Prototype Or Freelance Modelling?

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Mountain
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Prototype Or Freelance Modelling?

Postby Mountain » Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:47 pm

While freelancing is rare in the UK in standard gauge form, it is popular in narrow gauge where if one looks into history, it is a case where there is just about a prototype for most things. It depends on the type of modeller you are. There is no specific set of rules here as some love to make a model of a specific prototype, while others like me, enjoy bending the rules slightly and making our own interpretations of the item we plan to make.
Where our models are concerned, what matters more is that we can make our model railway look convincing.
Freelancing gives me the excuse to make a more convincing model railway then I would if I had tried to copy prototype. Let me explain. It may seem the easy way out, but if I copied a real railway and set it in a real location and I'd not get it right, then it would be obvious. Yet with a freelance model, who can say if it is right or not?
This does not mean I dont have rules. If I am going to make it look convincing, then I'd better find a way to make it work. Firstly I need to know how railways operate and why they are there. I have to have an idea of how a steam locomotive works or what a diesel or petrol locomotive needs to make it work.
I need to know certain things like how and why all passenger loco hauled trains need a brake van and the same goes for freight train operation.
So though freelancing may in theory be a case of anything goes, there are rules, and they are good rules, as they not only make the overall scene look convincing, they can bring in a real sense of purpose to the layout which many model railways lack.

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pete12345
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Re: Prototype Or Freelance Modelling?

Postby pete12345 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:26 pm

I'd like to see more freelance models in standard gauge- it's common enough in narrow gauge and American HO but strangely frowned upon in 00. Whether it's a simple might-have-been loco or carriage or a fictitious company, it would be good to see some added creativity. Perhaps a light railway that survived nationalisation, or an alternate history Great Central as one of the 'Big Five' grouping era companies, or the GWR if nationalisation never happened. Endless possibilities :)
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Pete
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Re: Prototype Or Freelance Modelling?

Postby Pete » Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:33 pm

NG lends itself nicely to freelance modelling, they tend to be quite small and ramshackle with a range of wagons, some prototypical others more tacked together. I’ve had good fun with a number of fantasy layouts in NG, or a small standard gauge industrial railway with a tiny 0-4-0 loco and a rag bag of wagons.
NG is addictive though once you start, and you can get away with tiny baseboards compared to standard gauge.

I think with standard gauge though it’s difficult to contextualise your models if you go completely freeform. My collection of epII (1924-1930) German N Gauge would just look out of place in any setting other than a Bavarian one for me. From a personal point of view, it’s the modelling I enjoy more than the running of trains, so trying to model a prototype or at least a typical arrangement and capturing the authenticity is the challenge. 'What ifs' can be interesting, but I think the scenery still needs to grounded in reality.
Of course if you just enjoy running your models I can appreciate the fun of running your favourite express pulling two fish wagons and GWR Toad.

We all have our motivations, its what makes it fun, which at the end of the day it should be.

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b308
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Re: Prototype Or Freelance Modelling?

Postby b308 » Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:14 am

What's Freelance?

Is a layout "based" on a region of BR but not on a location freelance? It certainly is location wise, if not the locos and stock.

I think first you need to define what you mean by Freelance... Lumsdonia, for instance, is Freelance as it doesn't exisit in real life, but I'd argue that so is my South Bohemia layout, whilst based on Czech NG it doesn't represent one particular place like my other TTe layout and has stock from various lines.

Also this continual mention of narrow gauge is a red herring. Even narrow gauge was governed by the same laws of physics as the rest of the rail network, so it wasn't a case of "anything goes" as some people like to think. Impossibly sharp curves existed but were mainly hand worked, sharp curves do nothing for the longevity of locos and stock! If anything a true NG model is likely to be far more restrictive than a SG one as the companies that ran them lived far more hand to mouth so couldn't afford large fleets or fancy buildings. I've seen plenty of SG light railway layouts recently which I'd regard as Freelance, Iain Rice's books have a lot to answer for!

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Bufferstop
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Re: Prototype Or Freelance Modelling?

Postby Bufferstop » Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:13 pm

What do people regard as freelance.
Location
Imaginary line in imaginary location
Imaginary line in real but non railway location
Real line, real location but imagined to racy on instead of closure.
Imagined everything as in the "Disc World" model.

Motive Power
Might have beens Models of locos thought about but nor built, eg, GWR and SR Pacifics
Imagined locos which follow a particular designer or manufacturers philosophy.
"Out of thin air" designs, may or may not be practicable.

Operation
Didn't/doesn't exist but sticks to the rules.
Did/does exist but non authentic operation

Extreme freelance
Anything goes.

Should be a place for everyone in that list
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Re: Prototype Or Freelance Modelling?

Postby Pete » Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:06 pm

Also this continual mention of narrow gauge is a red herring.


Not sure what you mean by red herring, but, I think I meant the sort of small industrial narrow gauge with just small runs of track, such as brick works, or sugar beet etc, not the more commercial 'professional' lines that I think you refer to, as you note they are just as constrained as SG lines.

Bufferstop seems to have done the maths on all the possible combinations :)


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b308
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Re: Prototype Or Freelance Modelling?

Postby b308 » Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:07 pm

I'd refer you to the earlier post where it was said that freelancing is more common in NG than SG. i would question that, there are more NG layouts that I've seen at exhibitions that are actually based on a particular station or line than SG ones. I expect that number to rise even further with the Lynton and Barnstable stuff that now being issued in RTR. Looking at that list I'd suggest that most SG layouts are, in some respect, freelance... Jim's New Street model being one of the exceptions!

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Mountain
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Re: Prototype Or Freelance Modelling?

Postby Mountain » Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:59 pm

To me, when I think of freelance modelling I think of an entire railway system with its own livery and even its own locomotive designs.
Though I seen the point of an imaginary station being freelance, my personal concept is that if ones layout is based on a real railway company, e.g. GWR in a certain time span, or if a modeller just runs what he or she likes, so we have a mix of models from different eras and regions, that these are not the freelance concept I was thinking about as the models are based on real prototypes and have prototype liveries.
Freelancing in my view certainly stretches to USA modellers who buy a model unpainted, and then invents their own livery and railway company.
It is a fascinating subject which has some thoughts that I'd not come across before as though I'd always invent a station when I modelled in 00 gauge, I'd never would have said it was a freelance model as I'd try to run a specific region and area etc (E.g. GWR in South Wales or then B.R. blue era early '80's in Western Region, South West Wales).
I think most modellers make stations to their own design as few of us have the space to model a station at an actual location.

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pete12345
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Re: Prototype Or Freelance Modelling?

Postby pete12345 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:18 pm

Bufferstop wrote:What do people regard as freelance.
Location
Imaginary line in imaginary location
Imaginary line in real but non railway location
Real line, real location but imagined to racy on instead of closure.
Imagined everything as in the "Disc World" model.

Motive Power
Might have beens Models of locos thought about but nor built, eg, GWR and SR Pacifics
Imagined locos which follow a particular designer or manufacturers philosophy.
"Out of thin air" designs, may or may not be practicable.

Operation
Didn't/doesn't exist but sticks to the rules.
Did/does exist but non authentic operation

Extreme freelance
Anything goes.

Should be a place for everyone in that list


I do wonder why it's common to model a real railway in a location which doesn't exist, but not to model a realistic railway line in a real-world location- except that the company never existed. As long as the company and its reason for existence are plausible, surely the latter us more realistic.
Once an engine attached to a train, was afraid of a few drops of rain...


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