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Ducking Giraffe

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  1. After trying all sorts of weird and wonderful solutions to shoot model railway video videos, including a Canon 5D Mk2, (not enough depth of field, can't go on a wagon ha ha) a Canon Ixus 265 (small but wifi app completely useless) and a couple of bogie wagons with a lego bridge between them to support a Canon Legria camcorder (no, seriously!), I've settled on a Runcam 2 4K last October and it's a real sweetie. The Runcam 2 4K is way better than the similar looking HD Mobious in that it shoots at 4k and has a decent app for a viewfinder. The four best features of the Runcam 2 4K are: 1. 4K resolution 2 .Wifi control via an app, including live realtime viewfinder, 3. Changeable field of view 4. And most importantly you can cut the glue that holds the lens mount thread so you can change the focus from about 1m to 20cm or less! The problem of depth of field will always be there as you can't control the aperture to stop down to f32 or something, but it's a start. I just have to keep adjusting the focus depending on what I'm shooting. The Hornby class 55 chassis makes an excellent shooting platform, using wagons gave rubbish bumpy results. I'm having the best fun in ages , what with the smoke machine and fancy digital effects. One day I swear i will finish the video I've had planned for years, but for the moment I'm having too much fun seeing what I can push things to. I've done a review on Youtube here: Looks best full screen on a 27" monitor, but still doesn't really show the excellent quality of 4k. If you want to skip to some shot actual footage it starts at about 06:10.
  2. What a great layout,well done! I was there BAe Tabuk 1985 - briefly - as a base photographer with the Lightnings , only stayed for three months before being made redundant when the Tornados arrived and we weren't needed any more! Bit of a strange job anyway being a photographer in a location where you aren't allowed to take photos. Went to Riyadh HQ print room (you're a photographer , it's got a darkroom...) in 1986 for a couple of years, brewing "wine" for the hotel bar and buying chea p photo gear....
  3. Excellent well done , you were ahead of me there, didn't know he was another ronnie barker character! Now, how can we get the Raspberry Blower of Old London Town in there?
  4. Actually in later versions I changed it to to Her Majesty's model prison in Skaledale which I think made a bit more sense. Probably the only thing that does. Incidentally I know you think you've got away with it but I have spotted the quite clear link between Grouty -who was a character lifted from Ronnie Barker's Porridge, and the corner shop you have shown which is quite clearly the shop that was featured in Open All Hours another Ronnie Barker endeavour…
  5. Lo Keith- YES! Utterly love that pic from the Cruikshank Redemption. Doesn't he poke through a poster of Raquel Welch? My story was just a series of jokes that posed questions that I had to answer, and one of them was when Grouty said "we're digging a tunnel - a railway tunnel" - which then I thought why? Where to? Ok so it's a big layout but why? IIRC it was "Daddy!" not "Daddy." but I will have to check on that on Youtube...
  6. https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/149940-the-rivet-police-part-1-dawn-raid/ https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/150030-the-rivet-police-part-2-banged-up-inside/ https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/150102-the-rivet-police-part-3-an-offer-i-cant-refuse/ https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/150369-the-rivet-police-part-4-the-race/ The Story so far.... After years of playfully browsing eBay, buying up all sorts of mismatched 00 gauge model railway track and rolling stock and putting it on parliamentary expenses, the chickens finally come home to roost in our hero's herb garden. Grassed up by person or persons unknown for crimes against finescale modelling, the charges are severe. They include TWO Evening stars, mixing Eastern and Western region coaches in the same train, getting the buffet car in the wrong position, running a DCC sound loco on DC , using foam track underlay and the heinous crime of Tracing (train racing). Our hero now faces seven year's hard modelling, the only prospect to get out early is to get up to exhibition standard, building from scratch. Then one day he gets a call from the Fat Controller, AKA Grouty, a man you don't cross lightly. Grouty reveals they're digging a (railway) tunnel - to E-wing. He bribes me with a Tri-ang rocket launcher and exploding freight car to soup-up a Eurostar to take on E-wing's Turbo Car. Our Eurostar is double motored, the suspension is dropped, we've got a 24V overclocking circuit and depleted uranium weights for better cornering. What could possibly go wrong? Quite a lot as it turns out. Unbeknown to us the opposing team also put what they think is depleted uranium in their Turbo Car. When the two trains touch during the race we discover that we’ve been sold the wrong stuff and have used uranium 235 – and the whole thing goes critical with a nano-Ramsay bang. How will it all be resolved in time for tea and a happy ending? Tickets please and hold on tight for The Rivet Police – Part 5 The Great Escape & Homecoming. I