How I discovered Gn15
(and learned to stop worrying about the bomb.)
When I was eight or nine, building a large OO scale layout with my dad was fun. We drew inspiration from and Edward Beal plan and used balsa-wood building designs by Ron Warring. The scenery on the branch-line station was completed before dad died, and I kept the branch-line until I went to university. It was such fun that recently I've been collecting the various plans, magazines and books on which the layout was based. I think itís been the lack of that sense of fun thatís prevented me from finishing all but the smallest of projects in the intervening thirty years.
Gn15 has given me back that fun: serious fun, but fun nonetheless. What makes it all so fascinating for me is the need to solve real-life problems in a scale where real-life solutions will work. The pleasure of sitting and thinking is at least as great as the pleasure of building. I sat on a train back from Plymouth, watching the waves crashing against the sea-wall, and came up with a concept for a one-hour locomotive project loosely based on some speeders from the Gn15 info site. Itís mostly finished, just waiting for details before I paint and weather it, at which point Iíll write it up.
My main project is Cuddle, which is proceeding slowly, but Iím working on several other ideas including Wheal Oggy and Begijnendijk. With a little help from friends over several bottles of pettillant Vouvray, a 72Ē version of Cuddle using two locomotives has been joined by Blackwater Sand and Gravel (Fir Tree Wharf) and a tiny shoe-box version of the block sorting game beloved of AI and robotics researchers, codenamed Gnational Bank.
This means that Iíve got far more ideas than time, but thatís not a real problem with Gn15. Most layouts are small (although maybe one day Iíll build a large mining system or some such), and the impetus keeps me going. Because an operating layout will fit in the space occupied by a diorama in sixteen mil (my previous serious dabble) I can consider building a couple of different concepts that will allow me to get my modelling skills back up to speed. Iíll finish Cuddle eventually - currently I have the real baseboard completed, a smidgeon of scenery and mock-ups of the rest of the scenery Ė you can jump to the current episode of the story here. But I also intend to build Begijnendijk rather more quickly Ė once again the layout resulted from a few coincidences.
If you want to see what itís all about, I commend both Carl Arendtís site, which is about micro-layouts in various scales, and Emrys Hopkins's Gn15.info site, which, as its name suggests, is Gn15 specific.