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Thursday, 24 January 2013

A Rare Event Indeed

One hour of  TV programming on the subject of model railways. I refer to the 'Joy of Sets - The Model Railway Story' BBC 4, 9pm, 23rd Jan 13.

Quite a challenge to capture all aspects of the subject but a good overview covering the early history of model train manufacture, the growth of the hobby and what draws adults to it. It was heart warming to see the emphasis given to the hobby as a fulfilling and valid pastime for adults.

Why people do it was identified as being due one or more of these factors.
  1. A nostalgia for and early experiences of the age of steam
  2. An outlet for those with a desire to craft things
  3. An academic interest in railways
The first point arose from the fact that most of the interviewees were mature gentlemen citing a childhood exposure to steam trains and travel. But it seems owning a train set as a child also helped and this arose from the marketing prowess of Bassett Lowke, Frank Hornby and Triang Rovex.

The hobby seems to be the preserve of older people. What of the future? 'Thomas The Tank' was put forward as the catalyst that sparks an interest in trains for the younger generation of today (no mention of visits to preserved steam railways) and these maturing youngsters will likely carry the hobby baton forward. 

The programme just touched on finescale modelling, which may be a dissapointment for some (was for me). I feel too much time was given to Bassett Lowke and the like. That period could have been covered in less time and the time saved given over to the development of the craft - from train sets to realistic railway layouts. The influencial pioneers of Ahern, Denny, Pendon, Norman were all sadly missing. Thankfully Iain Rice and Gordon and Maggie Gravett (who?) waved the flag for finescale with all too brief views of their models.

Scope for a second programme perhaps.


Friday, 18 January 2013

LSWR Signal Box - Furniture

lever frameFinal view of the Signal Box interior shows the recent addition of furniture etc.

Starting from the lower left is the Tyer's Token Instrument for single line working atop a cupboard. This is not needed for Hewish Gates but I made it for other locations. One aspect of the hobby I like is learning about real railway practises. Not being a railwayman myself I did not appreciate that the hoop passed between signalman and driver is not the token itself. The token is in fact a key that is taken from the token instrument and placed in a pouch attached to the hoop.

In the top left corner is a sink unit comprising cupboards and a Belfast sink. The gap next to it is where the Romesse stove is located (it is attached to the stove pipe which is fixed to the roof not shown here). Next is a table and chair and then the booking desk with the train register on top.

Beneath the far window is the level crossing gate operating wheel.

Attached to the back of the instrument shelf is the track diagram that was missing from the photo in the previous posting.

On the side wall next to the sink and not visible here is the clock and notice board.

I know there is no telephone or signalman installed but have I missed anything important that could be modelled?


To Part 1

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

LSWR Signal Box Interior - Instruments & Levers

lever frameThe limitations of paper modelling is manifest with the construction of the signal box instruments.

How can bells and dials with their sinuous shapes and only a few mm in size be represented easily with paper and card? Picture shows the cop out - square blocks.

To Part 4

To Part 1

Monday, 7 January 2013

LSWR Signal Box Lever Frame

lever frameHere is the lever frame for the new signal box (previous posting). It is loosely based on the Stevens Frame in common use on the L&SWR.

This was the third attempt at devising a paper and card construction method that can be made without too much difficulty. Even so, these are very small parts and a bit fiddly to assemble. (Levers are 15mm tall and 1mm wde).

There are 5 parts to the build:
  • the frame base plate
  • convex slotted frame overlay and foot board
  • row of levers in 'Normal' position
  • row of levers in 'Off' position
  • lever identification plates.
The frame looks operational but is entirely cosmetic - levers do not move.

There is a useful site about lever colours here.

To Part 3

To Part 1

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

LSWR Type 4 Signal Box

sidingPicture shows my new box for Hewish Gates.
It is another of my own card kit designs and is featured on this months website cover.

I plan to create interior fittings for it next - all made from paper and card.

Happy New Year!

To Part 2
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