Tuesday, 30 July 2013

The Joy the Great Outside & Analogue days

Click to enlarge
This time of year I spend as much time outside as possible, and whilst for many the hobby pauses during the summer months, the advantage of a small layout is that it can be taken outside and popped onto the garden table allowing to continue. You also have to advantage of no electronic toys sitting on the desk in front you to distract from the job in hand.

Another advantage of working outside is that you don't have to be quite as tidy as you would indoors, especially when messing about with scenic materials like static grass and coloured ground foam flocks, because a little dropped onto the lawn of not going to upset most people. Of course you don't want to drop anything that you might want to retrieve, because it will have almost certainly been swiftly thieved  by a league of marching ants. Yet another advantage of working outside is great light, which can make those fiddly jobs just a little less tiring on the ageing eyes!

The recent warm weather also has the bonus in that the chore of ballasting sets quickly, with it only taking around an hour or so for the diluted glue and ballast to go off. With this ironstone quarry project, the high summer sunlight caused the rails to get really hot, in fact too hot to touch! A good test though, and hopefully one that has given me confidence in the track will not buckle in a hot smelly exhibition hall - should I take this mini-layout out on the road that is.

The above photo shows that the ironstone quarry project is looking pretty complete, and to the sceptics that think all model railway layout photos are just 'Photoshop', in this shot there is none - the backscene being a wrap around print which runs right around the rear of the layout in a large arc.

There is still some detail and a little scenic work to do, and I also need to mess about with some suitable wagons and maybe locos. As part of the operation, the plan is to load the empty wagons via the loading hopper with real loose iron ore to add to audience interest - or more likely amusement. The lighting rig also needs to be built, for this photo I used my studio lighting, but the plan is to have the same quality and colour of light as in the photo.

Linking back to the opening paragraph, regulars will notice that I don't blog here quite as much as in the past, the reason being that I'm often too busy doing real life things rather than sitting in front of a computer which can be very unproductive. I call these computer free-periods 'Analogue Days', I enjoy these because a lot of model making can be carried out, which very much proves what slaves we all are to these useful but dreaded machines, which can be like blotting paper to spilt ink.

For this same reason these days, I keep away from model railway forums like RMweb and others apart from the occasional flying visit to one of two of the smaller ones, being careful not to dwell too long. I now just treat them like a visit to the pub when you have to drive (which as a beeroholic no fun), a quick coke sufficing rather than an oh so fun boozy all afternoon session with nothing to show for it. I mention this forum bit, because people/forum flies increasingly ask me at shows why I'm not seen on forums much these days. The same people also ask me how I get so much model making done....

Unlike hanging around on forums , I do still like to go to the pub to enjoy a few ales, without the car of course, but I certainly won't be using the 'Free Wifi'.

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