Saturday, 27 February 2016

Lincoln Model Railway Show

It seems a long time since I last went to a model railway show. So  I was pleasantly surprised when my wife suggested I should really make the effort to go to the Lincoln show. What I hadn't realised was that it was actually an excuse for her to go shopping with Mr Amex whilst I took the vintage bus to the showground.

I really wanted to go to see two exhibits in particular. Mark Casson's Grime St layout and the Modelu stand. Both, I'm glad to say, lived up to expectations. I'll return to Grime St in a minute.

Waiting outside Lincoln station for the vintage bus it was immediately obvious who else was going to the show. I'm afraid every stereotype of the modeller was represented and I pitied the poor solitary normal family with two kids who were looking for the bus as well. When it turned up I think they thought they'd been misled.

The show itself was, I guess, fairly typical of the type of regional show I used to go to when I was growing up. It was pretty mainstream in terms of the layouts on display, Eavesdropping on conversations in the over crowded cafe area suggested that people were really enjoying it. To be honest had I not had the camera with me I could probably have whizzed round and been out in forty five minutes.

But I did have my camera with me, primarily to get some photographs of the aforementioned Grime St and also to have another go at capturing Hospital Gate. Along the way though I decided to try and take some photos of the sort of layout that I would normally rush by.

So Grime St. A tramway layout that unlike so many tramway layouts is designed to look look good even without any trams running. Though if trams aren't running there are still other road vehicles moving, Mark uses a modified Faller system to animate buses and trucks, and magnorail for the bicycle.

I still wish Hospital Gate had a darker backscene, but I must admit I enjoyed it more seeing here more than I did the last time. I suspect that might be down to the lighting and where it was located in the hall.

Marske, had some very nice rolling stock but somehow didn't gel for me as an overall layout. One of those cases where I couldn't quite put my finger on why though.

The other 7mm layout, Chesil Exchange was a pleasant example of a light railway.

I managed to find at least one  scene  that I liked on an otherwise unremarkable  OO gauge layout.

I also managed to find a couple of interesting angles on the small HO gauge Duncans Mine

The surprise of the show for me was how much I enjoyed the N gauge layouts, of which Peakdale was far and away the best.

However some of the other N gauge layouts had some nice touches.

A few more pictures are on Flickr with Grime St getting an album to itself .

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Rails Round The Rectory

I mentioned this book in my last post. My second hand example is from 1973 and was originally 30p. I paid rather more than that, but it is an interesting read and well worth reading even if you already have Font to Footplate.

It has provided me with a little more information that will be useful for the model, such as the trackbed being 12ft wide and the approximate radius of the curves.

In a brief moment of madness I briefly contemplated using the Busch HOf stock with 6.5mm gauge track, with the Decauville, Deutz and "self propelled" skip for motive power.  Perhaps it isn't that stupid an idea, but it  would mean having to build an even smaller baseboard to conform to the rules of the Dave Brewer Challenge . So for now I'm sticking with OO9.

For the first time that I can ever remember this year HMRC gave me a small tax rebate, which I'm going to split equally between the Eaugate Light Railway and this model. So I've put an order in for most of what I will need to buy, apart from the Narrowplanet locos. However I've got a stop gap solution in mind until their Bagnall is available again.

Friday, 5 February 2016


So my thoughts around the Cadeby micro layout are progressing. It isn't the first time I've contemplated Cadeby as a prototype, though previously I've thought of it as the basis for a garden line.

As a micro layout it has a number of advantages, not the least of which is that in some ways it was a full size terminus to fiddle yard layout, with trains disappearing into the  scenic break of the woods, and then coming straight back again.It was also both short and compact.

There is a downside. Teddy's guide to the line was Rails Round the Rectory, which brings to mind an image of an old fashioned Georgian rectory and a railway running around a well tended garden, Like Adrian Shooter's Beeches line.

Teddy himself, of course, was the epitome of an English rector in the shires.

Sadly though the original rectory at Cadeby, now known as the Grange, was not the one Teddy lived in, but the more modern one

It isn't the most attractive house. So the dilemma is do I leave out the rectory altogether, or do I replace it with something more attractive.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Back Indoors

Whilst the 7 1/4" gauge has been progressing nicely I can't help worrying about the impact storage in our damp sheds is having on all the carefully accumulated bits and pieces intended for Llanrhaiadr Mochnant and TAoC. On top of which I'm obviously no longer used to working on a small scale.

In an ideal world I would now be established in a new office/library/den/layout room, but that is clearly still a far off prospect given our other priorities. However this weekend we are planning to have our first big change around since moving in, and part of the plan is for my beloved to temporarily move her office into another room. That will free up space to bring some bookcases, and indeed books, into the house, and also to provide a modicum of space for a layout.

We really are talking about it having to be another micro-layout, so my thoughts are beginning to drift towards narrow gauge.

The recently released  Oxford Diecast "Hutchinson"is currently sat on my desk as a reminder both  that I've always had a soft spot for OOn3, and also of the period of my life when I spent a lot of time on the island. It even briefly tempted me to consider an OOn3 version of TAoC. It might still end up mounted on a small diorama based on either Colby Level or Ballabeg .

The Dave Brewer Challenge this year is for a layout based on a point and three lengths of track, which sounds like my kind of layout. So I think even if I don't enter the actual competition I'm going to build something that conforms to the rules. One option is a Gn9 layout based on my own Eaugate Light Railway, but the other is a OO9 model of the early days of Cadeby.  I'm really quite tempted by the latter, if it wasn't that Narrow Planet seem to have sold out of all the locos that would suit it.