Modelling inspiration from all genre..

For me I can gain inspiration from, and be inspired by, modelling from a wide range range of sources and genres. Although, as regular readers of this blog will I am sure by now know, I model the Southern Railway between 1946 and 1949 and currently have a layout based on Salisbury it does not mean that only other 4mm Southern modelling will grab my attention.

Are captions required? the standard of modelling speaks for itself.

Often I see and or hear comments about either magazines or exhibitions along the lines of not enough of one scale, era or genre so they found that issue or exhibition disappointing regardless of the fact that some exception modelling was on show.

I was fortunate yesterday to take part in a private viewing of the Pendon Museum at Long Wittenham in Oxfordshire . If you are ever in the area I can 100% recommend a visit.

Every building has an outstanding level of detail, both inside and out. Picture courtesy A York.

This is rightly heralded as one of the finest examples of what is great in our hobby, where a so far 60 year long project (with possible another 10 years to go before it is complete)  to represent the Vale of the White Horse between Oxford and Swindon and  preserves the idyllic rural scene and transport of the 1920s and 30s in a miniature form for future generations to enjoy.

Pendon Parva station based on Culham

The Vale scene, in excess of 70′ x 30′, represents the  village of ‘Pendon Parva’ built around an ancient hill-fort,  and includes the agricultural landscape surrounding the village, the derelict Wilts. and Berks. Canal, and dare I say it the Great Western Railway main line. Pendon Parva is an imaginary composite village with carefully chosen houses,  cottages and farms all of which of exact miniatures  some of the best and most interesting buildings from across the Vale.

The Southern Railway sneaks into the Dartmoor scene with an M7 class on shed

Also located at the museum is John Ahern’s famous and pioneering Madder Valley layout along with Pendon’s own Dartmoor Scene that represents the beginning of an imaginary Great Western branch line, straggling from South Devon into Cornwall. The branch makes a junction with the GWR main line from Exeter to Plymouth where it runs high along the southern edge of Dartmoor, (which also occasionally sees Southern traffic on diversion). Both are inspirational in their own right for their own reasons.

I am certainly firmly in the camp of good modelling is good modelling whatever scale, gauge, period, genre and we can all take inspiration from such.  We should not forget that many ideas , techniques and effects are transferable between scales and genres, perhaps we should not look at a magazine or go to exhibition with the mindset of what layout / model will exactly match my own direct interest  but what will I learn from and be inspired by today.

6 thoughts on “Modelling inspiration from all genre..

  1. Made, my first visit earlier this year. Inspirational. It’s not really a model railway, its a model landscape of the highest order.

  2. Muz, I have to agree that Pendon is always an inspirational visit, not only for the layouts (I hope the Vale scene is finished in my lifetime), but also for the cabinets full of scratch built rolling stock.

    BTW your blogs are beautifully written, nicely illustrated, and give blogging a good name.


    1. Hi Simon

      Many thanks for your kind comments, they are much appreciated.

      The guys at Pendon last week reckoned that they are approximately ten years away from completion of the vale scene and I think that is a reasonable time frame considering the length of time the project has been going so far.

      1. It is a problem that quality takes time, and usually if you want something to be done, you (that means me) should volunteer to help, yet my modelling skills are not of that high calibre.

        Many of the modellers at Pendon honed their skills when RTR was poor and kits were few. Does the quality of the RTR market today help or hinder the Pendon skills of the hobby?

      2. I agree Simon that such quality will always take time especially to the level of detail, even when hidden that they go to.

        They have over the years taken on new materials and ideas, when Guy Williams first started building locomotives and Rolling Stock they were mainly scratch built but as more accurate kits came on to the market he started using such kits as the basis for a model (but didn’t just build the kit) I would suggest that some of the latest standard of rolling stock could easily pass muster such as Hornby’s Maunsell stock (suitable re-gauged). Building wise nothing yet RTR gets anywhere close although with the advent it laser cutting etc materials and processes might possible evolve.

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