Tuesday, 5 September 2006

Lets get some things clear...

It might be worth me making a couple of things clear about this 'hobby' of mine, for all you readers out there who might have any doubts in your minds...

1) I am not a trainspotter!

In fact, I don't even own an anorak, and I certainly don't stand on railway stations scribbling train numbers in a grubby notebook or pointing a video camera at everything on wheels while eating jam sandwiches out of a tupperware box! OK, I admit that for a while during my school days I did, unfortunately, suffer a bout of 'anorakitis', but it was mercifully short-lived! Quite apart from the stigma attached (fairly or not) to trainspotters these days, I have very little interest in modern railways anyway - the very things that do appeal to me about railways seem to have all but disappeared from them in recent years.

2) I do not own, and have no desire to own, a train-set!

Train sets are to model railways what colouring-in with crayons is to watercolour painting. Train sets are toys to be got out of the box, put together on the living-room floor, played with for an hour, then packed away in the box again. A model railway, on the other hand, is an attempt to portray as accurately as possible in miniature a piece of railway within its surroundings - landscape, architecture etc. Of course, people take this to differing levels - one person's piece of flourescent green sponge is another person's tree! Personally I find that very few of the models I see in magazines and on the web satisfy my own sense of 'realism'. But there are a few that come close - Martyn Welch's 'Hursley' being top of the list by a mile. Maybe I'll never reach those dizzying heights of modelling perfection but I will continue to aim for them nonetheless!

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