An Amazing European Layout, A WWII Bunker & New Weathered Brick Papers

An Amazing European Layout, A WWII Bunker & New Weathered Brick Papers

Morning Gang!

How's things? Doesn't seem five minutes since I sat down to write last weekend's update… probably because it's not really! I'm writing this on Wednesday afternoon as it's half-term this week, so Elizabeth is home from university for the week and we're taking a couple of days off to spend a little time with her. We're off to do pottery painting tomorrow afternoon (Thursday) in Falmouth for a bit of a laugh. No idea what the heck we're all going to choose to paint, but it'll be a fun bit of escapism from the day-to-day mayhem.

As you may have read, we went up to Leeds last weekend to see Noah Kahan in concert who I have to say was rather brilliant! He's only 27 but he could certainly put on a good show and keep the crowd engaged. Hats off to the man. I wasn't overly familiar with his music, although I'd heard the more popular ditties as Tina and Elizabeth are always listening to him on Spotify. But I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. And as always, it makes me want to dust off my bass and have and have a play. Really do miss playing live too! It's on the bucket list somewhere… Mind you… to make matters worse, we've just booked tickets to see Mr Big on their Big Finish tour in Liverpool this coming July, supported by Living Colour. Two of my favourite bands from back in my Uni days… Not sure Tina's that enthused by the prospect as they're not really her kind of music but hopefully she'll enjoy it. I'm rather looking forward to it… Mostly from a musician's point of view as all members of both bands are very accomplished musicians and complete masters of their craft! But it'll be sad to see Mr Big on their final tour as they're calling it a day. After seeing Billy Sheehan wringing all manner of crazy notes and tones out of his bass back in 1990 on the Lean Into It tour, I was in love the bass guitar… So I shall enjoy every minute, watching him in action in July… Currently listening to their Hay Man album from 1996 as I write this.

Anyway… where were we? Ah yes… models and all that malarky. This week has been a bit of a disjointed one for Tina and I as we were travelling back from the midlands on Monday after seeing Noah and visiting parents… but the rest of the team have been cracking on with a variety of projects as well as getting your orders out the door in double-quick time.

Product Development - Latest News

Minimal development time this week due to half-term, but Stu's been finalising a couple of new kits as well as working on something else I can't really say much about yet. Sam's been working on his wall kits again as well as updating front covers on some of our older products to bring them up-to-date.

I managed to find a little time at my desk to get a couple of texture sheet packs done. After releasing Tony's Cart Shed last weekend, I thought I'd better get the matching texture papers sorted… So, we now have a new pack of whitewashed stone & white painted brick in various states of disrepair! Details of where to get your mitts on these a little later in this morning's update. Next week, when we're back in the office, I'll crack on with some older projects which are still on the waiting list to try and clear a few.

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

Morning everyone, Sam here and it's time for my selection of videos. Got some great videos for you today so grab a snack and a cup of tea and get watching. If you haven't already, make sure you take a look at Part 1 of my Beginner's Corner series. I've read your comments about the timelapse being too quick and wanted to say that it isn't the final video yet. I still need to put it all together and commentate over it. The blog posts focus on each step with an image and description of what's happening - the timelapse simply acts as an overall view of everything I had done.

A Fantastic European Layout 

My first selection comes from a channel called Wes Kraaijeveld. Whilst researching this video, I couldn't find a whole lot of background information about it. As I'm sure many of you are aware, Germany is big on model railways and I'm assuming that this also comes from a German modeller (again, I'm assuming it's the channel creator's layout). This layout is based on a real town by the name of Rheinberg and it is so impressive! Full of life and the amount of detail is mind-blowing. The video has a very impressive 9 and a half million views so I'm surprised that there isn't more information attached to it. If any of you know anything else about this layout, please reach out to us because I would love to find out more.

Building A WWII Bunker Diorama

For my next video, I wanted to bring it back to a familiar style of video which takes you through the process of building a realistic diorama. These videos are excellent as you see every technique in detail which you can implement into your own projects. In this video, Smol World Workshop build an incredibly realistic WWII abandoned bunker. The production of this is fantastic with a great voice over taking you through every step. For the most part, he uses Styrofoam which is a great material as it is easily manipulated and affordable. He uses spackle which I'm not too familiar with but after seeing it used I'm tempted to have a go at some scratch builds and see how it is. An interesting part is that he includes his mistakes which reminds you that even the most experienced modellers mess up sometimes.

Highly Detailed RC Military Vehicles

Last week, I showed you all a video of some RC planes which I thought was interesting. This week, we have something along the same lines also coming from the RC department. On display are some highly detailed and fully functioning military vehicles. These include tanks, trucks, cars and more. Some of these even include smoke which looks brilliant. Seeing these easily traverse the muddy landscapes they have created is a joy.

