Friday, 2 February 2007
Like Topsy (so the old phrase goes) it just growed! I seem to have ended up pretty much back where I started out... with a layout plan to fit the maximum available space in the garage, rather than a small-scale intermediate project!
The trouble is, designing small layouts isn't easy when the prototype is far from small. Even the less important branch line stations, and in particular terminii, occupied quite significant areas, and trying to squeeze too much into too small a space is likely to just end up looking wrong.
The latest design (I make no claim to it being the 'final' one - who knows when I'll arrive at that point?!) took a good deal of its inspiration from Llanfyllin, a Cambrian Railways branch terminus, featured in the latest edition of 'Great Western Railway Journal' (published quarterly by Wild Swan Publications). It's absolutely packed with atmosphere and I was immediately cast under its spell!
While still limited in terms of shunting potential, with only three goods sidings (and only two of those in the goods yard as such), I think the additional length would help create more of a feeling of spaciousness and hence realism.
The layout design isn't meant to be an exact copy of Llanfyllin (the track plan is quite different for a start) but rather is inspired by it. I would envisage basing at least some of the buildings (station buildings, signal box, goods shed) on the structures at Llanfyllin while using some artistic license in other areas.
As usual though, as soon as the next bit of inspiration comes along I'll probably change my plans again, so don't hold your breath!!!
In some ways though, the planning is equally as enjoyable as the modelling itself, and, I would like to argue, is as much part of the whole process as anything else (well, I would I suppose, wouldn't I?!).