had a brief moment of blind panic. Then I remembered an old Blue Peter programme I'd seen in the Valerie Singleton days when they sent John Noakes to decommission a nuclear reactor. I turned to the small crowd that had assembled in the exercise yard. “Right! Smiler Steve.I want every last ounce of quick-set modeller's plaster you and your lads can find in the prison. Bob - I want you to go up to the medical department and get all the bone strengthening boron pills you can find. John - I want you and three lads to go up on the roof and get me a piece of lead about 4-ft square. Harry - you're a good airbrush weathering artist, I want you and 3 of your best airbrushing mates down in the courtyard in half an hour with all the black paint you can lay your hands on. Everyone else, clear up this mess and get that track back to where it belongs.” I turned to one of the chefs who had come out to watch the race. “How quickly can you do me a Victorian sponge birthday cake?” “Jamie Oliver or Mary Berry?” “Jamie.” “Strawberry or raspberry filling?” “Strawberry.” “Whipped or butter cream?” “Whipped.” “Oooh, about 45 minutes?” “That's great, you’ve got an hour to make the biggest birthday cake you can. We're gonna have a party!” The teams hurried off to their tasks and in no time we had the hole in the courtyard filled with modeller's plaster and boron tablets which were soaking up the radioactivity nicely. The lead sheeting was pulled into place and the airbrush team swung into action, beautifully weathering it so it blended in with the rest of the courtyard. A cursory inspection with a Geiger counter and you’d never know it was there. From that day to this there is a place in the exercise yard where the snow never settles. It's known as Grouty's Wet Patch. He was never too sure whether to be annoyed or pleased at the label. The guards arrived as expected bang on time for afternoon tea, initially they thought we were having some sort of riot and were just about to call the Jenny Agutter look-alike for riot control, when we burst into Happy Birthday Dear Grouty and started handing round pieces of birthday cake. We said we were very sorry about the mess and would pay for the broken windows but we couldn't find a corkscrew. Grouty called me into his “office” a few days later. I thought he would be furious that we didn't win the race., but he was remarkably sanguine about the whole thing. “I’ve got a little present for you” he said and handed over a box with the Tri-ang Battlespace Rocket Launcher and Exploding Freight Car. “And I said there would be a drink in it for you” He gave me a thick brown envelope stuffed with fifty-pound notes. “But grouty there must be at least 10 big ones here!”. “Yeah” he said, “And I've got 250k in my back pocket so I thought it was only fair that you got your share.” “But Grouty how did you manage it, we didn't win or lose, it was only declared a draw." "Yeah" he said "it was quite easy, really, I just put a stock bond option credit collateral amortization leveraged butterfly spread bid-to-cover-ratio-swap on it . It's the ultimate heads-I-win-tails-you-lose make-money-under-any-circumstances derivative that I wrote for the Royal Bank of Scotland back in 2007.” “But wasn't that the financial instrument that bankrupted RBS and left a £138 billion hole in the UK economy?” “Yeah, pity ‘bout that, the muppets got the decimal point in the wrong place. They were more concerned at getting a Knighthood and making sure the filing cabinets tops were clear of papers than understanding how it worked. As Stevie Wonder pointed out in his 1972 no 1 hit “Superstition”, 'If you believe in things you don't understand, then you suffer.' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CFuCYNx-1g I tell you mate, the second biggest threat to the planet is the Excel spreadsheet in the hands of muppets.” On the way out I casually remarked "Well at least everything turned out well in the end, it's amazing what you can do with teamwork.." Grouty had already turned back to his layout and only managed a absent minded "Yeah that's true". I gave him a week for the penny to drop but to his eternal credit it only took three days before Grouty called a meeting. “Lads I've been thinking. From now on there's no more individual working on our layouts, it's all going to be about teamwork. We’re going to specialise!” Working as teams, the time taken to build an exhibition layout was cut dramatically from years to just months or even weeks. You could get your full layout track laid in three days by the specialist track gang and ballasted in just a day. Next was the airbrush weathering team, another day, let it dry and job done. The wagon re-wheeling and coach re-wheeling departments had a friend rivalry to see who was the quickest in getting new finescale wheels on your rolling stock. I think the quickest turnaround was two days -they could do it quicker if you bunged in a packet of fags and a bottle of Pimms but they insisted on the 1 Litre version not the 75cl. The prison rivet inspectors checked the layouts - and then checked them again. They had no choice but to pass them as superb examples of railway modelling. Immaculately presented finescale layouts still soon started flying out of the door together with their respective reformed and re-educated inmates on early release. As usual senior prison management had no idea