Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Midnight Oil/Brewhouse Quay Plan

I suffered from a little insomnia last night, so between midnight around and 2 am I worked on my rough brewery trackplan pencil sketch to produce the below using a little Photoshop to tidy up some of the rougher bits. I've tried to avoid that computer look - preferring that 'back of an envelope/organic' style as seen in magazines like the excellent French model railway magazine Voie Libre and the wonderful illustrations of Paul Lunn.

I'm in a lucky position to have  been asked to come up with a model railway idea for a well  known  book  publisher, but to date have been unsure which direction to  go in - if at all with so many other commitments. Maybe a selection  smallish plans mixed  in with a section on how to photograph  what  you've built? Just a silly  idea maybe - any thoughts on this already over saturated market?

Back  to the brewery; 'Brewhouse Quay' is likely to be the name of the  current project, graphically the title works, and it's easy to remember.

Next, I hope to turn off the computer an start to lay some track .....


  1. The book sounds like a great idea. Can never get enough of great pictures of superb modelling - with a spot of the "how to" thrown in for good measure.

  2. One thing I find myself wanting sometimes is kind of a style file - here's a few ways of doing a small goods yard in the style of a given railway, or a junction, or a loco shed, so I can mix and match to get a plan to fit a space.

  3. Chris,

    I'm not sure what you are calling "over-saturated" but if its small layout plans then I'd have to disagree...on this,the left-side of the pond, its the "basement-empire/roomsize plans" that have over-saturated the market.

    I for one believe that the future of model-railroading depends on smaller layouts...and the idea of a how-to photo your build along with plans is a great idea IMHO.

  4. Hi Chirs,

    Here are my thoughts!

    I think it makes sense to stick with what you're good at. So you could have sections like: how you draw up a plan, how to create a baseboard with a curved backscene, how to lay & build realistic bodgerscale track, how to model water, finishing with how to photograph & present your finished layout. All stuff you're bloody brilliant at!

    Obviously this could be fleshed out more into:

    - How to print a backscene
    - How to paint track
    - How to lay static grass
    - How to weather stock
    - Etc etc...

    I know some of these topics are covered in depth elsewhere, but the point is that they're not necessarily covered in depth by you & I'd argue that this means the market isn't complete, let alone saturated! I genuinely believe people will be interested in "The Chris Nevard Style - Start to Finish"!

    Having said all that, maybe this sort of book would be too time consuming for a first publication! What about the possibility of simply: "How to Photograph & Present a Model Railway" ? This could take the reader through a whole range of aspects including:

    - How to plan & construct a layout & baseboard with photography in mind.
    - Which materials look best with close up shots.
    - Which cameras to buy.
    - An approach to setting up & using a camera.
    - Lighting.
    - Photoshop altering.
    - How to share your pictures! Flickr etc.

    A publication like this might be a great way to test the market. If successful, then could potentially turn into a 10 part series or something? Part 2 naturally being "How to Create Realistic Track" (as that's what I've got to do next! ;-) )

    Hope that helps!

    Merry Crimbo


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