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It is not often that I see something that really grabs my attention, Pempoul is one but recently a rather different layout was featured in Model Rail and has passed without any comment. It is Tapley.

The fact that the builder used GWR buildings to create a Southern layout does not detract from the impact of the layout, it is both simple and inspirational because it captures the look of a station in its natural landscape.

I spent some time trying to understand why the layout had struck such a chord but one of the factors it is use of wide baseboards and the disproportion of scenery to trackplan. The builder has used the correct size of trees, which tower over trains, whilst there are no abrupt changes of texture or terrain- everything is in harmony.

Whilst some might find this approach to be a sheer waste of space, I find that the builder has captured the quintessential West Country without recourse to cliché or kitsch, instead it is the landscape that I see everyday.

I have no criticism or suggestion to improve the layout, I merely add that I wish that I had the ability to capture the feeling of the region as successfully as the builder.

Please, make an effort to find a copy of Model Rail's November issue and for those who love the West Country, you will be pleased.

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