Luxembourg is hilly with forests and steep sided valleys so the Nordstreck cuts through it with tunnels, embankments and stone bridges across meandering rivers. And there are a lot of trees. Lots. This bit of the layout has progressed faster probably because my initial vision was simpler so at the cardboard mock-up stage I had a clear picture and things have very much fallen into line, The lower circuit comes out of a tunnel, crosses a river, then a level crossing with the road coming
  10. The city section has required some major re-thinking - starting off my 3D mental picture had lots of buildings and even more embankments, bridges and streets, but the cardboard mock-up stage soon showed that there was no way of getting it all in without bending the space-time continuum with things like 1 in 10 gradients, or having a baseboard twice as wide and long, so I've scaled back. The bridges are now the focal point, but hopefully I can fill the edges with stuff. In this picture the cuvature of the train of coal hoppers behind 1812 demonstrates how ferocious my 1
  11. Thanks, I just tried to keep things straight and level, after a week's running I've only had to replace one turnout that a lot of stock took a dislike to and straighten out a few slightly kinky rail joints. Most frequent de-railers are 1970's DDR-era PIKO wagons as the wheels have often slipped on the axles and are out of gauge. And after a bit of puzzling, wtf and why aren't things working, it turns out that I wired the isolating section switches DOWN-on UP-off on the left panel, but DOWN-off UP-on on the right-hand one. :^)
  12. I'll bet! Looking at that rigging gives me shudders. Lovely job!
  13. Wonder what scale/gauge the train in the window is? <sharp intake of breath> a golliwog??!!?!
  14. Blimey, what a lot of options! If you're staying with OO then why not start off cutting your teeth by going back to your roots with a few more of the old venerable Airfix now Dapol wagon kits? I don't think you'll find anything much easier to put together, I certainly wouldn't go for a brass kit straight out of the gate. (Also not as expensive if you get it wrong...) I wouldn't bother with books, apart from inspirational photos you learn all you need to know as you go along by having a go (and getting it wrong once or twice). Start simple, work your way up. An inside cylinder 0-6-
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