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BackRoomBoffin

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  1. Hey all, I had another idea I thought belonged on this thread, although strictly speaking not an imaginary locomotive, but another repurposing of existing stock for an imaginary railway of the past: I'm not necessarily a fan of the neo-Awdry stuff that appears here now and again, and I appreciate is very popular with many, because the overall backstory to the railways on Sodor is a bit too … neat? Thing is, in my head, if you had a large semi-autonomous island off the Northwest coast of the UK and a sufficient industrial economy for heavy mainline rail, in the immediate pre- and post-war period it would have had a) a large military or naval base and b) a complicated local politics and quite possibly a local separatist terrorist movement. And even then it probably wouldn't have been running, eg, Pacifics. (Possibly after WWII it would have had a USA military presence and Cold War spying, but that's another issue.) But then I discovered the history of the Palestine Railways, being an interwar British-run railway in a 'colonial' area with a strong military legacy being entirely equipped with either WW1 military surplus locomotives, or locomotives built or rebuilt by British manufacturers... Transplant its locomotive stock to a northern-hemisphere location, and you have a perfect representation of what a small, cash-strapped, embattled but autonomous system in the 1930s actually looked like, particularly if you monkey with Awdry slightly. A bit like an Irish railway of the same era, but different. To make some parallels with Railway Series locomotives... 'Edward' becomes an ex-ROD Baldwin 4-4-0 'James' becomes an ex-LNWR Webb 17" 0-6-0 or ex-LSWR 395 0-6-0 'Percy' and 'Duck' become Manning Wardle 0-6-0STs 'Henry' becomes the ex-Baldwin 4-6-0s rebuilt twice (into 4-6-2Ts and 4-6-4Ts) 'Gordon' becomes the larger, more powerful and faster North british 4-6-0s which were technically mixed-traffic engines but were their nearest thing to express engines. and 'Thomas' becomes the Nasmyth WIlson 0-6-0Ts (which were a strikingly odd but winning combination of a Jinty, an LMS 2MT tank, Scottish-style curved tank tops, and an SR USA tank) I can't find a home in the Irish Sea or North Atlantic for the Kitson 2-8-4Ts, though...
  2. DOn't know about Mersey Rly, but here's a possible impression of a Wirral Railway train in what looks like light brown / teak... https://www.travellingartgallery.com/landscape/historic/detail/H016.html I am not for a moment suggesting that a C Hamilton Ellis picture gives you a detailed scale guide to panelling, in case anyone makes this point.
  3. I'm mainly watching the assembled throng with awe, but with regard to Saxon chariot styles, it's worth pointing out that the Saxon kingdoms can be divided in the early kingdoms, the so-called Heptarchy, the period of VIking invasion, and the unified kingdom of England (ie pre-grouping, post-grouping, wartime, and nationalisation). So the 10th century drawing I posted is OT, as it's post-grouping (I think). I'll get me coat.
  4. Oh, and Dave is effectively now working as CME / Chief Draughtsman to a railway of roughly the period 1880 to 1900 that that never existed. (Hattonshire Union Railway?)
  5. Judging by this, round-top panelling not unremeniscent of Metropolitan stock, or early Midland pullmans. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_horse_in_Britain#/media/File:Anglo-Saxon_Chariot_10th_century.jpg
  6. Unhelpful thought: I am reminded of the 'tea' on DOuglas' Adams Heart Of Gold. But better.
  7. I apologise for the overly-combative use of 'deal with' which I shall remove. But I think my point is there is an untapped group of people who want to model pre-group, want to get something running as a priority, and then turn to kit- and scratch- modelling as an ornament to an existing viable layout. This option has been offered to grouping and BR- era modellers for, well, ever. Just because it's not been done with pre-grouping era stock, because of the much larger variation in pre-grouping era stock, does not mean it should not be done. I'm not saying I WON'T model my own now this option exists. I'm saying this option makes it easier for me to contemplate modelling my own. Some people seem to be assuming that the market for all pre-group rtr models is the sum-total of all people currently modelling pre-group, and therefore this project won't fly. I am saying that may be an error.
  8. As I pointed out, there are stunning railways on the exhibition circuit with region- and railway-specific buildings repainted into other companies' liveries. I just don't see the difference. No one thinks it's 'perfect' or the ultimate goal. Loads of people think it's acceptable and good enough, to get started until eternal tinkering completes the picture with something more accurate.
  9. a) I think there is a new breed of pre-grouping modellers, tempted in by the interest in light railways and -- as I said above -- limited space b) I think it's dismissive to say such people 'couldn't care less' c) I care, but having tried several abortive projects, I have little time d) I want enough affordable and plausible stock to get something running, and then I can ornament that core stock with stuff I have built myself and is prototype-accurate, as I improve. Also, I can research and specialise in things I particularly like, ... like, I don't know, parcels stock, or whatever, without feeling under pressure to make multiple kits before the whole thing looks halfway finished. e) I'm not going to start a new layout from scratch with handmaking every single item of my own stock for a pre-group era only to find it can't run. Baby steps, you know. f) that is a need the Ratio and Hornby stock could have previously met, but its 60s / 70s engineering is now getting far behind and jarring, it's getting harder to argue it's plausible behind any thing at all. g) Phil Parker and looooads of other people have talked about how they started out running and bashing airfix and Dapol and Hornby stock and locos, as they developed their skills, iteratively. h) this -in my view - may offer a possible modern answer to the same skills-development problem. I don't think people should be regarded negatively for taking the option. Again, people seem to think this is a zero-sum game -- either the 'purists' or the 'toy-train-fanciers' win. That's a ridiculous false dichotomy.
  10. As I said above, I may be an oddball but I think we need to not lump 'generic'/'freelance' in with 'out of scale'/'toytrain'. Just because the two concepts have historically been combined, does not mean that they can't be detached from one another. Of course, there are plenty of situations where there would be no point in doing so (why, for eg design a 'generic' small-wheeled light-railway 0-6-0T, when there are 2-3 well-known prototypes that worked across a number of railways / post-group companies, eg J72, Terrier, P, the GER types, and maybe in future a Brighton 'E' or an LNWR 0-6-0ST). But most people who model pre-group, and might not be in a position to create their own beautiful kit-built locos (...yet!), are looking for stuff in the period 1900-1923, I'd reckon - or it's Grouping and BR-era modellers looking for some pre-group variety to represent minor lines or superseded types. ...and then there's the drive for small types with small wheelbases, led by the interest in microlayouts and, to be frank, changing demography and the housing crisis. The Hornby 'County' 4-4-0 was very attractive in regards to it's short wheelbase, but there's a very limited number of plausible scenarios you can use it in. When it comes to small tender locomotives specifically, stock of those types during that period was being reduced down so that there were multiple small non-standard classes. Creating a plausible, adaptable, wide-market rtr option for that (ignoring 'glamour' or 'quirky' types eg Caledonian 123) is unlikely to be viable. (Although to be fair the preponderance of ex-LNWR 0-6-0s on WD and ROD railways might offer another route). So I do think there might plausibly be an opening there. I really do. If done well.
  11. I've just realised that 'Genesis' is a pun on 'generic'. Cor, I'm slow. However, I had been wondering if the name had been chosen as it's an attempt to find a common (possibly mythical) ancestor for multiple divided warring tribes, and people will be debating for years to come what the original intention was, and whether those who revere the end-product are ignoring certain problematic elements in its composition. (I speak as one who is currently supposed to be writing a sermon/homily thing for usage under live-fire conditions this coming Sunday)
  12. Apologies for wondering through and niggling at something the assembled honourable gentlefolk were discussing a few days before... But with regard to Adams, a) it seems that some of the (arguable / debatable) ugliness got left behind with Massey Bromley and b) although Beyers were unarguably involved in his LSWR work, the Sharp Stewart 348 class commissioned by the LSWR prior to his arrival and then nobbled by him, seemed to somewhat set the tone for what he did next. Overall, I've always found it interesting to put Brittain's CR locomotives, Sinclair's GER locomotives, and Adams' LSWR locomotives next to each other and compare...
  13. I'm coming at this from a very low skills base (and finances). I'm totally up for the idea that kit and scratchbuilding is more fun than plonking rtr. But I want something that runs and looks sufficiently plausible for my project, whilst I'm waiting for the result of my trial and error modelling to rise, like Frankenstein's monster, from the table. I built a Ratio 4-wheeler as a child, with intense support from my father. I always felt it looked a bit rubbish next to the rtr stock (which given this is the late 80s doesn't say much for my skills). Certainly, it stood out to me. This is not a zero-sum game. Many people want to expand their skills base. But many of those people don't trust their skill-base sufficiently to be the sole source of stock for an entire layout. As I've said before, above, this is the norm with regards to buildings. And frankly, I could cope with 'generic' pre-group locos, (but not with badly detailed out of scale 'toy train ones, which is what we've had before -- that's the difference!) but maybe I'm not very classy. I'll have an 0-6-0 with 19mm wheels, an 0-4-2 with 22mm wheels and a 2-4-0 with 25mm wheels please (this being OO). Roundtop firebox, Ramsbottom safety valves, dome, unsuperheated, round spectacles on a short cab (not bothered about side profile). ...In black with three lining options (red / green / blue), no numbering or lettering.
  14. If I were to buy and use these, in whatever livery, I'd be sorely tempted to take the self-justifying approach that these are (on what would almost certainly be a fictional branchline to a fictional location) coaches produced by a fictional railway that folded and whose stock was sold off to various other companies. In the same way that the LNWR sold off the ex-NLR stock to various other companies. The GWR, too, absorbed a huuuge amount of stock from its various constituents (and in some cases sold it on, and then acquired it back with the next absorption). There was an enormous second-hand trickledown market. OK, it's a cover-story to justify modeller's license, but I have a well-reputed magazine at home published this year with a several-page article explaining how they've repainted GWR building kits into NER colours for an exhibition layout set in the North East. In fact, given that a certain manufacturer maintains the sales-blurb fiction that its model buildings are all in the same village, I could even look to Hattons to produce these coaches in the livery of the fictional 'original' company (presumably c1890s?) ... drum me out of town now...
  15. Stand by for infinite 'how I adapted my Genesis coaches to have a more prototypical roof profile / duckets / windows / brakegear / whatever it is for X railway' articles over every magazine for 5 years to come.
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