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The Project Under The Bench

The Project Under The Bench

PRODUCT REVIEW

(A Beginner’s Guide to starting in Gauge 1 Live Steam)

This article will, I hope, be a source of encouragement to all those who harbour a desire to have and build a live steam engine, but perhaps like me, lack the appropriate skills and equipment.

Beneath every bench is an unfinished project!  Across the country there must be hundreds of incomplete kits and projects, started with every good intention, but for one reason or another lay dormant, more often than not, never to be finished.  I am no exception, and this article is a salutary reminder of starting something that is maybe too ambitious or lack the necessary skills required.  It will I hope have a happy ending.

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Thatching – a novel way of making thatch

Thatching – a novel way of making thatch

There are few areas in Britain that do not have any buildings with thatched roofs.  It is almost everyone’s dream to live in a thatched cottage, and yet as railway modellers we tend to shy away from making any buildings with roofs of thatch.  This is understandable when we consider how easy it is to create an effective slate or tiled roof, using either proprietary products or card and paper, compared to making a realistic looking thatch.

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Clews Cottages

Clews Cottages

One of the highlights of my year is the AGM and exhibition of the 7mm Narrow Gauge Society held at Burton on Trent. It’s an intimate show illustrating all that is best in, what is for me, a fairly new found hobby. It has all the ingredients of a good day out – a variety of relevant trade stands, layouts second to none, and a warm welcome from fellow members. What more can you ask for? Oh yes, memorable beer from The Cottage Brewery and bacon cobs to die for. Perfect!

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Building a Dutch Barn

Building a Dutch Barn

It’s often very satisfying to have a project that can be completed in a short time – this is just such a project.

Dutch barns, in this case all timber with a corrugate iron roof, are not as common today as the many modern barns built with a steel or concrete frame, but most have some form of corrugated iron or asbestos roofing.  The purpose of these barns is for storage, usually over the winter period for hay and straw for feed and bedding respectively.  Being open sided the hay or straw remains relatively dry as the air is allowed to pass the outside of the rick.

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The Farm In The Landscape

The Farm In The Landscape

Well, many of our railway layouts ignore the presence of farming.  Alright, an awkward corner that needs filling often has an incongruous field with a few grazing sheep.  But I think we miss a great opportunity in many cases not including ‘working farms and buildings’ on our layouts.  They have always been an integral part of the scene and in fact many branch lines came into being as a result of the need to move livestock to market, milk to the towns, and food to the processors and markets.

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Jack Nelson Diorama – Wavetree Station

Jack Nelson Diorama – Wavetree Station

This diorama is undoubtedly one of Jack Nelson’s finest.  It depicts Wavertree Station looking towards Liverpool.  Though not large, 24” wide, 24” deep and 15” high, it carries all the hallmarks of this brilliant modeller’s work.  It is difficult to appreciate from the associated photographs the amazing perspective of this model.  The coach on the right hand side of the model, destined for Crewe, is about 7” high, whereas that receding into the distance, which is only 18” from the front of the diorama, is a mere ¾” high!

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