LAY­OUT: Oper­a­tion Abyss

An old Air­fix kit and the set­ting of two clear goals in­spired JAMES STYLES to break the habit of a life­time and fin­ish this mil­i­tary-themed dock­side.

Model Rail (UK) - - Content -

An old Air­fix kit in­spired James Styles to break the habit of a life­time and fin­ish this mil­i­tary-themed dock­side lay­out..

Here at Model Rail, we be­lieve noth­ing can evoke that child­like sense of nos­tal­gia quite like a model rail­way. But toy sol­diers cer­tainly come close. And there’s no short­age of these or boats, tanks and War Depart­ment rolling stock - on James Styles’ ‘Oper­a­tion Abyss’, a lay­out that would surely de­light ev­ery school­boy in the coun­try. In­deed, it’s child­hood mem­o­ries of train sets past that fuel James’ pas­sion to­day: “We had a large lay­out in a spare room at home, when I was a child. The mem­ory has stayed with me,” he says. But de­spite this life­long love for model mak­ing, ‘Oper­a­tion Abyss’ is James’ first com­pleted lay­out. “I’ve started many,” he ex­plains, “but this is the only lay­out I’ve ac­tu­ally ever fin­ished!” So where did James find the mo­ti­va­tion to stick with ‘Oper­a­tion Abyss’? He re­calls: “I set my­self two goals: to ex­hibit the lay­out and to get it fea­tured in Model Rail.” James has ful­filled both ob­jec­tives, hav­ing al­ready ex­hib­ited ‘Oper­a­tion Abyss’ at two ex­hi­bi­tions and, of course, it has now been im­mor­talised in print.


When vis­it­ing the lay­out my eye was im­me­di­ately drawn to the Vosper Mo­tor Tor­pedo Boat that sits dock­side. James ex­plains its sig­nif­i­cance: “The Tor­pedo Boat started the whole lay­out. My mother and fa­ther bought me the Air­fix kit and the lay­out was built around it.” The lay­out also in­cludes an X-craft midget sub­ma­rine, which is an ode to James’ grand­fa­ther: “My grand­fa­ther was in the Royal Navy dur­ing the Sec­ond World War,” he ex­plains. “He served on an X-craft, which had a crew of just two. He’s the last sur­viv­ing crew mem­ber, and fin­ished his naval ca­reer as a De­stroyer Com­man­der. “I couldn’t source a kit in the UK, so I ended up or­der­ing a resin kit from Pavla Mod­els - im­ported from East­ern Europe. “The midget sub­ma­rine was

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