Monday, 10 January 2011

Where did it begin?

Hello and welcome to what I call the beginning of a new dawn in my modeling career. From the age of 4 I can remember making and playing with trains. My father an excellent model maker and GWR fanatic ensured the interest was ingrained in me from an early age. My earliest memory being stood next to a hot simmering 7 ¼ inch A3 at ‘The Looms’ a family friends garden railway just outside Chester (pictured) This set the seed. My first layout started with an oval of track and an Airfix Prairie with motor taken out and a rake of badly knocked about coaches progressing to a lovely hand built 009 model railway built by my father (sadly no pictures). As my interest developed a large collection of GWR 00 Gauge was amassed culminating in a double tracked layout that ran around the garage, 9 coach expresses were something of a norm! Sadly through my late teens and early twenties I had other interests and gave up the hobby.

My father continued modeling off and on experimenting with EM for a number of years. It became obvious that the scale was too small for him to work with so he started building up a collection of fine scale GWR 0 gauge models instead. It was at this point my interest was reignited. The scale for me was very appealing, it allowed for greater detail and smoother running but it was expensive. I had very little money then so turned to scratch building and kit bashing. My first project was an 0 gauge Hymek built from a much modified Triang Big train (pictured). This set the tone and I soon had a Lima 4F on the chopping board. Great plans were hatched and a certain amount of competition arouse between us. Sadly my father passed away very suddenly before we had time to begin the great 0 Gauge garden railway project. I finished a number of models and for a time ran them at Gauge O Guild running sessions but it was not the same.

From this point on modeling became a form of therapy. I built one more scratch built O gauge locomotive a freelance Aveling Porter (pictured) and decided to give up on the scale. Money, space and the reality that the projects we had planned would not materialise made me pack up and sell what I had made. I kept hold of all my fathers’ collection which comes out now and again to stretch its legs on a family friend’s vast 0 gauge garden layout of Reading and Paddington.

So that was where I was up to about 3 years ago. I was keen to continue modeling but unsure of what scale and prototype to go for. I had always regretted parting with my 009 and thought maybe narrow gauge? I had a brief dabble with some 16mm, cutting some steal frames for a Vale of Rheidol locomotive but in the end settled for something in 7mm 0-16.5. I had toyed with the idea of 009 but this was a bit costly for my budget back then so a simple challenge was hatched, build a Quarry Hunslet as cheaply as possible for fun (pictured). That was the beginning of what some people might call an illness! This passion or obsession has grown somewhat and shows no signs of diminishing, so I invite you to jump on board and share in some of my creations……

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