Saturday, 27 September 2014

Details, Details, Details...


At a time when we are swamped with "real work", I have had very little time to indulge in the hobby over the last few weeks.  Of course having plenty of work is a good sign for any business...but I do miss my down time and the ability to bubble along with modelling projects.

I have however spent a few nights assembling some detail type items and having a quick flick thru the myriad of storage draws and cupboards just to reacquaint my ever diminishing memory regarding hobby items.  Most of these items were bought in bulk when putting in an order either to the UK or the USA.  They arrive and of course are labelled as " they will be useful someday".  In reality they are moderately thought out purchases intended to be package fillers and take full advantage of the importation postage costs.

The first item to look at is the humble forklift truck.  With the shed project almost complete, I am now searching for the final detail items and a forklift would be perfect to add some "movement" to the scene.  There are of course, plenty of examples of HO forklift trucks either in kit form or RTR...and the quality is quite varied as well.  It would have been easier to have chosen an out of the box truck with only weathering to be added before placing it in the scene.  Unfortunately the only one I could find that fitted my requirements ( proposed shed vintage and detail)  was in kit form...but as luck would have it I had purchased a few of these very kits some time back.

The chosen kit is manufactured by a mob called GHQ Models ( from the USA) and they are sold as part of their "Road Master" series.  They have a fair range of industrial type vehicles and I did manage to purchase examples of most of the range although I did probably buy too many...ah well!!!

The kit was almost entirely manufactured from "100% Britannia Pewter" with only one brass etching...that being the driver protection cage.  The parts are extremely well moulded with very little flash requiring removal and have more than satisfactory detail....Indeed it would appear to me that they have engineered the moulds to ensure that component removal is very well enhanced and well thought out!  The instructions are very well written with plenty of photos to aid construction... The mast can be assembled to simulate any height and in my case I decided to model the unit with forks lowered.

For anyone who is keen to tackle a pewter/white metal type kit, this would be a good start.  Admittedly it is a small sucker...but with little part preparation required, and not containing a heap of is a good place to start.

Put it this way...upon completion of this should be able to postpone your next optometrists appointment!

An example of the GHQ range...

The main components with a first coat of paint and trial fit 


Almost finished and seeing if it enhances the scene...

Sunday, 7 September 2014

A Touchy Subject...


I have been formulating this post for some time and while the subject matter has the real possibility of polarising recent blog trolling has certainly confirmed that the situation is indeed also alive and well at least in Britain.

I, like many thought that blogging may be like the "Yo-Yo" and just be another fad that came and went without trace.  How wrong I was...Blogging now is a very important facet of our hobby and also has the ability of spanning and cross fertilising on a global basis...and more importantly is free! ( for now ).  Inspiration, advice, kinship and just plain old enjoyment has allowed the blogosphere to go ahead in leaps and bounds.

While all of this is happening around us...I could not help but ask myself the question..."Where does this leave the humble model related magazines and periodicals?"...  Magazines, certainly were a very important facet of my earlier years in the hobby and before the internet, the only real way for modellers to be informed, entertained and inspired...apart from the exhibition and the club scene.  So where does the cyber advancements leave our paper based technology.

To my mind there are many factors that will influence where our magazines end up.  Firstly ( just like the daily tabloids ) online information exchange will govern the future of the printed word.  How long it takes for many day to day printed items to become extinct is anyone's guess...Newspapers, periodicals, magazines and indeed the humble phone book will all succumb to cyber space and with the advancements in computers, internet speeds, methodologies and just plain old economics...I think the transition will be swift.

The next logical question is...are magazines still relevant?.  That one comment will probably incur the wrath of many individuals in our hobby at least...but let us just examine where we find ourselves before any reader of this post is moved towards "taking out a contract" on my very existence.  Whether one will publicly concede this fact or not...every conceivable "bit" of information relating to our hobby can now be found online.  Even the very advertisers that fuel the salaries and running costs of the magazine are now to be found online, with some now having up to date (in some instances) blogs attached to the parent website and many even have links to a "demonic", to some,  facebook page.

Some time back, I made a conscious decision to reassess my magazine purchases and to concentrate only on magazines that are well written, have absorbing articles, have the content I am interested in and provide value for money.  I opted for the British they have not yet succumbed to totally being absorbed with the "plonker" type of readership and still have many articles on "modelling" and the skills involved.  As I have stated in an earlier post dedicated to the subject...I have now trimmed costs even further by having my mags delivered electronically.  This all seems ironic given that I model NSW outline...but most of the modelling, weathering and landscape articles have a universal appeal and I still become absorbed with the fringe articles as well.

As for the local magazine scene...I have taken an annual "digital" subscription to our "leading" magazine...but in all honesty I cannot see this continuing as my interests cover ALL aspects of modelling and are not limited to "new releases" and a short hop around a layout...Have we really lost the appreciation of the true art and skills of modelling???. We also have to move away from the overtones that we are "privileged" to have the magazines that are available today...Any commodity that comes at a price is not a privilege. I certainly want more than 1/2 an hour of interest from any magazine that I or paper.  To be fair I still look forward to AJMR when a new issue appears and would love to see this magazine on a more regular basis.

I guess the reason why some British bloggers bemoan their local magazines is possibly due to that fact that there are a plethora of offerings and choice over there... and as I am a fairly recent convert to some of these mags...I still find the content quite interesting and valuable.

And this is where I see that blogs (for me) will sooner or later replace the printed word. A mind boggling variety of subject matter, differing writing styles and skills, evocative subjects, progress of specific projects,  superb photos and illustrations, matter what your taste...and last but not least...true "real time" interaction with the blog owner / writer.

And following a week where "real work" overtook my modelling time yet again!...a couple of shots of the shed progress.  Still much to do...but we are getting there, albeit slowly.  Internal asbestos sheeting is now complete, as well as the timber guardrails, and truck loading bay "buffer timbers"....all internals are almost complete and in readiness for the roof to be permanently  installed, barge cappings, gutters and downpipes can then be fitted...subtle changes...but time consuming