Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Culdee & Patrick ~ Blueprints

 Here are scale drawings for two engines of the Culdee Fell Mountain Railway, Culdee and Patrick!

Culdee, No. 4, Built by SLM in 1896
"Mountain Engines," is one of my favorite books from the railway series. I really enjoy reading the stories of Culdee, the history of his line, and the operation of a very unique roster of equipment that were designed for climbing up steep slopes, through rocky terrain, and windy weather. It was a goal of mine to make the rolling stock and the sets of the Culdee Fell Railway many years ago, and for the past few days I made measured drawings of Culdee and Patrick (one Lord Harry), so when I decide to scratch build them, I could have these handy to keep them on-model to the real thing. They'll be the basis for the other engines, such as Wilfred, Shane Dooiny, Alaric and Eric.

Culdee, Front and Back Views
When I do make them, the coupling rods will work as they look in these drawings, so they'll move as the engine rolls along the track. It would be cool to hand-lay custom track with Midwest Balsa Wood and Evergreen Plastics to make rack rail, and I also plan to put together dioramas with foam rocks and props for recreating those memorable shots of the line seen in the books.
Patrick, No. 6, Built by SLM in 1962
The engine's Swiss-patented designs and their special equipment, along with both the atmosphere and nostalgia of the location of the railway were some of the reasons why these were some of my favorite stories. These engines needed bravery and courage for the dedicated operation of their railway. The moments of their adventures were illustrated well in the beautiful paintings of Peter and Gunvor Edwards.

It was wonderful to see the modeling team of the Thomas and Friends show create the larger scale sets and equipment for the Skarloey Railway and "Jack and the Pack." Each of these two industrial systems had their own charms that made them special. Narrow gauge, and construction! Looking back to their period of making model dioramas and working equipment for the show, I still believe it would have been an exciting opportunity for the show to recreate some of the stories that still lie waiting in the pages of the Railway Series, like the Small Railway system, and Duke's old Mid Sodor Railroad. It would have been amazing, but I think the reason why we really enjoy the books so much is just because the Reverend Awdry's vision was captured so beautifully from page to page, and for children and people of all ages, they are truly enjoyable to read. Maybe someday soon these stories will make it to the screen. Meantime, another good reason to come back to these books and read them again (!); and for me, to keep modeling too.


  1. Very nice work! When I was a kid, I thought that the mountain engines and small railway books were all made into TV series episodes. Naturally, I would watch every VHS and DVD they had at the library to see these episodes - which didn't actually exist...

    I had read somewhere that Britt said many other characters didn't make it to the show, as their personalities, plots, and lessons were very close to other already introduced characters (i.e. the Skarloey railway engines to the small railway.)

    1. Why thank you!

      I remember the first time I got the Railway Series Master Collection book when I was 6, back in 1997, and when I first saw the engines, rolling stock, and the locations of the Culdee Fell, the Small Railway, and even the Mid Sodor Railway, that got me really excited! I loved the illustrations, and as I got exposed to the original stories, that has been a real treasure.

      I believe the same thing you did. I always hoped that the Thomas show would make the recreations to these stories as they did with the Skarloey Railway and the Pack. What you said about being redundant is pretty true when I think about it story-wise. They might have not been able to recreate all of these railways, but from season 4 onwards, the show began to have a huge fan-base, and the merchandise generated a lot of revenue, so later on like with the Pack, the Wharf, or Stanly and Great Waterton, I know that if they wanted to model Culdee or the Small Railway, they could have really done a fantastic job, and then some! Maybe they can today with the new CGI series, who knows? If there is a demand or an energetic audience who could let them know they would love to see Culdee, that would be amazing!

      Thanks for the comment. As always, keep on modeling!

  2. Your models and your scale drawings are always blowing my mind. You have some real talent there, man.

  3. Wow you are amazing at modelling! You are an absolute genius! Could you be kind enough to teach me how to do face expressions for my ho scale models?


  4. I think that you're doing everything perfectly. I have only positive feedback for you!
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  5. I think it's cool you did culdee and patrick