Review of 2014 – Model Railways

2014 has been this blog’s most successful year to-date with over 250,00 views.  As we approach the end of the year we take the opportunity to look back over the year to see some of the blog posts that made this such a good year.  Fresh content was published at least once every day, which is something we strive to do.  This includes a number of re-blogs from other websites that we follow and other articles not mentioned here.  As you can imagine, this is a lot of content and the summaries in these blog posts will not be comprehensive.

The blog has long had content from various people, but I (Dave Deane) have been the main author.  However, after UK Heritage Hub’s editor and Simon started writing; I could see how more authors would help give for much more interest and an invitation was sent out for new bloggers to join locoyard.  We have been lucky to have some excellent new bloggers who have made writing these summaries very complicated – which is a good thing!  In February, Jonathan Malton joined the locoyard team (click here for his first blog post.)  He has since become a much valued author of locoyard blog posts with a dedicated page (click here.)  Another valued member of the team, Shirl Turner, also joined the team in February (click here for her first blog post and here for her dedicated page.)  In March a third valuable member of the team started writing on locoyard; Alex who began with an excellent debut piece on how he became a volunteer aged 14 (click here to read.)  Last but by no means least has been John Anthony’s tales from a retired steam locomotive driver (click here.)

Today we look at articles written about model railways – an area where we have admittedly suffered a little in the past year, but we hope to pick up again in 2015.

Locoyard - Bachmann new build steam A1 class - 60163 apple green (tender)It’s interesting to look back at how the blog has changed over the year.  2014’s first blog posts were model railway articles, with the “Model of the Week” (that evolved to the “Model Spotlight” series continuing from 2013.  The series looked at the history of the prototypes of models in the locoyard collection.  60163 Tornado (click here) was the subject of one of these articles, followed by 45xx 4555 (click here,) 4MT 2-6-4T 80009 (click here) and Ex-GWR 56xx class 5658 (click here.)

Locoyard - Bachmann GWR 45xx model DCC Fitting Guide - 4555 32-127B  - Step 2DCC fitting guides for Bachmann’s GWR 45xx model (click here,) BR Standard 8P pacific 71000 Duke of Gloucester (click here) and Bachmann’s non-DCC Ready class 08 (click here) were published.

Locoyard Bachmann GWR BR WR 32xx Earl Dukedog Class Review (profile)Model reviews of Bachmann’s 45xx model (click here,) Hornby’s BR Standard 8P pacific 71000 Duke of Gloucester (click here) and 4MT 4-6-0 (click here) were published, whilst Simon added the Hornby (soon to be replaced) GWR King class (click here.)  Later in the year a review of the Bachmann GWR/BR 32xx/90xx Earl/Dukedog Class was released (click here) and unusually but very interestingly Simon posted a review of Kytes Lights (click here.)

Edward Farms continued his weathering guides, that can be found here.  These provide an excellent resource for people who want to add that extra degree of realism.

2014 Autumn Steam Gala Watercress Line - Alresford - DJ Models Hunslet Austerity J94 pre-production samples 00 scale2014 has been a year full of new model announcements and the year started with Bachmann releasing information on a array of new train sets and train packs, as reported by Simon (click here to read.)  Simon and I met Dave Jones of DJ Models to get an update of the 00 scales models of the Hunslet Austerity and Kernow’s LSWR 02 project (click here to read.)  We have tried stay up to date with model announcements, with a report from Warley (here) and from Hornby’s 2015 range here.  All planned model steam engines on their way are summarised here.

DSCN5387Modelling inspiration is always important and there are many great layouts around to give us ideas.  One particularly interesting interactive example is the Watercress Line’s wagon group built within PMV S 1995 (click here to read Simon’s article.)  Simon also posted a video of Brookes Castle at Night (click here to view) and provided great coverage of Fareham RailEx 2014 in the following blog posts:

Part 1- Furth DB Museum and Broadwater Junction

Part 2 – Abbostone and Ynysafan

Part 3 – Hayling Island, Cross Ness and Fairhaven

Part 4 – Kingsfield and Forleigh

DSC_0264_zpselcnzjutRegular readers of the blog will know that I have been considering how to build a new model railway and this has involved quite a journey of thought!  Rather than take you through this step by step, you can read all linked blog posts by clicking here.  Fortunately whilst I have been procrastinating, Alex constructed a simple but very effective small diorama (click here to view.)

Trago Mills 00 Scale Model Railway - 2013 (25) 4472 Flying ScotsmanOne of my personal highlights of the year was being contacted by John Lewis Insurance to take part in their “Toy Story” campaign.  The blog post linked to this can be found by clicking here.

To read a review of locoyard heritage railway articles of 2014 please click here, to read about some of the causes supported by locoyard in 2014, please click here and to watch a pictorial review of 2014, please click here.