How's things? It's the end of another wet week in the Southwest… But it's been quite warm though, so the daffodils are in flower (although ours in the back garden aren't) and the tulips are making good progress… so spring is not far off. And the lawn is about a foot high. Desperately need to get it cut but it's just been so wet and we're always at work when it's dry! But with it being so wet but warmer, it's been great model making weather, hasn't it?
We've actually had quite a steady week this week here at HQ… no mad panics to get things done… no big random challenges to get done like fitting carpet. We've just been able to get on with what we do best… working on new kits and getting orders out the door. There was one slightly stressful moment with a very large baseboard order which had the customers old address on, which, if the courier had collected it would have ended up a couple of hundred miles from where they live now… But I'm a firm believer in things happening for a reason. I checked the tracking as I'd dropped the parcel at the local post office the day before and it said it hadn't been collected yet. So, I was able change the address on the Parcelforce booking… leg it down to the post off and get them to re-label it! And last night I had a notification to say it had been safely delivered to the customer at the correct address… Which was a huge relief.
Before I waffle on… here's a quick reminder if you've not had chance to cast your votes for the BRM awards… If you love what we do and enjoy shopping with us, please would you consider voting for us?
Product Development - Latest News
This week has been quite a productive one when it comes to new stuff… Stu's been busy fine tuning the LX497-OO Wooden Platform kit. This is ideal for anyone wanting to model a small rural halt with a wooden platform, such as those seen in the early days of steam. It's a nice kit and will look rather splendid all painted up and it's ideal for use with our LX384-OO Platform Shelter too.
And I've been able to get my head properly into design mode this week again which has felt brilliant. Being at my desk or the modelling bench is one of the places I'm happiest. Taking a kit right through from basic cad drawings… working on the various renders for the wraps… often developing brand new wall textures for specific kits… adding weathering… peeling paint… signs of general wear and tear. It's just such a satisfying feeling. And then when you put it all together and do the test build, you lose all track of time. Until you find parts that don't fit! Then it's a bit frustrating as you have to go back round the design loop again. Often changing multiple parts because one thing isn't quite right. But in the end, it all comes together… and you sit back… look at the result and I have to say it just makes me grin like a big kid!
Anyway… the result of this weeks creativity for me is the KX054-OO Tony's Cart Shed. Named after my dad who's currently working so hard, caring for my Mum, and spends what little free time he has, working on his MG in the garage. I can just imagine him in the Cart Shed working on his MG, tinkering for hours under the bonnet! I'm really pleased with how the kit turned out and it's got a choice of whitewashed stone or brick wraps, fully detailed interior walls, posable doors and lots of added details including old workshop clutter (circular saw blades, big gears, planks of wood and other bits). Links, pics and more info further down in the New Releases section.
In the meantime, it's over to young Sam for this weekend's videos.
Morning everyone, hope you are all well. It's time for my little section of the Newsletter AKA the videos. Unfortunately, Brickcrafts hasn't uploaded an update on the Lego City but I've noticed on his main channel in German he's started building a tropical island. My plan is to learn German so I can watch his main channel videos. Before I get into the videos I have selected, I wanted to announce a video that I'm working on.
I've never made a diorama before (I know, I work at a scale modelling company) so I thought I would record the entire process. The only modelling I've done is test builds for products. Some of you may want to start creating a diorama and are in the same boat as me so I'm sure it will be interesting to see how I get on! And for you experienced modellers, you can laugh at my lack of skills. For the moment, I will be creating blogs for different parts as if I were to do one blog for the entire thing it would be massive. So, here's part 1, hope you enjoy.
Hornby Model Railways 1980 Catalogue & Models
Anyway, with that announcement out the way, it's time for my selection of videos. For my first pick, I've gone with an interesting video by Well Chuffed Railways. In this video, Rick and Pauline check out a Hornby Catalogue from the year 1980! I'm sure that some of you may even remember this specific catalogue so it's a great blast from the past. Their channel is full of some great videos so if you haven't seen them before I'd definitely recommend checking them out.
