Entering marvellous world of miniature

Dale Smith with his ACE Trains collection.
Dale Smith with his ACE Trains collection.

When the public enters the main hall of the modelling extravaganza run by Dundee Model Railway Club in Dundee International Sports Centre (DISC) this weekend they will enter a marvellous world of miniature displaying the best of many widely different hobbies.

Little do the public realise the many hours, months, and in some cases, years of work that go into creating some of the exhibits.

Local collector and enthusiast Dale Smith, who is known throughout Scotland for his vintage tinplate layout, has pulled out the stops for the Dundee show with a theme for this year based on cross Channel travel.

The French dimension will feature mainly on the first day of the show, Saturday, October 15, with mainly post-war French Hornby locos and rolling stock and a range of the highly successful French “demontable” railway stations and other buildings. French O-gauge Hornby of the 1950s was far more diverse than the British counterpart which was already in terminal decline.

The French Hornby from that period included stem, diesel and electric locos in 20V Ac and 12V DC whereas British post-war O-gauge had retrenched back into the cheaper clockwork, which often appeared very childlike.

Crossing the Channel, and appearing mainly on Sunday, October 16, Dale’s layout will transform to mainly pre-war Southern Railway (SR) using early 20V AC Hornby locos and rolling stock from the interwar years.

Exotic Pullmans and SR coaches will pull the miniature passengers up to London.

They will be supplemented by much later tinplate electric from the ACE Trains London stable.

Buildings on both sides of the Channel will be represented by Bayko models, another of Dale’s passions.

Southern suburbia will be the main focus of this display with Bayko coming into its own in representing building of the 1930s, 40s and 50s.

Less common toy and model train ranges which will also be in action on the layout over the weekend include Bassett-Lowke, Bing, Carrette, Leeds Model Company, Highfield Models and others.

Popular models by Spot-On, Dinky, Corgi and Britains will also feature with plenty of colour, light and action to keep the public amused.

Also from the Kirriemuir area, Kirriemuir Wargames Club will demonstrate a different wargame each day.

Grahame Paterson is running a beautiful Samurai game on Saturday with some fabulous period buildings built by his architectural technician son Fraser.

On Saturday, Steve Rimmer and Steve Shaw will run the participation table which has been so popular with the public and judges at wargames shows in Scotland this year.

This is a Viking Raid on a coastal settlement – it could even be Perth or Dundee. There are many other clubs and groups displaying at the show with layouts from across the country and one group of stalwarts travelling all the way from France to display.

An enjoyable exhibition is assured with such a range of static and moving exhibits and a traders mall for those who want to add to their own collections or layouts.