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  • Location
    Kent, UK
  • Interests
    4mm/1' scale: mostly GCR/LNER companies and time-periods.

    1'/1' scale: mostly GCR. I grew up near what was the London Extension and my curiosity got the better of me at an early age. I am still very much afflicted and ever dismayed at the wastage of one of our first high-speed routes to the north!

    Other: as a web-developer by trade I developed some of my skills some time ago creating the first incarnation of the GCR Soc. website, the GCR Rolling Stock Trust website (still online) and the Nottingham Transport and Heritage Centre website at one point.
  1. Apologies to @tractionman - I didn't realise you had already mentioned the NLS map viewer. Still, it's a great resource for modellers and worth mentioning twice perhaps. Nick
  2. You can also reference The National Library of Scotland's excellent online 'side by side' map viewer for most localities in the UK. So for example, Rothley in the Edwardian period would be: https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/side-by-side/swipe/#zoom=18&lat=52.7041&lon=-1.1587&layers=168&right=BingSat Note that I had road names switched off in the satelite view but you can just as easily switch them back on again and also switch maps on the other side. Don't go viewing the dismantled and carelessly discarded sections of the line though... it will bring a tear to your eye. Regards, Nick
  3. Certainly does have a "wow factor" about it, looks fantastic. If the Rails photos and others are anything to go by then that wonky right-hand cab step is how they all are perhaps. Probably easy to detach and reattach. It looks like the tender bogies could do with a thin shim to lift the tender body a fraction as it doesn't seem to be in line vertically with the footplate... could be that the wheels are of the wrong diameter. Otherwise, a magnificent representation.
  4. I for one really like it, it's a fantastic improvement over the last version especially the new faceted search. I expect that once you've ironed out the few implementation/hosting issues that are influencing page load/refresh speeds then folk will appreciate the speed at which the product view panels update without reloading the whole page. Nicely implemented as a responsive website too - a big thumbs up. I think the design is nice and clear and a definite improvement too... good use of white-space to ventilate what will always be busy pages. One thing I don't like is the main navigation menu in full desktop viewport widths - the drop-down menus look rubbish, half-finished. And making the menu items jump around in font size is not a good idea in terms of usability and instilling user confidence. Furthermore, the drop-down menus seem to be inaccessible to keyboard-only users. Conversely, the drop down dynamically built menu driven by the search form field is rather nice. One other thing - the "Text size +/-" control... it doesn't really work well in Firefox (I haven't tested in other browsers) as the increase in size creates overlapping text. This type of control was in existence on the previous website but is really an outdated concept nowadays. Users can simply use the 'Ctrl' plus '+/-' keystrokes to the same effect. I don't use the general browser 'zoom' function but using 'zoom text only' works very nicely on your new website using the keystrokes previously mentioned. All the best, Nick
  5. Lined cylinders with that Sir? I'm afraid we only do those as part of the Authenticity Upgrade Kit - https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Hornby-X9561-Class-A1-A3-Loco-Cylinder-Block-/312109125076 ;-)
  6. Yes, I understand, thanks. It would seem to be some small miracle that more of the alignment was not lost over the years in what is a mostly urban environment. I expect the important thing is to reinstate the formation in any form just to protect the route. As is the nature of many railway preservation activities involving the line itself, progress can often seem akin in speed to geological processes, so with reastablishment of the route all these 'nice to haves' such as double-track and even a double bridge over the Midland can be potential projects for the future and indeed future generations perhaps. A J11 would be grand... although I do believe we're getting a D7!
  7. Perhaps it's wiser to extend rather than double initially as the latter can always be done later whereas the former is not always possible as the formation dissolves away under road-building and house-building encroachments...
  8. Although the preserved section of the GCR is an ex. mainline there can be a loss of the 'mainline feel' due to the restriction of most trains to a branchline 25 mph on what was one of the fastest sections of the line (speeds of 80 mph through Loughborough were common). Unfortunately, it could be also be argued that the Loughborough 'gap' reduced to a single track and deviated round a carpark(!) may also add to this loss of a 'mainline feel'. But we are lucky indeed to have what we have and all credit is due. It's also useful to bear in mind that whilst railway enthusiasts may want a retention of a 'mainline feel' the families that come for a day out and largely fund the existence of the railway perhaps don't and certainly not the speeds associated with a mainline; they want to be entertained with sights, activities and food, an experience. In this respect, the stations along the line could be said to have lost that typical bleak, remote 'mainline GCR feel'... they are now more overly decorated, slightly twee, a synthesised nostalgia aimed perhaps at pulling in those revenue generating family visitors. I have every faith that the GCR are doing exactly what's needed to attract suitable revenue. And let's face it, those stations do look prettier than they ever have done!
  9. I was lead to believe that GNU is a recursive acronym for "GNU's Not Unix", please check your references...
  10. Hi Richard, I'm curious if you're still around, this being quite an old discussion - where did you get those 'Great Central' transfers or is this lettering something you have made yourself? It looks remarkably close to the original typeface used by the GCR. And I wonder, does anyone know what this typeface is called perchance? Regards, Nick
  11. Hello David, you can find a fair bit of information in various publications, to name but a few - "J . G. Robinson. A lifetime's work", Jackson, D., 1996, "Great Central Steam", Tuplin, W. A., 1967 and there's an interesting account of the standard vs. Caprotti valved engine performances over the London Extension in "Essays in steam", Clay, J. F., 1970. General consensus seems to be that they had performance issues in the ashpan and cylinder steam passages - breathing problems and coal consumption no less. Otherwise they lasted for 30 years putting in good service from what I gather. The more numerous but otherwise very similar B7 was probably more interesting in that having smaller diameter driving wheels the ashpan airflow was improved. I'm no authority on the subject but Gresley's A1s also had high coal consumption until long-travel valves replaced short-travel versions and Gresley's experimentation with Caprotti valvegear reduced coal consumption on the B3. Here's an unusual angle on the prototype locomotive, without doubt a handsome machine.
  12. pom-pom

    Hornby B12

    Fantastic weathering - your overall grime really sets the scene. I like the puddles in the ballast/ash too, a nice touch. Nick
  13. Hi Phil, no offence taken at all. I think you've just nailed it - I actually did spend just over £200 without a moan on a jacket and a pair of shoes for work a couple of days ago... with inflation lately, £200 is just not a lot of money these days yet we perceive it to be so for a highly detailed model locomotive. Perhaps it's because many of us can justify spending that on a jacket to our other half but find it more challenging when it comes to a model locomotive.
  14. Fair enough, I have no exposure to HO models other than an ancient Lima GWR King class loco, I think, when I was a kid in the '70s - so it's interesting to hear of the price and detail comparisons echoed on here. I would imagine that £200+ is very challenging for all but the middle-aged who have often worked up to a suitable earnings bracket.
  15. It seems at first glance that the locos hitting the eye-watering £200+ mark are those that have DCC sound fitted as standard. Not using DCC at the moment I'm hoping this doesn't become the standard!
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