Steam Train Experience

Just a little bit of background info, when i was younger my dad used to drag me most weekends to model railway shows and Bo'ness railway museum … ah yes, many an hour was spent around railways, both real and model, wandering around the shows, trying to get through the day as quickly as possible. It could be said i dont enjoy anything related much to models, trains, layouts … etc. … althooough …

Yep, you guessed it … my turn to be a bit of nerd, so here goes … please don't be too quick to judge or think that I'm some kind of 'train spotter' or anything like, but I felt I wanted to share with you all.

Joe and I managed to escape the city for a few days, we headed south of the wall, and ended up spending a few days in Whitby which was absolutely lovely, and I would recommend to everyone to visit sometime.

We decided to take an excursion on the North Yorkshire Moors steam railway. Now it's not what your thinking, it was a beautifully atmospheric experience, of which I loved every second of and would do it all again .

We travelled from Whitby to the end of the line at Pickering, an evocative journey through beautiful English countryside.

Pickering train station is fabulous, i love that the station is themed too, its like stepping into a bygone era of tea rooms, luggage trolleys and travel trunks !

Also, for all the Harry Potter fans out there, we stopped en route at Goathland Station, which I discovered was used in the first Harry Potter film as 'Hogsmeade Station' … I know pretty cool eh ?

I tell you there is something quite romantic about travelling on a steam engine, not sure why, it could be the gentle motion as you travel, the steam, or maybe the soot that ends up in your eyes and hair (whlist sticking my head out of the window) … sorry couldn't help it, hmm, maybe I am a bit of a nerd after all ! 🙂

At Pickering Station it was interesting to see the 'Peter's Railway, Young Engineers Centre', an interactive exhibition based upon the writings of childrens author Christopher Vine, fantastic, what a great place for kids of all ages, i would highly recommend the centre, and his books too for any young train enthusiast

I have included a few snaps to give an impression of the visit 😀


Much love

Over and out




Perth show 2017 day 2

Day 2, Sunday …
Another day of observations, pretty much a more of the same kind of day, actually I am not really sure why this runs over two days? It is tiring! The same displays, same models, same faces, same conversations, hmm, it’s safe to say one is enough for me.
The show not as busy today … we escaped to the Victorian tea room in town for lunch … a little treat for me (hehe, totally deserved I’d say)
It was good to see something a little different at the Perth show as well as the scale miniature models, The Scottish military vehicle group were there with two WW2 jeeps on display, although it would have been a great wee idea if they had one you could have your photo taken whilst sitting in … kids would have loved that (both young, and dare I say, slightly older kids too)
The show had an Airfix sponsored ‘make and take’ section for the kids … definitely glad to see and a good idea, although I feel as though it wasn’t exactly drawing kids in, and over the two days I didn’t really see it to be very busy at all. Maybe they need to make it a little more inviting … hmm, a line of uncovered boring looking tables with nothing on them to entice or encourage kids to want to build , I’m guessing didn’t really work out, maybe something to be built upon next time ?
After a weekend at the annual Scottish IMPS. ‘fest’ I do feel as though I am now craving some more female interaction … iv pretty much had a ‘boys weekend’ and now I want to have a conversation which doesn’t involve talking about pieces of plastic and colour schemes ! thankfully catching up with fellow ‘sprue widows’ over the two days helped keep me ‘sane’, a big shout out and again many thanks … roll on the next one 

Much love
Over and out …

Perth show 2017- an anthropological study of hobby model makers.

