This is my model railway/railroad hobby site. It describes an ongoing project building my modular model railway in a mythical country - Serene.
Like my layout, this site is in continuous flux!
Why Serene? Not because Modelling is a serene and restful occupation, rather because of the fact that a lot of the design and construction of my layout was serendipitous!
The layout is HO 2ft 6in narrow gauge (HOe or HOn30) and this was a serendipitous choice. Many years ago while working in Pittsfield, Massachusetts I found in a model
shop near my work low cost narrow gauge model rail sets and purchased two.
Why is HO serendipitous
Because of the range of models available. Its popularity means that buildings and people are less expensive than either larger or smaller scales. Because I can get a reasonable sized layout in a reasonable space that is not too fiddly!
Despite being located in the UK, I chose HO rather than 00 because it is perfect to model 2ft 6 in narrow gauge rail lines, I started gathering stuff when I worked in the USA and, happily, I visit the USA on business regularly and so can get stuff when I visit!
However, when it comes to scale I cheat. Trains and rolling stock are HO scale (1/87th). But for smaller things (in particular people) I use a range of scales such as 1/72nd and 1/76th (OO scale). For larger things (planes and ships) I use a smaller scale (typically 1/100th). This is particularly helpful for aircraft as there are few at 1/87th scale but many more at 1/100th scale (and you can get more in a reasonable space). For buildings I use everything
from OO scale (often reduced in size), HO scale (occasionally reduced in size) and even N scale (increased in height).
Why is Narrow Gauge serendipitous
Because allows me to pack an even larger layout in a limited space and I can use N-scale track, rolling stock and engine chassis to scratch build models. Serendipitously, N-scale track equates to 2ft 6 in gauged track in HO scale and there are some wonderful 2ft 6in narrow gauge locomotives in the real world (such as Beyer-Garrett, Kitson-Meyer, Mallet
I am not just interested in the model rail aspects and this means that my modules often consist more of buildings, industries and vignettes showing how the local population lives.
I chose to model late summer 1938 because this represents an interesting time in terms of equipment. (Steam Trains are so, so, so much more interesting than diesel or electric). Also, the road vehicles are more interesting (especially as some of the Serene residents are still using some very old automobiles) and a couple are still riding Penny Farthing bicycles.)
Serene is a mythical principality in southern Europe. It was originally set up by a group of Knights Templar who got lost on the way to the holy land (at least that is what they told everyone). Because of this the county has had close ties with England (except for the weather that is much warmer). This is reflected in the architecture and the fact that the two main sports are Cricket and Football (Soccer). Also, the language is English
(as illustrated in the signage).
Throughout my modelling I try to make serendipitous use of materials and describe serendipitous sources of models and materials. Where ever I have serendipitously found an especially useful supplier, I provide a link to their website! Also, I am not a rivet counter. I create impressionistic models (for example I use N scale track, trucks (with scratch built bodies) and locomotive mechanisms (with scratch built bodies) rather than exact scale track, truck and mechanisms.)