World of Model Railways

Since we’re approaching Christmas, let’s talk about train sets. Everybody loves a train set for Christmas. Hell, if I had the space I’d be constantly badgering my wife for one. Space to have a train set I mean, not to badger my wife. If I was complaining about a lack of space to badger my wife you’d think I was talking euphemistically. I was talking about Christmas and train sets and then suddenly people are thinking about dirty things. Stop it. Get your mind out of the gutter.

Continuing my eclectic saunter around my backlog of photographs we return to Cornwall, and the coastal village of Mevagissey, a town so small they don’t even let you drive cars into it. Not really. The streets are all narrow and the car parks are outside of the town. You’ll see a bit more of the town in a later post, but for now I wanted to show you the reason we visited Mevagissey in the first place: World of Model Railways.

1/100, f/5.6, ISO 6400, 79mm
1/100, f/5.6, ISO 6400, 79mm

World of Model Railways should need little explanation. It’s a place dedicated to model railways. There are some in cases, clearly valued models to be kept safe, such as this example of one of the great steam trains, the Mallard.

1/200, f/5, ISO 5000, 42mm
1/200, f/5, ISO 5000, 42mm

They had a few different scale trains too, but most of them were in the standard ‘Hornby’ gauge. Some of the locked-away trains were nice to look at, however, the main attraction was in the middle of building, where a large running model had been built, featuring – I’m told – over thirty trains running over a varied landscape.

1/320, f/4.5, ISO 6400, 39mm
1/320, f/4.5, ISO 6400, 39mm

The display, as you can see above, was a bit narrow, so a lot of my images are in portrait to avoid getting the glass at the edge in. It’s also had the added effect of capturing the tracks snaking their way up the frame.

1/125, f/5.6, ISO 5000, 120mm
1/125, f/5.6, ISO 5000, 120mm
1/200, f/5.6, ISO 5000, 135mm
1/200, f/5.6, ISO 5000, 135mm
1/200, f/5.6, ISO 5000, 135mm
1/200, f/5.6, ISO 5000, 135mm

My wife and I often disagree about train sets. She says they should be set in the days of steam, so you can relive a golden age of rail travel. I think they should be set in the modern era; that way you can still have steam engines, but also revel in the technological advancements of 200mph high speed trains. Most of the rolling stock running at the time we visited happened to be more modern.

You might have thought this would be an ideal opportunity to use my macro lens, but it wouldn’t have worked in this environment. It was simply too dark to use a lens without image stabilisation, and to get the really interesting shots I’d have had to get a bit closer to the models than I think they’d have been comfortable with.

This next shot is my favourite. It seems to have come out a bit sharper and clearer than a lot of the others.

1/160, f/5.6, ISO 5000, 135mm
1/160, f/5.6, ISO 5000, 135mm

This next one, in contrast, is one I’m undecided about. There are two versions, one which captures the train, the other which is better framed. I’m inclined to prefer the former.

1/125, f/5.6, ISO 5000, 135mm
1/125, f/5.6, ISO 5000, 135mm
1/125, f/5.6, ISO 5000, 135mm
1/125, f/5.6, ISO 5000, 135mm

They’d put a lot of effort into the little details in the display. Aside from multiple tracks of trains running all around the map, there were lots of nice touches to make the world they’d created look a bit more real, like a Burger King, a hot air balloon soaring over a traffic jam, or some nicely detailed rock faces.

1/250, f/5, ISO 5000, 44mm
1/250, f/5, ISO 5000, 44mm
1/640, f/4.5, ISO 5000, 32mm
1/640, f/4.5, ISO 5000, 32mm
1/60, f/5, ISO 5000, 48mm
1/60, f/5, ISO 5000, 48mm

On top of this, there were interesting scenes to be seen all over the place, such as firefighters dealing with a trackside fire:

1/25, f/5.6, ISO 5000, 75mm
1/25, f/5.6, ISO 5000, 75mm

This car from the opening titles of the Antiques Roadshow:

1/250, f/5.6, ISO 5000, 135mm
1/250, f/5.6, ISO 5000, 135mm

This (apparently Italian) cycle race:

1/100, f/5.6, ISO 5000, 135mm
1/100, f/5.6, ISO 5000, 135mm

The Time Team presumably digging up a Roman villa:

1/160, f/5.6, ISO 5000, 113mm
1/160, f/5.6, ISO 5000, 113mm

And one of the Breitling Wingwalkers from when they had a different sponsor (that isn’t a joke, they’ve had several sponsors over their life):

1/500, f/5.6, ISO 5000, 92mm
1/500, f/5.6, ISO 5000, 92mm

Shooting was a bit tricky in this space. It wasn’t large, it wasn’t bright, and I was constantly concerned with blocking people’s views and struggling with high ISOs and low shutter speeds. On the bright side, we did check on the way in if photography was allowed, so I wasn’t worried on that front. Definitely a different sort of stet of image today, but sadly a lot of the photographs of the trains didn’t really produce interesting images. It’s annoying: if I only have a few good images, I feel bad and compelled to add some of the so-so ones to make up numbers; if I have a lot of great images I feel bad for overloading you with too many photographs. In my constant battle with myself, I can never win.

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5 Comments

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  1. Good day to rent a tilt-shift lens!

    Like

  2. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    LOOK AT THIS TRAIN LAYOUT!!!!

    Like

  3. Oh to have a set like that to play with all day.

    Like

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