Sunday, 24 August 2014

Cutting Styrene

In Glasgow, the city were I ply my trade, there is a tradition in the Clyde shipyards of having a bit of a do when they begin work on a new vessel.

It doesn't happen as much as it used to, of course, but happily it still does from time to time.

They call it 'cutting steel' and I remember being at the Govan yard when some bigwig - I can't remember who - ceremonially pressed the button on a giant machine to chop the first piece of the Type 45 Destroyers.

It always feels similarly momentous to me when I slice the first pieces of styrene to make a new model as I did last week.

Those of you who know your WHR carriages will have instantly recognised the outline of 2046, the newest of the carriages turned out by Boston Lodge.

This car is marked out by having big picture windows, rather like the original semi-open design, but with the addition of small sliding windows along the top where nearly all the other carriages have solid panelling.

The challenge with this carriage is that I've had to make my own drawing. My sources were unable to lay their hands on one for me but I was given a tip that the window pillars on this carriage were in the same position as some of those on the earlier trio of 13m saloons.

Once I'd worked out which ones were kept and which were done away with I was able to adapt a copy of the plans for the old carriages.

Hopefully it will turn out looking something like the one above.


  1. I read your comment about Clyde Shipbuilding and wondered if BAE are still building, I know closure was threatened, for the umpteenth time. Now today the momentous news that Clyde Blowers may well have secured the Ferguson Ailsa jobs...excellent news. Glasgow is a good place to work, it was very good to me in the nineties. Goes without saying that your coach build is, as usual, a deluxe job :-)

  2. Yes, Iain, BAE are still building. Currently finishing off sections of the 2nd carrier. Deal just been signed for 3 Offshore Patrol Vessels to keep them going until the Type 26 project moves to production - of course some politicians would have you believe a certain vote next month puts that in doubt. But future of Govan site in question. There's a consultation underway at the moment but most commentators expect BAE to concentrate everything on the Yarrows site where there are facilities to build frigates on undercover slips. But that's enough politics - this is a narrow gauge blog.

  3. Thanks for the info :-) Sorry to go off-topic!