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Sunday, 26 July 2009

Taking Railway Modelling to the Next Level

Railway books are a great inspiration and aid for modelling an authentic railway scene. But it was only recently that I discovered a new aspect to the hobby, which I shall call 'Inspired Modelling'.

This is about emulating a photograph of the prototype train and period shown in a railway book by re-creating the scene on the model railway and then taking a photograph of it. Post processing the image to add effects such as steam and smoke with the aim of getting as close as possible to the book photograph.

N15 with an up goods trainThe outcome is truly staggering. My wife thought I had scanned the book photograph! that's how realistic the model image is that I achieved.

It is only with the advent of finely detailed ready to run railway models from the trade, versatile low cost digital cameras with macro facilty and photo editing software that has enabled us to do this.

One of the model photos I created was based on that taken of the prototype by the famous railway photographer Ivo Peters. When I look at my image I feel as though I had stepped back in time and became Ivo Peters at the moment he snapped his image.

There are some discrepencies between the two photographs especially when it comes to railway furniture or landscape in the prototype photograph that does not exist on the model railway. But it is close enough to be a very rewarding experience and new extension of the hobby.

My 'Inspired Modelling' photos are viewable only for a few months during summer months in the 'Special Features' section of my website, accessible from the web link in this article.

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