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Favourite layouts on the forum - Your Favourite On-Line Layout. - Model Railway Layouts. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Sun Sep 27th, 2020 10:21 pm
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It is quite amazing that the last post about favourite on-line layouts was in 2018.  The recent Photo of the month vote has had me looking back through threads  and re-visiting those layouts that finally got me to have a go myself.  So I thought it might be nice to celebrate those here, if nothing else, it may prompt people to look back through some of the very fine threads here.
As the first post, I am of course spoilt for choice and there are many that spring to mind but in the end it was relatively easy to choose my nomination: John Dew's "Granby".  

Looking back at those early photos of the construction and then to what it has become is an inspiration, but what I particularly like and enjoy is his detailing of scenes.  I suppose the buzzword is "cameos", but they are much more than that:  Realism, humour, observation, history and atmosphere seem to describe it well.  And while he has an enviable space compared to my own, it is still an awful lot crammed into a relatively limited area.  I think the use of different levels is great with some really clever tricks on the eye - just look at the rows of terraced housing which give a real sense of depth and perspective.  And who, in their right mind, would put sunbathers on the roof of a building, and it seem quite normal. 
The three bridges o the "duck under", if I'm honest, would be enough to secure my vote, such interest visually and real problem solving - my cup of tea.

And while I waiver about the exact time period of my layout and am quite prepared to stretch authenticity, John is worried about a locomotive being a couple of months out of date!

I really hope others will join me in celebrating the wonderful models here - there were so many others I could have chosen but in the end I went for the one that "hits my buttons".

What is yours?

Michael




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 Posted: Mon Sep 28th, 2020 07:47 am
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TeaselBay
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If anyone has read my thread there will be no surprise that my favourite layout on here is Penhayle Bay. It is a fantastic layout which unfortunately now only exists in photos and video.
Rick clearly put in lots of effort and had a great eye for detail representing a section of Cornwall in Australia! The thread is a great mix of amazing photos and step by step tutorials on some of the key areas. These step by step instructions I've followed in the past such as the surf beach construction have really helped me understand and create scenes. 

As the layout was undercover outside, Rick got some fantastic light which coupled with his photographic skills and staging brought the scene to life.

A link to a few threads on here:
http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=3075&forum_id=21
http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=12819&forum_id=21&page=1

Great idea Michael, hope more people join in.



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 Posted: Mon Sep 28th, 2020 09:34 am
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Wow Michael, that's a very difficult question - there are so many fabulous layouts on here, some, as Chris said,  no longer in existance but fortunately, remaining preserved on here.


I thoroughly enjoy wandering through the archives studying all aspects of the hobby although I do tend to skip rather quickly through some of the electronic technicalities .......... :oops:.

There are fabulous threads where one can learn about weathering, kit building, scratch building, layout planning, scenic work and simply running trains themselves.  This site is a wonderful resource and we are all priviledged to have access to it all.


I think I'd have to agree with you that my all time favourite is indeed John Dew's Granby Junction for exactly the reasons you've stated.  He is indeed a master modeller and has created a miniature version of what could so easily be mistaken for a snapshot of the real thing.  His modesty is as renowned as his modelling skills.





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 Posted: Mon Sep 28th, 2020 06:25 pm
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John Dew
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Thank you Michael and Peter. I am genuinely a bit overwhelmed by such generous praise. One should perhaps remember that the forum has undergone many changes in the past decade. A number of members with superb layouts, far superior to anything I can achieve, have, for whatever reason, moved on. Meantime a number of very talented member are beavering away planning and constructucting layout that will ultimately make Granby look tired and out dated
My favourite layout was built by a modeller who has moved on. My friend John Flann sadly died a couple of years ago but I still browse through the pages of Hintock
http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=12749&forum_id=21&page=1#p224351

John was a wonderful gentleman. A modeller for over half a century, he was a regular contribuitor to Railway Modeller and other journals. He was an active member and very generous in sharing his knowledge. I miss him greatly.
Thes are not the best photos of the layout I just grabbed them to illustrate his skill in working magic in small spaces....




His mantra was "Less is more" and he demonstrated it to perfection

I would encourage you to brows through his posts if only to admire how skillfully he embedded the fictional Hintock into the Dorset countryside.