what was going on but since it was obviously down to their policies it was only right that they took the credit. It was a proud day when the parole board said I no longer presented a threat to the finescale railway modelling community. I was ok to leave - it had only been two years - and they gave me my discharge papers and small imitation brass plaque: Henley Junction, Exhibited With Merit At Her Majesty's Model Prison Slade January 2020 Grouty was released on the same day. We paused outside for a moment in the bright spring sunshine as the big wooden doors clanged shut behind us and we breathed the sweet air of freedom. “What now Grouty, any railway ideas?” “Well I thought I'd take on the Forces of Darkness that are intent on destroying the planet.” “That's a great idea for a layout” I said, “a sort of James Bond theme with secret volcano bases and that weird black train from GoldenEye that was actually a class 20 with a bit of plywood on the front?” “No mate I really am going to take on the forces of Darkness. I've redone my derivative for the commodities market and I’m going bankrupt every single Australian coal mining company there is and make a shed load of money into the bargain. Fancy coming along for the ride?” “No thanks Grouty, for once that’s an offer I can refuse, I’ve got my own shed to get back to.” We shook hands and went our separate ways. I couldn't wait to get home to see my loved ones who I had missed so badly while I was away, particularly the Midland Blue Pullman 6 car set and the HST 10 car set in original BR colours. My wife was waiting by the shed when I got home. The shed was a bit more faded and weathered but the “Steve's train shed” sign was still there. She led me inside. I just couldn't believe it. “What's all this stuff, all these light blue boxes, and what about Eric at number 52 and his N Gauge?.” She looked at me. “Don't be silly, Eric was never a contender, I couldn't be doing with all that fiddly small track, I needed a man with bigger ambitions. You were right about Grouty though, he did dob you in so that he can make use of your Eurostar expertise, but he sent Eric to look after me while you were away. Eric’s actually quite a sweet chap. He introduced me to Grouty’s wife, and we got on really well. Turns out she’s a big Princess Diana fan too, and she put me in touch with a bonkers American collector who bought my entire collection of Princess Diana Franklin Mint Memorial Figurines for an Unbelievable Amount. Well it's been over 20 years and I thought it was time to let sleeping princesses lie and let it go.” She paused. “That gave me an idea, so I went to see Simon at Hornby in in a low-cut top and a short skirt.” “How very modern. I’m very much in favour of cross-dressing in the workplace, but isn't he getting a bit old for that?” I asked. “No...” she said in her best explaining to a 5-year old voice “I was the one wearing the short skirt. I asked him if I could lease the mould tools and dies from the Battlespace Range. He thought I was mad, they were all over 50 years old but he gave me a good deal anyway.” “What did he say?” “He said 'you're mad they're all over 50 years old but I'll give you a good deal anyway'. Next I went to see a man in the merchandising department at Disney in an even shorter skirt and low-cut top.” I opened my mouth to speak. She held up her hand. “Don't even go there. Anyway, I got a good deal with them for just 10% of net profit. I explained my idea to the two biggest Northern Model Railway Retailers - and they've signed a 5 year contract!” “But I thought they've been loyal Hornby supporters since 1920?” “I know - I said I appreciated that they had only lent me their sales and that I wouldn't let them down. I promised them a new golden age of selling model railways - to girls! ”. The scenario all sounded very familiar, but I just couldn’t quite place it. “This is fantastic darling, where did you get all this business expertise from?”. “From The Apprentice of course!”. “The Apprentice? Business advice from The Apprentice? Look darling, I appreciate that I've just been released from a luxury prison where they build model railways as a punishment, tutored by ex-playboy bunnies and manage to race trains with weapons-grade uranium causing a small nuclear detonation, but what you’ve just said is really beyond belief!” “I know. I just did the exact opposite of everything on The Apprentice. I didn't work with idiots with no experience and who hated my guts. I didn't go into a field I knew nothing about, I didn't do everything in a rush, and I didn't come up with stupid slogans like everything I touch turns to sold. My business plan was factual, honest and well researched, I practiced my presentations until they made sense and I was word perfect, and I didn't try to negotiate a good deal at 5:30 on Friday afternoon for some weird tat I didn't want anyway. And Most importantly.. " she paused. "Yes?" "Whenever I came across an unshaven grumpy old man who tried to bring me down with terrible puns and saying everything was absolutely shaaaaambles I TOLD HIM TO P*SS OFF!” She took a deep breath and calmed down a bit. “So do you want to take Olaf for a spin on our layout?” "That's great, but maybe tomorrow. I've got something else I need to take for a spin right now". With that, I took her hand, lead her out towards the house, and shut the shed door behind us.
