How To Get Your Modelling Mojo Back, Plus Two Huge HO Scale Layouts & More!

How To Get Your Modelling Mojo Back, Plus Two Huge HO Scale Layouts & More!

Morning Gang!

How's things? Ooh it's warmed up a bit down here this week. The sun has definitely had its hat on this week, and it's been rather lovely to be able to sit in the garden and have a few cups of tea, listening to the birds and just having a minute, pondering life and all that.

How's your week been? We've been pretty busy as usual, mostly working on behind the scenes stuff and a project that will be unveiled in the near future through various outlets… Can't say much yet, but keep your eyes peeled and you'll spot it with a bit of luck! It's the first big project I've worked on with Jess, and it's really come together this week. And I have to say I'm really blummin' impressed. She's done an absolutely cracking job. But like I say… keep your eyes peeled over the next few weeks. We've also been diving deep into our to-do lists for the coming month or so… working out who's doing what and when. As always, there's a million bazillion jobs to do.

It's been a bit of a whirlwind week as usual, especially with it being bank holiday last Monday. It always makes things a bit hectic as it compresses the week massively. Even though it's just one day out of the office. So Tina, Carl & Scott have been right up to their ears this week down on the shopfloor… doing a sterling job of keeping everything running.

Oh and Lola has fully recovered from her dental work and is now back to her usual bouncy, somewhat vocal self! She's coped with having a few less teeth really well. I think it's the follow up appointments at the vets that she just hasn't been too keen on.

And the photos for the new catalogue are still coming in thick and fast! Absolutely amazing work all round from everyone. So thank you again.

Product Development - Latest News

This week, Stu's working on the OO gauge version of the low relief chapel, which makes a lovely model indeed. Hopefully, by the time I get to the end of writing this newsletter, it'll be live and available for you to order.

Sam's been back on the textures again, working on some huge 1:14 or 1:12th scale roof slate textures, but most of his time has been taken up working on our social media stuff.

And I've mostly been busy getting my half the of the joint project with Jess, as well as taking care of loads of other bits and pieces, so I've not had a huge amount of creative time this week. There is one laser cut thing I finished off, but it's not going to be available until Jess's thingy goes live, so we'll all just have to wait for that :)

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

Good morning. I hope you've had a great week. My section this week is going to be structured differently than usual. A couple of Newsletters ago, I featured some archived videos which I thought were interesting and you thought the same. So I'm going to divide the videos up a little bit. To start, there are 2 videos of discussion and I noticed you seem to enjoy these types of videos as well. I've got 2 videos which showcase some large, extremely detailed layouts.  Finally, I've got a handful of archived media again.

It's time for some videos!

How To Overcome Burnout - Getting Your Mojo Back

For my first video, I've selected comes from DIY and Digital Railroad. Jimmy has been featured in this Newsletter before and for good reason! He's got some excellent content. In this, he discusses how you can revive your passion and overcome model railroading burnout.

Like everything in life, you are going to get burnt out. Sometimes, the hobby can feel like a chore. You need to remember that no one is forcing you to model! If you need to take some time away from the hobby then do it. "Absence makes the heart grow fonder." - this also applies to model railroads. Jimmy himself says that he's taken time away from his layout despite it being in his office.

Let us know in the comments what you do when you get burnout.

Firefighting and Police Trains

Next, we have a video from a favourite of mine - V12 Productions. I'm a huge fan of this channel as the production is great and they cover some pretty interesting topics to do with the railroads. In this, he discusses some of the locomotives used for firefighting and police. I know this is an American channel so a lot of this doesn't apply to us in the UK but it's still interesting. Do we have any American readers? Let me know, I'm curious, there must be some of you out there!

A highlight for me has to be the 2 trains dedicated to the police and the firefighters. I love the paint jobs and it perfectly encaptures the American frame of mind. I'd highly recommend checking out Charlie's channel for more entertainment.

Largest HO Scale Layout In France

Right, so those were the videos with discussion as the main theme. Now, it's time for some impressive layouts. First, we have The Largest HO Scale Model Railway Layout in France Mini World Lyon. This layout is a whopping 1.1 acres containing 30,000 miniature people and 4,000 animals and includes scenes changing from day to night every 20 minutes.

There is an incredible amount of detail. Some of the highlights for me are the main cathedral, the snowy mountains (especially the polar bear part), the fireworks at night and the entire beach/dam section. Also, some smaller details which caught my attention were the man of the elephant in the car park, the maze, the car covered in foliage and the guys failing to put up a tent. I could go on and on about so many little details. This video is 47 minutes long and I'm sure there's even more they could've highlighted.

Largest HO Scale Layout In Switzerland

Going across a country, we have the largest HO Scale Model Railway Layout in Switzerland. This is a massive layout and they recommend allowing at least 1.5 hours for your visit. Reading the reviews, everyone seems to think highly of this place. Describing it as "designed with a lot of love" and "real artists at work".

Just like Mini World Lyon, this layout has so much detail everywhere you look. Smilestones showcases some of the most well-known tourist destinations in Switzerland. A couple of parts which caught my attention were the underwater section and the sheer height of the mountain face. Can you imagine how long these types of layouts would take to make? Certainly worth the effort. 

Archived Videos

This next section is a continuation of the previous archived videos which were from 1936 to 1967. The videos I've selected now range from 1967 to 1988. Last time, the videos were courtesy of British Pathé. This time, they come from the BBC Archive. 

Kicking off the archived videos, we have a video of Vic and Lou Martin who live on the Isle of Sheppey. They are both retired and spend their time operating a brilliant model railway world based on the pre-war Midland Main Line between St Pancras and St Albans.

It's so sweet to see them operating the layout together. 

First, we see Chris Bladen and his mates from the Dean Forest Railway Preservation Society. They own a steam engine (which cost £500 at the time). They can be seen preserving the engine and building track. Their biggest supporters, the Rhys family, are interviewed stating "It keeps us young".

This video also includes Vic and Lou! This time in colour. 9 years later and he is still complaining about the mice.

Many of you would've heard of the Pendon Museum. In this video, from 1975, we can see the progress they have made so far - mainly houses. The detail on these is incredible and you can see the care that went into creating them.

One thing that caught my attention was the trees. Andy Price gives us an insight, they use wire for the trunks! I only recently found out about this method and I'm shocked to learn it dates back to the mid-20th century.

He also speaks to the founder, Roye England, about the techniques used.

Ending off the videos, we have an interview from 1988 with Rev W. Awdry (the creator of Thomas The Tank Engine). Terry Wogan asks a series of questions ranging from steam engines to the influence of Thomas. It's interesting to learn that he based Gordon on a real child who used to play with W. Awdry's son. 

Anddd that's all of the videos I have for you this weekend. I hope you've enjoyed them! Have you stumbled across a video which would be perfect for the newsletter? Feel free to send them my way. As always, I'd love to hear your feedback so 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. 

New Stuff

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

Back In Stock

And we have some of our most popular resin OO Gauge 3D printed stuff back in stock…

Community Conversations

Over on the Railway Modellers Club this week, we've been having a few conversations about a whole variety of things… Join in the discussions via the links below:

Right… that's about it for this edition of the weekly news. We're off to take Lola out for a walk, then probably just sit in the garden for a bit and enjoy the sunshine while sketching a few ideas and researching things! Got rather a lot of books to read too! It's one of my creative places where a lot of ideas are generated. Right… I'm off!

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 Howard over on the RailwayModellers Community with this brilliant shot of his layout, Chuffnell Regis, where preparations for D Day are well under way!

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

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