Secret project…a picture

October 27, 2010

A Google Earth-like look at my ‘Secret Project’ currently lurking in the cabin: a portable (not necessarily designed for exhibition use) UK-outline N gauge layout. An island design with scenes on both sides and fiddle yard at the left end, inspired by scenes from the Grand Junction line through the West Midlands. I must confess that 4mm scale fine scale end-to-end layouts bore me these days, as fine a layout concept it is; but I have built one too many and my EM gauge Dudley Heath Yard layout is being dismantled and the stock built for it sold to make room for this compact N gauge project.

It can be run as a point to point or a continuous run as the mood takes me. It’s nice to watch trains pass by as if I was line-siding! The next task is to fit the back drops to separate the two scenes and the fiddle yard from each other. There is scope for an extension to the top left for additional staging or even a narrow shelf section of line leading to storage sidings. The plan is still in that development stage for home use. As an exhibition layout, it is a discrete unit and can easily be transported in the back of my now ageing For. It takes no time at all to set up and play. So now you know why I have spent little time on my blog – too busy planning and modelling!

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Dapol applies the dirt – a bullet of silver no more…

October 9, 2010


Highlight of September in terms of new releases was the arrival of Dapol’s N gauge clay slurry tank wagons in heavily weathered condition – wagons formerly known as ‘Silver Bullets’!

Dapol has taken weathered out-of-the-box ready to run beyond the ‘hit it with a shot of dirty brown’ to a new level where weathering is applied as a livery, with details printed on and dirt streaks and brake dust treated as a livery element, not as an afterthought so the price ticket can be increased by a few pounds.


It’s quite a contrast to the pristine version released earlier this year…difficult to believe it’s N gauge to 1:148 scale.


Secret project…

October 1, 2010


Apart from blasting up the Far North in the Mini, you may well have wondered why my blog has been quiet of late. The reason is above: my secret project! N gauge British outline. It’s a new layout based on the West Midlands and very much a work in progress. There’s no scenery, back drops, scenic dividers or anything at this time, but I could not resist the chance to take it out for a road test at the recent Inverness & District MRC exhibition, where it was photographed in one of those halls with horrible sodium lighting.


Another view taken at the show, looking from the fiddle yard end. The layout is 100 inches long, designed (obviously) to be portable and with scenes on both sides as if it is a peninsula of a larger scheme. It can be extended too. It replaces my aborted EM gauge Dudley Heath Yard which, whilst fun to operate, did not offer the scope in a small space I was looking for. Furthermore, with my EM gauge Top Deck layout (Folkestone East) progressing well, I had no further need of an EM gauge portable.

Much of the stock intended for the EM gauge Dudley Heath Yard layout is being disposed of on Ebay whilst I bolster stock lists for the new N gauge layout which will be called ‘Dudley Heath’!