A new year, a new season of Royal Scotsman trains and Class 37s make a reappearance after a break of a good few years. It seems that Class 47s and 57s are now banned from the Kyle Line once again. It was a foggy morning in Nairn when 37 665 lead 37 516 in West Coast Railways maroon on the 1H80 Keith to Kyle leg of the tour…I am looking forward to chasing a pair over the Kyle line this Spring.
Something I have never achieved before – a magazine cover shot!
My photography of Fence Houses, the superb 2mm fine scale layout by Bob Jones, appears in the June 2014 issue of BRM and, to my amazement, one picture featuring the Victoria Viaduct makes it onto the cover – the first time I have ever achieved a ‘cover shot’. Of course, the spoof cover of the January 2012 issue of BRM I posted on here a few years ago does not count! That picture was taken with a timer so Richard Wilson and I could look seriously like we knew what we were doing with some wiring and stuff…
Ground works and basic structures are beginning to make an appearance on my diminutive N gauge layout ‘Wheal Annah’. As many visitors to my blog will know, I like constructing bridges. The one at the right hand side of the layout is based on one on the Newquay line and has taken about six hours to complete to its current state – there’s more I can add to it! Card mock-ups of the china clay works are now being replaced by styrene card building shells or cores. The card buildings were used to check composition of the layout structures.
The back drop boards are clamped in pace so they can be removed for convenient painting at the work bench when I am ready to flex my considerably weak artistic skills. I suspect several attempts will be made at back drop painting before I am happy with it. I am toying with the idea of making the attachment temporary so they can be slid out to reveal access holes in the frame work through which a camera lens can be poked for taking pictures from the back of the layout.
In the mean time, the garden has been further livened up by the recent arrival of Hamish, our Pekin Batam cockerel. He’s only 15 inches tall, a nice guy and very noisy. The hens thinks he’s great and follow him around everywhere. Not easy to photograph, though – he won’t stay still for more than a second.
As appealing as it is, I have resisted the temptation to tackle the West Highland line or the Mallaig extension, in either OO or N gauge, despite the easy availability of excellent models of locomotives suitable for such a layout. Fortunately, others have taken up the challenge of capturing the essence of the West Highland line and its unique architecture, including Mark Darragh with his model of Rannoch in 4mm scale. It is modelled in a post privatisation condition with a variety of modern traction and rolling stock appropriate to the line including the ScotRail sleeper; engineers trains; alumina traffic; aluminum traffic; charters; petroleum and timber.
You can hear the rumble of that Class 37 as it crosses the viaduct at the west end of the station. Mark’s layout is a lovely creation with a great deal of attention to detail including red deer, gorse in flower, a rotary washing line in a garden and cottage scenes too. The layout is portable and available for exhibitions, Mark’s work commitments permitting. I photographed it for a layout feature in BRM and is likely to appear in the magazine in the not too distant future, so keep a watch on the news stands.
When out and about with Nairnshire Modelling Supplies, I am asked about the name ‘Nairnshire’ and its origins. Is it made up? Does Nairnshire really exist? Where is it? And most disappointingly of all is the comment, ‘Nairnshire IS made up, it cannot possibly exist…etc.’ we hear from the experts.
With that in mind, I have done something I have intended to do for a while – photograph one of the signs that greets us when entering Nairnshire. This one is on a minor road which crosses Dava Moor to the south of Nairn, just about in sight of the Cairngorm mountains. For the record, Nairnshire is part of the Highland Region of Scotland and is located on the south side of the inner Moray Firth. Our post code is IV12 and the nearest city of any size is the fast-growing and vibrant Inverness. So now you know!
A little gem of a layout hit the exhibition circuit last November at the Falkirk show. Rockvilla Goods (OO gauge) is the creation of Joe Loftus who is a member of the 12AD Model Railway Group. The layout is out and about on the Scottish circuit and is of Scottish flavour too – the Class 26 is a dead giveaway. It was photographed for BRM in the last week and the quality of the layout, which artfully fits a great deal of railway and structures into a small space, speaks for itself. It is distinctly urban and industrial without being too grimy!
Much of the rolling stock is kit-built with a good variety of heavily modified parcels vans too – very appealing indeed! Tall industrial buildings add drama to the scene. Particularly attractive is the modelling of the BR green to Rail blue transition. Joe has some part completed Rail blue parcels vans tucked away – unfortunately not complete enough to photograph, but not far off finished.