Regular readers will know that one day I fancy building a layout in On30. So far there is a bit of rolling stock and some locomotives. That and a pile of kits. Plus a mule, prospector and a load of wildlife I picked up at Wycrail...
Anyway, all that is lacking is inspiration and time. The later looks to be getting easier in a couple of weeks and while there is a still a pile of projects in the queue ahead of the layout I thought I'd do something about the inspiration part of the problem.
EDM Models send out a newsletter and in the last one I spotted there was a meeting of the Slim Gauge association, a group interested in modelling narrow gauge American railways, about half an hours drive away. "Got to worth a look" I thought.
Having tracked down Bilton Social Club, I found the entrance around the back of the building and wandered in. Behind the desk it signatures of members and guests were being collected. Members were also presented with a sticker showing their name - an excellent idea for any group where they will only meet virtually. I could have gone in for free as a guest but decided to leap in with a fivers worth of membership money.
In the club it was mostly sales stalls. This took a little while to get my head around. Reading the newsletter it seems that people can come along as sell things which leads to what has been described as a marketplace. Not knowing anyone though, this helped as I could poke around and chat at the same time. Of the larger traders, EDM models was present with a huge range of products.
There were a couple of layouts too. One appeared to be Sn3 and far too clean for my tastes. The other though was just what I was looking for. 30 inches by 14 of roundy roundy. In the middle of the circuit is a mine loader, again, just what I am planning. The biggest difference is that this layout is 5.5mm scale and I'm going for 7mm. The track gauge is the same though. And I have at least twice the length and a bit more width available for my model.
Elsewhere a modeller of European prototypes was showing some very nice little industrial buildings. The brickwork is fantastic due to the fact it is real. He casts his own bricks in plaster and lays them in the same way as a real brickie. This must take hours but the slightly uneven courses give the walls loads of character.
Finally I spotted a G scale wooden hopper wagon. I want one. And I want it in 7mm scale. And the nice man who built it let me take photos and told me how he stained the wood - a mix of black, brown and emulsion which you dip the basswood into and let it dry. Great stuff.