Saturday saw a good proportion of the narrow gauge modelling world descend on Sparsholt College near Winchester for the biannual Narrow Gauge South – one of the big shows of the calender and this year positively enormous. I lost count of how many layouts were on show, but it was reckoned to be over forty – mostly 4mm:ft or thereabouts but some larger scales too and not a stinker among them.
I also had to contend with a bumper two hour long OO9 Society AGM and plenty of time spent chatting to friends so the actual amount of time left to look at the layouts was somewhat compromised. On the positive side, it also left me with no time at all to spend any money!
Quite a few of the layouts on show were old favourites, however there were many I’d never seen before. This photo selection is skewed towards the latter, there will be even more tomorrow!
Khan by Julian Evison. OO9. This is unusual modelling – German military light railways in the deserts of Namibia, prior to World War I. But very nicely done, certainly capturing the atmosphere in the prototype photos presented at the front and proving there is life yet in the old ‘rabbit warren’ concept.
Milborne St. Giles by Bob Goodwin. OO9. It’s probably a good sign when you can tell the area a layout is supposed to be set before you’ve looked it up in the show guide. The colouring of the stone work and exposed earth on Milborne St Giles immediately felt like Dorset, so I was able award myself full marks for observation. Beyond that, the detail and operation was also great.
Evaleight by the Sussex Downs Group of the OO9 Society. Every viewing of the wonderful Evaleight seems to reveal a previously unknown detail, this time it was these guys working in the depths of the brickworks.
Southwold 1922 by Stuart Green. OOn3. One of the Southwold Railway’s Sharp-Stewart 2-4-0Ts rests outside the loco shed on a beautiful 12mm gauge replication of the 3′ line’s seaside terminus. The wealth of little details such as the frosted glass patterns in the carriage doors really made this one stand out.
St Etienne-en-Caux by Charles Insley. HOe. After a first outing at Narrow Gauge North last month, this new French creation by the prolific Dr. Insley was one of the favourites at Sparsholt. Comprising of two stations each taking up a leg of an L-shaped baseboard, it’s possible to get a close view of each one or stand back and take in the whole scene. And the quality of it all, especially the buildings, is superb.
Felsham St Gregory by Greg Dodsworth. O16.5. A deliberate choice to include a photo with no trains or even rails, but I thought the wonderful detail on this Kentish street scene was worth showing in close-up.
Coleford by John Wilkes. OO9. Illustrating the difficulty of taking overall photos of layouts without a backscene, but also the clever, non-linear track plan of this small scene which no doubt tempts the unwary operator into a shunting tangle.