9. Shunting again

Once more a piece about Trains while the world of news whirls around us like a Tornado…

I had a less active week this week, having been distracted by the installation of Telegram and the messages it produces – like getting a personal text from General Flynn or whoever you follow.

There was some progress, you’ll be relieved to know. The big parcel arrival if the week was a hot knife – so as Sarah L. would say: ‘Come at me bro!’*

*as  long as you’re within three feet of a 240v socket and give me 10 minutes to warm it up

Heated knife
Heated knife – 4 out of 10.
© Sweaty Dave, Going Postal 2021.

I tried out the new purchase on the Kingspan board. Having cost £12 I shouldn’t have held too high hopes. It did work to an extent, slowly melting the insulation. I think it is probably designed and better suited for expanded polystyrene, which is a lot less dense. Still it will help to finish off any curves and edges. I found a hacksaw blade on its own was much more effective for cutting larger areas, though with a lot of mess ensuing. The shaping hasn’t got to a recognisable point as yet, still experimenting with it.

On the board itself, we left it with a successful test run of the train, I considered what would go under the track. While the inclines themselves do have a certain charm, large white zig zags are not something of this world. I need to have something that will raise it up a little too. The track profile should be to have the tracks on a bed of ballast with lower levels on each side for drainage. To do that I decided to use some cork mat which is frequently used for this purpose – it may be overkill, simple plaster bandage would give a flat surface.

Cork sheet prior to cutting
Cork sheet to be cut and fitted.
© Sweaty Dave, Going Postal 2021.

The mat was measured out, cut and laid loosely over the inclines and seems ok. The next step is to glue all of this down as at the moment it is a bit too flexible and mobile – the flexitrack moving and disconnecting at the smallest of excuses.

Cork added under track
Cork cut and added under the track.
© Sweaty Dave, Going Postal 2021.

What to fix it with? This project seems to need a wide range of glues – for sticking the track down I’ve ordered some spray glue. I could use tacks but they would spoil the whole effect as being the equivalent of a six foot spike driven through the odd sleeper.

Talking of glue, I have progressed with a number of building kits. First was a go at some plastic kits. The contacta glue was ideal for them, sticking quickly with minimal amounts giving a generally clean finish. You can see the difference on the station halt – the left side was the hot glue, the right the newer contacta.

Wayside halt
Left side – hot glue gun, right side, new glue.
© Sweaty Dave, Going Postal 2021.

I swiftly repaired the station halt – putting the fencing the right way around this time and then moved on to look at a garage consisting of a pair of sheds and a weighbridge and hut.

Weighbridge and garage
Weighbridge and garage – easy plastic kits.
© Sweaty Dave, Going Postal 2021.

The plastic kits are around £5 each and very simply a couple of moulded sheets from which to cut parts, akin to simple Airfix models.

Plastic kits out of the box
Careful with that sharp knife.. plastic kits out of the box.
© Sweaty Dave, Going Postal 2021.

Heartened by that success, I moved on to the Metcalfe corner shop. As you’d expect it is a lovely, well made kit with clear instructions but something that takes a few hours to construct.

In this case the shop has a couple of display windows and a variety of options are offered for the contents – Chip shop, Greengrocer, post office etc. Following suggestions and general heckling from here I thought it time to do a little customisation of the building and make this one close to all your hearts – an off licence. I had some scale sized beer cans and crates from the last layout.

Scale beers
Scale beers and crates of bottles.
© Sweaty Dave, Going Postal 2021.

I expected that new glue to work a treat for the glazing – sticking plastic glazing to cardboard backing is problematic – PVA used elsewhere is no good. It turns out the Contacta is equally rubbish as it soaks into the cardboard and ignores the glazing! Back to the superglue until a delivery of UHU general adhesive arrives – that’s PVA, Contacta, Spray glue and now UHU. We have more glue than a Blyth Council estate!

The shop is built in three sections – the base, body of house and gable end. The base includes the shop fittings.

Bob in shop
Bob’s looking smart, but may have drunk the stock. Empties out back.
© Sweaty Dave, Going Postal 2021.

In this case I remembered I had a few scale beer cans somewhere from the last layout, so dug those out. The shop was named [Swiss]  ‘Bob’s Bottle Shop’ -after all ‘1642s bottle shop’ doesn’t have the same ring to it. It appears to be set the day after a Bash as there is very little stock left and lots of empties in the back yard. I created the shop sign by scanning the provided ones, overlaying amended text in MS paint, using the original colours and printing it off. The sign is angled downwards to pavement level as it should be, by three or four different pieces of card. The instructions are typically forthright Yorkshire on the matter –

“Now if you can understand this; The ‘Pink spacer, spacer’ – spaces the yellow ‘Sign spacer’ to the correct height above the window. Once the yellow spacers are in position throw the pink spacer away.”

– they are each labelled like that so not all that difficult in the end.

Having put the building together I now regret not putting more posters in the windows – it does look extremely bare but now the building is together it’d take serious surgery to get back in so it will have to stay as it is. Bob obviously spends too much time on his computer and not tending his shop!

Bob's shop
Paving in progress, RP’s back passage in view.
© Sweaty Dave, Going Postal 2021.

Having said that, there are some nice touches, such as the open window above the shop and the back alley for RP. Bob himself is rather smart in his brown serving coat. I may need to add a light in there for better vision. Also as noted by the master-modellers on this site (Leopard and others), I need to paint some of the edges to hide the card on the folds.

Bob's final shop.
Bob’s shop all finished off.
© Sweaty Dave, Going Postal 2021.

I’ve just had an update that my point motors are back in stock and are being sent on, so some trackwork next week, along with that spray glue. I took a look at what sort of bridge to use for the raised section and rather than go for a multi-arch viaduct, plumped for a bridge and abutments. It is in brick as I have plenty of brick papers to help with the alterations that will be necessary to make the curve. Another house is there for easier work, and part of a factory, to be used as a boiler house/engine house for the mine, so plenty to be getting on with if there’s nothing much else going on in the world!

Next kits
Next few weeks look busy.
© Sweaty Dave, Going Postal 2021.


© Sweaty Dave 2021

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