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GMRC Series 2 - Episode 2 - 'Classic books'

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Channel 5 - Friday 20th September - 8.00pm - 9.15 pm

 

From Radio Times

 

SUMMARY

Three teams of modellers are given three days to create masterpieces based on the theme of best-selling book. The Seven Pillars of Wisdom by TE Lawrence (aka Lawrence of Arabia) is the inspiration for the Scarborough Flyers, sci-fi fans the Rail Riders choose HG Wells' classic War of the Worlds as their muse, while Team Phoenix's layout is inspired by various tomes by the queen of crime, Agatha Christie. As usual presenters James Richardson and Tim Shaw are joined by expert judges Kathy Millat and Steve Flint.

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I'm looking forward to this one. I think that the theme probably suits railway modelling better than last week's episode. And this time, it looks as though the teams have taken very different approaches - unlike last week, where it was really just a competition to see who could do the best Blue Peter style volcano.

 

Given the topic, Agatha Christie is an obvious choice - many of her stories feature railways, and one of her most famous books is set entirely on a train. So do we get to see some non-UK locos and rolling stock this week? I presume the rules don't disallow HO! But is it a bit too obvious a choice - will the judges mark it down for lack of creativity? We will see.

 

I really like the idea of a War of the Worlds themed layout. It's something I've even toyed with myself in the past, although to be authentic to the book's setting it would have to be early pre-grouping stuff, which is a bit of a challenge. It will be interesting to see if the team do make any attempt to set it in Wells's timeline, or at least something approximating to it. I will be a bit disappointed if they just stick tripods on a layout populated by blue diesels or modern EMUs.

 

I haven't read The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, so I don't know if that contains any obvious railway link. Either way, though, it's something of a left field choice of theme. And I presume the basic setting will be desert, which should make for a good contrast with the other contestants. If they can pull it off, I suspect this will get a good score for creativity. 

 

So, roll on Friday. 

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33 minutes ago, MarkSG said:

haven't read The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, so I don't know if that contains any obvious railway link

Lots of blowing up the hedjaz railway, shooting holes in the water tank etc. The hedjaz is a fascinating line, but to do it justice would require lots of scratchbuilding. I once built a model set in Sudan, but was never quite happy with the sand in the desert - it always looked not quite right to me, perhaps because I've never been in a proper hot desert... interesting choice though.

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19 hours ago, MarkSG said:

......I really like the idea of a War of the Worlds themed layout. It's something I've even toyed with myself in the past, although to be authentic to the book's setting it would have to be early pre-grouping stuff, which is a bit of a challenge. It will be interesting to see if the team do make any attempt to set it in Wells's timeline, or at least something approximating to it. I will be a bit disappointed if they just stick tripods on a layout populated by blue diesels or modern EMUs.

.

 

The Tom Cruise 'War of the Worlds' movie featured the Hell Gate Bridge in New York......Now that would be a modelling challenge !

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"I can see the marks from their cameltoes." :o

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That was close! I do think the best team won, but I liked the book layout as well, very innovative.

 

Hopefully the Rail Rider's layout was closer to proper modelling and will keep the pedants happy. I thought the speed the scenery went in was very impressive when you looked at the end result. 

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Are we going to get a separate thread per episode? I hope not!

 

One thread per series, OK. It retains continuity and provides a record of the series with its ups and downs.

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Think that the right layout won, but that the Agatha Christie layout was also very nice indeed - reminded me a great deal of the old Hornby Dublo aesthetic and the innovative use of a mail wagon was brilliant 

Edited by Edge
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9 minutes ago, JohnDMJ said:

Are we going to get a separate thread per episode? I hope not!

 

One thread per series, OK. It retains continuity and provides a record of the series with its ups and downs.

 didn't realise there was a thread for each episode until Andy pointed me towards this thread.

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Well, I was a bit disappointed that the War of the Worlds layout did, indeed, just use a seemingly random mix of diesel traction. But, I do still think it was the rightful winner.

 

This is one aspect of railway modelling, though, that doesn't seem to feature in the judging criteria. If a team chooses a theme for their layout that is best served by setting it in a particular time period (including, of course, the present day), then I'd like to see some marks for stocking the layout with appropriate traction and rolling stock. 

 

Oddly enough, both of the losing teams seemed to do that better than the winners in this episode. The Agatha Christie layout used trains that fitted the themes of the books, and the desert layout, while taking liberties with an early BR loco, had some very specific and relevant wagons. But, I suppose, you can't have everything, and maybe the producers and judges feel that this isn't something that can so easily be explained to a non-modelling viewer.

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They stated at the beginning that they were going to bring it forward in time (The war of the worlds) to the present day. After all they could have selected 'The time machine' as their theme.

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Diesels I imagine are much more forgiving of shoddy trackwork is a pretty good reason to use them given the time pressure they are under.

 

All very Gimmicky again though.

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Jenny definitely proved to be a speed builder, she doesn’t mess about does she

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12 minutes ago, Phil Parker said:

 

Seriously, a Pacer?

 

Not my getaway vehicle of choice for certain. Mind you, a worn out 31 isn't any better, they only let them go as far as L!andudno 'cos it was flat.

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Your call Andy, and not making an issue of it, but one thread for the series would (for me anyway) have been easier to cope with.

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2 hours ago, MarkSG said:

Well, I was a bit disappointed that the War of the Worlds layout did, indeed, just use a seemingly random mix of diesel traction. But, I do still think it was the rightful winner.

 

This is one aspect of railway modelling, though, that doesn't seem to feature in the judging criteria. If a team chooses a theme for their layout that is best served by setting it in a particular time period (including, of course, the present day), then I'd like to see some marks for stocking the layout with appropriate traction and rolling stock. 

 

Oddly enough, both of the losing teams seemed to do that better than the winners in this episode. The Agatha Christie layout used trains that fitted the themes of the books, and the desert layout, while taking liberties with an early BR loco, had some very specific and relevant wagons. But, I suppose, you can't have everything, and maybe the producers and judges feel that this isn't something that can so easily be explained to a non-modelling viewer.

Agree regarding your comment on a bonus point for best use of appropriate rolling stock.

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11 hours ago, PhilJ W said:

They stated at the beginning that they were going to bring it forward in time (The war of the worlds) to the present day. After all they could have selected 'The time machine' as their theme.

 

Yes, but they still had a gunboat on the lake though - which is rather Edwardian.

 

Having been a team captain and thus seen what teams could get in terms of rolling stock I suspect pre-Group stuff might have been a problem. Teams were restricted to what suppliers like Hornby and Bachmann had available at the time of order.  While there are lovely Edwardian locos and stock advertised on websites that doesn't mean that was in warehouses available to ship. I certainly had to scale back on what I envisaged through lack of availability.

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It did seem that more time was spent in this episode talking to team members about their models. Bodes well for future episodes

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2 hours ago, whart57 said:

 

Yes, but they still had a gunboat on the lake though - which is rather Edwardian.

 

Having been a team captain and thus seen what teams could get in terms of rolling stock I suspect pre-Group stuff might have been a problem. Teams were restricted to what suppliers like Hornby and Bachmann had available at the time of order.  While there are lovely Edwardian locos and stock advertised on websites that doesn't mean that was in warehouses available to ship. I certainly had to scale back on what I envisaged through lack of availability.

Quite true. We had to modify our wish list somewhat to fit the available stock. Don't forget also that teams get to keep the stock and layouts, so I'm quite certain that some buying choices are influenced by this. Not us, obviously, the Wickham trolley and Sentinel shunter were key to our layout and don't fit at all on my depot scene...

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