Do you model the trains of your youth?
When I got started in the 1960s a common theme was the Edwardian layout, many built by elderly gents.
The last train show I went to it was mostly 1980's outline.
Personally I have a fondness for the bucolic freight services and my interest in UK outline 'modern image' took a bit of a dive with the end of speedlink.
I tried Continental and I was warming to that when the prices went silly.
Next one is probably going to be a US outline, 1950s, in N.
All second hand locos and stock and possibly DCC (I have the stock and only a couple of locos will be required).
A lot of that was because pre-grouping had more colourful paint jobs.
When I first started modelling it was early BR era when there was
still plenty of stuff in pre-nationalisation livery.
But it didn't take too long to realise that I didn't have room for eg
a Castle pulling a realistic number of carriages, so I went to a
cross-country line but even then the trains were too long. Around that
time I started dabbling in O-scale and the only trains that would fit
were circa 1900.
A GWR 517 class 0-4-2T (the one Collet's 04-2Ts were developed from)
or an 850 class 0-6-0 saddle tank plus three or four Slater's
4-wheeled passenger coaches is an accurate branch line train from that
era, and is the same sort of length as a prairie tank and B-Set in OO
I have both those engines, built from Eric Underhill (later Adrian
Swain's Zero Zephyr) resin cast kits - but I don't know if they are
still available. You might find them on Ebay., Also a Pete Waterman
517, backdated to Wolverhampton condition, beautifully painted in the
correct sea-green livery by Alan Brackenborough.
Here it is when I took it to a friend's club layout at their show in
Hudson, Massachusetts - I started in O-gauge before I emigrted to the
There are even photographs of one in Wolverhampton condition and
livery in at Swindon itself, on a Highworth branch train, but I can't
find one on the web.
Every man and his dog manufactures plastic kits for the relevant
freight stock. although I have some etched brass Iron Mink vans. The
Peco vans are a bit too modern for my era, although the brake van is
correct, with a few minor modifictions that most people probably
wouldn't notice. The earlier, smaller private owner coal wagons from
Slaters are also correct - provided you buy ones for coal merchants of
that era, some of them are painted for later merchants. Slater's
cattle wagons are also correct.
Other suitable vehicles are available in etched brass, like the Colin
Waite horse box which almost folds into shape. These are long out of
production, but the kits turn up on Ebay.
Give it a whirl, and you'll be hooked. The vehicles have an inertia
that smaller scales don't have.