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.
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.
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.
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.
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.