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    Architecture, Cycling, VW Campervans, Railway Modelling- 1902/3 Midland through the Peak

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  1. Methinks coming back to perennial topics of interest/worry is what group discussion has a tendency to do ... think operation/loco lamps/making things rather than buying etc etc ... you never know - someone may say something new or interesting
  2. I tend to agree. As an architect I design buildings alongside other experts and specialists. The end product is a set of drawings and specifications (along with some prototyping done normally by others) which would be analogous to the drawings and spec for a steam loco. One is then responsible for managing and inputting into the build process (done to greater or lesser extent dependent upon the project and particular architect). I know many architects, engineers and designers who in their spare time have hobbies involved with making things ... I suspect this fulfils a need not fulfilled by the day job. Others spend much time building models and producing beautiful artwork for their buildings ... which achieves the same thing by another route.
  3. It would be interesting to see some figures about this. We are told that Railway modelling is more popular than it has ever been .... is that true? It would also be interesting to see the demographics. In the absence of such empirical data we rely on personal and anecdotal impressions. When I was a teenager, my impression was that there was a reasonably sized cohort of youngsters for whom trains sets were toys a certain number of whom aspired to building layouts of a sort. There then appeared be a much smaller and more defined group of serious modellers who spanned the age groups and contributed to the written articles and exhibited at the various shows. ( those aspiring kids who developed into fully fledged modellers?) Now things seem to be very different. There appear to be far fewer youngsters in the hobby and these (beyond the very young) seem to be in the main modellers rather than groups of youths playing trains. (perhaps a reflection of the changing nature and broadening of 'toys' coupled to the reduced profile of the the full scale railway?) Amongst adults it seems to me that the age range from 20 - 45 is relatively small (i.e. those who have continued to model). Nowadays, the main feed into the hobby would appear to be 'returnees' following on from the establishment of a life style/after kids/returning to roots ... or some other reason. (I wonder, would empirical data show that it has always been thus?) One portion of returnees seems to occur from the 45 - 55 age demographic, and from my observations most appear to be more interested in the fine scale side of things. There would then currently appear to be a glut of people in the hobby following on from retirement - think 65 - 85 age group. This appears to be exponentially more than when I was a teenager and perhaps reflects a state of relative affluence coupled to longevity within this particular cohort which was not the case in the 1970s/80s. Among this large grouping a fairly large proportion are again 'returnees' and amongst these enjoyment of unchanged RTR seems to occupy a prominent position ....and going by the prototypes that RTR manufacturers choose to model, perhaps reflects a desire for nostalgia rather than modelling per se? None of this is based upon research and is just my impression ... but if true we have a glut in the later part of life which will work itself through in due course coupled to a significant drop in numbers from the young, which was already happening for my demographic and has increased moving forward. Forecasters are also projecting a fall in free time and affluence among older people with the retirement age due to rise by 5 - 10 years. My own reading of this state of affairs is that there exists a core of serious modellers within the hobby which has always been there and which it will retain - though it will likely be smaller than in the past because it develops from a smaller initial base. Playing trains as a youth pastime will likely stay much as it currently is unless a craze manifests at some point. The glut of retirees currently 'playing trains' with RTR will contract and with it I suspect the viability of the expanded commercial sector. As I say, it would be interesting to see some empirical data ... but one reading might be that in 20 years we will have a much smaller hobby but perhaps a much more focussed one. Added to this, I wonder if the current trend to rediscover lost skills and methods (across the hobby and craft world) will mean that modern techniques will sit alongside the more craft and engineering based skills ... I hope so.
  4. I think the answer is both yes and no ... and I think it is a little more than a hobby for him now, though it started as one. Much of the machinery has been collected second hand over time, same with the hand tools. The materials as I understand it are sourced via local machine shops and other professional sources who buy in bulk ... so not at hobby shop or small supplier prices. Looking at his other videos he wastes very little with all off cuts put to use ... he has one video where he smelts down old taps to cast a housing for a Byzantine portable sundial that he is making ... but you have to subscribe on patreon for 1 dollar to watch that one!
