Saturday, 19 December 2009

Great Model Railroads 2010

The Yorkshire Wolds have been covered in a seamless blanket of snow. This is when you don't want to venture too far despite the snow combining with the Wolds' own beauty to be truly stunning.

So with the weather and this being the first day of our Christmas break (not to mention the first day in ages when I didn't have to be in Scunthorpe for seven!) we didn't want to venture far! Just before lunch in Beverley we popped in to WH Smith's and I picked up Model Railroader's Great Model Railroad 2010. To our eyes many layouts which have appeared in GMR over the years will seem huge; a combination of many US homes having large basements and their liking for operation, as discussed previously here. Model Railroader, especially, seems to focus on the operational side of the hobby and it seems to us that this translates as large layouts requiring a team of operators. This does seem at odds with the reality which many of us who are starved for space over here have.

Many of these larger layouts which are predominantly the work of one person seem to have to take on a more impressionistic approach which will probably more effective to the naked eye than they do in photographs. Maybe this is why they don't always 'do it' for me. As such I found Mike Confalone's Woodsville Terminal RR the real highlight of GMR 2010 which is very close in appearance and levels of detail to UK finescale as you'll find. But it is also built with operation and a real purpose in mind which, I think, has produced an excellent result.

Even if you don't always agree with what you read or see, it is always worthwhile seeing how modellers in other countries approach things in the same hobby. It provides an excellent opportunity to learn and see things from a slightly different point of view.

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