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 Posted: Mon Sep 28th, 2020 06:54 pm
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Petermac
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He was indeed a great modeller and a true gentleman John.  Always more than willing to share his wealth of knowledge - one only had to ask.  I did so on several occasions and had some extremely enjoyable and informative correspondence with him as a result.  He is missed by all who knew him - even if, as in my case,  only "virtually".



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 Posted: Mon Sep 28th, 2020 07:53 pm
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Barry Miltenburg
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My vote would be split across a dozen choices if that were allowed!

If pushed into a corner, I would go for Birkenhead Woodside.

For me, the object of the exercise is to make a model of a railway.  However good the standard, it has to both look like a real railway and function like a real railway.  BW scores on both counts for me.  There is nothing better than watching a timed train interact with other timed trains just like a real railway.

Barry

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 Posted: Mon Sep 28th, 2020 11:51 pm
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I don't think it necessary to limit yourself to one layout, Barry, I had the idea of people sharing their favourites - perhaps by choosing just one at the start I pushed this thread down a particular route, but that was not my intention.  It is reading about the things people like about the different modelling that is interesting and I have picked up a lot of tips just by revisiting those already mentioned, not to mention just admiring the work.
Michael



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 Posted: Fri Oct 2nd, 2020 10:24 am
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Bumping this one, as its disappeared off the top of the list and I'd personally like to see more replies :P



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 Posted: Mon Oct 5th, 2020 06:46 pm
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I had a look through John Flann's thread, which John linked to above, and I can see why he posted it here and has encouraged me to think less is more.  Absolutely delightful and another model railway that has its own style and character, conjuring a beautiful sense of time and place.  
Also good to look back through Chris's recommendation of Penhayle Bay, which has also been of great help in my own modelling, so another great nomination.

I am also going to give a mention to Marty's Newcastle Emlyn, as it was another of those threads that got me into the hobby.  I still can't believe it is all N gauge.  And I thoroughly enjoyed watching a pile of cut up expanded polystyrene transform into scenes like this.



Michael



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 Posted: Mon Oct 5th, 2020 07:15 pm
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Excellent choice Michael - Newcastle Emlyn is indeed a brilliant layout and I too loved watching it all tranform into something magical.



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 Posted: Mon Oct 5th, 2020 08:41 pm
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All the layouts so far highlighted are favourites of mine, as is John's Granby for great inspiration in all areas, although to take me back to the quiet rural GWR branch, where I like to imagine myself enjoying summertime excursions, I must mention Nick's wonderful Much Murkle.







Super,

Bill



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 Posted: Mon Oct 5th, 2020 10:43 pm
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My answer follows on from all the comments above but I'll explain my reasoning with this example from our travels in France.

One friendly sommelier at an excellent restaurant having shared his in depth experience by choosing our wines for the evening gave me an opportunity. I popped the inevitable question, "so what in your opinion is the finest wine?"

His answer "Le Montrachet, it is the complete wine because it can accompany any food". Now this is a wine I cannot afford but the principle involved has been most valuable guidance, viz.  high quality chardonnay made in that style.

All the layouts proposed above are up there with the finest of their kind but IMO only one complete layout stands out. My "Le Montrachet Award" goes unreservedly to John Flann's Hintock, a complete layout in every sense.   

John Dew explained many of the reasons, for me also it was a constantly living changing experience with new angles, for example Port Bredy felt like a seamless extension although it was not attached. John could tear up great sections in a flurry of activity to just do it better and capture new insights. As I said in my intro when coming here I owe much to John for what I learnt following his work.



Addendum

Checking back I can see that during the time I followed his work, John posted in the "other place" although his friends here were not forgotten (Christmas 2017 card). I don't think computers were his strength.

As a result much of his late work and the photos I know are there. He produced a substantial body of work, for example Port Bredy came about during that time and is worth a visit, he invested in a new camera so there are some fine photos to enjoy. This link will take you to a retrospective John compiled shortly before his passing.

https://tinyurl.com/yy2vnflb

Colin



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 Posted: Tue Oct 6th, 2020 07:04 pm
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John Dew
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Longchap wrote: All the layouts so far highlighted are favourites of mine, as is John's Granby for great inspiration in all areas, although to take me back to the quiet rural GWR branch, where I like to imagine myself enjoying summertime excursions, I must mention Nick's wonderful Much Murkle.







