Wednesday 13 May 2009

Back to the future ................

As a young boy I progressed from Hornby 0 gauge tinplate, via the usual sixties Triang in 00 to an interest in 009 no doubt brought about by family holidays to Wales an exposure to the Ffestiniog, Talyllyn, Rheidol and Llanberis Lake railways. The first narrow gauge layout was a Playcraft pre-formed expanded polystyrene foam effort with a loop of track that climbed over itself. All I have left, and possibly the earliest remaining piece of railway kit is this much butchered Decauville loco from the set.

It'll come as no surprise to those who know me that I wasn't one for keeping my toys in pristine condition; I'd take stuff apart to see how it worked, get the Humbrol out if I didn't fancy the colour it came in and feel quite happy cutting bits off or sticking bits on to better suit my purpose. Here we see a result of all this early practice, built to resemble a Neilson box tank, the chassis was a Bachmann n gauge USA dock tank, the body hacked from plasticard and was like most of my early work completed in an afternoon. The wagons are repaints of standard Eggerbahn items and reflect my enduring interest in rust and grime

A few years on and by my mid teens I'd learned a few more tricks. The loco still employs a commercial n gauge chassis, but has a body soldered up from brass sheet. The matching Corris Railway van is like earlier models built from plasticard. The building behind features walls of individually cast plaster blocks, and cut out paper slates overlaid onto a deliberately saggy thin card roof.

It's funny how things come full circle. Since Easter I've been building a 009 'pizza' layout to take to the Corris model railway show this August bank holiday and though there's some new build going on, it has been a rather pleasant exercise to track down all my old models, dust them off and indulge in a bit of repair and restoration. Here's a Kerr Stuart diesel, a scratchbuild on a Bachmann mechanism built a couple of years ago heading some of my old stock round the new pizza.

1 comment:

Simon Dunkley said...

That box tank is lovely: full of character. You set standards for things like this early on in your modelling "career"...

(And I have no idea why it has taken so long for me to make this comment!)