Tuesday, 3 September 2013

What's been happening?

Evening all...I must apologise for the lack of posts during the last few months. I've not been near any blogs or forums for some time so have some catching up to do. I seem to have been very busy but not on the modelling front. Along with trying to earn the daily crust and everyday domestics, we have a couple of projects on the go that are taking a lot of our spare time, more of which later.

A small amount of progress, however, has been made on a few clay wagons. I've also started to look at building some Ratio clay wagon kits by converting them to original 'as built' condition (not with roller bearings as supplied in the kit) as well as doing trials with different materials for tarpaulins for the clay wagons.  I've dropped-in some P4 wheel sets into a number of Bachmann goods wagons, all which was a lot easier than I expected. With the addition of three link couplings I can see that this is a quick way of building a small fleet of reasonably acceptable P4 wagons. In an attempt to improve one of these wagons I've started to repaint and weather a Bachmann LNER 13T steel open wagon that has wooden doors. I'm still trying to gain the skill of representing worn wood. There is a lot more work to be done on this wagon but I feel it's starting to look an improvement on its all over dark grey pristine commercial finish...

LNER 13t steel sided open wagon
A few of the niggles with Tredethy Wharf that came to light during the Cleethorpes show have also been sorted. By using his lathe, Clive has kindly solved the wobbly pony wheels on my 45xx and also milled my storage cassettes to matching pairs. Unfortunately there has been no further progress with the scenics on the little layout.

The two projects that have been eating into our spare time are:
 1) The purchase of the 'run down' house next door with the aim to turn it into a holiday cottage, which has opened up a 'can of worms' dealing with planning and conservation. We are currently still going through the process of developing a business plan to enable us to apply for any grants that might be available. We have also been on numerous free courses on business development. I've not been in a position to write a business plan before so this is a whole new experience.
2) We are going through the motions of becoming respite foster carers, this has been going on for months with many interviews (interrogations) and attending courses. If successful this project is going to have (I hope) a positive affect on the space I will have for my hobbies... as we will need a spare bedroom...

It just so happens that the spare bedroom we have decided to free up is my current study/modelling den. This brings us to the garage... the plan is to turn the garage into a space I can use all year round for my hobbies... with possibly a small area under the stairs in the house where I can keep small projects to be worked on in the evenings without having to be continually 'banished' to the garage.

Empty-ish garage
After a few weeks of sorting the garage (several trips to the tip and charity shops) and moving remaining stuff temporarily into next door it is now just about empty. Over the next few evenings and weekends more ceiling joists will be installed along with cable runs for a ring main and more lighting before fixing the plasterboard ceiling into place, laying insulation between joists and topping off with loft boards for storage. Then it will be onto the walls. It's been a long time since I've done any serious DIY, so progress will be steady but when finished should be an excellent space. I think it's a fair swop, a 23' x 8'10" garage for 7' x 8' bedroom!