Dioramist’s diorama

Esteemed member #0654 is Paul Kirkup.  He knows a thing or two about telegraph poles.  Little ones, model ones, diorama-sized ones.  He made the 10 inch model that now adorns our mantelpiece - next to the photo of my bank manager.

Anyway, now that the weather is better, Paul ventured outside to show us some of the things that adorn his curtilage  He has a passion for the old London Midland Region of British Railways and this is reflected by the station and platform he has built in his garden.  Painted red and cream of course.  And what does a station need but a telegraph pole. So...

..."I bought the longest wooden pole I could find and fitted it with a cross arm and two spindles and insulators. As I am also interested in old forms of lighting, I added a suitable light fitting which switches on at dusk and goes off at midnight. There are no wires to the pole - yet - but planning is underway and two-way communication between the house and station should be achieved using a pair of field telephones, Army, type F."

Paul also sent us a photo of the remnant of a crossarm unearthed whilst rummaging in the undergrowth at Craigellachie station...

..."Now mounted on a stub pole which will eventually form part of the station communications network mentioned above. The position I found the relic in, just beyond the end of the station platform, means that it must have been mounted on the pole adjacent to the signal box, a photo of which I found in a book. It is rather nice to be able to see a photo of something now preserved for posterity, or at least as long as I am around to look after it, following which my nearest and dearest will probably chuck it in a skip!"

Paul's cakebox diorama came to the attention of the Editor of British Railway Modelling magazine, who commissioned him to write and illustrate some railway modelling projects for the mag. The second of these articles concerns the authentic modelling of telegraph poles. Paul tells us he feels that most modellers simply plant model poles straight out of the box, without much thought as to their authenticity. This has to change.  I feel a campaign coming on.

High Voltage Dioramas

Let me start with apologies.  A power surge in our particular valley destroyed just two things last week:  #1; my broadband router, and #2; the bit in the exchange where my particular wire plugs into whatever apparatus they have in there.  Everything and everyone else for miles around was completely unscathed.  So if you're waiting for a reply from me for anything do please carry on waiting as this has nothing at all to do with my tardiness - that's just sloth on my part.  This apology is for Mrs TPAS for using some choice and military strength vocabulary as the internet singularly failed to let me listen to the final hours of the football league relegation dramas.  My life revolves around relegation dogfights and then ultimately the relegation itself.

So, back to matters of appreciation.  Regular readers of this sage prose will know of my affinity towards dioramas.  Not so very long ago I commissioned a spectacular 3 armed miniature telegraph pole for my mantlepiece from member #0654, Paul Kirkup.  To this day, it still has pride of place among my Reddest Rhubarb, Curliest Runner Bean and other trophies.

Anyway, another Paul, Paul Rees, a diorama modeller of some spectacularity sent me the fantastic photos you see below of a 33kv termination pole, an L6 400kv tower (pylon to you) and a 33kv substation.  These just blew me away in the level of detail.  Paul says the 33kv pole is modelled on one that can be found at Port Lane substation outside Winchester. Quite brilliant. Thanks for sharing them with us.

If these are for a competition Paul, I suspect some silverware will be making it to your mantlepiece too.  Not fruit and veg related trophies alas, but you can't have everything.

Scaled down brilliance

posted in: Art, models | 0

A rare thing it is for me to be so moved as I was when I received the photo below this last week.  This was sent to us by TPAS member #0654 Paul Kirkup.  And so elevated was I that I woke Mrs TPAS from her post-prandial sofa-slumber to share with her this brilliance.  Once she had calmed down from my intrusion and stopped hitting me she too became as enthused as me over the picture. I mean, just look at those hands! I could only ever dream of having fingernails so exquisitely manicured as that.  Then that is because I am the British freestyle nail-biting champion three years running and Paul obviously isn’t – but does make wonderful dioramas.
Paul tells us he built the pole as part of a diorama for a railway-themed competition – so the model must contain at least two railway elements and fit within a cakebox sized 8″x8″x6″. The full model you can see in the second picture and is called “No more coal”.
I fell in love with the concept of dioramas a couple of years ago when I attended an art exhibition in south Shropshire – Chapel Lawn if you must – and there were a couple there that I just couldn’t draw myself away from.  The attention to detail is simply stunning and requires a bloody-good staring at to take it all in.  And so it is with Paul’s model as a whole.  But this telegraph pole just blew me away.  There are rust stains from the step irons, and the insulators are broken just as they are – from catapult kids like me.
I don’t know if “No more coal” won the competition, but it should have.  Paul’s metaphorical ears picked up when I mentioned commissioned pieces – so I’m going to somehow engineer my little face lighting up on Christmas morning when I find one of these in my pillow case.  I’ll take her up a cup of tea just now I think.