After a long long time of struggling to get motivated, last week something happened…
It’s been five long years since I last attended Model Rail Scotland at the SECC and a lot of water, not all of it kindly has passed under the bridge since then.
I decided though that I was going even just for the day this year though as it’s a show I generally consider as a social event primarily. As a show, it doesn’t have the same soul it once had but nevertheless, there were several interesting layouts and useful traders.
Mostly though for me, it’s the chance to see old faces, most of whom I hadn’t seen since 2018 or earlier. I succeeded in this and it was great to see my old friends again.
I was able to conclude a little bit of business exchanging some no longer required items for a handful of second hand locos that are more relevant to a more focused St Clements project.
For all the news of upgraded 5MTs from Hornby, it’s fair to say that the 2002 version still scrubs up very, very well with some help from Brassmasters so, given that I don’t have the kind of budget that can support a fleet of £230+ locos these days (and I can’t be bothered with the consumerist bandwagon anyway), these will be my industry standard.
One of the reasons for St Clements’ existence is that it successfully integrates my interests in ‘big engines’ , freight, shunting and a hint of industrial in a small space package.
Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself here. The “something that happened” was undeniably generated by meeting old friends and seeing some new projects, but I am currently riding a wave of inspiration and enthusiasm for the game that I haven’t felt since those halcyon days before Jumbogate when it felt like I could build a kit in two-three months and my visits to Whitrope provided even more inspiration. I’m not currently involved with the heritage side, but given the Caley at Brechin isn’t far away that could change. It’s only when I put all these events and feelings into perspective that I realise how damaging the events of Modellers United’s ‘mini Maidan’ actually were to me on a personal level. That’s another galaxy, a long, long time ago now though and here we are at last on the verge of something truly productive.
So; I came back pretty fired up and on Sunday, I set to on the first stages of making St Clements a physical reality. Having got off to a good start last year with the boards and a lot of help from my mate Ian, I decided it was time to think about buildings and positioning. Late last year, Ian had produced me a couple of basic CAD printouts representing the front of the goods shed, which is closely modelled on the Eastern half of Guild Street goods shed. I pasted these to a section of foamboard and cut out the openings to provide a placeholder fascia that allows me to work out both the footprint of the shed and the track spacing. The leftmost line services a loading bay where theoretically, carts and lorries back up to be loaded inside the shed. The other three roads are to be inlaid track allowing road vehicles access and turning. The bay also means I can use this for parcels vans; another of my ‘things’.
A couple of nights later I paid attention to the other end of the layout where track enters under the bridge in a manner akin to Waterloo Goods. In my scenario, this is actually the near end of a larger yard, akin to Craiginches. While we see nothing of this yard, its presence is suggested by the appearance of engines moving forward off of arriving trains which then reverse back offstage as if heading off to Ferryhill for servicing. This is where the justification for my ‘big engines’ comes from. Naturally you have vans and wagons being shunted in towards the goods depot (I will need to address my shunter shortage) and also you have trip working from the dock/ industrial area. This justifies the appearance of industrial locos which will detach at ‘front of house’ and proceed to a lye/headhunt whilst a mainline loco takes over to go into the main yard.
This then is where we’re at today and I’m hoping that this will bring back some of the life to this blog that it once had as well as to my modelling overall. Early indications are positive. Thanks for reading my reawakened blog. More from me soon. 🙂
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