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Smashing Time at EuroSnoor!

At the end of October, we took Farkham to the Eurospoor exhibition in Utrecht, Netherlands. This is the 3rd time the layout has been into mainland Europe but the first time we have exhibited at Eurospoor.

For this road trip, we were lucky enough to be accompanied by Modern Image modelling royalty in the form of Mr Shawplan himself, (NO! not Graham) the other guy (NO! not the one who moved to spain either),  you know, the normal one with the goatie beard – that’s the fella – Brian….Brian Hanson.

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Oops sorry wrong picture

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this is the slimline version  – of the stand!

So the three of us spent the week showing our train set off to the dutch, german and French visitors who came to the show. The show itself was not quite what we were expecting it to be in that the trade stands were mainly just ‘s**tin a tray merchants’ with very few speciality traders which was disappointing. The show itself also did not seem as busy as we were expecting, but despite this, we had a good time and a few laughs along the way.

During the show, we had the layout photographed for a dutch specialist magazine (railway related – calm yourselves!) and we also featured on a youtube video taken by a german chap called Pilentum. The video lasts about 10 minutes and has been put together really well. if you want to see it click below or search (youtube/pilentum/british).

The show was also notable for the following :

  • A die hard beer fan (no names) was caught drinking Heineken LAGER!!
  • One of the lager boys was caught drinking IPA and other foreign beers!
  • Someone let a giant snoring Bear into the room each night which miraculously departed each morning just before one of the operators awoke!
  • very few beers and no curries ( a first for Farkham on tour!)
  • The hire van side window was smashed and someone broke in trying to steal the satnav that wasn’t in the glovebox fortunately – this meant that whilst we had planned to spend the night enjoying the sights and sounds of Utrecht city centre, we spent the evening waiting for autoglass to come and fit a bit of plastic and gaffer tape it in place all for an extortionate fee. If only we knew someone who could do Laserglaze!.Hopefully this could be a new line of business for Shawplan.

Despite this annoyance, it was a great weekend even if it was a bit windy in the van. Thank you Brian for your assistance it was much appreciated.

Now with only one more potential show to go (to be confirmed), unless we suddenly get a postbag full of invites from exhibiton managers, we are now concentrating on our own projects which are progressing at varying speeds. A couple of these can be seen as work in progress at the forthcoming DEFINE Show in January. Check the Definemodellers blogsite for more details.

Cheers for reading.

The Nottinghamshire Hoarde

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Way back in march, we were lucky enough to be invited to the 2016 Nottingham Show, now back in the Harvey Haddon Sports centre. Whilst the hall itself didn’t appear to have changed much, the rest of the amenities had and the Farkham team had a great weekend, bolstered by some substitute operators to support the crew. These included Steve G, Disgusting of Market Harborough, Bertie and one David George Sebastian Roome Esq.

The show felt like going full circle with the layout in that as Farkham gracefully drifts slowly towards the great layout skip of retirement, the Nottingham show was one of the first ‘away’ shows we attended back in 2005. That show was particularly memorable because one of the operators managed to knock every train in the fiddle yard onto its side just as the show opened  – what a start!. It is interesting to look back at the stock list then compared to now and see how much has changed – Lima class 47s, rakes of MGRs, Intermodal container flats, Tilcon hoppers & a rake of TEAs and PCAs. Not much of those trains left now.

The 2016 show was memorable for two facts, one more amazing than the other.

Fact 1:   summed up by the quote ‘In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king’.

At this show, Alex was aware that there were several modelling competitions being held and he was determined to enter something for as many of the categories as possible and so with pen in hand, he set about scribbling all over the entry forms. With an fist full of paper in hand, Alex purposefully marched off to deposit the entries for the competitions – it wasn’t for the first time that day had he been seen marching purposefully away with sheets of paper in hand! – all we can say is that the rest of us thought it was a nice curry on Friday night.

Having now forgotten all about said competitions, we were surprised to find the competition officer from the show appear behind the layout with a stash of silver plates, statues and hub-caps (The Nottinghamshire Hoarde) which turned out to be trophies as winners for some of the competitions. We were obviously very grateful – (we still didn’t find out what won what trophy though).  We do have a feeling though that we might be the only ones who entered – hence the quote. We cant wait till Nottingham show next year though so that we can take them all back.

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Fact 2: The amazing one – Someone finished some more models!!!

These are the latest models to join the Farkham stock lists. They run in the dedicated engineers train that occasionally traverses the layout and the complement the GP crane and Twin Jib crane well.

