An influx of mojo

This week the modelling mojo seems to have awoken… for now.

I’ve made a start on the Toad. It’s nothing too major at the moment; a flash of primer, a lick of Humbrol 67 Tank Grey on the underframe. Next job is to stick that together. For a kit as old as it is, I’ve been reasonably pleased so far – not too much flash for starters! Progress is currently as below.


But there’s more…

I found an old Really Useful Box when visiting my parents recently, one lying in a cupboard that I’d forgotten about. It’s 9 litres, just big enough for an a4 sheet of paper. Well, recently I’ve discovered the ‘Gnatterbox’ forum (Gn15 scale) and have stumbled across a few excellent threads (Simplicity Sidings, Orchard End, Badger’s Bottom and Ambassador Works) which all have a similar, very basic track plan.


One sheet of foam board, a bit of glue, two lengths of track and a few items of stock (posed to gauge size) and I have this…


I’ve got a few ideas for what to base it on; either the end of a set of exchange sidings for the Lilleshall company, with a suitably leafy backdrop, Wills Goods Shed and a view block (that I’m yet to decide on) or a wagon works, with a few grounded van bodies used as stores for the workers.

It’s a start at least!




Recently I’ve discovered that my interest in the railways has gone away from the modern image scene – which I worked on – and has become far more steam based. I’ve been to several heritage lines and I finally totally get what people say; there’s something about a steam train.

I bought the Austerity loco not so long ago, as well as the Cory wagon, and a Lilleshall wagon too. The idea is to build a small industrial railway. However, I just don’t know what to do… again. I’ve got the scenic board but can’t find a design I’m happy with on that and, although I want operational scope, I am concerned about committing to a bigger baseboard as I’d change my mind and waste the board.

In short, modellers block – which I’ve had since I built Ticknall back in 2013 – has a firm grip on me that shows no signs of letting go. In the intervening time I’ve built up several Dapol wagon kits – which I enjoy immensely – and having found these good fun am now going to build a slightly better standard kit (a Toad brake van appeals) to keep the mojo going.

The MRL forum (on which I’m an admin) has a 2017 ‘Layout in a Box’ competition going on and I did buy a small box from Ikea for it, but again, my mind has changed lots and currently it acts as a stock box!

As you can probably see, ideas aren’t the issue. I’d love to do a model of the Telford Steam Railway. This has oodles of possibilities – it can run passenger services and offer lots of shunting. However, do I have the space to do it justice? Probably not. Do I have the confidence to not change my mind? Probably not.

It’s driving me bonkers if I’m honest.

Ah well, perhaps I should probably build a ’round-roundy’ as my layout planning ideas go round in circles!

End of the Line.

Two days ago I posted about my idea for the MRL 2017 box challenge.

I’ve changed my mind. Several reasons.

1) I get married this year. Any modelling funds – which aren’t high, unlike the wedding funds – are very small.

2) Therefore, I want any funds possible to go towards my main layout idea – the ‘for keeps’ layout – rather than losing them on something with little potential.

3) If I do anything it will be very much the diorama approach and I want to have tried something new out, like building my own track.

Therefore, staying in Shropshire, Jackfield Sidings, a curious place, seems a good potential idea.

What do you think?

Thinking Inside the Box

Firstly, Happy New Year to you all. I hope the Christmas period was good to you and that 2017 is a happy and productive one.

Now 2017 is here I can now reveal that the 2017 MRL Forum Challenge is ‘In a Box.’ As always with me, I’m thinking micro. Therefore, after a shopping trip to Ikea I am now the proud owner of a Knagglig box. 

Made of pine, the Knagglig has dimensions of 23 cm deep, 31 cm wide and 15 cm high. I’m yet to build it up – it’s from Ikea, of course it’s a flat pack – but when I do so I need to leave one side open, as well as cutting an exit hole on one side.  I might hinge the side, meaning I can then close it to aid dust avoidance, but I’m unsure as yet.

But that’s the box. What about inside it? Well, since I’ve moved to Shropshire I’ve taken quite an interest in the railways of the area. Although you don’t perhaps think of Shropshire as a major railway player, the county has lots of railway history. Therefore, I’ve decided to use a bit of it as the basis for my challenge entry. Coalbrookdale and it’s surrounding area, to be precise.
My entry is going to be a pointless fork based around the tile industry found in the Jackfield area. The plan is a low relief factory (I’ve got a Dapol shed that will be just the ticket) down the back of the layout, with a door leading to a loading area (un-modelled) on one line, with the other just being a siding. As much as I hate working with Wills sheet, I’m thinking that the back siding (along the factory) will be inset in the cobbles. 
That’s the plan, anyway. I best go and put this box together!