New Zealand: A Trip Down Memory Lane [Part 1]

Coming to New Zealand has been such a fun experience, and it’s been great to see so many things that I remember from when we were last here. I have enjoyed seeing all the similarities and differences from what I remember – so I decided to write them down into a blog post – enjoy Part 1 of the series!

Coloured Traffic Light Arrows

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One of the first interesting things I remembered I saw as we drove over to our wonderful cottage from the airport were the coloured traffic light arrows, unlike the boring green ones we have back home. The traffic lights at a relatively busy junction had red and orange arrows, as well as the usual green ones, which I thought was really exciting to see – though it must be quite mundane for people who see them daily. I remembered the lights from the reasonable amount of driving we did in Auckland when we stayed for the 6 months in 2009; however, despite the orange and red arrows being really cool – but couldn’t they stay green just a bit longer!?!

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‘Tunnel’ Between the Armchairs
This memory was a more family related one, being at Nan and Granddad’s house, reminding me of all the fun Megan and I had when we went to their house on a Thursday after I finished school. Between the two armchairs in the lounge in their house was a gap underneath the chair’s arms – about big enough for a P1 5-year-old, but maybe not a S1 12-year-old (see selfie above)!! When Megan or I weren’t hiding there in a game of hide and seek, Nan and Granddad’s cat Bobby used to sleep or rest in there.

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Dunkin’ Donuts
I remember Dunkin’ Donuts as being a small shop, just part of a small square building off one of the main roads, I remember that they sold delicious donuts (which you can probably already tell from the name), and also that we visited many times. From what we saw, it hasn’t changed much – but I don’t remember the violent downpours of rain trying to stop us from getting into the shop! We often used to stop there, usually on a Saturday to get some donuts to eat for morning tea.

Merry Minecraft Christmas 2014!!!

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

As the title implies I’ve been doing something in Minecraft (my favourite game), just a small Christmas/Winter themed Biodome. I spent about an hour on this – as although small, this build was all about minor details. That’s all I really have to say, so, without further ado, I present to you my Winter Wonderland Biodome!!!!

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Overview

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Entrance View, Christmas Tree with items for Baubles, Beacon on-top

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My Little Woodland house, Chimney, Stockings, Flowerpot

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The Woodland Side, Lake, and Wolves (Husky Dogs), And the Only other Native animal (apart from pesky bats!) the Snow Golem

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Fishing Zone

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HO! HO! HO! Merry Christmas Everyone!!!!!!!

Christmas Crafts – Felt, Felt and a Whole Lot More Felt!!!

Hello again everyone – it’s been a long time since my last post, things have been very busy lately with my Webpage, and a whole bunch of other things.

Anyway, yesterday I had a whole day(starting from 11:45am as we had special breakfast and delivered cards), and I decided to do some felting – a hobby of mine that I’ve just began to get serious about. I’ve been making a bunch of different things, for different presents for different people. Yesterday I worked for quite a few hours, rolling the mat back and forward 1300 times (counting each time I went forward) – that’s a LOT, though I probably spent a fair bit longer actually making the felt before I rolled it.

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My Felting Setup, with wool, silk, my mat, my bag, scissors for the silk and a fair bit more!

I definitely got my exercise yesterday too – you may be wondering how can you get exercise from craft – the answer is, to get more downward force, I jump every single repetition! Jumping 1300 times is quit a lot, and so I decided to take a break today!20141220_171306

The Finished Products – Planets for Megan’s felt Solar system, and felt strips for candle-holder borders.

Thank-you for reading this post – you may have realized that I wrote most of this post on Sunday 21st December, talking about Saturday 20th, yet this post was released on the 27th – this is because I couldn’t release images until people received their presents. Thank-you for understanding.

Model Railway – LMS Coronation Class

As I promised, I am writing a post about my LMS Coronation Class engine, The City of Bristol.

These engines were built between 1937 and 1948, they were the most powerful passenger steam train ever built for a British railway company; with 3300 horsepower, they were more powerful than the diesels that replaced them! I actually have a plan to change my model from its semi-streamlined condition which the model was of, to the streamlined condition, using a diagram I found in the SRPS archive store. After doing the streamlining I will change it to its LMS livery, which is red. (Please note this won’t happen for a while). In the future  when I use the diagram, I might post a picture showing its size! – it’s a 1:8 scale diagram of a 26m long train!

A picture of my model:

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A picture of the engine in its ‘Streamlined’ and ‘Semi-streamlined’ conditions:

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I am very sorry that this post was delayed by a week, as I had delays finding pictures.

I’ll be putting out a new post in the near future; however, I’m not putting a date on it – don’t want to repeat the same mistake twice!!!

-Update, the conversion, I’ve decided, would be too difficult, so I have no plans to go forward with converting it to streamlined (which is a shame). Sorry.

Model Railway – Not a Fowler Dock Tank!