Perth model show 2017
Anthropological study of model makers,
Day 1 … The natives seem to have accepted me as one of their own.
As I sit here in ‘stealth mode’ watching … I discover a few interesting things. Hobby modellers behaviour very much reminds me of grassland wildebeest gathered around the local watering hole 😉
Modellers tend to be seen behind tables of finely crafted models (usually of a ‘military’ nature) or impromptu gatherings of in passageways, where of course there is no possible escape!
An interesting point I noticed was that there seems to be an unspoken rule concerning table setup and model placement thereon and even a seeming hierarchy of seniority in some groups (perhaps that is how some smaller groups are formed ‘budding’ off the main ? or even formed by those feeling ‘ostracised’ from other club displays ?)
Models of all shapes and sizes, types are lovingly taken out of their travel carry boxes and placed carefully on to neatly ironed (or not so !) table coverings, usually muted green or blue in colour.
The gatherings of modellers seem to be speaking in an unknown ‘alien like’ tongue, of which of course I don’t understand. Sounds possibly like a form of Klingon to me, but the jury is still out awaiting further research.
I get invited to join my partner and the guys from the ‘SIG.’ (‘special interest group’ which is a sort of specialist modellers ‘focus group’ type club) to have a wander around the rest of the show … I am tempted to decline politely but thought I was safer to oblige, my curiosity being piqued to see how these masters of their craft interact socially
As I wander around the show I do notice planes, tanks and ships, and plenty of them (lots and lots and lots of planes, tanks and ships actually)
It was pretty neat to see that there was a table dedicated to items built from Lego (we all love Lego!) all pretty impressive to be honest … piccies to follow.
There were lots of familiar faces to meet and greet, some fellow ‘sprue widows’ too after attending a few shows you get to know some of the regulars and mainstays (as well as who to avoid !)
One or two hobbyists were dressed in camouflage which confused me … obviously not observing undercover judging by their behaviour but chosen as ‘fashion wear’ possibly???
With seemingly a wide choice of model kits and books for sale from the attending traders I have to admit I failed to find any particular kit that I would want to make … hmm, the search continues. 😏

Safe to say I have survived the first day of ‘nerdfest’, not sure how I will feel at the end of tomorrow though at show close?

over and out … for now

Modelmaking with our 7 year old niece!

Modelmaking day with a 7 year old ! …
Modelmaking with the 7 year old ‘wired’ niece – i mean what could possibly go wrong ??
I can already feel your tension and uncomfortableness starting to kick in, safe to say I was exactly the same.

The sacred modelling tool kit came out, (or at least a smaller facsimilie of same) each was described in turn, and it was all ‘oooh’s and ‘aaahhhh’s … the excitement was building and so was my nervousness …
The little one was shown (as was I) how to use the tools of the modeller, you know the one ! the safe child friendly tool kit, which includes sharp pointed tweezers, surgical scalpel cutting blades, and weird bottles of glues (sorry solvents) that look as though taken from an victorian apothecary.
Anyway she had a great time … our niece made 9, yip NINE! model aroplanes in total (admittedly with a wee bit of help … although in reality not much after the first one built)

This 7 yo little person making her first model kit, was even kind enough to tell me that i had put the tail plane in/on (whatever) back to front on the model i was building … yep i know a rookie mistake, to which i got a ‘tut’ and a ‘sigh’, and a look that i should have known better !

Then she went on to the painting stage of the project …
Now you would think we would just brush paint them without further ado ?, but no, my partner decided she could SPRAY PAINT THEM !!! … yep !
Our charge for the day decided she only wanted to spray either the top or bottom half of the planes and brush paint the rest, so that is what we did.
We headed to the makeshift spray booth downstairs, its just as well thats a room that has yet to be decorated, seeing we now have a lovely array of colours illuminating the surrounding area, hmm, very nice !

Using spraycans of vibrant hues, she proceeded to spray her models, one overall shiny red, another bright blue, pink another, tangerine orange !
Once these had dried (surprisingly quickly actually) it was out with the paints and paintbrushes, and more colour was added to the base coatings (a bit more messy but quite fun too)

The intention of the day being her desire to have model aroplanes hanging from her bedroom celing .. ‘awesome’ as the wee one would say herself, and i agree it would look great in a childs room, altho my partners suggestion for same in the ‘hobby room’, well that answer had sweary words in the response!!
At one point she sneaked into the sacred place of where some of the vast piles of unbuilt models are kept (aka the junk room) whilst we were tidying downstairs. We both looked round to catch her coming out with a big mischevious smile and another pile of models she wanted to make before she went home!

Hmm, obviously my partner has made her possesed or something! haha, no really it really was lovely to see the little one excited and eager to learn how to use the various tools, and drawing pictures of the planes she had built, deciding on colour schemes and then painting them up as same ! not at all the classic colours you would maybe expect … but she was happy .. and thats whats important.

I was on high alert when the little one was using the tools, and im grateful to say that there was no visits to a&e and we got her home in one piece , admittidly a little colourful from the spraying , but in one piece… phew !
An interesting experience yes , model making isnt as easy as you would expect…still cant say that making model aroplanes really floats my boat, but again something more like birds or cottages and such like just might … the search continues !

my upmost respect to all the modellers out there ! i can safely say it didnt come that easy for me, even the instructions threw me into confusuion (not hard i hear you say, hehe !)

much love
over and out ….

