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.


Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Pike's Pits - an unusual scale/gauge Narrow Gauge Railway Layout

Earlier this week I picked up a second-hand copy of Railway Modeller from May 2015 (Vol 66 No. 775). The magazine featured a narrow gauge model railway layout called Pike's Pits. The reason I was interested in this layout, scratch-built engine and wagons is that it was built to the scale of 12mm = 1 foot and running on 32mm (O Gauge) track representing the Isle of Purbeck 2 foot 8 inch narrow gauge railway. A perfect representation of the Furzebrock or Pike Bros ball clay tramway.

As well as having beautifully constructed motive power in the form of 'Quintus' a Manning Wardle 0-4-0 saddle tank and rollings stock constructed from strip wood. I was impressed with the attention to detail of the structures and landscape. It also made me realise that I'm not alone in wanting to re-gauge existing model railway - track gauge wheel sets and wagons to produce my own 1:27.7 or 11mm = 1 foot models featured on this Blog.

I have filed the magazine away under 'inspirational layouts' and would recommend anyone else (if indeed there is anyone out there following my own narrow gauge adventure) to search out the magazine and check out the models.


Monday, 4 June 2018

Fred in 1:27.7

My latest painted figure - Fred from the Charlie, Finley and Fred set of 1:27.7 scale resin cast figures. For details see this post. The miniature was inspired by Fred (the steeplejack) Dibnah in his iconic hands-in-pockets pose and painted in Fred's blue denim work clothes.

Maybe I should have added some more creases to the figure!


Sunday, 3 June 2018

The Grey Diesel has a driver and a new display base

Following on from yesterdays post I have updated the driver (Finley) of the Grey Diesel and produced a short section of narrow gauge track to display it on.

For more information on the resin figure see this post and for information about the diesel see this post.

The resin driver was re-painted after being used as the master for the set of three figures featured in the post/link above.

The display base is a short section of Peco 'Crazy Track' O-16.5 narrow gauge track on a section of scrap wood. The groundwork was built up from DAS modelling clay, then covered in fine sand and small stones before being painted with acrylic paints. The grass tufts are from my spares box and were originally intended as decoration for wargame bases.


Saturday, 2 June 2018

A Driver for the Industrial Narrow Gauge Critter

Next Saturday my plan is to visit the 7mm Narrow Gauge Association Model Railway Exhibition in Burton-upon-Trent, for details see this link. I will take along some of the 1:27.7 or 11mm = 1 foot models and I thought it was about time I painted up a driver for the 'critter'. For details of how this model was made, see this post.

I started with the standard resin casting of Charlie (the seated driver) - see this post. By the way these resin castings are available for sale at £10.00 per pack, see the earlier link/post for details of how to order.

I needed to amend the pose to get him to sit comfortably in the open cab. He was cut at the waste and twisted slightly, the legs were opened up and the right arm was re-positioned. In the image below you can see the conversion work and the Milliput/Green Stuff sculpting.

Charlie now sits much better in the cab/on the wooden seat.

I used quite a bit of Milliput/Green Stuff to fill out his bottom and get a good fit to the wooden seat.

The model was painted with acrylic paints and washes.

And here he is seated in the Green Engine/Critter. The conversion work took about 2 or 3 hours and the painting even less. I feel that the critter looks much better now that it has a driver and the open cab is filled.


Friday, 1 June 2018

Landraider from years ago

Following on from this earlier post I have also found this work-in-progress photograph of a cardboard Landraider. The model was eventually finished and painted in a grey/blue colour but I have no images of the finished model and no idea where it is now.

Like the earlier Gobsmasher, the Landraider was built many, many  years ago and I think this is the only image I have of it.

Construction was various pieces of scrap cardboard and bits of scrap plastic glued together with PVA and superglue.


Tuesday, 29 May 2018


After the thunder and lightning storms of the last week (more than a months rain fell in a single day)  I thought it best to re-felt the roof of the shed. I had been aware of a small leak in the roof and although I had repaired it, I have now re-felted the whole roof. I took most of the morning, but now that it is done it should last for at least another five years.

Hopefully, I can do some model making later today.


Saturday, 26 May 2018

Gobsmasha from years ago

Earlier this week I saw a post on another site showing a 15mm Gobsmasher in the process of being built. This got me thinking.....

I had produced a Gobsmather some years ago (read that as over twenty-five years ago) and then started to wonder if I had any images of this long-lost model. Here are the only two that I could find, one showing construction and the second showing it undercoated in grey acrylic paint.

The model was built from scrap card, pen barrels and spare metal washers. The wheel detailing on the treads are lentils and the rivets are slices of plastic rod. The finished model was painted in a grey 'tiger stripe' camouflage and was for many years displayed in the now long gone Swansea Model Shop. I have no idea where the model is now but thought it was worth posting these images of a true 'blast from the past.'


