Tag Archives: Hornby Magazine

Three exhibitions, three weekends.

Following hot on the heals of last weekends excellent and successful Wycrail exhibition hosted by my own local High Wycombe and District Model Railway Society for the next two weekends I will be assisting Mike Wild of Hornby Magazine operating layouts at; firstly this coming weekend, the Spalding Model Railway Club exhibition with Bolsover and Seven Pit Lane; and the following weekend at the Warley Model Railway Club’s National Model Railway Exhibition with Ashland.

Spalding MRS Exhibition with Bolsover and Seven Pit Lane. 

Bolsover and Seven Pit Lane

Bolsover and Seven Lane Pit made its exhibition debut at Model Rail Scotland in February 2011 and meant I had to get to grips with not only DCC control (I am still very much in the DC camp with my own fleet) but also Hornby’s Railmaster control programme. As when we last exhibited at the Southwold show last August we will be using the yet to be released wireless hand held control with Railmaster utilising Palm devices. Although as hinted I am a DCC Luddite I have been impressed with the Railmaster system and the added dimension it brings to the operation of such a layout.

I know Mike has been spending some time prior to the Spalding show giving the scenic’s a bit of a refresh and also paying attention to the loco fleet with weathering and also newly sound fitted locos. At the show there will be a whole aisle showcasing layouts that have featured in the Hornby Magazine over the last few years.

Warley National Model Railway Exhibtion with Ashland.  

Ashland somewhere on the North Cornwall line

Ashland was a challenge to build a working and fully scenic model railway in just two days at the Hornby Magazive LIVE! Exhibition in Hartlepool last July. I was part of the challenge building team along with Hornby Magazine editor Mike Wild and fellow modeller Richard Proudman. We started the build as the doors to the show opened at 9.30am  on the Saturday and by 3pm on the Sunday the layout was complete and operating for the visiting public to watch.

Ashland will be making is full exhibition debut at the Warley MRC National Model Railway exhibition being held at the Birmingham NEC over the weekend of 19/20th November.

Being based somewhere in North Cornwall on the Southern Withered Arm we will be running my own 1946 to 1949 era stock on the Saturday and Mike’s BR(s) stock on the Sunday. It will be nice to be exhibiting a Southern based layout again with Mike,.

So if you are planning to visit either show come and find us as part of the  Hornby Magazine stand / showcase area and say hello.

Berrybridge at Warrington Exhibition this weekend – 22/23 October

As regular readers of my blog will know, I can often be found assisting Mike Wild, editor of Hornby Magazine operate his many layouts at various shows they attend to promote the magazine.

This weekend it is the turn of his British Railways Midland Region layout Berrybridge  to make a appearance at the Warrington Show. Once again I will be spending the weekend playing trains (unfortunately there will not be a Southern engine in sight, but I am sure I will cope) and generally trying the convince members of the public that Mike is in fact Mike and not me!

A ex Midland 2F from '00' Works passes the good shed on Berrybridge. Photo copyright and courtesy of Mike Wild / Hornby Magazine

Berrybridge was originally built within 75 hours for an article in the magazine to prove that layouts do not always need to take years to complete. It comprises of a small ex Midland station on a cross country route with a typical passenger and freight service serving the station and a small good yard. A small loco servicing facility is also included for good measure.
One of the operational interests of the track plan is that generally trains are not able to pass in the short station loop necessitating freight to make use of the lie-by siding to allow other trains to pass.

This weekend will see some new rolling stock on the layout including an ‘2F from ‘00’ works,  a 4F, a Ivatt 2MT  and also, the brand new yet to reach the shops, Bachmann 3F 0-6-0 tender locomotive.

Further information about the preparation of Berrybridge for the Warrington show, along with more pictures, can be found on the Hornby Magazine site here. 

If you are able to attend then make sure you come by the layout and say hello.

Model Photography – Mastery of Chris Nevard

A view across the front of the shed at Fisherton Sarum (c) Hornby Magazine / C Nevard

I am fortunate, and indebted,  that many (although not all) of the photographs of my layout Fisherton Sarum that I am able to use here on this  blog were taken by my friend, fine modeller and expert photographer Chris Nevard.
The results of his skills in my case were first  seen in Hornby Magazine and these days his work graces the pages of Model Rail magazine.
I am sure that being such an expert modeller himself having built and exhibited inspirational layouts such as Cement Quay, Catcott Burtle, Combwich and more recently Brewhouse Quay  is what gives Chris such a good eye for a camera angle.

