…the cupboard was bare…

Posted September 7, 2014 by Night Hawk
Categories: 2014

Tags: ,

Times, they are a changing! In recent years we’ve been used to plenty of models to buy. There was seemingly an endless supply of whatever we wanted. OK, not quite everything, but the shelves in the shops were feeling the strain. And it wasn’t just locos, coaches and wagons aplenty, oh no, there were new ranges of “ready to plant” buildings, and road vehicles in big enough quantities to model the M25 with ease. These were definitely the good times, although little did we know it at the time.

Stocked to the roof

Stock, stacked right to the roof

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Posted July 11, 2014 by Night Hawk
Categories: 2014

This blog is in response to a couple of comments on the RMWeb forum which got me thinking.

The builder of a layout I’d been following commented that he’d not had much time to progress the latest building for the layout, as, among other ‘family duties,’ he’d had to take his son to and from Explorer Scouts. Now, don’t get me wrong, there was no sense that the layout builder was in anyway disapproving of his son’s activities, nor indeed complaining about the need to taxi him, but this statement, and the several subsequent supportive responses got me thinking.

If you follow my ramblings here you’ll well know that I am easily distracted. After all when did I last have anything much to report on my own layout projects?

But are distractions a problem? Is a lack of visible progress an issue? Some people no doubt await the next forum post about a particular layout with great anticipation, and sure there are projects on RMWeb which I enjoy following, and an update is always welcome.

The River Avon

I will admit that I am feeling fairly enthused for model railways at the moment, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m building anything! In fact when I read the forum post mentioned above I’d just got in from a couple of hours kayaking on the local river, and was catching up on the Forum while having a cup of tea before settling down to finalising plans for leading tonight’s Explorer Scout meeting. Read the rest of this post »

On the up

Posted May 3, 2014 by Night Hawk
Categories: 2014

Tags: ,

This may come as startling news, but  I have it on good authority that the end of the world as we know it  is nigh! It must be true, I read it on a model railway forum.

Earlier this week Bachmann took the brave move of advising the model press (and RMWeb forum) of the economic realities of producing toy trains, and thus broke the news that, on average, the prices of new product would be 20% higher than of now. They have yet to release details on a model by model basis, but it is suggested that something like a simple wagon may rise by more than the average because a locomotive is already an item of higher value and therefore carrying its share of the costs.

And predictably this news has led to those “in the know” announcing the end of the world as we know it. Read the rest of this post »

Peak pottering

Posted April 16, 2014 by Night Hawk
Categories: 2014


I’ve been researching real Working Time Tables and Trip Working Books for a while now, trying to set some parameters for a authentic schedule for Mortimore’s Yard. It’s been fascinating delving back in time, and I am gradually working towards something useable. But the urge to run some trains got too great and so the layout was powered up.


I expected the track to be filthy, but the liquid cleaner I used some time back seems to be as good as it’s word and does create a dirt inhibiting coating on the railhead. Sure, running wasn’t to “exhibition standard” but I was pleased as the 03 shunter went about it’s business with only the occasional prod.

The yard needed bit of a sort out, Read the rest of this post »

Oh no, not a bus on the bridge!

Posted March 22, 2014 by Night Hawk
Categories: 2014


It seems to have become an unacceptable cliché to some people to have a bus on a bridge on a model railway. I’m not sure why this should be so, but for some people it is a far worse offence than using OO gauge track, and that in itself is a sin which will preclude you from entering the model railway “elite”.

Bus under a bridge

A bus going under a bridge, that must be OK

My first exhibition layout had a low relief bus depot along the rear of one baseboard, so it was perfectly reasonable to model a couple of bus stops on the road bridge, and have a bus or two at the stop, supposedly waiting during a crew change. The buses were  correct to period, correctly liveried for the area and had the route blind details and registrations changed as appropriate. A more recent layout has a suitable bridge, and the intention is to provide a suitable bus upon it, mainly to hide the “corner in the sky”. I’ve yet to complete the required bus kit (it’s a white metal one where the parts don’t fit together too well), but again it will be correct to period and area, and indeed rather a “signature” type which, for the Omnibologist, will specifically plant the layout in time and location.

But am I wrong to use the bus like this? It seems that it is acceptable Read the rest of this post »

…then two come along together

Posted January 14, 2014 by Night Hawk
Categories: 2014


I know it’s the old story about buses, you wait for ages, then two come along together. Working in the bus industry I’ve heard it all before, but nonetheless it does seem an appropriate title here.


But please don’t think that the other part of the old saying, about waiting for ages, applies in this case. At least that’s not how I see it. I know that some people have got very agitated on a certain model railway forum about the delays to this model, but I really don’t see it as an issue at all.

I’ve long known about these AC Cars railbuses Read the rest of this post »

My monthly dose of inspiration

Posted January 4, 2014 by Night Hawk
Categories: 2014


We all lead busy lives nowadays, and in my case that means lots of things vie for my attention besides model railways. There is of course paid work to factor in, but I also choose to voluntary work too, and as much as I enjoy church and Explorer Scout activities they do require time on a regular basis to prepare and run. And that’s before I consider other hobbies; I sometimes paddle a kayak, or pedal a bike amongst many activities.

There is also a huge distraction in the internet these days. Sure sites such as RMWeb are very useful for asking questions, picking up tips and advice and the numerous photo sites present a seemingly endless stream of images, especially as my favoured 1970s modelling period seems to be the subject of so many.

But there is one monthly source of inspiration which I highly value, and I’ve just taken my monthly dose.BR in the 1970sMy modelling is never likely to reach these levels, but I can hope. So when skills are lacking, attention is distracted and I need a focus the monthly update of British Rail in the 1970s is just the boost I need.