Bluish TT (3mm)

Bluish. 12mm gauge. 1:100 scale.

NW England 1500v DC, c1980. 

Overall size 6ft x 2ft. 

Phil Mason

More photos can be seen by clicking the photo below:-

Bluish TMD. As many features as possible from Reddish have been incorporated in a layout just 5ft long. The layout has appeared at Macclesfield, Stafford and Sheffield shows. The independent snow plough is scratch built. Photo: Dave Bates

Whilst the inspiration for ‘Bluish’ was Reddish shed that served the Woodhead line in the BR blue era, the impetus came from the some renovation work at home. 

After dismantling an old fireplace, I was left with a 5ft x 15in wooden framework that had been the hearth. “Ah ha, model railway baseboard!”, I thought, and the idea for a minimum space, minimum cost layout was born. And it just had to be called ‘Phoenix’. However, other timber came from my next door neighbour who disposes of old beds for a living and the name ‘Wasbed’ was also considered. But as we have a long term aim of building a 3mm scale Woodhead layout, it seemed a good idea to try out ideas for catenary etc and so ‘Bluish’ was born. 

Everything about this little project, which has to fit in a VW ‘Up’, is conventional. Working to a roughly £100 budget, the baseboard top is Sundeala, track is Peco HOm, control is from a 45 year old ‘Duette’ (with equally venerable H&M point motors) and it’s all held together with coach bolts and wing nuts. The catenary consists of scratch built masts and Electrotren HO wires. As is usual on TT layouts, rail vehicles are a mixture of scratch builds, kits and modified Tri-ang; some running on state of the art digital ready continental chassis. In particular, the iconic class 76 bodies were professionally moulded in resin from a scratch built master. 

1:100 is a brilliant and rewarding scale to work in and is amply supported by the 3mm Society and various traders and manufacturers.