Sheet NMS-4 is not far off…

August 25, 2010

Whilst Sheet NMS-3 (BR Blue Grey Coaching Stock and Multiple Units) sits in UK Customs, we have received the proofs for Sheet NMS-4, a renumber pack for BR Large Logo Blue livery locomotives we hope to release soon. A sneaky preview is shown above and once we have seen a hard copy of the proofs, approval for printing will be given. Once again, we are keeping to the Nairnshire Modelling Supplies policy of adding as much to the sheet as possible so that you get the best possible value for money at £3.95 per sheet. The sheet will have the larger numbers, two styles of electrification warning notice, data panels and some large logos so the repaint enthusiasts will be able to use the sheet too.

If you are wondering about the Class 40 numbers included on this sheet, remember that there is a Class 40 currently painted in this livery, even though it is a heritage fictitious scheme: 40 145! Here’s afew shots of it on the Kyle line taken this April.

Blyth & District MRS Exhibition:
Nairnshire Modelling Supplies will be attending the Blyth & District Model Railway Society model railway exhibition this weekend: 28th & 29th August 2010.
At the Parks Sport Centre, North Shields, which is located close to the Royal Quays Shopping Centre on the A187, five minutes drive from the Tyne Tunnel.

Opening times:
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

We will have a good stock of Kadees, Phoenix Paints, Woodland Scenics, Springside lamps, S-kits, scale couplings from Smiths and Romford, solder, flux, tools, gear boxes, electronics, LEDs, transfers, adhesives, fillers, switches, BA screws, layout building materials, underlay foam, loco detailing parts, rolling stock detailing parts including 28 types of buffer from LMS and 9 types of sprung buffer from Markits – you get the picture – about 1000 product lines on one stand for modellers of all sizes, ages and tastes.

We also have a brand new GPRS terminal, so we will be able to accept credit and debit card transactions for the very first time at a show. As part of the same development, we are working on an e-terminal for the website too, which should be complete and active in a couple of weeks. This will offer an alternative payment method to PayPal. In the meantime, see you in North Shields!


Crash-landed bumble bees.

August 22, 2010

International Rescue! In the form of Thunderbird 5: one teaspoon and some honey.

Not the expensive local Nairn honey, mind you! No, they seem to prefer the cheap squeezy stuff!

Bumble bees crash land when they run out of energy and we are usually on alert for them during inclement weather. They struggle in strong winds and cooler than normal weather while doing their thing around the flowers; eventually finding themselves caught out without any way of resupplying their critical energy reserves. Yesterday, following two days of unusually windy but very warm weather due to a deep weather depression passing just to the north west of Scotland, Sarah found this one: cold, tired and probably about at the end.

Sarah made the rescue and, following a brief objection in the form of a waved middle leg (as aggressive as it gets), it sat on her fingers, lapping up honey for about ten minutes before lifting off and heading for the flowers. For when one becomes exhausted, it matters not how many flowers you have in the garden. They are too tired to forage for pollen and nectar and a few feet of space may be as far as five miles to them.

So, if you find a struggling bumble on your patio, gently pick it up on a piece of paper or your finger (they are intelligent enough to know not to sting unless really threatened) and fetch some honey. The majority of them will refuel and thank you for it.

Planting trees…

August 21, 2010

A forest of sea foam trees is growing on the Top deck. I grabbed a quick picture half way through the planting of around 80 trees for this corner of the layout, partly for an update and partly to see how photographs would turn out. Nothing is running at the moment, the masking tape engineers have been at it again! Matte medium is my preferred medium for gluing down scenery products, and some is still visible in this shot. It dries clear and is great for applying the shrubs and bushes to the front of this stand of weed trees. The idea is to achieve that ‘wall of trees’ effect, seen on so much of the former BR Southern Region, where trees grow almost up to the line and in some areas, have been known to brush against the side of trains. For me, this provides the perfect scenic break in a location on my layout where there is no tunnel or over-bridge to take advantage of.

This late 1980s shot of hybrid 4-Vep No.3169 taken at Dover shows the back ground hill colour on a shaded sunlight day. No more tree planting will be done until I have made a slight colour adjustment to the back scene based on photographs taken in the area. A light wash of green is needed to tone down the distant chalk hillside behind the trees and I may add in a little more relief too. I have plenty of opportunity to practice this because the rest of the layout remains to be treated!

Top Deck Layout – some scenery.

August 18, 2010

The Top Deck Layout is absorbing a lot of scenery materials, especially at the west end where the line runs in the ‘Ashford’ direction. This is the view as of yesterday evening, with the scenic ‘disguise’ hiding the back ground tracks leading into one of the two fiddle yards. This area of the layout was always to be a challenge to scenic convincingly, especially given the narrow shelf layout design. However, progress looks good and there’s around 80 trees to plant in this area, all made from a mixture of sea foam and Woodland Scenics Fine Leaf Foliage. Stuck together with dilute matte medium.

It’s interesting to compare the scene above with the state of affairs just a few months ago:

Amazing what some backdrop and landscaping work can achieve. Referring to the top image, the Tortoise point motor and throat to the ‘Dover’ fiddle yard is now hidden and the scenic unit doing that job is removable, just in case. It will feature the tops of trees or ‘canopy’ so there is no hillside feature on that side of the line.

I have to admit, painting details on that back drop was a challenge, something I have never tackled before…

Simply Superb Swans

August 2, 2010

It’s summer once again, if a little damp this year, and attention in Nairn always turns to its river and bird population. Particularly the River Nairn Swans of which we are all particularly fond. I do not keep an on-line record of goings-on around the river and harbour because that is done by another Nairn resident. A retired gentleman who is far better at it than I could be and has devoted a great deal of time and money to the welfare of the river residents. His web site and daily blog can be read at: Simply Superb Swans. A local hero indeed.