Tuesday 17 October 2023

October 2023 Forth and Clyde Area Group Meeting

 Jings! Not to mention Crivvens!! And even Help Ma Boab!!!

Anither Forth and Clyde Area Group meeting. Can the world cope? 

Yes, folks, another earth shattering event was held at a secret location in the woods of ESME, Almondell, when six stalwart 'ssociation members gathered to yatter and blether about 2mm finescale modelling (after the appropriate secret handshakes and codewords had been exchanged - one can never be too careful, can one?) It felt like the first day of winter, with a sudden plummet of external temperature which was not much tempered inside the clubrooms. However, the hot air being spouted by the half dozen on Jim, James, Al (just one), Graham, Stuart and Chris soon melted the thinner glaciers in the room. 

The immortal (or does it just feel like that, seeming to have been on the go forever?) Group layout, Mearns Shed, was there. It was having the trackwork further put through its paces by Jim and James, using a number of wildly varying models of kettles: 

That's a Russell Hobbs 5MT in the foreground with a Kenwood Jumbo in the background. Other steamy ephemera included an exNB 4-4-42T and, a Caley 2-2-WT. (When the latter was running, a moratorium on sneezing was declared to avoid an inadvertent long distance trip being taken by the wee beastie...) It was decided the track is as good as prototype locomotive shed i.e. just about acceptable.

Unfortunately, due to the absence of the Assistant Press Officer and some adroit and nifty footwork by the Senior PO, it was left to this shambling wreck of a scribe to try and reach the heights of literary description involved in the essays produced by said gentlemen. Said shambling wreck forgot his duties to such an extent that he omitted to probe the further works of Jim and James, which looked quite technical (so wouldn't have been understood by the scribe, anyway). Apologies to those fine gentlemen.

Coming back to the subject of the everlasting layout, later in the day, some butchery was carried out forming ashpits in what will become the apron in front of the shed entrance, involving the wielding of a very sharp Stanley knife in a rather concerning manner. Nevertheless the job was done without loss of fingers or any other appendages.

In other parts of the room, members were busy beavering away. 

Chris, returning to the fold after a spring and summer of yo-ho-hoing and running up the ratlines on his clipper in the mountainous seas off Tibbie Shiel's Inn, showed us the lovely little vacuum ejector on his 4F. A very neat job indeed, particularly considering it was done in his hammock during time off from yo-ho-hoing etc. (presumably).

Over on the left was Stuart, the master mill builder who was mastering mill buildings to an impressive extent. He had brought along his current progress. Looking absolutely the part, you can't but agree. 

And still he maintains his enthusiasm even after cutting all those windows by hand. He claims he retains his sanity...

Speaking about enthusiasm, Graham still retained his, after the recent Loco Chassis workshop and was beavering away on his Class 08 chassis, meeting and overcoming the inevitable niggles on the way. He did manage to use some surprising words which aren't in my school dictionary, though. I must ask him what they meant at the next meeting.

Alisdair was brave enough to show his face after spending the last couple of months, not railway modelling but straying from the One True Way, by making a wee puffer.
To make matters worse, it's not to 1/152 scale, nor even to the much-mocked 1/148, but to 1/144!  Somebody will have to have a word with him. He did try to recover some of his dignity by showing a couple of  railway ED wagons he had been working on. Still don't know if he can be trusted though...

Now for a bit of Forth and Clyde Area Group history. Way back in the 1970s, when the group was formed, Fergus was a keen member. Although he has long forsaken 2mm modelling (he now makes very fine stuff in 4mm), he had kept the 2mm models he had made. He has donated them to the Group and James brought them along. Here's some of the scratchbuilt stuff. Showing it's age, and a wee bit knocked about, it is a reminder that 2mm was not always as easy as it is now.

Ah, the Good Old Days! And many thanks to Fergus for his kind donation.

Finally, what a nice pleasant surprise! We were treated to a wee trip behind a steam engine on ESME's big layout in the woods outside.
The smell of coal burning was highly evocative and the wee machine fairly hurtled through the forest with some impressive acceleration. Thanks very much to Peter of ESME who owns the loco and was the driver. Great fun!

Next month, we will be convening on Saturday 11th November, when we will be being treated to a talk by the Dunallander team on their progress to date.

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