Requiem in 1:76.2

COVID has struck its latest victim. This time in the form a four foot board where no one side is quite symmetrical with the other, or as its also known ‘Six Quarters’. Like an old ship being sunk to form a new coral reef, she will ascend the loft ladder to become a home to the sort of spiders that only live in the attic.

While Chris Witty is yet to start collating data for exhibition layouts that have died because of COVID, I know SQ will not be the only one. 2020 was always meant to be the last year, its a shame it follows most of 2020 in being a bit of a damp squid. Like most of us this year we’ve missed countless exhibitions, such as Swansea, Derby and Perth. More than that we’ve missed countless opportunities to chat, have beer and eat Indian cuisine.

It was only in lockdown that I’ve realised how much I genuinely enjoy exhibitions and exhibiting. We should all be proud that our hobby has that at its centre. My four feet of wood has allowed us to travel around Europe talking utter shit with people, stuff that in the present circumstances would seem exceptionally trivial but really kept us coming back for more. It feels a long time since I sat in a pub so far up north my nose won’t stop bleeding talking about North East steel train movements in the 1980s, with Chris leaning over going ‘I’ve got a layout plan for this in my head. We’ll talk about it over naans later’. Many a layout built and dismantled mentally over a weekend in our time.

SQ has survived a divorce, the following three turbulent house moves, survived my bodgery, somehow stayed together when it really shouldn’t of. It took on its own life beyond me really. It got us mentioned in high circles, it was mentioned last week in same breath as Pempoul when Planet Industrials talked about inspirational models (we really all need to get back out soon). Its been mad really when you think it starts life as a tree and then its in an exhibtion hall in Holland and the only difference between the tree and there is your imagination (ED – and the wood processing factory). I say this as you, the readers, are the only people who truly get this.

So it isn’t just a bit of wood going up in the attic, its a bit of me and I hate spiders. Happy retirement SQ, you’ve done us a lot of favours and you’ve given me a lot of happy memories.

Thanks as always to Adrian at Uckfield for giving it its debut. Uckfield’s kindness to us at OTCM is a favour never under appreciated.

So whats next? Well a couple of things. I’ve built a shelf layout, based on the SR/EKR. Which I’ll share when the scenics are more than my imagination.

I’m planning the next exhibition layout also, think trams, think grim, think tungsten bulbs.

We still have BWS in the stable and we are still chief ground crew for the unkillable behemoth of Portchillin . Who I’m sure would be the headline layout at the first show post nuclear annihilation.

Thanks for everybody as well who stopped by, took photos, invited it to further exhibitions and generally put it out there. It seems fitting its last show was actually to Lowca where it was based to meet the real men that worked the tiny engines in 1:1 scale.

Stay safe, stay modelling and let’s have a beer at that next show.


I’ve done a sad black and white photo and everyfing

6 Replies to “Requiem in 1:76.2”

  1. Pleased you have cottoned on that you talk utter shit to people Oly, we have mentioned it I believe?

    More seriously, for all its foibles SQ is a great layout as it did ooze atmosphere which is remarkable given how tiny it is. So I am sorry to see it passing.

    And if Mr Brian Hanson is reading this, no it is not P4.

  2. Lovely wee layout and a great source of inspiration. I’m shortly going to be relocating to Eastern Scotland and ideas similar in concept to SQ are bouncing about my neurons in the space in between all the logistical BS occupying most of my headspace at the mo!

  3. If I had to list one thing that I have really missed it would be exhibitions.

    I have marked weekends by saying to friends, this would be Uckfield, or Folkestone or Tenterden.

    Quite sad.

    But overall, not a great loss given what other people have been through, and will go through, but your piece hit home.

    Nicely written.

  4. Well crap. SQ really is such a fantastically inspirational layout and it’s been so completely enjoyable watching it mature on the blog. Nothing lasts forever I suppose. Which leaves looking forward to what takes its place.

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