Sunday 29 March 2015

Spray Painting Lego for HO scale Model Railway

Decided to repeat the successful experiment of spraypainting the Lego brick roof of a building on the layout; this time, the Theatre.

In the foreground, is the roof that was originally black but spraypainted gray (experiment 1). Behind the church is the theatre with its original black roof. For some reason I feel that the black colour is too harsh.

On a whim, I spray painted it a sandy colour.

Then tried an experimental green background made up of plastic table mates.

Currently listening to:

A Blast from the Past

From 1972

Hardy Perennial

From 1993

And at this very moment

The March podcast of Optimo on Rinse FM

Currently reading:

Becoming too silly and show bizzy

Too wordy - suspended reading it

This is actually bloody good!

Read a passage a day.
Miscellany 1:

Last night saw the comedian Bruce Morton supporting Fred Macaulay at the Kings Theatre in Glasgow.

He was the best comedian I've seen in years - perfection.

Bruce Morton
Here are 2 of his gags:

Hangover cures:

"Some people recommend drinking water, others a raw egg in a glass and so on. But what I find works best is a nice cup of tea and a warm bath.

Now, I can see that some of you are thinking "that's a lot to fucking drink!"."


"The other day, I was telling my brother that my wife and I were  going to have our loft converted. However, I reassured him that the rest of the house would remain predominantly Protestant."

Miscellany 2:

This afternoon, we walked around the Hunterian Art Gallery at Glasgow University. For 35 minutes I sat down on a bench transfixed by this painting from 1960 of Alan Davie's.

Seadevils Watchtower.

Sunday 22 March 2015

H0 Scale Layout - aesthetic matters

For some time I've felt that the ceramic chuch that I built myself cannot be seen properly.

It seems to lurk amongst the other buildings and one's eye is drawn to them rather than the church., That's a pity because I think it is a beautiful model.

The most likely culprit, I think, is  the shiny black roof made of lego bricks of the building that stands beside the church.

It's the blackness.

Perhaps if that roof was coloured gray then it wouldn't dominate the skyline so much.

Not having any gray lego bricks, I spray painted the existing roof with gray primer.

And then, I inserted red, blue or yellow garret windows using more lego bricks. The idea was that such spots of primary colour would highlight the primary colors in the stained glass windows of the church dome.

Jury is still out.

Currently listening to:

Blast from the Past

From 1969

And here's a link to youTube for the song.

Hardy Perennial

From 1994

This Week's Addicition

Currently reading:

My spiritual guide.

This autobiography by, friend to the stars, Peter Keogh is very amusing at times.

The Australian author is obviously pretty camp and describes the great joy he had when an altar boy.

"I especially loved what I had to wear; a cassock and surplice, similar to a choir boy's outfit. How I swished around the sacristy before and after Mass. It felt just like being on stage with the congregation as my audience."

(Love the use of the word "swished".)

Still working my way through this.


When out cycling this afternoon saw this restored double decker bus passing along Clyde Street on its way to Ayr. Only 5 passengers on board.

Sunday 15 March 2015

Clearing the decks

I've got into a bit of a rut with this model railway; in part, possibly in large part, because of the bloody mess of odds and ends that has gathered all over the baseboard.

But also, for several weeks, I have been awaiting delivery of  printed sheets of paper marked with cobble stones.

With these sheets I'm going to cover the streets around the station.

But, until those sheets arrive, my hands are tied. I can't place any cars or figures or pieces of street furniture into position.

So here are some views of the tidied up layout.

Currently listening to:

A Blast from the Past

Here's a link to youTube for this song, released in 1967 from the soundtrack to the James Bond film of the same name.

Hardy perennial

Released in 1979.

This Week's Addiction

Auntie Flo on Rinse FM

This Weeks' Musical Treat

The Counterfeit Sixties at the Ayr Gaiety Theatre

The Counterfeit Sixties are a tribute band, obviously, re-visiting the pop music of the 1960s. Last Friday they played to a packed house at the Ayr Gaiety Theatre, and my brother-in-law and I were in attendance.

