Creating Ultra-Realistic Scenery Plus An Epic Chemical Plant Layout

Creating Ultra-Realistic Scenery Plus An Epic Chemical Plant Layout

Morning gang!

How's things? Hope you've had an amazing week… Back to the more prototypical Cornish weather this weekend which means it's perfect modelling weather! Not too hot, not too cold, and mostly raining and windy so you don't feel guilty about being indoors at the workbench. The lawn's 3ft high but who cares!

Oh and we've got three rather cute baby seagulls on our roof at home! They hatched weekend before last I think and my goodness they're growing quick. They're getting rather adventurous too, exploring most of the roof now at the back of our bungalow. Just hoping one of them doesn't decide to take a leap off it just yet!

So, what have you been up to this week? We've had an incredibly productive one down here in the Southwest, with a couple of new products on the go (details shortly). Tina & I have firmed up plans for a massive shopfloor rejig. It won't happen overnight… it'll be more a series of long, steady changes, which will improve operational efficiency and give us more productive space… And much more room to display dioramas etc.

I can't believe we're just a week and a bit away from completing our fourth year in this unit, either. That's gone stupidly quickly. And we did that usual thing when we took the lease out on the building of thinking “nah… we'll never fill this”… and now we're rejigging to fit more in!

As always there's lots of other stuff going on behind the scenes. Jess has been cracking on with a variety of things now that our social media profiles are looking much better. I think she's learning the marketing side of the business very quickly. And she's been helping me get to grips with some spreadsheet witchcraft! I can do basic stuff, but my knowledge of formulars is incredibly limited. 

Tina's been helping me with a test build or two as well as looking after production and fulfilment with Scott & Carl, keeping everything running lovely and smoothly.

The Railway Modellers Community is going great guns too, and it feels like everything is coming together as it should now. There's been some great conversations going on in there this week and some rather super modelling too. Still loads to do on it though. 

And the new digital printing press that was delivered last week has settled in very well indeed, speeding up kit production just a teeny tiny bit, but it should be much more reliable than its ageing predecessor. As with any new bit of kit, there's always a learning curve when it comes to trying to get it to work in the same way as its predecessor. But they support team at Xerox and the suppliers are very good indeed, so we're making great progress with it. In fact, because of some of the new features, we're actually had some ideas for new products.

Product Development - Latest News

This week, I got stuck into the new Pigsty kit which has been great fun to develop. It's quite a small kit which means there are quite a few small wraps to apply, but they're easy enough to install and the finished kit will look superb in any farm scene. It's not quite finished as we ran out of time on Thursday evening when we were half way through fitting the roof slates. So rather than rush it to get the photos done, and with us needing to head up to Liverpool on Friday, we decided it was best to finish it off on Monday and launch it next week… so you'll have to look out for that in next weekend's newsletter. 

Sam's been perfecting his Village Signs kit which has come together nicely. Village welcome signs are one thing that's always missing from layouts or dioramas unless you want to get all fancy with the graphics software and make your own of course. So he's has taken up the challenge and created a complete set of signs for detailing a small village or town scene. They're nearly there but didn't quite make it in time for release for the newsletter unfortunately.

A few other projects have inched along this week too so hopefully they'll see the light of day very soon, but you'll have to wait and see what they are!

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

Morning everyone. Fingers crossed you've had a great week, now it's time to make the most of the weekend! As Justin said, I've been working on the Village Signs, this is going to include customizable “Welcome To” signs and all of the essential giving orders road signs (plus a couple of extras like “Regular Speed Checks” and so on. Anyway, I don't want to give it all away but make sure you keep an eye out for those. 

The Newsletter videos are going to be slightly changed but they will follow a similar format each week:

  • 1 or 2 Interesting Layouts
  • 1 or 2 Discussion Videos / Tutorials
  • 1 Exhibition Video (Unless there are a couple of exceptional shows)

However, if one of you has sent me a video or your channel in which you produce quality content - I'm more than happy to give you a quick shoutout in this intro section. As always, we are still looking for your amazing modelling including our products! Behind the scenes, Jess is working hard on the catalogue so any images from you guys would be ideal. We have received some incredible modelling from layouts I've never seen before so please, keep them coming. You can send these to my email - or the help desk.

