American Modeller Takes On The UK, Plus Bo, Luke, Daisy & Uncle Jessie Visit Dylington

American Modeller Takes On The UK, Plus Bo, Luke, Daisy & Uncle Jessie Visit Dylington

Morning Gang!

How's things? That's the end of another week of chaos, mayhem & madness at HQ. A million and one things going on as always and we're still buzzing from the rather brilliant pottery experience over at Rame Head last Friday. Thoroughly enjoyed it and a very mindful experience indeed. Maybe we should arrange a Team SMS pottery session at some point! That would be a fun team building experience. And Elizabeth is now safely back in Liverpool for the final term of her second year with her big show coming up at the end of May which we're really looking forward too.

And it's hardly rained this week and with a bit of luck, we've got nice weather this weekend so we can actually get a bit of gardening done, which would be nice. Or I might just sit in the garden, enjoy the sunshine and build one of the many prototypes I've got piling up on my desk. In fact, that sounds like a very good plan actually. What have you got planned for this weekend?

Tina and I have also been working with Jess to get a bit of a plan together for the next few months which will hopefully start to come together next week. She's settled in well this week (at least I don't think she's having second thoughts about joining the team yet), making great progress with some of our marketing systems, which I think drove her slightly mad, but by the end of play on Thursday she's pretty much nailed the bit that was giving her aggro. And she's begun work on our new catalogue which should be much improved compared to the ones I've done in previous years. In fact,… that reminds me… we're looking for top notch super-duper pics of our kits on your layout! So, if you'd like the chance to have your photos featured in the new edition of the catalogue, please send feel free to email them into and we'll make sure Jess has them in her library! We've had some brilliant submissions in via the RailwayModellers CCommunity, but we still need more so please do keep them coming.

Product Development - Latest News

This week, Stu's been cracking on with a few new TT:120 scale bits and finishing off the large N gauge townhouse which looks rather splendid indeed.

Sam's back after his week off and has been catching up on a few jobs including a large wall kit which is ideal for use along the back of a station platform to help blend the layout into your backscene. That should be available shortly.

And I've been tinkering around with a new low relief backstreet garage kit which I've thoroughly enjoyed. It's based on a real garage up in the backstreets of Liverpool… proper grotty and atmospheric. So I really went to town on the wraps to make it as close to the real this as I could with a few adaptations to make it work as a kit. And of course, we've included a couple of wrap choices, extra signage, posable doors and you can paint the windows & doors in whatever colours you fancy.

In the meantime, it's over to young Sam for this weekend's videos.

Good morning everyone, I hope you have had a great week. I'm back in the building this week after having that week off. However, I did have to take a visit to the minor injury unit as I hurt my leg playing football (don't worry, I've only pulled my quad so it'll only take a few weeks to heal). It's been a somewhat busy week, I've been working on a set of custom modular walls, the usual social media posts and a couple of other weekly jobs. Now it's time for some videos…

Ashford Festival of Railway Modelling

The first video is coming from the brilliant Model Railway Quest. In this video, she goes to the Ashford Festival of Railway Modelling 2024. If you are ever looking for recaps of exhibitions, then I'd highly recommend watching those by Dawn. She does interviews with the modellers, brilliant voiceovers giving you more information and some fantastic shots of the layouts - doing them justice. I think my favourite layout from the event has to be the Joganji River in N scale. This is an N-scale layout, based in the mountainous central region of Japan. It was created by John Garner who took a trip to Japan and was heavily inspired to create a layout based on it. The autumnal colours are stunning and make for a layout that stands out amongst the crowd. Another highlight was the layout called Wishton. Created by John Wiley, who sadly passed away in 2023, a professional modeller who had his work featured in many magazines, published a modelling book, worked on sets for Thunderbird and was also a lecturer in model making at Greenwich University and Kent Institute of Art & Design. Dawn's layout, Brief Encounter (monochrome), makes an appearance - a great layout. It's also lovely to see Mossdale out and about. 

American Modeller Takes On The U.K.