Now we are looking forward to our next show where we will be attending Eurospoor 2016 in Utrecht – we are really looking forward to this, We better start brushing up on our speaking loud and slowly so that people will understand – although some will say that this is no different to speaking to Dr Dirt on a normal day!

Tot ziens.

Wot No Breakfast?

As the last show in 2015 for Farkham, we visited the Grantham show which was held in mid September. As one of the team was away on holiday for this show, it was left to the dedicated few to man the layout and put on a decent display. Setting up was hard work for two of us, with steps to contend with and a limited set up time, concentrating our efforts and forging team spirit to make sure we hit the deadline of food and lager by 9.45pm. Operator help was provided by the famous 3mm modeller ‘Aggrieved of Oakham’ who kindly assisted us on both days. Additional assistance, and I mean assistance in the loosest sense of the word was also provided on Sunday afternoon by ‘ Disgusting of Market Harborough’ who happily took charge of the yard for an hours shunting session, note to team – stock is still in one piece! – thanks to both Victor and Dave for your help.

New to the stock table were two departmental wagons which will both accompany a tool van (still in production but ready for Nottingham 2016 – we are assured). We will post photos of all three when they are done. Other changes to the layout involved some alterations to the consists of the steel and departmental trains to make better use of certain stock and free up some more fiddle yard roads for newer / better stuff. A situation that has been an ongoing battle for us over the years since we finished the layout as we keep building more stock and have loads more stock than storage space

“If only I had a big one” I hear Alex cry!.

Whilst our attention has turned to our other individual projects, we are very much looking forward to attending the Nottingham Show with the layout in March 2016, back in the sports centre. Hope fully this will be a great show. It feels like going full circle as Nottingham 2005 was the first show that we took the layout to as a visiting layout.

cheers for reading

Post Election Update!!!

We have been remiss in updating our blog since our enjoyable weekend at Stafford show way back in February so this account cover this show and the fantastic weekend at the DEMU Showcase event that we were very grateful to have been invited to.

The showcase event can only be described as the UKs premier model image piss taking event and this year was no exception with the Farkham boys getting the first salvos in before the layout was even set up. Mike ‘Donut Hog’ Hale was the lucky recipient of this first volley of mockery as he stylishly effected a Homer Simpson style pose and tucked into ‘several’ jam donuts. homer

As exhibition manager along with Guy M, they did a fantastic job of organising the show and our thanks go to them both for the effort they put in to make the show such a great success – Thanks Chaps!

Setting up the layout was the usual machine like process – although this time there was a significant interlude whilst we spent (what felt like about 4 days) quite some time levelling the layout after our previous set up at Stafford show. Those that have exhibited there themselves will know that it feels like you are setting up on a ploughed field. The layout was so high at one end that one operator who will remain nameless (but brings a wardrobe to exhibitions) had to change into his favourite layout-operating high heeled shoes.

Mr Hales Revenge

It would appear that certain discussions on forums had been taking place about layout colours recently and our exhibitor information pack duly arrived from the exhibition team with UKIP stamped on the front of the pack. A reference to our purple (not Mauve – Mr Tailby) attire, rather than any specific political views i suspect. Receipt of this was then followed by a visit from modelling Royalty in the form of ‘George and Mildred’ (also known as DEMU Mr Chairman (sir) and Sir John – grovel, grovel for future layout invites to showcase) who were also keen to make comment (and not for the first time) upon our corporate livery. Also not to be outdone were the Define guys who also kindly threw in their own level of abuse at our dress code.

If anyone does want to buy some worn purple t-shirts- please email nigel.farage@F-UKIP.co.uk. We are keeping ours, we love them!!

guess whoAll this joviality and mickey taking is what makes exhibiting the layout all the more enjoyable and it was great to be able to socialise with everyone on the saturday night barbeque which was great fun. Some bloke with a beard described the evening as a who’s who of D&E modelling (and Mike Whitchurch was in attendance too!)

Our final thought on clothing though must go to Mr Tailby for Saturday nights attire – all we can say is POT – KETTLE – BLACK!

In between all of this nonsense, we were also operating the layout. Once again the layout seemed to run pretty well and we were grateful for the comments that we received from visitors and exhibitors alike.

Debuting at this show (and perhaps at Stafford) were a few new items of stock that we added to the collection.

The Engineers Train – This has been revamped and now includes salmon, sturgeons and a Plasser & Theurer twin jib crane. This crane is a ‘Makeyourmark’ models kit cast in resin and is an excellent addition to the layout. The quality of the casting is fantastic with really crisp mould lines.

