Monday 11 March 2024

March Forth and Clyde Area Group Meeting

 The second Saturday of the month harkened the assembly of those stalwarts of the 2mm Scale Association who reside in the Central Belt of Scotland.  This month's meeting, despite clashing with Scotland vs. Italy in the Six Nations attracted some nine modellers, Alisdair, Alastair, Alistair, Jim, Graham, Andy, Stuart, Simon and Martin.

This correspondent unfortunately had a slight issue with his alarm clock and arrived late, missing some of the action, so what follows is a somewhat incomplete recollection of events.

The main hive of activities surrounded Mearns Shed, the Group layout.  With only four short months until it is booked to attend the Perth Model Railway show, (29th/30th June 10:00 - 17:00, Dewars Centre, Perth (Scotland)) work on the scenics is in full swing.  Alisdair and Jim are seen here carving polystyrene sheet to make up the basic landform.

The Glorious Leader has taken the layout home to glue down the groundform and give it a coat of lightweight plaster to make it look marginally less like sheets of polystyrene.  An offer of ground textures and static grass was made for the next meeting by a helpful spectator holding a camera.

The Glorious Leaders, seen here wearing the Official Optivisor of Office is working on a former for the embankment slopes.  Proof he does occasionally do some modelling at an Area Group Meeting...

Jim had brought along his latest creation, a Caledonian Railways 900 Class, known as a Dunalistair III.  It has graced this page since it was but flat etched sheet, and now it is presented in glorious technicolour.

Jim is still working on the lining, but the blue basecoat is in place.  This blue is a different shade to other Locos in Jim's collection, this being closer to the blue in which the SPRS' CR419 was in prior to her most recent makeover, as opposed to the darker shade in which CR828 which normally lives in Aviemore is painted.  This prompted a discussion on Caley Blue, and what colour it actually was, or wasn't - including mythbusting relating to Perth and St. Rollox having different paints etc.  This was only stopped later on by a discussion of NBR brown and cowpats...

Talking of the group layout... Alastair had brought along 3D prints of Caledonian style water cranes.  These have been painted and weathered ready for planting as the scenery allows.  Alastair had brought along his Class 03/04 chassis, started for the Loco Chassis day last September, and as yet unfinished.  Seen here with its 3D printed body, the loco nears completion.

Although not present in person, Richard had sent, via Martin, via Model Rail Scotland, his contribution to the layouts scenery.  A workers bothy and tool van,  The bothy is scratch built based on images provided of the sorts of building found around small steam sheds.  The tool van is an association kit, heavily modified - it has a fully detailed interior, which, sadly, is in shadow in the below photos.

Away from the Group Layout, Simon was working on an MSE/Wizard Models signal kit for his own layout Glenfinnan.  Seen here he's finished the post and arm, ready to start the process of painting and/or motorising it all.  Having built a similar one in 4mm, seeing this in 2mm is very impressive

Chris had brought along his 4F and his test track and was spending the meeting checking that the stay alives were functioning.  At one moment, with us all crowded around the loco, our Glorious Leader nearly had a heart attack, thinking he saw sparking inside the tender, only to discover that Chris had fitted an LED to the stay alive circuit to help with fault finding.  The flickering was caused by dirty track/wheels!

Stuart was working on his Magnorail system.  This is a chain driven system used for driving cars, vans, busses and such through a scene.  On display here is the return loops and motors, whilst a length of the "chain" guide can be seen underneath.  Through the meeting, Stuart was fitting kerbs to the road surface which will live above this system.

Finally (and with apologies to those whose work I arrived too late to photograph...), Martin was working on a signal box.  This is a laser cut plywood kit from Pop Up Designs - a company Martin has been watching for some time, however, it was only a chance conversation at Model Rail Scotland with the proprietors that he learnt that their previously only 4mm range was now available in 7mm, and more usefully 2mm.

This is a Caledonian "Standard" Signal box as it was by the end of the meeting, still requiring details and steps.  One advantage to writing the blog is the ability to take another photo 24 hours later showing the complete model...

Martin has managed to mangle the staircase, however, this should be salvagable, but now the kit is complete, with the steps, the window cleaning platform and the various brackets the Caledonian Railway festooned their structures with now attached.  Just visible at the side of the shot are elements of the Ratio "Signal Box Interior" kit which will be used to detail the model - it might even be fitted with an LED or two.  The background shows another set of under-construction kits.  But more about these another time...

The next Forth and Clyde Area Group Meeting shall be Saturday 13th April at our usual haunt, Almondell Model Engineering Centre, near Livingston.  I say it every time, but we are a welcoming bunch, and accept visitors from other Area Groups who happen to be in the area, and may even accept the occasional visitor from other scales, gauges and societies.  Further information and contact details are in the Association Newsletter published alongside the Magazine.

1 comment:

  1. Good to see everyone else's progress (although, dear blogger, you've repeatedly spelled "inglorious" incorrectly). Hope the April meeting was as productive. Richard.