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  1. I haven't done a thing on the layout for the last week - I'm furloughed from work and so far too busy to work on the layout! If this is what retirement will be like I can't wait to get back to work for a rest. Anyway, have been looking through my photos of China and came up with one (of the two) photos which inspired my backdrop. It's actually a digital photo of an existing print as I don't have the negative anymore. I've been accused of making my backdrop too drab - I rest my case!
  2. This is one of my all time favourite photos. Taken in a hard class sleeper in China in 1994. Hard class equals 3rd class in our language. I love the look or contempt or is it resignation on the face of the middle class man in the suit and tie.
  3. Not wishing to take this off thread but in actual fact 10.5mm gauge track should be (in theory) much more widely available in the UK than ever because PECO now make it - in the distant past it was a Shinohara (japan) inport.
  4. To a great extent I agree with you on that - but with one big difference. If I have to get in a car or on a train to go to an exhibition I would (subconsciously at least) way up the risk - and then go - no problem! If something happens and I die as a result - then that's life and I took that decision to go - it's my responsibility if things go wrong. But if going to an exhibition gives me covid-19 I could come back and give it to my wife - and I might survive but she might not - and that would be my responsibility and my burden for the rest of my life. And it would please me no end if no-one describes that as 'negative' - that's how I feel and nothing will change that.
  5. OK, back to modelling! I wanted to move the café slightly forward so that I could build a kitchen extension at the back, but at the same time I wanted the maximum space in front of the silver container to allow trucks to park end on. The problem is that the café is a cobbled together (bodged up) building using a very much modified Walthers kit .. And it so happens that the left hand wall was designed to have a wide lean to shed attached (was at the back of the original Walthers kit) and so they didn't bother to have bricks on that part of the wall, just plain flat plastic... So the best way to hide that was to have the container line up at the front of that …. OK, there was a black bit at the back. but most people wouldn't notice and I could have some strip wood leaning up against the café which would 99% disguise it. But I wanted to move the café forward without dragging the container forward as well. That brought the black bit into view and because of the doorway into the container it would be difficult to lean stuff up against the café to hide the black bit. It would be very difficult to match the Walthers HO brickwork with any odd OO Slaters embossed Plasticard I might have, So there was only one way forward! The back of the building is hidden from the public view and so was VERY much cobbled together. But the brickwork matched!! So you can see in the photo above I have started to cut out one of the upright 'pillars'. I then cut out a section of the black wall and with some judicious filing I managed to get a pretty good join. With a bit of weathering I think that will look OK especially with a notice board over the slight line you can still see - if you go looking for it! So, I'm happy! I've managed to move the café forward a bit to make room for an add-on kitchen at the back and I've kept the container where it was thereby allowing space for trucks to park end on! Job done!! Of course it would have been easier to simply find shorter trucks!!!!!
  6. Funnily enough I found my copy (transferred onto DVD) a couple of days ago just by chance and will watch it again ASAP thanks to your recommendation. I didn't visit China until 1993 so a video from 1987 will be great to watch again. I put off going to China until 1993 because I was put off by stories of poor accommodation and very cold weather - I preferred the hot weather of South America, but by 1992 I'd done most of South America two or three times and was looking for something new. It was in 1992 when I first came across the tour group TEFS on their trip to Jordan and Syria. The owner, Bill, told me he specialised in China and a 'softer' China than some of the more hardcore tours. So, in 1993 I bought a big coat, a warm woolly hat, some gloves and some thermal underwear and off I went for my first China adventure. I often regret not trying China before 1993, but then again I would have missed out on Ecuador, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile and Brazil - so you can't have everything - not on my wages anyway!
  7. I've found the photos I took of Port Warren back in the 1980's and here's a couple which didn't make the final cut... And I've also found this photo of a running session - we know who the two guys in the background are - current member Ron Patterson (sitting) and ex-member Steve Watts, but who is the young (then!) guy actually operating _ if you know who it is please let us know.
  8. Have been looking through archives and found the photos I took of Port Warren back in the 1980's..... And I've found this photo of a running session - now we know who the two guys are in the background, but who's that young (then!) guy actually running trains? Is that YOU? If that is you, or if you know who he is, please let us know!
  9. I couldn't agree more. Non-modellers (in particular women) take a great interest in my modelling. In contrast, a significant number of modellers take very little interest in my modelling. Why is that? Because my modelling is very niche - Chinese HO set in 2004. So some/many modellers say 'not British' or 'not pre WW2' or 'not something I know anything about' or something along those lines. Whereas non-modellers just see something creative, they don't care if it's set in China or in 2004 - they just see something creative - full stop!
  10. In your dreams! In my wife's nightmares!!
  11. In the truck stop the container and the café now have controllable lights. Next up is an interior for the café.
  12. Yes, and not dissimilar in concept to the current one, but slightly smaller, simpler and only needing an operating team of 4 rather than 6. Set in 1999 rather than 2004 and so steam and diesel on China Rail.
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