Monday 15 November 2021

Tolworth Showtrain

Sunday morning and into the dark zone inside the ring of death - OK turning right from Junction 8 and inside the M25... same thing. 
After some malarky with road closures and a scrambled detour, Tolworth was reached. Not much to write home there about except possibly the full-on Southern concrete art-deco station which is worth a look. The show is a familiar one and post lockdown not much has changed. Maybe the aisles were wider, maybe not. The fire doors were open and that seemed about it. Mask wearing was on the low side. 
Catering was teas only and no food,  so a visit to the caff a couple of doors down which was perfect. I'm not sure I'd be so happy if it had been pissing down though.
Always a good balanced mainstream event; not too finescaly and not aimed at families ether. Perhaps for 'the average modeller'. That would make a good magazine strapline...? OK maybe not. 
Not really any duffers in the show and definitely something for everyone, even a Chinese layout which was new to me, but which I have on good authority will be in CM in the future. My winners for the day were these two for completely different reasons. 
Regulars will know my liking for 1960s-vibe modelling and Woking club's Millford fitted the bill beautifully. Card kits to the fore, but all subtly altered. Nothing remarkable apart from the way that it had been done with a constant finish. 
The same could be said for Outwell Village. Exquisite modelling and instantly recognisable with a range of mainly kit built stock. 

The scores as is now traditional.

Show: 9

Catering: 1 (though what was there was perfectly acceptable with the cafe)

Rucksacks: 0

Covid prep :2

Hand stamping to get in and out so we all looked we'd been to a rave: 10!



  1. Was good to see you, Nigel, Andrew and David as well as other "usual suspects".
    Something I noticed in the main hall that I don't think was the case before was that all the trade stands bar one were around the outside walls with the layouts in the middle...I suspect this may have helped with the overall uncrowded feel.
    Until seeing your photo of "Millford" I hadn't realised it uses the Superquick large station building...I remember making one of those when I was about 14, nice to see (on the Harrison-Brown stand) that it and the rest of the range plus some later additions are still available.
    Outwell Basin got my vote for best layout...I hadn't seen it elsewhere; the subject matter, presentation and willingness of the operators to have a chat worked for me. One little aspect was that one op called to the other a number which turned out to be the DCC address of the loco that was set up to come out of the fiddle yard, I hadn't realised that the layout was DCC until then as it's devoid of the usual gimmickry that tends to go with DCC. Could you tell that it was 00 rather than EM/P4? I couldn't...

  2. I dread to think how many years it is since this was my local show. Outwell has always been a favourite of mine. On the downside it captures the scene so well - as evidenced by comments from locals when it is shown here in the Fens - that there seems little point in anyone else modelling it without coming up with a completely different treatment.

    I recently bought the Superquick country garage as a scene blocker for a micro diorama. With a little work I think it might be quite effective. It is odd that even THAT station is no longer a cliche and will have many modern modelers asking about it.

  3. With the preponderance of ready to plonk buildings, is a Superquick station such a cliche any more, it's not like you see them that often now.

    1. Possibly not, though I don't know how common the Superquick range of kits is in model shops nowadays.
      When I was growing up in Hastings in the 70s, all three shops that sold model railways sold Superquick kits to go with your purchases so I suppose much of the range would be seen just about anywhere.
      Metcalfe products seem to be everywhere now so the medium of die-cut printed card kits is obviously still viable.

    2. I don't think the Superquicks are cliche any more. They are far superior to the Metcalfes which never look quite the right colour to my eyes. Card is a tricky medium and I'm always pleased to see it taken on and kits used which are readily available adapted as per here.

  4. It was not only good to see that they used the Superquick kits, but they had to various extents "bashed" them to suit their location. A very evocative layout.

    Andrew Knights (Unknown?)