A little inspiration…

I thought about going to Railwells 2018 last Saturday, but having just been to Shepton Mallet (just down the road) the week before, I couldn’t face another holiday Saturday on the road.  Seeing this video, I rather wish that I had gone.  Well worth watching the full 25 minutes.

What really impresses me about this show, is that it is often difficult to tell the difference between 2mmFS, ‘N’, 4mm and 7mm layouts.  It’s often the coupler types that give it away.

Layouts on display, and I think most of them were in the video, were….

Bodmin & Wadebridge Railway – 2mm Finescale
Lower Rose Goods – P4 Finescale
Pwllheli – P4 Finescale
Wantage – 009 Scale
The Worlds End – 00 / 4mm Scale
Bridge Sidings – 3/4mm to 1 Foot
Mount Woodville – P4 Finescale
Ballyconnell Road – 3mm Finescale
Plaxtol Road – 0 / 7mm Scale
Ashburton – N / 2mm Finescale
Amiens 1918 – 009 Scale (My WW1 Trench Railway)
Navigation Road – EM Scale
Callaton – 2mm Finescale
Bordesley North – 2mm Finescale
MSW – 2mm Finescale
Clutton – P4 Finescale (Final Public Show)

The minute Bridge Sidings (about T scale) was driven by a strimmer mechanism.  There is a very narrow slot next to one rail to drive the loco along…

I have enough problem seeing ‘N’ gauge, thank you!

From the sublime to the ridiculous.  I’m sure Thomas the Tank Engine wasn’t this exciting when I watched it with the kids.  I suppose that Beyoncé WAS a kid then….

Posted in Exhibitions, Inspiration, Out and about | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

ESNG update

Some ESNG club updates for all and sundry….

We will be exhibiting at the Gaugemaster show over the first week in September, at their shop in Ford, near Arundel.  We’re taking the usual modular layout, but with some different modules.  We were there two years ago, and it was a good show with plenty to see.  And you can shop (or if nothing else window-shop) in Gaugemaster.

We’ve had to cancel the ESNG Open Day in October. Having taken a quick poll of who was available on the day, we didn’t get enough definite people to set up and run both an N-mod and N-club layout, and look after the door and catering.  I have probably been too ambitious with plans for this and making it into a ‘mini-show’. We’ll think again and perhaps open up the November PlayDay and publicise it.

The Stuttgart N Club International meet is November 22-25.  It can be done in one (long) day by EasyJet from Gatwick.  Recommended – and ESNG will be there as usual.

And N Gauge Southeast is coming April 2019 – planning is well in hand.

Posted in ESNG, Exhbitions, Out and about | Tagged , , | 1 Comment


ESNG still have some of their 21st birthday special commission wagon available.  It’s a Dapol Gunpowder Van, suitably lettered, and labelled ‘Return to Redhill’.  Just 100 were made for us, so I guess it’s a collector’s item – of sorts.

The cost is £11.00 per wagon, plus £3.95 postage (recorded delivery) in the UK.  I can find out overseas costs if anyone abroad is rash enough to want one.  Payment by cheque or bank credit transfer (as I’d rather not set up on Ebay – yet.)

If any blog readers are interested, please comment below, or best of all email me at barthyd AT pobox.com (for AT read @ to avoid spambots.)

Posted in ESNG, The trade, Weird and wonderful | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Too true….

From the always interesting ‘The Model Railways of Oly Turner and Chris Matthews‘.  Certainly sums up my approach to modelling…..

And for no reason but that it amused me, here’s the earliest (1512) known image of ‘Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater’.

And I can’t resist adding this one, too.  How to cool down your Tiny Dog.  Posted by my eldest from a very hot Berlin.  He does seem to be enjoying it!

Posted in ESNG, Inspiration, On my workbench | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Shepton Mallet – for the 23rd and last time

Back from our annual week camping at the Shepton Mallet showground for the New Wine church conference.  23rd time – and the last as it’s moving to Peterborough.  So this is the last time to get a ride on the miniature railway that is on site and opens up for business on the Tuesday day off.


Near our camping pitch was this fine vehicle.  Not sure what it is on, but it seems to have gone straight to its springs….

We came home the scenic route via Ringwood to visit old Redhill friends.  Colin insisted on showing us his original WW2 vehicles that he is restoring.  A 1943 Dodge truck, and a little M28 tracked cargo carrier (that developed into the M29 ‘Weasel’).  These were originally designed for an invasion of Norway, but when this didn’t happen, they proved useful in the mud from Normandy to Berlin.  In the background is an original M28 wheeled trailer (still in arctic white paint), that had mudguards that folded down to make skis.


Posted in Inspiration, Out and about, Prototype | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

World’s Worst Railroad Track Compilation

You think the track is bad on our N-mod layout?  Just look at this video.  Now I know that the telephoto lens makes things worse, but some of these lines are pretty awful!

Posted in Inspiration, Prototype | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Two quotes from MRJ

Well, it’s thanks to Allan and Ron for entertaining us for the past month with pictures of Switzerland, and giving me a break from blogging.  I’ll try and get back into the swing of things now, starting with two quotes from Model Railway Journal.

From Jerry Clifford’s editorial….

The experience got me thinking about exhibiting in general and the expectations of paying public in particular.  We are in the entertainment business but, for me, the role of the exhibitor is to educate and inspire, as well as entertain.  The flora and fauna of the social media are regularly full of comments and complaints about the running, or lack of it, on exhibition layouts, and whilst I agree that those of us who put ourselves up in front of the paying public are there to entertain, I do feel that many see that entertainment in only one dimension – the trains.  Setting the scene and creating the context through which our trains, both historical and geographical, can perform, is every bit as important as the trains themselves.  I, like many others, put a huge amount of time and effort into the research and realisation of my miniature slice of reality and would hope that it could hold a spectator’s interest, for a few minutes at least, while they await the next bit of action.

Another view on the ‘entertainment .v. scale modelling’ discussion.  As ever, I’m convinced that the best exhibitions have some of each type of layout.

And Richard Ellis on how to make manure – ‘O’ scale that is!

No scene where real horse-power was used would be complete without a smattering of fresh manure.  This is really fun to do, simple, yet effective.  The raw ingredients are sieved sharp sand, sieved soil, a blob of PVA and a dash of washing up liquid.  Mix them all together into a paste and leave for a few minutes to start to go off.  Then apply in manure-like deposits to the road surface, being careful not to overdo it and keep it to scale.  Now drop a very small amount of superglue in one or two places at the edges and sprinkle some sieved soil over it.  The addition of some straw (brush bristles) is also effective for adding texture.  Now leave it all to dry, preferably overnight.  In the morning, take a scriber or similar blunt instrument and abrade the surface of the now rock-hard manure.  This will have the effect of knocking off any loose bits but also where it has scraped the surface the colour is instantly transformed to a much lighter shade – almost gingery.  If you make a habit of studying real manure, you will see that it is far from a uniform colour and high in texture.  This method, I think, gives a passable [Ed: Hope this wasn’t meant as a pun] representation.

If any readers can do this in ‘N’ gauge, I’d be most interested – and probably slightly in awe of the modelling skills involved.

Posted in Hints and tips, Inspiration, Layout design | Tagged , , | Leave a comment