wta260717gftrain01 Peter Murray, president of Wairarapa Railway Modellers, with some of his carriages, tools and displays. PHOTO/GERALD FORD

By Gerald Ford

Wairarapa Railway Modellers are preparing to host their annual display, on the weekend of August 12-13, at the YMCA in Masterton.

President Peter Murray has been involved with railway modelling for close to 40 years, having graduated from military models and planes, and slot cars, as a child.

The modellers club has about 35 members, many of whom will be bringing some of their layouts to the event.

Other layouts are coming from Wellington, Lower Hutt, Palmerston North and Levin.

The club’s first show was held in 1997 at Wairarapa College, and it has been held annually since, mostly at the Masterton Town Hall.

Most models are to scale, with the standard scale being termed HO, which is a scale of 1 to 87.

Mr Murray has a ruler which translates measurements to the scale they are emulating, and he shows models of a 40-foot or 50-foot boxcars.

The locomotives are also based on real world engines.

“I’ve tried to get it them weathered up,” Mr Murray said, pointing to a new locomotive he has acquired that he hasn’t yet “weathered’.

“That’s a real locomotive if you look that up on the internet you’ll find it, but a bit dirtier.”

Some use paint for this process, but Mr Murray prefers to use pastels and chalks, which can be wiped off and redone.

“They look better when they’re dirty. I think they do anyway,” he said. “It takes away that plastic look.”

Mr Murray’s train set is hooked to mains power and runs on 12-volts. The sounds of the trains has been recorded from real railways, including both the engines and the sound of the wheels on tracks, adding a level of authenticity.

The show at the YMCA at the weekend will include roughly 17 layouts of various sizes, including some children’s favourites.

Trade stalls will sell locomotives, rolling stock, scenery and materials for miniatures.

It costs $7 an adult and $3 a child to enter, or $15 for a family of four.