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steve howe

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  • Location
    Deepest Cornwall, where the sun comes early and stays late
  • Interests
    P4 GWR, L&Y, light railways
    7mm narrow gauge
    Industrial archaeology

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  1. A continuation of the quick update since RMWeb didn't like my file sizes... The colour scheme, inevitably, was red oxide and buff, classic pre-War colours popular because the pigments, being largely base on iron oxide, were cheap! The internal shelter was fitted out with suitably hard benches. A black waistline and windowsills will complete the walls, guttering and chimney stack on the way. The platform was surfaced with a mixture of ash and sand, fixed with Johnson's Klear and lightly sanded when dry. The whole ensemble in roughly their positions. Finally some trains! looking rather like auction day at the end of one of Col. Stephens' byways, three locomotives so far earmarked for the line: Manning Wardle I class 0-6-0 (Impetus kit - rather not think how many years ago and still not finished!); Hudswell Clarke 0-4-0 K's kit on its second chassis; sprightly newcomer ex LSWR 'Terrier' 0-6-0 much-hacked Dapol body on a Branchlines chassis. All with High Level gear and motor sets. I am on the look-out for suitable passenger stock, so far the larger Wantage Tramway carriages from Worsley Works seem to fit the bill, unless anyone knows different!
  2. Along with the station building, the other main structure is the Tea Room, which, given that Gwithian Sands in the pre-War years had no refreshment facilities whatsoever, would have provided a very welcome opportunity to relieve day trippers of some cash in return for a cream tea or a pasty. I wanted to try and capture the distinctive ‘cricket pavilion’ style of wooden and corrugated iron building so typical of pre-First War rural Britain. The tea shack was based on Mrs. Hart’s tea room down on the Lizard Point, well known to thirsty walkers doing the coastal path! The two structures are linked by a ramshackle set of lean-to outbuildings housing a kitchen and coal shed for the tea room and lavatory for the station. I like to use ‘natural’ materials like card, wood and paper for scratchbuilding my structures where possible, the tea shack was made from 0.75mm fine card with 0.5mm pre-painted card overlays representing the timber frame. The curious shape to the roof will become apparent as there will be a deep overhang covering an open verandah along the front. The internal walls were made from the same card, with overlays representing the matchboard dado and skirting. The large windows and light interior meant that internal detailing was unavoidable! A glass cabinet with a selection of cakes was installed, along with a tea urn, plates and with buns, a wedge of cake and a sandwich on the counter. It was when I found myself painting a thin pink line on the sandwich to represent the ham that I realised insanity had set in and it was time to stop... Just in time for the summer season, a delivery of furniture from a well-known continental manufacturer (no not Ikea, in this case Faller) arrived to accommodate the hordes of anticipated tourists....
  3. They were also common in the Helford Valley area, but that's another story..... The rather primitive locomotive facilities are in place: The tank is by Knightwing, with a few bits of Plastruct girder. The crew's bothy looks somewhat uninviting, no wonder they're always on the beach! Slowly making headway with the terminus buildings. The plan shows the station building (if it deserves such a grandiose title) joined to the Tea Rooms by the Ladies lavatory and a coal shed which also doubles up as the Gents....(entrance round the back) Rather surreal... the iron anvil was made by the Dad of a friend of mine as an apprentice piece in the '30s, its amazingly useful for all sorts of things! Little wooden blocks keep everything nice and square while the solvent sets. The basic shell assembled. The building plan is very simple; a waiting room and office divided by a central open fronted lobby. The Booking Office on the right boasts a ticket window, although its unlikely to attract many customers other than a few footsore coast path walkers wanting to get back to Civilisation! I made the lobby as a separate assembly which just slides in place. Got to decide on a colour scheme now!
  4. So is that long piece of string to stop it escaping back to Devon?
  5. Looking at a potential battery powered line in the garden in G scale, can anyone recommend a 'cost-effective' (cheap) source of flat bottom rail? I am well used to making handbuilt track and turnouts both spiked and soldered, but not in this size! Steve
  6. Given that Railex 2020 has been cancelled, presumably the Cameo Challenge rolls over to next year? That's one less thing to worry about then! Steve
  7. Ebay is one way out, another is my alter-ego of 7mm 0-16.5 narrow gauge. However my stock of redundant 00 chassis is accumulating and there's only so many semi-freelance NG locos one can get away with!
  8. I don't suppose Hattons would ever consider making the body-only available? Like with the Hornby Peckett, it seems such a wasteful way of getting a P4 loco. Steve
  9. I've always had a passion for rural railways, especially those clinging by a thread. Weedy track, the dusty drowsy smell of tar and honeysuckle; bee-loud, lark-laden summer afternoons.....as Simply Red put it: "Heaven is a place Where nothing Nothing ever happens." Sadly no more. Steve https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/95206-lower-rose-goods/
  10. Regrettably this show has been cancelled due to current circumstances. I would be grateful if any local modellers could share this notice. Thanks Steve
  11. Helston & Falmouth MRC's Spring Show April 25 & 26 is cancelled.
  12. I was so pleased to see that this iconic layout has been saved and in good hands. Now, does anyone know what happened to 'Petherick'? Steve
  13. After a lot of prevaricating I finally made a start on the sand loading plant. The concrete block walling is Wills plastic sheet, but more work is needed to add texture. The main structure was made from milled basswood sheet from Mount Albert Lumber Co. I got mine via the 7mm NGA, but I guess there are other UK suppliers. A large steel beam will go under the front of the structure which I forgot to put in before the pic was taken... The loading hopper and elevator will go in the space below the skips. I have made the skips work using a wire ramp to push them over, but whether they will behave themselves under power and loaded with loose sand remains to be seen! The internal structure to control the trapdoors above the loading chutes. The rotary screen temporarily propped in place, much head scratching still required as to how it will be powered and indeed supported! The Hudswell Clarke and the Ruston, currently the only motive power available! other things are in the pipeline however (when someone invents the 36 hour day)
  14. Hi Tom, It always seems to soak in matt and yes, used straight from the bottle. I've never tried spraying it, but I would think it works like a fixative. Steve
  15. A quick update as ground texturing continues: I have gone off PVA as the 'catch-all' for scenic work apart from its obvious uses neat for sticking wood and card. I was never very keen on that technique of sticking loose ballast or scenic textures down with diluted PVA, it always seems a bit 'gummy' to me and, I believe, in the case of ballast, it can increase noise from train mechanisms via the baseboard. I have also noticed that steel rail rusts very quickly in the presence of PVA. I have long been an advocate of Johnson's 'Kleer', a colourless fluid sold as floor sealer. It went off the market for a while, but thanks to the long memory of the assistant in our local Ironmongers shop who claims to be over 100 years old (the Ironmongers - not the assistant...) has been re-branded as Pledge Multi-surface floor polish, its a slightly milky liquid which must contain some kind of surfacant as it is absorbed very readily into porous surfaces. The stuff is applied generously with the eye dropper and left to dry in a warm room for 24 hours, after which everything is nicely bonded. A second application does no harm especially in areas where physical contact is likely to occur. The result is bonded particles which still appear as loose material. Just the job - another satisfied customer! Steve
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