Oxford Diecast London Transport Tram

Just today got a shipping notice from Hattons in the UK that his little gem is shipping. Of course if I am going to use a London Tram, I am going to have to do a little British layout. All we have is a drawing so far though, so I have absolutely no idea what the real item looks like. I will be sure to post a photo as soon as I can.

NTR001 London Transport Tram

This is N-scale and unpowered, but that is about the extent of the information. Hopefully it will be fairly easy to retrofit a powered chassis such as the maybe the Kato 11-03?

OK, and so then we have to move to the subject of a British outline layout. Of course I have always planned on doing this in OO, but maybe I should do it N? What do you think?

To Be In London

I have no idea why, but there is something about the holiday season that always makes me wistful to be in London. The really odd thing is that I have only been there once and that was in the Spring, so I have absolutely no idea what London is actually like in December. But I want to be there none-the-less.

Maybe it is from seeing and reading Dickens’ A Christmas Carol too many times. hornby triang railwaysOr maybe it is my love of trains and model railways that seems to be easier to exercise this time of year. I have visions of shop windows, or at least Hamleys or Harrods, filled with toy steam trains, big dolls, and overstuffed teddy bears. By the way, if you are a toy fan and ever get the chance to visit Hamleys, you absolutely must. Floor upon floor upon floor of every type, size, and age toy you can imagine.

For now, at least, I will remain here in Charleston though. That is really not so bad seeing as the weather is mild, my family is here, and the Charleston Place Hotel downtown has a great train setup. What is more, my son is starting to show a real interest in model trains, so maybe sometime in the future we will be able to bring them out more than just the few weeks around the holidays.

Still though, it would be nice to be in London. To take the tube into the city from a nice bed and breakfast. To stroll the streets and take in the sites and sounds. And of course, to visit the toy stores.

Sweeney Todd – Excellent and Bloody

Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet StreetIt really does only take two words to describe Tim Burton’s newest movie – excellent and bloody. I went to see it yesterday afternoon with some of the family, and everyone to a person agreed that it was a well done movie. We also all agreed that there is a lot of blood. But, we also basically agreed that it was what I would call “clean blood.” Unlike a lot of modern slasher films, there was no torture and grossness to it, although anyone at all squeamish would have problems watching.

The acting, and even singing, though are superb. Johnny Depp, Helen Bonham Carter, and Alan Rickman are all excellent in their roles. The sets, costuming, and lighting are all done brilliantly to portray the gloom and grime of a Dickensian London. And yet, the real star of the movie is the original Stephen Sondheim musical. The tunes are wonderful yet haunting and the lyrics can be at the same time macabre and amusing. All at once you find yourself laughing, gasping in shock, and recoiling in horror.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, is not a movie I would recommend for the young or those who tremble at the sight of blood. However, if you are a fan of Johnny Depp, Tim Burton, good musicals, or gothic London, this is definitely a creepy gift for you.