Open­ing the box

Model Rail (UK) - - News - Mike Har­ris

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!

PAUL LUNN

A sim­ple vari­a­tion on the in­glenook for­mula - per­fectly suited for a wagon works set­ting.

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