Hmm… a 5 year gap, OK, this is going to take some updating!

So in my last post i was talking about the techniques for the waves and the paddle steamer kit. A lot happened after that which I posted in my build thread on NGRM online here, but i’ll recap briefly.

The layout had a series of regular outings to Narrow Gauge South throughout its construction. This is 2014 when some colour was starting to appear.


Gradually more colour and texture started to appear…





Gradually it became more complete, but then I got offered a new job on the other side of the country. We upped sticks and moved back home to the westcountry after a few years of trying. Whilst moving back was amazing for many reasons it was difficult to find a house with enough space for the layout in its current form. The layout had an invite to ExpoNG in 2015, and i was keen to make it presentable for that exhibition, but what with moving and other pressures it was a real rush to get it done.



Gradually it came together. I continued using the same rock painting techniques, and made use of some foliage mats from Model Scene and Martin Welberg which are superb, yield great results and are quick to use too.


It came together scenically, and was presentable though not 100% finished. With a little help from a few friends we made it through the day.


One special guest visitor during the day was the Heljan Lynton & Barnstaple Manning Wardle loco prototype. I pre-ordered one not long after this show, but what with the valve gear fiasco the first batch suffered, i’m still waiting for it…


So, with ExpoNG out of the way i had a few months of storing the layout in a cold garage, which wasn’t great for it. I eventually decided that it wasn’t possible to keep it, I pondered dismantling or reconfiguring, but couldn’t come up with an alternative arrangement to make something out of what i had that i’d have been happy with.

And so, we come to Narrow Gauge South, on April 9th 2016. This was to be my last day with the layout as i sold it on to a new owner and it was taken away at the end of the show. Lots of fun was had during the day, including some levity running a ‘granola express’ train with my rake of Trix hoppers. Several visiting locos came out to play too.




The layout was posed next to Ted’s Dunalistair on its last visit to the UK as its a bit cumbersome to transport for exhibitions outside the Netherlands. So we had a Scottish themed portion of the room.  A couple of Ted’s locos can be seen in the photos above, and he took a turn on the controls for a brief while too.


And so at the end of the day, i went one way and the layout went another. It felt a bit odd to be honest, but in some ways i wasn’t too sorry as it was suffering living in the garage and wasn’t suitable to fit in the rented house we were in after our move.


So, what has prompted me to dig this blog out of limbo after half a decade? Well, we’ve moved house again. In the interim i’ve not built a layout, i’ve contemplated a small Icelandic harbour setting and a quarry on Dartmoor, but neither have come to fruition. The recent house move has been to somewhere we’ve finally bought – and it has a spare room. I’ve been mulling over ideas and the next instalment of the Hebridean Light Railway is making its way from pen to paper on some full size plans. I’ll post about it soon.

I appreciate this is a very brief summary of a couple of years work – if you want to see more photos there are over 700 of the entire layout build in my Flickr gallery here.

So, the old layout reached the end of the line, but there are some new and exciting ideas coming. I’m hoping to try a new way of posting little and more often to keep this site alive.


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2 Responses to Reboot

  1. Ian says:

    I live near Isleornsay and have followed your progress with this model over the years with particular interest. I am sad that you have not been able to continue the project and had hoped to one day see the fruits of your labours locally here on Skye. The detail in the background showing the schoolhouse, local cottages and views to Loch Hourn is specially commendable.

    Congratulations on the result you achieved and very best of luck for the future.


    • Tom says:

      Hi Ian, sorry to have kept you waiting for so long, glad you’ve been able to see the latest update. Whilst its sad to have moved on from Isle Ornsay, i will come back to model it again one day – i’d like to eventually model much of the line, but i need space to do that. For now i’m planning on modelling Dunvegan next – i’ll post updates about that in due course. If i could arrange to bring it to Skye i’d love to – the old layout was just too impractical to do that due to its size, but it has been one of the considerations in the design of the new one so far. It would be great to bring it to the island in the future if possible.


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