Straight Lines

I’ve had an interesting week or so train wise and this started last weekend with a visit by the New England Model Railway Club. A couple of months ago I received an email from Warren Herbert, ex President and stalwart member of the club, asking if I’d agree to letting some members visit my layout. Being blaze I readily agreed and went so far as to offer to put on lunch. Come the Saturday of the visit and I’d been working for days to get ready for all of about eighteen of them! OMG, I hoped I was going to have enough food! 🙂

I was worried that there wouldn’t be enough room for everyone but shouldn’t have been. There was more than enough space. Too bad I didn’t get a bit more track laid 🙂

Things went well and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. I shoved a hand controller into my old friend Don Waghorn’s mits and he ran some locos back and forth for about half an hour to entertain the crowd. I’d planned to get the two layouts joined up with a curve of track prior to the visit but that didn’t even get close. I actually had a chance to talk to people between catering duties and got a lot of questions about my brickwork made from DAS. They need to read my blog I told them! 🙂

So everyone ate lunch and suddenly the place was empty of people save for Peter who had generously offered to help. I noticed my mate Phil somewhere among the throng with a chicken leg grasped firmly in his hand but didn’t get a chance to speak to him. He’s lucky he didn’t come close to me because he’d probably have had a dish towel thrust into his hands to replace the chicken wing 🙂

Things settled down and I pottered about the shed for the rest of the day only to get a phone call from my old friend Dave Morris who said his plans had changed and he’d be dropping by with his wife on Sunday afternoon to pay a visit prior to them moving to Thailand. It never rains but it pours!

Dave and Dow pay a visit to the layout. Dave managed to run a train and he was almost as good as Don at the controls, but he wasn’t as good as Dow 🙂

I managed to finally strike a blow on the ship model this past few days. I’ve been a bit under the weather and while I waited around the house on Friday for a couple of hours prior to a doctor’s appointment in town the power went out. I’d remembered only then that I’d received a letter about this happening but I hadn’t planned on being home at the time so took little notice. So what do you do with two hours to kill and no power? Work on your long-delayed O-scale ship model of course!

I’m not sure why it has taken me so long to get back to this model but I have a feeling that it’s a combination of the new layout room’s siren call combined with the lack of straight lines on a ship. Unlike railway models nothing is straight and there’s not easy datums to measure from. I’d done some mucking about and preliminary cutting and shaping but things hadn’t progressed too far, until Friday morning!

Don’t be fooled if you’re not familiar with ship modelling, this is really not a great deal of progress but it feels good to be started never the less. The casting for the hull of this kit is fiberglass and it shatters quite easily but now that I have a base of 6mm ply installed and something level to work from progress is bound to be fast (I wish)!

As the second real job of actually building the model required me to curve the main deck and trim it to fit I seemed to find that there was always something more pressing to do, such as mow the lawn and I hate mowing the lawn. On Friday I actually started to trim the edges of the deck (the wood you can see inside the hull) and stained the front wall of the main cabin. I used a few dribbles of Teak stain from a little bottle I’d purchased weeks ago for this job, thinned with rubbing alcohol and things went really well. Over this weekend, with a house free of chicken and salad munching modellers, I’ve spent little bits of time trimming up curved wooden spars which I’ve progressively glued to the underside of the plywood deck thus producing a smooth, gentle curve. I didn’t like the method suggested in the instructions and came up with my own bracing and I also discovered that the instructions had been written for a much older set of components (to reflect parts that were to be cut by hand by the modeller rather than the CNC cut parts provided with my kit) and as such were significantly out of date, causing me some confusion. I’ve also decide that I don’t want to wait till all the upper decks are in before I start painting the hull so I gave it a quick coat of grey undercoat which did more to make it look like a ship than anything my modelling has done so far.


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