Sum­mer 2016

Model Rail (UK) - - News - Richard Fos­ter

Some­times you just know that you have to model some­thing. You can’t quite iden­tify why, you just know it needs to be done. That’s how Keith Jag­gers felt when he stum­bled on the rust­ing re­mains of Bala Junc­tion in the mid-1960s. Who could re­sist this iso­lated North Wales junc­tion, set in the beau­ti­ful Dee Val­ley, with the moun­tains of Snow­do­nia be­yond? Keith cer­tainly couldn’t. He knew that he had to model it. It was a long time be­fore he was able to ful­fil that dream, but he did it. Michael Hol­ley was in a com­pletely dif­fer­ent po­si­tion. He had the time and de­sire to model some­thing - but not the lo­ca­tion. His wife came to the res­cue. She sug­gested that he fo­cus on some­where that meant the most to him. It was a sim­ple piece of ad­vice, but it was enough to break his ‘mod­eller’s block’. As you’ll read, Som­er­set’s Quan­tock Hills have al­ways held a place in his heart, so that’s where his mod­el­ling jour­ney started. It’s not a great leap to get from there to Stogum­ber on the West Som­er­set Rail­way. Some mod­ellers will be like Keith, with a clear idea of what to model. Oth­ers will be more like Michael. The urge to model is there, but it’s the choice of sub­ject that’s the stum­bling block. What would you do if you were in that po­si­tion? For those who are strug­gling, we de­cided to try to an­swer that ques­tion. Our meth­ods weren’t sci­en­tific - we merely asked our­selves what we liked to model. There were three com­mon de­nom­i­na­tors. Firstly, there’s the land­scape. It’s a sub­ject that has in­spired poet, artist, au­thor and mu­si­cian for generation­s, so why not the rail­way mod­eller? Our ad­van­tage is that we’re not lim­ited to por­tray­ing epic land­scapes of moun­tains and lakes. We can find inspiratio­n in sim­ple land­scapes or even urban set­tings, where stone and con­crete re­place trees and wa­ter. Trains, quite nat­u­rally, play an­other hugely im­por­tant role when it comes to in­spir­ing a layout. There’s ei­ther the de­sire to in­clude our own par­tic­u­lar favourites, or the in­trigu­ing prospect of mod­el­ling trains in roles and liv­er­ies that you wouldn’t nor­mally ex­pect. The fi­nal cat­e­gory is good old nos­tal­gia. The fu­ture is nat­u­rally un­cer­tain, so it’s fair to say that we all hark back to mem­o­ries, of times that we per­ceive to be bet­ter. Some lay­outs al­low us to try to turn these mem­o­ries and feel­ings into some­thing tan­gi­ble, and they al­low us to es­cape the pres­sures of the real world. Of course, what in­spires us is quite per­sonal. Hope­fully, some of our thoughts and mus­ings will strike a chord and get your cre­ative juices flow­ing. And one day you might end up like Chris Ne­vard - as you’ll see, he’s nearly man­aged to tick off all the layout sub­jects on his wish­list!

Just the sort of scene to get the cre­ative juices flow­ing! ‘Black Five’ No. 43305 steams through Liver­pool’s docks with a rail­tour on April 6 1968. If you’re strug­gling for layout ideas, turn to Page 92.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.