Sunday, 3 April 2016

Henrietta Emerges from the Workshop

But before she does, how about this for a picture?
Which European city has this splendid display of bus and tram departures accompanied by racks of leaflets?
A departure screen showing bus and trams from near the station together with a map. Yes, it's Nottingham Station. One rack has City bus service leaflets ...
... the other, TrentBarton.
Sorry, that should be trentbarton where we have no truck with literary niceties like capital letters for proper nouns. But a huge bag of chocolate peanuts to Nottingham City Council!
Can anywhere else in the UK match this? Thanks to our Northampton correspondent Alan for the picture.

But now: back to Henrietta.
Toby Will be much Happier!
Not every reader of this blog shares fbb's renewed interest in railway modelling, but the screening this week on BBC4 of three programmes whereby the viewer watches paint dry James May putting things back together; combined with the impending visit of young Archie Fearnley, spurred fbb to do something about Henrietta.

Not that fbb is as capable as Mr May in his role at "The Re-Assembler". Far front it.

Henrietta, our loyal readers will remember, is the railway coach that is the constant companion of No 7 Toby the Tram Engine in the oeuvre of the Rev Wilbert Awdry (and son). Will made his own Henrietta in the 1940s ...
... and commissioned a Toby from a more expert modeller. The real coach looked like this ...
... and like this in the original childrens' books.
Models of the Wisbech and Upwell [W & U] Tramway's early passenger car are all less realistic.
Even the semi "offical" HO model produced by Bachmann for the American market leaves much to be desired.
So it was obvious from the outset that fbb's minimalistic modelling skills would only extend to creating a "pastiche" of Henrietta, sufficient to amuse his three year old occasional visitor. The starting point, therefore, was a second-hand Fleischmann model of the Deutsche Bahm "Thonderbox" four wheeler, common in German branch lines from the 1930s through to the 1960s.
These boys toys are beautifully designed ...
... Vorsprung Durch Technik indeed. Everything clips together; nothing is glued; which makes taking it all apart to effect the transfiguration from metal carriage to ancient four wheeler a little easier to contemplate.
The chassis unclips from the body as well, but chubbo only discovered this late in the process, and it didn't matter anyway.

The Fleischmann model is of an all metal vehicle (hence the "Thunderbox" nickname) but the W & U original would have been wood, wouldn't it? So rub off the rivets ...
... using sandpaper this is too coarse. That will give the reproduction a "distressed" look. Then apply a rough representation of the distinctive beading along the sides.
fbb had the idea of changing the shape of the roof to a flatter more accurate contour, but, in a burst of rampant negativity, decided it would be too difficult and abandoned the idea. Next, then, a coat of paint. 
Orange seemed to be the colour adopted by most manufacturers and the creators of the television series.
Whilst he had his paint box and brushes to hand, the ham-fisted modeller decided to decorate the interior. This was a singularly pointless exercise because, due to small windows, it is almost impossible to see the inside!
Of course if internal lights were fitted ...

But that's for later. In the meantime, James May style, fbb needs to become The Re-assembler.

Oh dear!

More in a week's time.

 Next bus blog : Monday 4th April 

1 comment:

  1. Well I like the model railway stuff. Those who don't can just grit their teeth for the odd day. Anyway it's your blog, not theirs. Keep up the good work.