Model Railways · Modelling · Winterbourne Exchange

Taunton; and RAF Chilmark inspired Layout moves forward a step.

[Originally Posted over on]

So, firstly Taunton

Wonderful event, glad I went. Long tiring drive there (for me 100+ miles is very tiring and painful), but by the time to go came, I left with a feeling that it was all very much worth it!

Having better access to the layouts to actually see them working and admire the handiwork of those who have lovingly created them was the best aspect. Shows such as Ally Pally and so on are great, but the sheer number of people who go means actually seeing and admiring or talking to the people who built/operate said layouts is often simply impossible, even for me being 6ft tall and wielding my walking stick!

So with being able to get better looks at some layouts I’d admired pretty recently on this site and others, and to complement the owners of the layouts and get a good look at them (never any substitute for seeing it in the flesh as it were imo!). The other layouts that were there were equally good to see, especially the 2mm efforts and the array of Southern stock and locos on show. I wants me one of them Golden Arrow Leader kits I do.

Came away with some idea and some inspiration.

Previously I had never really paid much attention to certain layout types/subjects, not often because I viewed them in a poor light, but simply because they didn’t appeal my tastes and fighting the crowds to see didn’t appeal and a cup of tea and painkillers appealed more so. This was certainly very true of 2mm layouts, as I found them too small for me to consider working in such a scale.

So it was very nice to get a very good look at some rather excellent 2mm layouts on display at Taunton. Got a chance to discuss various aspects of 2mm modelling, which was very welcome as I’d decided about that time on the 3rd module for the layout plan I’m working with Natalie on.

Was lovely to meet various members of this site and put a real face to a name, etc.

A big thank you to all of those of the SWAG group for putting on such a wonderful show.

Now if only there were a West Midlands AG to do something similar? …


I will later look through the photos I (and Natalie) took, clean then up a little, resize and upload them on this site. I think next week I shall order a gorilla pod + adapter for smartphones to better be able to balance/steady phone when using it as a camera. It certainly has proven so far to be better than the Sony digital compact camera I have and as I cannot afford a better quality compact or a DSLR camera will have to suffice for the foreseeable future!

A small selection of photos from Taunton are attached below:

Elm Park
Cattott Burtle
Elm Park again
And showing what can be done with 2mm

They’re unedited, but reduced in size. Will be cleaning up and uploading the rest of the photos I took and Natalie took sometime later.

The layout with no name

So, the reason I was glad I saw so much of the 2mm layouts up close? well I decided then that I’d reevaluate to some extent how the layout in planning (and currently with no name) with Natalie would consist of at least 3 modules, as follows:

  • Narrow Gauge layout module, with small simple plan leading to storage bunkers.
  • Standard gauge and narrow gauge layout module with standard gauge MOD depot and narrow gauge leading off of transfer shed to narrow gauge layout module
  • Mainline (Salisbury) and exchange sidings to MOD depot module.

As yet it has no name. But it is inspired by RAF Chilmark and based currently on a plan of Dean Hill. The plan is to do the NG module first, as a simpler introduction to the concepts involved in building a layout as this will be my first one I’ve ever attempted.

The idea is to have all 3 modules able to:

  • Work independently
  • Work together as a single layout
  • Be DCC controlled
  • Have interchangeable (except NG) fiddle yards to save construction thereof.

Speaking of fiddle yards. I have currently in my head the crazy idea to have a rat run going underneath the main module to link fiddle yards at either end of the mainline module. Thus needing a stacker module for the fiddle yards so they can go up/down between the levels. How well this might work in practice is another idea, but I have (with Natalie’s help) uncovered prior work on this type of thing by the likes of Iain Rice.

More later when I’ve had time to have a cup of tea and rest some more as I am still tired from yesterdays excursion!



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