For those of you wondering where I've been for so long, I must apologise. On top of the ongoing demands of fatherhood, which has limited the amount of free time I have for active modelling over the past year already, I'm having a very busy and stressful time at work at the moment which leaves me quite honestly feeling like just collapsing in front of the TV most evenings!
The layout is still little more than a baseboard and some unfinished track. As an example of the rate of progress, I fixed down about a dozen chairs last night in the first piece of actual modelling for about 3 months! Unfortunately, even when I feel like doing some modelling, there isn't usually enough time to really get stuck in to anything.
While the actual modelling has been pretty stationery, I do still find time to dip into my ever expanding collection of railway books and magazines. A recent source of inspiration was Paul Clarke's 7mm Debenham featured in MRJ 112. A minimum-space 1950s depiction of a Mid-Suffolk Light Railway might-have-been, it is one of those layouts that manages to evoke a real sense of atmosphere and realism despite being small in size and simple in concept. The Martyn Welch influence is definitely in evidence.
As an aside, I do sometimes wonder if I'm really a 7mm modeller trapped inside a 4mm modeller's body - I think most of the models that really inspire me, with a few notable exceptions, are 7mm scale. Speaking of which, Iain Robinson, on his blog, had a piece about Chuck Doan, an American modeller working predominantly in the larger scales, that has produced some mind-blowingly realistic work - have a look at his site. Guaranteed inspiration!