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Photographer, scribbler, model maker, beer fancier, self confessed train nutter & general nerd.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Tea or Tobacco?

66078 Hitchin - Cardiff Tidal scrap. Lower Basildon Friday 3 September 2010

From time to time a few mates and I get together to photograph full sized trains. We call it 'railway photography', but to everybody else it's simply 'trainspotting', but with a camera of course. I hope to be doing a little of this in a couple of days as a break from snapping miniature chuffers, especially seeing that the outlook is great this coming week.

After snapping a passing freight train it's usual to gaze at the camera review screen noting the 'all important' loco number. To me what the train is carrying is often far more interesting, with open wagons like the ones here showing off their load perfectly. This train is the Hitchin to Cardiff Tidal scrap captured passing Lower Basildon in the Thames valley a couple of years ago, and if one imagines it in OO gauge, it looks like a load of tobacco or even tea leaves. We tend to think of scrap is big lumps of bent rusty metal, but what we see here is a lot finer and not maybe what would be expected.

Another thing modellers might find interesting is the way the wagons are bulging outwards, this is something rearly modelled, but could probably be achieved quite easily with something below the load to push the sides out.

All this demonstrates just how important it is to look at photos of the real thing and not simply imagine what things look like, for it's all too easy to make a model-of-a-model, or a model-of-supposition which can be wrong - we all do it, I've done it loads of times. For example, how many people think that water is blue? It rarely is unless looking out at the open sea when the sky is clear and blue.

Here is a bigger view of the above photo.

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