Tales from a sporadic modeller.

Discussion in 'Talk' started by adrian, 4 March 2011.

  1. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    I'll get the caveat in before anyone delves too deeply into this thread - if you've come here for any nuggets of Scale7 modelling you may be disappointed. Yes I'll try to cover the modelling that I do but as per the title it's very sporadic. I thought I'd try a slightly different tac with this thread, so the topic's may not always be railway related. It's been sparked by the following comment I made in another thread :

    To which I got the reply

    Hey it's the modelling that's lets me keep my sanity although the better half will probably say otherwise.

    So where to start - well in my "spare time" I run a local Beaver Scout colony, for tonight's meeting amidst the games I had spotted that the International Space Station was due to pass over at a suitable time so at 7:10pm we had all the kids out on the playing field watching the space station traverse the sky, the kids were mesmerised. It was the first time I'd really looked for it and it was brilliant, it started off low in the west shining brightly, as it moved higher and to the south it turn a glorious red before disappearing as it went into the shadow of the earth.

    Then from the high to the low, I found out that someone had exploited a security hole in one of the websites I have set up. There were using my hosting account to put up fake pages to look like apple computers and gather emails and passwords etc. So I've spent an hour or so digging through the logs clearing out their crap and patching the security hole.

    I was then back to another job I some how volunteered myself for - sometimes I ought to say no! This time it allows me to post the obligatory photo of my work bench.



    Can you tell what it is yet? I'm batch building 60 CBus kits for MERG, that is I'm putting together 30 CANACC4 and 30 CANACC5
    for the group to sell through the stores. Again it was one of those thing where having used the group resources felt I ought to contribute in some way, again why I decided to start this thread. Anyway that's getting too maudlin, so back to the task and I've just spent a hour putting together the last of the resource cards and programming the PICs with the right code. Still got 240 MOSFETS to split up and instructions to print. Hopefully they'll be bagged up and shipped off to the kitmaster this weekend.

    Final change of topic for the moment. I've just finished reading "Just My Type" and what a facinating book.


    A wonderful trip through the world of fonts and typefaces, and one I'd recommend. In fact I think it's a book that would appeal to many modellers as there is so much history behind many of the fonts and yet there is the attention to small detail variations. There is the craftsmanship of the early punch cutters and type setters and the nuances of the various type faces. And yes the world of typography have their rivet counters, not meant in a derogatory way but an appreciation of their detailed knowledge. They appear to revel in finding faults in films where they use fonts that are newer than the period setting, I suppose a bit like using a Standard tank loco in a Sherlock Holmes story, apparently signs and invites shown the "The Kings Speech" were printed in fonts that wouldn't be designed for another 20 or 30 years.

    Remind me again where I put my sanity? - If I get time over the next few days I'll post a few photo's of a MOK Std4 in Scale7 but there's no guarantee.

    Adrian Cherry
    BrushType4 likes this.
  2. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    I think it's very much horses for courses..

    I spend a lot of time on the workbench due to work being sporadic, and you have to be very lucky and a little bit mad to be constantly working in my field...

    Reading between the lines on my thread, it's probably no surprise that I spend a lot of time building, and I have on more than a few occasions had to walk away from the workbench for fear of throwing something that isn't going together as well as I would like and a break is neccessary... Pop back 30 minutes later, and it'll go togther first time..

  3. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    Last weekend didn't see much modelling done as we took the Beaver Scouts (160+) to the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry. We had a great time, just so much to do. Upstairs in the main hall there was a telecommunication exhibit so lots of old phones to play with and had great fun trying to show the 6yr olds how to use one of the old rotary dial telephones. Then in one of the rooms to the side they had one of these.


    Not only that but Atari's, Commodore's, BBC Micro's etc. but these were not just static exhibits, they were all plugged in and running. All the kids were having a great time playing all the old games.

    Finally finished the 60 MERG CBUS kits so had a little time to do a bit of modelling. As mentioned I'm currently building a MOK Standard 4 in Scale7, previous instalments have been posted on RMWeb. Anyway for now I spent a pleasant morning making a start on the cylinders.

    These start as fairly hefty brass castings with a thin etched overlay as a wrapper. Soldering it up was fun with a couple of attempts required before I was happy with them.