  7. Well yes I think you've hit the nail on the head there.:you go into prison for shop lifting and come out being able to crack safes!.
  8. The story so far. After years of playfully browsing eBay, buying up all sorts of mismatched 00 gauge model railway track and rolling stock and putting it on parliamentary expenses, the chickens finally come home to roost in our hero's herb garden. Grassed up by person or persons unknown for crimes against finescale modelling, the charges are severe. They include TWO Evening stars, mixing Eastern and Western region coaches in the same train, getting the buffet car in the wrong position, running a DCC sound loco on DC , using foam track underlay and the heinous crime of Tracing (train racing). Our hero now faces seven year's hard modelling , the only prospect to get out early is to get up to exhibition standard, building from scratch. Then one day he gets a call from the Fat Controller, AKA Grouty, a man you don't cross lightly.Grouty reveals they're digging a (railway) tunnel - to E-wing. He bribes me with a Tri-ang rocket launcher and exploding freight car to soup-up a Eurostar to take on E-wing's Turbo Car. Our Eurostar is double motored, the suspension is dropped, we've got a 24V overclocking circuit and depleted uranium weights for better cornering. What could possibly, possibly go wrong? With the world watching (and betting) we we now face the peril of The Rivet Police PART 4 - The Race The day of the race dawned bright and sunny and the track laying teams were out early. This was the culmination of weeks of planning and hard work. Grouty had poured all of his resources into this secret project and had to call on many of his underworld contacts on the outside to supply the bits for our souped-up Eurostar. Sometimes they came up blank, so for the more tricky parts we had to resort to ordering on Amazon Prime with next day delivery. Whispers had got back to me about preparations in E-wing on their Turbo Car. I’d gone to see Grouty. “I’m worried the game’s up, I think Smiler Steve and E-wing are plotting something.” He seemed nonplussed “Don't worry, I’ve got it covered.” “But Grouty, they might win! “Don't worry I’ve got it covered!” he snapped. After that, I left him alone and got on with my work tweaking our Eurostar. The twin track “layout” was huge and had taken “voluntary” contributions of 5 metres of track from every layout in the prison. It went straight down the centre of our block, through the tunnel into E-wing, along their corridor and then arcing out into the main exercise yard straight and then curving back around to our wing again. The prison’s CCTV cameras were turned round so every part of the track could be viewed on large TVs. With live streaming on Youtube we should just hit peak viewing in the Far East. We accidentally on purpose let slip that our Eurostar power car was number 3008 and the Chinese betting syndicates went absolutely mad for it. Grouty asked the guards very politely if they wouldn't mind awfully taking the day off off and most of them made ourselves scarce. The few that wouldn't had to be bribed and it took nearly all of our cigs & Pimm's to get them to not appear for one day. But it was worth it. Smiler Steve from E block was smiling more than usual and this worried me. We won the toss for the inner or outer circuit. We took the outer as even though we had further to go, the Turbo Car would have to slow down more for the curves. We lined up and waited for one of the bunny girls to start the race. As soon as the the lacy somethingorother that she was holding hit the floor both teams turned our controls up. Our Eurostar leapt off the starting grid, it's brand new traction tyres gripping into the nickel silver track, leaving the the Turbo Car in the dust - and blowing it everywhere. The Turbo Car was strangely ponderous and laggy, seemingly weighed down. It took an age to spin up to a decent speed, but eventually started to catch up with us on the first straight run. It was then that our overclocking circuit kicked in and that dumped the extra 24 volts into the twin motors. The Eurostar picked up her metaphorical skirts and just FLEW down the track leaving the Turbo Car behind. The assembled crowd roared their approval. Coming up to the first curve we took it at full speed, the Eurostar hunkering down low