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Model Railway Constructor Magazine - Special Issues


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I want to say a belated “thank you” to Chris Leigh for the excellent series of specials that he produced whilst editor of Model Railway Constructor Magazine.  I say belated because the MRC became extinct in 1987.  I have recently rediscovered these specials which cover all aspects of building a model railways such as planning, building baseboards, scenery, buildings, loco kits and advice for beginners.  There is also one on garden railways but as that doesn’t apply to me, I haven’t bothered buying that one.

 

i am planning to build a model of Moretonhampstead (terminus of a branch line from Newton Abbott) as it was in 1947.  Having previously tried to build layouts based on Plymouth Friary in OO gauge and Tavistock North in N gauge using baseboards using 18mm ply in open top and L-Girder framework, Mr Leigh’s suggestion to use 6, 9 or 12mm ply as a series of formers to support the trackbed came as something of a revelation.  My plan is to build my layout using the methods described in these Specials and subsequent modelling books I have bought as I plan to scratch build all the buildings or adapt kits to suit, such as using the old Airfix/Dapol water tower kit without the supporting wires between the uprights.  I have just ordered the track work components from Marcway and have already printed off my Templot track plan.  I have estimated the length as 18’ and will need to incorporate a 180 degree curve to fit within the space I have available.  I am hoping that by building a branch line terminus with only seven points, I will have a greater chance of finishing the layout than getting demoralised by the size of the project in hand and losing motivation.

 

The current Covid-19 pandemic and my own situation of being confined to the house/garden/shed for the next three months means that I probably won’t be getting started on the construction of baseboards for sometime.  However, that will allow me to crack on with turnout building and planning the structures.  I will create a separate layout thread once I am underway.

Edited by 6029 King Stephen
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I endorse that thank you to Chris.  I always thought that the 'Constructor' was the best model railway mag of its time.  I still find myself looking through my collection of back numbers, and occasionally look for certain copies on ebay.  It was the main magazine which encouraged me to take up railway modelling. 


Good luck with your Moretonhampstead  model. 

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They were alright. Possibly a bit basic and not going into the subjects in depth, understandable as they were only about fifty pages long. Still worth having though.

 

The locomotive kit building one was very good.

 

The most useful one is the Model Drawings Reference Book No. 7. Which has a list of all the drawing produced in the major magazines from the 1940s up until the mid 1980s. It also lists the books which have drawings in them. 

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Model-Railway-Constructor-Special-Reference/dp/0711015252

 

 

 

Jason

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Rev Edward Beal, now there was a real pioneer in 00 model railways. I remember his West Midlands layout. 00 gauge outside 3rd rail. MERCO building papers, and the 12 books in his Railway Modelling Series. 

 

 

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7 hours ago, 21C1 said:

Rev Edward Beal, now there was a real pioneer in 00 model railways. I remember his West Midlands layout. 00 gauge outside 3rd rail. MERCO building papers, and the 12 books in his Railway Modelling Series. 

 

 

He also did some TT stuff in the late 50s, most using Airfix kits, cut & shut.

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On 08/04/2020 at 08:21, 6029 King Stephen said:

 

 

I have just ordered the track work components from Marcway

Sorry to go off topic but could I ask how you made your order? I too want to order from marcway but the shop is closed.                                                                                                   Thanks 

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I called the shop number and there is an answerphone message, at the end of which you are told to call Mark on a different number.  When I called that number, Mark took my order and payment details.  Having not yet received anything and payment not coming out of my bank account, I called Mark yesterday to get an update.  He told me that it was just him completing the orders as the shop is closed and that he had quite a backlog.

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I have always enjoyed reading Model Railway Constructor. I found Chris Leigh's reviews much more thorough than those in the Railway Modeller and he was not afraid to criticise errors in models.  He still contributes to the RM Web.

 

About 40 years ago the Model Railway Constructors were in plentiful supply and the Swanage Railway was selling those at Modelworld in Brighton and other magazines for 20p each and they sold quite well. A gentleman browsed through some magazines and claimed he was a collector of Model Railway Constructor.  He bought the lot.  Later we found he had put them on his stand and was trying to sell them for 50p each.  At the end of the show he still had loads on his stand. The Swanage Railway had gained from the 20p profit from each one and we did not have to take a car boot full of Model Railway Constructors home.

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6 hours ago, 6029 King Stephen said:

I called the shop number and there is an answerphone message, at the end of which you are told to call Mark on a different number.  When I called that number, Mark took my order and payment details.  Having not yet received anything and payment not coming out of my bank account, I called Mark yesterday to get an update.  He told me that it was just him completing the orders as the shop is closed and that he had quite a backlog.

Thanks for the info, may leave it a bit if he's snowed under.

Cheers 

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5 hours ago, Robin Brasher said:

I have always enjoyed reading Model Railway Constructor. I found Chris Leigh's reviews much more thorough than those in the Railway Modeller and he was not afraid to criticise errors in models.  He still contributes to the RM Web.

 

About 40 years ago the Model Railway Constructors were in plentiful supply and the Swanage Railway was selling those at Modelworld in Brighton and other magazines for 20p each and they sold quite well. A gentleman browsed through some magazines and claimed he was a collector of Model Railway Constructor.  He bought the lot.  Later we found he had put them on his stand and was trying to sell them for 50p each.  At the end of the show he still had loads on his stand. The Swanage Railway had gained from the 20p profit from each one and we did not have to take a car boot full of Model Railway Constructors home.

Serves him right for lying. Nothing worse than having to drag unsold magazines back home! At least he saved the SR, from doing just that!

Edited by kevinlms
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  • 2 weeks later...

It is now three weeks since I placed my order and still no sign of it and no communication from Marcway.  I will give him a call today and see if he can tell me when I am likely to receive it.  Although there is no immediate hurry, I would like to know that I haven’t been forgotten or if there is a part of my order that is causing a delay.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My order arrived last Monday (4 May) - so quite pleased with that.  Ordered two Peco IL-116 Track gauges from Track Shack as they were the only place showing them in stock.  I have never used them before but would definitely use them again and have no reservations in recommending them to others.  Order arrived within two days.

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