What a load of cobbles…

So, with around 200 square centimetres of baseboard to cover in cobbles – and no desire to both spend the money on or time cutting Wills sheets – I’ve been looking at alternatives. 

That’s where Fab Foam and a pen comes in. The little trial above has held well and, suitably painted and weathered, should be more than good enough. 



Half an hour at…

Yesterday Amy and myself went to Powis Castle. Lovely it is, too. After a hot chocolate and cake I persuaded her to head over to the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway for a look around. 

As luck would have it a train had not long arrived, so we stayed for half an hour watching ‘Countess’ have a drink and run around her train before heading back into Mid-Wales. 

Welshpool station has a few facilities, including a shop and a display shed. It’s quite a charming location, with quite a bit of inspiration for a model! 

Still brewing…

My micro layout of a brewery – a micro brewery, perhaps – is still progressing nicely. That said, the start of a new term, as well as a new course, has severely restricted modelling time. 

I did manage to grab an hour earlier today though, which saw me make more inroads on the scenic break building as well as adding the capping to the roof of the first building I made. Nothing particularly photo-worthy though, hence the picture of a pint of Estrella (my favourite lager) to keep the mojo going. 

The name is still up in the air though, which is fine. It can just be the micro brewery for now!

Best of brass…

Yesterday I went to watch the Brass Band Gala Concert at the Symphony Hall, featuring the Cory and Black Dyke bands. 

Amy and myself went two years ago and I left feeling inspired. Yesterday, I wasn’t so sure how I felt. 

Let me clarify; there was NOTHING wrong with either Band, who both put in performances of the highest calibre. The ‘Black Dyke Organ’ came out in style during Fire in the Blood, whilst Cory’s Nordic Polka showed frightening technique and musical diversity. 

Both bands were inspiring in equal measure but I can’t say I found the programmes to be so. And that’s down to me, not the Musical Directors. I’ve found my musical tastes have really changed over the past year; I would far rather listen to a ‘major work’ CD than an ‘in concert’ one. Furthermore, I’d rather hear a live recording too. Hearing a band at full throttle, straining every sinew and stretching their own techniques and musicality are what I love. In contrast, Imperial Echoes – to pick as an example, and however well played – doesn’t challenge a band of that level. 

Again, it’s not the bands who I take issue with; this post is more about the surprise I felt when I realised that my tastes had changed so much. 

Of course the playing was inspirational. They are numbers one and three in the world. They play at a level I could only dream of. However, the inspiration I think I got was this; I’d love to write a ‘major work’ that a band of their class would play. 

That’s the challenge. 

Helpful advice

I’ve only just noticed this didn’t post. It was supposed to appear on the 30th August. 

In response to my last post, Bob Hughes has very kindly offered the following advice on his own blog. Bob has taken the time to offer some suggestions as to how his layout could have been improved, namely allowing the loco to be seen more often on the layout as, more often than not, it is blocked by the bridge that acts as a scenic break.

My plan, roughly shown above, shows Clara JUST creeping on. If I were to use a bridge, like Bob, I wouldn’t see her much. Bob suggested a level crossing. However, I’m thinking of the tracks coming in through some gates. I’m unsure whether to use a mill or a brewery as the back drop at this moment, but I like the idea of a walled in area with the train arriving through open gates. 

First steps; get some new track, rather than the grotty off cuts used above. 

Fermenting nicely…

I’m pleased with how things are going on the Brewery Inglenook. The low relief brewery buildings on the back scene are coming along nicely and I’ve now started work on the scenic break loading bay. 

I’ve been surprised by how much I’m enjoying making – and tinkering with – the Metcalfe kit. I don’t like the lack of relief on printed kits but this has been a delight to work with, and the lack of relief is a compromise I’m happy to make. 

The mojo is flowing nicely and currently I only have two concerns; what to floor it with (ballast, cobbles or a mix) and what to call the layout. 

Sorry… make that three. So I buy another Sentinel for it as I love those models!!!