Opening the box
The number one response I receive when I tell people I write for a model railway magazine is: “I’d love a model railway, but I don’t have the space…” Well, if you’ve ever uttered those words and are browsing the newsstand right now - STOP! This might just be the issue of Model Rail for you. Seasoned modellers will know that little layouts - or ‘micro layouts’ as they’re often called - account for a sizeable chunk of today’s exhibition circuit, and it’s easy to see why. Small layouts are easy to transport, quick to set up, and require precious little space when stored in the club room or at home. Sure, small scenic sections often require compromise, but as long as you’re willing to forgo that prototypical-length container train, there’s no reason why you won’t find plenty to whet both your operational and modelling appetites. In this issue, we’ll be paying particular attention to ‘inglenook’ layouts, from planning, building, and even operating layouts based on Alan Wright’s famous trackplan. It really does amaze me how a combination of two points and three sidings can produce not only endless hours of play, but limitless scenic possibilities, too. Micro layouts come in many guises, with modellers tackling all manner of themes, and in multiple gauges. From tiny narrow gauge quarries, to engine shed dioramas, and even small sections of main line, we’re witnessing increasing creativity across the hobby - and that can only be a good thing. Your imagination really is the only limiting factor when building a micro layout, but if you do require a little inspiration to kick-start those creative juices Paul Lunn is at hand with eight inglenook-based ideas in this month’s Masterplan, while Brian Rolley delves into the inglenook trackplan’s history and discusses his own inglenook inspired layout, ‘Rosamund Street Sidings’. In addition, George Dent spices up Dapol’s ‘O’ gauge ‘08’ and a Hornby Railroad 0‑4‑0, two shunters that are perfect for compact scenic sections. There’s also no reason why you can’t incorporate an inglenook trackplan into a bigger build, but if you’re a tailchasing stalwart, you’ll still find plenty of interest in the form of this month’s latest releases, including Dapol’s excellent ‘122’, Djmodels’ Class 71, and Hatton’s long-awaited ‘Warwell’. Plus, our usual hoard of jaw-dropping layouts. So, before you delve into the August edition of Model Rail, I’ll leave you with one final thought: all of us have to deal with space restrictions at some point during our model-making journey, but if there’s one thing that space can’t restrict, it’s imagination!
A simple variation on the inglenook formula - perfectly suited for a wagon works setting.