June 3rd 2014

Found a couple more pictures again!

This view of Brasenose College dates from the turn of the century before three more bays were added in 1911 to enlarge the quad, they took the place of the two small shops beyond the tower.

The four nearest college bays to the corner date from as late as 1887 and were designed sympathetically by the late Victorian architect T. G. Jackson in the Tudor style in ashlar stone with fine oriel windows.

May 27th 2014

Railex 2014, a great show again, and quite a busy demo table, especially on the Saturday.


A bit of an attempt to get showgoers to have a go at painting this time, and it met with more success than I thought.

Three brave souls gave it a try on the Saturday, and three more on Sunday.



Just a couple of the test cloud results achieved with a bit of encouragement over the weekend demo. 

Without exception before they sit down they tell me they cannot paint, but it just goes to show because I think they look fine!

May 20th 2014                                            


The Pendon backscene workshop took place over the weekend, and I applied myself as best I could to the differing needs of the four layout builders who attended the advanced session.  The picture was taken before we started work and this time, there was a mixture of 3D work, colour matching and painting from reference.

It’s an informal day, with plenty of chatter, but there are quieter spells while the guys concentrate on their projects and I look after them in turn.


We do test pieces that can be taken away, and tried in position on the layouts later, mostly from reference and maps where required.

Thanks to Martin Ray for the picture and the Pendon volunteers for the welcome, I did chat to Chris Webber after the course, and he gave me a quick tour of the Vale scene which was fun.  The standards of modelling here do reflect their museum status, only excellence is allowed in this environment.

A further set of photos have now been taken at Bucks Hill, with a view to publishing illustrated material for the MRJ later on this year. Barry Norman and Kevin spent a day arranging stock and deciding angles and lighting.   The best bit for me is that they have asked me to write some feature copy so I’ll give it my best shot!

I can’t print anything from their session yet but there are plenty of studies that would make top quality photo rich articles.  So hopefully, one could describe the layout, and another could follow on, focusing on the locomotives and rolling stock.


This is one I did on Bucks Hill, but the magazine ones will be properly focused!

May 12th 2014

The guys at 3D print UK have featured the Temple Meads project in their ‘Stuff we’ve done’ section so thanks to Nick & Connor for doing a brilliant job.

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 10.36.10

Here’s a painting that I never got round to making a copy of.  I recently ‘borrowed’ it back for an outing to the Bristol Exhibition, and this time I remembered to get a copy!

PB PaintingMed -Res

A well known spot with an irresistible composition, the posh residents of Princes Buildings at Clifton at the top right literally look down on the humble roadside inns & dock workers terraces of Hotwells below.  

The painting has now found a new home, not far from Bristol funnily enough.

A new section of 2D backscene for Moses Plat is now nearly ready to be delivered and fitted in situ.

This section allows a transition from a townscape into countryside, while also helping to adjust the horizon line between sections. The progressive build up of a cloud layer allows two existing but very different sections to be left in position behind the layout.


April 23rd 2014

I have now received an E-mail from the new owner of the Bristol Passenger Station confirming a successful shipping to Tokyo in an undamaged state.  Phew!!  ever so slightly nervous for a bit there.  He has already added period figures to the platform, and positioned a pair of GWR locos taken from his extensive collection.

Work on the new Westbourne Green Sidings diorama is beginning to gather pace now, and we are discovering that moving backscenes are tricky to work on! Perhaps in a month or so there will be a few images and clips to start describing this new display case project.

Another advert is scheduled to appear in the Model Railway Journal, to coincide with the forthcomingRailex 2014 Finescale exhibition, and a new look for this website is also being planned.


The new MRJ half page ad goes from urban to countryside in four pictures, and it matches the look of the previous one.

April 7th 2014

Both days of the weekend were spent doing the introductory backscene course at the Pendon Museum.

The time goes quite quickly, so you have to remember to keep an eye out and cover a few subjects before getting too carried away, and dwelling on one aspect of study to the detriment of others.  So I plucked up my courage, and did a quick talk on basics first.  A few dos & donts and then spending time on colour mixing and reference gathering etc etc.

The participants on Saturday all wanted to try painting a test panel from reference, and so we just got on with it, with each one studying and working from images that would eventually suit the size, location and mood of their layouts.

They just went for it!  each and every one just got stuck in and the atmosphere was informal, so I just ran around, sitting down with each in turn, making sure the test panel was going to do it’s job when propped up behind the layout.  I tidied up,  washed all the pallets & brushes and drove the van home thinking  ”mmm that went well” so it’ll be the same deal tomorrow.

I was wrong though because there were a couple of chaps that attended on the Sunday, and as we got talking about the layouts, they both wanted to study and work out different aspects, like doing contour profiles for 3D backscenes, and plotting from maps and reference.  We looked at low relief background buildings in distance layers, and never touched a paintbrush all day long.

They went for it as well!  it was great, different but just as enthusiastic, so to sum it up for me then, seriously well done to all and thanks to Martin (the Pendon marketing organiser)  and the Museum for an excellent get together.

March 23rd 2014 

The Temple Meads display case has found a new home, and will shortly be padded & crated carefully for its long  journey to the Yokohama area of Tokyo.

A great deal of time has gone into recreating the details of the famous roof, and these can now be printed out at any size.  Do get in touch if you have a mind to do a Bristol layout.

Some twenty very high quality photographs have now been taken of Bucks Hill.  The method involves doing several images from an identical placement, with progressively adjusted focal points.  All the views are then digitally combined into one .  Because readers can now enlarge the pictures on tablets & phones,  this allows both the foreground and background to be sharp.

March 10th 2014

The last section of the Westcott backscene has now been delivered, and while I don’t have a complete set of photos yet, here are a few to start with.

Westcott town

The view from the bridge away from town.

It has been a great layout to work on, so a big thanks must go to Jack Anziani for being endlessly patient with me.

He happily runs the layout while he’s waiting for me to take measurements & make patterns, so I can be working on the contours & angles to get it all to fit together, and from out of the blue a tram rattles past not six inches from my nose!

More photos now appear in the ‘Finescale Railway Models’  menu, with a few more images from the wonderful collection.