    It was then a case of adding some of the detailing, snifting valves, core plugs etc. The front valve covers have a distinctive flat on them which needed filing on. So this is the progress to date.

    and as a quick resume of the current build state - this is it.

    • The frames have been built, the suspension changed from compensation to springy beams.[/*:m:fiy1m65n]
    • Front bogie nearly complete - a couple of oilers need adding.[/*:m:fiy1m65n]
    • Boiler and smokebox rolled.[/*:m:fiy1m65n]
    • Front footplate structure built - a lot of detailing still to add.[/*:m:fiy1m65n]
    So now I'm slowly working through all the castings for the motion.
  4. 28ten

    28ten Guv'nor

    I remember getting my BBC B for £400 - a fortune back then. I bet it wasnt easy soldering those overlays in place, that casting must hold a fair bit of heat after the solder melts.
  5. D1054

    D1054 Western Thunderer

    ZX-81, Vic-20 the Commodore 64 was my intro - great times!  Learned how to program in machine code z-80 and 6502, and even developed a rudimentary "Defender" game to WOW the fellow students at good old Rising Brook High School.......

    Wish I'd kept them all...... :O( :vista:

    Love the work you've done so far. Those cylinders look pretty cool to me 8) :thumbs:
    One day I must have a go at a kettle......    one day........    one day.........
  6. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    ::) ... still is for some of us.....  :-[  :(  :mad:


    My mate had a ZX81 when they were new. Having not seen one for years, I'd have sworn they were about laptop-size, from memory, and was amazed when I saw one at a Toy Museum in Bude a few years back- just how small they were..!! :eek:
  7. Somewhere I still have one: more computing power than the computers used on the space landings...
    ...but then, my mobile phone has more processing power and memory than the first mainframe I used. Shame it is largely wasted on the operating system.
  8. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    I remember getting them as kits, we had an electronics club at school and they bought a couple which we then soldered in all the components, assembled them and then started programming.

    They were fun! I started them one evening and got it wrong, there was much cursing and swearing trying to separate the overlays without damaging them. A early morning start, a clear head and it went better the second time. The castings did soak up a lot heat. I seemed to have developed asbestos fingers for many soldering jobs but with this one I was swapping from one to another as I worked along the wrappers trying to let them cool off a bit. The cylinder and valve end covers are brass castings as well so they are fairly hefty lumps once all the detail has been added.
  9. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    and for those interesting in the Apollo Guidance Computer - this site has all the details, including a virtual machine to emulate the Apollo computer
  10. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    Blimey is it nearly 2 months since my last posting? It doesn't feel like it but then again I've been fairly busy and unfortunately not much on the modelling side, much to my chagrin. However the recent bad weather has curtailed any outdoor pursuits so there is a little progress to report, but where to start?

    Well at end of March my better half was made redundant, which was a bit of a blow, softened slightly by a fairly good redundancy package. So part of it was blown on a trip to Orlando, Florida for the kids. The kids knew absolutely nothing about it in advance. They thought they were dropping me off at the airport for a business trip to Germany and it wasn't until we gave them $200 pocket money at the airport checkin that they found out. So we spent the first 2 1/2 weeks in April touring Harry Potter World, Kennedy Space Centre, Alligator World, basketball and Boggy Creek Airboats etc. It was fantastic but we flew back on the Thursday and I'd volunteeered to help on the S7 stand at York show on the Saturday. So whilst the rest of the family were sleeping in on Friday from the jet lag, I was preparing a few bits at pieces to show at York. So the wheels, CSB and a few castings were slung on the 4MT. If you managed to get to York then this is what you would've seen.

    Attached Files:

  11. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    Well your Thread Title is accurate, at least.... :)) :)) :)) :thumbs:
    Dog Star likes this.
  12. 28ten

    28ten Guv'nor

    The kit really is impressive - is it the best steam loco kit on the Market?
    We are supposed to be taking our two camping this summer, which should be an event! I think we will stay next a large play centre in the beacons and exhaust them in the day so they sleep  :))
  13. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    Probably one of the best, but I've only limited experience of what's available. It's certainly a joy to build.