One last thing before we crack on with the videos. I wanted to give a massive shoutout to everyone in the club who has stuck with us despite having the small paywall. It's such a great community and I'm honoured to be a part of it. Thank you!

Anyway, grab some biscuits and a cup of tea because it's time for some videos.

Chemical Plant Railroad Layout (Z Scale)

Next, here is one of the best Z gauge layouts I've come across. This video comes from PILENTUM (a channel featured all the time, most recently was the F1 race a couple of weeks ago). A little bit of information can be found about the modeller in the description:

"This unbelievably detailed model railway diorama was built by Claudius Veit, a German model maker. Construction has so far taken three years, although not all the buildings have been fully weathered. A special feature of this ingenious miniature railroad are the many small vehicles and large trucks, which are moved by a magnetic drive system (“Magnorail Car System”). There are literally hundreds of details to discover on every square centimetre."

One small detail that made me fall in love with this layout is at approximately 6 minutes in, you can see some warehouse windows which look so good!

An Epic Model Railway Layout Shed

Here's a new channel I discovered recently, Victorian Steam. In this video, Kieran (I believe that's his name and his mate Oscar called him it in another one of their videos, I may have spelt it wrong) takes us through his man cave! He mentions in this video that he is taking a trip to Canada and America so I'm expecting some great videos in the near future. It's great to see some younger faces in the hobby.

Absolutely love the layout and he's got the most gorgeous dog named Sam.

Nail Your Open Country Scenery

For the tutorial video this week, here is a brilliant video from Ron's Trains N Things. A few weeks ago, I featured one of his videos on painting a back-scene (which can be found by clicking here) and I figured this would be the perfect video to continue with his tutorials. Combining this with the back-scene video will allow you to create a fantastic landscape. I've been binge-watching his videos recently and I'd recommend you do the same! He's got some top-notch tutorials.

Fancy having a crack at something like this? Check out our range of grasses, flowers, flocks and more here.

West Wales - 1st June 2024 (Exhibition Coverage)

Finally, we have a video from Cymru Rails (who I have a feeling you'll be seeing quite a lot of as they have some brilliant exhibition videos). In this, they highlight 11 layouts from the West Wales Model Railway Exhibition 2024. From the description, this event was “held on Saturday, 1st June 2024 at the Bronwydd Arms Village Hall in Carmarthen. This event was organised by The West Wales Railway Modellers, incorporating The West Wales O Gauge group.”

That's all the videos I have for you! Hopefully, you find these useful and or entertaining. Be sure to let me know what you think about these videos in the comments. Like every week, feel free to send me any videos that you find interesting and I'll be sure to mention you in the caption. You are more than welcome to send me a message via the club, my username is @sam and I'm always happy to discuss/help in any way I can. Have a great rest of your weekend and week ahead.

New Stuff

Ahem… yeah… let's skip this bit this week… there will be plenty next week though.

Back In Stock…

We've have however, had another scenic product delivery this week, with many our premium quality ballasts coming back into stock as well as the ever-popular thistles & gorse bushes.

Click here to browse all our ballast shades

Click here to browse all boulders, rocks & gravels

Click here to browse all plants & flowers

Product Collections…

Stu's also been working on improving our product collection pages, helping you find what you need quicker. This week, these two have had a right good makeover:

OO Scale Farm Buildings | OO Scale Farm Equipment

Right, that's about it for this edition of the weekly news. We're actually up in the midlands for a couple of days as of course, we picked Elizabeth up from Uni yesterday for the summer break. So we thought we'd take the opportunity to visit parents before heading back down south, with Tina's mum and dad again tomorrow as they're coming down to spend a few days in Meva… Then back in the office on Monday for us.

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 Steve WW over on the Railway Modellers Club with this brilliant breaktime scene… Will they ever get those barrels shifted?

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

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It's not the chicks that are an issue but watch out for the parents as the chicks get larger, they can be nasty if they are protecting the chicks.

we know as we have the same issues up here in Blackpool with the gulls