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Empire Mills post Ally Pally 2015


Gareth Thomas


14th April 2015

Reading Time

3 minutes


Yesterday we had our first official layout group meeting. Probably should have done it sooner, but better late than never. In this we discussed follow up from Ally Pally, things that went well and things that didn’t. We also covered what needs to be done before our next outing (Portsmouth in November) and who is to do what. Up until now the layout has gone in the back of a 7.5T truck with other stuff/layouts for AP, but this has to change. We had originally intended to have the layout fit in the back of an estate car, and now I have six months to figure out how to do it. This will possibly include some modifications to how the layout goes together so that it can be set up more easily and by fewer people.

Duncan produced a comprehensive list of all the tasks that need doing and they have mostly been allocated. They range from simple things such as “This building needs a bit more detail around the base” to middling difficulty “We need a box for the large clay dry to transport and store it safely” to the complex “How on Earth do we fit all of this into the back of a car?”

After the current option had been “finished” we moved on to discussing what we wanted to do next. The layout is designed so that

the industries at the back and the track that serve them are removable. Once they have been removed we can then insert two new boards complete with a new industry. This allows us to change the location and operating company with ease. This way everyone can model their own interests with the support of everyone else and under the umbrella of one layout project. Unfortunately this does come with the disadvantage that anything done on the permanent front part of the layout must be vague enough to work everywhere in the country and anytime between 1830 and now.

With the completion of the China Clay option it was time to start discussing seriously what we wanted to do next. We started off with defining what would be expected of anyone proposing to lead an option. They would be expected to do the majority of the research and organisation. There would also be a need to provide a set number of complete trains as well as several locomotives. Lists of required stock should also be produced so that other members of the group could contribute accurate stock if they wished. Everyone has ideas for options that they’d like to do, some are more developed than others but that’s fine as we can only do one at a time.

Finally, we had class. There had been interest expressed amongst the group in learning how to build whitemetal kits. Everyone brought in a kit to work on and Duncan set to explaining the procedures for cleaning up castings and them soldering them together. We aim to cover other areas of finescale modelling that are of interest to the group and you certainly don’t have to be an EM modeller to get something out of it.

Here is the team (with two 2mm observers) looking on while Duncan discusses the types of joints one can encounter in a kit.


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