    I admire your optimism!! They've just changed the rules so we can now take the Beaver Scouts out on a sleepover under canvas. As I'm in training for my nights away permit, a couple of weeks ago I helped with a sleepover at a local camp site. We had a full range of activities for them, treasure hunt, games etc. finishing off with a campfire. We got them down by 10pm and all settled and asleep by 10:30pm. The first one started stirring at at 4:40am!!
  14. Pugsley

    Pugsley Western Thunderer

    Do you go by the name of erranta on another forum, by any chance?
  15. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    With a reputation to maintain I thought I'd get one more update in before the year end. Having helped out at the Wigan show it kick started me into getting a bit more done on the 4MT.

    So I've been working on the bunker area, I can't use the word finished as there are a lot of detailing parts yet to fit however the main superstructure is complete.

    I then turned to making up the tanks. This is almost like aircraft construction with frames and longerons before applying the outer skin. There are some fairly hefty brass castings used to form the radius at the bottom of the tanks, so soldering these in meant that everything got rather warm.

    The cab doors are a nice little half etched two piece unit. There is a half etch on the inside of each half which runs along the hinge line. When soldered together this forms a little recess to hold a length of wire to make the hinges operational. This instructions then say to fit the doors but they had missed out a vital step so there was nothing to fit them to. There are a couple of frames to fit around the door which aren't mentioned in the instructions. Fortunately the with the design of the kit it was fairly easy to work out how it should fit together.

    So this is the current state of play.

    I've managed to update my website so there are plenty more photo's and details if required.
    Building the bunker
    Building the tanks

    Unfortunately the image resizer I use on my website has stopped working with the latest upgrade to the software. As I'm the custodian for this particular plugin it looks like I'm going to have to dive into a bit of coding again. Once I get that sorted full size pictures should be available.
  16. 28ten

    28ten Guv'nor

  17. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    Been messing with the php coding on my website - the result being that the image resizer now works. So on the links for the bunker and the tanks clicking on any of the images will bring up all the gory details.
  18. Ressaldar

    Ressaldar Western Thunderer

    Hi Adrian,

    I am enjoying your build of the 4MT - the thought that has gone into these MOK kits - from every angle, deisign, fit, build and instructions comes through in the final result - and though a bit more exspensive than most kits, this is more than compensated by the fact that you are not chasing around for replacement parts or looking for ways of overcoming the kit's shortcomings. I certainly enjoyed building the two Q1s.

    Looking forward to seeing the next progress report.


    28ten likes this.
  19. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    Well having spent 3 hrs cleaning and sorting out the fish tank I'd earnt enough brownie points to spend a little time modelling. The next stage was the major task of soldering the half etched tank overlays onto the framework, this was one of those jobs that can make or break a model so I started it with a little trepidation.

    The instructions suggest gently curving the overlay before fitting but it's such a large radius it wasn't easy. I tried the rolling pin on the leg trick but I didn't get too far. It wasn't that wide a sheet of metal and I didn'so t want to introduce flats or too sharp a curve, so I decided to leave it flat and introduce the bend whilst soldering up. So I started with a couple of tack solders at the bottom of the tank. This first photo shows the radius required.

    Around the cab area there are several steps and cutouts on the etchings, to the rear of the cab door way the cutout is a location rebate for the side of the bunker which is fitted later.
    Once I was happy that the alignment was correct, it fitted around the cab and all edges lined up I soldered the full length of the bottom of the tanks, taking care that the etch sat on top of the brass footings. Once that was done a strip of hardwood was used to hold the overlay in place whilst I soldered up along the top of the tank. That done it was then a case of attacking the tanks with a large file. The brass castings were filed flush with the overlays, draw filed to remove the worst of the file marks and then finer and finer abrasive to polish smooth. There is still a bit more cleaning up to do but the photo's are excellent to highlight what I've missed. Anyway it's finally starting to look like a loco.




    A bit more cleaning up to do then I can start on fitting the various castings to finish the bunker area.
  20. Steve Cook

    Steve Cook Flying Squad

    Lovely work Adrian :thumbs: Your work and this kit are introducing a bit of 'want' over here :) Is it as much fun to build as it looks?