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Heather Kay

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Heather Kay last won the day on August 3 2023

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  1. I think that photo is more recent, probably when the loco was moved in 1997. The hi-vis and the various fashions, plus some of the architecture, doesn’t ring true for the 1960s original move.
  2. My understanding is the original MGB had a nice low ride height. Then US safety legislation came in, and the cars were modified with the plastic bumpers and the ride height was raised to bring the headlights into compliance with the US regulations. Don't ask me why I know this. It's got a lot to do with watching classic car videos on YouTube!
  3. Rummaging about the stash (and elsewhere) I appear to have a good selection of classic Airfix to choose from. My original selection would’ve been the Fairey Battle, but I could add the Arado Ar196, the Refuelling Set, the HP.42 Heracles, or even the British Railways Railbus - which still has the factory sellotape sealing the box! Instead, I’ve decided I’m going to tackle the Beam Engine and the 1827 Paddle Steamer Engine. While they’re the later boxings, a cursory peep at the contents reveals most of the bits needed to motorise the models, saving metalwork and a motor, are still on the runners. Scalemates has the older instructions, too. So, I may well be tempted to have a play at making the things actually run. I know. I think it was the sunlight over this past weekend that did it.
  4. Ah, yes, I have some of those waiting in the wings. I find you need to be in a certain frame of mind before beginning Mr Parkins' kits, but they are most enjoyable in a perverse kind of way.
  5. I found a link to a PDF (marked as "not secure", so visit at your own risk). http://www.cvpg.co.uk/REG.pdf Anyway, essentially, what it says is two letter plus four number plates were the norm, but occasionally four digits and two letters were used when the allocations had run out. This happened in the 1950s and early 1960s. You Mum's Mini must have a been a very early one, as they were introduced in 1959.
  6. A rather expensive way to make rusty scrap, though. Better off bending up some wire odds and ends, I’d have thought, or repurpose the blobby plastic ones.
  7. It’s been a while. Life at Heather Kay Towers has been up in the air since Christmas. Best Beloved has been quite poorly, and I’ve had to switch to being pretty much full-time carer for him. Consequently, Day Job modelling has taken a back seat, as well as Fun Time modelling. Over the past few weeks help has been asked for and more or less received. I don’t feel quite so much pressure, and happily Best Beloved has seen an improvement in his overall health. This past week, I actually managed some Day Job modelling. I decided to treat myself to some fun modelling as well. I decided to take up the challenge of assembling a Flightpath PE bicycle. I know. I’m bonkers. To make it more of a challenge, I decided I would try to solder the kit together. The raw materials. The kit comprises two PE frets, with three men's and one women's cycle, plus sufficient whitemetal alloy cast tyres. Let us begin. The frames are laminated from two pieces. That’s an easy job to join with solder. The rear mudguard and front forks/mudguard have to be formed into a curve. Metal being metal, it was a bit of a palaver as the bit where the forks joined the mudguard tended to want to bend differently to where I wanted. Amazingly, I even managed to solder the mudguards to the frames. The saddle is laminated from two parts, and then attached to the frame. The handlebars are carefully bent, following the half-etch marks, and then took a few minutes to attach to the frame so they were square. I have considered whether it would be possible to position the handlebars and front wheel other than straight ahead. See later on. I nearly forgot. Part 15 is a reflector for the back mudguard. Part 15 is about a millimetre in diameter. A normal person would either ignore it or attach it using CA glue. I decided to take up the gauntlet and see if I could solder it in place. You’ll never notice it, but challenge accepted and I did manage to solder it in place. (I probably won’t bother with the other bikes in the kit, as a dab of red paint on the mudguard location point will probably suffice. Oh, yes, of course I’m going to build them as well. Don’t think this escapade will put me off!) So far, I’ve used normal electrical cored solder, liquid flux and a hot iron for assembly. To attach the PE wheels to the tyres, however, I had to switch to a lower temperature and solder more suited to whitemetal kit work. I think I won in the end. The chain and sprockets are laminated, with a chain guard attached. The next phase is a bit more fiddly, as various short lengths of thin brass wire need to be used to install the wheels and pedal area. After a little mild swearing, it’s done! David Parkins is a past master at fine PE work, and the overall design of this little kit shows it. While it is a fiddle, needs patience, a steady hand, and decent illumination and magnification, the bike goes together fairly easily. For the scale, it’s a lovely rendition, and far superior to the blobs that come in various Airfix airfield accessory kits. The flat appearance of various parts really doesn’t show at normal viewing distances. Now, the question of posing the front wheel: as most bikes on airfields were dumped in piles on the ground while their riders got on with the important work of maintaining their aircraft, the front wheel naturally tends to point to the deck whichever side the machine is laying on. I’ve assumed my rider hopped off to the right, and tipped the machine on its left side. A gentle tweak of the front wheel gives it a slight set, and matching the angle with the handlebars took a couple of seconds. I should build the other bikes up, then have a session with primer and paint. And all signs to the contrary, I thoroughly enjoyed putting this tiny bike together, and my sanity is as intact as it usually is.
  8. Thanks Pete! I’m afraid the paying stuff is sidelined as well. I’ll get back to it soon.
  9. Still here. It’s been quite rocky this past few months, but I feel there is light at the end of the tunnel. I won’t bore you with gory details, but essentially Best Beloved is quite poorly (though he’s improved this past couple of weeks), and I’ve had to move to a much more caring role as a result. Until you become a carer you don’t realise just how much work can be involved. It nearly broke me, but help has been offered and gladly accepted, so things are beginning to get back on an even keel. Quite when modelling operations will restart is an open question. Soon, I hope.
  10. My 1991 Vauxhall Carlton 2.0CDi auto estate. It was a big, comfy, capacious wagon. It was killed by hidden tin worm round the rear chassis that only came to light after an idiot rolled into it in a traffic queue. I miss that car, and I’d have another one in a heartbeat - only they’re almost all gone now.
  11. Having peered, prodded and poked, I think Steve had in his first reply.
  12. Well, XR219 is built. It was done a long time before I joined BM. I’ve been slowly acquiring various ancillary vehicles. I did start to build a Leyland Hippo refueller, then realised it was the wrong version! I’ve also got a few other bits of GSE from Flightpath. One day, one day.
  13. Indeed. I’ve been working on exactly this diorama based on other photos from this period for years. With this clear image of the ground markings, there’s another impetus to get it finished one day!
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