Lister. Day 20.

My enthusiasm remains powerful for this project and empowered with the success of the first chassis (it’s square, the hornblocks slide nicely, it rolls, it’s the right size) I want to keep moving and do more but I’m not sure what that “more” is. I should probably start practicing making the parts for the next full iteration of the chassis where the focus is refining the look of the finished thing. Last night I just needed to make something and with three projects underway right now adding one more unfinished thing into the mix really isn’t the right approach and I knew, damn full well, if I picked up my phone I was likely to just buy something else to get around to and that’s also not the answer.

So, I grabbed some styrene scraps and started making up the of the surface texture on one side of the chassis. When I started this work my intention was to busy my hands, calm my mind, “do something”. As I worked I realised that what was really intended to be “busy work” became a worthwhile evaluation of how I should assemble the next iteration. As each little piece of plastic was cut and fitted into place I thought about how I would fabricate its replacement so this exercise returned some powerful suggestions for what I should think about next.

I do really like the way texture and shadow work on this and its certainly validating the decision to keep practicing this. I can’t wait to run this model but I also can’t wait to keep working on it. Feels good.


Categories: 16mm scale 32mm gauge, 16mm scale IP Engineering Lister

Tags: , , ,

7 replies

  1. Are you planning to replace the styrene with brass? Your progress looks great – very satisfying – but you keep mentioning how you will “fabricate this replacement” and the “next full iteration of the chassis”. What’s to improve on what you’ve done already?

    • Replace styrene with brass? I sort of feel like I should but I also don’t know why. I think part of why I think I should is because everything I’ve ever read is by folks who scratchbuild in brass so I probably inherited that from there. That’s a lousy reason. The second part of thinking I should be doing this in brass is thinking that I can make parts like the hornblocks smaller. While everything else has been pretty close to the right size these particular parts I made are too big. I’m worried if I make them smaller they just break. (The Lister kit weighs in around 500g and I’m picturing how this is distributed through the frame)

      I usually spend a lot of time trying to think how something is done and in there would normally see all the things I’d need to do first and get right before I start the model. That’s usually why I’m not getting much done. In this first iteration I let go of that and focussed on just trying to make one that worked. The one I made works and is approximately dimensionally correct. To get to here I’ve splinted and patched across a lot of parts so it has a feeling of being good but also sloppy. I’d like to try remaking it to see if I could do one better.

      It’s probably going to make for a boring journey to follow along on but I think this is something that also feels right. I want to be making these models and it’s not so much wanting to make a lot of models but getting better at making the few I’d like. If this works out the Lister will exist in the dual states of finished and being reworked constantly.

      I hope that helps. I feel like this is easier to talk through than by email/comments.


  2. Whilst I understand your motivation for approaching the Lister in this manner, in my experience if it works we don’t change it. We move on to what calls us next… this ‘iteration’ of the Lister must satisfy you or it runs the risk of being discarded or procrastination may set in, however it might be the result sits on its own and any further rework is from a different starting point with a different end point in mind?

    To coin that wonderful saying “ooooh, if I was going there, I wouldn’t start from ‘ere” !!

    As always fascinating and enjoyable to read and follow along.

    • You raise, as always, a wonderful observation for which I’m grateful. The broader “we” don’t tend to redo our models–we just get more and in that quest seek out momentarily better. In this time in my life I was finding that I was spending a lot of time hunting combinations of models to look for the right mix and the limitations of life right now weight some of that navigation. Where my space is limited more models just takes up more space so by building and rebuilding this one model I’m staying within the singular quantity of this model and that feels right. As I grow older, maybe wiser, my needs from the model will change and I’m curious how I’d modify this model to suit those needs. For example: I picture controlling this from track power and analog (“DC”) control but am thrilled at the possibilities of DCC control for this and probably some form of radio control is what I need and my journey can move into that realm over time. As if a pattern of self awareness helps me see what I need from the hobby in that time and how I can mold my models to be still relevant through that change/growth.



  1. Lister Chassis II: The Subchassis – Prince Street

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