WORKBENCH: Tyne Dock steam finale

The Tyne Dock-Consett iron ore circuit has always fascinated modellers and enthusiasts. TIM SHACKLETON blends consistency and variety within a nine-wagon rake of KR Models iron-ore hoppers.

Everything looks alike...’ That is a criticism I sometimes hear levelled at factory-applied weathering and hand-finished models. To my eye they can appear to be pitched at much the same level and executed in the same, infinitely repeatable fashion using the identical methods and materials. But that, in some ways, is how it is in reality.

I was reminded of this when sifting through my photographs of modern block trains – whether the formation was made up of MBA ‘Monster boxes’ full of scrap, TEA oil tankers, JJA autoballasters or whatever else you’d care to mention, they all looked pretty comparable in terms of how they’d weathered over time. And because individuality was at such a premium, the overall effect was pretty monotonous.

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