Sunday 26 April 2015

H0 Scale Tin Plate Model Buildings

Spur of the Moment Visit to an Antique Shop

Last week, when cycling through the small Scottish Borders town of Innerleithen, I called in at a small antiques shop.

In fact in this one-street town there were at least 5 such antique shops.

Called in at a few, looking for  H0 scale continental vehicles and of course they had none.

But in the window of one shop there was a tin plate model railway station from the 1950s or 60s.

Fell in love with it immediately.

Paid £25 for it and even though it is not French - definitely British, in fact - I will definitely find a place for it on the layout. It has the right feel. It could be French.

The layout will have to adapt itself to the station.

As I say, it is rather obviously British in its intention.

But it is French in feel.

Currently listening to:

A Blast from the Past

A Hardy Perennial

Front cover

Back cover

Inside cover

This is a double album from 1969 by the American blues singer Taj Mahal.

I actually saw Taj Mahal perform at an outdoor concert in 1971 somehere on the East coast of the United States - I can't remember exactly where. But he was supported by Linda Ronstadt of all people.

This Week's Wonderful Discovery

This really is a discovery - the SOFRITO record label. Here is what they are all about.

"Sofrito is a collective of DJs, producers and artists that combine a love for Tropical rhythms with a firm basis in modern club culture.

Rooted in the legendary Tropical Warehouse Parties in East London, Sofrito mixes up vintage sounds from across the tropics with modern productions and exclusive dubplate specials, bridging the gap between eras and continents to produce a unique and intense sound that has seen them play at clubs and festivals across the world.

The Sofrito label covers everything from Nigerian acid boogie to raw Gwo Ka rhythms, futuristic sounds from new European producers and heavy Latin vibes from the Pacific coast of Colombia.
Paris-based Hugo Mendez has traveled extensively in order to produce groundbreaking compilations for labels such as Strut, Soundway, Jazzman and Nascente and DJs regularly across Europe.
Hackney-based Frankie Francis runs The Carvery mastering and dubplate cutting studios, working on vinyl retrieval and mastering for labels such as Strut, Sir Collin’s Music Wheel, NYC Trust, Superfly and many more, as well as cutting dubs for the cream of the reggae and Tropical DJs in the UK.

Illustrator and Designer Lewis Heriz works with labels such as Stones Throw, Now Again and Soundway, producing exceptional artwork using a variety of media."

For me it means an endless supply of fantastic modern music - should see me through to my demise.

Currently reading:

This book gets better and better.

A passage a day.
Working my way through this book of  (disparate) readings.

Sunday 19 April 2015

More Backdrop Woes

Still agonising over the backdrop to the model railway.

The problem is that the diorama is made up of  9  separate H0 scale buildings each of which, I think, stands alone as a visually pleasing piece.

But together, they seem to make a visual mess. I'm exploring the possibility that the choice of a suitably coloured backdrop might unify the collection of  disparate buildings.

Last week I tried BLACK:

This week, WHITEish.

Still not sure - so removed the entire roof of the building in the middle.

Still not sure:

Perhaps, the church is too close to the other buildings.

A bit late too move it now since it's bolted to the board and would be a nightmare to move.

I'll have to keep experimenting.

Currently listening to:

A Blast from the Past

I remember this record label so clearly.
One of the 1st records I ever bought - in 1962.

And here's the link to a recording of it:

A Hardy Perennial

This Week's Addiction

General Ludd - from Glasgow

Currently reading:

Sunday 12 April 2015

A Black Backdrop

Last week I mucked about with the backdrop to the model railway.


Today I painted black a couple of sheets of cardboard.

Perhaps, I'm fussing but I don't feel that the model buildings form a unified whole. In fact the whole thing looks a mess.

I'm wondering if the colour of the backdrop holds the answer to the  problem. Hence I tried black today.

I'll keep at it.

While I've temporarily lost my enthusiasm for the railway, I'm as well spending time on this esoteric (but to me crucial) issue.

Currently listening to:

A Blast from the Past

Sheer brilliance released in 1965

And a link for the record:

Hardy Perennial

What a fantastic songwriter and singer Kurt Cobain was - hugely under-rated by most people, I suspect.

Currently listening to:

The latest podcast from Optimo on Rinse FM is one of the best yet - I must have played through the entire 2 hours a dozen times already.

Currently reading:

Downloaded another volume of Maya Angelou's autobiography to my Kindle.

And also this:

Increasingly moving away from  Cartesian dualism.

And a passage from this book each day.


Took my life in my hands and went to see Golden Teacher perform on Friday night in Glasgow: they came on stage at 11.15pm. (Enough said.)

A total sell out. No seats and no stage either.

What a performance! Words fail me.

In the taxi on the way home afterwards I experienced the same buzz and after-glow that I remember having 47 years ago when I also returned home in a taxi after attending my first ever gig (or concert as we called them in those days):  Fleetwood Mac (with Peter Green) at the Greens Playhouse in Glasgow.

I'm still shaking.

Sunday 5 April 2015

Lost my model railway mojo.

I've been in denial over the last several months. But the truth is: I'm losing interest in this model railway.

I started it in the Autumn of 2011.

One significant cause of my being dispirited is the role that DIY plays. I get no satisfaction from DIY and I can't get to the next stage which is basically populating the diorama with model vehicles and figures until some electrical wiring is finished.

The 'black dog' of DIY has cursed me from the beginning. Honestly, if I had the money I would employ someone to do all the wiring and sawing and nailing etc. But I don't. (Must start doing the lottery.)

Another debilitating and enervating factor has been the aesthetic decision making involved. I can't make up my mind how to render the backdrop. This is crucial for highlighting the qualities of the model buildings which individually I'm very pleased with. But against an unsympathetic backdrop they look awful.

This is the current state of play.

Indecision writ large.

Finally, I've experienced some delays in the arrival of certain infrastructure items. I've waited at least a month for the strip of patterned cobbled street  to arrive. Until that comes I can't arrange vehicles and figures in front of the station.

But, mainly, the problem is the DIY issue.

At last, this week the remaining 2 boxes of Preiser H0 scale Boules players arrived.

Once unpacked, they will be placed on the Boules area in front of the station.

Here are some photos of one set of players in position.

So, now I have 3 boxes on the sideline awaiting the return of the Mojo.

Currently listening to:

A Blast from the Past

The Album "Friend's Friend's Friend" by Audience was released in 1970, and I played it to death.


The main track on the album can be heard here:

Apparently, Howard Werth played a nylon stringed acoustic guitar and I think you can hear that on this track..

Hardy Perennial

Released in 1970

Obviously, the difference between A Blast from the Past and a Hardy Perennial is that I hardly ever play the Blast but continually re-visit the Perennial.

Currently reading:

I'm finding this book to be addictive

Read a passage every day.

And re-visiting these two:


If you get a chance to see this film - do so.

Or, if you prefer: