1. Introduction

This blog is about my struggle to build the model railway exhibition layout, “Kyle of Sutherland”, which shows Culrain station in the former county of Ross-shire, Scotland, as it was in 1960. My chosen scale is 4mm to the foot in as detailed a form as I can model: so-called “finescale”. Track and rolling stock are made to P4 standards. Trains are from the post-nationalisation period up to about 1962.

I retired in 2000 and am now in my seventeenth year of serious modelling, starting in March 2001 at a Missenden Abbey Railway Modelling Weekend. Since then I’ve attended almost every railway modelling course held at Missenden. By 2005, after making a loco, some wagons, a working signal, and a series of three narrow display boards with track in a glass wall-mounted cabinet for viewing stock, along with a few items of scenery, I reckoned I was ready to make a layout.

Since 2011 I’ve had considerable help and advice from members of the Devon Finescale Modellers Group, Pendon Museum tutors, staff and volunteers, and of course the tutors at Missenden Abbey. This provided the much-needed boost to exhibit the layout as a non-scenic work-in-progress at Scaleforum 2012 (the final Scaleforum exhibition at Leatherhead) and, in revised form, at the Exeter Show in 2013. The first public showing of the scenically complete layout was in September 2015 in Culrain Village Hall just across the road from the real, but now much simplified, Culrain station.

The current focus is on completing an exhibition sequence of 10 trains, as well as creating a model photographic record of actual trains that passed through Culrain in a day.

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    The epic struggle to build a model railway exhibition layout at 4mm to the foot

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