to the track and sailing round. The Turbo Car would have to slow down to take the curve and we’d be well away with an increasing margin.. But it didn't. Much to our surprise and shock, the Turbo Car kept on powering on smoothly through the bend with no tilting, wobble or shimmy, reeling us in like a fish. Something had gone terribly, terribly wrong, it was flat and smooth, and very very fast, gaining on us with every metre. It was at moments of crisis like this that Grouty and I reverted to our Star Trek roles in the prison christmas pantomime. Over the noise of the crowd he shouted “We must have more power!” “I’m giving it all we've got captain!” I shouted back. “I need more power!” “I canne’ hold it Captain!”. Coming up to the second curve out in the yard the Turbo Car was gaining on us. Then, as the Turbo Car drew level, it touched the large overhang of the Eurostar on the inside curve, and the unimaginable happened. There was a blinding blue flash, a deafening BANG! - and all the monitors went blank. There was a stunned silence. Grouty, Smiler Steve and I looked at each other. In chorus we all said “What the [expletive deleted] was that!” We quickly donned our Railtrack hi-vis jackets and went outside to see what had happened. In the middle of the yard, there was a neat 2 foot crater in the tarmac, but of the trains and a large section of track there was no sign. They’d gone. Disappeared. Vaporised. I turned to Smiler Steve, who for once wasn’t smiling. “What the hell did you have in that Turbo Car?” “We knew that you're up to something and we eventually found out about the depleted uranium. The centre of gravity on that Turbo Car is way too high for the curves, so we got some too and used as much as we could cram in”. An alarming thought crossed my mind “Just where did you get that from, some dodgy dealer on eBay?” “No, not just anybody” scoffed Steve “it was the same place you got yours.” ”What, the LowDong chemical supply company on Amazon?” “Yep, that was the one.” We hastily called up their Amazon page on our phones. “Oh my god, look at the 462 five-star reviews, they look like they were written by Yoda from Star Wars! "Products very good these are" and here's another one- "Really excrement company". There’s more: "My cat absolutely loved this spray and has stopped scratching the furniture. Highly recommended." - Ethelred Z. "I STRONGLY recommend this to EVERYONE interested in running a successful online business!" - Olga C. “Oh my god we've been had!” I said “We’ve been sent the wrong stuff! Those cheapskate fakers have sent us Uranium 235, not depleted uranium, so when the trains passed too close the whole lot went critical! One of the cooks who had gathered to watch the race stepped forward with an old fag packet and a pencil stub. “I did nuclear physics as part of my Cook With Gordon course. It’s only a rough calculation but I estimate we've just had a Nano Ramsey nuclear event.” Smiler Steve let out a low whistle. Grouty looked puzzled “That doesn't sound like much...” His grasp of nuclear physics never was that good. “Yes you're right Grouty,” I said “Thankfully it wasn't. A Nano Ramsay is just a flipping loud bang and you can see the results. A Micro Ramsay would have have made a bloody loud bang and blown away the whole prison. He was getting the hang of this. “And a Full Ramsey?” “A full Ramsay would be a f*****g loud bang and the prison the town and most of the surrounding countryside would disappear.” Time was ticking on. The exercise yard was a mess with bits of track everywhere, there was a two foot radioactive hole in it, and I hadn't won the race for Grouty. We had a couple of hours to get this place cleaned up before the guards returned for afternoon tea or we’d all be done on terrorism and worse - train racing charges. All eyes were on me. Looks like I'd chosen a bad day to quit sniffing glue. I had a stark choice. I could either be Baldrick from Blackadder or Michael Caine from The Italian Job. I chose Michael Caine: "Hang on a minute lads, I've got a plan.” In the next installment those old Blue Peter programmes come in handy, Grouty organises The Great Escape - ("entirely legit, honest 'gov") , N- gauge Eric shows he is not just a pop up character for cheap jokes about not using the N-word, and my wife tells a grumpy unshaven old man who asserts everything is "a shambles" where to go. It's not credible, it's not true, it's - The Rivet Police Part 5 - The Great Escape and Homecoming