  5. Try a patreon page with 5,600 monthly subscribers
  6. With the advent of Computers and digital drawing .... coupled to rendering and modelling packages .... most pieces of machinery are now computer controlled and the skill part lies with the design ... so CNC lathes/Milling machines/Laser cutters - and that is before you get to such things as 3d printing. As such why would you teach the old skills now in schools? What is interesting to me is the desire to revive old skills which seems a key part and attraction of the hobby world .... and we see this right across the board not just with engineering. I suspect were we to have subsidised courses teaching such skills (making them affordable to attend as a hobbyist), then people would be surprised at the level of interest. What's more, with the advent of such platforms as Youtube, the scope to teach oneself and develop skills has increased exponentially, and my own experience is that people are incredibly generous with there help and advice. As an example, Imagine being able to access demonstrations and guidance like this 30 years ago .... almost no chance... Being able to actually watch someone do a task is worth 10 articles on the subject. Interesting times.
  7. All depends on what you mean by kept ! I wonder .... steam billowing from a chimney but without the smoke anyone .... water boiling by renewables of some flavour? I like my 1970s camper and the nostalgia of the counter culture for 3 weeks or so a year .... but I suspect in the next 5 it way well be fitted with an electric engine. Not really a fan of coal ... but more than a little fascinated by its cultural and technological impact historically.
  8. ... sooooo .... Moving directly from the glory days of the magnificent slim boilered offerings of the Master - Samuel Waite Johnson - to full electrification .... hmmmm! A scenario that would have prevented such Victorian/Edwardian masterpieces becoming somewhat of a footnote in the overall history of British steam (which in terms of general perception I would argue they are) rather they would be held up as the high point. ..... pipe dreams on alternative realities - but on balance I think I would rather have had the offerings and brilliance of Churchward/Gresley/Stanier/Bulleid et al.
  9. I have been playing around with working point rodding on my test track. It is a very simple arrangement, and is made much easier by going down the protocab route so I don't have to worry about electrified track. However it has been an interesting experiment and something I will pursue. It has been up and running for a couple of years now. It works using 0.5 nickel silver wire ... this is run through some modelu stools which have capillary tube bonded in to the top of them. The cranks are Ambis etches and the compensator is home made. It is currently rigged up to a simple track side lever cobbled together using scrap etch and a bit of rail. The stools prevent deflection of the wire and I have a couple of omega loops to prevent damage whilst maintaining the pressure ... the friction in the system is sufficient to keep the switches positively engaged.
  10. Hi David, No I have no experience ... I thought the milky version was still current. It was Pete's post above which prompted a quick google search.
  11. If the picture is anything to go by then Pledge "revive it" would appear to be clear and not milky? I also purchased a bottle of the milky formula and didn't get on with it.
  12. Thanks Andrew, When cleaning the 'chassis' I found that the axles when sliding through the horn blocks after they had been dropped out of the guides were sticky and when in the wrong position caught slightly ... as if there was a small piece of grit locking things. By spinning the wheel it all freed up again, but would catch occasionally. After cleaning this no longer happened. However, without any lubrication it runs smoothly but not as loosely as it did with. I am concerned about not using a lubricant due to potential longer term wear issues. The clock oil I have used to date is the one sold by Eileens
  13. Can I ask some advice on smooth running. On my 1F I got the chassis running nice and smoothly to my satisfaction. I put a small drop of fine clock oil on each of the bearings and also the crank rod bearings, followed by some running in. I then turned my attention to fine detailing the body with the chassis sitting towards the back of my workbench. On completion I assembled everything and had a play. After a while I found the running getting a little 'sticky'. Now .... as nothing had changed from the original set up I deduced that some of the filing dust/scratch brush dust might well have got in to the mechanism. I stripped the chassis down and gave everything a thorough clean. I seem to have been right in my diagnosis as the chassis is running smoothly again. Should I look to lubricate again? and if so using what? I am pretty sure that the oil attracted the contamination and I can see no reason why this will not happen again over time.
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