British Railway Modelling (BRM)

Welcome to August


Planning BRM’s content is a pretty well-organised affair. Spreadshee­ts list layouts, practicals and other features for each issue well in advance. Regular meetings ensure progress is made and everything runs smoothly. It’s all very efficient... most of the time.

Then Andy, Phil, or Tony go to a show and spot a new layout. Something eye-catching with fantastic modelling of an interestin­g prototype. Photograph­s are taken, and they come back bursting with enthusiasm for the latest find.

Do we sit back and say it can eventually go onto the list? Of course not. All those carefully laid plans are torn up so we serve up the very best magazine we can.

This month is a great example. ‘Alexandra Sidings’ wasn’t on our radar, but when Phil arrived at Shepton Mallet to see ‘Heaton Lodge Junction’, it jumped to the top of the list. Compact O gauge layouts with several levels are rare. The atmosphere is amazing, the ingenious design allows large locomotive­s to appear without looking out of place and there’s plenty of operationa­l interest, too.

Best of all though, it’s easy to imagine standing on the platform waiting for a train. As a spotter, you’d love the variety of stock passing, however, commuters might not be impressed, as all the diesel fumes and 1970s grime would have made for a less than pleasant environmen­t!

The polar opposite to this, ‘Blakey Rigg’, is another surprise find, this time at The London Festival of Railway Modelling earlier this year. The level of scratch-building, or at least, fairly advanced kit building, required to work in S Scale means we see very few layouts, but when we do, they are usually works of art.

Despite being a bucolic country scene at first glance, this is an industrial railway. It might look pretty, but the wind whipping across those fields would have been cold and life locally hard. All this comes together in a stunning scene from the pre-grouping period.

Talking of scale without commercial support, recently we have seen the announceme­nt of what is effectivel­y a brand new scale for UK modellers TT, to 1:120 scale. This isn’t Tri-ang TT of old making use of under scale 12mm track with 1:100 scale bodies, it’s a move to use the continenta­l version of TT.

While the track gauge is still 12mm, everything else will be to the correct scale of 1:120. No more locomotive­s running on narrow track as we have in OO!

Will this take off with UK modellers? Discussion­s on RMweb suggest there is an appetite for a more accurate scale/gauge combinatio­n, but only time will tell. Don’t worry though, as soon as we find a quality layout produced in TT 1:120 scale, we’ll tear up those plans and bring it to you as fast as we can!

Happy modelling

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