I haven't enjoyed a live musical event so much in years. These tribute bands provide a vastly superior listening experience to that of the original players coming back for a revival tour and stumbling and mumbling over the stage in their 50s, 60s or 70s.

For one thing, the tribute bands obviously feel the same excitement in producing this music and acting out their heroes' on stage that we fans do. That excitement came over to the audience on Friday.

In addition, the Counterfeit Sixties chose a really interesting set of songs to play, some of which I had forgotten.

They were also very competent musicians and were quite amusing in between songs.

A great evening all round.

This Week's Musical Purchase

Currently Reading:

Still pretty good.

Can't believe I'm reading this - it's hilarious and gripping!

Here's a quote from Brother Lawrence:

"I do not advise you to use a multiplicity of words in prayer. Many words and long discourses are often the occasions of wandering. Hold yourself in prayer before God, like a dumb or paralytic beggar at a rich man's gate."

Sunday 8 March 2015

HO Scale Pavements and Pedestrians

Continued to address the problem of the pavement that stretches in front of the Gare du Nord facade. (See previous blog episode.)

I darkened the stretch of pavement further and then, using a 7B lead pencil, drew in the paving stones.

Fairly pleased with this effect.

Next, I turned my mind to populating the pavement with people making their way to the entrance of the station.

I used little plastic HO scale figures that I got from China, very cheaply, some months ago.

Wasn't sure how to fix the figures in position so tried the placing of little spots of blu tac in a pattern that I thought might suggest a lot of people being naturally funneled towards an entrance.

And then pressed each figure onto a spot of blu tac.

Quite a few unsatisfactory visual effects need to be addressed:

The colours of the figures are too garish - need some drabber colours that suggest French commuters of the 1950s/60s.

The spots of blu tac are a bit too obvious; makes it look as if everyone is wearing trainers!

Not confident that the figures won't fall down or list to one side - might need to try super glue.

Currently listening to:

A Blast from the Past

I love the opening lines of Suite: Judy Blue Eyes:

"It's getting to the point where I'm no fun anymore
I am sorry
Sometimes it hurts so badly I must cry out loud
I am lonely....."

Here's a link to a youTube recording of same.

Hardy Perennial

Recently, we have been watching re-runs of the 1980s BBC comedy series, "Hi-de-Hi.." which was set in a 1950s/60s British holiday camp.

As children we spent many happy holidays in Butlin's holiday camps.

And it was from a shop actually situated within the Butlin's holiday camp at Filey, North Yorkshire, that I purchased my vinyl copy of Captain Beefheart's "Safe as Milk" - released unbelievably on the budget middle of the road record label, Marble Arch.

I can't think of  two concepts,  more widely separated, than "Butlin's" and "Captain Beefheart".

This Week's Addiction

Currently reading:


At last, after a couple of months of reading a few pages each day, I have finished this important book.

At the front are printed, the many tributes and accolades that this book has received. They mostly come from outside the running community (thank God) and they mirror my view of the book.

My view is summed up by the following quotation from towards the end of the book.

"I think ...........  , almost by definition, fell-runners are people who are ambitious neither for prestige nor for profit. Instead, they are motivated by a thirst for joy: the joy of being totally absorbed, as our ancestors were, in wild environments; the joy of throwing off the straitjackets of caution and civilisation; the joy of finding and pushing back limits; and, occasionally, the joy of doing things that one had thought impossible."

Samba drumming fulfils exactly the same role in my life.

"motivated by a thirst for joy: the joy of being totally absorbed; the joy of throwing off the straitjackets of caution and civilisation; the joy of finding and pushing back limits; and, occasionally, the joy of doing things that one had thought impossible."

This book reminds me of one I read a couple of years ago about an Englishman going to Spain to learn Flamenco guitar.


Also still reading: