'Mermaid Cove' - MR261

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The coast with the most

‘O’ gauge is big, isn’t it? You surely need a decent amount of space even for a micro layout, right? What on earth must you need in order to re-create a stretch of main line? If you’re Stephen Fay, you only need 6ft. Stephen’s talent - which verges on the side of ‘genius’ - is to take big areas of railway and model them in small spaces. Cardiff Canton shed; the Severn Tunnel; Stephen is not put-off by big railway locations and he’s now turned his attention to one of his favourite stretches of railway, Brunel’s spectacular South Devon main line between Dawlish and Teignmouth.

Stephen was a long-time ‘OO’ modeller until a chance encounter with a Just Like The Real Thing ‘Castles’ on display at STEAM - The Museum of the GWR opened his eyes to the possibilities of the ‘senior scale’.  

“I thought it was magnificent,” Stephen recalls, “The weight and presence of it was something to behold and that, coupled with two ‘O’ gauge layouts I saw at exhibitions [‘Holiday Haunts’ and ‘Dainton Bank’], convinced me to make the change.”

Changing to ‘O’ gauge was one thing but finding the space for a layout was something else. Especially if your list of subjects for dream layouts included the Dawlish sea wall. 

“I made a 4mm:1ft version of the area many years ago,” says Stephen, “but since my conversion to ‘O’ gauge it’s been on my list of places to create in the larger scale.”

You can read the full review in Model Rai 261 - Out May 9th!

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