Chris also has his own blog which I can whole heartedly recommend and this can be found here, however what promoted me to put fingers to keyboard this morning was his informative  blog post yesterday about model photography which is well worth a read, and helps clarify some of what is seen by some as a black art.


Midland Railex with Bay Street Shed

Last weekend I was once again assisting Mike Wild, the editor of Hornby Magazine, this time operating his Southern Region basedlayout Bay StreetShed. This was a model railway exhibition with a difference as it was held amongst full size heritage steam and diesel engines and trains at the Midland Railway Centre.

Mike Wild and Richard Proudman at the controls of Bay Street Shed while my Bulleid Leader simmers on shed.

Although Mike’s layout is set in the twilight years of  steam, alongside 3rd rail EMUs and the newly introduced diesels, I warped time slightly (well just by just over ten years or so) running, as promised in my post below, my model of the Bulleid Leader.

It did haul the occasional train but spent of the weekend in a prominent position on shed (not unlike the real thing in 1951/2!) which attracted a lot of attention, questions and conversation. It was good to note that a lot of visitors actually knew what the engine was.

The exhibition was spread out among the many buildings at Swanwick Junction and we were located in the Diesel workshop / shed. The meant that a natural weathering process occurred over the weekend as the dust (and sand used to fill the gaps between the floor and the running rails) was blown about and settled all over the layouts. Despite this the layout ran very well over the weekend and was probably offering visitors the most intensive train service of any of the layouts on show.

Publishers co-operation! Richard Wilson and Mike Wild operating Bay Street Shed

One slightly unusual aspect of exhibiting at this show was the fact that we had an aisle on both sides of the layout. The meant the fiddle yard was in full view, which the public seemed to enjoy as equally as much as watching the front of the layout!

During the weekend we had a couple of guest operators, most notably was Richard Wilson (no, not the “I don’t believe it” one’) part of the editorial team from British Railways Modelling, a rival magazine to Mike’s Hornby Magazine just to prove that everyone is quite friendly really.

Bulleid Leader to make guest appearance at Midland Railex!

No not a full size one, obviously….

My model of the Bulleid Leader in its very first livery before trials commenced

A  while ago now I built my own 4mm model of Bulleid’s unconventional ‘Leader’, I utilised a kit of parts from Chris Meachen at  Golden Arrow Productions. He sells limited edition ready to run models of this unusual prototype and obtained from him a kit of bits so I could do my own thing when it came to the chassis arrangement etc.  A review of the model and my build can be found here on the on the SeMG website. 

As you know from my post earlier this week, I shall be assisting Mike Wild, editor of Hornby Magazine, with exhibiting his Bay Street Shed MkII layout at this weekends Midland Railex exhibition (13th/ 14th August) . My Bulleid Leader model will make a guest appearance sneaking on to shed during the weekend.

I am sure it spark the usual questions that I get when it appears on Fisherton Sarum such as “What is it?” or “is that a diesel?” or “what’s the grey thing?”  For those that are interested in finding out a bit more about what it was a rough guide can be found on Wikipedia although the usual caveats about accuracy in some places apply. For instance the initial intention was not that it “was to replace the aging fleet of M7 class tank engines” as quoted but to have the same route availability, which is not quite the same thing!

If you are able to get along to the Midland Railway Centre for the exhibition this coming weekend it should be worth it as the line up of exhibits looks a good one in an interesting venue too.  Make sure you say hello to us on Bay Street Shed.

Midland Railex Exhibition – this weekend 13th / 14th August

For back to back weekends, hot on the heals of last weekends Southwold show,  I shall again be exhibiting with Mike Wild and the Hornby Magazine team this time at the Midland Railway Centre, Butterley in Derbyshire.  Mike’s Bay Street Shed layout  is one I have helped operate many times and after this show it will be retired from the exhibition circuit. It is based on a Southern Region Engine shed located next to a busy junction combining the twilight years of steam and 3rd rail emus. With Mike’s wide range of stock we are able to run an intensive sequence of trains ensuring that there is always something to see for the watching public. 

