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Thoughts on Weathering

Posted 31-10-2017 at 03:08 PM by Brocket Hall
An 00 GWR layout I saw at an exhibition recently was beautifully executed. Set in pre-nationalisation days it certainly caught the atmosphere of the old branch lines and, as the owner/operator pointed out, everything was weathered to a certain extent, trains and structures alike. He went on to say that it was his first layout and I complimented him on quite an achievement. He looked as though he was in his mid-thirties, so could have no memory of what he set out to model, but said that the older members of his club gave him much guidance.
My own memories of branch lines during the 1950's (mainly Eastern Region) are of the faded glories of the architecture, the interminable wait for any movement, the uncomfortable Gresley suburban carriages and the locomotives for which "grubby" was too kind a word. In fact, absolutely everything was filthy. Now, as a child it was a wonderful world for me, but my parents avoided train travel as much as possible because of the dirt and unreliability.(Although I recall Dad's Morris 8 conking out quite often!)
In 1958 I became a trainspotter with my schoolmates. Clutching my "combined volume" I did the rounds of London sheds about once a month,(Cricklewood, Old Oak, Willesden, Kentish Town and on rare occasions, Kings Cross, Stratford and Stewarts Lane), dropped in on the termini whenever possible and cycled to Hadley Wood to spend time trackside (East Coast main line) after school. We were all accustomed to seeing even quite prestigious locos grimy and looking dull in the sunshine. But, just occasionally a loco would appear in ex-works glory and we couldn't take our eyes off this beautiful machine with polished copper and delicate lining in full view. We'd talk about that particular engine for weeks afterwards.

Two weeks ago I received the Black Five from Locomotion Models (NMR Collection in Miniature) and what a pleasure just looking at this model is. It made me think that while weathering locos is truer to reality and appropriate to the settings for most layouts, it is possibly a barrier to seeing the full magnificence of one of the finest machines to come from the industrial revolution. Of course, in service a clean loco became dirty pretty rapidly but I have resolved that there will be just a little, subtle weathering on my models. I'll assume that my model depot will have a full complement of cleaners employed and hang the expense! For me, my models are an "aide memoire" for my childhood, I don't quest for total accuracy but for what I'd like to think I remember.
Total Comments 1


Ginger The Hutt's Avatar
I can't bring myself to weather my steam locos. :/

The more modern stuff on my layout will get covered in crusty grime...
Posted 03-11-2017 at 10:46 AM by Ginger The Hutt Ginger The Hutt is offline
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