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Chapter 71 - 03/09/2012

Here we go again, I must apologise for these lengthy delays in updates for this corner of my little rant. So after such a long brake there is much to tell you all.

Firstly, most of you will have heard of the story of Rob and I being involved in a car accident on the way back from the Mt Gravatt show. This made for a rather expensive trip but thankfully everyone involved is ok and unharmed. The person who caused the accident has been, I am told, charged and has lost his license... thankfully. So being down one vehicle we have (as always) continued on doing what we do.

To accompany our new (and unbelievably popular) BU suburban car kit, we have released our BUV coach to compliment it. These should be getting put on the site at about the same time as this chapter.

As with the BU, the BUV contains a one piece body, underframe steps and decals. That is the entire kit! We have designed it to be as quick and simple as possible.

We also have the 1720 Maxi Cab coming out very soon. The test shots have arrived and we are very happy with the results... But, we will have more photos as these come out.

Also the 1720 test mechanisms have arrived and have passed with flying colours. We expect these to be in stock within the next month or so.

In case any of you had forgotten, we do have a rather large layout that has been receiving some attention lately. After removing such large sections and replacing them with even larger sections, I had been looking at what other areas I was unhappy with... Then again, I could be just enjoying wielding the hammer and saw.

With so much of the layout being modified, I was looking at the area of Summiton Town itself. This area has always had one great flaw, it was too deep. With access to the Eastern end of the yard ladder being by way of a rather interesting duck under, I had decided to remove the town.

This decision was taken after realizing that over the last 6 years, my modelling skills have improved to the point where I think (well hope and pray) I can do better. Having decided to remove this section has meant removing the entire section of scenery down one side of the yard.

As well as creating this newly empty section of the layout, I have also been filling in some holes on the layout. After six years and three modifications or rebuilds, I have finally finished the terrain at the Western End of Summiton Yard.

This area finally ties in the first section of the Warthorpe Branch as well as the end of the yard and Warthorpe Station and even the hidden helix. There are still some areas of barely painted plaster but I am getting there and most importantly I am happy with the results.

I was a bit worried about this section to be honest as there are so many levels and the height to be covered is rather great. The entire area has been sceniced using the usual method of chicken wire coated in a layer of toilet paper and then covered with plaster.

As always, the method of doing this involved lots of swearing, cuts, bruises and giggles from Jade. It also involved me trying to answer the phone EVERY time I was up to my elbows in plaster... But these things happen. As things stand at present, we have the area plastered, painted and partially covered with scenery.

One of my other little projects of late has been centred around building a layout for Keith. As he is 2Ĺ years old he is a little young for DCC and sound (I am holding off on this until he is at least 4).

The idea was to make a small layout in N scale for him to run as he wished that he could learn on as he went. The entire layout was made from left over bits of 9mm mdf that I had sitting aside for later use on my own layout and some 40mm square pieces of timber for the legs and cross members.

The layout is essentially two ovals with one as a figure eight folded over it. At the top level of the figure eight, there is a passing loop and two sidings. Whilst the outer loop has a small siding at one end. Jade tells me that this is purpose build for placing a Ratio engine shed she found for him.

The other end of the layout features a four road yard that will (most likely) have a platform or two.

All points are Peco small radius N Scale points that I had bought years ago for a layout that Jade wanted to build for her N scale Bavarian models.

The basic frame and track laying was all done in one afternoon and a night. The wiring was also done on the same night. The legs and shelf were made the following day and Keith loves it! He sits watching them for about an hour at a time without trying to destroy them or put his cars on the layout (surprisingly enough)

He also has a habit of getting upset at Daddy when he makes the trains run too fast. His main hobby seems to be seeing how slow he can get the trains to go and then sitting back watching.

Whilst the layout wonít win any prizes for being the most imaginative design, it was all built up to the point of the photos in about 3 days. And after all, it is for a 2Ĺ year old and he loves it. Hopefully this will nurture the hobby in him and give him a good start towards teaching Daddy how to run his layout properly.

Whilst writing this, Jade and I have made the backdrops and are getting ready to start on the ground work and messy plaster stuff... but thatís another story and as always, we shall see how we go.

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