Sunday, 10 July 2016

Windows 2016

And Not a Computer in Sight!
Remember the guy who seemed to be asleep?
His name is John and he is a highly respected member of the little model railway club which fbb attends. He is highly respected because he is a real modeller. He doesn't assemble kits, he doesn't bodge in a hamfisted way like fbb; he makes models.
This is a magnificent set piece representing a Cornish fishing village (Penhaven) from whose Quay the layout takes its name.
John has used perspective to model parts of the village that are "further away" from the viewer. Very clever. And here is the right hand building as shown above, but finished.
Meanwhile fbb was invited to make a small farmhouse for the much bigger Colston Cross Layout. Lacking John's skill, fbb obtained a secondhand Peco "station house" ...
... and a cardboard model seen here on the right.
With both treated with paint and gerbil sand** it seemed that the two could be joined together to make "something different" from a bog-standard kit.
But, whilst the windows in the plastic model looked like windows, those in the cardboard effort were just bits of clear plastic with white window frames printed thereupon. fbb tried adding a bit of green paint, but they still didn't look right.
They certainly weren't a patch on those in John's beautiful village.
Desperately fbb asked John "How do you make your windows so accurately?", expecting the expert to be jointing tiny strips of plastic and sanding them smooth to make perfect frames and glazing bars.

"Oh," he replied with a twinkle in the eye, "I buy ready made windows from Wills Kits and design the houses to fit round them!"

Through to Buffers model shop (in whose premises the club meets) and there was a sheet of platic windows which might do the trick.
A lick of green paint and a snip with a pair of strong kitchen scissors ("You should use a Kraft knife" says John) ...
... and the windows in the cardboard bit of the cottage begin to match the plastic versions.
At "normal viewing distance", and for observers who have failed to visit a well know purveyor of ophthalmological requisites, the premises are beginning to take shape.
Impressively observant blog readers (namely those who haven't died of boredom) will notice that a new roof has been added, plus an extra outbuilding.

**gerbil sand?
Gerbils really enjoy sand bathing, rolling energetically in a very fine grade of the traditional beach covering. fbb was advised that it makes an excellent modelling material, forming the basis, for example, of top-dressed road surfaces. We all experience these in real life ...
... as fbb photographed recently in the delightful Cotswold village of ...
... Loose Chippings.

Gerbil Sand also makes for a passably realistic rough rendering on a country farm building.

Now arch-modeller John has finished his village, what is he up to?
Answer; he is making a cobbled street. Less skilled modellers will buy ready moulded cobbles like these from Wills Kits.
But these are not for the likes of John. He casts little resin moulds from a home-made block of cobbles, for example, and then stamps the moulds into a plaster surface.
Wills cobbles are too large and too "lumpy"; John's cobbles look like scale cobbles. Now that is real modelling.

Meanwhile, fbb has been sticking "glass" into his own model windows, into the terraced houses ...
... and into his 43 year old model coach.
In both cases, strips of clear plastic sheet were stuck down with tiny dots of superglue. But one mystery remains. Could someone please tell fbb why, even using the tiniest drops of superglue, the old man is able to glue his fingers, bits of paper, odd chunks of passing plastic and the handle of the scissors whilst the little bits of window do not adhere to the model but float snowflake-like to the floor and stick firmly to the carpet!

One minor John-type success, however, has been the installation of a new, non-standard, window frame to replace one which was lost during last winter's real 12 inches to the foot gales. You remember, of course, that fbb's tiny layout is outside!
It actually came from an Airfix (aka Dapol) bungalow kit and involved rebuilding part of the frame to fit the gap. More arbitrary glue-stuck appendages and the temptation to smash the whole building with a lump hammer preceded eventual completion.

But it makes a change from sorting out Sheffield bus timetables.

Back to trains and buses tomorrow.
In Memoriam -The Sequel
Mr and Mrs fbb and Nos 1 and 3 sons decided to "scatter the ashes" in the sea at Seaton, probably infringing a huge number of EU regulations. There was a strong South Western breeze and substantial waves. In paddling into the water both Mrs fbb and her hubby were bowled over by waves and soaked completely.

The farewell was definitely NOT sombre as the party of four was convulsed with very soggy but joyful laughter.

The late Neil would have been hugely amused.

An appropriate farewell, sadly not photographed!
 Next  Southern  blog : Monday 11th July 

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