Friday, 25 May 2018

This Blog uses Cookies

New European Union law requires me to give European Union visitors information about cookies and data collection and in some cases obtain consent. In addition GDPR rules have meant that independent Bloggers are now being inundated with requests to register and conform to new data laws. This is not what Blogging means to me. This is NOT a business, I do not sell data to other parties and I have no wish to obtain lists of visitors or followers. This is my hobby!

There will now be an additional notice on my Blog explaining the use that Google make of certain Bloger and Google cookies collected by Google.

I can confirm that I do not hold any personal data on visitors or customers of this Blog.


Thursday, 24 May 2018

AKTION a new wargaming magazine from AK Interactive

AK Interactive have launched a new wargaing magazine called AKTION which also includes articles on Cosplay. Details can be found here.

At this moment I feel this is one to look out for, I'm not sure I'll be rushing out to buy issue No. 1. but I am interested to see what AK do with this publication.


Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Kenilworth Castle, another away-day

Another away-day - this time Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire. This was the first time Sue and I have visited this site and with glorious weather and another picnic on the green we had a great day out. For full details see this post.


Monday, 21 May 2018

Resin buildings from Apocalypse Miniatures.

The resin buildings that were originally built by me and then cast in resin are now available to purchase via the Apocalypse Miniatures pages for full details see this link. the examples shown are some of the first casts by Rob Alderman of Hysterical Games and were painted by Mark Lunn.

Above; The Traders Shack - £30.00

Below; The Apothecaries Rest - £40.00

And finally for here; The Barn - £38.00

The full range of over a dozen different terrain models has recently been extended and these new models should be available soon.


Friday, 18 May 2018

The New adventures of Monkey - Netfix

Both Sue and I have been enjoying this latest Nexflix series - The New Adventures of Monkey which is a re-make of the original 1970's series Monkey Magic.

I can remember watching the original series never quite knowing what was going on. The new 2018 Netfix series is a little clearer but still remains faithful to the original story and humour. If you remember the original, do yourself a favour and tune into these 25 minutes episodes for some fun-filled nostalgia.

Details of the new series can be found here, while information relating to the original can be found here.


Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Shakespear's Rose Theatre to be built in York

I learnt of this ambitious project while reading a Tourist Information booklet for York. The plan is to build a reproduction of the The Rose Theatre. The building will be a copy of the 13 sided Rose Theatre first built in London over 400 years ago. It will be a temporary 'pop-up' structure constructed from scaffolding, corrugated iron and wood with a planned audience area for 950 people, both standing and seated. In addition to the structure there will be a themed park containing Elizabethan entertainment and food offerings. For full details see this link and this Guardian Newspaper article.

I initially picked up the booklet because it had a number of images that took my fancy, but once I read of these plans, I started planning an over night stay in York and looking to see which plays are being performed. In the past Sue and I have visited The Globe down in London as well as regular visits to the RSC and Swan in Stratford (in fact our plan is to visit Stratford-upon-Avon again today). We both love seeing Shakespear live and the thought of seeing a play in these planned surroundings is just too much to miss.

The building work is due to commence in June with performances booked between June 25th and September 2nd. Prices vary between £12.50 for the 'standings' and £59.95 for the seated. - having experienced The Globe, I would recommend that you try the standing area at least once. I just wish we lived closer as I am sure these performances will be fantastic.

I just can't wait to see this new attraction.

Tony (and Sue)

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Going Minimum Gauge - my latest e-bay purchase

Going Minimum Gauge - a guide to modelling narrow gauge railways of 15" gauge and under in 7mm scale by the 7mm Narrow Gauge Association, is a handbook based on the Associations members-only publications Narrow Lines. I bought myself this 1999 edition from e-bay.

The 28 page handbook is a superb introduction to this genre and although not including much on 18" gauge industrial railways (my main interest) has been a great read. My plan is to use the format/contents as a blueprint for a couple of Blog entries detailing my own OSO Salt Narrow Gauge layout and interest so look out for some new Blog posts soon.

I have in the past been a member of the 7mm Narrow Gauge Association and continue to purchase odd issues of their members magazine Narrow Lines. In fact I have quite a collection of their magazines, many with comments or articles written by me and securely stored in the attic. For more details of how to join, please see this link.


Friday, 11 May 2018

An Industrial Narrow Gauge Adventure - the layout part thirty-five

With the main buildings completed, it was time I worked on the back scene or back board. My initial plan was to find a coloured poster and after many visits to the local travel agents - they always have large spare posters of sunny blue sky, I unfortunately, came up empty handed. I have therefore decided to hand paint the back scene.

The back scene was painted with a mix of blue, grey and white acrylic paints with the clouds 'sponged on' in a random pattern. The unpainted area is where the larger end-on structure will go - the OSO salt tank/water tank will go to the left.

For a larger image, just 'click' on the picture above.


Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Midlands Air Museum, Coventry

I visited the Midlands Air Museum yesterday afternoon and took these photographs. As you can see it was another great day out with fantastic weather and a near perfect day for taking photos. For more information about this museum please see this link.