Sunday, 27 October 2019

Dunallander at Aberdeen MRC show

The Grampian area group took their Dunallander layout to the Aberdeen club's show this weekend for its first public outing as a work in progress. The venue was the function suite of a well-worn airport hotel and the lighting was not designed for 2mm model photography - and the layout has not yet got its own lighting rig - so please excuse the muddy photos. Some of the trackwork was completed the night before the exhibition so it was very much touch and go for it to be ready, but when I arrived an hour after opening on Saturday services were running smoothly. The lack of scenery was no drawback to Tony Heywood and crew: I think each of them could see a fully-sceniced layout in their mind's eye as they let A4s race downhill through the station with the 3-hour Aberdeen expresses, interleaved with fish trains behind Black 5s and minerals behind WDs.

I will let the images speak for themselves since the Grampian group has its own excellent website which explains the background to the Dunallander project. First of all, some general views to give a sense of the layout's size:
A highlight was Mike Rasmussen's card buildings. Mike, a retired architect, made a photo survey of the remaining buildings in a single day and used that, guided by his professional skill to judge harmonious proportions, to assemble a superb folio of buildings and scale drawings, from which he is steadily producing exceptional buildings from foamboard, good-quality cardboard, and ScaleScenes printed papers which he uses to remarkable effect. By using the same supplier's papers for all the buildings he ensures they have an overall harmony of relief and texture. I won't steal his thunder, but I hope a 2mmSA magazine article will be forthcoming in due course. Jim Watt's etched footbridges also looked tremendous, and I believe there are plans for etched platform canopies from the same source.

Some may smile at the sign over the door in the next photo ... but the curious fact of the day is that the sign has no connection with Jim Watt the 2mm modeller! You'll have to ask Mike ...
  Dunallander (or rather Dunblane North) signalbox:
Mike, enthusiastically explaining how he uses ScaleScenes papers, which he modifies before printing in Photoshop to vary the exact shade.
and one of the many folio pages detailing the design of the buildings at Dunblane station..

Many of Neil Ballantine's locos were in use, including his J37 on a local freight:
Jim Watt had brought some of his Caley stock with him: it looked very much at home in Dunallander yard.
Tony Heywood (right) and Roy Bremner are the leading lights behind the project to turn the late Neil Ballantine's home layout into an exhibition layout. The fiddle yard is newly built, as are some of the end curve boards of the continuous run which had to be modified to fit its new premises.
An exceptional effort from the whole Grampian Area Group, supported by many others including Alisdair and Jim from the Forth and Clyde group and various contributors from south of the Border. Nigel Hunt in particular made the trek north with his stud of LMS locos, but unfortunately I missed my chance to photograph them (and given the dim hall lighting I probably would not have done them justice). With luck there will be many future chances to see Nigel's, and other, express locomotives streaking round Dunallander. A pleasure to savour indeed.

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps Mike's inspiring methods and drawings could form the basis of an association book.