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Arun Sharma

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    South Oxfordshire -formerly Berkshire

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  1. The YH is in Bradwell - as Nearholmer says, it would be suicidal to try and cycle there using V&H routes. The best way to get there on a cycle is to use the red painted underpaths that run parallel to the V&H roads whilst keeping just to the east of the railway line between MK and Wolverton.
  2. November 2008 ish - It was called "Survivors" - I think it ran for a year or so.
  3. The single greatest movement of mass and number of live animals by air is the regular movement of one day-old chicks!
  4. The arrival of flu-like illnesses in China around Spring is an annual event going back many years. Influenza viruses rapidly mutate into stable new forms aided by their two or more host development. Firstly, they naturally exist in bird populations where the avian higher blood temperatures allow more rapid generation and indeed mutation. The virus may then move to a mammalian host - often a pig in China, where the animal's larger blood volume allows the stable [new] virus to multiply readily. As in Wuhan, where the outbreak is said to have broken out in a livestock abattoir/open-air fresh meat market, the transmission from pig to human presents no problems and is likely inevitable. The only effective long term way to break that transmission chain is to separate live/dead/dying pigs from humans in urban areas - which in the case of a predominantly rural society like China and complicated by increasing rapid transit from farm to urban sites is almost impossible without the use of draconian state powers. Added to which is the self sufficiency that most rural chinese have lived with their whole lives where the presence of one's own animals is the only buffer between life and starvation. As I said, this is an annual cycle where only the severity of the resultant disease varies. Since the late '50s, the way flu vaccines have been generated in the UK is by studying which variants [described by which of the various H & N markers] the Chinese virus has and then using those to produce antibodies/weakened version of the virus. Generally we have had a perhaps, three month lead time to do this - but with China now being a major player in pretty much any industrial field and coupled with rapid air transport, that lead time available for UK research is becoming shorter and shorter.
  5. For 7-8 years I used to make master patterns and draw etch designs for Mike in both his "Electrifying Trains" and "Marc Models" guises. This was until just over a year ago when he suddenly appeared not to recognise me and we spent an uncomfortable day on adjacent stands at the December 2018 Reading O gauge show without him saying a single word to me. The odd occasion thereafter, we have spoken on the phone but his short term memory is very flaky and halfway through a call, he will drift away and not remember what or who he is talking to/about. I'm no lawyer but I believe that if taken to court, he would be found unfit to sensibly answer any questions. His family have spoken to the primary external agencies that did casting and etching for him so that he cannot get into [deep[er]] financial difficulties by ordering materials that will never be processed into coaches etc., but few records exist [or are accessible] it seems regarding what his current and/or unfulfilled commitments to other modellers are.
  6. Yes - Except that they are no longer available for sale. Whilst there may well be a few secreted in people's cupboards, those are of no use to me. Since I can and do produce kits, why not do this one?
  7. In the absence of an available kit of the NGG16 in its currently used form on the WHR and having reasonable access to the prototype, I thought that it would be useful to attempt to design my own kit of one. Most of the kits I design have been designed in 3D [and cast in resin] but this one will be produced as 10/15 thou etches in N-S. However, having spent several hours clambering over a [cold!] NGG16 with camera and measuring tape and accepting that the five G 16 engines on the WHR all have detail differences, it made sense to input the measurements taken into a 3D CAD package [Autodesk Inventor] and simultaneously plot a new "as is" GA drawing for a specific engine [138]. By creating 0.375mm wall thicknesses, I can thus see whether there are interference problems with the design. The castings will be unique and drawn in Inventor anyway, so some of these have been added to the GA outline drawing so that the engine develops some character as it is being assembled! This is not going to be a quick job as I have the odd London Trolleybus and Routemaster to finish in 7mm scale at some point as well.
  8. I was there on the Saturday on the DEMU stand with my new 7mm HST. Didn't see a lot of the show but Burntisland 1883 was seriously impressive. The guys on that layout went out of their way to answer questions on how [and why] the two fundamentally different methods of loading and getting coal across the Firth of Forth from the Fife coalfields to Edinburgh and beyond were use prior to the building of the Forth Rail Bridge.
  9. Well, as the designer I'm pleased that you like the 2mm version of 20001/2. The pics below are of my current 7mm creation [the scale I prefer working in]: These are all SLA/FDM prints some of which have been given a coat of grey primer. They have required absolutely minimal going over with wet & dry and are almost ready to be used as masters for casting. However, before that they will be on the DEMU stand at Stevenage tomorrow [Saturday]
  10. Having spoken to Keith Parkin, he confirms that the books were always intended cover mainly loco hauled stock. Mk1 EMU stock such as AM9, 4-CEP/BEP/REP are not included though clearly many facets of their construction such as variety of roof vents etc., are common to MU and loco-hauled stock. However, if like me you were looking for details of the underframe boxes of AM9 Griddle Cars, then you will be disappointed. However as a designer of 0gauge rolling stock and locos, I believe there are no better guides available on the construction and modifications to Mk1 loco hauled stock than these.
  11. Prior to the introduction of the "Military Salary" around 1970, servicemen were paid and taxed at a rate which supposedly took into account that their food and accomodation was effectively free - Basically they were paid at a rate rather lower than a civilian counterpart doing a broadly similar job - say, comparing a REME vehicle mechanic with a civilian equivalent. As a result, there were some compensations e.g., travel concessions such as cheap railway tickets when going on leave and upon presentation of an authorised leave pass. The tickets issued were overprinted "HM Forces Leave" and similar. The military salary was a major upheaval in the payment system as from around 1970, servicemen were now paid a salary which not only bore some relationship to what civilians might have received but also exceeded it by an "X" factor [usually 7-10%]. The X factor ostensibly rewarded the serviceman for working unnatural hours and potentially risking his life though operational allowances and extra pay for service say, in Northern Ireland were introduced around the same time. It wasn't until 1982 that Forces Railcards came in and they were a sort of "thank you" from the state for the Falklands War service. Thus after the introduction of the military salary, it was no longer felt necessary to have discounted leave tickets though "free" duty tickets issued in exchange for a military-issued travel warrant were still available and annotated that they were issued on a warrant so couldn't be returned for cash!
  12. Thank you Seraphim & Davexoc - The model proceeds apace - and significant chunks of it should be printed and present at both the CMRA Stevenage and Bristol 0gauge shows in January.
  13. If you want to see what the 7mm nose cone looks like - and what I have added solely for my own entertainment [so far] - see below!
  14. Thank you - I wonder if the box is a feeder for the Varley priming pump adjacent to it on the car's B side.
  15. Tony - Currently working on my 1/43 scale HST power car. This is a personal indulgence project and not for series production. Christmas is a good time to do this sort of involved project as it tends to be quieter. Best wishes to Mo and the family.
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