This magazine, this issue, is possibly ‘that’ copy for me. Many of us will have a favourite newsstand magazine and can recall a few issues that for them, made the difference, the one that got them hooked!
I remember this one and it’s stayed with me 40 years!, that’s sobering regarding time slipping past. The cover caught my eye, untypical at the time with an excellent representation of the Devon Coast, a Western Hydraulic with Mk1’s sneaking along the sea wall under the high sun. Forty years on that cover image still stands the test of time. In 1980 though, headlining the summer issue, it jumped off the shelf at me, and inside, for me the contents were even better.
Railway Modeller, August 1980, was the first Lochside article by Ian Futers. It was almost unique, I know, I know, shite grammar but if that phrase ever needed a non Murray Walker adaption this is it. At the time very few articles covered diesel operations and modelling, the mainstream firmly set in the ‘big four’ steam era. Ian depicted BR blue as ‘we’ saw it. A bit scruffy round the edges, weathered, and within largely steam era infrastructure. His diesels were detailed and modified RTR items. Lima Class 33’s used to make 26’s and 27’s, Hornby 25’s Wrenn 20’s and Airfix 31’s. Not only detailed but converted to P4, so they looked good on the right track too. That August article, (and following September one too) opened my, and a good number of friends eyes to what could be done. The back story had a good degree of plausibility to it too, and locomotives and rolling stock were appropriate for location and era, nothing out of the ordinary. Written in Ian’s captivating style it actually inspired me to look harder at the mundane, journeyman, or simply put, everyday life.
Shelfie3 is well underway in the planning, and a chance look back through some magazines reminded me of Lochside, and what it meant for me. Taking a leaf from Ian’s book, Shelfie3 will only have three turnouts, and a couple of catch/traps too. I’ve found a section of a CJ Freezer plan too, that works, and have found a similar prototype track plan too, so it’s starting to pull together nicely. I’m still undecided on the overall station terminus design, it needs to reflect down at heel, but plausibly open, and to have enough room for the trains to breath within the layout. Track is the Peco Bullhead code 75 and will be DCC/DC compatible. Fitting sound into DMU’s is already proving interesting to keep everything hidden!
Going back to eighties RM, if I can capture that era and feel of the crossover from the early seventies through to the eighties I’ll be well pleased. Back to the planning…