An recent e-mail to the Secretary had a very unexpected question – “Is there any chance that Elgin MRC could provide a model railway to run round a large dining table in a stately home for filming tomorrow? The producer had been let down at the last minute by the group who were going to do it, found out about Elgin MRC and asked the question. After a few e-mails and telephone calls we decided we could do it.
The following day two members, Dave Spratt and Andrew Allardyce headed off to Fyvie Castle with boxes of track and rolling stock. On arrival they were shown to the Dining Room and there it was – a table almost 20 feet long and four feet wide with a place set at either end. It was explained that what was required was a long loop of track which would allow a train to run round and deliver items from one end to the other.
Dave and Andrew set about setting up the track which just had to lie on the table with no fixing in this somewhat ornate new Clubroom. Peco Streamline was used for the straight track and SetTrack for the curves. Various combinations of locos and vehicles were experimented with until a Bachmann Standard Class 4 pulling a well wagon, a timber flat wagon and a brake van were found to work most effectively and reliably running clockwise around the track.
Filming started in the afternoon and it was found that the timber wagon was ideal for hard boiled eggs (probably soft boiled or raw eggs would work as well but might be riskier) and the well wagon was ideal for the salt cellar! Having tested it clockwise until it was running faultlessly, the cameraman asked if it could run anticlockwise as this would work better with the lighting and of course it did not run quite as smoothly. However the few minor problems were overcome and successful footage was ‘in the can’.
Unfortunately the Oscars are not beckoning. It was not a big blockbuster movie shown in all the major cinemas but an Art Film which will be shown in the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh in June and July. However all the big stars had to start somewhere – now does anyone know a good agent?