Model railway exhibitions are there for entertainment and inspiration. I certainly got a dose of the later at the Larger Scale show.
Long-term readers will know I've always wanted to build a layout set on the Isle of Man. To this end I have several part-built 4mm scale locos and a few bits of rolling stock that don't roll properly. This is all very good and one day will be turned into a layout, but the truth is I've always fancied doing it in 7mm scale.
This is tricky as we are now in a loco-kit free zone. OK, I have the etched bits of a Caledonia body, but the tough ones are the Peacocks. Or at least so I thought.
On the 7mm narrow gauge society stand, there was the object of my dreams - a 7mm scale Peacock!
Chatting to the builder, Dave Pinniger, it turns out he built the model in the 1970s, and using an old Hornby (maybe even Triang) chassis at that.
Looking closely, I can see compromises, but not many. Most importantly, it has the right look to my eye. And yet, I can also see how I could scratchbuild this model. Finding the boiler fittings might be tricky (no, 3D printing will NOT do) but once located, the chances are at least 3 locos can use the same ones.
The point is, I have seen a model I could live with. Now I believe, a 7mm scale Manx layout is withing my range of skills. Lack of time still stops me getting stuck in for the minute, but that is less of an issue if I believe I can do it.