Saturday, 9 November 2013

Scooting over to Hull

It was good to catch up with Peter Leadley and the Clee Valley Railway today at the Hull exhibition.  Peter has described his O9 project on the NGRM Online forum and this was it's debut show.  Peter has put together an interesting collection of O9 locos, some being one-off scratchbuild's by fellow Hull club member Paul Windle.  Sadly some issues with the Windle 'Bonnie Dundee' hadn't been resolved, even the SMR's chief p-way engineer's input was sought.... Luckily though the issues with his Guest-style tender loco may have been identified, hopefully Peter can have it running on the Sunday!

Peter's has the first completed MG Models steam loco I have seen on a layout - painted in Northern Rail purple!

An overview of the layout, coaches are built from Avalon Line kits I made the masters for some time ago (just don't ask about the bogies...):

I promised Peter a visit from the SMR 'Scooter', here it proves that it, and a wagon, could fit on the turntable together:


Saturday, 2 November 2013

Early in the Day

It may not have escaped your notice that there hasn't been much model railway activity recorded here of late (well, not much activity at all really). That really is because there is nothing to report, so please don't think I'm hiding the construction of a new 30ft extension to 'Shifting Sands' down in the shed ready for a big reveal in the spring - I'm not! Perhaps when I wrote the piece "The last one for now" about the last O9 wagon I had completed I somehow tempted fate?

With other distractions about the house now at a low, I have put some thought to building something.  Not minded to start a layout or item of stock, I have chosen to build a diorama in a display case that can double-up as a photographic background for O9 stock.  After a few sketches and false starts, I have composed a scene that will (for display purposes at least) accommodate my original locomotive and stock from my early days in O9. The name of the piece 'Early in the Day' reflects both this and the depiction of the start of a day's running on a miniature railway:

This use of the early stock in many ways is a result of the ongoing work I am undertaking with the uploading of the content of my old Fotopic site to the blog, if you haven't yet rediscovered this content it can be found at the top right hand corner of the page.

The overall size of the diorama will be 32 cm x 17 cm, giving plenty of depth for photography, a fault I soon found with some of my earlier dioramas:

The shed building is envisaged as something rather understated and may be inspired by a building I photographed back in the summer.  The weekend after re-acquainting myself with 'Katie' at Cleethorpes we headed back to the Lincolnshire coast for a week-long holiday in Skegness. Here is a town with a rich miniature railway history but sadly now without a line.  This shed and a nearby slabbed platform are evidence of the last 10 1/4" railway on the south promenade (and the 12 1/4" tramway that replaced it) now most of the formation was now lost under grass:

Incidentally, a walk on the seafront at Chapel St Leonards proved fruitless for a former site for a railway referred to in two articles in 'The Narrow Gauge', I discovered on my return home that we had been looking at the wrong end of the promenade!  Still intrigued by all these lines I sent a few emails on my return home to those who would know a little more and posted a plea on the 'Miniature Railway World' forum. The results of this brought a few nuggets of information and some vintage photographs. With my curiosity largely satisfied, whether I take any of this research further really depends on the motivation and time to do so, a bit like railway modelling really…