Following on from a conversation that I had with a fellow modeller Chris, we talked about a plan that keeps niggling away at you and keeps popping up in ones thoughts but you just can’t leave it be, just tweeking it a bit here and there but probably with no real intention of building it.

So I present to you my internal circle as I call it. It is a concept that I have noodled away at for probably decades in varying shapes and forms and really springs from an article I read in the Railway Modeller way back when about a layout called Littleton Curve by Brant Hickman in the May 1997 issue I’ve added a link to YouTube video. For some reason it just lodged in my mind and although truly a micro layout it captured and atmosphere that resonated with me. Maybe it was something to do with the colours and the attention to detailing but for what ever reason it was forever imprinted in my modelling psyche.

I do find the subject of modelling motivations an interesting conversation. For many it’s just playing trains, or watching the trains go by, others it’s the operation of the railway or just a particular niché such as loco building or architectural building and for others it’s the back story or the environment that’s important but we all have an image in our minds of the thing we want to recreate. It would be interesting to survey railway modellers as to what they model over their and I use the term loosely, career, as to whether they stick to a similar geographical location and or era of modelling. Maybe this is just ramblings of an overactive mind but the fact I think we do all have our own recurring imagined worlds somehow helps the creation of any project. I think imagination is the most important tool on our workbenches and I see my track plan iterations as just a kind of mental workout in order to create as best a reproduction of the the world I have imagined.

For me the imagined world started with my circle of track on the carpet at the tender age of seven with my Hornby SDJR tank loco and two four wheel coaches and circle of track criss crossing the country with passengers to deliver and freight to collect. This led on to a bit more sophisticated but primitive sheet of ply and a class 47 trundling around, the the layout was still planned in the mind and committed to paper before and track was pinned down.

Over the decades I must have drawn many hundreds of plans in sketchbooks, notepads, and on back of envelopes with very few surviving the passage of time but the ones that have stuck in my mind are the ones that have captured the imagination for some reason. I will keep doodling as it keeps me connected even in times where modelling may seem impossible. I hope you do too.

Until next time..