Midland Railex is a brand new event, being support by Bachmann, HMRS and Hornby Magazine and a large selection of model railway layouts of various scales from 2mm to 7mm will be on display, all in a railway setting. Being at a preserved line, heritage steam and diesel trains will be running during Railex, in fact the only way for the visiting public to get the main exhibition area at the Swanwick Junction site will be by train.   

The Historical Model Railway Society archive and shop will be open to visitors. I have been able to visit the HMRS facility before and it contains an extensive collection of historical data along with some iconic layouts that have been kept for posterity, some of which will be running at the weekend too.  The Matthew Kirtley Museum and the Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust – West Shed Experience will also be open and their extensive collection of locomotives and rolling stock will also be on display.  

If you are planning on coming to the show make sure you drop by Bay Street Shed and say hello!

Southwold show, Bolsover and Hornby’s Railmaster

I have just spent a pleasant weekend operating Mild Wild’s / Hornby Magazine’s layout Bolsover and Seven Pit Lane at the Southwold show in Suffolk. One of the more unusual aspects of this layout is its use of the Hornby Railmaster DCC system, probably the first exhibition layout operating an intensive sequence to do so. 

I don’t intend within my blog to critic shows / exhibitions that I attend as I find this too subjective and “one mans trash is another man treasure” kind of thing, but I will happily discuss any interesting events or topics that arise.

Mike Wild behind the controls of Bolsover and Seven Pit Lane at the Southwold show

Bolsover is an Eastern Region layout with exchange sidings for a local coal mine and well as a frequent main line train service empty coal trains arrive to be shunted by the colliery engine, taken to the screens, filled up with coal before departing back on the main line as a loaded train.  This keeps plenty of movement on the layout and Mike has put together an interesting fleet of both Sound and even smoke unit fitted stock. The sound and smoke fitted A4 is certainly very popular with the public, both the younger generation and the young at heart oldies!  The layout was a subject of two modeling supplements spread over two editions of the Hornby Magazine and was actually sponsored by Hornby Hobbies (Other than the use of the name Hornby Magazine is produced by Ian Allan Publishing and is  not actually part of or anything to do with Hornby Hobbies!) hence the use of Hornby Hobbies track, buildings and most of the scenic’s. 

We first exhibited this layout at the Glasgow show back in February using a then Beta version of Railmaster and reported back to the development team any issues that we found at the time and some of these were corrected over the three days of the show itself and we were able download updated versions overnight! For me being a total DCC Luddite this was quite a baptism of fire but interesting all the same.

With this outing of Bolsover we were also Beta testing a future addition to the Railmaster system, this time the use of Palm device (I guess Android phones and iPhones etc will also be developed) coupled to the Railmaster allowing full wireless control of the system as a handheld unit (and I believe up to eight such devices will be able to be used with Railmaster). We have some feedback to give back to developers on the system, as you would expect for Beta testing, I am unable to say too much more about it at this stage other then to advise that I found intuitive, quick and easy to use and think it will be a very popular addition to the system when released.

One other interesting snippet is that this weekend news broke of the latest limited edition shop commissioned models. This time it is Hatton’s commissioning, via Heljan, a limited edition LMS Beyer Garrett in a number of guises and liveries. Full details will be on their website this week and also in the September issue of Hornby Magazine that should be available from the middle of this week.

Southwold Exhibition 6th & 7th August, this coming weekend

This coming weekend I shall be exhibiting at the Southwold model railway exhibition in Suffolk, as I have done the last couple of years, with Mike Wild editor of Hornby Magazine.  This year we shall be operating his layout Bolsover which is fully DCC. It is operated using Hornby’s Railmaster software and is  probably the first exhibition layout to do so!  I last opearted this layout at the Glasgow show earlier in the year and being a bit of a luddite when it comes to DCC it takes a bit of getting used to but ceratinly adds a different element to operation, along with sound and smoke fitted locomotives.

This is usually a cracking show and well worth a visit. The venue is as usual St Felix’s School just outside Southwold.  The organisers , as ever, are Waveney Valley MRC further information can be found on the club’s website here