Friday, 28 March 2008

The colour of rust...

What colour is rust?

It's a difficult one to answer - there's 'rust' coloured paint but I'm not sure that rust is that colour. I think the truth is that rust is all sorts of colours, from dull, dark browns to vivid bright oranges.

Rust is hard to convincingly portray. Many modellers get it wrong or not quite right. This can spoil the overall effect of a model. Subtlety seems to be the key to achieving the right result. But how is this best achieved?

I'm currently thinking about the colour of rails. Even when new, rails are rusty -

That's a view of a reasonably complex junction being assembled at a factory in Scunthorpe - not been used but definitely rusty! When in use, of course, the running railheads will be polished from wheels passing over them.

The relevance of all this is that I'm trying to work out the best approach to the rust issue for Botanic Gardens. We've decided on a winter setting for the layout (but not one featuring three foot of snow or Christmas trees!). So the colour will have to be suitably subdued in order to look 'right'. It's not an easy one to get succeed with either... Once I've made progress I'll be adding details here

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Locomotives Illustrated RIP

Sadly we have seen the passing on one of the finest railway magazines, Locomtives Illustrated. It has covered many classes of locomtives, including some non-steam subjects, in 170 issues over more than thrity years. Now sadly, it will reappear as Modern Locomtives Illustrated.

This is not to say that I don't think non steam classes should be covered; look at what interests me and you'll see otherwise. But it seems another example of how so many diesel enthusiasts need to have 'their' interests labelled as such. And 'Modern'? It's such an awful term. The first issue will be on Class 37s and one on the Blue Pullman units will appear - hardly 'modern' are they?

What really saddens me is that by re-launching and changing the title, there is now no chance of any further coverage of steam classes - many haven't been covered in the depth and detail that LI did. The quality and high standards of reproduction of the photography in LI made it a pleasure to read. Loosing this magazine is such a shame - the coverage of many of the classes was of a higher quality than elsewhere and 'modern' classes have much more plentiful sources of information out there, something which older pre-grouping classes don't enjoy, mainly because most of those who remember them personally are sadly no longer with us.

The website for the new magazine says that "Modern Locomotives Illustrated will build up as the most comprehensive part-work ever published covering UK modern traction", it's a shame anything other than 'modern' subjects will no longer be covered. It is such a short-sighted decision - the high quality, elegant look of Locomotives Illustrated will be lost forever, to be replaced with a garish 'full colour' look which looks like any number of monthlies. It is a shame that The Railway Centre could not have published their 'modern' subjects in the same format, then we could have had much more variety in the future instead of having such a blinkered, narrow approach.