Thursday, 27 November 2014

A useful new gadget...

And a few words on a silence...

Over the last few months, it's not that I haven't been doing any modelling.  It's simply that it's not been very interesting to write about.  It's been things like repairing brakegear on wagons, finishing off some weathering, or fixing some couplings.  There's been very little that actually constitutes a "project" for me.

That said, looking back at it I've probably achieved more than I realise.  Talking with people whilst manning the Scalefour Society stand at Warley last weekend made me realise how much can be shown to help and encourage them.  Not least to the nine new Society members that we welcomed, all of whom were enthusiastic about finescale modelling and what they could do.

So I've resolved to find the time to talk a little more about the modelling that I am doing.  Of course, the other challenge is finding the time for the modelling itself!  However doing ten minutes of soldering at six in the morning before leaving for work is actually quite rewarding, as long as I've had half a mug of coffee first.

Whilst I was at Warley last weekend, I was able to wander around and see a little bit of the show itself.  There were some lovely layouts, and I'm sure that those are being described at length in other places.  However to me it is even more interesting to see what are the new products on the market.

One that I came across was a soft, heat-proof soldering mat.  The idea is that it is soft enough to take a pin, and therefore you can fix down whatever you are trying to solder to avoid having to chase it around whilst waving a small component and a hot soldering iron.  This came in very useful this morning when I tried soldering some strengthening ribs onto a 5522 coach bogie.  I had been doing the usual cursing of needing a third hand to hold everything together when I remembered the mat.  A few brass lace pins later and it looked like this:

Job done swiftly and easily.  An absolute revelation.

Sometimes you wonder whether a gadget is worth the money.  The best thing about this was that it cost me less than the price of a pint of beer.  It was £3.75 to be precise.

I don't know how long it will last before wear and tear takes its toll, but at that price I can see me stocking up with a couple more when I have the chance.  If you'd like to do the same, this is where it came from:

Back for more modelling soon...