As I posted in a comment a few weeks ago, my BR Engine No.68478 did not have a BR Engine No. of 47160-69; easy mistake!

Basically, I searched into the internet my engine number, and because they were the same wheel arrangement, 0-6-0, I got confused when I saw the picture on Wikipedia – Never trust the pictures alone!

But, after searching through the previous engine numbers I found my engine’s class. This engine was designed and built in 1900-01 and was the NBR D Class, before it became the LNER Class J83, and later into BR ownership. There were forty of these engines produced, and were designed for short-distance freight and shunting. These engines were all scrapped, with the last one being in 1962, after the slow replacement by the more efficient diesel trains.


NBR- North British Railway; LNER- London North Eastern Railway; BR- British Railways;


My Post-LNER J83 Engine

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This still sadly doesn’t fit in with the time-scale of the model, but I do have another engine, a LMS Coronation Class engine, which I will post about in the next two weeks.

PLEASE DO NOT GET THIS CONFUSED WITH MY INCORRECT

FOWLER DOCK TANK POST!!!

Model Railway – Layout Changing

On Saturday evening, daddy, Megan and I spent some time moving track around into the layout design we wanted.

Layout plan we decided on last time:

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We made a few changes because the layout design above was impossible to fit in, we made a few minor tweaks to make it work. We removed the tinker yard daughter board (points on the far left), extended the mine (buffer on the right), and changed the switch-yard to fit in (top of the layout).

After daddy and Megan had left, I had some very weird problems to do with dust, the engine would suddenly stop, reverse, then continue as if nothing happened. Then as I had the controller on no power, and was just about to switch off the controller, it shot off like a rocket! I will need to investigate…

Model Railway – More Research

Last weekend we went on a camping holiday to Port Ban, on the West coast of Scotland. As our trip took us through Loch Lomond and The Trossachs national park, exactly where I’m setting my model, I paid attention to houses, and things I will include on the railway.

Next up was houses/buildings which I will need to model, increasingly more important discovering my shop and church models are in O (churches don’t look different). The houses I saw were rectangular, with a roof slanting down to the longer walls. The houses were painted white, with slate roofs, and often vertical windows sticking out of the roof. Sadly I didn’t get any photos, due to bad planning, but you will see in the future some photos of the models.

Something I noticed was that the forests down low were actually not at all pine, and contained a mixture of other trees. Which means for one thing my forests don’t have to be boring, and secondly I can use the trees I have.

Photos show sections of non-pine forest (it was wet…):

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Model Railway – Fowler Dock Tank

As promised, I have done some research!

(Incorrect research though… – view Not a Fowler Dock Tank! for more detail)

LMS “Fowler Dock Tank”

This train is the LMS Engine No.68478, commonly known as a Fowler Dock Tank, used to shunt in docks, designed to go around tight curves. Only ten were built, between 1928 & 1929. They were all decommissioned and scrapped between 1959 & 1964, which is sad because none were preserved in museums.  Although it fits in the time period, it doesn’t fit with the inland setting of the model.

My model LMS “Fowler Dock Tank”:

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Model Railway – Back on Track!!!

For years my railway has been disused, in a cold and dusty, dark attic; but now I’m putting it back on track as I begin on my new adventure to build my first model railway!!!

Layout Design

This layout design was our old track just changed quite a bit, we needed to keep changes minimal, because re-arranging is hard. I wouldn’t say it was my ideal layout, but it does works nicely, and daddy agreed to do all the new nails!!! The outer loop is the mainline, with the inner section containing the village, switch yard and coal mine.

Layout Map (rough draft):

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LMS “Hughes Crab”

Before beginning on scenery I have to (note: present tense – more coming soon on this post) do some research. I have discovered my model train given to me by some friends, on my birthday one year, is a LMS No.13000 engine. This engine was produced between 1926 and 1932, which means my railway will be set just after that, which also is the time I was planning anyway.

My model LMS “Hughes Crab“:

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This train is a British railways engine No.68478, as of now I am unsure of anything about it, other than this number. Next week I will have done some research – Sorry for the Inconvenience

My model LMS Engine No.68478:

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Black Loch, Limerigg

Today we visited a loch called Black Loch, the scenery there was beautiful –  we never even knew we had such lovely scenery so close to home. The walk itself  was 1.25km/0.8miles and 20-30 minutes long – though we decided to go back the way we came, instead of walking along the road. It was about a 20 minute drive from home, pretty much south of Shieldhill.

We started at Limerigg Primary School, we walked along the Lochside road up to a small path. We then walked beside the loch beside marshy area which used to be forested, then we turned off the path that went round the loch. We walked by a small marshy forest for a while, then we reached the road. Then we turned back and trampled through the forest. I came out a little later then the others. Then we went back by the loch.

Megan and Daddy fell behind on the return journey, both carrying lumps of snow, it turned out it was a head and body for a snowman! The snowman was named Billy and we put him at the gate, we wrote his name in the snow!