'Masons Lane' - MR238

 The addition of a line atop the retaining wall creates a sense of height. CHRIS NEVARD

The addition of a line atop the retaining wall creates a sense of height. CHRIS NEVARD

Neil Mason has made a career out of his hobby, and with former exhibition layout ‘Masons Lane’, it’s easy to see why.

Husband and wife Neil and Lacey Mason realised that the hobby was crying out for an accessible layout building service, one for the ‘average’ modeller who can’t afford to spend mega bucks. The idea proved so popular that in June 2016, the couple started their own business in Deeping St James, Lincolnshire, and haven’t looked back since.


‘Masons Lane’ was built to showcase The Little Layout Company’s layout building service, but has since been sold. The compact 5ft by 2ft diesel depot is small enough to fit in most homes, and is unique enough to provide ample viewing interest. The diesel depot has become such a popular layout subject that it could be considered the GWR branch line of the 21st century. The challenge is to make one that stands out from the crowd.

Neil built ‘Masons Lane’ to portray all periods from the 1980s to the 2000s. It’s the mid-1980s period that really turns heads, with uniform shades of blues and greys compared to the kaleidoscope that is the privatised railway. The track plan itself also presents a slight departure from the norm, with the presence of an additional line running atop the retaining wall. “We copied that idea from our resident weathering guy, Paul Wright,” admits Neil. “It’s based around his layout ‘Borders Reach’ (MR189)...

Find out more in MR238 - OUT JULY 27

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 Cameos add both character and realism to the layout. CHRIS NEVARD

Cameos add both character and realism to the layout. CHRIS NEVARD