A diversion into the beautiful metre gauge railways of Britanny reveals a stunning layout created in 1:50 scale. Master model makers GORDON and MAGGIE GRAVETT explain the story of this outstanding model which is now on permanent display as part of the Ashford International Model Railway Education Centre. Photography, Trevor Jones.


Above: A characteristic feature of French towns is the number of advertisements that adorn the buildings, including enamel signs and faded painted (and overpainted) adverts on end walls. The rendered walls are made by sprinkling white pepper over wet gloss paint. There are very few model cars available at 1:50 so these two Renaults were hand made from ABS plastic.

PEMPOUL is a model railway based on the metre gauge Réseau Breton and is now part of the AIMREC collection of model railway layouts that give a taster of what will become the Ashford International Model Railway Education Centre. The intention is to show various layouts and modelling in all the popular scales along with numerous other aspects of the fascinating hobby of model making. The inspiration and origin of the layout, however, goes back to about 30 years ago and a holiday in Brittany.

Before this, I had built a couple of British layouts but there was something about the atmosphere of quiet Breton villages that seemed to be crying out to be modelled.

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