Whilst it may be of rather less interest to fellow Gnatterboxers than my merry Minimalists over in the Facebook group I thought that I should mention that I am running a loco building competition - at 12" to the foot, naturally.
Here's my first post about it over in the Minimal Gauge Railway Group:
TIME FOR A MINIMAL LOCO COMPETITION
For quite a while now this longstanding thread of Adrian’s has been gently bugging me.https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... 652&type=3
This is because we tend to start talking about simple stuff and then the conversation often takes a more sophisticated turn.
It would surely be good if there was a simple and cheap way for just about anyone to get on board with a modest Minimal machine as a way of getting started.
So, here’s some first thoughts from the Stockers to help get your thinking back into simple mode…
The Objective: to design and build the sort of simple loco that ‘anyone’ (even a Stockers) could build.
- any size you like
- made from any materials you like
- propelled in any manner you wish
- brought to a halt in any way that pleases you
- capable of being coupled to a wagon – I’ll explain more further along in these scribbles – in a ‘typical’ and minimal-like fashion – something link and pinnish would be good please
- must be 7 ¼” gauge
- can be the work of more than one person - so, for example, if aunts and uncles want to help nephews and nieces, or vice versa - that's fine
BUT – and I will emphasise this in as many ways as I can as this goes on – it really does need to be simple and straightforward and very modestly priced to get hold of the materials and do whatever you need to do to turn them into a locomotive. To that end part of the competition will be a write up of what you got where and for how much. In addition there must also be a write up (with dimensions, naturally) and photographic record of the build to help others follow your lead.
There will be two competition sections: one for those who can bring their creation to the June Gathering at High Legh next year, where yours truly will be judging the entries. The other section will be for those unable to make it to High Legh but who can compete from anywhere in the world providing they build a loco and submit a write up. A video showing the beast in operation is pretty much a requirement too.
If you're up for having a go I'd appreciate your dropping me a message. Whilst you may/may not wish to let the rest of the gang know that you'll be beavering away in the shed over the coming months I'll treat all messages of intent as private and keep quiet about it.
Well, I guess there needs to be something to help spur your efforts.
I’m thinking that some form of marvellous ‘trophy’ for each competition section plus, for the High Legh winner, a cheque for real money from Stockers’ own funds to cover the build costs and more besides. Look out for those moths as they fly out of my wallet.
If I can get a little bit of sponsorship to add to the prizes hopefully that will help spur you all on further. I’ll keep you informed.
A word about judging.
Inevitably the judge’s decision will be final. That’s me. Since there isn’t going to be much in the way of rules – time to reread those guidelines above - you enter the competition at your peril. I am looking for simple but workable; something built from cheap materials that are easily acquired and worked with; something with a modicum of control for forward and reverse, stop and go. Beyond that you’re pretty much on your own. Surprise and delight me.
The final test at High Legh will be to couple your creation to a single modestly sized wagon with a moderate amount of weight in it (more on this to follow) and drive loco and wagon to and fro a few yards to demonstrate that the whole thing works. Don’t worry too much about a coupling, although, as mentioned, something along the lines of link and pin built into your loco will be good but we’ll use string if we have to…
Now, as I oft describe my engineering abilities as ‘think of my skill level as dangerous with two pieces of Meccano’ it may shock you to read that I’m going to have a go at this too. Obviously I rule myself out of the competition proper but, with a little help from my friends, I too want to see how effectively I can strip down my ideas so that I design and build a beastie which demonstrates the essence of something minimal in thought, word and deed. There, that should be scary.
Thoughts, questions? I’m sure there’ll be a few so fire away!'
Here's the key date info:
'The date I'm aiming for is Saturday 25 June 2016 at High Legh. I've just messaged Andy Higgins asking him if this is OK. Provided it is then I would need all the write ups, photos and videos (for those who can't get to High Legh and which I guess would be best dropped on Youtube) to be with me no later than Saturday 18 June.'
Even if you aren't interested/able to take part all Gnatterboxers are very welcome to come and see the fun at High Legh next year.
This (one has to be a FB member, though not a Minimal group member to see it, I think) is the relevant thread ongoing:https://www.facebook.com/groups/Minimal ... 009371113/