David Smith for the catalyst for this post, his recent blog post linking to a website that sells old magazines. Believe it of not I've been after a copy of the above magazine since the mid-1980's, so I must apologise to David for his link now pointing to a 'sold' page for the above issue!
In the summer of 1985 a small group of us were to be seen on Sholing station platform with a model railway, several large sheets of card, white paper, a tripod and camera. We must have been on the platform for at least 3 or 4 hours much to the amusement of passengers on trains that were passing through and calling at the station. The sun was the 'studio lighting', its position being 93 million miles away meant that its position was fixed, so physically moving the layout to suit the sunlight on the various photos was the only realistic option. In case you're thinking that we simply turned up at a random station to photograph toy chuffers you'd be wrong. for at the time SMRS rented the station buildings off British Rail. Sadly shortly after these photos were taken the club had to move, and BR demolished the buildings, the club moving just down the road.
For the photography of Overcombe which was one of the club's smaller exhibition layouts, 35mm film was used, the small camera offering alot more flexibility than a big bulky sheet film camera. In those days, apart from the odd colour plate, hobby magazines were mostly black and white, so good old Kodak Plux X was used and processed in the home darkroom. I'm pretty sure I used a 35mm focal length wide angle lens, it offering a reasonbly natural view not disimilar to the eye and oddly enough is still my main choice of lens for layout photography.
Model railway fanatics tend to think that replacing flock wall paper, flying ducks, garage walls and ceilings with a little 'sky' is something just from the digital era, and indeed it mostly is. The photo here is a traditional wet print, and halfway through the printing process a negative of a summer sky was swapped for the model negative to get the result here. I'm not sure if I was the first to do this though, but I do recall at the time being keen to do something different as well as blocking out the location the layout was shot in, but with hindsight it would be quite fun to see the full sized railway station in the background!
The colour cover shot was more simple, that was good old Kodachrome 64 and I'm sure I've seen the slide quite recently so might well pop it into the scanner just for old times sake along with some of the other colour layout shots taken than day.