Odd modelling ideas #3216

Sorry, but there hasn’t been much blogging time this week, as real life seems to have caught up with me!

However, if you want a simple paint-only conversion for your layout, that will provoke comment from rivet counters – or at least from farmers – try this:

Why do zebras have stripes? Japanese researchers had a theory that they wanted to test out: that the stripes confused flies, who then bit the zebras less often than they would if they had no stripes. But how to test this? Well, why not paint some stripes on cows?

Sure enough, the striped bovines had 50 percent less flea bites than their plain-jane sisters

American modellers have ready made Santa Fe stipes on their decal sheets!

Through next week, I’ll post some pictures from the Farnham and from the Croydon shows.

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An interesting concept?

Received an email today:


Hoping this will be of interest to your members.

Over the last year or so I’ve been developing a soundscape system for my model railway. Basically it’s a set of web pages that pipe controlled sounds into your layout via bluetooth speakers set in parts of the scenery, sounds include animals, birds, vehicles and possibly of most interest a working station tannoy.

The system is now to a standard where it shows what is possible given time.

The soundscape can be found at :-


I would be very grateful if you could take a quick look, any feedback would be most welcome whether good or bad!

It’s free to use but of course a small donation would be most welcome to help with the cost of the Tannoy voices and more sounds.


Martin Murdoch.
Also available on Facebook

This appears an interesting approach to sound – concentrating on the ambient surroundings rather than the trains themselves.  It could be of real interest for small layouts, where a few speakers could give real atmosphere – unless off course it just gets annoying!

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The Redhill Brick & Model Show – 2019

ESNG’s next exhibition will be a return to the 17th Reigate Scouts Lego and model show.  Not many trains, but nice and local, so good local publicity.  And above all, another chance to impress young people with N gauge modelling, rather than antique anorak wearers.

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Dorking MRC Exhibition 2019

I was going to visit the Folkstone or Fareham shows today, but a heavy cold meant a slow start to the day.  So I watched the rugby World Cup, then slipped over to Oddfellows’ Hall, Dorking (what an appropriate location for a model railway exhibition) for the main Dorking MRC show of the year.

Bridlington Quay (O) – minimum space and completely scratch built.

Strathmore LIP – a very creditable model from 15 year old enthusiast (with a little help from dad.)

Oakworth: the Railway Children (OO).  The model of the film of the book.  And an accurate picture of Oakworth station during the filming.  I failed to spot Jenny Agutter, though.

Holly Bank Grove (OO finescale).  A fictitious running shed situated near York, with a great selection of steam and diesel.

Ian Redman’s layout in a gun case.  It’s amazing what will go round a 6″ radius curve.

The Vine Line (OO) was on its first outing in extended form.

Another running shed, Eastbridge (OO), this time in southern England on the Brighton mainline. The layout is similar to Redhill. I love the Brighton Atlantic on the turntable. This was going to be my first scratch built locomotive. Predictably it was a failure.

Always good to see the Milroy’s and Ferrocarril San Maria Gandia (HO and HO9).  One of this lovely layout’s last outings as it is being retired later in the year.

Dorking West (N).  Not much moving as I went past due to a slight DCC hiccup.  The adjacent layout was also running on wi-fi control, and the locomotives had the same numbered addresses – so the operator on one layout moved the locomotive on the other.  They had sorted it all out by the time I left!

Birch Coombe (OO).  Cromptons by the sea side.

As usual, a small but interesting show, and well worth a look and a chance to have a chat with a number of old friends.

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ESNG meeting – 03 October 2019

Good to see 11 members running trains last night, including the Cha(I)rman, who had escaped from the dairy.  Good job too, as I had forgotten to bring some milk with me, and the members would have got twitchy without their cups of tea.

Peter had brought his new module along, so we had a larger than usual layout set up.

The module is making good progress….

But there were a few wiring issues – or did the members opt for a game of Twister?

The usual selection of Paul’s bullets on the outside track.

We thought that Simon had won the lottery – a gold locomotive?  Well, almost, it was brass, but still quite pricey.

LNER splendour…..

We ended the evening with a good chat about the new fiddle yard, and Mr Apps has been commissioned to go and build the baseboards.

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Couple of links

Just returned from a rather windy and wet weekend in Wales (how about that for alliteration?)  Worst disruption on the roads, though, was following a large flock of sheep up a single track road.  So just a couple of links today….

Duncan sent me this tiny model a while back with the comments:

Jon, don’t know if you’ve seen this… surely the smallest working model railway!  Duncan

I replied….

Wonderful! Bit of a challenge for Ian Redman and his mini layouts.  But I could get a bit bored with operating it…. Jon

And Duncan had the final word….

It’s a bit more limited operationally than Minories, but imagine how easy it is to setup at a show!  Duncan

And in contrast, here’s an interview (in German) of a recent N Club International meet.  Those who have been to Stuttgart with ESNG will recognise some characters in the interviews, and there are some excellent modules later on in the clip.

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Mid Essex MRC exhibition 2019 – 3

There seem to be a lot of pictures of this show.  Although it wasn’t the largest, I think there was more to see as there were a lot of small layouts.

I’d seen Abbey Street (S) before, but it was well worth another view.  An East Anglian city secondary terminus in the 1950’s, there are lots of fine details, such as modelling the undercroft arches below the station.  Built by Jas Millham, a strong proponent of ‘TT’ for many years, but he moved up to ‘S’ in his later years and his eyes couldn’t cope any more.  Always good to see a legend of the hobby operating his layout in person!

Industrial buildings and granaries reminded me of visiting East Dereham in my youth.  Another neat touch is the half-goods shed on the baseboard edge (right foreground).

A Buckjumper tank shunts the yard.

Still in East Anglia, Nene Wharf (OO) is set in the Cambridgeshire fens.

The Lochty Branch (O) is a similar goods only terminus, but set in Fife.  Built by Ian Futers, another of my hobby heroes and the master of the small layout with few points. (Well, relatively small – it is ‘O’ gauge.)

Never say you haven’t got room for a layout.  Duncrievie Fuelling Point (EM) is both tiny and pointless – in the sense of having no points, but all tracks are accessed by a sector plate.  An effective way to show off your favourite locomotives.

Wood’s Wharf (O) models a canal rail interchange.

Cheffley has some beautiful buildings, but I was unconvinced by the 2-BEL unit in the station bay!

Roseland Bay (N) models a run-down East Coast seaside resort.

Weslo Steel (EM) is a small steel terminal somewhere in West London.

And finally, Allenton (HO), somewhere in the US cotton belt.  The owner was offering train driving and switching experience for junior modellers.

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