Some very interesting developments at this years show!

Well allot of the show was a bit samey. the demonstrators were there, there was nothing really new there.

There were some very interesting items on the trade stands though!

The thing that really caught my eye was the Brima Road Systeam. I didn't see this one coming! Its not often in this hobby that you see something that could really be a game changer. Evryone knows about the faller road system. its ok, but it has its limitations. I never felt it quite fulfilled the potential of a proper model road system.

That's where Brima comes in! This is in a totally different league.

The faller system was essentially a posh toy. this is a system to properly motorise cars (automobiles to my American readers!) or trucks. if you have a 1950's layout, you can buy your 9050's vehicles and motorise them with the Brima components.

This has the potential to bring a huge amount of interest to finescale layouts that can seem a bit actionless.

But if this is to be embraced, then layouts certainatly need to plan for it. a retrofit would be a complicated process.

It may also start to bring a new audience to the hobby. there is no reason why entire layouts cant be constructed with the road system as the main focus of the layout.

I will be following this one with great interest! And I really hope to get my hands on some of the components when its released in the new year.


Moving on 

The main manufacturers were there. I'm afraid I didn't spend long looking at them but for me the highlights were the test shots on the Hornby stand. the earlier southern coaches will be a nice addition to the fleet and will look great behind a T9 or Bridgton Terrier!

Peco was there. they seem to have found their mojo these last couple of years. I got very bored with their products but these last couple of years they have produced those beautiful L&B 009 coaches and this year they have unveiled some Glyn Valley rolling stock and overhead catenary. I wish them the best of luck!


Something that really struck me this year was the difference in the exchange rate. normally continental stock is seriously expensive. in my opinion too expensive. I don't mind buying high quality models, but I do insist on value for money and for a few years now I simply don't think that European models have done that. But a combination of a strong pound and a weak Euro have made a big difference this year. At last years exhibition you would have been hard pressed to come away with a modern continental locomotive for less than £250, this year £160-170 gave you an interesting and varied choice.


There were layouts too!

I didn't take many pictures of them. partly because photography in the NEC is not easy! And partly because if you look on any of the model railway forums you will find any number of pictures taken by people who seemed to walk around the exhibition with their finger constantly on the shutter!


Although I didn't take any pictures of it, I would like to put in a word for Burntisland 1883. I don't particularly like the way the harbour has put 5 feet between me and the station at the back, but apart from that, I think this is one of the finest layouts I have ever seen. the detail is superb. I love the stock, its exquisitely finished. I also love the fact that none of it is a cliché. its unlike anything else on the circuit. on some layouts I can stand there and know the manufacturer of just about everything on the layout. Having a layout where so much has been scratchbuilt or so heavily modified is really refreshing.









Have you been having problems building that troublesome kit?

Or is the stack of unbuilt models becoming too big to hide!

We have all been there! Sometimes it just takes a bit of tuition from a model maker and a little hands-on experience to get you started.


I am now offering model making lessons in central London for those of you that need a little encouragement!

So if your partner is starting to complain that you haven't even made a start yet, then do get in touch and together we can make sure you have the skills to make a good job of your kit.


Get in touch by E-mail.... This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Or give me a call on 07503094100 to discuss your problem.


Peter Morgan


The This page has been set up to promote and encourage people to go beyond taking a model out of its box and sticking it on the track and have a go at actually doing some modelling!


UPDATE-Blas O Cymru Our first exhibition layout!


UPDATE - I have finally uploaded my Dart Castings Victoria Carriage build.


UPDATE - JMRI on a raspberry pi 3 using Jessie. the second instalment of Mike Dunns guide to running JMRI on the humble Raspberry Pi (in this case the new Pi3!!) I want to extend a huge thanks to Mike for writing this article on such an interesting subject!


Update - PIKO Smartcontrol! I can go for months without receiving an article from anyone else and then suddenly I will check my E-mails and one lands in my inbox! I want to shout "I GOT ONE!!" like that woman from Ghostbusters! A huge thanks to Brian Considine for this one and on such a promising subject as well. I look forward to some followups! If you would like to write for Focusmodelling then do please get in touch.

Update - Today we were working on our layout. the Baseboards are all screwed and glued which was fine when we had access to a rather swanky Bosch drill-driver! but alas today, the drill driver was in Hereford and we were in London!


BIG Update! - I am Delighted to present the first Focusmodelling article by Mike Dunn. JMRI on a Rasberry Pi. This also christens our new electronics section of the website which I am hoping will expand over the coming months. As I have said many times, if you would like to contribute to then do please get in touch. the standard of your modelling is not a consideration, only that you aim to improve with your next project.


Update - Work has started on our new layout! to help cut the plywood I invested in a decent band saw. Check out my review here!



UPDATE - I am delighted to present the first part of Paul Stapleton's article on the construction of his new Chinese HO layout. In part 1 he discusses the philosophy behind his choice of layout and the decisions he made before the board was cut!

UPDATE 2! this article is now also available in Chinese! 这篇文章现在有中文译版。



UPDATE - Garden at 54. Its been 15 years since the demise of this layout, but discovery of a recent stash of pictures meant an article was inevitable!





BIG UPDATE - A new article on the building of the Darjeeling and Himalaya railway B class from EDM 

Photo taken by Hugh Smith between 2001 and 2005 and remain his copyright.


UPDATE a Quick review of the Bergen Tap and Die set


I have added a new video for those of you who have asked about riveting valvegear. Its a bit of a rough video, But the process si there. I PROMISE I will get better at making these videos!



 BIG NEWS - St.Laurent en Ardennes.


Finally I have an article from someone else to publish!! When I started this website I hoped that a few others would contribute and while there are several irons in the fire and a couple of people actively working on articles, it's Brian Considine that first off the mark with an article on his former layout St.Laurent en Ardennes.

AN APPEAL FOR HELP - I would like to thank Brian and take this opportunity to plead for more contributors. I want to make it clear that your standard of modelling is not a consideration in weather your material gets published on this website. Only that you are honest about your work and that you aim to improve when you build your next model. seeing your mistakes are just as important as seeing peoples successes and we can all learn from them.

If you fancy having a go then please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




For some time I have wanted to sell some of the various products I use on this website.

Today, An industrial quantity of Flux and Solder has arrived from DCC concepts in Australia. I have specifically ordered the no clean flux and the 145 solder because I think they are by far the finest currently available to the modeller. They are simply superb products. When I came to order some I quickly found that the UK retailers weren't really interested in stocking it and so I took it upon myself to take the leap of faith and order a batch for sale on this website. 

There are still one or 2 little bugs like the postage is not sorted yet, but I am working on it!!

For now, I will bill you separately for the postage (just until I can figure out how to configure that part of the website correctly!)

UPDATE - Lathe review

UPDATE - Part 1 of the soldering tutorial is now live!

 Many thanks to Julia at for her help!

I really hope that video is just the start. in the second video I will be discussing fluxes and solders.


UPDATE - I have done several updates to the tool section with several new articles. I dont want to link each of them here on the homepage but you can find them here...

Dremel Multitool

Milbro Pendant motor

UPDATE - Sandy River & Rangley Lakes no.19, A big update on this one.

UPDATE - Brassmasters Black 5

UPDATE - (Finally!!) I have uploaded my article on Minidrill accessories.

UPDATE - New Article on the Broad Gauge Firefly


Peter Morgan - Editor