Sometimes I see a model someone has made and it blows me away. A couple of weeks ago I went over to Bilton near Rugby for the Slim Gauge Society meeting and on the Phoenix Narrow Gauge modellers demo table, among some of the best railway modelling I've ever seen, was Project X.
As you can see, Project X is a box. With a hole in the front.
The viewer sits on a chair and peers into the hole. Inside he or she finds themselves inside an American locomotive shed. In one corner there is a steam engine but most of the scene is taken up with the accouterments of locomotive maintenance. The level of detail is awesome. The staging is even better though. You can't see all the model when you look through the hole at first. You have to look around and there are things blocking your view - just as there would be in real life.
Of course I now want to build something similar. That's a pain as I have so many other projects on the go. Maybe one day.
The model is an extreme version of the theatrical staging that Iain Rice bangs on about in some of this books. You take control of the viewpoint just like a stage. Hiding things behind walls and other blockers gives the model an air of mystery. I wouldn't want to see an entire layout like this, although the idea of putting a small camera in a building to show the view out of a window has crossed my mind, but it's a great way to display a diorama.
Note: I'd left my camera in the car and so these photos were taken on my 'phone, a HTC Desire Z. The top one is a bit wobbly as I just snapped it, but the close-up is suprisingly good isn't it ?