The World's Longest Model Railway Track

As I'm sure many of you are aware, The Grand Tour's final episode is airing on Friday, so I've decided to feature an episode of James May's Toy Stories where he attempts to beat the record for the Longest Model Railway Track. There is so much packed into this episode, including a trip to Miniatur Wunderland, an impressive garden model railway, Pendon Model Railway Museum and much, much more. For this project, he had many volunteers for laying down the track, creating models and operating the entire operation. A highlight in this video for me is the fact that James got access to the only prototype of the bullet train by Hornby. This video is 50 minutes long but it's definitely worth the watch if you have some time to kill. James May is a great presenter, and he even uses one of his old Flying Scotsman locos that he had since 1972. The track is a whopping ten miles long! I don't want to spoil the video for you, so I'd highly recommend giving it a watch.

Well, that's it from me this week. Hopefully, these videos bought you some joy and some new techniques! And as a bonus something a little light-hearted to finish off… 

New Stuff

Right then… it's time for links to the new stuff… Not a lot this week unfortunately… but some hopefully useful stuff nonetheless. So this week we've got a veritable trio of texture papers for you. They might not look much on screen but in real life I can assure you they look the mutts nuts. And when the two wall textures are used on a building, they really come to life!

And a quick not on the textures, the downloadable versions are included in the First Class membership to RailwayModellers. Or if you prefer the download without the membership you can access the Pay As You Go versions here and download them for a small one-off payment which goes in the kitty to keep the staff biscuit tin topped up :)

Thanks for your feedback last week on the N gauge stuff. It's a difficult one to be honest and I still don't know the answer… I'll give it all some more thought while we're driving up and down the M5.

Right… that's about it for this edition of the weekly news. We're off to paint a mug or something like that… Well, we'll have been and come back by the time you read this. And then we're heading back northwest to take Elizabeth back to Liverpool on Saturday. Which is now today… (mind blowing this, writing the newsletter this early in the week). I'll try and take a few more photos of interesting buildings while I'm up there which will make good subjects for future kits.

Have an amazing weekend folks… And of course…

Keep on shunting…

Justin, Tina, Elizabeth, Lola & The Team

P.S. This weekend's header image comes from Rob York over on the Railway Modellers Club with this wonderful shot of Carlettdale Holes Quarry which reminds me very much of Bardon & Cliffe Hill quarries where my Dad used to work.

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

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Justin, I didn't get chance to comment on your thoughts about your future development of N gauge products. I sympathise,given the cost of developing new products that you may be reluctant to produce items which may not sell in the difficult current climate. In the past I have supported tou at MR shows by buying stuff that I liked, even if I did not have an immediate use for it. What I would say is that some of your n gauge buildings eg: terrace houses duplicate what other manufacturers are producing. I would only consider pre-ordering items that are unique, such as some of your cornish oo designs.

Hi Justin. I have noticed that since you have switched to coming to the site for Newsletters, that a lot of the videos you include are mostly the entertainment side of things, rather than the constructive or informative side of the hobby. For instance, out of five videos, only one explains something to build this week. Previously, the videos tended to be about constructing things, including the use of how to use SMC products! I enjoyed these greatly and they came in handy. My YouTube page, despite watching lots of the hobby videos, doesn't recommend them, So your newsletter was helpful in that respect.

A possible reason for the lack of sales in other scales could be simply down to people not knowing about them, not lack of interest. I model in n gauge and rarely even look at your retail site or consider it as I know that there is a distinct lack of products, plus I just get annoyed with all the stuff that I'd like to get that's only available in OO. Metcalfe have no problems selling and producing new items in N, but then they advertise everywhere with full page add, showing what they produce in N. Those of us who model N are crying out for UK specific buildings but really only have a few options if we don't go for US or European 1/160 scale stuff. If you don't advertise in the right places, of course it will stay on your shelves.

Hi just wanted to say thanks for my order it came really quick lookin forward to getting stuck into all the goodies I got thanks very much.

Hi Justin & Sam

Like many others I look forward to your weekly newsletters and Sam’s selection of videos related to our hobby. Can I draw your attention to the attached video.

With all the recent negative press about “is our hobby doomed”, along with the announcement of the two new shows at the NEC later this year, I think that this video sends out an incredibly positive message about the health of railway modelling in the UK.

Leamington and Warwick Model Railway Society is a thriving club based in South Warwickshire. In contrast to many of the messages of doom and gloom we have continued to grow and now have over 100 members. With 7 exhibition layouts in N, 00, P4 and 0, last year we completed construction of a 90m outdoor Gauge 1 track which has attracted even more interest in the club. Whilst our clubhouse is quite large, we are now bursting at the seams and have reached the point where we need to create additional space, not only to accommodate our existing members, but also to give us the additional space required to develop new layouts in other scales. Consequently we are investing a considerable sum in creating a mezzanine floor which will give us the space to do this.

I hope you find the video interesting, and worth sharing in one of your forthcoming newsletters/ Please feel free to get in touch if you require any further information.

Best wishes

Mark Reader