A couple of weeks’ ago I went to the Bromsgrove Narrow Gauge and Industrial Railway Exhibition. It was an interesting show and I thought I would concentrate on one layout that I particularly liked.
Why do I like it?
- It is based on a lead mine at Snailbeach and so is an unusual prototype. The first layout I ever saw in a magazine was a Welsh slate mine so I have a soft spot for mines.
- It’s also an unusual scale (16mm) which is 1/19 or Garden scale, which is a misnomer if ever there was one. It gives enough size to be able to see the details you are modelling and to go the extra mile in details.
- It’s narrow gauge so a win again. You can get smaller locos so fit more into the space.
- It’s got a beautiful clean finish. It was the big “The Adit” sign that first attracted me because it was simple yet interesting.
- Most of all, I like it because it is something I could build. It would be a challenge but it is not an 80′ basement nor a Chuck Doan garage. It is aspirational but achievable if I tried.
The layout itself is quite simple, a shed at one end, two turnouts and a mine adit, or tunnel entrance, at the other. It is less than 2m long (6 foot). This is a typical size for small exhibition layouts. It has a simple backdrop which does not distract from the models.
There is one shed in the middle which is scratch built from dolls’ house stone slips over plywood base walls.
The beauty is in the scratch built models and scenery. Nothing is bought ready to run and even the walls and ground cover are built from the local Snailbeach stone, smashed up.
I often struggle with people in layouts, my own and others, because they are so hard to make realistic. These are expertly painted and bring a sense of realism.
Many details are made completely from scratch, such as these mine buckets.
Steve Bell is obviously a gifted modeller and here are a few of his models for his future layouts:
Does this kind of layout appeal to you too?