This exchange of emails occurred recently. We started by discussing which season to set.
Following some questions at the club about the desirability of modelling a bare-treed scene I went back to the Oakwood book to check what leeway we had in choosing the month. It turns out that I had forgotten that although the 11 trains-a-day service started in June 1954 but was curtailed back to 4 trains-a-day service in the February 1955 before the final closure (last trains in April 1955). So it transpires that if we wish to model the intensive branch service it is anything but spring.
So what are the consequences of my oversight? First, and embarrassingly for me, Allan has taken a whole bunch of photo of LMJ Flora which wont now be used for their intended purpose but they will not go to waste as they do show parts of LMJ we wouldn't have otherwise seen.
The window we have for the intensive Monmouth service is June 1954 to Feb 1955. In terms of locomotive usage it makes very little difference [maybe more chance of seeing a Star and Welsh 0-6-2Ts and plenty of ROD 2-8-0s around, but still too late for Saints, Kings (first time around) and Aberdares, late enough for Standard 4s and 5s but too early for Kings (second time around), 9Fs, diesels} and for coaching stock there may be a greater chance of some GWR or LMS liveried stock hanging around and perhaps more pre-Collett stock.
All in all 1954 seems a tad more interesting than 1955.
So what do we choose?
· · for - trees easier with foliage (?); easier to hide exit of Usk branch
· · against everybody else does it
Autumn (before major leaf fall)
· · for - trees easier with foliage (?); easier to hide exit of Usk branch
· · against colouring might be trickier
· · for - trees easier without foliage (?);
· · against tricky to hide exit of Usk branch
Summer for my 2 pence worth, makes it easier all round. I
Feb 55? Too early for DMUs as well then and my APT-e might be pushing it
for - trees easier with foliage (?); easier to hide exit of Usk branch
against everybody else does it - but not on a 40ft plus P4 layout...
There is A LOT of ground to cover with foliage. Trees in woodland can be modelled as just the green tops, no need for trunks and branch detail. In fact on Beechwood Park we had a wooded slope that was made of woollen pom-poms covered with green stuff to give the effect of tree tops. Im not suggesting that as a solution, just an example of subterfuge.
Anyone fancy modelling hedges in winter?
Autumn : Toyed with this for my tiny layout and nearly did it. Concluded it would be possible but would need to colour the flock to get the many shades from red to yellow. Making up a large volume of different colours for LMJ would be more practical. Bare or sparse hedges are not so difficult. Would go with red Westerns nicely!
I'd go for autumn or winter - it'd be a good contrast to many other layouts. Winter/autumn trees may be a bit more work than full foliage, but we don't have to have a great number of detailed ones, and I think (as Dave suggests) we can develop some techniques for dense clumps, no doubt with lots of ivy.... Cheers, Mike E.
On the weekend Karen was in the garden and I kept rummaging thru the cuttings/weed bag before putting it in the recycle - found some interesting bits of root and dead foliage. This time of year seems there are quite a few bits of useful real stuff! Autumn with a green to golden tinge would make it different but not too pendonesqe in the need for time - several years modelling a dead oak tree is I suggest beyond us!
Tupence worth from across the Severn... Anything but summer! The vast majority of layouts seem to do this particular season and it's really nice to see something else. Autumn or the depths of Winter would be great.
Usual worthwhile contribution from me:
This could be any season.
How about covering all eventualities.
Have a line side fire and paint the lot black with black tree stumps. EASY
Sadly Don you have possibly suggested more work, taking the P4 ethic one would really need to first accurately model the trees, including a scale density of combustible material, Rod can then get the weather for the previous 6 months for Dave to estimate the moisture content of the trees and ground cover, the whole would need to be then placed in a controlled environment (inc wind direction) and a fire then started by scale 4mm matches. Striking said matches may be difficult and ultimately be the blocking point to your idea.
Anyone got a portable Van der Graaff generator? Far safer than a static grass applicator...we could even do proper lightening then as well.
Time to stop this thread - started contemplating "Does lightning scale and could we protect the electronics?" !!
Actually........ not unsurprisingly for NMRS, someone did try to replicate a burnt area on Belle Vue. This did involve setting fire to a section of scenery with lighter fuel. I think it went...
Member: "I think some scorched grass area would look good, just there..."
Member points to an area of scenery, his eyes at this stage do not betray his intentions. Before anyone can react lighter fluid is distributed and a match is struck! Then
Member frantically pads the area accompanied by many words, some of which are "shit" and "ooow!".
Scaling lightning would depend on the size of generator...wouldn't it?
Got as far as
pondering : Given you would need 100,000,000V or thereabouts for a good
show, would an exhibition manager be happy, given lightning can kill ....
probably not. So could (given the limits of the relative permittivity of air)
would it be possible to reduce the voltage and control electrical
fields/break down paths ........ before realising I was being sucked into the
parallel world that is P4 modelling!
Setting fire to LMJ is by far the better option!
Actually Mike's suggestion of using a Van De Graaff Generator would solve the question of scaling - which probably doesn't apply in any event - since the size of the lightning strike (or spark) depends on the voltage differential generated. A small "school" VDG typically producing 200-500,000V will produce a lightning bolt about 12 inches long.
Perhaps Prof Edmunds can give us a definitive view on the scaling issue?
Meantime, whilst there is no recorded instance of anyone being seriously harmed or killed by a VDG, it will kill any electronics in the vicinity including pacemakers etc. At first glance, that might be seen as a disadvantage, but being a "pint half full" type bloke I think it could be a useful pest control device at shows; carefully targeted at those who claim they know what the flora was doing on the chosen day and it wasn't how we've depicted it...
And another thing. This thread has only considered the effect of the season on the lineside flora. What about the fauna? Are the bunnies inhabiting the line in the mood for love or completely pre-occupied with feeding the results of all that summer luvving...
Now youre just being silly!
One advantage about modelling 1954 - Myxomatosis - 99% depletion in the population of bunnies
This is indeed getting
out of hand. Those poor bunnies. But perhaps if we are serious about 1955 and
"what if" we could postulate that a nuclear war took place in 1954.
That trumps lightning! - and no need for those matches now, or concerns about
fauna. All we need to exhibit is charred boards that glow in the
dark....... Health and Safety might have something to say about the
Isn't it easier just to decide on late autumn??
No problem there I can get hold of depleted isotopes...next question who's got a lead suit to operate the layout in? How much did it cost and where was it from...do they do XXL?
Errr, I don't think we'd need operator suits. There wouldn't be many trains running that soon after a nuclear war. But what an excuse! - it would beat "leaves on the line" or "the wrong kind of snow" hands down.
to your discussions as you may be aware my house overlooks what was BNS and
later ICI Fibres where I worked for 25 yrs the area you speak of is almost
constantly shrouded in mist most mornings and early evenings especially in
Your best bet for authenticity is to procure a load of dry ice one of the main reasons for constructing the factory at said place was its ideal high moisture content which prevented the yarns from braking at high speed during wind up
Mist you all
Perhaps we should just cover the baseboards with rails sleepers and ballast! Won't need tree's then!!!
... and we still haven't decided