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James Hilton

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James Hilton last won the day on August 14 2010

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  • Location
    Near Llangollen
  • Interests
    Industrial and Narrow Gauge Railway Modelling

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  1. I’d suggest that if you’re really heading down a path as simple and distilled as Paxton Road the location / prototype is somewhat irrelevant. General architecture and structure will set the period, keep things neat and simple and let the locomotive and stock tell the story. For a layout without turnouts, I find Paxton Road incredibly fulfilling, and still play with it most weeks. The Farish 08s are wonderful, I’ve got 5!
  2. Keith, everyone of us is an artist, for an artist takes something and makes something that means something. I sincerely hope the books help, the first is more practical the second hopefully more thought provoking. The third, in hand, something else again. Best of luck, and enjoy the journey.
  3. Lovely - a 121 will always feel at home on Traeth Hafren!
  4. That is a mistake on the video - it’s not an operational layout as such, although it could be - my intention was to build some fiddle sticks that would fit on this, and an identically sized 009 cameo, but as yet these haven’t been built. As it stands, I didn’t cut through the backscene as I enjoyed it as a 3D picture more - it’s still for sale too…
  5. Whilst today’s Class 158s on the Far North will surely be facing the same fate, it is the Class 26 that will always, for me, be the most sorely missed… The autumn of 1984 proved to be the last chance to catch Sulzer type 2 power on the Kyle branch with the commissioning of the RETB (Radio Electric Token Block) system and introduction of the Class 37. As a child at the time I was blissfully unaware of that loss, instead stuck in my library book time lag where the plucky BoBos plied the route with their short Mk1 coach trains. The Dapol N gauge model is a wonderful capture of the character of the prototype. A few errors, which I live with - the shade of blue being the worst offender! Sat on Lochdubh, today I have created my own time machine. As the tardis, bigger on the inside my little slice of Scotland proves time and again to be a wonderful tonic and balm to a busy and stressful world. Until next time, more soon…
  6. Funny you mention that. I’ve got a cameo scheme drawn up for Cameron Bridge, and it would fit in about 1m in N, I think.
  7. This week has seen a re-focus on the Speedlink story - and especially 'Scottish' flavoured traffic. As well as some N gauge Society tank wagons (which will become Molasses tank wagons, as used on the Menstrie branch) I sourced a couple of carbon dioxide 'Distillers' tank wagons (as used on the Cameron Bridge branch). These are from Shapeways and printed in their new high resolution clear material which seems ok, but no better than the old 'Frosted Ultra Detail' really - certainly I'm not sure it's worth the price over the tan material. I am looking forward to bringing these all to life - but alongside you can see more Scottish flavoured projects providing some framing to the scene! The Tullis Russell PAA was a fun project I've written about previously. On the right is one of a quartet of re-worked Peco grain hoppers with parts designed by Will at Coventry Railworks - I have road-tested these kits, and I hope he is able to release them soon as they're lovely things!
  8. The childhood railway experiences of mine were two contrasts. The full fat bright colours of British Rail sectorisation on hand at Chester station with the desaturated black-and-white imagery found in books at the library… I have found myself expanding my model collection with less attention, perhaps intention to specific modelling projects. This ‘scope creep’ goes beyond existing layouts to dreams of new ones, attracted by images in books, videos on YouTube or snatches of long forgotten memories. A refocus brings what is important more clearly into sharp relief. This morning I put out a few of my Scottish models, enjoying their small form, the work of Chinese toolmakers and my hand in artful weathering. These feel welcome, calming, I feel at home amongst them. Lochdubh continues to delight, and whilst dreams of a larger exhibition style project based upon my imaginary branch line linger I continue to feel very much in love with this incredibly small slice of the Scottish Highlands. I opened with a reflection on ‘de-saturation’ in terms of experience of the prototype. I continued with the idea that through refocusing our modelling we can feel a lifting of the weight. The weight of expectation that all these items will one day require a layout! De-saturation if you like, space to breathe… Until next time, more soon…
  9. In the summer of 2022 Paxton Road was conceived. Today, in the spring of 2024 it is loved. What has happened in the intervening period is scope creep and a recent refocus, let me explain… We are all guilty of the impulsive purchase - and the very nature of the layout almost rewarded such an approach, its blank canvas making any new model feel at home. From pre-TOPS hydraulic to big red shed with a lot in between I’ve enjoyed the evolution and maturing of this wonderful layout. However - storage space is not infinite. Nor is my wallet! The opportunity to revisit the core essence of the layout was happened upon by chance, by placing the Railfreight 26 and a few suitable wagons on the layout, shorter, more compact 2 axle affairs… this brought the reason for its genesis clearly into focus and drove my recent ‘clear out’ of the 22, 24, 25 and 31 along with their vacuum braked stock. Paxton Road is Speedlink, it is 1990 and it is inspired by Scotland. I’ve enjoyed every moment of the scope creep and I’m sure more will occur but coming back to the raison d’etre, the purest of inspiration, the grey Sulzer has helped me reign back a collection release funds and find renewed enthusiasm for this tiny slice of make believe. Perhaps today is an opportunity for you to take a moment to assess your current project, or projects and revisit their genesis. Ask yourself are you happy with things as they stand or have you too fallen for retail therapy? It can be incredibly rewarding to refocus on the purest distillation of our inspiration and let the rest go… but for now until next time, more soon…
  10. Genuinely it is lovely to see you enjoying it! For anyone who missed this, one of my more expansive cameos, ‘Pont Dulas’ is for sale: https://paxton-road.blogspot.com/2024/03/for-sale-pont-dulas-in-n.html
  11. Thank you! James - sounds like the bug has truly bitten. The small layout offers those with space a welcome distraction and chance to indulge in diversions away from a longer term project. It offers the space starved a valuable approach to creating real character in a small space. A small layout is not small on the inside! Good luck with the N - I have loved it all. The DG Couplings transform the look of models and the Farish locomotives run beautifully.
  12. 08761, a gently weathered Farish 08, silent on Paxton Road. This transports me not just to childhood memories of Chester station watching similar liveried Sprinters, but to the library on a Saturday morning, in the basement level, sat on the big box steps at the back with a book from the ‘Transport’ section pouring over all the new sector liveries. Today’s blog, a slightly off-piste commentary on ‘art’ again… https://paxton-road.blogspot.com/2024/03/nostalgia-and-lack-of-clutter.html
  13. This is the stuff I use: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06Y67D1JH/ref=pe_27063361_485629781_TE_item
  14. I think you’ve created something wonderful here. Lovely work. I wonder if adding a passing loop would spoil the feel of the layout somewhat, its compact nature possible due to its limited complexity? I’d also suggest you’ve perhaps ‘overlit’ the layout? I would be using only one strip of LED in something of this size, glued to the inside top edge of the pelmet. If shadows are a problem, a second strip mid way would help, but I’ve never had a problem needing to use a diffuser. If you search in my blog I think there is a link to the brand of LED strip I use on all my projects these days.
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