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John Harris

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  1. I love the implication, no doubt to impress potential buyers, that Churchill "planned" D-Day over tea and biscuits at a rural railway station, I think D-Day took years of planning by military experts. jch
  2. That is true, but VAT (sales tax) is still charged on imports, plus the Royal Mail (or other courier) cut for handling the charge. jch
  3. One caveat, though only of interest to UK modellers, but on the general topic. I came across this on another modelling related site and quote directly "The HMRC webpage below in a link from a non-modelling website. If my interpretation is correct, it is saying that foreign businesses selling goods below the value of £135.00 to individual UK customers (or online marketplaces such as Amazon, where the sale is made through the online marketplace) will become responsible for levying VAT on the purchase and, presumably, paying it to HMRC. As part of this, the business concerned will
  4. On the topic of CrossRail, I live the Essex 'end' and at one point there were proposals to build a freight depot as part of CrossRail. Initially the plans were for an area of empty land near J28 on the M25, meaning trucks could transfer their containers. However, local complaints meant the plan was abandoned and other sites examined, though none so convenient for a road / rail link. Though the line is nearing completion, the stations are re-branded and the trains are in use into Liverpool Street, the freight aspect seems to have been abandoned. jch
  5. It seems that the Government are willing to bail out Transport For London, to the tune of £1Billion, but are demanding that free travel for school children and seniors (it's not clear if that is the 60+ card or the over 65 ones) is removed in return. jch
  6. From memory, the Unimat 1 uses toothed belts, which are much better than the round belts used on the Unimat 3, but as I have the latter thanks for the lead. I tend to use cheaper (and I feel better) O rings as belts on mind. Although they are long out of print, there was a book (possibly a couple) by REX TINGEY, which detailed a conversion for the Unimat 3 to toothed belts. REX TINGEY and GERALD WINGROVE both published books with practical projects for the Unimat, probably not projects directly applicable, but full of hints and tips about using the lathes. Sadly the b
  7. GLR & Kennions were once separate companies, I remember visiting Kennions in the 60s and 70s, they changed the prices daily as the price of copper moved on the metal's market. jch
  8. I don't think that Emco export to the UK, the last prices I saw were above the cost of a "proper" lathe from the Far East. The last set of drive belts I bought for mine I had to order from Germany, though that was the only Unimat accessory that shop sold. I suggest googling Germany stores? jch
  9. Both my grandfather and father were model engineers and had extensive home workshops, lathes, milling machine, pillar drill, so I have been turning since I was old (or rather tall) enough to see what I was doing. I have a Unimat 3 myself, The main issue with the Unimat 1 (it was originally sold for under £100, but was much more 'plasticky' than yours) is that the headstock (left arrow) and tailstock (middle arrow) are bolted to the bed, but designed to be removed for other configurations, on the Unimat 3 the headstock and bed are permanently fixed together.
  10. While I agree that the "sci-fi/fantasy model" market exists, I'm not sure I'd go so far as it being huge. The only dedicated UK magazine on the subject finished last year, the only dedicated shop in London (Comet Miniatures) closed a few years ago. Sci-fi/Fantasy fans want ready built models of their heroes and the associated hardware, they are not really modellers. Witness how the Airfix "Doctor Who" range bombed, yet "DW" us probably the biggest UK genre franchise and was still on TV when the kits came out. Your point about re-hashing existing models is well made as is not tyi
  11. You are so right about perceptions. Each winter we hear the warnings on TV and Radio to "avoid unnecessary journeys" or "only go out for essential journeys" in periods of adverse weather. The problem is that "unnecessary" and "essential" are both very subjective terms, is going to the pub "essential"? Well not for me, but I know it is for others. Likewise, many activities are "necessary" for a lot of people, but not for others. jch
  12. Kevin is quite right, "members" on a forum do not equate to active modellers and certainly cannot be extrapolated upwards. A more accurate statistic would be "active" (posted in the last month) members. As an example, the now defunct, "Military Modelling" magazine had around 16,000 members on their forums, but only a fraction of that as subscribers / regular purchasers of the magazine, and it folded through lack of sales. Perhaps we ought to define the difference between a "hobby" and a "pastime". jch
  13. I remember going to an Ian Allen 'garage sale' at their Surrey base ages ago. I picked-up several books that were 'review copies' from other publishers, a couple still had the covering letter from the publishers inside. You are right that it was obvious that the "transport" and "military" publishing enterprises were starting to decline, cheap printing in the Far East being one cause. jch
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