I’m a 40 year old IT professional trying my hand at modelling again, where possible using computer technology to design, build and control micro layouts and diorama’s based upon the Cambrian Railways in the early BR period. Having recently resigned from my 9-5 IT job, I’ve moved back to Mid Wales and will be shortly starting a business in the world of 3D printing and 3D scanning, with a view to offering both as a service to modellers. I hope to launch later in 2015, you can find out more about ‘Modelu‘ (Pronounced ‘Mo-Del-Ee‘ – Welsh for Modelling) here – http://www.modelu3d.co.uk
Oswestry Works is my first diorama since modelling Tamiya Panzer’s in the early 1990’s. Having little room or time to devote to a layout, my plan had been to construct small and highly detailed snapshots of Cambrian history. Early location ideas centred around a something a little more than a photo plank, such as ‘The Rock’ siding at Machynlleth, in theory something simple to get me started. I was however looking for something involving architecture, which led me to the HQ of the Cambrian and the Works. It was seeing the photographs of a then young lad from Oswestry which really cemented the idea. Reg Storer captured an invaluable record of Oswestry works and locomotive shed in the years before closure. I hope that this diorama will be a tribute to Reg’s photographs and the skill and craftsmanship of the workforce employed at Oswestry Locomotive Carriage and Wagon Works.
This project wouldn’t have started at all if it wasn’t for the many skilled model makers who devote some of their time to writing blogs online, sharing their experiences of some impressive modelling. Frank Collin’s ‘Steam on the Cambrian’ modular layouts first caught my imagination, followed soon after by Chris Nevard’s foamboard baseboards which helped to make the prospect of modelling in a 1 bed flat with no outdoor space attainable. Albion Yard and Llangunllo/Chronicles of Penhydd detailed blog posts made loco detailing and etched chassis construction look much less daunting for a beginner to attempt. From a diorama perspective, Mikkel Kjartan’s Farthing Layouts, Mike Lynch’s D-Shop and Roundhouse and John Dornom’s Laira shed and Swindon A-Shop, all have contributed to the inspiration behind Oswestry Works.
Leading photograph: Oswestry Works Erecting Shop Staff, c.1909 - National Archives
Gallery photographs: Courtesy of R.W. Storer