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Something really appeals to us here at Newsstand about the world of miniature model engineering, and we think we know what it is. It’s not the wonder of seeing something incredibly complex recreated, working, in a much smaller scale, although that does impress us, so much as the materials that the models are made out of.
Flicking through the pages of Model Engineer magazine there are countless pictures of model trains, steam engines and machinery, and they are all made out of good, proper, solid materials. Whether this is wood, burnished brass, copper, steel or iron, they all represent a world of solidity and permanence, rather than the fly-by0night materials surrounding you now. Look around you and what do you see? Plastic everywhere, cheap chipboard and fibreboard covered with a veneer of pretend wood, synthetic materials abound nowadays which is something that is an incredible shame. After all, when a manufacturer or engineer is working with something solid, with something of worth, they take their time – any mistakes will cost them in both time and money. As a result the craftsmanship is much better than the cheaply, quickly made disposable goods that have flooded the market. It may be too late to make a rallying call to defend the honour of a good solid lump of wood or metal, but we would like to make a stand of defiance anyway. NB