Southampton Model Railway Exhibition 2024
Bringing it back to modern day, it's time for my second pick. This video comes from Sim0nTrains Model Railway Showcase. On the last weekend of January, Southampton Model Railway Society hosted their exhibition at Barton Peveril College. I was surprised to see that there's a layout from down here in Cornwall - Redruth Model Railway Club, Newvadddon Park. There are some incredible layouts showcased in this video and Sim0nTrains has done an excellent job capturing them.
Dylington Model Railway - A Day In Dylington
For my next selection, we have a video from the man himself jeg_60 aka James. As I'm sure many of you are aware, James has recently started a YouTube channel dedicated to his layout Dylington which he builds with his grandson Dylan. Even though I've seen the layout a lot on the club, it's great seeing a video of the entire thing and you start seeing places you haven't seen before and recognising places from photos. There are also quite a few SMS products scattered about which is nice to see.
Now, this is a bit of a different video than the usual modelling videos I select. Coming from Essential RC, this is a compilation of RC Airlines which absolutely blew my mind when I first stumbled across it. Obviously we are all aware of RC vehicles but I've never seen anything like this before, some of them are massive! Couldn't begin to imagine how much money some of these would set you back. This also lead me down a rabbit hole of looking at crashes which were pretty painful to watch.
Well, that's it from me for this week! Hope you guys have enjoyed these videos and check out the blog of my diorama build. Have a fantastic weekend and week ahead.
Right then… it's time for links to the new stuff… Hopefully you're gonna like them!
- KX054-OO Tony's Cart Shed & Store - OO/4mm/1:76
My new favourite kit! (Of course…). It's a two-building kit, with the main cart shed and a smaller store shed. The kit comes with a choice of whitewashed stone or white washed red brick with quite heavy weathering, peeling paint etc. A full set of interior wraps are also included so you can pose the doors open allowing viewers to see inside the building. The roof is wrapped in our popular rusty painted corrugated iron for an all round, Realistically Better finish. We've also included a selection of additional detailing items so you can put your own twist the kit, with circular saw blades, large gears, planks of timber and a ladder. If you fancy one of these, you can find out more and order yours here.
- LX497-OO Wooden Halt Platform - OO/4mm/1:76
Stu's been grafting away on this lovely wooden platform kit this week. It's ideal for anyone modelling the early days of steam, or even a preserved line. Set to the perfect height to allow passengers to access most OO gauge coaches, this great value wooden platform kit will make a real feature of your rural station. Laser cut from mdf for ease and accurate assembly, this kit builds up to 600mm of platform including end ramps. It makes the perfect accompaniment to our LX384-OO Wooden Platform Shelter too. If you fancy one, you can find out more and order yours here.
Now… before we sign off for the day… a quick note about N gauge versions of the above. Every week we're asked where's the N gauge stuff… and I hear you. We're considering doing more N gauge… but… and there's a big but. We may have to do them on a pre-order basis, as it's not just a simple case of shrink the OO version and release it. There's a lot of development work needed. Sometimes as much again as the OO gauge one as things fit differently, material thicknesses have an effect etc. So we need to be sure the demand is there before we commit to these projects.
Risking poking the hornet's nest now, but we're looking into ways in which we can create a pre-order/deposit system for kits in other scales. By putting particular things up on the site on a pre-order basis, with a future release date, and with a small deposit taken, it would be easier for us to judge the real demand for an item. If the demand is high enough, we'd crack on with converting it. If not… we'd have to cancel/postpone the project and refund any expressions of interest. It would be a bit like crowdfunding but with a bit less risk on your part as you'd get your money back. It's not really a route we wanted to go down, but having released a few of our really popular OO gauge lines in other scales, the demand just hasn't been there sadly to make the investment of time and resources worthwhile. Let me know your thoughts in the comments please if you model in scales other than OO.
Right… that's about it for this edition of the weekly news. We're off to the Noah Kahan gig this weekend and popping in to see parents too, before heading back southwest with Elizabeth as she's coming home for the week as it's half term. I think she might even be spending a couple of days packing and dispatching parcels at HQ too.
Have an amazing weekend folks… if you're off to the Doncaster show… have a great one! And of course…
Keep on shunting…
Justin, Tina, Elizabeth, Lola & The Team
P.S. This weekend's header image comes from Luciton St James over on the Railway Modellers Club with this cracking shot of their modern station. I'd love to build something ultra modern like this one day.
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