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Also in the train, albeit temporarily until more stock is complete is the ‘Makeyourmark’ models GP crane kit which is to a similar high quality as the twin jib. We are really pleased with how they have turned out.

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The other feature train to run occasionally on the layout this weekend is the rake of CBA lime hoppers. This is a (shortened) model of the Tunstead to Margam style service which conveyed lime for steel production to the south wales steel works. The models are Hornby MGRs with a 3D printed lid adorned with stainless steel etched walkways and brackets. The wagons were weathered using talcum powder and heavy airbrush weathering to give the desired clagged up effect.

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Finally, we introduced our new PBA Cerestar wagon into the yard stock. This is a one piece 3D printed model with etched walkways and ladders added to the tops. Painted in the Cerestar livery, it is only lightly weathered to reflect the fact that in 1990 this livery was relatively new.

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With several people over the weekend asking us whether we are planning new layouts and with only a few shows left on the booking sheet for the remainder of the year and next year, our thoughts are now turning toward the future. As each of us has individual projects on the go at the moment (some more theoretical than others), we need to get our heads together and decide what the future will hold for Farkham.

Watch this space!

Thanks for reading.

Alex’ Salmon(d) – its a YES from me!

No this is not a reference to the recent north of the border skirmish with our Scottish friends (you know who you are!!), this post relates to the arrival of 2 more wagons completed by one of our team – most uncharacteristic I hear you cry!. (the rest of the crew are putting it down to either a change of clothes or performance enhancing drugs!)

The basis for this blog entry stems from our recent visit with the layout to the Alsager groups show held in Crewe on the weekend of the 15/16 November. Aided by Slasher / Flood and Ramrig of RMnob fame, we had a great time at this show and caught up with Mr Tailby and Mr Farmer (one of which is a renowned modeller and the other is just renowned!).

Arriving new on the layout for this event was a revised engineers train which included 2 new salmon wagons (Alexs – hence the title) and a sturgeon. See pics below. this is only the first of a couple of revisions to this train formation with a couple of new models to be added in time for our next outing in Stafford at the end of January.

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Also new to the layout were a rake of CBA lime wagons which are a conversion from Hornby MGRs. Complete with 3d printed tops and stainless steel etched walkways they have provided a bit of an alternative traffic flow for the layout, although they have created a headache for where they fit in the running sequence. Unfortunately the pictures of these were even worse than the usual standard photo, but we hope to have some better ones to post soon.

With the Christmas holidays fast approaching, the Farkham boys are now gearing up for a festive season that will hopefully see significant progress on some longer term stock projects (ready for Stafford and Demu 2015) and even longer term layout projects (certain ones may be measured in astronomical units due to time spans! –  don’t mention the dining room floor to Donna)

Thanks for Reading

Cheers

Here at Last – Spot the Difference

Finally got round to updating the blog with our most recent events.

Farkham attended the clubs annual local show on the first weekend in October. This is a chance for our club members who don’t go to any exhibitions to see the layout rather than in its usual stacked and boxed form.

The show as every is a family orientated event but gave us the chance to try new bits of stock and make a couple of repairs to existing items.

This years event was particularly noteable for two reasons

1) Roomey came out of hibernation and returned to the Farkham fold – so the team were back up to full strength (well as strong as it gets!!).

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refer to blog entry October 2012 – for context!

2)Three new wagons that had been promised previously on several occasions(modelling at glacial speeds!!) finally arrived.

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These are two Procor curtain sided vans Tops code PVA.

IMG_1315 IMG_1312The Vans are significantly longer than the RTR Hornby model and have utilises elements of the sides of several of the Hornby wagons fixed together, the rest of the wagon being scratch built.

Bill Bedford W irons make the models running almost perfect!

These wagons will now displace some of the VGAs and VEAs running in the yard on the layout.

Also new and based upon similar ‘Stock’ is the Campbells soup Van.

IMG_1311Whilst we are reliably and emphatically informed by the builder that this is in fact a massively modified conversion of the original Hornby model, some of us are still not convinced by this, especially the scale coupling!!

OOPS!!,  Sorry posted the wrong picture – here it is below!

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Now we are working on new stuff for our forthcoming visit to the Alsager show on 15th & 16th November.

Cheers

Mr Enthusiatic and Friends

On the weekend of the 16th & 17th August Farkham attended the Scarborough and District Railway Modellers annual exhibition in Pickering. For this show we were joined by Glenn (Aberdeen Kirkhill fame ) who kindly assisted us for the weekend. The show whilst relatively small by most show standards was really well attended by visitors and the club members were all really friendly and helpful and we had a great time so thanks to all involved.

