August 27, 2011

"The Booklist"

Just a heads up to everyone - I have been away for a week, so if you've not heard back from me, RE signing up to the BRWS potential booklist, I am working on a separate new page for the blog - a "roll of honour" for those who have taken the time to write in and express their interest.

Watch out for the new page this week - I also hope to bring a few little surprises to the fore.

Until next time!

August 18, 2011

"To absent friends"

In this day and age, you will meet someone on the internet in anonymity, and on those rare occasions when those pix-elated words on a screen actually becomes a human being, in the flesh, and you get on famously.

I am not ashamed to say that several of my closest friends I "met" on the internet - all through two railway related forums (go figure!) and to say that we take for granted this wondrous means of communicating with each other using only our fingertips on a keyboard is an understatement.

Over the last few days, one particular group of friends has suffered a blow. A very popular member of the forum died, at a very young age, and his bravery in the face of overwhelming odds is something that will last with me all my days.

Compare that, to the dismay and anguish when another of the group ups and leaves, and you are left wondering what more could have been done. Life can be brutal sometimes, and I am in no doubt that it is at its most brutal when you see the unfairness of a young life, lost, and the parting of a friend without reason.

In short, treasure your friends and colleagues, for life is too short to dwell on the bad times.

To absent friends.

August 17, 2011

"The 4th Anniversary of The British Railway Series"

Has it really been four years?

So much has happened in that time.

Rest assured, the series is going to return to Youtube with new episodes.

But for now, enjoy the video and the revelations therein.

Thank you for watching.

Until next time.

August 15, 2011

"Win a Back to the Future Delorean!"

Yes, this exquisite Back to the Future Delorean DMC-12 could be yours! I ship anywhere in the world, just lay in a comment on the video with your answer to the competition question.

Until next time!

August 14, 2011

"Three Days to Go"

With three days to go, I am in real danger of losing it! I simply cannot find the original trailer that was uploaded in late 2006. It hasn't been lost entirely, I know its on the hard drive somewhere, just where exactly is the key!

It has been such a frustrating and busy week that I'm finding the stress levels - always ridiculously high at the best of times - to start affecting my writing. The riots in London - some of which could be seen first hand, in and around my area, and particularly visible, the damage in Croydon, which I drive through regularly, have been playing on my mind greatly.

The safety valve - normally modelling - has been halted while I carry out necessary work to insulate, and reorganize the lofts in which the Copley Hill set and my collection are stored. My hobby is without doubt, the one thing which calms the nerves, but it's been doing me no good this last month by any means!

Until next time.

August 09, 2011

"60500, Edward Thompson - Graeme King Build"

There's something rather magical about Graeme King's modelling. The ability to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse - such as a commission he took on for me, making a Hornby Railroad A4 into a Gresley W1 last year.

This time around, it really is just amazing. I suggested to Graeme quite a while back that an A2/3 could be made from the latest Bachmann A2, and he agreed; he had been thinking on similar lines. We came to an agreement, whereby I would supply a Bachmann A2 for him to use as the prototype for a conversion kit, and I would in return get said prototype to add to my collection when done.

Over the coming months Graeme wove his magic to create this fabulous machine, which I christened Edward Thompson this morning.

The model uses most of the Bachmann A2 model, with the cab and front running plate removed, a smokebox extension ring added, Comet V2 valve gear, and various other details which complete the transformation. It's now available as a conversion kit, details of which you can find here - I am but a very grateful and delighted customer!

I haven't made my mind up whether it will go (as intended) into BR Dark Green or stay in apple green, but for the time being I am simply enjoying its presence on Copley Hill. Oh, and by the way - it gets round second radius curves without derailing. Simply brilliant modelling from Graeme, as always, and I get one more class to add to my Copley Hill stud that adds to the intended realistic atmosphere of the yard.

Did I mention we've had a brief discussion about a possible A2/2 conversion kit as well?

The one thing about this build which is hugely advantageous is that you can have one for roughly a third of the price of the PDK or DJH A2/3 kit, and it's been designed to be extremely simple to convert. I personally think the conversion is much more convincing than either of the aforementioned brands, but that's just one man's opinion!

Until next time!

August 07, 2011

"Project Copley Hill"

Three Projects. Three Locomotive Characters. Three Aims.

One Shed.

Coming Soon, in Three Different Forms

Until next time!

August 05, 2011

"In the Archives...!"

Stephen, The Wandering 1500, at the National Railway Museum. Dean Walker

I need something a little bigger than a 1TB HDD for my videos. I hate getting rid of footage, you never know when it'll come in useful. I currently have four HDDs with various amounts of BRWS footage and similar, and I never delete any of them. It would be criminal, should I actually make it big, not to have something for the blooper reel and to say "that's where I started...!!!"

So going through the archives this week has reminded me of a few serious bloopers. For example - when former team member Jason did the original subtitles for the second trailer on Youtube, way back in 2007 (when Allen was still actually intended to be "Arthur"), he misspelled the name to "Authur".

Then there was the original trailer itself. No faces. Looks really, really weird now. Lots of subtitling with phrases such as "the end of steam is nigh" and other really depressing catchphrases.

If it had been up to me, we would have gone into the series in 1948, with our lovely Holden B12 character at a famous museum, narrating the whole series and their stories to a few children, sat there listening at the marvel of a talking train!

The potential for this to be made to my vision now is steadily growing. "Project Allen" - the worst kept secret in the history of literature (and particularly if you look carefully at the artwork on this blog, and one other!) has shown the way forward in storytelling for me.

It has been a delightful creative exercise, but it meant for the first time in three years I dug out the original scripts I had written, and reworked them into something more meaningful and wholly more satisfying than the five first episodes on Youtube which were extremely hit and miss.

Soon I hope to share with you all the fruits of my labour, something tangible I can put my name to, with beautiful artwork and stories which go somewhere, teach you something, and entertain all in the same book.

So until next time, keep listening out for news of "Project Allen", and wait for the anniversary video on the 17th, where I am trying to cram in as much old/unused footage, "how to" segments, and a few new pieces of footage, all into one 10 minute Youtube video!

Until next time!

August 03, 2011

"A Birthday Surprise"

So I got an email today from my artist - he's been doing some fabulous work recently that I hope you can all share in soon. Anyways, he's organized a bit of a surprise for me, and as it turns out, it is a really beautifully made poster to celebrate the series' 4th year (see above).

Dean Walker - he of NE Ramblings fame - and Zachery Ehlers have come together to create this beautiful poster, featuring Herbert on the left (by Dean), and Allen (in express passenger blue, drawn by Zachery) on the right.

To say I was a bit choked when I saw it is an understatement! To be thought of enough to warrant such a beautiful piece of fan fiction overwhelms me. I can only hope I can repay their kindness over the next few months as "Project Allen" continues apace.

Until next time - with under two weeks to go under The British Railway Series' 4th Anniversary. It promises to be a good one!

August 01, 2011

"The Countdown Begins..."

To the right, you will see a countdown clock. On the 17th August, 2011, I will be releasing a video chock full of unseen BRWS footage from across the 17 Episodes and three specials I have made over the last four years, and I'll also be throwing into the mix a closer look behind the scenes on set.

I didn't celebrate either the second or third anniversaries, mainly due to the workload of university, but approaching the series' half decade, how could I not look back and see how far we've come in such a short space of time?

There will be updates to this blog in terms of look, there will be details on "Project Allen" to follow, and there will be a big change to the Youtube Channel, as I make the changeover to the "Cosmic Panda" channel interface.

Until next time!