A Botch Job

Today we had another modelling day at Mark Tatlow’s, these days are always great, loads of modelling with a nice lunch and sometimes the company is just about passable (you have never had to listen to Pete’s CD collection)

I sat there today and watched Chris get 3D with a brass kit from Judith Edge. Chris is pushing his skills to try new things and his knowledge and collection is only going to prosper for it. Mark also helped me out by soldering some simple bits together, this got me thinking on the drive home, I need to push harder in my own skillset.

I have most definitely crashed into a glass ceiling that probably faces us all as modellers at different times. The moment you realise that what you want, or indeed need, is not in a RTR box, it is going to have to be built either from a crappy old kit or an up to date brass puzzle and it’s going to require some new skills.

And I find it terrifying. I know now though that it has to be a change in mind set. Right now I know I can get half decent results from an outlay. Its an investment mentally. If I spend £50 on a model, £20 on stick-on bits, I know what the outcome will be.

Buying etches, motors, gearboxes with no idea how each piece fits into the other is a big outlay when the route to completion seems vague. I have bodged and botched my way to 29 with never actually having to get dirty with ‘real’ modelling. I need to learn new skills, try new methods and accept that I may not get it right, and stop worrying about how angry or frustrated that will make me.

I brought and started a DJH Andrew Barclay about 2 years ago and buried it in a box when it didn’t work the first time. Its probably time I dug her out and had a look.

So as Chris’ lovely Yorkshire 0-4-0 prototype grew from a 2D sheet it made me realise I had not shown you my latest botch job, a UK Bachmann GE.

Instead of buying and building what I wanted I had this idea I could bash an American GE into a British looking NCB internal. As a prototype its now too far out of whack, we had ALCOs working in steel works and Esso brought some other GEs. But its still a botch and not actually what I wanted…….






13 thoughts on “A Botch Job

  1. Hello Oly,
    A very nice botch job, if I’ve ever seen a botch job 🙂
    I like it. I really do.
    You are a very good modeller and you will make more models in the future (like maybe the next one, then the next after that,…) that will satisfy you more each time.
    We are our own worst critic…my Friend, it’s not worth the anguish.
    Please don’t put yourself through that 🙂

    1. Thank you Rick, much appreciated. I think we all struggle sometimes with beating ourselves up. It is nice to have someone just make you take a step back and have a deep breath so thank you mate. Oly

  2. Ollie,

    Find someone who is going to Railex this week (!) and get them to visit the Severn Models stand.

    Their platelayers or other huts are a great place to start etched kit construction and are realistic to do in a modelling session.

    They have some other rather fun bits of grot too; an electricity pylon would look brill on the layout and would offset the height of the tree/building that is all located at one end.

    Maybe get an overscale one to go with the hound of the baskervilles?


    PS, wordpress would not let me post a link to the Severn Models website, just google it…

    1. Also I am starting to get strangely precious over my genetically modified pooch. Stop being sizeist! Saw some photos of the Gravett’s Arun Quay. No oversized dogs on that, its bloody top drawer filth!

  3. Hi Oly.

    You sound like me a few years ago. It seemed a daunting task to build my first kit but what i wanted wasn’t available “RTR” so kit building was the only way to go. I took the plunge and had a go.

    When you buy your first kit and look at the exploded diagrams and read the instructions (I know it’s difficult but yes, read the instruction) i thought heck, what have i done but i soon learn’t the trick is to break it down into individual tasks, don’t look at the kit as a whole. If something isn’t going right, walk away and come back later. “Patience”, you will need loads. Remember, these things aren’t cheap. An old kit, they are still up to scratch, 30 years ago kits were way ahead of anything available RTR.

    As you are aware, Judith Edge does a number of really cracking kits. Also worth checking out is Chris at “High Level Kits” is i think, just up your street. He does a number of industrial kits and provides motor and gearboxes specifically for them so you havn’t got to scratch your head trying to work out what will fit inside and what won’t.


    If you’re like me now, a ready to run model just doesn’t do it for me anymore. That feeling of running a model that you have built, well, there is no comparison.

    At a recent exhibition i was running an Adams Radial and a guy asked me if that was the Hornby or the Oxford rail version. the pleasure it gave me to inform him it was a PDK kit and the subsequent conversation we had made the whole exercise all the more worthwhile.

    There are various Youtube videos which help some are worth a look. Also i have just finished building an Adams B4 so there might be something useful on my blog.

    I’ve rambled enough, Looking forward to future posts so happy kit building.


    1. Hey Colin, thank you for the detailed reply, you have hit the nail on the head exactly how I feel. I love those High Level kits, or something from Judith Edge. But I like how High Level usually include the gearbox. That B4 of yours is lush! Something about dinky 0-4-0s.

      1. Hi Oly.
        Thanks for the kind comments on my Adams B4. I was reading the post on your Austerity as i was thinking of purchasing one but i decided on the old Hornby model in the end. i was very disappointed on a certain brand of Adams 02, also by DJ models, Less said!
        I was impressed with your peckett as i have turned one in to George Jennings, the engine that use to work the pottery branch from Parkstone Station in Dorset.
        I you have the time to look i would be interested in your thoughts.
        Looking forward to more great modelling from you.

      2. Colin what I love about the Peckett is how excited everyone is over it and I love everyone stamping their individual identity on them. They are like Minis, I was at a car show this weekend and its full of these wonderful mint old cars but the real fun is all these personalised Minis showing flair and creativity from their owners. Yours looks ace mate, I think the real crime owning a Peckett is keeping it how it came out the box!!

      3. Did you put sound in it copying the Hornby Magazine article? You are a braver man than me! I quite fancy externally mounted sound. There was a great article in the 1,000th issue of Model Railroader on sound mounted on a layout away from the locos.

  4. Hi Oly.
    I must be brave then, i did at it for a while, sort of thinking am i really going to do this but , i had a go. Follow the article in the magazine and it’s not to difficult, The problem bit is cutting out some of the threaded screw hole inside the saddle tank, below the funnel, its cast alloy so a bit of a pain.

    I bought one of those loco sound devices from Warley last year to fit under the layout of Pine Road. I am impressed with it. It was from a company called “MyLocosound” you get a speaker to fit under the layout and its controlled through a remote control unit like you use for ur telly. you can set 2, 3, or 4 beats, volume and speed, there are options for letting off steam and sounding whistles. Its actually not bad. The only draw back i could say is that all loco’s sound the same but certainly adds to the atmosphere.

    1. My system is planned to be a little bit more heath robinson! You can directly connect your DCC sound chip to the layout BUS and then a baseboard mounted speaker (giving much better sound quality). As long as the address and CVs match between the loco and chip mounted underneath the movement and sound will match. For someone like me who has only one engine in steam it works better as I will require one Austerity sound chip for the 3 locos I have rather one in each. So should be cheaper. In theory. The long term plan is to have the DCC sound going through a cheap bog spec mixer with ambient sounds. So they come out as layered. Again in theory!! And I am going to try and do it all for dirty cheap money…

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