Bonnie Dundee

Bonnie Dundee

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

A Walk in the Woods

Up until recently my dalliances with 7mm have been limited to a few wagon builds and a lot of hesitation over the potential cost of an O Gauge layout. Followers of this blog will have witnessed me wrestle with the selection of projects over the last couple of years. I have also on a couple of occasions considered the cost of other potential projects and recently debated the merits of a "building" project over a "buying" project, (in other words using fewer R-T-R items and spending more of my time building). The latter option is probably more in keeping with what might be considered as realistic prospects, for as much as I would like to model the ECML, the practicalities for a one-person operation without an open-ended chequebook, are only ignored at one's peril.

I have though, been doing some actual modelling. Mostly as a result of a change in my working routine, I now find myself with a little more free time. I have none the less, put it to use and have found, for the first time in a long time, my imagination being exercised by my modelling. I find myself admiring other people's work that has been presented recently, that fits what might be described as a "less is more" approach. Much of the work that I have linked to on this blog will be considered in this category and I have found myself increasingly drawn to that style of work. Given the space that I have available - and I do recognise that in this respect I am somewhat fortunate - I want to be able to create an impact. My desire is to create a space where it is possible to escape to a different time and place. 

I thought long and hard about creating a branch line where I would be able to model more than just the terminus station. I could include other features on the line, perhaps another station, some public sidings or a scenic feature, but would not require the levels of stock that a "sit and watch the trains go by" mainline would require. One of the main issues I had with my previous mainline, was I disliked seeing the same engine come past more often than might be expected. And then seeing it again the next day was just too far! So with my branch line, I could quite accurately run the same engine all day, every day and it would not trip out my weird mind. The choice then was coming down one again to that tricky issue of scale and gauge. This time, however, with my focus set on the rural, less-is-more approach I felt I would get the most impact, pound for pound, from working in 7mm. I have therefore started my first O Gauge layout. It is based on a proposed, but never built, Great North of Scotland branch line and I present the first pictures below:-

Actually not so much the layout itself, but the scenic block that covers the exit from the fiddle yard ( to the right of this scene). I want to give the impression of almost stumbling across a branch line.

I think it will important for this project to capture the imagination, especially when there is no movement. I want to build that anticipation that we may just be lucky enough to see the branch train.
This view block is the very end of the layout. To the right is the fiddle yard and to the left are the sidings from the wayside station.

The layout setting is the north Buchan coast in the early nationalisation years and will - I hope - encompass a small wayside station (Rosehearty), a scenic break and a rural terminus, (New Aberdour). The quiet pace will allow me to build in the sense of time and place and hopefully develop a scene which has an impact even without movement, then when it is operated, provide the opportunity for the stock I build to operate realistically. That's the plan at least and the adventure is under way.

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