For my next selection, here is a video from DaveB. Trains. Titled, "T Gauge Model Train Layout Set in the U.K. - New Layout (Part 3)" you can probably tell he is not British. Once you watch the video, you can tell by his voice that he is American.  I had a feeling that he's visited the UK before because he's done an excellent job capturing the landscape and the rural area. I left a comment on this video asking if he has visited and he said he hasn't which is surprising. Despite being in T gauge, he's done a fantastic job getting a lot of detail. He says towards the end of the video that there's still room for extra bits and pieces so I'm looking forward to seeing the progress!

Train Derailments In 2023

Last week and in previous Newsletters, I featured a channel called V12 Productions and here's another special from them. These videos are presented by Charlie who does a great job capturing your attention and covers topics well. This is full of action. I don't want to spoil the video too much but seeing the CSX Train going into the trailer with a couple of old cars on hurts but it's also fascinating - it makes you realise how much damage a train can do. It's great because it's not just a compilation of clips, Charlie also does his research and gives a lot of information which ties the scenes together. In the "Iron City Alabama" derailment, he mentions that the total damage cost was $2.9 million! Another interesting part is the coverage of cleaning up a train derailment. We follow a crew with R.J. Corman who specialises in this exact task. One of the derailments he covers is from a train transporting military vehicles which always turns your head. For the most part, there aren't many injuries in this video but he does cover a couple of accidents including injuries - he doesn't show anything of these injuries and nothing is NSFW.

Did you guys know that there is a specific switch to derail locos? I certainly didn't.

The Dukes of Hazzard Visit Dylington

Last but certainly not least, we have a brilliant stop-motion animation. You may know James aka jeg_60 from the Railway Modellers Club and I'm sure you know his and his grandson's layout Dylington. In this animation, we see the Dukes of Hazzard (an American TV show and movie) in a high-speed car chase from the police. I haven't seen either but I watched a couple of clips to get an idea of the premise and I have to say, Dylan's done a great job representing the show. James told me it took Dylan almost ten hours and over 100 photos, even redoing it because he wasn't happy with the result. Now that's dedication. As someone who has dabbled in animation, I'm seriously impressed by the result. I'd highly recommend you check out the video and subscribe to their channel.

 If you are reading this Dylan, keep up the great modelling and we are all supporting you on this journey.

And with that, my section of the Newsletter is over. There's a range of videos for you to check out above. As always, feel free to leave a comment on this blog post telling me what you think. You can also contact me via the help desk or over at where my username is @sam. Have a great week. Whilst looking for videos, I stumbled across this absolute gem so here's a little bonus:

New Stuff

Right then… it's time for links to the new & updated stuff…

Spring Has Sprung - Time To Get Started With Static Grass!

If you're just taking your first steps scenery and have been pondering having a go with static grass, why not get started with our Static Grass Starter Bundle. It's great value and gives you everything you need to get started on a budget, so you can get great results in double quick time. Here's what you get:

Grab the bundle here and get start with started with static grass!

Tree Huggers Unite - Tree Bundles - Just A Few Left!

A couple of weeks ago we put a tree making bundle together that gives you everything you need to make some seriously Realistically Better trees for your layout. Anyway, it's back in stock as a fresh batch of spray glue arrived recently, so if you missed out last time, we have about 5 left I think. Click here to grab (hug) a tree bundle!

Right… that's about it for this edition of the weekly news. Next week, I shall be back working on the upgraded pub kit… time to tackle the windows… all 43 of the beggars! Then I've got a couple of other kits on the go too. Sam will be cracking on with a couple more textures and working with Jess on some of our social media profiles I believe. Stu's got some more Peco stuff to sort as well as a couple more rescales while Tina, Scott, Kate & Carl keep everything running like a well oiled machine!

Hopefully Tina can get a bit of time at her desk too this week so we can push on with the preparation for some summer projects,

Have an amazing weekend folks… And of course…

Keep on shunting…

Justin, Tina, Elizabeth, Lola & The Team

P.S. This weekend's header pic comes from Johnny Rock over on the RailwayModellers Community with this fantastic view looking down the lines on his layout, Kirkby St John. And the other picture is of course my wonderful wife showing what a natural she as at throwing pots… on a potters wheel that is, not at me!

P.P.S. Missed a newsletter? You can read all of our recent newsletters online here.

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