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James Hilton





Now picture this, a warm balmy summer day. The air is warm but not sticky, comfortable t-shirt weather. Bright blue skies, windows down and the low burble of the exhaust of your brand new Escort XR3i. A light breeze is blowing across the meadow and a short horn blast sharpens your senses as a small 0-4-0 Sentinel shunter ambles across in front of you with a short train of work worn fuel tanks, reminding you that these days this is oil country.




As you rumble over the tracks into the yard you crane your head to catch a glimpse down the overgrown tracks towards the exchange sidings, desperate for a glimpse of something more exotic then the usual Rat.






Parking up in the shade of the building, the quiet calmness of the weekday afternoon reminds you of those long summer afternoons of your childhood. The gentle melody of Morrisey creeps into your consciousness as the workshop radio plays This Charming Man through an open door. A quick look around and the place is deserted so you grab a few photos, soak up the atmosphere before jumping back in the car and heading home, quite oblivious to the significance of recording the Indian Summer of these mundane industrial workings.





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Love the sketches James! Does this mean you're going ahead with this project? I've just read the article in the January RM about the Istil rolling mill - another inspirational waterside industrial.

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It's so nice to see someone planning based on more than simply what the track does. I like the setting, and your evocation of time and place. Go for it!

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Thanks guys...


Will - yes it does mean I'm going ahead with the project (and since it can be based indoors it'll probably move quite quickly). I will start with building the Sentinel and depending how that goes will determine if it's a go-er or not to be honest. Update from Charlie at DC Kits is that the motor bogie arrived from Australia last week so is just clearing customs before he gets it, packages her up with the kit and sends on to me! :)


Rich - thank you. I've deliberately started this with 'inspiration'. I thought if I could somehow capture what I'm trying to recreate in my minds eye, see it, hear it then I stand a good chance of pulling off something worth sharing with the world. I'm constantly motivated by others modelling (at whatever level) and like to share mine - and I hope with the passage and sketches I've actually captured a few of my readers imaginations as well.


For those that haven't guessed - the year is 1983. The XR3i will be a Oxford Diecast model (tweaked and detailed) and the diarama will have a speaker mounted in the workshop... only kidding - although I guess I could have a CD of the Smith's first album on loop along with some seagulls and other industrial noises mixed in playing quietly in the back ground?!


I was 3 in 1983 so it's not really a living memory. I do remember the industrial railways at Bristol Docks (another potential future project!) from my childhood summers staying with my Nana at Ashton Gate and walking down to see Henbury, the SS Great Britain and the 'yellow diesel' at the Weston Fuel Co! Funny how you remember certain things. Anyhow - with this layout it's a chance to have a go at P4, kit construction, point construction, super detail and actually finish it.


Guess what I was listening to last night whilst flicking through books on the MSC Railway?!!! Yup - the Smiths.




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Very inspiring indeed, and the sketches convey nicely the kind of atmosphere that you're looking to achieve. That's one thing I wish I could do, so I can communicate what I want to achieve before I do it, but can't. I have to wait until it's finished, or find appropriate photos to give an impression. It's also why track gets roughly plonked on the board before being fastened so it can be tweaked, the design is more of a guideline to me!


I've had a few industrial urges coming on of late (inspired by an earlier feature on the same Istil rolling mill mentioned above) so will be watching this with great interest B)

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although I guess I could have a CD of the Smith's first album on loop

Wouldn't it have to be a nice hissy tape for authenticity ;)


PS, do I also get a prize for spotting that the tankers in your sketch are Esso TTA's? :lol:

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Hi Martin - thanks! :) a hissy tape would be much more appropriate wouldn't it!!

Haha you've spotted my anal attention to detail, yeah they're the Esso ones... although I think I'm going to do a Shell BP one first. I've only found a Mobil one for sale (at Kernow) so not sure whether to go for that or wait until the new batch from Bachmann arrive. I'm not in a big rush for that yet :)


I've another post waiting to make but I'm getting a bit frustrated with the gallery upload thingamy so will wait until it's sorted :)

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