Super,

Bill


I normally try and edit my quotes but I think I can be occasion I can be forgiven........those photos are worth repeating..........great choice Bill.

Much Murkle is also one of my favourite layouts. I have followed Nick Wood's development of the layout almost from its inception. There is much to admire......the detail is amazing. All the components complement one another and are assembled with flair into delightful cameos. Nick was another disciple of John Flann.......Much Murkle is brilliant example of "less is more"

It is hardly surprising that it is now a star of the exhibition circuit

 



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 Posted: Fri Oct 9th, 2020 08:42 pm
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I am sorry, but I find it impossible to choose, every layout on the forum has been constructed with care and if I may say love. We should all be proud of our achievements, as we have all tried our best to 'Be all we can be'. How can you choose a 'best' layout from all of the members, who have different abilities, and have put their heart and soul into their creations. we have all tried our best to produce what we think are our masterpieces.



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 Posted: Fri Oct 9th, 2020 10:53 pm
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HI Kev..... it is good to hear from you.  I agree, there are too many to choose from if this was a question of the best.   But I rather intended  it to be a celebration of the modelling, rather than a ranking - so nominate as many as you please, for all the different reasons that layouts deserve a mention.  Every layout has its merits, and this is an opportunity to celebrate that, but I also think that some layouts are an inspiration, so we can celebrate that too.  I think that as a website grows, like this one, it is easy to look at he latest posts, and I thought it might be opportune to cast our eye over all of the threads and all of the layouts.  I have certainly found it useful to revisit layouts recommended here which I might have ignored.  I certainly have a good number of  layouts I think are worthy of mention for how they have inspired me, and this might be a way of keeping older threads alive.
Michael



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 Posted: Sat Oct 10th, 2020 12:03 am
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Petermac
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Michael has said it all Kev - it iz indeed good to hear from you - I do wonder how you're getting on ...........

You said it was difficult to chose the "best" layout and I'd agree -  zlmost impossible, but the heading is "favourite" layout and that makes it much easier.   Also,  as Michael ssid, there can be several "favourite " layouts, each chosen  perhaps for a different reason. 

I do hope life isn't treating you too harshly  at present. 



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 Posted: Mon Oct 19th, 2020 02:53 pm
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Tetley Mills for me was a very inspirational layout as it captured perfectly the industrial North in the steam era.The soot- blackened Yorkshire Stone on 90% of the buildings was just how I remembered it!!! A real masterpiece!
Cheers,John.B.:thumbs

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 Posted: Mon Oct 19th, 2020 06:05 pm
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georgejacksongenius wrote: Tetley Mills for me was a very inspirational layout as it captured perfectly the industrial North in the steam era.The soot- blackened Yorkshire Stone on 90% of the buildings was just how I remembered it!!! A real masterpiece!
Cheers,John.B.:thumbs


Totally agree John..........it was a brilliant layout. I keep meaning to dig out some photos. The canal scene is stunning



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 Posted: Mon Oct 19th, 2020 06:49 pm
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I too agree with you John - a really brilliant representation of industrial West Yorkshire towns.
If Dave were still with us, I wonder what his Tetley Mills MkII would have looked like.

It was always a close-run thing for me between Tetleys Mills and Granby.............. 



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 Posted: Mon Oct 19th, 2020 07:42 pm
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Petermac wrote: I too agree with you John - a really brilliant representation of industrial West Yorkshire towns.
If Dave were still with us, I wonder what his Tetley Mills MkII would have looked like.

It was always a close-run thing for me between Tetleys Mills and Granby.............. 


You flatter me again,

Tetley Mills was my original inspiration. I tried and failed, many times :sad:, to replicate the way he created that soot grimed stonework. His modelling was infinitely better than anything on Granby. Thats not false modesty just me being sadly realistic.

Nevertheless I appreciated you making the comparison :lol:

Best wishes

John



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