The Sprue Widow



Hi and welcome to my ‘blog’ … I’m no celebrity, VIP. or millionaire, I am however a long suffering and very patient partner of someone who lives and breathes plastic model kits, and I’m here to tell you that you fellow partners out there are not alone … we are all ‘hobby widows’ together (woop woop ! hehe, trying to sound very enthusiastic here)

I had this light bulb moment … why not start a blog so that we can connect with all the other long suffering partners out there … (ta daa ! I know you’re impressed I can sense it)

Really this blog was intended for the partners out there, but if you modellers, enthusiasts, and all other self-confessed ‘nerds’ feel the urge to read this behind your partner’s backs and pretend you know nothing of it so you really know how we feel I won’t tell if you don’t, hehe !


‘’How do u survive all those ‘exciting’ model shows, air displays, aviation museum’s (some admittedly looking more like scrap yards than museum’s !) I hear you cry’’ All those ‘exciting’ round the city adventures to ALL the local bargain discount stores checking for model kits !

Let me assure you that you are not the only one … believe me, I feel your ‘pain’



Anyway let’s continue … ‘tick, tick tick’

One week to go to the local annual model show in Glasgow, things are starting to get busy and the stress is starting … I mean the trophies for the completion haven’t even been made yet ! (or the graphic design for same even decided, shh !) The ‘stuff’ (coverings, labelling, oops and models) for the tables haven’t even been looked out yet … I feel it may be a busy week ahead. I mean I have not even decided which book to take with me to read or which craft project to work on whilst ,manning the table, … decisions, decisions ?


You may be asking how do partners (usually but not exclusively wives and girlfriends) actually cope with being ‘dragged’ along to all these wonderful and exciting events ?

Well I have a few secrets … one is, always, always, take plenty to do so you never get bored, always know where there is comfy seating areas (the ones usually provided at shows make those I sat on in college seem comfortable) where to find the nearest ‘coffee’ outlet (vending machines, eugh !), oh and not forgetting one thing I discovered quite recently … you can sleep with your eyes open (or just zone out and go to your happy place, believe me, after listening to your dearest discuss ’50 shades of grey’, in this case camouflage paint colours not the book I hasten to add, you too will discover yours


Whilst at these shows, you will most defiantly meet some very ‘interesting’ people … yes a sea of generally men, some multi pocketed, some with long overcoats, some with long hair, think 70’s ! (and some sporting the ‘just out of bed’ look) Oh, I’d better mention at this point that some people may look as though they should come with a health warning (no joke people) it sometimes seems that some, not all of the hobbyists that you may come in contact with may not have been in contact with soap that particular morning … yeuch !


Then there are those whom strike up conversation with you whilst showing interest looking around the display tables (for the 20th time that day ) asking questions like ‘ which club or Sig. are you a part of ?’ oh , by the way I hope you are impressed that I know what even means (Special Interest Group) so yeah , always be prepared for surprise conversations. 

There isn’t usually an awful lot of partners at these events … you may also end up on the modelling forum too if you’re not careful (serves me right for being talked into wearing a ‘Star Trek’ uniform to one of the shows ! if I feel brave I might even post up a photo !)


I do think that there are different levels of ‘nerdiness’ … some actually convince a semblance look of being fairly ‘normal’, some wear multi pocketed fishing wear … I guess for emergency model repair tools, glues, decals (remind me to write a glossary sometime !) and plastic bits as required ?

There are also those who wear logo t-shirts or brightly coloured tops so they easily identifiable to fellow ‘clubbers’, and not forgetting the wine drinking guys who obviously aren’t allowed to do so at home, not forgetting the odd pretty ‘scary’ character ! Oh yes there’s one or two.

DISCLAIMER descriptions have been changed (slighty) to protect the guilty and any similarities to persons known or otherwise is purely deliberate


If you’re at a model show, feel free to give me a shout , a wave or join me for a coffee if you see me walking around with a smile (its real, honest) I’d welcome a ‘normal’ conversation


You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter (spruewidow) … and if you want any other inside info concerning my whistleblowing on these events or how much your partners spend on plastic, resin, etch, decals and books, please don’t hesitate to drop me a message … I don’t charge (much)

Much love

Over and Out …