Railway modelling consistency and accuracy

In my last post I mentioned that I would be exhibiting last weekend at the Railway Enthusiasts Club – Farnborough exhibition at Woking with Hinton Parva, one of the layouts from the High Wycombe and District Model Railway Society. Wondering around the show got me thinking about the topic of consistency on layouts and their approach to historical accuracy.

I like to see layouts where a consistent level of approach is maintained across all aspects, from scenery, track work, buildings and rolling stock. There are a number of layouts where high standards in one or more of those aspects are on display to be let down by poor or just plain incorrect representation of others.

I totally respect and understand the fact that very few people are either experts or accomplished in all fields of our hobby, however, one of the positive things I enjoy is that fact that so many people are prepared to advise, provide time and help in such matters to allow for mutual improvement and learning to take place.  Forum such as RMweb are a great example of this information sharing and support occurring.  

There was for example this weekend of one layout, naming no names, running a mix of train rakes from different time periods at the same time and also even mixing up time periods within the same rakes. For example; British Railways locomotives hauling a rake of bright and shiny private owner wagons. In reality such wagons would have all been pooled during the war and given ‘P’ numbers on black painted patches. There never to be repainted following the war and also withdrawn very early on in the BR days.  This in my mind let down the overall effect of the layout for the sake of some basic and simple research.

The HWDMRS layout Hinton Parva is a large 32’ x 10’ layout requiring nearly 30 rakes of stock and over 60 locomotives. Despite all the stock being owned by individual members of the Society, we still make every effort to run as realistic rakes with the engines all sporting the correct lamp codes and each rake with a tail lamp. It will never win awards for the most outstanding scenery, track work or buildings but what is does provide is a consistency of approach in look and operation with some varied stock to be viewed.

As an aside I would add that the REC show is an enjoyable one to attend with a good number of layouts and trades stands in two halls and one I would certainly be more than happy to attend again either as an exhibitor or a visitor.

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