We were lucky enough this weekend to be put up in a really nice B&B. The accommodation was great and the B&B owner was possibly the most enthusiastic person we have ever met – a definite contender for the TV series ‘4 in a bed’ (which is not some smutty programme on late at night but is some dross that’s on a round 5pm  on channel 4 or 5). The man could not stop smiling and nodding – if happiness is the key to a long life he will life to 200years.

Once again, whilst we have been working hard to get stock ready for future shows, nothing quite managed to be finished for this event leaving the blog site a little devoid of new pictures. Sorry.

In other news, The latest Farkham Article is about to hit the presses, following the recent success of the OHML train article, Rail Express are now due to publish this month an Article about the layout and the stock in general. Hopefully this will be an interesting read as it focusses more on the trains than the layout.  Enjoy

Also Worthy of note is that Farkham has now been confirmed as one the Layouts to appear at DEMU Showcase 2015 and features on one of their advertising banners see below.Banner4_2015_500x62  We are really looking forward to this and the forthcoming shows where we will have some new stock that’s a bit different form the norm.

cheers for reading 

 

Where has the time Gone?

Its been a while since we posted, so thought we better update the blog with the latest Farkham news.

It seems ages ago now but on the  weekend of 22 & 23 March 2014, we attended the Perth Green model railway show. The show, whilst not quite as large as another show held at Alexandra Palace on the same weekend was well attended and the Farkham team were made welcome by the Perth Green Club members. At this show we were assisted by the almost infamous writer of letters to the 3mm Society magazine who under the Pen Name ‘Agrieved of Oakham’ has masterfully and with the precision of a surgeon, cut numerous would be authors to said magazine, into ribbons with his insightful and forthright views of the ramblings and ‘goings-on’ of the lonely furrow society that is 3mm Modelling.

With other projects and events taking up much of our time running up to this show, it is sad to report that no new stock was ready for the exhibition. It is also disappointing to report that it still hasn’t been finished at the time of writing this. However a new deadline looms in the form of the Scarborough and District Model rail exhibition, held in Pickering, North Yorkshire on 16/17 August 2014. So its all hands to the pump to get new stock ready for this show.

We will post some pictures of them when they are complete.

As always, we cannot leave this blog devoid of pictures for this entry so this seems most appropriate at the minute!

gazza

Those were the Days (1990) when England were good (ish) at Football and Trains were proper!

Cheers

 

On Her Majesties Civil Service!

On the 9th & 10th November, we exhibited the layout at the Spalding exhibition. The show appeared to be very well attended and we received some nice comments from visitors and fellow exhibitors. We were lucky enough to be in the small room which, although decorated like a tarts parlour (or so I am told) was cooler and more spaced out, although the operators still have the sounds of American sound chips ringing in their ears.  

Having had the luxury of 4 operators at our recent visit to the Taunton show, unfortunately we were down to 2 operators for this show. Despite asking our usual reserves (albeit at late notice) by 5pm Thursday, we were planning to do the show as the dynamic duo! – excluding capes. We will let you decide who’s who!  Batman-and-Robin

Maybe it’s more like this!!.

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7.45pm – Thursday 7th November – the reason for the title of this entry steps up to the plate to form a trio for the weekend.

007-Legends-600x300International Man of Mystery – Bertie ‘Bond’ Austin offers to join us to assist for the weekend. After a couple of minutes training and only a gentle warning for speeding, Bertie was quickly in the zone and operating the layout like he has done it for years.  Bertie, thanks for your help over the weekend, it was really appreciated.

 

Lager boys 1 – 0 Beer Bellies

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On Saturday night, we enjoyed an enjoyable evening with the Shawplan chaps, the highlight of the evening seeing grown men cry because they had to drink the amber nectar rather than that natural stuff that makes you fart.    You would have thought they were made to drink bleach – poor boys!!!.

New stock for this show included 4 new locos to accompany some of the new train formations that we debuted at our previous shows.

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Class 31 417 Severn Valley Railway complements our new short ballast train – subtly weathered

 

 

271013 004Class 47 373 in triple grey to run on our Norsk Hydro train

 

271013 005Class 47 971 in large logo livery combines with our inspection saloon

 

 

 

 

 

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Class 47 541 & 461 in versions of Scot Rail liveries to provide motive power for a range of trains.

 

 

 

 

The Spalding show was the last exhibition for the layout for 2013. We are looking forward to our next show in March 2014, but in the meantime we have a chance to work on new projects and stock.

Thanks for reading,

Cheers

Dave, Alex & Paul.