Saturday, 9 April 2016

16mm Show

There is no truth in the rumour that the only reason we moved to near Peterborough from Warwickshire is because the 16mm Association  moved their annual show from Warwickshire to...near Peterborough.

Well it might have crossed my mind during the decision process, but these days I find 16mm less fun than I used to. Why? Well probably a complex set of reasons. A conversation at today's show made me think that there are two main reasons. Oddly both are based on a very positive development, which is the increasing use of accurate 16mm scale. I've been a vocal, and sometimes unwelcome, advocate of that shift for many years, so I shouldn't complain. The main downside  is that scale models lack the same "heft". Linked to that is the feeling that a scale loco and stock deserve a scale railway, which is a challenge in the garden.

At the show there were a number of layouts that showed that the exhibitors had thought beyond the idea of an engine chasing its tail along a glorified test track. The small but perfectly formed Campell's Quarry being the prime example. Elsewhere the thinking wasn't always followed through.

I came close to losing my heart to the new 7/8ths scale Accucraft Decauville. I might still weaken.

Back at home Teddy has been undergoing some maintenance. Hopefully these shots show how easily the Scamp design can be broken down.

Teddy, bare

On the OO9 Cadeby front the big excitement has been the arrival of the Minitrains vehicles and the Narrow Planet O&K that will use the Minitrains loco chassis. I'm still trying to find the Egger track.

The downside is as I clarify the best use of the space for the track layout it looks like the model of the shed that housed the model railway can only be partially modelled. Iain would probably see that as a reason to model the interior....


  1. James,

    Some interesting comments about 16mm stuff. I gave up on 16mm because it was becoming too commercial! I opted for 7/8ths, and now see the need to build everything in this scale lessening as manufacturers see the potential in the scale. It's only been 25 years in the making.

    I was chatting to Ian Pearse about future developments after the Bagnall and the Decauville (which is a fabulous little loco) so I know he is very keen to keep pressing on with more 7/8ths stuff.

    My only regret, like you is that 16 mm garden railways are becoming too scale. I prefer what I term as '......esque'. 'In the general style of' might be more apt terminology. My garden railway is meant to be fun. I am into finescale, but only in 4mm scale. It certainly has no place in the garden unless you are running a G1 table top type railway.

    Your 'Teddy' will be pleased to know that he will be joined in the not too distant future by 'Crusty', not a description of my general demenour, but because I like baking bread. I have you to blame for tbis not so little excursion!

    Best Wishes


    1. I've seen the artwork for Crusty's bonnet...

      I rather like both scale NG models and the more Emettesque sort - but not the combination of the two in the same layout or item of rolling stock. Generally I'm pro the shift to more scale 16mm, but it does make small industrial steam, and the building of an appropriate layout more challenging.