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Michael Crofts

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  • Location
    Forest of Dean
  • Interests
    32mm gauge, 1:14.3 (18" gauge prototypes)
    15" gauge 1:1

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  1. I think I may have been the one to mention fenders and if so I wish I hadn't because I have been right through my collection of photos of working boats and working harbours and haven't found a single photo of a fender pre WWII.
  2. If still available and the standard LGB section (330 thou high from memory) I'll have them and pay parcel post. Michael
  3. Glad you didn't get churned up in the Portland Race! We left our boat in Portland for weeks once, waiting for a weather window to go west across Lyme Bay in comfort. In the Little Muddle harbour there's a clear high water mark and the water is only a foot or so below, so we're either at or very close to high water on a spring tide. If it hasn't got a gate it will be a drying harbour but it just doesn't look the sort of place to have 35ft of wall. So my guess is that Little Muddle is some way up a river or creek and Snowflake will gently fall about 10ft or 15ft to sit (probably) on mud. I know she's only a puffer, but her skipper will want to fend her off those boltheads on the quayside baulks so they don't catch on her rubbing strakes. What did they use for fenders in the late thirties? When did old tyres start being used? Did they use fenders at all? I have a colour photo of a tramp steamer at Wells-next-the-Sea in 1939 lying against a (smooth) stone wall with not a fender in sight. Most of my photos of harbours are earlier so I really don't know what was being done in your time period.
  4. A really great boating scene. Lovely to see it develop. I have done a bit of motor yacht cruising in the Brizzle Channel and I have huge respect for the men who traded there in the days of sail and steam. It's always summer in Little Muddle but imagine her skipper bringing Snowflake across from Swansea on a dark night in November, low in the water with a load of coal, on the first leg with the tide coming in, a nor-easterly blowing, wind-over-tide kicking up a swell almost enough to broach her, no weather forecast, no autopilot, no radio, no radar, no GPS..... Imagine being the stoker, below decks with the ship pitching and rolling and cork-screwing, not much light (were paraffin Tilley lamps used on ships?), trying not to fall against hot pipework and valves.... And all the crew on meagre pay from an employer who might go bust at any time, no health service, probably no pension (and not much life expectancy after retirement). Nobody has mentioned the other prototype for a puffer in the channel, Black Dwarf: '...an ex-Clyde puffer, which was bought by William Jones of Lydney in the 1890s and traded out of Lydney docks for the next fifty years.' (Lightmoor Press website). I took some photos of an old Puffer in Plymouth in 2016 - might just possibly be of some interest. A good colourised view of a Thames tramp steamer here. Not greatly different to a Clyde Puffer except that a lot of the tramps didn't have the "luxury" of an enclosed wheelhouse. At least Snowflake has some shelter at the wheel.
  5. I have been working on some notes about railway traffic to and from breweries for some time. Notes here if you are interested: http://perrygrovefarm.co.uk/Brewery_traffic.pdf I've learned from this thread that grain and malt traffic in sacks wasn't often carried by the Midland in vans (because they didn't have many) but was that true of all railways? Presumably if sacks were carried in open wagons they were sheeted. One source of confusion is that many old maps refer to "Malthouses" without making it clear whether they were Maltings (where grain was germinated to become malt) or simply stores for malt which had been produced elsewhere. The leading authority on brewery buildings, "Built to Brew" is silent about that, and so is Peaty IIRC. The modelling on these threads is amazing.
  6. This page marks the end of my first acquaintance with Little Muddle. I've read the whole thread and I can't recall a layout which has made such a strong impression on me since Buckingham, the Craig & Mertonford, and a couple of articles by John Ahern in Model Railway Constructor when I was a bit younger. I've learned such a lot. Possibly the most important lesson for me is to create the basic scenery as quickly as possible and then fill in details bit by bit rather than feeling under pressure to build the entire thing all in one go. Thanks Kevin. For more information about Clyde Puffers in the Bristol Channel there is this post which hasn't been mentioned here. We had our motor boat in those muddy waters during 2017/18 - I'm just astonished that the Puffers were able to cope with the tidal streams. I have a small collection of scanned colour slides taken in East Anglia in the summer of 1939 - would they be of any help? PM me if so. Michael
  7. Did anyone get any pictures of Roy Link's Crows Nest layout showing the whole thing as it was set-up for the show? I have seen close-up pictures but I would love to see how the whole thing looks. I didn't hear about this show until too late! But that's just me. I have only just started to think about going to shows again and haven't been monitoring lists.
  8. Hi Giles, thanks for the details. Instead of drifting the thread I've sent you a PM. Geraint - thanks for the tip.
  9. May I ask how your backscene is mounted, and does it touch the rear of the baseboard or is there a gap?
  10. I sent a message to Turbocad (using the message tool on their site) asking if any of their versions can be purchased instead of rented. The site suggests there may be some versions which one can buy but isn't crystal clear about that. They didn't bother to reply.
  11. Thanks for further help. I have bought QCAD and the ebook and will experiment with that to begin with. Can't remember if I already said this, but I never use subscription software, only programmes which I can buy and own, which reside on my machine, and which I can transfer when my machine dies. Getting harder all the time but still a good policy for the private individual paying out of taxed income with no way of recouping costs. Also I hope to transition to a Linux Operating System either this year or next so whatever I use must run on Linux, and that was part of my decision to try QCAD.
  12. Great help, thanks. You'll have to stop me if my questions get dumb or this thread drifts too far from the title. I'm trying not to turn it into "Beginners Guide to Etching"! I've attached a sketch of a very simple lineside plate - not to scale or anything. I've used Michael Edge's protocol of black = etch rather than the traditional red for front etch and blue for rear. In QCAD, if I create the text as text, then "explode" it to polylines, are you saying I can fill each letter as white, albeit manually? If the answer to that is yes, I'll risk the 33 Euros and buy QCAD. I must stop faffing around and actually DO something! Etching example 001 v01.pdf
  13. @D869 I see you have QCAD. Please would you look at it and see if it will do the equivalent of "explode text" which Mike Edge mentioned: 'Turbocad has a command to "explode text" which turns it into a series of polylines (fills) which are then reliably reproduced. It can no longer be edited as text but all the characters can be scaled, copied etc. ' I suppose this feature might be called something different - "Convert Text" perhaps? have prevaricated long enough, I need to choose a CAD system for etching today. I wanted to use Turbocad because it is what a colleague in a forthcoming joint project uses but all the "permanent" copies/versions of Turbocad I have found are dubious and I'm not willing to pay annual licence fees for any software because there is always a risk that if you let the subscription lapse you lose all your work. I am therefore hoping QCAD will be OK, the Pro version states clearly it is a one-off payment. In the near future I need to etch builders' plates, cast iron lineside signs, fire insurance wall plaques, road junction figerposts, , etc. - all things with lots of text on them - which is why I am asking this question.
  14. Is that what Phillips get for making the photo tool, two separate parts (front etch and back etch), both in black & white? The Grainge & Hodder 'Beginners Guide' says this, which seems much more complicated and risky: 'The next stage is to submit the artwork for plotting to a photo tool. The artwork should be submitted preferably as a dxf file with the instruction 'Turn off layer 1, combine layers 2 & 3 in black and reverse for front tool, combine layers 3 & 4 in black for rear tool.'
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