Blog: Against the clock

Photo: Hornby Magazine's newest layout will be making its debut at the Warley National Model Railway Exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham on November 26/27. See it on the Hornby Magazine stand.


Building layouts is an immensely enjoyable part of what I do here at Hornby Magazine HQ, but far from it being an everyday thing the builds have to fit in around busy production schedules to ensure that we still get every issue out of the door on time.

The timescales we have available for each layout are radically short compared to what most people have for home or club projects – although at the same time we do live and breath model railways 24hrs a day seven days a week. Still, when it comes to a project like this year’s Yearbook layout we had just four months to pull together a 12ft x 3ft scenic section from start to finish.

On Tuesday the layout looked like this - it is now virtually complete.

On Tuesday the layout looked like this – it is now virtually complete.

Simple right? Well, not really, as during the layout’s construction we haven’t just got to build it. During the build we also have to fit in filming work for the 2017 DVD using parts of the layout as the backdrop or setting, photography work for the Yearbook and all manner of hold ups while I decide what I actually wanted to build and how it is going to be done.

Fortunately we have great supporters of the Hornby Magazine projects both inside and outside the office. As you will have read in other blog posts Mark Chivers pitches in regularly and without his involvement I would be putting in even more late nights finishing off the details which take so much time. Outside the office, contributor Tim Shackleton has been a tremendous asset to this new project in building and painting the station building – and its imposing multi-track canopy – while Paul Chetter is always on hand to assist with sound fitting of locomotives ahead of an exhibition debut too.

Beyond this there is a whole world of supporters who help with materials for projects. Of the big names Hornby Hobbies, DCC Concepts, Gaugemaster, Train-Tech and Bachmann are regulars, but there are a number of smaller suppliers too and one in particular that I want to talk about today. That company is a Spanish firm called Redutex.

The road bridge coming together using Redutex 3D texture sheets.

The road bridge coming together using Redutex 3D texture sheets.

You might have seen our use of this manufacturer’s products on our newly completed ‘N’ gauge layout Barrenthorpe where the retaining walls were rebuilt using the impressive 3D pre-coloured resin texture sheets. I have used all manner of materials in our layout builds throughout the years, but Redutex is up there with the best – and for more than just its appearance.

Time is always of the essence for our projects and when you are faced with the prospect of building large amounts of retaining wall or platform edging, a quick and effective method is what we need. Redutex achieves that. Its pre-coloured, self adhesive, has 3D textures and is unbelievably quick to use.

The Yearbook project layout has this product everywhere – and frankly I wouldn’t have been able to complete the layout on time without it. The main road bridge piers and retaining walls, the low brick wall along the back, all of the platform edging, road surfaces, pavements and more and all covered with this superb range of textures.

Having become well versed in its use this is a product that we won’t be able to build another layout without and we are sure to be showcasing its use further in the pages of Hornby Magazine in the future.

Station detailing taking shape.

Station detailing taking shape.

With all this, you might be wondering when you will be able to see the finished Yearbook project layout. Well, there’s a little taster here, but the Yearbook will be launched at the Warley National Model Railway Exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham on November 26/27 where the new layout – Grosvenor Square – will also be making its public debut. That is after we’ve built it a storage yard and completed work on the locomotive fleet… See you there!

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

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 November 18 and you can expect more from Editor Mark Chivers on November 4.


Posted in Blogs, Mike Wild


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