Friday, 22 June 2018

Upton upon Severn an industrial treasure trove

Earlier this month, Sue and I visited Upton upon Severn, Worcestershire. The plan was to have a walk along the river front and check out the Cafe/Bookstore that had recently opened. However the cafe was closed on the day we visited and we ended up driving back via Malvern.

These are some of the image I took. The first was a small roadside shack with an old petrol pump outside. I took the photos as I thought I might try and model it for my 1:27.7 Narrow Gauge project.

These images were taken of the garage and road transport depot in Upton. A treasure trove of industrial inspiration.

In Upton, I saw this rare Austin Gypsy, an early Land Rover competitor, while the river barge was seen coming up the River Severn at some speed.


Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Macbeth at the RSC

Last night, Sue and I visited the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon to see the latest play; Macbeth with Christopher Christopher Eccleston and Niamh Cusack. This is the first time I've seen Macbeth at the RSC and was initially disappointed that it was a contemporary setting, but within minutes and the rather unique take on the three witches I was smitten.

Sue found the background music a little distracting but I really enjoyed this dark and intense performance. For more details see this link. On this occasion we did not stay for the after-performance questions and answers.

Tony (and Sue)

Monday, 18 June 2018

Fathers Day 2018 - part two

Holly bought me this board game for Fathers Day (as well as two bottle of Cidre). We are looking forward to having a game later this week.

Thank you.


Sunday, 17 June 2018

Fathers Day 2018

Sue bought this booklet called Fifteen Shillings Change at the railway exhibition last week and packed it as a Fathers Day present for me, which I opened this morning. It is a reproduction of a sales leaflet published by Kerr Stuart for their range of geared engines, 30hp, 60hp and 90hp. I already have a lot of illustrations and details of this family of engines and have every intention of building one to my 1:27.7 scale. I have already modelled the 30hp and 90hp models in 7mm = 1 foot. See this post for details.

The leaflet has been reproduced in partnership with the Hunslet Engine Company and the Industrial Railway Society. And the plan is that other historical leaflets will be reproduced in the future.


Thursday, 14 June 2018

Military Modelling Magazine gone..... Not quite.

Over the last month I have read several rumours and claims that the long standing Military Modeller magazine is to close. At first I thought it was just the web pages or the on-line forums that were going but as time has passed it seems that the rumours were true as this post over on Missing Lynx confirms. Military Modelling was launched in 1977 and the last stand-alone edition was May 2018. 41 years of content which also included Battle - the wargaming magazine for some time.

I have a number of editions of the magazine in my 'to-keep' stash including some early editions and quite a few of the collectors editions and will be sad to see this stalwart of the model making community go. I look forward to seeing what Model Military International do with this new challenge but will miss MM.

I suppose that it was inevitable as even after reading the rumours I was not tempted to pick up the final edition, an edition that (in my opinion) was a little light on content.

"Is this the way forward?"

With so much content available on the internet and a lot of it available for free. Is this the beginning of the end for traditionally published magazines. Looking at the shelves of W H Smiths; I doubt it but a 41 year old magazine and one that I had regularly bought has now gone. Well not completely as MMI say that they will be keeping some of the regular themes and departments.

So long and thanks for all the memories.


Sunday, 10 June 2018

7mm Narrow Gauge Association Model Railway Exhibition 2018

Yesterday, Sue and I attended the 7mm Narrow Gauge Association Model Railway Exhibition in Burton upon Trent. We set off early and were in Burton by 10.00 but parking problems meant that we were a little late arriving at the show. On entry to the exhibition I was surprised to see how busy it was and we spend the first period browsing the exhibits in the main hall. Later I found the competition area and here is my best approximation of the conversations I had with the competition judges.

Me (to judge No.1) 
   Is it OK for me to enter a model that is not 7mm scale?
Judge No 1
   Yes. OK; Oh what scale is it?
   11mm = 1 foot
Judge No 2
   What track do you use?
   16.5 Peco Crazy Track
Judge No 2
   Yes Fine, pass the model over to me and I'll take some photos of it on the display stand.
Judge No 3
   What does that represent?
   18 inch industrial narrow gauge.
Judge No 1
   Well you had better hurry up as the competition entries shut in 5 minutes.

I had to rush back to the car and instead of picking up just the Green Diesel, I thought it best to take in the plastic storage box containing all of the models and figures I had packed as I was so pushed for time.

Back in the hall I took out the Green Diesel and filled in the competition form for the Don Mason Shield (Scratch Built Locomotives) and while filling the form in I showed the painted resin figures and the OSO Salt salt pan.

Judge No 1
   You can enter that in the Earl of Crew (Buildings) category.

So another form to be filled in and some more models were brought out of the box.

Judge No 1
  You can enter the Grey Locomotive too.
   No - I can only enter one model into each category.
Judge No 1
   I know, but you can enter the grey locomotive in the Howard Clark Trophy!

So there I was with minutes to spare exhibiting three models in three different categories.

I took the plastic storage box back to the car and Sue and I continued to examine the diverse displays and browse the sales stands.

Around lunchtime Sue and I decided to drive into the town centre. I'd not visited Burton for many years - in fact the last time I was there was for my job selling wines and spirits to Bass Brewers. The town has changed quite a bit in that time but as it was sunny and we were in no rush we both enjoyed our time and even picking up some plants for Holly's allotment.

Back at the exhibition we arrived just before the AGM had finished and I was still browsing the stands (in fact - picking up some second-hand model making magazines) when Sue called me to say that I was being summoned - I was needed as I had won a prize.

Judge No 1
   We need you for the group photo, you have won runner up in the Don Mason Shield. And I was presented with a Nosbert (see below).

As I was standing waiting for the photos to be taken, I was approached by Judge No 2.
   You've also been awarded runner up in the Earl of Crew Cup (again see below).

Then as all the competition winners were being lined up for the final group photo, I was once again tapped on the shoulder.

Judge No 3
   You have also won runner up in the Howard Clark Trophy.

So in a juggling act, I had my photo taken with three Nosberts. (Nosberts are the nickname for the awards. This year they represent trench officers from WW1 which commemorates 100 years since the end of the Great War).

Back home I scoured the attic and found my earlier award from 1995 (minus the Nosbert as he is doing sterling work as a foreman on the Ogam and Stone narrow gauge layout).

A great day out and three awards. I think I'll be doing it again next years which will be the 40th anniversary of the Association.


Friday, 8 June 2018

1:27.7 scale conversions

While working on other modelling projects these diversions have been great fun. I am currently building and painting models for the second Pen & Sword book and in down-time waiting for glue to set or paint to dry, I have been playing with the 1:27.7 scale resin men that I produced for my Narrow Gauge Adventure project for more information see this post.

As you can see in the image above, I have used some of the resin casts as the basis of conversions. The complete engine driver - Finley is in the centre, while the two conversions are either side. And below you can see the painted examples. I thought that the white coveralls were a great variation on the denim or dark blue clothing seen in earlier posts, while the knitted bobble hat reminded me of my Uncle who would wear a similar hat while fishing.

If you want copies of these resin models please see this link.