Great Model Railway Challenge: Globetrotting

This week on the Great Model Railway Challenge, the Basingstoke Bodgers, Team Tonbridge and Team Steampunk were tasked with taking us on a journey around the world.  One team even chose to take us on a journey through time too.

Behind the Scenes Photos

Final Pictures

What did I learn?

The main thing I learnt is to think outside the box when choosing themes.  Don’t just go for the normal, find something that really excites not only you but also the viewers of your layout.  This may seem a bit dramatic when not on TV but most of us like to show off our layouts to friends or online.  Something a little bit different can grab people’s attention and it can be quite subtle.  My micro layout is going to have typical grey Welsh weather (I’m half Welsh before you complain!) and a mix of narrow and standard gauge.

Scenic height is vital in a larger layout.  I do appreciate that some areas of the world are flat and you can’t just build any height into them but most are not. Flat layouts can lack the visual appeal of those with more height in their scenery. Because flat plywood is the easiest thing to lay track on, we’re often guilty of keeping everything else flat too. One to consider when designing your next layout.

I also had a great time chatting to Mike from Team Steam Punk on how to mould and cast in silicone rubber.  It’s an area I’m working on so it was great to have an expert’s input.

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10 thoughts on “Great Model Railway Challenge: Globetrotting”


    And another fantastic layout to win! As the previous programs I do agree 100% with the judges decision! On top of a flawless train operation the scenes were very good and this idea of combining two gauges with the same train to give depth to the layout is impressive! Keep on the excellent work!

    1. Felipe

      It was clever and did run well. It will be around on the show circuit and is aimed at children.

      There was some cracking modelling amongst all the teams.


  2. Thanks for the photos! Understandably the TV concentrated a lot on the people, so it missed out on an awful lot. The steam punk locos were quite novel looking and well detailed, but never got a mention!!

    The right team certainly won this week. Simple but *finished* and everything worked. And it had some elevation! It was just a shame nobody really left the UK 🙁

    1. Chris

      The steampunk engines were beautiful and Laurie is a great modeller. So much doesn’t make it to the small screen I’m afraid.

      There’s so much to modelling a layout that you just can’t fit it in!


  3. Enjoy the program. why do they use a generic plan for all the layouts when showing what is where? I also feel it would have been more interesting to of had a small bit about each team pre planing their layout. May be if they do a second series.

    1. Neil

      Do you mean the black and white plans? They’re specific to each layout but just paled out. Otherwise, each team chose their own track plans.

      They recorded loads of pre-stuff but just couldn’t fit it in the 45 minutes. There’s so much to show and so little time!

      Hope there’s a second season


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