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The weekend of March 9-10th saw the annual Keighley Model Railway exhibition in West Yorkshire in England. Now it is rare for there to be two Z gauge layouts at a show but Chris Wright was there with his 'Bullet Trains' layout and I was there with 'Republic Steel'. The show runs concurrent with the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway Spring Steam gala and I called in on the way down on Friday before setting up the show. I spotted some lads from the other layouts on the trains who had had the same idea! Chris's layout is 8ft 6" long and features sporadic lightning and thunder to liven things up. Obviously the Shinkansens are Rokuhan He has modelled it in Cherry Blossom time He also had one of the Rokuhan mini layouts on display at one end (See video) My Republic Steel layout can be run either as British Rail 'Railblue era' 1950's USA or Showa era Japanese steam due to the fact that Blast furnaces are generic and look pretty much the same the world over. For the Keighley show it was running BR to highlight the wide variety of British rolling stock that can be modelled using kit-bashing and 3D printing techniques Just 4 ft 8" long it is an easy layout to transport and display The 3D printed Class 37 has been very popular with the public. Seen here with the recently completed Cardiff Rod mill wire coil train
Although I'm mainly known for Z gauge these days back in the eighties and nineties my main interest in railway modelling was gauge 1 either in 1/32nd scale for German or 10mm to the foot for British outline. I exhibited two gauge 1 exhibition layouts. Mardy Colliery was a representation of a typical National Coal board colliery with small industrial locomotives and typical British four wheel wagons. It was immensely popular on the show circuit but had a fatal flaw in its construction and its days were numbered as the baseboard tops began to sag at an ever increasing rate. I had already started to build its replacement 'Gottersee' a German branch line based on the line to Frasdorf in Bavaria on which I was going to run my Marklin RTR locos and also my scratchbuilt German locos and wagons. As the terminal station on the line it would require some shunting on any train that arrived so there would always be some action. Frasdorf station building The view towards the loco shed Construction started in earnest at the Sheffield '0' gauge group clubrooms and also at my workshop at home. Track was to be Tenmille flexitrack with hand laid points including a three way point at the station throat. After the disaster with Mardy baseboard tops were plywood not chipboard and as will all my layouts the baseboards were all the same size to make transport easier. Points were all to be operated by Fulgurex point motors except the three way. The buildings were built to drawings scaled off photos and as they are all typical Bavarian in appearance. A basic plywood shell was used with textured paint for the rendered areas and real wood cladding for the wooden bits. All were individual planks! The roof was wood with resin cast tile details and resin castings from my own patterns were used to make the windows and doors. Full interior detail was included including a risque scene in one of the bedrooms upstairs in the station building More soon Kev