Updated: Jan 3
Some may say prototype modelling is the only way to go, no ifs buts or maybes. I have head some stories of these modellers being ostracised by other modellers because of their Freelance Railway views. I’m all for prototype modelling, but this is not how I model.
Don't get me wrong Prototype modelling has some huge advantages, for example: place names, industry, station names, rolling stock and locomotives to name a few. But it also has its limitations e.g. what parts to model due to all modellers’ plight of lack of space.
Freelance modelling has its advantages you can use any rolling stock, locomotives, structures and track arrangements etc. Place names and industries is an interesting topic on Freelancing. I personally use various naming conventions, I use a mixture of mashed up family names eg Barham after my father Barry Hamilton=Barham. Lower Mitcham Station = in the real world is a little single track station that was located across the road from my grandparent’s house. This is significant for me as my grandfather gave me the passion for model trains. Whilst on my grandfather- Harold Victor Harbor is named after my late grandfather. I couldn’t write this blog with-out mentioning my wife Nancy, she has an Alpine town named after her, pronounced "No si" like the town in France.
My railway Fallen Log Railway runs predominately era 1-3 European rolling stock and locomotives. However, I do run trains from my childhood-South Australian Railways, Australian and Pacific National Railways. Yes all very different and some would say you can’t run these trains together. Yes they never did run together on the same rails together but this is what attracts me to freelancing.
My industries are named after numerous places/people I know or places I have visited, some I have just made up from googling business names. I normally like to select a few names from places I have recently travelled, such as; Riversleigh (Queensland), Hammersleigh (Western Australia), Leopold (Western Australia) and Fortescue (Western Australia).
So the inspiration for my Freelance modelling comes from various locations and influences in my life. This is another reason I like to the freelance option because I can create a little slice of my own world. I heard an interesting Podcast recently on HO Scale Customs with the Wiley boys. They had a guest on and they touched on Freelancing where their guest said every town needs a back story which developed the formation of the town. I have never considered this before. As Barham is my first scenicked area I will start by creating a back store to this area. Upon reflection this will start with the founder of the town Barry Hamilton who moved into the area in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s. He started a mission and a Lutheran church. The story will continue from there, so you get the gist.
I think it is important that the backstory is believable. I am in the process of writing a document for the Fallen Log Railway, which will include the stories of the railroad and its influences. Some may say this is a lot of work, yes it is but enjoyable particularly writing this when away on holidays (like I am now) and literally 3500kms away from my layout.
Whether you are a prototype modeller or freelancer or something in between. It really doesn’t matter as long as you enjoy trains running and creating our miniature world.