Sunday, 28 April 2013

Scalefour North 2013

Last weekend was, of course, Scalefour North. It was a very enjoyable weekend, even if I didn't actually get to see much of the show itself. I spoke to a lot lovely people and had many interesting conversations. And it was so nice to have people coming up to me to tell me that they read my blog! I'm not sure why they do read it, it is appreciated nonetheless!

It seems that interest in diesel modelling is very healthy indeed. Interest in the Shawplan and Penbits parts I was using was very high. It's a few years since I first demonstrated modelling diesels at Scalefour North - interest has changed. The level is still high but then (maybe seven or so years ago) there seemed to be a certain novelty factor too. Even 'hardened' finescale modellers were quite happy to just rewheel diesels with a minimum of work so models which had had major work undertaken in order to properly represent underframes and variations were a new experience for some, but now things have changed...

The parts now available have opened up this world to the masses and not just the very dedicated band of modellers with little trade support. There's now no reason why diesels and electrics cnnot be compared with the best of other forms of motive power. It's really nice to see how this particular part of the hobby has evolved over the last few years.

And just a few bits from around the show.

Howard Bolton

There were some fantastic things going on in the 'Demo room' but I didn't get chance to photograph them (Geoff Kent who is a modelling god in Plastikard; Jon Hall making stuff from casting resin; Alan Goodwillie on scratchbuilding loco and the beginnings of the Skinningrove Zig-Zag project). This however, really stood out for me. A fully interlocked mechanical lever frame and working (yes, working!) surface point rodding! An absolutely stunning piece of work -

Lower Exbury

This is a lovely layout - it certainly shows how finescale doesn't always require a significant chunk of space! And apparently when my parents were taking Thomas round the show, he wanted to know why it didn't have any signals!

Humber Dock

If you know this part of Hull, where the Marina now is, then you'll recognise the buildings and the area instantly! It supposes the North Eastern Railway had a branch right along the river on the south edge of the town. Given the Corporation's very early dislike of level crossings (Hull's flat and even in the 19th Century, its numerous corssings were causing congestion! There was a reason why the Hull & Barnsley had to raise their line above road level!) I'm not sure how plausable the passenger service would be - it certainly would be a lot of work to upgrade a dockside line to passenger standards. However with locos purposefully moving wagons about, it screams 'Hull'!


I rather like Clutton - the signalling side of the layout is rather nicely done, With a full frame and single line block intruments. Though out of practicallity it's worked as tokenless block as sadly we haven't got to the stage where the 'drivers' can collect tokens themselves!

The signalbox is, I think, very nice! Just a shame it sits with its back to the viewer!

And if you thought these Scalefour events were all deadly serious -

Knutsford East Junction

This is a layout which I've seen several times before but one thing I noticed this time (and it could be new as the layout has evolved considerably since its first appearance as part of the Society's 1883 challenge) was this lovely little scene. A new signal post awaiting commissioning.

Wheal Elizabeth

I've seen this before but I'd noticed a few subtle changes. I do prefer it when it's in Railfreight mode, but it's very good indeed.


I didn't get any photos of Waterloo Street unfortunately, but it is worth seeking out at shows if you get the chance!

It's a new venue next year, but I expect it to be just as good an atmosphere as it has been since I started attending the show. If you've never been to a Scalefour Society show before, you really ought to try one. The scale in which you personally model really doesn't matter, you'll find a show which is laid back, relaxed and very friendly where you can see some great modelling.

Further Reading

The Scalefour Society

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