Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Busy as a Bee

 It is Spring, which means lots of bumblebee queens have reappeared, along with wasps, ladybirds, and a myriad of other little creatures.

That also means it is a busy time in the garden for me, so I've taken a week's holiday. My first days off since September as I had to work over Xmas. I'd hoped to use some of the time to tidy up the studio end of the office, and to begin work on Grundy's Yard. It hasn't quite worked out like that. The good news though is that I've got done a lot of those silly little jobs that were always of higher priority than modelling, but hard to fit into a short Winter's day.

So the patio and paths have been weeded and jetwashed, the lawn aerated, fed, reseeded and mown, the bikes have all been serviced, the BBQs cleaned and repaired, the fencing made positively poodle proof, the garden furniture restored, trenches dug, cables buried, the hot tub recommissioned, garden tools sharpened and a start made on the relocated vegetable garden.

On top of which the chickens have been released from their government-imposed lock down for avian flu, and six new rescue girls have joined the flock.

Have I achieved anything railway related?

Well, I've levelled the 7/8ths line, and realised that Scale Model Scenery do a lot of useful bits and pieces that can save me time - especially when it comes to the next project, the canal-side boxfile + diorama. As do Vintage Minature Models.

I've also done some restoration work on the baseboards for Grundy's Yard. Perhaps that isn't quite the right word. A quick recap, they were built back in 2013 using an Iain Rice idea of lightweight L girders made from cheap roofing battens.  That was in the days before laser cut boards were commercially available. It was also in the days when I hadn't done any woodwork for thirty years. Since then they have been in less than ideal storage conditions, and my skills and tools have both improved. So refining is a better term than restoring. Everything is now smooth and seamless. I am going to have to build new parts to join the baseboards together, simply because I'll be inverting the board for the dockside scene to model the water at low tide. On reflection the baseboard design still has a lot going for it. It is certainly lightweight and relatively strong.

I'm less and less convinced that the Tim Horn baseboards for TAoC are salvagble. that is no reflection on their superb quality, but they didn't cope well with their time in a damp shed. If they aren't then I have a plan B both for TAoC and for using them for a couple of experiments. 

One of them is an old idea for a micro EM layout, that was meant to be the next stage in the Apa Valley saga, but built in N gauge and expanded slightly and put into a totally different context to become a mini Minories style station. The idea that came to me at about 3am this morning was I could build it so you never saw the complete length of  even a relatively short train of four coaches

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