  9. Dear Mr Wolf, We could so badly do with your skills from Pulp Fiction to clean up the mess created in Part 4, and I mean it is serious mess. As it is, we only have either Baldrick from Blackadder or Michael Caine from the Italian Job. It’s a tough call as we shall see…. DG
  10. https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/149940-the-rivet-police-part-1-dawn-raid/ https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/150030-the-rivet-police-part-2-banged-up-inside/ The story so far. After years of playfully browsing eBay, buying up all sorts of mismatched 00 gauge model railway track and rolling stock and putting it on parliamentary expenses, the chickens finally come home to roost in our hero's herb garden. Grassed up by person or persons unknown for crimes against finescale modelling, the charges are severe. They include TWO Evening stars, mixing Eastern and Western region coaches in the same train, getting the buffet car in the wrong position, running a DCC sound loco on DC , using foam track underlay and the heinous crime of Tracing (train racing). Our hero now faces seven year's hard modelling , the only prospect to get out early is to get up to exhibition standard, building from scratch. Then one day he gets a call from the Fat Controller, AKA Grouty, a man you don't cross lightly. The Fat Controller, AKA Grouty was the “Mr Big” on our wing and not much got done without him knowing about it. You could tell he had power and influence because he had a 55-inch TV instead of the usual 50-inch and a few more channels on his Sky box. As I walked into his cell he was carefully arranging two Land Rovers and an Austin Loadstar next to a railway bridge. He had a delicate touch for such a hard man. I tried to keep the conversation light and fluffy. “Nice layout Grouty, early 60s?” “Yeah” he said, looking up and smiling with pride, “West Coast mainline, Leighton Buzzard to Tring, August 1963” The obvious schoolboy error stuck out like a sore thumb. Before I could stop myself I blurted it out, instantly regretting it. “That’s a really nice Class 55 Grouty, but weren’t the mail coaches in the Great Train Robbery pulled by a Class 40 diesel? He looked at me with daggers. “You’ve been paying too much attention in class. Watch ‘yer mouth, comments like that make your nose bleed”. His mood changed back again to a more friendly demeanour. “What do you know about the Tri-ang Battlespace Turbo Car?” I thought for a moment. I was surprised. You had to be careful talking about the turbo car, even here. If the Battlespace Range was the forbidden Satanic Cult of finescale railway modelling, then the Turbo Car was its antichrist, since it resembled nothing ever made or seen on any railway. Anywhere. Originally it had the stock number of R666, but this was hastily reallocated to the articulated car transporter when the mistake was realised. Strangely enough the articulated car transporter was stocked entirely with blue Ford Anglias, foretelling the rise of Harry Potter over 50 years later. Looks like Eric Von Daniken was right in his book “Prophecies of the Tri-ang Hornby Catalogue 1962-69.” If the Rivet Police caught you with a Turbo Car in your eBay watch list it was 6-months minimum. They were getting increasingly clever to catch you out on eBay, posing as innocent 14 year olds "selling off their Grandad's collection". In the early days it was easy to spot these as it was "collection only" in some dodgy lock-up down at Heathrow, but lately they'd changed tactics and started hiring Airbnb's in Henley-on-Thames. You could get Turbo Cars occasionally on the dark web from international sellers with less scruples, but the trouble was smuggling into the country since they had specially trained sniffer dogs at all ports. “Hmmmmm. Heavily streamlined, totally propeller driven, 1966 to ‘73, vicious spike on the front, fastest thing that Tri-ang Hornby ever produced, clocked at scale speeds of over 300 mph. Literally blew everything away, including plastic people, plastic cows, plastic trees, plastic fencing, in fact anything that wasn't glued down. Why do you ask?” “A little birdie tells me you know about Eurostars." "I might do…." I replied cautiously. "Just