Friday, 30 May 2014


"Tonight's alive/The beachball's set to fly" (REM)

In addition to the establishment of a deckchair and windbreak hire service, the Shifting Sands kiosk is pleased to announce that they have started selling assorted beach goods...

These details have been created using A1 Models 4mm scale depot equipment pallets as baskets, with a mixture of items within them.  The hats are Preiser, the bucket and spade assorted castings from the spares box, and the beachballs...?

Some map tacks from my childhood pin-board!  Several of these had coloured stripes added by hand and were then matt varnished and the pins cut off to fit into the basket.

I have also been working on the new signage for the kiosk, and have decided on three new signs that won't overdo the effect.  More on these another time.


Sunday, 25 May 2014

Hiding Toby's Secrets

When we last saw my MG Models 'Toby' tram build it was a basic shell with the option chosen for two grille openings in one side, and I made comment about fitting styrene panels across the doorways to hide the Kato drive.  Just forget you read that bit...

After a period in the doldrums the project has now moved forward.  Having considered converting the body into a rather neat brake van/coach (a suggestion actually made to me by Andy Greenslade when I bought the kit), I went back to basics on the interior and decided that rather than hide what was in there, I would model what could be in there.

Using a combination of parts from the scrap box I have created the impression of a 15" gauge tram-outline internal combustion locomotive which is almost plausible as the sort of thing an enthusiastic engineer could produce!

The basis of the interior is in fact a Parkside Dundas wagon floor, cut out to fit around the Kato mechanism. Onto this I balanced the centrepiece, the engine moulding from an HO scale generator set made by LifeLike.  This is another of Andy Greenslade's ideas, he produced a model based on one of MG Models modern diesel kits which had one of these under the bonnet.  The driver's seat is from a dismantled Cararama Land Rover, sat on supports made from Dapol Drewery shunter footsteps.  The Drewery spares box also provided the parts for the control panel, whilst Dapol Railbus spares provided air tanks, a box (of who-knows-what) and some electrical looking boxes under the driver's seat.

There are a few more tweaks to make but hopefully the project is now heading in the right direction.


Saturday, 17 May 2014

Relax... Hire a deckchair!

It's been a warm sunny day, the sort of day for sitting on a beach and relaxing in a deckchair.  In fact, this chap has been doing so on Shifting Sands for many years:

A few weeks ago fellow O9 modeller Andrew Blackwell asked me where to get deckchairs suitable for 7mm scale, and apart from the Prieser example above from their Luftwaffe ground crew set, I drew a blank, but a week or so later Andrew emailed me:

"Incidentally I received these 1:48 deckchair kits yesterday from Jane Harrop Miniatures half way down the page here:

They are a very fine fabric, & looks like laser cut wood. I've built 1 up in folded position to try & they are very sharp looking. A few might look OK on shifting sands. The beachhuts look nice too"

And so the kiosk on Shifting Sands will be going into the deckchair (and windbreak) hire business:

I bought two pairs of deckchairs and one windbreak, but by cunning use of the spare deckchair frames and an offcut of fabric from the windbreak (there's a reason it's rolled up!) the impression of more chairs is possible.  A little dry brushing is required on the wooden frames of the deckchairs to tone them down a little before they are added to the area in front of the kiosk.

I'll also be taking the opportunity to have a play with the signage on the kiosk, especially as I now need to add deckchair hire to the services on offer.  I have developed a habit of photographing suitable seaside signage, usually of the older variety, with modelling use in mind, and I hope to use this example from Skegness in the revised scene:

Finally, advance notice that Shifting Sands is due to attend the 009 Society, East Midlands Area Group open day in Mansfield on Sunday 29th June, where the above changes can be viewed.  Details here:


Finally - really - in case you are wondering where 'Toby' is, he is currently undergoing (several) rethinks, he's not a happy tram engine at the moment....