A brief return, Railway Modeller April 2021

I’m sure by now its become apparent that I’ve not had much interest in modelling of late, though that’s not entirely true as I’ve been building a small Icelandic shunting puzzle to keep me sane during the various lockdowns.

However, the urge to rekindle the blog, albeit briefly just to warn you, came in an entirely different and all more familiar form. You may have seen by now the April 2021 issue of Railway Modeller. I was contacted by one of the editorial team of RM to supply some images as a chap named Mark Hornsey had written up an article for their ‘Plan of the Month’ segment based on the Hebridean Light Railway proposal, and more specifically for a terminus station at Isle Ornsay. I duly obliged, and the pictures are now in print in your local newsagent, along with some text prepared by Mark and edited by the RM team with some help of the information you’ll find on this site.

To provide readers finding this site afresh from the RM article with some context, the layout was completed and can be found in previous blog posts. It was slightly different to Mark’s drawing, but remarkably similar in concept. I have no idea if he drew inspiration from this site and my layout for preparing the article, but if not then its a happy coincidence. Have a read through older posts, and this page for more of the actual history of the proposal. I’ve included a few photos of the finished layout below. Since finishing it I sold it on, the reasoning for which is included in a previous blog post, and it now has a different name and has had some ‘adjustments’ made to it.

Seeing interest in the HLR concept for publication has made me start pondering what to do next with it. I’m still keen on making the next layout, but Dunvegan has sort of lost its shine. I am wondering about some for of cameo layout, as Iain Rice would call it, with part of a station modelled with the scene around it.

One of the main reasons I’ve not progressed is dealing with perfectionism and the lack of ability to achieve what’s in my mind. I’ve received many nice comments on my scenic work on Isle Ornsay, but I’ve never felt my stock building kept pace with that. So I’m hoping some of the upcoming RTR 009 stock will provide me with a suitable platform to modify slightly and create something suitable. I had previously wanted to have an HLR class of tank engine, but my abilities just aren’t there to match what I have in mind at present.

Truth be told, I’ve rather lost interest with the Icelandic project, so if anyone reading this wants a small shunting puzzle to complete, get in touch! However, I’m starting to doodle ideas for another Scottish foray. It may be finishing the Dunvegan plan, it may not, it may even be revisiting Isle Ornsay, time will tell, but there’s plenty more material I have to develop the back story.

A slightly warped panorama around the entire curve of the layout in its final form.
The view across from the goods yard to the pier.
A carriage waiting on the pier for further custom before departing.

The last 12 months of lockdown has taught me that I just need to get over my perfectionism relating to ‘doing the right thing’ by the research and build something fun to play with that makes me happy.

The Hebridean Light Railway will return.

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Got Wood

For a while i’ve had some 3mm ply sitting in the room the layout will live in, but “real life” has intervened, and at times proved a little challenging in recent months.

Today i managed to finish work early, and, whilst the sun was still shining, decided to get started on the baseboards for Dunvegan.

After using the paper templates that i’ve been planning the layout thus far to mark out the 3mm ply I set to it with the jigsaw.

Testing the boards for fit on top of the Ikea billy bookcases, they fit in neatly. Each of the scenic boards is 1 metre long, with the fiddle yard 60cm long, and to the right in the image above.

The track templates were used to check the shape and space. These were produced by Keith Angus, and kindly emailed to me for use. The points are from Fast Tracks as i’m contemplating using their jigs for the pointwork.

I learnt the hard way last time how not to plan baseboard bracing and point motor location… making sure i think about that early this time! Think i’ll just about get away with a couple of those.

It may look flimsy now, but with further woodwork to be applied, and some extruded polystyrene it will gradually increase in rigidity. It is very lightweight, and a 1m wide board is a nice size to manoeuvre on my own if needed.

This is as far as i got before the jigsaw batteries ran out… So i just stuck to enjoying the sunshine instead.

More soon(ish).

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Wordless Wednesday – Lofty Enterprise

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