speaking hypothetically, how would you take on a Turbo Car with a mk1 Eurostar?" I sucked in my breath through my teeth. “It’s a big ask Grouty, the only thing I've ever seen take on a Turbo Car is a 1974 4-6-0 over-geared Albert Hall with Magnadhesion on steel track. Those built-in magnets stick it like glue to the track round the bends where the turbo car has to reduce speed. The Turbo’s great on straights but rubbish round curves. It’s got a high centre of gravity due to the position of the fan motor.” I thought for a moment. “Take one on with a Eurostar? That’s tricky. Purely hypothetically of course, I'd drop the suspension by 3 mm to get ground effect downforce, I'll tape over the pantograph to reduce wind resistance, double motor it, and put in an overclocking circuit with two 12V Tesla Lithium-Cobalt batteries. When that baby hits a scale 88 miles an hour that’ll dump in an extra 24 volts and you’ll see some serious sh*t.” “What about the curves?” “Good point. I’d replace the built-in weights with depleted uranium, its nearly twice as heavy as lead. “Isn't that leefal?” “Only if it comes through the side of your tank at mach 5, in which case it bursts into flames” Grouty motioned trackpin to close the cell door and keep guard outside. He dropped his voice to a more conspiratorial tone. “We're digging a tunnel.” I gasped, I just couldn't believe it. “What, you’re planning to escape?!!” “No, a railway tunnel, we're knocking through to E-Wing, they've got a Turbo Car and we're going to take it on. “But nobody's won against a turbo car in over 40 years! “Exactly. We've got great odds for the Eurostar and I’ve got several big ones riding on this. I'm relying on you to bring this in for me, there’s a drink in it for you.” “Oh no Grouty, don't make me do this, I promised to the wife I’d go straight when I get out, strictly finescale modelling of Redhill to Ashford 1965 to 67” “Then we'll have to find some way of changing your mind” he said in a menacing tone. From under the bed he pulled out a long sock filled with something, for a minute I thought he was going to hit me with it. Out of the sock he pulled out a R343 battlespace rocket launcher and a R249 exploding freight car. He put the rocket launcher on one side of the layout and exploding car on the other, lined it up carefully and let all four rockets fly. They neatly straddled the exploding freight car, which promptly exploded. “That rocket launcher is yours if you help me out.” “I just can't, I really can't, I promised the wife.” I said. “I'll chuck in the R249 Battle Space Exploding car too?” “Alright I'll do it”. On the way back to my cell, pondering that every man had his price, I had a nagging uneasy feeling that grew and grew. All along I thought it was n-gauge Eric at no 52 who grassed me up so he could get closer to The Wife, reeling her in with promises of a layout a third of the size so she could now show off her collection of Princess Diana Franklin Mint memorial figurines in the newly renamed “Summerhouse”. I now had my doubts. How did Grouty know about my passion for Eurostars, was it him that got me banged up for all these years just so he could win against a Turbo Car? Only time would tell. If you have been affected by any of the issues raised , please DO NOT phone our helpline as they are quite frankly sick of old blokes like you banging on about how much better things were in the 70s, forgetting about the oil crisis, the three-day week, 25% inflation, closed shops on a Sunday, only three channels on the TV and above all, the Austin Allegro. THIS IS ALSO AVAILABLE IN AN ALL CAPS VERSION FOR THE HARD OF HEARING. In "Part 4 - The Race" our hero pushes a souped-up Hornby Eurostar to its limits - and beyond. With catastrophic results. "We must have more power! " "I'm giving it all we've got captain!" Stay tuned to this channel.... because I haven't finished it yet. (NB There originally wasn't going to be a part 4 or 5 but I'm having so much fun the story is taking on a life of its own. Sorry.)
  11. "But Peco track comes with a fixed base so how can you be 2 to 3 mm out. Peco code 100 is fine scale isn't it?" No. I had to REALLY go back to basics and build the b. stuff from scratch! Peco code 100 ready made track? Pah! If only! I'd be out in 6 months!
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