Well, three weeks have trickled by, near enough, and I've managed to get quite a bit of university work sorted through and planned to make it substantially more digestible. I've been away for the past fortnight visiting my parents; taking a break from Kent and my family down there has done me the world of good, and my parents have suggested I stay up again during the summer; it'd be my first Yorkshire summer in two years, but I'm certainly considering it!
I'll give a brief overview of what my university work is for this term, and then I'll crack on explaining some planning I've got regarding my rolling stock and potential layout building. For Sociology, this module has been 'Movements, Mobilization and Protest', and as such we have been tasked with a four-thousand, eight-to-ten entry log, if you will, applying theory and questions to a movement of our choice. I have selected the Irish Republican Army due to its constant changing state throughout the last century. One task involves media coverage of an event the movement was involved in; I'm thinking I may cover the 1981 hunger strikes in The Maze prison, as they were certainly hard-hitting and worsened the Troubles and Anglo-Irish relations under the Conservative government due to the non-recognition of the prisoners as political prisoners rather than 'typical' criminals. We have to assess the coverage of the media and determine whether the publisher and reporters' personal politics were influential on reporting the incident; I think it's blatantly obvious that this will be the case, but I could be wrong. Other tasks include looking at groups and affiliations to the movement, whether the movement was the result of a cultural shift (ego, its history) and how Sociological theory can be applied to it. I'm thinking if it takes me two hours to complete each task, I can have it finished within a week to ten days.
Literature is... fun. There's a lot to do, given I decided to complete the research module for it, on top of the main module, and so I have a two-thousand(?) word Literature review for the research module, comprised of over forty sources I've found (I'll have fun compressing all that...) and then after that, planning my dissertation with the research material. The main module topic some of you may have seen over in the Literary Musings thread; I am going to be writing on Blake's poems, The Chimney Sweeper (Songs of Innocence) and Holy Thursday (Songs of Experience) and assess whether children in art (or here, literature) are the result of art and imagination alone, or if reality must play a part to some degree. I'd argue you can't have a fully unique idea, and there's simply too much religious and moral coding in the poems, if not political lampooning, for the children within them to be entirely fictitious. I've also got to complete a presentation for Friday on LP Hartley's 1953 novel, The Go-Between, and I'll most likely try to discuss the thin line between innocence, naivety and nostalgia.
My assessed presentation at the end of the year has to be related to a representation of childhood or children, or 'childness', in a text not on the course this year. So, I'm setting myself a challenge and plumping for the character development of Eric in Gaston Leroux' 1909 novel, The Phantom of the Opera. If you look at his development, he is obviously a musical prodigy despite being of an advanced age, and suffers from quite a delayed notion of communication, love, and expression; he has grown up on theatre and opera, big, dramatic, campy expressions of emotion, and thus anything he cannot create or express without music he does not 'possess'; to that end, he 'possesses' Christine through his teaching her to sing but ultimately comes to 'adulthood' by learning how love, romantic love, maternal love, and selflessness all work. Well, I think it makes sense, at any rate. I may opt for another text, Diana Wynne Jones' 1986 novel, Howl's Moving Castle could also work in terms of the idea of an adult having to 'grow up' (is anyone detecting a theme?), or the 2004 official Peter Pan sequel, Peter Pan in Scarlet, written by Geraldine McCaughrean. I adored that book when I was younger; maybe the notion of returning to one's childhood, or having to preserve childhood could work? I could also discuss one of the texts I'm looking at for my dissertation and research proposal, but it isn't entirely to everyone's cup of tea...
Anyhow, onto the railways! I was thinking about the Pullman car, 'Amelia Anne', the GraFar update, and the replacement window frames I was considering etching. Looking at photos of the window type I wanted to represent - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ywK1nKp9r4w0GYG6aMD5q2bnIv_Tde7v/view?usp=sharing
- the upper part looks like really it could be done with a very fine permanent marker onto the actual glazing, and so I think I'll try this rather than etching them initially, just to see how it goes. It will also keep costs down on the model.
When I'm back in Ashford on Monday, I'll order the N1 footplate from SE Finecast, from what I remember it was very reasonable, and most likely only alter the cab spectacles. The linkage and valve chests to me aren't too discernible between the classes, and I can always come back and change them at some point in the future, anyway.
The Cs still need to be completed in terms of body- handrail pillars and detailing parts shall have to be ordered from SE Finecast, I doubt much is needed, and I am contemplating adding brake gear to the chassis, but we'll see. The tenders, I rather fancy, on one of them at least, retaining the cast wheel block but reworking it like this (see http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/96216-motorise-gbl-city-of-truro/
), so that it maintains some weight down low. I'm unsure of adding tender pickups. If I fancy it, it can be a retrospective addition. The cab interiors also need work, although I believe I have both of the models' backhead mouldings floating around somewhere which can be painted up and glued in. The DCC chips may also have to be in the tenders purely due to space; I will try to fit as much weight in the locomotive bodies as possible, just to be sure they can actually haul appropriate loads.
The B1 project... I'm a little stuck on how I'd make the locomotive body, for now. I'll complete the tender as far as I'm able, and go from there at a later date. I'm thinking I may take a foray into brass scratch building, but we'll see.
I read on a friend's workbench thread a discussion on replacement motors (see http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/130083-sem34090s-pre-grouping-workbenchscreen/?p=3127149
) for the Hornby standard 0-6-0 chassis, which seemed perfect given I am still hoping to spruce up an R1 in the future. The Hornby chassis seems a good candidate but I'm not terribly fond of the motor, they don't seem to have much torque and the pickups aren't all that good, but this is easily dealt with. And mentions of a fly wheel, too- something to consider, certainly.
As for the layout... Hmm. I know I'd said I was going to aim for a smaller project to cut my teeth with, but the opportunity for a free 8'x4' baseboard came along, and it seemed too good to pass up, so I've inquired after it and will hopefully be collecting it with my friend once I'm back in Kent. From what I remember the two boards I already have are either 4' or 5' by 2' wide, and so would be ideal for use altogether:
I realise it's 14' overall, and so obviously too long for my bedroom (11' 6'' square), but I can always tweak it when the time comes, or find space elsewhere to have it. But my thinking is I can work on each baseboard as a separate project and bring them all together when it's appropriate. It's only an idea, at any rate.
Sorry for my long absence, by the way, I do keep reading the posts on various threads but it doesn't always occur to me to reply!
BBC (2018): Historical and political context of The Maze Hunger Strikes, 1981. Accessible at http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/events/rep ... rikes_maze
Blake, W (2013): Songs of Innocence and Experience
, pp. 11, 23. CreateSpace Independent Publishing (Amazon).
Ford, A (2008): Pullman Profile No 1: The 12-Wheel Cars
, pp. 17, Noodle Books Publishers, ?
Hartley, LP (1953): The Go-Between
, Penguin, London.
Leroux, G (1909/1910): The Phantom of the Opera
, Collins Classics, London/New York.
McCaughrean, G (2004): Peter Pan in Scarlet
, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Wynne Jones, D (1986): Howl's Moving Castle
, HarperCollins, London/New York.