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Blog: Always up for a challenge…

Photo: The completed 24hr challenge roundhouse was a great introduction for the team to what they could do against the clock.

 

I love my job. Not only do I get to write about model railways, I get to help build them too. It is what makes Hornby Magazine so special and exciting to be a part of. There’s always something on the go…

24hr challenge logo

As you may already be aware, our editor Mike Wild is a serial layout builder. It’s an exciting prospect, as you never quite know what to expect next. He always has a track plan or layout on the go, as well as another one bubbling away in the background. Factor in the daily tasks required to keep a monthly magazine ticking along and, as you can imagine, there is usually only one speed to work – fast – and at times it can be difficult to keep up. If you have seen either of the time-lapse videos from the 24hr challenge series, you’ll have seen how we motor through a project. I’ve included the latest challenge time-lapse here too for your viewing pleasure.

Hands on modelling is what it is all about - and you never know what's next!

Hands on modelling is what it is all about – and you never know what’s next!

The Hornby Magazine workshop is an Aladdin’s Cave of timber and materials in anticipation of the next build, while track, buildings, plastic sheet and other consumables miraculously appear on a ‘just in time basis’. This is usually sufficient, although I have been known to work through rather more plastic sheet than anticipated, resulting in a quick dash to the computer to order more for next day delivery!

Over the past few months we’ve completed two 24-hour challenges – both ‘OO’. The first, earlier this year (HM106), was to build a working model of a BR Western Region roundhouse, while the second was a slightly taller order and involved creating a BR Southern Region country branch line extension for the office test layout.

Mark Chivers (left) and Mike Wild (right) tackle baseboard construction for the roundhouse.

Mark Chivers (left) and Mike Wild (right) tackle baseboard construction for the roundhouse.

I’m sure it’s just coincidence, but my tasks recently have involved working with plastic sheet – the concrete apron for the roundhouse and the platforms for the country branch line. On both occasions, I’ve applied patience and a methodical approach to creating these from the raw materials, to get them looking just so. Mike, on the other hand will have flown through tasks with wild abandon and there is usually very little opportunity for dust to settle before he’s on to the next task. To keep me on my toes, he will also occasionally quip, ‘how’s it going Mark’ – which I’m convinced is code for ‘Haven’t you finished that yet?!”

Modelling tasks are varied, but Mark has a close relationship with plastic sheet from the first two challenges.

Modelling tasks are varied, but Mark has a close relationship with plastic sheet from the first two challenges.

Oh – and we’re already on to the next project… so watch this space.

You can read the full story on our latest 24-hour challenge in HM110, which is on sale now.

The second 24hr challenge saw the Hornby Magazine team build a Southern Region branch line terminus in 'OO' for HM110.

The second 24hr challenge saw the Hornby Magazine team build a Southern Region branch line terminus in ‘OO’ for HM110.

I hope you enjoy the blogs and if you have anything you would like to comment on, drop us a line to hornbymagazine@keypublishing.com.

The new series of blogs from the Hornby Magazine Editorial team give you an insight into the people, the projects and more. Hornby Magazine Editor Mike Wild’s next blog will be live on August 19 and you can expect more from Assistant Editor Mark Chivers on September 2.

Posted in Blogs, Mark Chivers

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