Well it’s a Monday and the sketch pad, pencil and track layout books are out, and that can only mean one thing. It’s a Monday I’ve got a book, a sketch pad and pencil.
Over the past week or so I’ve had the opportunity to sit back and consider where I want to concentrate my efforts on. Doing the regular tidy the mancave task, you know, the rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic thing, a couple of shelf queens worked their way to the lifeboats.
The first one in the header image, the Heljan Class 26, had me reverting back to thoughts of Ian Futers’ Scottish layouts, always a source of inspiration. The opportunity to run short, prototypical diesel hauled trains always appeals and had me digging out my version of 26041. This is a conversion done by myself into a windowless door cab variant. Heljan now offers this within the standard range, but initially they didn’t. When I look at it now the work isn’t the tidiest, but that doesn’t actually matter for me, what motivates me is that I did the conversion. The 26 at the top of the page has a pile of Shawplan goodies to be fitted, windows and grills to give it that difference from straight out of the box.
3721 is yet another Bachmann pannier. I’ve done quite a few now and it’s weird how it feels so natural just working on them, almost a muscle memory type of thing, and each one takes a shorter time. I’ve not really changed what I do to them, but each one gets its own character which seems to develop a little more with each conversion completed. This one just needs final paint, couplings and front lamp irons, and the next one, a low cab 57xx is already waiting it’s turn across the bench.
Behind the panniers and moving up the project queue is this small prairie, another Bachmann product. A spare body kindly passed by a friend, this will give me a little more fleet flexibility. To match its cousins it’s got a replacement chimney from Alan Gibson , and the bunker and cab shutters will be altered to give it a bit more life.
And that’s really it, ‘a bit more life’. Doing these simple but effective makeovers gives me a unique fleet, which I have had an input to, as well as buying and bartering for them. With these completed and/or well underway, it builds on the inspiration to build further layouts, and that’s where the sugar paper, crayons and reference books comes into effect. Enjoying the moment and planning, looking forward.
I’m mindful of the irony of this weekend too, writing about motivation. Normally it would be the Railex exhibition at Aylesbury, where every year I come away motivated and inspired by the modelling seen at that show. Here’s hoping we’re back in play in 2022!